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.
Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….
During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.
The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.
We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”
Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)
This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.
And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.
Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.
Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.
INJURY UPDATE: @hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has suffered a dislocated right shoulder. #CHAatIND