It was a one-point game at the end — the Denver Nuggets had a real shot of knocking off the San Antonio Spurs on the road. Denver had the last shot. But that last shot wasn’t pretty — Danilo Gallinari couldn’t create a shot for himself so he dumped it to Andre Miller who tried a runner across the lane that missed.
The Nuggets could have used Ty Lawson in that spot.
Lawson tried to return from a heel injury and go on Wednesday, but after playing regular rotations in the first half and then the first seven minutes of the second half, he sat again. And what he said after the game to the Denver Post didn’t sound good.
“I couldn’t move,” the point guard said. “I had no lift on my shot, jumping off one foot. I was just to see if I could do it, try to inspire the team.”
The Nuggets don’t need more inspiration against the Spurs, they need Lawson healthy in the playoffs where there will be more games decided in the last second and the outcomes will have more meaning. Lawson gets that, sort of.
“I probably need to take a couple days off to let it heal all the way,” Lawson said of his injury. Asked if that means the Brooklyn game on Friday, Lawson said, “Probably.”
George Karl needs to keep him on the bench for a couple games. He needs to be right when the playoffs come. The Nuggets are a real postseason threat, but they need a healthy Lawson to be that.
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.
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.
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.
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.