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Thunder try to make statement with thrashing of Mavericks 108-70 in game one

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Oklahoma City has said all season they want to be talked about in the same breath with Golden State and San Antonio.

In Game 1 of the playoffs they looked like they should.

Oklahoma City made a “we belong” statement with a 108-70 thrashing of Dallas in the first game of their seven game series. Dirk Nowitzki said he was “embarrassed” as his team set a franchise low for points scored in a playoff game.

Oklahoma City opened the game on a 15-2 run, was up 26-11 after one quarter and 59-33 at the half. This game was never close. Russell Westbrook had 24 points, Kevin Durant 23, and neither had to set foot on the court in the fourth quarter.

More than offensively, this was a defensive statement by OKC which was aggressive on that end of the court from the start, holding Dallas as a team to 29.8 percent shooting and 4-of-18 from three (0-of-8 in the first half). Rick Carlisle wanted to play smaller and faster — why so little Justin Anderson for the first three quarters? — and that proved a disaster when the point guard trio of J.J. Barea, Deron Williams, and Raymond Felton combined to shoot 4-of-25 from the floor, while Wesley Matthews was 1-of-6 from three. Williams in particular seemed to go off on his own dribbling around, not passing, and taking poor shots.

To literally add insult to injury, Barea strained a groin muscle, did not play the second half, and is questionable for Game 2.

One Dallas player who didn’t suck was Nowitzki, who was 7-of-15 from the floor for 18 points, the only Mav in double figures.

We knew there was a talent gap between these teams, but it looked like there was a talent Grand Canyon between them on Saturday, particularly with Serge Ibaka playing like his vintage self. Dallas’ big advantage is supposed to be coach Rick Carlisle, and I expect some major adjustments (like playing Justin Anderson?) but it’s going to take a lot more than Xs and Os tweaks to change the tone of this series.

Dallas will make the next game closer, they may win a game or so, but in the NBA talent wins out and it’s clear who in this series has more of it.

 

Lakers fan hits halfcourt shot to win $100,000 (VIDEO)

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The Los Angeles Lakers are having a pretty good January.

The team has a losing record overall but is 6-5 in 2018, despite the noise from the Ball family and the need for public confidence for Luke Walton as coach.

Still, I’m not sure they’re having as good a time as the guy who won $100,000 by banking in a halfcourt shot on Sunday.

Via Twitter:

The fan’s name is apparently Suni Strong, and he’s from Palmdale. He played high school basketball, works at Space-X, and was on a canceled A&E show about bounty hunting.

Seriously.

Via OC Register:

“When I first walked in I said have my check ready,” he said. “I knew I was going to make it. I had to.”

Asked if he called “bank,” Strong replied, “Why would I do that? I called money.”

That’s some serious scratch.

Spencer Dinwiddie hits game-winner for Nets over former team (VIDEO)

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Spencer Dinwiddie was once a member of the Detroit Pistons. They traded him to the Chicago Bulls back in 2016 for Cameron Bairstow, and the Bulls promptly waived him less than a month later. That same day, Bairstow was waived by the Pistons.

On Sunday, Dinwiddie got his revenge on Detroit by ending their matinee matchup with a step-through jumper that two Pistons failed to defend.

The play came with 4.7 seconds left and the Brooklyn Nets trailing, 100-99. Dinwiddie ran across the far side of the floor to receive the ball from the sideline, then to the near elbow before putting on a series of moves to get his shot off.

The play gave Detroit just 0.09 seconds left, and they couldn’t get an attempt off.

Brooklyn beat the Pistons, 101-100.

Meanwhile, Dinwiddie continues to have the best season of his career. He’s averaging 13.2 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per-game, all career-highs. He’s also boosted his VORP to 1.1, another personal best.

Enes Kanter’s teammate told him “You’re about to get 50 dropped on you” after LeBron troll

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Enes Kanter likes to inject himself in situations he doesn’t belong in.

The New York Knicks forward likes to take aim at the biggest star in the game, LeBron James, and has said in the past that he would fight LeBron if he had to.

Some previous comments from LeBron riled up members of the Knicks organization, and there’s been animosity between the two sides ever since.

So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Kanter had something to say on Twitter about his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, dropping 148 points during a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Heck, even former Cavaliers coach David Blatt jumped in on that one, albeit immediately before his own team got 151 scored on them.

Kanter took to Twitter, using LeBron’s own catchphrase against him:

Of course, that’s probably not the best idea. Kanter is a role player and LeBron is one of the best who ever played. Even if the Cavaliers are stinking it up lately, you can’t go after the King like that. You just might miss.

Via ESPN:

“One texted [teammate] me just to say — I’m not going to say who — but he texted me ‘You’re about to get 50 dropped on you, boy.'” Kanter said before Sunday’s matinee against the Los Angeles Lakers. “I responded something back, but I’m not going to say what it is.”

Kanter added that he’s just “having fun” and wanting to put “a smile on people’s face” with his constant prodding.

We’ll see if he ends up smiling the next time Cleveland and New York meet on April 9 at MSG.

David Blatt’s troll on the Cavaliers backfires when opponent scores 151 (VIDEO)

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David Blatt, perhaps sensing his time to pounce as rumors swirl around Tyronn Lue’s departure, decided to troll the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. It did not go so well.

Blatt, who was fired from the head coaching spot in Cleveland in 2015, now heads Darüşşafaka S.K. in the Turkish Super League.

Blatt was also coaching Team Europe vs. Team Asia in the Turkish BSL All-Star Game on Sunday. During the game Blatt joked during a TV interview that he was just hoping his team didn’t give up as many points as the Cavaliers did to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. That game ended with a score of 148-124.

Via Twitter:

So what happened to Blatt’s Team Europe in the All-Star Game?

According to Erik Gundersen over at LeBron Wire, Team Europe promptly got rolled on with a tally of … 151 points.

The final total in the Turkish All-Star matchup was 151-142 in favor of Team Asia.

Oops.