Stephen Curry verbally confronts fan in Denver after Game 5 loss (VIDEO)

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It was a rough night in Denver for the Warriors’ Stephen Curry.

Not only did the Nuggets avoid elimination with a Game 5 victory, they were able to shut down Curry in the process.

Denver held Curry to a series low 15 points on 7-of-19 shooting, including just 1-of-7 from three-point distance. This came after Curry had averaged 30 points per game over his last three, all of which were wins for the Warriors.

It wasn’t just the low scoring output that was troubling for Curry. The Nuggets were extra-physical with him throughout the night, especially early in the game when setting screens on him and making sure contact was made anytime he went cutting through the lane.

Kenneth Faried was the one who appeared to be dishing out most of the physical play on Curry, and Warriors head coach Mark Jackson accused the Nuggets of playing dirty against his superstar afterward.

All of this is to say that Curry had plenty of reasons to be frustrated. And he took out some of that frustration on a fan as he exited the floor of the Pepsi Center immediately following his team’s loss.

We have no idea how inflammatory the fan’s comments were, but clearly whatever was said was enough for Curry to feel the need to respond. The commentary from the TNT crew in the video clip above makes the whole thing seem hilarious, but anytime a player confronts a fan in that way, there’s a possibility for things to go in a very bad direction.

Tyronn Lue says he has secret plan to fix Cavaliers’ defense for playoffs

AP Photo/Phil Long
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Only one team that ranked outside the top 12 in points allowed per possession during the regular season won an NBA title. The 2000-01 Lakers, who were 21st in defensive rating, are the lone outlier.

The Cavaliers rank 22nd in defensive rating this season and have been even worse lately.

But Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue says he has a plan. He just won’t reveal it yet.

Lue, via Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

“We’ve got to hold back. We can’t show our hand early because … these are some good teams and we don’t want them to be able to come into a series and be able to adjust to what we do. We just have to be able to play our normal defense until we get there and then we will see what happens.”

Also:

“I think the rebounding hurt us. Rebounding. But it will be different once some other things happen. … Their two-guards, their threes, they still crashed the boards. But we have something to fix that. Just not right now.”

What precisely those plans are, Lue wouldn’t tell us. And here’s the other part — he’s not exactly sure they’ll work.

“I’m not confident, but we’ve got to” get the defense fixed, Lue said. “We have to.”

The Cavs ranked just 10th in defensive rating last season, among the worst marks for an eventual champion. But they cranked up their defense in the playoffs, especially late. Cleveland held the Raptors 4.8 points per 100 possessions below their regular-season scoring rate and the Warriors 7.8 below theirs.

Lue also unleashed a 3-point-heavy attack in the playoffs last year after sitting on the strategy through the regular season.

So, I have some faith Lue will implement a better defensive gameplan when it counts. It also helps to have LeBron James, who can still play elite defense when not in the slog of a long regular season.

But the Cavaliers’ defensive deficiencies right now are glaring. This roster appears to lack defensive potential, and their many miscues keep them well below whatever that potential is.

The challenge in elevating this defense to championship-caliber will be immense, maybe even unprecedented.

Mavericks’ Salah Mejri dunks while getting shoved in the gut (video)

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The Mavericks built a 13-point lead over the Thunder with 3:30left thanks to plays like this Salah Mejri dunk on Nick Collison.

Unfortunately for Dallas, Russell Westbrook happened.

Willy Hernangomez dunks on Andre Drummond, Pistons’ playoff chances (video)

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Andre Drummond and the Pistons couldn’t slow down anything.

Not Willy Hernangomez. Not the Knicks. Not Detroit’s plummeting playoff hopes.

After a 109-95 loss to the Knicks last night, the Pistons — who’ve lost four straight and seven of eight — are 1.5 games and two teams out of playoff position.

Terrence Ross 360 dunks his way back into Raptors fans’ hearts (video)

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In his first appearance in Toronto since the Raptors traded him to the Magic, Terrence Ross did what he has done best throughout his career: Delight Toronto fans with a dunk.

And of course the fans appreciated it, because their Raptors cruised to a 131-112 win.