Rick Carlisle rips O.J. Mayo’s inconsistent performances

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With Dirk Nowitzki out at the start of the season, a lot of responsibility fell on the shoulders of O.J. Mayo in Dallas. Faced with that he put up 16.4 points a game on 46.2 percent shooting overall and 41.6 percent from three (both percentages a career best). Not bad.

But he was still O.J. Mayo — inconsistent game to game, quarter to quarter.

Monday night, after Mayo had a lackluster game against his former team the Grizzlies, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle sounded like a guy who had had enough. The quotes are via Jeff Caplan at NBA.com.

“I don’t know. You should probably ask him. I’m not sure,” Carlisle said when asked why Mayo delivered such a disappointing effort. “He wasn’t into it in the first half. We showed him some film at halftime where he was virtually just standing around defensively and said, ‘Hey, we need you’; just tried to get him going a little bit. He just had a bad night. I guess I’ll write it off to that. But I tell you what, if I was playing against my former team, I’d come out ready to go. I’d come out ready to go at them. But that’s me, you know, that’s me.”

Okay. So coach, what about that entire season of up and down performances.

“Well, the good news is there’s only an opportunity for one more [poor outing],” Carlisle said. “I just want to see him show up. I just want to see him show up and compete. He didn’t compete tonight. And I tell you, with all the time we’ve put into helping him develop and bringing him along, in the biggest game of the year – an opportunity to be a winning team – for him to show up like he did tonight, I was shocked. Look, sometimes guys have bad nights, so make sure to put that in there, too.”

Carlisle still could have another year of Mayo, who has a player option to return next season at $4.2 million. We’ll see what he decides, but he’s not going to make much more on the open market. Look at it this way, he had a career best PER this season of 15.2 — basically right at the league average. How much are teams going to pay for that kind of production?

Maybe someday Mayo puts it together and brings it every night. But if I’m a GM I’m not betting a lot on that.

John Wall goes coast-to-coast, behind-the-back for lefty dunk (VIDEO)

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There’s not going to be many plays better than this in the entire playoffs.

There wasn’t a lot for Wizards’ fans to cheer in Game 3, the Hawks took control early and routed Washington, making it a 2-1 series. But there was this, John Wall going coast-to-coast with the ball, going around-the-back and throwing it down left handed.

Wall is just so fast end to end.

Warriors take 3-0 series lead over Blazers with 119-113 win

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.

The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.

Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.

The Warriors took a 108-100 lead after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk with 4:05 to go.

Noah Vonleh‘s dunk got Portland within four at 110-106 with 1:29 left, but Curry answered with a 3-pointer that all but sealed it, sending fans streaming for the exits.

CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 32 points, while Damian Lillard added 31.

Markieff Morris calls Paul Millsap a “crybaby,” Millsap responds “It definitely got personal now”

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The Atlanta Hawks owned the Washington Wizards from the opening tip Saturday, making it a 2-1 series with an easy win.

It’s a series now — and that includes trash talk.

Paul Millsap had 29 points, pulled down 14 boards, got to the line 11 times, and led the Hawks to the win. He got the calls he wanted this game, but Washington’s Markieff Morris was not exactly down with high praise for Millsap.

The key line here: “”He just did more for his team. He’s a crybaby. Get all the calls and you a crybaby.”

Millsap was asked about that comment in his postgame presser — and the best part may be Dennis Schroeder’s reaction.

“It definitely got personal now, yes. I mean, I don’t care. So what? He can take his loss and go back to the hotel and be ready for the next game.”

These two have already had a beef this series.

Game 4 in this series just got a lot more interesting.

Marc Gasol game-winner tops Kawhi Leonard’s brilliance, evens Spurs/Grizzlies series 2-2

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Best. Game. Of. The. Playoffs.

So far at least.

Kawhi Leonard scored 16 consecutive points for the Spurs down the stretch of regulation to force overtime, then in OT hit a corner three with 7.2 seconds left to tie the game at 108-108. Leonard finished the game with a career playoff high of 43 points.

It wasn’t enough. Because in those final seconds Marc Gasol did this.

The 110-108 Memphis win ties the series at 2-2 as it heads back to San Antonio for Game 5. I might not want to sit next to Gregg Popovich on the flight home.

While Gasol hit the big shot, he never gets the chance if Mike Conley isn’t every kind of amazing through the clutch parts of this game. Conley finished with 35 points, and that includes a floater in the lane that forced OT (although Leonard got a pretty good look to end it in regulation and just missed). I’m surprised the Spurs switched on the pseudo pick on this play.

The Spurs struggled to get stops down the stretch, mostly because they had David Lee and Tony Parker both on the floor and Memphis did a good job getting switches onto those defenders. Spurs starting center and best defensive big Dewayne Dedmon missed the game due to an illness, and that ended up mattering.