Portland Trail Blazers v Phoenix Suns

Watch LaMarcus Aldridge drop 44 on Denver (VIDEO)

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LaMarcus Aldridge was good in the first half Thursday night, scoring 14 points but needing 14 shots to get there. So at the half Denver coach Brian Shaw decided not to make any changes, leaving J.J. Hickson (primarily) on an island with Aldridge.

That strategy backfired. In the second half Aldridge dropped 30 points on 15 shots, getting to the free throw line for 14-of-17 and killing the Nuggets at the rim (7-of-10 in the restricted area) and the midrange (8-of-16). He finished with a career high 44 points, not-so-coincidentally on a night he was not selected as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game.

I’m in the group that thinks Aldridge is the best four in the game right now, I give him a slim lead over Kevin Love because of his defense. But he plays in Portland and didn’t win the fan-vote popularity contest. He will be an All-Star, the coaches will vote him in for sure.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes handsy Joakim Noah (video)

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Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.

Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.

Aaron Gordon throws inbound pass off Marcus Morris’ back, scores (video)

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Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.

Brandon Jennings sinks halfcourt shot after whistle (video)

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The NBA refuses to grant continuation when a player senses an intentional foul in the backcourt and launches a heave.

Fortunately, players continue to shoot anyway – which produced this fun Brandon Jennings non-basket.

Report: Kings forward Matt Barnes wanted for questioning after alleged New York nightclub fight

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Matt Barnes infamously fought then-Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating Barnes’ estranged wife, Gloria Govan. Barnes even bragged that violence is sometimes the answer.

His self-earned reputation won’t earn him the benefit of the doubt over an incident earlier today.

TMZ:

Sacramento Kings star Matt Barnes is wanted by NYPD for questioning after he allegedly choked a woman inside a nightclub early Monday morning — and TMZ Sports got video of him right after the incident.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops got a 911 call to Avenue Nightclub after midnight, reporting a man assaulting 2 women and another man. We’re told things got physical when Barnes allegedly choked one woman during an argument — and when 2 other people tried to intervene … he punched both of them.

In the video, Matt and a teammate — it appears to be DeMarcus Cousins — are talking about the fight. The teammate is clearly heard saying, “Matt hit the s*** out this ni***!”

Barnes was also arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2011. But she said the incident was blown out of proportion, and the charges were dropped.

The Kings have already played at the Knicks and Nets, so Sacramento doesn’t return to New York this season.