Washington Wizards v Cleveland Cavaliers

Byron Scott says clock started late, Jennings’ game-winner should not have counted

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We showed you the game-winner from Brandon Jennings, an incredible launch from the top of the three-point arc with 0.7 seconds left to beat the Cavaliers as time expired.

Cleveland’s head coach, Byron Scott, was less excited about Jennings’ heroics than the rest of us. He told reporters afterward that the clock started late, so therefore the shot shouldn’t have counted.

From Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal:

“I don’t want to get fined, so I’m not going to say anything about the clock starting late,” Cavs coach Byron Scott said. “They have to figure out a way to do something about that.”

“The bottom line is it doesn’t count or you take it out again,” Scott said. “Looking at it again in the locker room, the shot shouldn’t have counted.”

Told he might have crossed the line and might receive a fine from the league for criticizing officials, Scott responded “then too damn bad.”

Watching the replay a few more times, does Scott have a point? Maybe, but only in the sense that a human being being in that position has to wait for the ball to be touched by a player after it’s inbounded before hitting the button to start the clock, and that’s going to cause a split-second delay, however small it may be.

If the clock was started late — and I’m not sure that it was — it didn’t appear to be egregious or intentional. In a situation like this, complaining about it afterward  just makes you look like a sore loser.

And, if you can’t have a defensive scheme in place to prevent an open look with less than a second left on the clock? To use Scott’s own words, then it is “too damn bad.”

Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim

Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) drives past Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.

Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).

The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.

That’s technicals 10 and 11 on the season for Howard. He’s got some work to do to catch up with DeMarcus Cousins, but still he’s racked up a few.

It just didn’t matter on Monday, with Dennis Schroder leading the way with 21 points for the Hawks.

 

DeMar DeRozan drains game winner to cap 37-point night, Raptors beat Knicks 92-91

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With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.

The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.

It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.

Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors

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Golden State is in Philadelphia, and so are the celebrities.

Kevin Heart — a Philly native — was on hand and he got to ring the bell pregame (a Sixers tradition).

Having him on hand seems to help as the Sixers were hanging around through the middle of the third quarter with a team looking for its 50th win.

Bucks’ Michael Beasley has to be helped to locker room after apparently hyperextending knee

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04:  Michael Beasley #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action against Mindaugas Kuzminskas #91 of the New York Knicks during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 4, 2017 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Let’s just hope this is nothing too serious.

Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.

The team is calling it a sprain for now.

Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.