Joe Johnson, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Joe Johnson out for Nets Friday, blame plantar fasciitis

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The Nets could certainly use Joe Johnson Friday night against a Rockets team that can put up points.

But he is not going to play, Nets GM Billy King made the announcement on ESPN Radio in New York Friday (as tweeted by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News).  Deron Williams got shots in his sore ankles but is expected to play through the pain.

Johnson will not, he will sit. The reason is his plantar fasciitis — pain in the membrane that runs along the bottom of the foot — flared up after Wednesday’s game. The best cure for this is rest so the Nets are giving their second leading scorer time to get right. At this point the Nets need to make sure he is right for the playoffs, so they should be resting him as much as they need to (and manage his minutes the rest of the way).

But if you wonder how much they will miss him, watch the end of their recent win over the Bucks. No word on now many games he might miss.

It’s interesting that Bondy notes reporters were told at shootaround nothing was wrong and Johnson would play, only to have the GM say something different on a radio interview. Not exactly a classy move, Nets.

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.