LeBron James ditches mask in loss to Spurs

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Is LeBron done with the mask, or is he just taking a break?

Midway through the first quarter of the Heat’s loss to the Spurs, LeBron took his mask off during a timeout. He’d missed his only shot, and Miami trailed by eight.

He didn’t exactly light the world on fire after that, shooting 6-for-18 in a 111-87 loss (though maybe the mask – or other accessories – hindered him in ways other than shooting).

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The mask is a preventative measure. It protects players who’ve already experienced nose injuries from having another while they’re more susceptible and when they’d be more affected. It’s also, surely, a pain to play with.

LeBron is hardly the first player to scrap a mask before he’s supposed to be done with it or even the first to do so mid-game. I’ve never seen someone pay for it with another hit to the nose, but if players keep pressing their luck…

Still, maybe that chance is worth the added comfort and playing better.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.