Charlotte Bobcats v New York Knicks

J.R. Smith sets single-game NBA record for most three-point attempts in loss to Heat


J.R. Smith set an NBA record during Sunday’s loss to the Heat, and it’s one that most casual observers may have been surprised to hear that he didn’t already hold.

Smith has been known as a shoot first, ask questions later type of player throughout his career, and shot himself into the record books by attempting 22 three-pointers, the most ever attempted in a single game in NBA history.

The previous record was held by Damon Stoudamire, who attempted 21 threes while with the Blazers back in 2005.

Smith wasn’t just chucking for the sake of it, however, at least before his last couple of record-breaking attempts. He set a team record by making 10 of those attempts from three-point distance, and it was his scoring that kept the Knicks within striking distance in this one, with his 32 points leading the team in scoring for the second straight game.

The problem for the Knicks, just as it was in Friday’s loss to the Wizards, was the subpar play of Carmelo Anthony, who is obviously feeling the effects of a shoulder injury. Anthony had 10 points against nine turnovers in Friday’s loss, and against the Heat, he managed to shoot just 4-of-17 from the field to finish with 13 points in over 44 minutes of action.

Anthony didn’t attempt a field goal in the entire fourth quarter, despite playing all but 20 seconds of it.

The Heat were without Dwyane Wade for the sixth straight game as he continues to rest a sore hamstring, but LeBron James picked up more than his share of the slack, finishing with 38 points on 13-of-22 shooting, to go along with five rebounds and six assists.

The loss puts the Knicks already-slim playoff hopes into even more serious doubt. New York trails Atlanta by three games in the loss column, and in order to make the postseason, must now finish 4-0 against teams who are all a part of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while hoping that the Hawks stumble to a 3-4 regular season finish.

Kristaps Porzingis grew up a Kobe fan. Still is one.


When you hear player comparisons for Knicks rookie, the most common is Dirk Nowitzki — a European big with ridiculous shooting range and potential to embarrass anyone.

So did he grow up idolizing Dirk? Not so much.

Rather, like many of his generation, he grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant, he told Mike Francesa of WFAN.

“My favorite player growing up was Kobe. The Lakers were my team and I still love him.”

There is an entire generation of NBA players — and just fans — who would say the same thing.

In the interview, Porzingis laments his missed shots and turnovers, he thinks he can be a lot better. That is exactly what you want out of a rookie. It’s a huge adjustment playing at the NBA level, the speed of the game and IQ is a leap from Europe (or college). Recognizing the challenge is part of it.

There’s a lot to like in Porzingis. He could be special (we don’t know yet, we see only the potential). But idolizing Kobe — and if you understand the work he put in, the passion for the game — can be a good start.

(Hat tip NBA reddit)

Warriors’ interim coach Luke Walton’s car stolen

Luke Walton

If you’re looking for a “when are things going to go wrong for the Warriors” moment, we have one for you. But it may not be what you had hoped for.

Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton — the guy on the sidelines for the 15 (soon to be 16) game winning streak — had his car stolen during a crime spree, reports

One of the cars stolen during an Oakland Hills crime spree belongs to Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said late Monday.

Walton’s Mercedes Benz was stolen Tuesday by two suspects, who police believe are also responsible for a violent attack on a 75-year-old woman outside her home on Thursday. The suspects also took the woman’s car during the attack, according to police.

Yikes. That’s serious.

I’m sure Steve Kerr has like 14 cars, he can loan one to Walton.

Pacers guard George Hill returns Tuesday against Wizards

Paul George, Marcus Morris
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Pacers guard George Hill returned to the lineup Tuesday night against Washington after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection.

Hill is averaging 14 points and just under 37 minutes in 10 games this season. He was on the bench in case of emergency in Saturday’s victory over Milwaukee.

Coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday Hill’s infection had improved “to the point where he’s fine to play,” but would keep an eye out for fatigue after an 11-day layoff.

Hassan Whiteside on intentional fouls: “It’s not working, so keep fouling me”

Hassan Whiteside

Remember how Adam Silver was preaching that the league didn’t want to change the intentional foul rule — the hack-a-Shaq strategy — because it was really about two players (DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard) and a handful of others now and then. The fact that it’s not basketball didn’t matter.

Well, it’s not just two — Miami’s Hassan Whiteside has gotten the treatment this season. He’s a 53.4 percent free throw shooter this season.

And he says bring it on. From Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:

“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “Foul me so I can get a double-double and we can win. It’s not working, so keep fouling me.”

He’s even smart at not getting fouled.

Whiteside also is liking that teams are looking at their options against the best defense in the NBA — yes, Miami at 94 points allowed per 100 possessions, is the best defense in the NBA right now — and deciding to attack Whiteside.

“There’s teams that’s out there that say ‘Stay away from Hassan,’ and there’s teams that say, ‘We don’t care if Hassan’s down there. Attack Hassan.’ I love them teams that do that. God bless them coaches. I love them teams.”

Whiteside is not as great a defender as the block totals would indicate — if he doesn’t see a block in it, his rotations can be a bit slow. One scout recently called him a selfish defender to me recently, suggesting he is in it for the numbers, not the sacrifices needed for an elite defense. True or not, the Heat have an elite defense and Whiteside is at the heart of it.

And if the strategy is to try to exploit him, Whiteside plans to make people pay.