Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah ejected after altercation (VIDEO)


It was an ugly game at Madison Square Garden on Friday, where the Knicks melted down as they were being manhandled during a blowout loss to the Bulls.

Carmelo Anthony and head coach Mike Woodson were ejected for arguing with officials, but the play that brought things to a head occurred with 4:39 to play and Chicago leading by 16, and resulted in both Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah being ejected for their actions.

Except for the very end of this sequence, when Noah makes sure to stay in contact with Chandler as he fights to get away, this one seemed to be 100 percent initiated by Chandler — he’s the one who initiates the shoving down low as both players were fighting for position, and then once Noah was on his back and aggressively trying for the rebound, Chandler appeared to throw an elbow, before leaning his head in close to Noah’s, requiring the two to be separated.

It’s tough to see any reason for suspensions to be handed down following the dust-up, as there were no true punches thrown. Noah could be seen barely attempting to make contact with Chandler with his head, which likely isn’t enough to draw attention from the league office.

Noah said afterward that a suspension would essentially be ridiculous, via Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com:

When asked specifically about a possible suspension, the emotional center seemed incredulous.
“Suspension?” Noah said. “For what? What did I do?”

When asked about the apparent headbutt, Noah responded. “He headbutted me,” Noah said. “Come on guys, I’m trying to play (Saturday), man. I love this game.”

All that will likely come out of this is film to be used by other teams when preparing for the Knicks the rest of the season.

It will be interested to see moving forward if other teams in the league who have the ability to be similarly physical will use those tactics to try to rattle New York, and force that same type of meltdown to occur once again.

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell with shot of night to force OT with Spurs

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One of the factors to consider in the Rookie of the Year race: clutch plays.

Down three with less than 10 seconds to go Friday night, the Utah Jazz put the ball in the hands of their rookie playmaker Donovan Mitchell — and he made the play, draining a three to force overtime. It’s an impressive play.

In the clutch this season (last five minutes of a game, within five points), Mitchell has averaged 3.2 shots per contest (by far the most of any rookie) and has a true shooting percentage of 51 percent. Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, the other front-runner in the ROY race, averages less than a shot per game in those clutch situations (0.8) and has a true shooting percentage of 66.7 percent.

Mitchell made the big shot, but the Spurs made plenty too, had 45 points on the night from LaMarcus Aldridge, and got the win.


PBT Extra: Who is coming out of the Eastern Conference?

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The Toronto Raptors will finish with the No. 1 seed and all the best metrics in the East, but they have a history of playoff flameouts. The Boston Celtics’ have been hit hard by injuries. And the Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James but also a dreadful defense, this is the most vulnerable a LeBron led team has been since he bolted Cleveland seven years ago.

So what team is coming out of the East?

We get into that in this latest PBT Extra. A poll on Twitter found most of you think the Cavaliers, but personally, I think the Raptors — who have been better defensively all season than the Cavs — may finally have their year.

LaMarcus Aldridge drops career-high 45 points, Spurs beat Jazz in OT

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 45 points, helping San Antonio overcome Donovan Mitchell‘s 35-point performance for Utah in the Spurs’ 124-120 overtime victory over the Jazz on Friday night.

The Spurs won their sixth straight and beat the Jazz for the first time in four meetings this season.

Utah’s 12-game road winning streak came to an end, but only after Mitchell had 14 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to force overtime.

San Antonio remained sixth in the Western Conference with the same record as fifth-place New Orleans, a half-game behind Oklahoma City for fourth. Utah remained eighth in the West.

After free throws by Spurs guards Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills and a dunk by Jazz center Rudy Gobert put San Antonio up 114-111, Mitchell drained his third 3-pointer of the fourth with 3.6 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Mills, who finished with 23 points, had six points in overtime as the Spurs capped an undefeated six-game homestand.

Aldridge averaged 32.2 points and 9.0 rebounds during the winning streak, including two double-doubles.

Aldridge scored 28 points in the first half on 12-for-16 shooting, including a 3-pointer.

Utah missed its first six shots and was 4 for 14 as San Antonio grabbed a 19-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Mitchell settled the Jazz, scoring six points to cut the Spurs lead to 29-21 heading into the second quarter.

Mitchell was 14-for-35 shooting while falling six points shy of his season-high.

Derrick Favors added 22 points for Utah and Ricky Rubio had 20.

Ginobili finished with 18 points for the Spurs.


Stephen Curry leaves game with knee injury


In his first night back from an ankle injury that forced him to miss six games, Stephen Curry limped off the court not to return after in third quarter Friday night after JaVale McGee fell into his knee.

He limped to the bench then eventually to the locker room after the injury.

The severity of the injury is not yet known and should become clear on Saturday after an MRI.

Curry scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before being forced to leave the game, and the Warriors held on to win the game.

Obviously, if Curry is out heading into the playoffs, that changes the dynamic in the West, where the Houston Rockets were already right on the heels of the Warriors.