Brooklyn did their best to choke away a win Tuesday. Toronto went on a 14-0 run in the final minutes to get it within two (after the Nets did not play the free throw game well), and they had a shot at tying it. (Go read our nightly NBA Grades to see what I thought of the 1-4 flat play with a kick-out to poor shooting Amir Johnson on that last play — why is a poor shooter from three in the prime corner three kick-out space?)
Brooklyn survived 102-100 — and nobody is more relieved than Jason Kidd. The coach has been under criticism, his team was 3-10 and in desperate need of a win. They got good performances from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, they actually played well in the third quarter, and it almost wasn’t enough after a late game collapse. Jason Kidd (who seemed more animated on the bench Tuesday than in the past) was just relieved.
Hat tip to The Brooklyn Game (via The Point Forward at SI) for the video.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.