Associated Press

Report: Suns to keep GM Ryan McDonough on one more year (at least)

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After going 134-190 with zero playoff appearances in the past four years since he came to town, and a record that seems to get worse annually, there was a sense around the league that Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough was in trouble heading into this off-season.

Nope, he will be back.

Marc Stein and Chris Haynes of ESPN broke the news.

Sources ‎told ESPN.com that the Suns intend to keep McDonough in charge of basketball operations for at least one more season, despite the ongoing wait for the first playoff berth of his tenure.

It was reported when McDonough joined the Suns’ front office entering the 2013-14 campaign that he signed a four-year deal, but one team source told ESPN.com that McDonough is indeed under contract through the 2017-18 season.

‎The Suns have missed the playoffs for a franchise-record seven consecutive seasons — including the past two fully under McDonough’s watch since he was elevated to head of basketball operations — and sank to the league’s second-worst record in 2016-17 somewhat by design in the second half of the campaign.

Whether this is a move because the Suns trust McDonough or because owner Robert Sarver doesn’t want to pay for two GMs at once — even just for one season — is up for discussion.

Phoenix won 48 games the first year McDonough came to town, but that ended up being a mirage and led them to continue to pursue a win-now, three-guard team when those players never fit together that well. Rather than rebuild, the Suns spent a couple of seasons acting like a playoff team when the roster wasn’t really there. A lot of McDonough’s moves are justifiable in a vacuum, but put together they don’t show a great overall plan.

The Suns have some quality young players on the roster, led by Devin Booker, as well as Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, and Tyler Ulis. The Suns have Eric Bledsoe at point guard (he had a strong season at age 27), but also have two more seasons of Tyson Chandler under contract (at $26.6 million, total).

The Suns also have the second best odds heading into the lottery, a 19.9 percent chance of landing the top pick. If they do land one of the top two and can take a highly rated point guard such as Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, will they do that and trade Bledsoe? Or would the Suns rate Kansas Josh Jackson higher and bring a wing in to go next to Booker? There are a lot of questions for the Suns heading into this summer.

And McDonough gets to answer them.

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

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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.)