Someone had to be: Ricky Rubio sad Kahn let go in Minnesota

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Ricky Rubio was David Kahn’s guy. Rubio was Kahn’s best draft pick, a guy who helped on the court and helped sell tickets, too. Of course, Kahn liked Rubio so much he told Minnesota’s best player — Kevin Love — he couldn’t have the team’s one five-year extension because it was being saved for Rubio. That soured a relationship already built on shaky ground.

That relationship — as well as a host of draft and other errors over the years — led to Kahn being shown the door and Flip Saunders getting his chair. Much to the joy of every Timberwolves fan I know.

But not Rubio, who lost his champion in the organization reports Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com, via Sulia.

Sources say the Rubio family is disappointed in the decision, largely because Kahn is the one who stuck his neck out and drafted Rubio knowing he couldn’t come over right away and did a lot of the legwork to expedite the start of Rubio’s NBA career. Maybe it blows over — Rubio wouldn’t be the first player who disagreed with a decision yet eventually put it behind him — but it bears watching.

Rubio’s not going anywhere — he will get a contract extension to his rookie deal from the Timberwolves that will be eight digits a season and he will sign it. Saunders is a smart guy, he’s going to build a good relationship with Rubio as one of the anchors of the franchise going forward.

Just remember next year when the Timberwolves stay healthy and make the playoffs, Kahn deserves a lot of credit for putting that roster together.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)