Spurs’ Neal misses games after dreaded luggage zipper injury

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Gary Neal, this is why there are rookies in the NBA. To do things like zip up your luggage so you don’t suffer an injury that keeps you out games.

Neal is expected back Monday night when the Spurs take on the Clippers, but he missed the team’s last two games for a reason that is going to lead to years of locker room mocking. From the San Antonio Express-News Spurs blog (hat tip to SLAM).

Neal had just enjoyed the best game of his NBA career, pouring in 27 points to spark a comeback victory over Portland, when fate intervened with a place in the annals of bizarre sports injuries — a gashed finger incurred while zipping up a piece of luggage prior to last week’s Lakers game at Staples Center.

“It’s bad luck, right?,” said Neal, who is averaging a career-high 10.1 points on 63.6 percent true shooting. “I was zipping up my bag, and I ripped it across the zipper and it just pulled the skin off. It was bad luck. Sometimes things happen.”

You don’t think Stephen Jackson might have brought that up in the locker room? Just be thankful he wasn’t on Kobe Bryant’s team.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.