AP

Kilpatrick, Nets rally for double-OT victory over Clippers

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NEW YORK (AP) ��� Sean Kilpatrick scored 31 of his career-high 38 points after the third quarter and the Brooklyn Nets stopped a seven-game losing streak with a 127-122 double-overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

The Clippers started the game without Blake Griffin, ended it without the ejected coach Doc Rivers and dropped their third straight game by blowing an 18-point lead.

Chris Paul had 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, but the best guard on the floor in crunch time was Kilpatrick, who also had a career-best 14 rebounds.

Brook Lopez added 27 points for the Nets.

DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 23 rebounds for the Clippers, who rested Griffin, their leading scorer.

The Clippers started 39-year-old Paul Pierce, who had played in just two games, in place of Griffin. Pierce had played just 17 minutes all season but logged 29 minutes in this one, such an increase in workload that Paul mimicked giving him CPR on the court at one point.

They Clippers were serious by the end.

Rivers was tossed late in the first OT, becoming enraged and having to be held back by Clippers assistants as he tried to get at referee Ken Mauer. Rivers appeared upset about a call on the other end of the floor, walking out of the coaching box and almost all the way to the Nets bench.

He missed Kilpatrick’s masterful finish, which he capped with a three-point play with 13.5 seconds left.

The Nets, still playing without point guard Jeremy Lin, ended a skid that started with a 127-95 loss at the Clippers on Nov. 14.

Los Angeles had lost in Detroit and Indiana in its last two games, managing just 70 points Sunday against the Pacers in its lowest-scoring game in 13 years. Rivers pointed to some defensive lapses as the bigger concern, and they certainly struggled to stay in front of Kilpatrick, who was just 3 for 14 after three quarters.

TIP-INS

Clippers: Rookie Brice Johnson, who has missed all season with a herniated disk in his lower back, did some pregame shooting, but Rivers said he didn’t know if the forward was anywhere near returning.

Nets: Coach Kenny Atkinson still couldn’t give a timetable on Lin, saying the point guard who missed his 12th straight game with a strained left hamstring was working hard and “progressing as planned.”

DOC IS JUST A NICKNAME

The Clippers have increased their spending on biometrics this season, and Rivers – first name Glenn – was asked if he relied on that to determine Griffin would sit.

“I clearly didn’t, I’m not smart enough to use biometrics,” Rivers said. “But the people we hired did, and they told me biometrically that this would be a good day for him to rest.”

UP NEXT

Clippers: Visit Cleveland on Thursday night. The Clippers have lost the last four meetings.

Nets: Host Milwaukee on Thursday night, opening a home-and-home series against former Nets star and coach Jason Kidd’s Bucks, who have won the last five meetings

Damian Lillard talks about his “no pressure” pitch to Carmelo Anthony, selling Portland

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Self-made, over-achieving players in the NBA tend not to be the recruiters. They worked hard and made it to where they are more on their own, and their world-view follows that path. Think Derrick Rose in Chicago.

Damian Lillard was one of those guys, but he has done a little recruiting of late — he reached out to Carmelo Anthony last week. Lillard told Chris Mannix of NBC Radio (who is filling in for Dan Patrick for the day on his national radio show) that it wasn’t really the John Calipari hard-sell.

“It wasn’t really a pitch, I just reached out to him and let him know the interest just wasn’t from our front office, if there was a possibility there was definitely interest from the players as well, and I didn’t want that to be confused,” Lillard said on the radio show. “I didn’t put no pressure on him or ask him a bunch of questions, I just said what it was from our end.”

That is nice, but Anthony reportedly has focused in on Houston, and might settle for Cleveland (if there was a deal to be had). Would ‘Melo waive his no-trade clause to head to Portland?

“I didn’t get a sense that he wouldn’t,” Lillard said in a tepid response. “What we have here is a good situation for him and that’s just kind of where it went. I let him know what I thought he could do for our team and what our team could do with his presence. And that was it. We didn’t go over no details or talk about a no trade clause or nothing like that. He’s gonna make his own decision to do that or not, I just want to make sure we had some kind of a conversation.”

It’s a start. It’s likely not enough. Anthony wants to go somewhere and chase a ring, and despite what C.J. McCollum thinks, Portland with ‘Melo isn’t a contender. Even with Anthony, I would have them sixth in the West, maybe fifth at best (Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, and probably Minnesota are better still). And this is assuming Portland can find a team to take on Myers Leonard’s contract to make a deal work.

What Lillard wanted to get across was that Portland is a great place to be an NBA player.

“I think people talk about what it would be like in Portland or to play in Portland, but actually having lived here, I live here year-round, so I know it’s a great place to live,” Lillard said. “Some of the best food in the United States. You talk about loving the game of basketball, our team and the soccer team are all the city has, so we get a lot of support and our fans really back our team and are really passionate about our team. That type of environment, and that type of love and support around the city, what NBA player wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Jimmer Fredette re-signing in China

AP Photo/George Bridges
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Jimmer Fredette played well in China last year, and buzz even emerged about him re-joining the NBA after the Chinese season ended in March. Never happened.

Even in the offseason, when every NBA team had open roster spots, nobody stateside has signed Fredette.

So, he’s returning to the Shanghai Sharks.

Fredette:

Fredette retains a cult following in America, but not the talent of an NBA player. He can score plenty in a lesser league, but his game doesn’t fit with better players on the floor.

Perhaps, he could’ve gotten a training-camp invite, maybe even with a small guarantee. But would’ve faced an uphill battle sticking into the regular season. Better for him to lock into a bigger salary in China now.

Rumor: Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder ‘officially circling each other’

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Carmelo Anthony prefers to be traded to the Rockets. He might soon be traded to the Rockets.

Are the Thunder trying to interject themselves before it’s too late?

Bill Simmons of The Ringer:

Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver was an assistant coach at Syracuse when Anthony played there. Weaver is also well-connected in the Washington area (D.C./Maryland/Virginia). I’m not sure how much that means to Anthony, who grew up in Baltimore – in many ways, a different world from the DMV (which includes only parts of Maryland and Virginia closer to D.C.). Still, Weaver and Anthony at least share their Syracuse connection.

The problem: An Oklahoma City trade for Anthony would almost have to include Steven Adams (way more valuable than Anthony) and/or Enes Kanter (way less valuable than Anthony). There’s no easy way to bridge either gap, especially considering how much the Thunder need Adams’ interior presence.

Here’s my best stab at a workable framework for a trade, via ESPN’s trade machine:

screenshot-www.espn.com-2017-07-24-12-26-16

The Clippers would get a more-skilled backup center while just shuffling bad contracts (at least that’s how it seems they view Wesley Johnson‘s deal). The Thunder would still need to send the Knicks more assets (Terrance Ferguson, Jerami Grant and/or draft picks). The Knicks would get a veteran point guard in Austin Rivers while Frank Ntilikina develops and, more importantly, additional young assets. It’s just a matter of determining whether there’s an overlap in the picks Oklahoma City would trade and New York would receive. That window might be tight – or not exist.

Adding Paul George and Anthony to a team led by Russell Westbrook would be exciting. I’m just not sure it’s realistic.

Rumor: Knicks likely to trade Carmelo Anthony to Rockets this week

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After numerous starts and stops and starts and stops, maybe the Knicks will actually trade Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets soon?

Tarek Fattal of the Los Angeles Daily News:

So, they found a third team to take Ryan Anderson or a fourth team to take Meyers Leonard?

If true, that’d please at least Anthony.

There’s room for a trade to work. New York is clearly ready to move on from Anthony, and Houston wants him to join James Harden and Chris Paul. The Rockets can add sweeteners to convince another team – or maybe even the Knicks – to take a bad contract in the trade.

But this has dragged on so long, I need more evidence the deal is actually close before I believe it.