Jason Kidd arrives late to Nets shootaround, Paul Pierce calls for fine

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Jason Kidd has spent 2014 trying to undo the reputation he developed in 2013.

In 2013, Kidd’s Nets looked lost. His most notable coaching was spilling his drink. Most damaging, a scout reportedly said, “He doesn’t do anything.”

In 2014, Kidd has turned Brooklyn into a winner. When Brook Lopez got hurt, Kidd chanced using a small-ball lineup, and it’s worked brilliantly. That’s partially luck (Lopez’s injury) and partially improved coaching Kidd’s lineup change), but the results have been strong.

That’s why an incident like this can happen and fly under the radar:

I’m pretty sure Paul Pierce was joking, at least partially. The reason I think that: The Nets have a winning record. If this were 2013, Kidd arriving late would have just been the latest exhibit in the case to fire him.

This also speaks to the challenge Kidd faces. Pierce was drafted just four years after Kidd. You think the Nets’ veterans would take kindly to being fined by Kidd? It’s difficult to engender respect as a coach when you don’t act like a coach and arrive on time.

For now, Kidd is riding high. If the Nets start losing again, all the questions about his ability to handle his new profession will quickly return.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)