Marcin Gortat, Jared Sullinger

Gortat doesn’t want to escape “sinking boat” in Phoenix

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The Phoenix Suns are bad. They are just flat out not a good team, which is part of what you expect for a couple years during a rebuilding process.

As the trade deadline nears, teams are going to call up and ask about Marcin Gortat — a quality NBA center who makes a reasonable contract of $7.2 million this year and $7.7 million next season. Gortat brings 11.6 points a game on 53.8 percent shooting plus 8.9 rebounds. He’s got a PER of 17.4. He’s not an All-Star but he’s good and affordable.

But Gortat doesn’t want to be traded, he told Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com.

“Basically I just don’t want to feel like a loser and escape,” he told CSNNE.com. “The team needs you and then all of a sudden you escape because you said you wanted to be traded or you asked for a trade? It’s not like that.

“If someone’s going to decide to trade me, it is a business. I’ll understand that. But now I’m on the Phoenix Suns and I’m going to help….

“Right now I feel like it’s hard to leave this sinking boat, you know what I mean, just go to a different team and escape from everything,” he said. “I started with this team in training camp. I’ve been here for three years right now. This is my third year and basically I’m trying to help this team, help this team as much as I can. “

The Suns are rebuilding, if a team can offer them young players and picks that can help the cause management likely entertains a trade for Gortat. But they are not giving him away for your junk — quality NBA centers are hard to come by and the Suns have such an asset. They will keep him if all the offers are lowball.

Which is just fine with Gortat.

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.

Seth Curry puts up career high 31 against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

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When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.

Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.

It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.

Spurs kick off rust from layoff to beat Clippers 105-97 in Chris Paul’s return

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points despite foul trouble and the San Antonio Spurs shook off the rust from a nine-day layoff to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in his return from a 15-game absence because of a fractured finger. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dewayne Dedmon grabbed 12 rebounds.

Blake Griffin scored 29 points for the Clippers, who have dropped consecutive games to the league’s two winningest teams since the All-Star break ended. They lost by 10 points at Golden State a night earlier. The Spurs have the league’s second-best record at 44-13.

Chris Paul added 17 points in his return after missing five weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.