New York Knicks v Denver Nuggets

Knicks coach Woodson chooses Slava Kravstov to shoot free throws after Markieff Morris is ejected (VIDEO)


NEW YORK — Entertaining moment early in the second quarter on Monday during the Knicks’ 98-96 overtime win over the Suns.

Markieff Morris received his second technical foul of the game for shoving J.R. Smith following an inadvertent shot to the face he received while attempting a shot.

A second technical is an automatic ejection, and since Morris was supposed to head to the line for two free throws, we got to witness a rare occurrence. NBA rules state that if the player shooting the free throws can’t, for whatever reason (including injury), then the opposing team’s head coach gets to choose any player on the active roster to complete the task.

Mike Woodson seemed to be fairly excited about getting to do this, and the crowd in attendance at Madison Square Garden shared in his glee. Woodson took his time before settling on Slava Kravstov, who has played the least minutes for the Suns this season, and was tied with the similarly seldom-used Alex Len for lowest free throw percentage on the team, having made two of his four attempts on the season.

The fans cheered wildly as Kravstov entered the game, and were just as loud in expressing their disappointment when the first free throw bounced around the rim before it eventually dropped through. The second one was missed just as Woodson had hoped, however, and the loud cheering immediately resumed.

Kravstov was subbed out after a stoppage on the ensuing possession, and received a huge round of applause as he headed to the bench.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done that as a head coach,” Woodson said afterward. “I think it’s the first time I’ve done that, when a guy got ejected and I had to pick a player.”

Woodson wasn’t exactly up to speed on the free throw percentages of the players at the end of his opponent’s bench, so he deferred to his assistants to make that decision.

“I turned to my staff, they keep me abreast on who (I should choose),” he said. “And the kid makes one out of the two, so it worked to our advantage a little bit.”

In a game that went to overtime before the Knicks eventually won by two points, every advantage helps.

Cavaliers stand in middle of Raptors dancers’ routine (video)

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The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.

The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.

Wizards score 6 (!) fourth-quarter points in loss to Hornets

Cody Zeller, Ramon Sessions
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Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.

That was Washington’s last basket.

Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.

And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.

Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.

The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.

At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.

As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.

76ers tie NBA-record losing streak, dropping heartbreaker to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas, T.J. McConnell

After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.

Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.

They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.

Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.

The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.

76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.

Timberwolves read mean tweets about themselves (video)

Flip Saunders, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones
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The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.