Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors scrap on the court (VIDEO)

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Well, that escalated quickly. No one threw a trident (Anchorman references are acceptable again, right?), but there were big ramifications from the on-court scuffle between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors.

The tussle started when Andrew Bogut and Joel Freeland got tied up in the paint, and things went to another level once Bogut threw a forearm shiver at Freeland to break loose.

As you could expect, this led to both teams rushing to the action. Mo Williams went at Bogut, and then things got a little crazy.

The refs doled out plenty of punishment, as you might expect. Wes Matthews, Mo Williams and Draymond Green were all ejected. Joel Freeland, Andrew Bogut and LaMacrus Aldridge were all issued technical fouls.

How Bogut got off with just a technical foul, I don’t know. He was involved in the fight that started it all, and then he shoved Williams as he rushed in. Usually the second guy gets punished (and Williams did), but the refs have the benefit of replay.

Regardless, nothing could stop Portland on this night. The Blazers were down by eight at the time of the fight, but they fought back on the scoreboard. Aldridge’s 30 points and 21 rebounds helped Portland extended their road winning streak to an impressive seven games, and their overall winning streak to 10 games. There isn’t a hotter team in the league right now.

LeBron James hits go-ahead shot in All-Star win (video)

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LOS ANGELES – LeBron James‘ team trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter of the All-Star game, but he led a competitive comeback.

This shot put his team up 146-145 over Stephen Curry‘s team, and Team LeBron held on for a 148-145 win:

Great penetration by Russell Westbrook, and he and Kyrie Irving moved the ball well. LeBron made it count.

LeBron James finishes reverse alley-oop from Russell Westbrook (VIDEO)

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LOS ANGELES — The new format for the NBA All-Star game brought a little more defense to the first half of the annual showcase, but it didn’t do much to enliven the game. That said, the game has been better than the pre-game “entertainment.”

Midway through the second quarter, his team down 15, LeBron James decided to make it a game again and played with some energy. That included a three, and a couple impressive alley-oop finishes. The best came via Russell Westbrook.

There also was this one courtesy Kemba Walker.

Those may be the two best dunks of the first half.

Anthony Davis opens All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins’ jersey

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LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis often relies on his Pelicans teammates to set him up.

Tonight, he gave a nod to one of them.

Davis started the All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins‘ No. 0 jersey. Cousins and Davis were both voted starters then drafted by LeBron James, but Cousins can’t play due to injury.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

Very cool gesture by Davis. He’s an excellent teammate.

No, Joel Embiid didn’t cheat during the NBA Skills Challenge

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The Internet got itself all in a huff on Saturday as they watched the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. In particular, the matchup between Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid stirred up a bit of controversy.

Specifically, folks accused Embiid of cheating.

During the passing section of the obstacle course, Embiid didn’t actually make any of his passes into the ring. He then proceeded on the next section and was neck-and-neck with Markkanen as they tried to finish out the head-to-head competition. Markkanen won, but that didn’t stop folks from saying the 76ers All-Star had circumvented the rules.

We now know that’s not true.

According to the rules (provided on the NBA media site, page 47 of the 2018 NBA All-Star Media Guide) Embiid was allowed to move onto the next section even though he hadn’t completed any of his passes. A player only has to exhaust the rack, not complete a pass. It appears rules sort of assume that if a player stands there trying to complete a pass three times they’ll fall so far behind they won’t be able to catch up.

Re-watching the video, it appears Embiid knew this rule to the game and figured if he didn’t make the first one he would quickly try to blast the next two passes off the rack so he could then move onto the next section.

Embiid even took to Twitter to head off accusations that he had cheated.

Via Twitter:

Trust. The. Process.