New Orleans Pelicans v Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol leaves game with knee injury, MRI Saturday

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Memphis big man Marc Gasol, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, left in the second quarter of the Grizzlies’ loss to the Spurs Friday night and did not return after tweaking his left knee.

It doesn’t look good. The team has scheduled an MRI on Saturday to see how severe it is, reports Sam Amick of the USA Today.

Gasol was defending the Spurs Aron Baynes on the block and had defensive position when his knee just buckled. Gasol hobbled off the court not to return.

The team officially called this a left knee sprain. The MRI will determine just how bad this is.

Without Gasol’s defense and passing out of the post the Grizzlies go from a team that made the Western Conference Finals last season to a team that is not nearly as threatening come the postseason. Gasol averages 17.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks a game, but it is on the defensive end where he is the anchor for one of the league’s sharpest defenses.

Let’s hope it’s not severe.

The Spurs went on a 21-10 run after Gasol went out and San Antonio went on to win the game easily 102-86.

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.