Chris Paul

Tuesday And-1links: Chris Paul could be back this weekend

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Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.

• The Clippers have lost seven of nine and need something to get them back to the potential contender status they were playing at the first couple months of the season… like the return of Chris Paul, for example. He has missed eight of those nine games with a bruised knee. That’s not a coincidence. As good as Eric Bledsoe is — and teams want to trade for him for a reason — the Clippers are 5-5 when CP3 sits and he starts this season. Good news for the Clippers is Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups could be back by this weekend, reports Arash Markazi at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

• Here is a great breakdown of what has gone wrong with the Clippers while Paul has been out.

• Speaking of returns, Andrew Bynum is still on target for sometime in February. I know, it’s vague, but it’s the best we can do.

• If you read one thing today, it should be the oral history (and watch the video) of the Costacos brothers poster/wall art empire.

Zach Lowe at Grantland with an amazing breakdown of how the Chicago Bulls defend the pick-and-roll a little differently than everyone else. And it works for them.

• Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament talks about playing pickup basketball. And how Kurt Cobain used to give him crap about it.

You want to own the blueprints for the Jordan statue outside the United Center? You can. If you have a cool $100,000 lying around.

• The league made Joakim Noah change the outfit he was wearing on the bench Monday night.

A Q&A with Nate Robinson.

• Utah’s Gordon Hayward is doubtful against the Bucks on Wednesday because of his shoulder injury.

• In Sacramento, Aaron Brooks is out of coach Keith Smart’s rotation.

• Finally, this baby has more trick shots than you do.

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.