Jose Barea’s 29 points lead Dallas to 98-89 win over Pistons

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Jose Barea scored 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 98-89 on Friday night.

The win moved Dallas a half-game ahead of Utah for seventh place in the Western Conference, with the Jazz playing later Friday.

Even with the loss, Detroit leads eighth-place Indiana by a half-game and ninth-place Chicago by 1 1/2 games in the East. The Pistons visit the Bulls on Saturday.

Marcus Morris led the Pistons with a season-high 29 points, while Andre Drummond had 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Morris scored 16 points in the first quarter, but Detroit’s reserves struggled at the start of the second. Dallas put up the first 15 points of the quarter to take a 40-25 lead, forcing Stan Van Gundy to rush his starters back onto the floor.

They stopped the surge, but Dallas still had a 51-36 lead at the half. Morris had 22 for Detroit, but Barea had 19 points for the Mavericks while his opposing point guard, Reggie Jackson, was 0 for 7 with four turnovers.

Van Gundy switched defensive stopper Kentavious Caldwell-Pope onto Barea, and Detroit got back into the game. Jackson scored seven points in the first six minutes of the third, and Morris’ sixth 3-pointer tied the score at 58.

Dallas, though, regained control as soon as Van Gundy put in his reserves. They led 71-61 at the end of the third, but couldn’t put the Pistons away.

Stanley Johnson and Caldwell-Pope hit back-to-back 3s to make it 77-73 with 8:19 left, but Van Gundy had to pull Drummond because of intentional fouls with 4:33 left.

With Caldwell-Pope giving up 7 inches to guard the 7-foot Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews got to the line for a three-point play and an eight-point lead. After Morris missed, two free throws by Devin Harris made it 95-85 with 2:05 to play.

TIP INS

Mavericks: With Deron Williams (abdominal strain) and Raymond Felton (groin strain) both sidelined, Harris was the only traditional guard on the Dallas bench. … Charlie Villanueva, who was on the floor for the Mavericks’ 15-0 run, was booed by Pistons fans every time he touched the ball. He played five seasons for Detroit.

Pistons: Drummond missed eight of his first 10 free throws, and was pulled in both the third and fourth quarters when the Mavericks began to intentionally foul.

 

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade on time they faced off 1-on-1: “We was out there killing each other”

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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are good friends, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. They and their families hang out and ride banana boats together in the off-season.

They are also both incredibly competitive men.

So you had to figure they went 1-on-1 against each other at some point. It happened, once. Wade and LeBron talked about it on Channing Frye’s Road Trippin’ podcast(transcription via the USA Today).

James: “We played 1-on-1 one time in our whole life, and it was during the finals. Eastern Conference finals 2010 (they meant the 2010-11 season, that ECF was in May 2011). Our first year.”

Wade: “It was more-so to set a precedent for our teammates because we got our ass kicked the game before, Game 1 by Chicago. They tore us.”

James: “MVP Rose tore our ass up in Chicago, and we came in the next day, we was like we need to set the tone, so we was out there killing each other playing 1-on-1.”

Wade: “We never finished.”

James: “We never finished. We got to the point where (head coach Erik Spoelstra) blew the whistle, like bring it in.”

Wade: “Everybody was just watching us. We was going at it. We competitive, we was going at it, but we was setting a tone for this is how it’s gotta go. You gotta be able to go at this. We’re two of the best players in this game. We going at each other in the Eastern Conference finals right now. We out there killing each other, and this is what ya’ll better do tomorrow. Because we got beat on the boards by 20-something and we have to come with it, and we won four in a row.”

A 2011 Heat practice? There has to be video of this somewhere.

Miami did win that Eastern Conference Finals, but LeBron and Wade should have gone at it again during the NBA Finals, where the Heat lost to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.

Report: Rockets’ Luc Mbah a Moute expected to miss 2-3 weeks

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The Rockets’ rotation is excellent, and their deep bench is lacking.

That’s part of the reason Luc Richard Mbah a Moute posted a ridiculous +57 in a 30-point win earlier this season.

But Houston will miss the forward for a while after he injured his shoulder against the Hornets yesterday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s first inclination might be to shorten his rotation. He should mostly resist it.

Home-court advantage is important, and P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza can play more power forward (with Eric Gordon absorbing more minutes at small forward). But it’s also better to play Troy Williams more now than to wear down the players Houston will rely on in the playoffs, when D’Antoni will surely keep his rotation tight.

PBT Podcast: Early trade deadline breakdown with Dan Feldman

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The NBA’s trade market did not collapse after the Jahlil Okafor trade.

There’s more to come, but with the trade deadline is less than two months away, we have more questions than answers. DeAndre Jordan very likely could be on the move from the Clippers (and Lou Williams, too). But what is Memphis going to do about Mark Gasol? New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins? Oklahoma City with Paul George? And if any of those guys are available, who is a buyer? Cleveland? Milwaukee? Portland?

Kurt Helin and Dan Feldman of NBC Sports break down the high end of the trade market, plus talk about other guys who could be on the move — maybe Nikola Mirotic from Chicago, and what about someone like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from Charlotte — before Feb. 8 gets here. The last couple of trade deadlines have been interesting, but will we see a move that changes the landscape of the NBA playoffs in a meaningful way?

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

Joel Embiid calls out Karl Anthony-Towns’ defense during Instagram trash talk

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Joel Embiid often gloats on Instagram after 76ers wins.

Of course he did after Philadelphia beat Minnesota on Tuesday, specifically calling attention to this move on Karl-Anthony Towns (and this 76ers fan custom):

Embiid:

Towns commented:

That caption was as trash as your picture quality

Embiid replied:

Better quality than your defense

Embiid insisted it’s all in good fun.

Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia:

https://twitter.com/JCameratoNBCS/status/941395953113804800

I’m not sure Towns is having as much fun as Towns. But I know this:

Embiid had a valid point.