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Anthony Davis scores 48 points, grabs 17 rebounds as Pelicans beat Knicks in OT

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NEW YORK (AP) Anthony Davis‘ fullcourt heave after the third quarter was too late to give him points, though it gave him that unstoppable feeling great players get.

“I kind of saw it, but I mean you never really make those,” Davis said of the shot he launched from just inside the opposite baseline . “So when it in I just kind of felt like tonight was definitely my night.”

And thanks to his monster effort, it became the Pelicans’, too.

Davis scored a season-high 48 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, leading New Orleans back from 19 points down late in the third quarter to a 123-118 overtime victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

Jrue Holiday added 31 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals and five assists and for the Pelicans. They were down 16 after one, even further back late in the third and still down nine with 4 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

But they kept coming and Holiday had three baskets and a couple free throws in OT to help them finish it off.

“I thought we did a great job in the overtime,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “AD was just huge for us, and when you get into those zones like that he’s really good.”

Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. each scored 25 points for the Knicks, who lost their third straight and 10th in their last 12 games. Jarrett Jack had a season-high 22 points, and Enes Kanter finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Five days after a double-overtime loss to Chicago in a game they led by 11, the Knicks coughed up another big lead in a miserable way to finish a rare January home game before they begin a seven-game, coast-to-coast trip Monday in Brooklyn that has them away for two weeks.

“I think we’ve just got to do a better job of when we’re up 12, 15 points, we’ve got to take it to another level, another notch,” Hardaway said. “We haven’t been doing that these last couple of games.”

The Knicks seemed in control late in a high-scoring third quarter, when they outscored the Pelicans 39-34. Hardaway’s jumper gave New York a 96-77 lead with 1:22 remaining in the period, but New Orleans then went on a 17-4 run to cut it 100-94 midway through the fourth.

The Pelicans then finished regulation with a 13-4 charge, tying the game on Davis’ basket with 3.5 seconds remaining. New Orleans then nearly won it, as E'Twaun Moore stole an inbounds pass and launched a 3-pointer that rimmed out at the buzzer.

Holiday put New Orleans ahead for good with 1:52 to play in OT and Davis had the next basket, making it 120-117.

The Knicks, playing the first of back-to-back afternoon starts, jumped to a 29-13 lead after one quarter.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Davis has scored at least 35 points in each of his last three games at Madison Square Garden. … PG Jameer Nelson missed the game for personal reasons. … The Pelicans signed guard Mike James, who played for Phoenix earlier this season, to a two-way contract. He didn’t play.

Knicks: The Knicks signed former lottery pick Trey Burke, who had been playing for their G League affiliate and was second in the league with 26.6 points per game. The No. 9 selection in the 2013 draft has averaged 10.6 points and 3.6 assists in 267 career games with Utah and Washington.

BURKE’S BACK

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said during the summer Burke told the Knicks he was interested in playing for their G League team and learning their system, rather than signing a deal with another NBA team. Hornacek speculated that may have been because the Knicks’ point guard situation was unsettled at the time and maybe Burke saw an opportunity, but Burke explained otherwise.

“I think I wanted to just start from scratch, kind of recreate my brand, recreate and show what I can do on a night in and night out basis with consistent minutes,” Burke said. “I think going down there, a lot of people look at it as a knock, but for me, I went down there, it was more so like a growing period for me. I kind of wanted to start over.”

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS

The game featured three straight winners of the AP college basketball Player of the Year award. Davis won in 2012 for NCAA champion Kentucky, Burke won the next year when Michigan was the runner-up, and the Knicks’ Doug McDermott won in 2014 at Creighton.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: At Boston on Tuesday night.

Knicks: At Brooklyn on Monday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

LeBron James criticizes officials: “I’m getting hit, slapped and grabbed” (VIDEO)

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Bets are now being placed for the size of fine that LeBron James will receive from the the office after his comments following the Cleveland Cavaliers loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, 110-94.

After the game, James told reporters that he was sick of the officiating with reference to his drives. In particular, LeBron pointed out that he felt that shooters were being better protected than some of the more powerful drivers like him.

LeBron recorded a near triple-double in the loss to San Antonio, scoring 33 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists. That still wasn’t enough for the Cavaliers to push past their Western Conference rivals as LeBron & Co. lost by 16.

Via Twitter:

We saw quite a bit of complaining about officiating to start the season as the NBA has rotated in some less-experienced referees. Gregg Popovich got his fill. Kevin Durant went off. Steve Kerr blasted the refs. James Harden had strong words about an officiating setup. Patrick Patterson got fined $10,000 for criticizing the refs.

Fans and players alike were pushing for the league, NBRA, and NBPA to meet, which they were supposed to have done. We’re only a few days out from the All-Star break, so we still have yet to decide whether a change has taken place on the floor.

How he has been officiated has been a complaint of LeBron’s all season long, and so it’s not great news that he is talking about it just a week away from the All-Star game. James has posted the second-lowest FTA per 100 possessions of his career in 2017-18, trailing only his rookie season.

Report: Dan Fegan, former agent for John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, dies in car crash

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Dan Fegan, the former NBA agent for players like John Wall, Dwight Howard, and DeMarcus Cousins has reportedly passed away.

Fegan, 56, was at one point a representative for other big-name players including Chandler Parsons, DeAndre Jordan, Austin Rivers, and Ed Davis. He had a public falling out in 2017 with his agency, Independant Sports & Entertainment (ISE). Fegan and ISE had filed suits against each other in 2017 after Fegan was fired.

The report of Fegan’s death comes from Aspen, Colo. where early on Sunday morning Fegan’s car collided with a bus.

Via Aspen Times:

Fegan was killed when the SUV he was driving was hit by a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus along Highway 82, the Colorado State Patrol said.

Two other passengers in the SUV, a 29-year-old woman from California and Fegan’s 5-year-old son, were airlifted to a hospital in Denver with serious injuries, according to Colorado State Trooper Gabe Easton. The name of the woman has not been released.

There was one passenger on the Glenwood Springs-bound bus, Easton said. Although they were “shaken up,” the bus driver and passenger were not injured, RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said.

Awful news for Fegan’s family. Hopefully his son and the other passenger make a speedy recovery.

Gregg Popovich on Fox News pundit attacking LeBron James: “Unbelievable”

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Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham launched an attack at Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James after the NBA star voiced his opinion on Donald Trump. LeBron had done so many times before, alongside other notable NBA personalities like Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr.

This instance of LeBron speaking up apparently struck Ingraham in some type of way, enough to invoke a shot at James’ intelligence and speaking mannerisms in thinly-veiled comments. Ingraham told James to “shut up and dribble” which sparked the ire of many around the league. LeBron responded in kind, and most considered Ingraham’s racially-tinged tirade to be par for the course from that particular outlet.

Ingraham, who failed to do basic research on LeBron’s background, community leadership, and charitable contributions, also drew criticism from San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Speaking before San Antonio’s game against the Cavaliers, Popovich told a crowd that Ingraham’s comments said more about her than about LeBron, and that he was happy the game had such a positive role model for young fans in James.

Via Twitter:

Shoutout to Popovich for continuing to be a voice from such a prominent position within sports and pop culture. A small group of people keep responding to the Spurs coach much in the way Ingraham posited to LeBron, that he should stick to sports. Popovich, of course, is a veteran of the Air Force, worked his way up to Major, was at one point fluent in Russian, and worked in the intelligence sector. He’s uniquely qualified to comment on political happenings.

It’s good that guys like Pop and LeBron haven’t exhausted themselves even though the discussion about what they say is undoubtedly tiring.

Jimmy Butler has surgery on right meniscus, no timetable for return

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The playoff picture in the Western Conference became much more opaque after Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler went down with a knee injury earlier in the week.

Reports out of Minnesota was that Butler had suffered a right meniscus injury, ducking what many had feared was an ACL tear. According to the team, Butler had successful surgery on his right meniscus this weekend.

As of Sunday morning they did not have a timetable for his return.

Via Twitter:

Minnesota currently stands third in the West but they will have a hard time fending off the rest of the playoff hopeful teams below them without their star player.

For his part, Butler is hoping he will be back in time for the playoffs. Early reports were that the team was thinking his recovery had a 4-to-6 week timeline, but again nothing has been set. Meniscus recovery times vary greatly depending on the issue at hand and the procedure done, neither of which we have details on at this time.

The Timberwolves have the 15th most difficult strength of schedule ahead of them according to Tankathon.com, with games against major Western Conference opponents ahead of them as well as bottom-dwellers like the Memphis Grizzlies.

Minnesota has been a good story all season long. No doubt many will bring up Tom Thibodeau’s workload once again with Butler injured, something compounded by Butler apparently requesting to rest during the 2018 All-Star Game.

Wolves fans have been waiting a long time for this. They don’t deserve this kind of punishment at this late a date, but the Basketball Gods are cruel and unceasingly unforgiving.