Associated Press

Lakers’ rookie Ivica Zubac out for rest of season with high ankle sprain


There is a list longer than the one Santa Claus uses of things Lakers fans can be frustrated with Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak for in recent years. There is no sadness in Lakers’ nation that Jim Buss is out of power and Magic Johnson is in (even if there are questions about how Magic will do in the job).

One thing you can’t knock them for: finding good players deep in the draft. They got Larry Nance Jr. at 27 and he is a quality rotation player with an all around game.

Another find was Ivica Zubac, who they grabbed high in the second round last June. The second most popular young player out of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Jusuf Nurkic wins that award) has turned into a solid rotation player with some promise, averaging 7.5 points and 4.3 rebounds a game in 16 minutes this season. He provides a strong post presence, has a nice hook shot, and most importantly showed improvement over the course of the season… until now.

Zubac is done for the season with a sprained ankle, the team announced Friday. He suffered the injury in the first quarter against Minnesota Thursday. From the official press release.

Results of the X- rays were negative and the MRI confirmed a high ankle sprain in his right ankle. He will be out for the remainder of the season and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Lakers fans likely will be able to catch Zubac in Summer League in Las Vegas, he should be healthy by then.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)


This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)