Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets

Pau Gasol cleared to play vs. Heat, will come off bench

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If you’re looking for a weakness for the Miami Heat to attack, it is size and rebounding. They count on their athleticism, pressure defense and LeBron James to overcome that, but they have a weakness.

So if you’re the Lakers, this is a good time to get Pau Gasol back.

Gasol has been cleared to play by a league neurologist and will suit up for the team Thursday night when Los Angeles hosts Miami. So tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA.com.

Gasol will come off the bench for the Lakers but could return to the starting lineup as soon as Sunday.

The Lakers — in desperate need of wins to even make the playoffs — have looked better the last couple games. Dwight Howard came back from his shoulder injury playing with a lot more energy on both ends and the Lakers defense has been better because of it.

But the wins were against the Cavaliers and Bucks — the Miami Heat are a totally different measuring stick. Ask the Warriors, who got run out of the building on Wednesday night (granted, Stephen Curry was out).

We’ll see if the Lakers can build on their momentum with Gasol back in the lineup. Or if Miami will be a reminder like the Thunder game of where the team sits right now.

Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)

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The game itself went about how you’d expect one between a title contender and a high lottery team to go — the Cavaliers 120-111 win over the Lakers was never really in doubt.

But the fans in Cleveland wanted to see some vintage Kobe Bryant, and they got it late when he spun around LeBron James and hit the reverse lay-up.

LeBron had 29 points on the night, and Kyrie Irving had 35. Kobe finished with 17 and got a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Suns’ Markieff Morris, Archie Goodwin get in scuffle on the bench

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Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….

During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.

The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.

We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”

Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)

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This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.

And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.

Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.

Now this.

He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).

You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.

We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.