Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Clippers

Nene to have MRI on knee, Wizards concerned there is torn ligament

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Washington’s dream of a deep playoff run could have just snapped along with Nene’s knee.

Nene had to leave the court against the Cavaliers Sunday and did not return. It was scary because there was no real contact on the play, Nene had raced back to challenge a shot, leapt and when he landed it was awkward and he was clearly injured. At the time that was called a knee sprain, reports J. Michael of CSNWashington.com but the MRI is Monday.

But the concern around the Wizards is this is a ligament issue that could end Nene’s season, reports Michael Lee at the Washington Post.

There is a fear among some members of the Washington Wizards that Nene is done for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee, although the team won’t know for certain until the Brazilian big man meets with team doctors and has an MRI exam on Monday. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, “It doesn’t look good.”

Nene out for the season and the playoffs would be a blow to Washington.

When Nene is on the court the Wizards defense is 6.7 points per 100 possessions better than when he is sitting — Washington jumps from a below average defensive team to a top 5 defensive team when he plays. Think they could use that in the playoffs?

Less Nene means the Wizards will lean heavily on Marcin Gortat plus need more Kevin Seraphin.

Look at it this way: When John Wall and Gortat are paired the Wizards are +7 per 48 minutes, or +6.5 per 100 possessions if you prefer. With Nene and Wall are paired it is a still good +5.4 per 48, or +5.3 per 100 possessions.

But when Nene, Wall and Gortat played together they were +10.1 per 100 possessions and allowed only 95.7 points per 100 possessions (that is better than every defense in the NBA this season except for the Pacers). If the Wizards were going to make a real dent in the playoffs they needed that combo.

We’ll find out Monday if they get to have it.

Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)

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Bobby Portis didn’t enjoy getting blocked by Marquese Chriss. And Portis sure didn’t appreciate how Chriss fell on him.

But it was all worth it (for me, at least) just to see the Bulls forward make a face that reminded me of this:

Dwyane Wade with dagger dunk to seal Bulls win vs. Suns (VIDEO)

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The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.

The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.

The Bulls won 128-121. Devin Booker led the Suns with 27.

DeMarre Carroll shoves Isaiah Thomas to ground on break, tempers flare

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Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll picked up a deserved flagrant for this foul.

With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.

Thomas got up and had words, as did Jae Crowder.

Carroll got a flagrant and a technical, Thomas and Crowder each picked up technicals for jumping in.

Seth Curry puts up career high 31 against Timberwolves (VIDEO)

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When Stephen Curry wore a headband through the All-Star Game last weekend, West coach Steve Kerr jokingly called him “Seth” all night.

Dallas’ Seth Curry came out of the week-long break playing like an All-Star. He dropped 31 on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night, a career high for him. He hit 13-of-17 from the field, including three from beyond the arc, but did a lot of his damage in the midrange.

It wasn’t enough, the Timberwolves got a comfortable 97-84 win behind 27 points from Andrew Wiggins and 26 from Karl-Anthony Towns. Nerlens Noel was not yet with his new team in time to play for the Mavs in this game.