Baseline-to-Baseline recaps: Nuggets streak, Bulls slide

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Welcome to PBT’s roundup of yesterday’s NBA games. Or, what you missed while watching Harvard bust your bracket.

Nuggets 101, Sixers 100

At a certain point, a winning streak takes on a life of its own, to the point where it seemingly can’t be stopped.

That certainly seems to be the case with the Miami Heat right now, but the Nuggets are on a 14-game winning streak of their own now, thanks to a career night from Corey Brewer.

Blazers 99, Bulls 89

This game was nowhere near as close as the score would indicate, and considering the fact that the Bulls were playing at home and saw both Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson return to the lineup after missing time due to injury, this was a brutal performance from Chicago.

Portland began to do its damage in the second quarter, opening the period on a 14-0 run. Their lead reached as many as 19 points before halftime, and as many as 28 points before the third quarter was through.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard handled the bulk of the offense with 28 and 24 points respectively, and the Bulls actually made a run to close the gap in the fourth, behind eight points from Gibson and 10 from Jimmy Butler as Tom Thibodeau actually rested four of his five starters for the game’s final 12 minutes.

This was Chicago’s fourth loss in its last five games.

Kings 101, Timberwolves 98

Tyreke Evans scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter of this one, yet still tried to give away the game in the closing seconds.

With Sacramento leading by three and having possession of the ball with 34 seconds remaining (and a difference of almost 11 seconds between the shot clock and the game clock), Evans exhibited poor decision-making and even worse fundamental skill, as he got into the lane and turned the ball over before his team could even get a shot off.

Thankfully for Sacramento, the best Minnesota could do was find Dante Cunningham for a wide-open look from three-point distance that careened off the backboard as time expired. For the record, Cunningham has made just one three-pointer in 19 career attempts as he’s now in his fourth NBA season, making the Timberwolves’ final possession somehow worse than that of the Kings.

Watch Derrick Rose leave Patty Mills standing still with eurostep, huge dunk

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New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose still has some explosivity left in his legs. Against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, the former MVP left Spurs guard Patty Mills standing still on a thunderous dunk.

The play came in the fourth quarter with Rose on the break and Mills the only Spurs player defending the basket. Rose had a full head of steam, and it appeared Mills was going to for the charge call.

Rose then craftily eurostepped his way around Mills, leading to the jam.

San Antonio beat New York, 106-98.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on resting players: “It’s complicated … kind of like healthcare”

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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, along with LeBron James, has been at the center of the discussion about resting players in the NBA. The legendary coach has been credited with the idea to rest star players en masse during the season to save them for the playoffs. Meanwhile, after the Cavaliers sat LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love during a primetime matchup on ESPN, the team received a call from the league.

Commissioner Adam Silver has been active in talking about the issue as of late, and has even issued a memo to team owners to be considerate about resting players.

Popovich, meanwhile, thinks the issue isn’t quite as easy to clear up. Speaking with ESPN, the Spurs coach noted that each party in an NBA team has a different role and goal, and that sometimes those goals pull opposite each other.

Additionally, Popovich said asking owners to step in to make a decision over a coach or GM could be a serious issue.

Via ESPN:

But we all have different roles, different jobs, and different goals. We can’t satisfy everybody. But I think that every owner’s gonna be different. I think it’s a slippery slope, and makes it difficult to keep trust, and camaraderie to the degree that I think you have to have to be successful in this league if owners get too involved in what coaches and GMs are doing.”

“I think keeping owners informed about what’s going on is mandatory, and having input is fine,” Popovich said. “But I think there has to be an understanding that coaches and GMs have brains also, and we know who pays the bills. It’s a slippery slope, I think, if owners got too involved in that process. That trust relationship in those three areas is really important in creating a culture and making something that can be long-lasting.

What Popovich is basically pointing out is that GMs and coaches are hired to be the basketball minds for a reason. Having owners meddle in day-to-day decisions like resting players could muddy that relationship.

The San Antonio coach did concede that the best idea might be to rest players when they are at home, in front of home crowds who are more likely to have already seen their top players that season simply due to repetition. But Popovich isn’t in favor of broad, sweeping mandates on resting players from the league since that wouldn’t always be prudent.

“That’s why no basic rule has been written, so to speak,” said Popovich. “Because you can’t write a rule that covers everything. It’s complicated … kind of like healthcare.”

Chicago does humor with “Beauty and the Bull” snapchat musical

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The Beauty and the Beast movie is both a hit and ripe for satire. Or just amusing spinoffs.

Enter the Chicago Bulls, with Benny the Bull mascot and Robin Lopez pitching in on a musical takeoff of the film promoting the team.

Well played Bulls.

LeBron James drives through Wizards defense, dunks on

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Even when they are getting beat — and the Cavaliers have some issues to shake out before the playoffs start — there are a couple times a game that LeBron James makes a play that is stunning.

For example, splitting defenders out high with his dribble then going in and dunking on Ian Mahinmi. LeBron did that Saturday night.

The Wizards beat the Cavaliers and Cleveland has issues that are bigger than LeBron’s goggles (Boston can tie Cleveland for the top spot in the East with a win Sunday), but never doubt LeBron’s explosiveness.