Derek Fisher to sign with the Mavericks

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Derek Fisher was unceremoniously traded from the Lakers to the Rockets last season, before ultimately signing with the Thunder in mid-March. He played meaningful minutes while in OKC, and averaged over 22 minutes per game in the team’s Finals loss at the hands of the Miami Heat.

Fisher’s services were not retained by the Thunder, however, and he has been looking for work ever since the season began. Fisher had maintained that he would wait for an offer from a contender before signing, but with a month gone by and no offers on the table, he’s apparently chosen playing over not playing as a way to spend his immediate future.

The Dallas Mavericks will sign Fisher on Thursday, according to the team’s head coach Rick Carlisle, via multiple reports. Carlisle broke the news to reporters after the Mavericks’ 23-point loss at the hands of the Bulls, one that came after Darren Collison was placed on the inactive list — possibly due to a finger injury, and possibly due to falling out of favor with Carlisle due to his sub-par performance this season.

Fisher can provide a stabilizing force to bring the ball up and initiate the offense, which is something the Mavs could certainly use at this stage of the team’s development. He can also provide semi-consistent long-range shooting, but what he can’t provide is legitimate on-ball defense, which is another area the team desperately needs to see improve.

There’s the whole veteran leadership factor, which of course is a nice intangible to add to any team, and is obviously a plus. But just how much Fisher will be able to physically help in Dallas with his on-court production remains to be seen.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)