Getty

Russell Westbrook grabs another triple-double as Thunder top Raptors

2 Comments

TORONTO (AP) Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds in three quarters for his 34th triple-double of the season as the Oklahoma City Thunder registered their fourth consecutive win with a 123-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.

The league’s leading scorer moved closer to the NBA’s single-season record for triple-doubles, 41 set by Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season.

Victor Oladipo added 23 points as the Thunder split the season series with the Raptors, the fourth straight year the teams have done so.

DeMar DeRozan had 22 points for the Raptors, while Serge Ibaka had 10 points against his former team.

The Thunder never trailed, and pushed their lead to a game-high 32 with 5:07 to play in the fourth quarter as Toronto emptied its bench. Though the Raptors closed the gap to 19 with 1:21 to go, Oklahoma City had little trouble in closing out the game from there.

After taking the lead on Steven Adams‘ hook shot 1:09 in, the Thunder surged with 7:17 to play in the first, using a 12-2 run to take a 29-24 lead after 12 minutes.

Having scored just two points in the first quarter, Westbrook had 10 in the second as Oklahoma City increased its edge to 14. DeRozan then had the final four points of the quarter to reduce the deficit to 58-48 at the half.

DeRozan picked up where he left off after the intermission, registering 14 points in the third quarter. However, the Thunder responded through Westbrook and Oladipo, who had 12 and 11 points respectively, as Oklahoma City pushed its advantage to a 97-70 entering the final quarter.

Westbrook secured his triple-double with his 10th rebound with 3:56 to play in the third, and was removed with 1:59 to go, and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.

TIP-INS

Thunder: The victory tied the Thunder’s season high by going 10 games over .500. … Oklahoma City improved to 28-6 this season when Westbrook registers a triple-double, and 61-10 during his career. … Westbrook’s 16 assists beat the Raptors’ team total of 15. … All five of Oklahoma City’s starters registered double-digit points.

Raptors: G Kyle Lowry (right wrist) missed his 11th straight game since the All-Star break, with the team going 6-5 without him during that stretch. … F DeMarre Carroll returned after missing the past two games with a sprained left ankle.

KYLE ON COURSE

Lowry continued his recovery from right wrist surgery this week, returning to New York City for what coach Dwane Casey termed a “regular” two-week check-up.

“It’s on schedule, on time, but still no timetable or anything like that,” he said, “but everything checked out and it’s where it should be right now.”

BILLY’S BLISS

Heading off any rumors, Thunder coach Billy Donovan – a two-time NCAA champion with Florida – said that despite the opening at Indiana University following Thursday’s firing of Tom Crean, he’s more than happy in Oklahoma City.

“I feel bad (for Crean), but I am totally happy here, I love it here,” he said. “I love the guys I work with every day, I love our staff, the organization. So as far as I’m concerned, my commitment is totally here doing the best job I can while I’m here.”

UP NEXT

Thunder: Host Sacramento on Saturday, aiming to improve on their 14-1 record at home against the Kings during the franchise’s time in Oklahoma City.

Raptors: At Detroit on Friday for the first of two visits to the Palace of Auburn Hills this season.

Here are the 10 best crossovers from this past NBA season

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Getty
7 Comments

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

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
5 Comments

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.