Miami Heat's James and Wade smile during second half of NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks in Miami

Baseline to Baseline recaps: The Heat put together a complete game. That will beat anyone.

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Welcome to PBT’s roundup of the day in NBA action. Or, what you missed while watching the video of the worst free throw attempt ever

Spurs 134, Rockets 126 (OT): There was a Linsanity flashback in Houston. Jeremy Lin took charge in the third quarter, slashed into the defense, hit rainbow jumpers and looked like the Lin of those few weeks in New York. Then the Spurs were the Spurs and just out executed everyone. Tony Parker had a triple-double. We broke it all down here.

Miami 101, Atlanta 92: Atlanta played well in this one, but when Miami puts together a complete game it’s not going to matter. Miami shot 58 percent as a team — Dwyane Wade was 11-of-13 shooting (26 points) while LeBron was 10-of-16 (27 points). Miami also had a better defensive game than they had recently forcing turnovers that let them get out and run.

As well as Miami played Atlanta took a 65-63 lead on a deep Jeff Teague three with 6:30 left in the third quarter. Miami had been sloppy with the ball for a stretch and it cost them. But then the run came. Wade hit a 17-footer coming off a screen. Chalmers with a steal and LeBron with the fast break finish with authority. Wade, as the ball handler off pick and roll, gets to free throw line and pulls up for two. LeBron drives the lane and kicks out to Battier for a corner three. Suddenly it’s 72-65. Atlanta’s Jeff Teague tried to stem the flow w with a runner high off the glass, but next time down Wade drew the foul and hit two free throws. Following a Teague turnover, Lebron made a pass to a cutting Wade in transition. It was a13-2 Heat Run. After a Hawks illegal defense, and it was Heat by 10 and they never really looked back. Any time Atlanta made a push, LeBron answered.

Mavericks 119, Kings 96: Dallas went on a 22-2 to start the second quarter and that was pretty much it for the competitive portion of this one. This was a solid, professional win for the Mavericks. That and the Kings were awful. O.J. Mayo led six Mavs in double figures with 19 (he hit three of four from three point land), while DeMarcus Cousins and Francisco Garcia each had 25 for Sacramento.

Sixers 104, Pistons 97: This game was close most of the way, it was It was tied 80-80 with Detroit doing a surprising amount of running to stay in it (the Pistons had 20 first half fast break points). Detroit cut it to 98-95 late in the fourth quarter — but a Jrue Holiday three was the dagger. Holiday had 25 points, Turner had 18 on 8-of-13 shooting, Thaddeus Young added an efficient 20. The Sixers won this in the second half when they scored 58 points. Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight each dropped in 22 points for the Pistons.

Warriors 94, Bobcats 86: The Bobcats were trying to avoid losing their 8th straight while snapping the Warriors 3 game winning streak, but were unsuccessful. The Dubs jumped on the ‘Cats early with David Lee (17 first half points, 25 for the game) the catalyst to an 18 point Golden State lead at the half. Lee was joined by the dynamic play of Stephen Curry (27 points, 7 assists), whose all around game kept Charlotte off balance all evening.

The Bobcats, led by Kemba Walker’s 24 points, did make a push in the 2nd half by holding the Warriors to 46 points (11 in the 4th quarter), but the hole they dug themselves in the first 24 minutes proved too much to overcome.
—Darius Soriano

Trail Blazers 92, Raptors 74: The big news out of this was Amir Johnson fighting with the law. And the law won. He was ejected.

But maybe the second biggest news was Portland setting an NBA record for futility going 0-of-20 from three. That is quite a feat in its own right.

As for the basketball game surrounding that show, the Blazers took control in the third with an 13-2 run, sparked in part by LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 30 points and 12 boards. The Blazers may not have hit threes but they owned the paint and got 54 of their points in there. J.J. Hickson was part of that getting 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting. DeMar DeRozan had 20 for Toronto.

DeMarcus Cousins projects to miss out on at least $29.87 million due to trade

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings speaks with the media during media availability for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans on February 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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DeMarcus Cousins was all smiles the moment he appeared to find out about his trade, or at least trade rumors of going, from the Kings to the Pelicans.

But once he examines the deal closer, he might not like every aspect.

Cousins stands to miss out on a lot of money — about $30 million or more — due to this trade.

Because he made All-NBA teams the last two seasons, he was eligible to sign a designated-veteran-player contract extension this summer. As a matter of fact, he reportedly planned to do just that with Sacramento reportedly planning to offer it. That extension projected to be worth $209,090,000 over five years ($41,818,000 annually).

But, once officially dealt, Cousins will no longer be eligible for that super-max extension. It’s reserved for players still with their original team or who changed teams only via trade during their first four years.

This is Cousins’ seventh season, dropping his max starting salary in 2018 from 35% of the salary cap as a designated veteran player to 30%. That projects to be $179,220,000 over five years ($35,844,000 annually) if he re-signs.

It’d be even less if he leaves New Orleans, a projected $132,870,000 over four years ($33,217,500 annually).

Notice how small that difference is now between his incumbent team and other suitors. By rule, the Pelicans won’t hold nearly the same advantage in keeping him as the Kings would have. In other words, New Orleans faces greater risk of Cousins walking.

And there’s no guarantee Cousins gets the max. You saw how little the Pelicans traded for him. That speaks to his value around the league.

Just over a month ago, Cousins appeared content to take $209 million or so and stay in Sacramento. Now, his financial future is far more uncertain. But this much we know: His max possible salary on his next contract just got lowered.

Is this the moment DeMarcus Cousins found out he was traded? (video)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 18:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings attends practice for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 18, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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NEW ORLEANS — DeMarcus Cousins was set to answer questions after the All-Star game, when a Kings public-relations official said, “All-Star questions first, please. All-Star-game questions.”

“What other questions we got?” Cousins asked, seemingly unaware of his trade to the Pelicans.

The PR person whispered in Cousins’ ear.

“Oh, really?” Cousins asked.

More whispering.

“It’s whatever,” Cousins said.

Then, asked about his All-Star experience, Cousins smiled big and said, “It was amazing, man. I enjoyed the city of New Orleans. I love it here in New Orleans.”

West bench goes wild over Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook alley-oop (video)

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NEW ORLEANS — Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook connected on a fantastic alley-oop in tonight’s All-Star game, but the reaction of the Western Conference bench was even better.

Both Durant and Westbrook downplayed the play after the game, but not everyone agreed.

 

“Defining moment in history right there,” All-Star MVP Anthony Davis said.

 

Report: Kings agree to trade DeMarcus Cousins to Pelicans for Buddy Hield, several picks

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 17: Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans talks to DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 17, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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NEW ORLEANS — There has been a faction within the Kings organization that wanted to move DeMarcus Cousins for a while, even though they wouldn’t get equal value back, even though it would mean extending their decade-long playoff drought and rebuilding all over again. Despite Cousins’ unquestioned talent on the court, some in the franchise questioned if they could build a consistent, quality team with him as the cornerstone and pointed to the win total in recent years as their example.

For years, Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive stood in the way of that — he was Cousins’ biggest supporter in the organization.

However, that changed recently according to a source near the Kings, and once it did things moved quickly for Cousins to be traded to the Pelicans in a blockbuster move that few in the league saw coming this quickly or at this low a price. Adrain Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports broke the trade, while Marc Stein of ESPN followed up with details.

This is a big win for Pelicans’ GM Dell Demps, who has been on the hot seat for his inability to put a good team around his All-NBA star in Davis. It’s a move that comes with risks, but risks the Pelicans needed to take. How well Davis and Cousins can play together remains to be seen, and the team still desperately could use more shooting. The biggest challenge will be re-signing Cousins, who has one year left on his deal after this one (and now cannot be signed to a designated player supermax deal the Kings allegedly were going to offer). Look at what Cousins’ agent said.

Kings GM Vlade Divac was known to be a big Buddy Hield fan heading into the last draft (the Pelicans took him a few spots ahead of the Kings’ pick). Why he still seems to be this high on him is a mystery. If these picks are 2017 ones, as reported, that helps a little as this is considered a deep draft. However, it’s still not anywhere close to equal value and the Kings will take a massive a step back — and they weren’t far forward already. The Kings’ front office reportedly presented Ranadive with the two best choices, and he went with this one. The trade is the first step in a long rebuild for a Sacramento fan base that is understandably hurt. 

The next question for Ranadive is if Divac is the guy to lead that rebuild?

Cousins himself played only two minutes in the All-Star Game Sunday, a sign something was up. Davis, who was the All-Star Game MVP scoring a record 52 points, was asked about Cousins before the trade was announced.

“He’s a great player, dominant in this league, of course, with all the numbers he put up. But I haven’t heard anything,” Davis said.

Cousins also said knew nothing about the deal when he spoke to the media, and added he was just frustrated that once again he was at the All-Star Game and the focus was on trade talk surrounding him.

“Give me a break. I just need one All-Star where it’s just All-Star questions man,” an exasperated Cousins said. “This is my third one and it’s always been something… It’s disappointing I’m spending another All-Star talking about the Kings rather than my All-Star experience.”

As for if he wanted to play in New Orleans (that rumor had been flying around the Smoothie King Center all night), Cousins simply said, “if it happens it happens” and that he was happy in Sacramento.

Cousins said he hadn’t heard from Divac or anyone, and West coach Steve Kerr said that he only played Cousins two minutes in the All-Star Game at Cousins’ request because he is banged up and wanted to rest. Nobody is buying any of this, but that’s what they said.