Seth Curry, Dirk Nowitzki lead Mavericks past Thunder, 104-89

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DALLAS (AP) Seth Curry scored 22 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-89 on Sunday night.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 for the Thunder after scoring more than 40 in each of his last four games. He had six rebounds and five assists, but the Mavericks frustrated him into both a technical foul and a flagrant-one foul. Both came in the midst of a 21-4 third-quarter run that allowed Dallas to blow the game open.

Westbrook picked up a technical with 8:15 to go in the third quarter when he bounced the ball angrily in referee Marat Kogut’s direction after being called for an offensive foul. Then he got his flagrant with 4:27 to go in the quarter for shoving Harrison Barnes.

Barnes made the flagrant free throws and then another to give the Mavericks their biggest lead at 81-57. He finished with 17 points.

Steven Adams scored 19 for Oklahoma City, and Enes Kanter had 16.

Nowitzki tied his season high for rebounds and is 20 points away from becoming the sixth player to score 30,000. He’ll likely set the mark at home, where Dallas plays its next three games.

Curry, who has scored more than 20 points in five of the team’s last six games, scored eight of Dallas’ last 10 in the second quarter to give the Mavs a 60-50 halftime lead. The Mavericks shot 14 for 20 in the second quarter.

Westbrook scored 14 points in the first quarter and 15 in the third, but was scoreless in the other two periods.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Westbrook’s combination of a technical and flagrant-one does not result in an ejection, and he stayed in the game and scored 15 of his team’s 21 points in the quarter. … Victor Oladipo missed his sixth straight game with back spasms.

Mavericks: Wesley Matthews was back in the starting lineup after missing two games with a hip injury, scoring nine points. … Nerlens Noel had his second straight game in double figures, scoring 13. … Dallas beat the Thunder for the first time in the teams’ past six regular-season meetings.

NOT MY MVP

It’s a good thing for Westbrook that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t have a vote in the MVP race.

Cuban said Sunday night that he would vote for either James Harden or LeBron James, and that Westbrook wasn’t in the mix despite averaging a triple-double through 62 games.

“You look at what Harden is doing on a team that was 41-41 last year,” Cuban said. “Look what they’re doing now. The Rockets have a top-three record after everybody wrote them off – because of James Harden. That’s the difference.”

Cuban said last year that Westbrook wasn’t a superstar because he hadn’t led an otherwise average team to a 50-win season and a playoff series victory, and he’s sticking to his classification.

“It’s impressive; don’t get me wrong,” Cuban said. “He’s incredible in his own way. But the criteria is the criteria.” Cuban later added: “It’d be no fun if I changed my mind.”

UP NEXT

Thunder: Host Portland on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers have won two of the teams’ previous three meetings this year, including a 114-109 win Thursday in Portland.

Mavericks: Host the Lakers on Tuesday, the start of a three-game stretch – all at home – against the three teams with the NBA’s three worst records.

Here are the 10 best crossovers from this past NBA season

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NBA offenses in 2017 may be highly advanced, but there is always room for a good old crossover.

That’s why we are bringing you 10 of the best crossovers from this past season. Some of the usual suspects — like Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook — bless the list.

Take a look at all of the highlight plays above and let us know what you think.

Meanwhile, I expect we will see more players doing be Shammgod next season.

Watch the 10 best dunks from the 2016-17 NBA season

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The 2016 NBA season will be known for the MVP battle between Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Or will it?

It could also be remembered for the Golden State Warriors seeking and achieving their redemption over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals.

No matter what, there are always great dunks to be seen in the NBA on a nightly basis.

Take a look in the video above. Do you agree with No. 1?

Report: LeBron James ‘hustling’, suggested Josh Jackson for Kyrie Irving

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Is LeBron James staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Who knows?

But The King is reportedly working to try to find trade deals for disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving.

According to ESPN’s Pablo Torre, James has begun hustling for the Cavaliers this offseason, suggesting a trade of Irving for Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson.

Here is what Torre had to say, via Fear the Sword:

“LeBron James is doing some LeBron James offseason work. And my understanding is it’s not just Derrick Rose, it’s not just Eric Bledsoe. LeBron James happens to know a guy named James Jones . . . LeBron James is hustling behind the scenes, is my understanding, asking ‘Is Josh Jackson available for Kyrie Irving?’ And the answer back that I heard is ‘no, he is not.’ But LeBron James is hustling on behalf of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at least for this one year.”

Then again, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has sources that are saying LeBron has not been active:

Irving has a preferred landing destination in New York, but there is apparently not mutual interest between the Cavaliers and Knicks. While before it was rumored that Carmelo Anthony would like to in Cleveland with LeBron, but that trade has yet to happen despite the obvious answer to the question of what to do with each player.

Rumor has it that Anthony only wants to play in Houston, and sort of puts the brakes on getting Irving to New York.

Cleveland seems to have lost a bit of leverage with Irving’s open trade request, so it will be interesting to see what the return for Cleveland is once a trade is finally made and we can compare it to the deals for Chris Paul and Paul George.

Irving reportedly isn’t talking to the Cavaliers at the moment so one would have to assume a deal will be coming within the next few weeks.

Report: Warriors re-signing JaVale McGee to one-year contract

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The Warriors helped rehabilitate JaVale McGee‘s career to the point he wanted more – more money, a starting spot.

But old reputations die hard, and it’s a tough market for free-agent centers.

So, McGee is returning to Golden State.

ESPN:

The Golden State Warriors are re-signing center JaVale McGee to a one-year contract, source told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

McGee could receive between the minimum ($2,116,955) and Non-Bird Exception ($2,540,346). He’ll cost Golden State between $5,968,023 and $10,511,120.* Here’s guessing he gets the minimum.

*Factoring in the NBA’s reimbursement for one-year minimum contracts and the luxury tax, also assuming the Warriors keep the same roster when the tax is assessed at the end of the regular season

Golden State played to McGee’s strengths by simplifying the game for him. He chased lobs, blocks and rebounds and was asked to do little else. He still made the occasional gaffe, and questions about his basketball intelligence remain, but McGee progressed in his never-ending battle to stifle the laughter.

Not every team could protect McGee like that, so he’s more valuable to the Warriors than others. He’ll take another crack at free agency next summer, but at 30, he might not find eager suitors then, either.

In Golden State, he’ll again join a center rotation that includes Zaza Pachulia and David West and maybe Damian Jones and Jordan Bell. With stars at every other position, the Warriors have taken an equalitarian approach at center.

McGee gives the Warriors 15 players clearly on standard contracts, the regular-season limit. Chris Boucher is on a two-way contract, and Antonius Cleveland might be, too. Even if he’s on a standard contract, Cleveland is unlikely to stick past the preseason. It seems we know the roster Golden State will take into the regular season.

Then again, McGee surprisingly made the regular-season roster on an unguaranteed deal last year. Maybe he’ll have to fend off challengers this year.