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Sounds like Rajon Rondo may lose starting point guard spot in Chicago

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Rajon Rondo was bad Friday afternoon against Indiana — he was minus-20 showing in 10 minutes in the first half, with no points and three fouls. So Fred Hoiberg benched him in the second half. And the Bulls made a comeback (one which ultimately fell short of a win because the Pacers closed the game on a 14-4 run). That wasn’t the first time this has happened. Monday (also against Indiana) Rondo started the second half but played about the first four minutes before going to the bench never to get off it.

It looks like Rondo on the bench could be a trend.

Hoiberg said he would re-evaluate the starting lineup before the Bulls face the Bucks on Saturday. From Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, here is the post-game fallout from the Rondo benching. (There’s a typo in the first tweet, it should be “sat” not say.)

Rondo handled that well, but he can’t be happy with a potential demotion.

Friday, Hoiberg leaned on Michael Carter-Williams in the second half, and he seems the logical player to step into the starting rotation for the Bulls.

Rondo is averaging 7.5 points and 7.3 assists per game, but he’s not been efficient with a True Shooting percentage of 41.6 this season (the league average is closer to 52 percent). He has a PER of 11.5, which would be a career low. He’s hurt the offense, and not been great on defense. The Bulls basically have played opponents even when he is on the court.

With the loss the Bulls fell below .500 for the season, at 16-17. This roster isn’t working — and it’s not Hoiberg’s fault, it was poorly constructed. This summer, everyone from fans to scouts looked at that roster and realized it doesn’t have enough shooting, and in December the Bulls shot 28.6 percent from three as a team (and went 6-10 so far).

It’s fair to question how much Carter-Williams helps the shooting with the first unit (not that Jerian Grant would be a significant upgrade), but the Bulls may need to shake things up. The Eastern Conference is a tight group from 3 through 12, and a losing streak can cause big damage to playoff dreams.

Devin Booker drops 70 points for Suns in loss to Celtics (VIDEO)

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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is just 20 years old. He’s a League Pass favorite, and indeed he should be a favorite in Phoenix for years to come. On Friday, Booker dropped 70 points — yes, 70 — in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Booker’s 70 points is the best outing of the season. It also made him the youngest player to ever reach 70 points.

His final stat line, as you might imagine, was ridiculous. Booker shot 21-of-40 from the field, going 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a whopping 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The Suns phenom also grabbed eight rebounds to go with six assists.

Despite the loss to Boston, 130-120, it’s still an incredible milestone for Phoenix and for Booker. There’s a bright spot out there for the Suns.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.