Kevin Durant, James Harden

James Harden says Kevin Durant’s late three-pointer was ‘a lucky shot’


To say that Kevin Durant was the beneficiary of a fortuitous bounce on this three-pointer that went down with 36.9 seconds remaining in the Thunder’s Game 3 win over the Rockets would be an understatement.

The ball first hit the back of the rim, then bounced off high into the air, before landing softly on the front of the rim and then the back once more before falling through the net.

The shot put the Thunder back up for good, after the Rockets had erased all of a 26-point first half lead to go up by two on a three-pointer from Francisco Garcia on the previous possession.

After the game, James Harden characterized the shot as exactly what it was, via Dave Zangaro of CSN Houston.

“He just made a lucky shot,” Harden said. “It was good defense. The ball bounced three times on the rim and just went in and it kind of took some of the energy out of us. It was a big-time shot.”

Durant himself went with something a little stronger than luck when speaking about the shot afterward, via Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman.

“The Lord was with us,” Durant said of his final shot. “That’s all I was thinking. As soon as I shot it and it hit the back of the rim I was thinking, ‘Not again. A tough 3 I shot. Maybe I should have drove. Maybe I should have got a foul.’ But it bounced in all because of the good Lord, man.”

Matt Barnes says he went to house because his son looked distressed

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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So far, the only substantive accounts of the Matt Barnes-Derek Fisher altercation have come from anonymous sources.

The Knicks coach has deflected questions.

But Barnes is giving his account, at least of the lead-up.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

It’s completely understandable that Barnes would act to ensure his children’s welfare.

And let’s say everything he said is true. It still leaves important questions unanswered.

Did Barnes – as he reportedly texted a friend he did – beat up Fisher and spit on his estranged wife, Gloria Govan? If so, why did Barnes deem that necessary to protect kids?

Gregg Popovich resting himself for Spurs game at Sacramento

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t coach in July.

Apparently, he’s taking off part of October, too.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

It’s not that surprising to see Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw staying home. Veterans miss preseason games all the time just to rest. With the Spurs, it happens even in the regular season.

But it’s still a little strange to see the head coach sit out, even though Popovich also did it last year.

It makes sense, though. Who cares about this preseason game? If travelling less helps the 66-year-old Popovich stay fresh in the years ahead, that’s well worth it. Plus, it gets Messina a little extra experience. Some day, he might be the head coach.