Deron Williams still hasn’t gotten used to life in New York City

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Deron Williams started his career in Utah where he and Jerry Sloan had a successful if not always tight relationship, but before he could bolt they traded him to the Nets. Those Nets needed him to open the Barclays Center and paid in handsomely to move to Brooklyn — and part of the reason he said he stayed was liking the area and the off-the-court opportunities it provided him in terms of business.

That doesn’t mean he feels like a New Yorker. Or that he doesn’t miss Utah.

Williams talked with Resident Magazine about a number of topics, including his autistic son and charitable foundation. But he admitted he’s not really feeling like a local in NYC. (Hat tip The Brooklyn Game.)

“I’m not going to lie. I don’t really feel so much like a New Yorker. I grew up in an apartment in Texas where you could send your kids outside like ‘yeah, go play in the sun.’ Here it’s more challenging. The process of getting them into school is a nightmare. Even private schools where you pay are an ordeal. In Utah, you just send your kids to the first public school in the area because they’re all great. Truth is, we enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle and going back to Utah every summer. It’s a relief to take that timeout. No traffic. No crowds. My daughters still have their friends there. There’s a big backyard. They go to the pool; the playground and they jump on the trampoline. Kids running wild and free here (in New York)…? I don’t think so.”

It’s a different world. As a parent I get what Williams is saying — having some space to for your children to just run and be children matters, the schools really matter, just not feeling pushed and pulled matters. But there are advantages and tradeoffs everywhere in life.

Williams just sounds like a small town guy who, once his playing days end, would like to return to that lifestyle. Can’t blame him.

But in the short term Brooklyn needs him to get healthy and have a bounce back year. There’s some parity in the East after the top two teams and if Williams and Brook Lopez are healthy the Nets could do some damage for new coach Lionel Hollins… who also doesn’t strike me as a very New York guy.

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.)