Baseline-to-baseline recaps: Knicks continue streaking, shorthanded Heat take care of Spurs

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Welcome to PBT’s roundup of yesterday’s NBA games. Or, what you missed while trying to avoid seeing the replay of Kevin Ware’s horrific injury in the Elite Eight.

Heat 88, Spurs 86: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Mario Chalmers all sat out of this one for Miami due to various injuries, but the Heat managed to come away with the win anyway thanks to a game-winning three-pointer from Chris Bosh that pushed Miami’s lead in the overall standings to three full games over the Spurs.

Hornets 112, Cavaliers 92: Kyrie Irving returned from injury for the Cavaliers, after missing his team’s last eight games due to a shoulder injury. He scored 31 points in 29 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to keep a Hornets team that got big performances from Ryan Anderson and Greivis Vazquez from coming away with the victory.

Knicks 108, Celtics 89: New York has now won eight straight games, which is the longest active winning streak in the NBA at this point in the season. This particular game saw the Knicks lead by as many as 24 points before the night was through, as New york finished with six players in double figures.

Bulls 95, Pistons 94: Detroit actually led by as many as 13 points in this one, before Chicago, continuing to play without Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli, managed to impose its will over the game’s final 24 minutes.

A disadvantage of eight turnovers helped to bury Detroit, while an advantage of 18 free throw attempts in Chicago’s favor (40-28) helped to close this one out against the Pistons.

Wizards 109, Raptors 92: Washington has been much better at home than the team has been on the road, and Sunday night hosting the Raptors was no exception. The Wizards got balanced scoring, led by 24 points from Bradley Beal on 8-14 shooting that helped Washington post a victory for just the second time in its last five games.

DeMarcus Cousins answers first several Kings-related questions same way (video)

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DeMarcus Cousins had a bitter exit from the Kings, but that won’t be the last they see of him.

Cousins’ Pelicans will host Sacramento tomorrow night.

Not that Cousins rushed to talk about the matchup.

Justin Verrier of ESPN:

Cousins is pretty funny when joking with the media, and his smile is contagious. Just listen to all the laughs Cousins generates as he goes through his shtick.

Bonus points to Cousins for eventually breaking down and providing real answers. Some of his relationships in Sacramento were clearly meaningful to him, and he wanted to acknowledge those — even if he’d prefer just to get past this awkward game and all the talk it invites.

Report: Sweet-shooting 7-footer Lauri Markkanen leaving Arizona for NBA draft

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Lauri Markkanen is 7-foot and made 42% of his 3-pointers this season.

That combination alone will have NBA teams drooling, and the Arizona freshman will capitalize.

Evan Daniels of Scout:

Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen is declaring for the NBA Draft and is expected to sign with an agent, multiple sources told Scout.

Markkanen seems pretty certain to get picked in the lottery, likely in the top 10.

Calling him a good shooter for his height undersells him. It’s not just he shoots so efficiently from deep, it’s that he can generate 3-pointers in so many ways — pick-and-pops, spot-ups, off off-ball screens and even running pick-and-rolls himself. Having the height to shoot over defenders is his most noticeable asset, but don’t undersell his mobility.

Markkanen also finishes well at the rim and offensively rebounds at extremely impressive clip for someone who spends so much time on the perimeter. Those interior skills instill belief he will eventually become a suitable defender.

There are a couple red flags. He’s old for a freshman, turning 20 before the draft. He leaves plenty to be desired defensively, especially due to his lack of strength.

But his size and shooting are tantalizing. That’s plenty for now.

Dwyane Wade wowed by jumping, around-the-back alley-oop pass in McDonald’s All-American Game (video)

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Watch for Collin Sexton in the 2018 NBA draft.

In the meantime, the Alabama commit had all eyes — include Dwyane Wade‘s — on him with this pass in the McDonald’s All-American Game last night.

Carmelo Anthony on shrinking role with Knicks: ‘I see the writing on the wall… I’m at peace with that’

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Carmelo Anthony scored just nine points on 12 shots in the Knicks loss to the Heat last night — well below his season averages of 22 points on 19 shots per game.

Anthony, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I see the writing on the wall. I see what it is,” Anthony said late Wednesday night. “I see what they’re trying to do, and it’s just me accepting that. That’s what puts me at peace. Just knowing and understanding how things work. I’m at peace with that.”

Is Anthony talking about just the Knicks’ final dozen games of this season, when they’re clearly interesting in testing less-proven players? Or is he referring to his entire tenure in New York?

Anthony has said he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Knicks want to rebuild, and they’ll reportedly try again to trade him this offseason. Perhaps, this is Anthony indicating he’s warming up to the idea of allowing a trade.

Anthony’s and Kristaps Porzingis‘ timelines are barely compatible, if at all. It’d make sense for the Knicks to go in a different direction.

Could Anthony be at peace with that?