Paul Millsap, Hawks outlast Carmelo Anthony, Knicks 142-139 in 4 OT (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

ATLANTA (AP) Paul Millsap made the decisive basket in a four-overtime game that lasted almost four hours and proclaimed it to be great fun that he never wants to experience again.

Millsap had a season-high 37 points, including the go-ahead layup with 27 seconds remaining in the fourth OT, and the Atlanta Hawks overcame Carmelo Anthony‘s season-high 45 points to outlast the short-handed New York Knicks 142-139 on Sunday.

Millsap logged 60 minutes, which were especially taxing due to his time defending Anthony.

“There was no chance I was coming out,” Millsap said.

Millsap had 19 rebounds, setting another season high, and seven assists.

“That was fun,” Millsap said. “I don’t want to do that again ever, but it was fun.”

Asked to summarize the game, he said, “I don’t even remember.”

The Knicks’ first four-overtime game in 66 years included five players, including Anthony and Atlanta’s Dwight Howard, fouling out.

Anthony scored the tying baskets at the end of regulation and the first overtime period, before fouling out with 12.9 seconds remaining in the second overtime.

Anthony said it was “difficult” to watch the last two extra periods.

“Those are the overtimes where you’ve got to dig deep,” Anthony said. “You’re exhausted, you have to find something from somewhere. But to not be out there in that last overtime was a little difficult to watch. Especially knowing the flow of the game. That was a moment I wanted to be out there.”

The Knicks also had starters Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah foul out. New York still found ways to match the scoring from Millsap and Kent Bazemore, who had 24 points, including the Hawks’ first eight points in the fourth overtime.

“Good thing we don’t play tomorrow,” said Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek.

The loss was another blow to the Knicks’ hopes of moving into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“These guys have fought all year,” Hornacek said. “Things haven’t gone our way but they never give up.”

Courtney Lee made a 26-foot tying 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining in the second OT and sank the tying free throws late in the third extra period.

The Knicks held out guard Derrick Rose, who sprained his left ankle in Friday night’s win over Charlotte.

Dennis Schroder made one of two free throws with 10.2 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime, leaving the Knicks a chance to extend the game yet again. Lee missed a last-second 3-point attempt on what he said was “a great look.”

“It’s draining, man, but it was fun,” Lee said. “You can’t hang your head about this one. We competed.”

Schroder had 23 points and 15 assists for Atlanta.

Brandon Jennings had 18 points as the fill-in starter for Rose. Lee added 17.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Porzingis fouled out with 15 points with 1:30 remaining in regulation. … Anthony, who set a franchise record for points in any quarter with 25 in the second period against Washington on Jan. 19, had 17 in the first quarter. … Backup Kyle O'Quinn also fouled out. … Noah had 14 rebounds.

Hawks: Howard fouled out in the second OT with 19 points and 13 rebounds. … G Lamar Patterson, signed to a 10-day contract, was in uniform but did not play. He played 35 games with Atlanta last season. … G Gary Neal‘s 10-day contract expired. … Tim Hardaway Jr. started for F Thabo Sefolosha (groin) and scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

FOUR-OT HISTORY

It was the Knicks’ first four-overtime game since Jan. 23, 1951, when they lost at Rochester. Atlanta’s last four-overtime game was a win over Utah on March 25, 2012.

ROSE MAY MISS MORE GAMES

Hornacek said Rose also likely will miss the team’s game at Washington on Tuesday and possibly more.

“I don’t want to say because you never know with an ankle,” Hornacek said.

Rose said the ankle “feels better every day.”

“I just have to take my time with it and listen to my body and I think that’s what I’m doing right now,” Rose said.

FLAGRANT FOUL

Howard was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for knocking Porzingis to the court on a dunk by Porzingis midway through the third quarter. There was a lengthy delay as officials reviewed the play and Porzingis received congratulations from teammates for the slam over Howard.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Visit Washington on Tuesday.

Hawks: Visit Miami on Wednesday.

Damian Lillard defends Blazers’ coach Terry Stotts on Instagram

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s far too early for panic in Portland. This is a team most outside Portland thought would finish a little above .500 and maybe grab one of the back-end playoff spots in the West, and at 9-7 they are on that pace.

But after an ugly Portland loss to Sacramento (just a few games after a loss to Brooklyn where coach Terry Stotts benched center Jusuf Nurkick for most of the fourth), Trail Blazers fans were restless and started to slam coach Stotts on the Trail Blazers’ Instagram page.

I doubt Stotts noticed, but Damian Lillard did and jumped in to defend his coach.

Lillard added this (hat tip Mike Richman at the Oregonian).

“Because people think they know more about what it takes to get things done at this level … For our team than they actually do,” he said. “We’re in this position for a reason. And coach Stotts had two 50-win seasons here and four straight years in the playoffs for a reason –because he knows what he’s doing. They mention … our record is 8-7 and we’re having breakdowns late in games. Well those breakdowns are a missed shot here, a turnover there, a defensive breakdown here, giving up extra possessions, missed free throws. It’s things that players control. If we were down 30 every game, that’s different. But we’re in position to win games. And when it’s time to win games, that’s the players’ job. “

Lillard is loyal to those around him and has had the back of teammates and his coach before.

Lillard and his teammates went out Saturday night and got some revenge on the Kings, winning 102-90.

Portland’s defense has been surprisingly good this season, second best in the NBA. It should have been better with Nurkic in the paint, but this has been a radical turnaround for a team where that end of the floor held them back in recent years. While that lofty ranking may not stick all season, the Blazers are defending.

Now the Blazers are just having trouble scoring efficiently (18th in the NBA), which is a little about a less-efficient Lillard and a rough start on that end for Nurkic.  That end of the court should come around, Lillard and C.J. McCollum are too good for it not to.

 

Teammate spoke to Lonzo Ball about walking away from “fight”

Getty Images
4 Comments

We see these posturing/shoving matches all the time in the NBA, and they’re pointless. Late in Friday night’s Phoenix win in Los Angeles the Suns called a timeout, then Tyler Ulis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got in one a shoving match. As happens, players from both teams raced into the fray to protect their teammate/break it up… except for Lonzo Ball, who looked at it and kept moving along.

I have defended Ball’s actions as mature (he’s right, nothing was going to happen), while others (fans and media) have questioned his leadership for not rushing to stand by teammates, pull guys out of the pile, and having a “band of brothers” attitude.

None of that matters, the only opinions that carry any weight are the ones in the Lakers’ locker room. What did his teammates think? Lakers coach Luke Walton said a teammate did talk to Ball, quote via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.

“Someone on our team talked with him,” Walton said after the Lakers’ practice Saturday, without disclosing who it was. “It’s all part of the learning process.”

If his teammates were bothered, then there’s an issue. It’s more about perception than anything, again nothing was happening in that “fight,” but perception matters. It’s a small issue, but an issue. With young players this gets discussed, and everyone moves on.

Ball’s passing and energy on the court are things teammates love. As his game matures — and he eventually finishes better around the rim and, hopefully for him, finds his jumper — and he grows as a bigger threat on the court, his teammates will forget this ever happened. As will fans. But when you play for the rabid (and not always rational) fan base of the Lakers, and when your father invites publicity and with it scrutiny, things get blown out of proportion. Welcome to Lonzo’s world.

Marc Gasol kicks away Clint Capela’s shoe, earns technical

1 Comment

Midway through the first quarter, Clint Capela literally came out of his shoe trying to move up to set a pick for James Harden. Just stepped right out of it. J.R. Smith wasn’t there to untie the laces or anything.

Capela turned around to go get his shoe, and Memphis’ Marc Gasol showed his soccer skills kicking the shoe away. That earned him a technical foul. Gasol could argue he just wanted to get something he could trip over off the court, but Capela was clearly coming back for it at that point. Gasol earned this one.

Capela retied his shoes and went on to have 17 points and 13 boards in Houston’s 105-83 win over shorthanded Memphis.

Stephen Curry scores 35, Warriors rally to beat 76ers 124-116

8 Comments

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 35 points, Kevin Durant had 27 and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors overcame a 22-point halftime deficit in a 124-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

Joel Embiid scored 21 points and Ben Simmons had 23 points and 12 assists for Philadelphia, which led 47-28 after one quarter and 74-52 at the half.

But the Warriors erased that large deficit with a furious rally in the third quarter. Curry’s 3-pointer got them within one point. He then made a pair of free throws to give Golden State a 90-89 lead.

The two-time NBA MVP hit another 3 and Draymond Green blew past a defender for a dunk to make it 99-89 going into the fourth.

A raucous, sellout crowd that chanted “Trust the Process” most of the night went silent while the Warriors put on a shooting clinic in the second half.

Even veteran David West came off the bench and made big shots in the fourth quarter to give the Warriors distance. He finished with 14 points. Klay Thompson had 16.

Embiid was coming off a career-best performance – 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven blocks, seven assists – in a 115-109 win at the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

He seemed on his way to another monster game in the first quarter. Embiid embraced the frenzied fans and slapped hands with a guy sitting courtside after a dunk.

But the Warriors showed why they’re the best by stifling Philadelphia in the second half to improve to 12-4.

The Sixers, who lost 135-114 at Golden State one week ago, fell to 8-7.

Playing his first game since receiving a lucrative contract extension, Robert Covington had 20 points for Philly.

Back home for the first time following a five-game road trip to the West Coast, the Sixers showed no jet lag in the first half.

They jumped ahead 15-4 following a 3-pointer by Embiid. Covington stripped Durant and hit a 3 to make it 37-18, electrifying the crowd.

Durant’s dunk off Green’s alley-oop pass got the Warriors within 70-51 late in the second. But Embiid finished off the half with a dunk that sent the Sixers into the locker room up 74-52.