Author: Dan Feldman

attends the "Sky Ladder: The Art Of Cai Guo-Qiang" Premiere during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival at The Marc Theatre on January 21, 2016 in Park City, Utah.
Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival

Sting to perform halftime show at NBA All-Star Game

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sting is trading “Fields of Gold” for a court of all-stars.

The Grammy-winning artist known for hits like “Roxanne” and “Desert Rose” will perform the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Cirque du Soleil will perform a routine before the game that illustrates “the story of a basketball dream.”

Actor-rapper Drake and actor-comedian Kevin Hart will serve as coaches for the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Feb. 12.

Ariana Grande performed at last year’s NBA All-Star halftime show at Madison Square Garden in New York, while Earth, Wind and Fire, Janelle Monae and several jazz musicians teamed up for the halftime show at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans in 2014.

Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. declines NBA’s dunk-contest overtures

Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., right, dunks as Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker, left, ducks away during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Larry Nance won the NBA’s first dunk contest in 1984.

His son – Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. – could’ve had a chance to carry the family legacy.

But it won’t happen this year.

Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

The league recently reached out to Larry Nance Jr. about the possibility of his being a participant in this year’s contest, which will be held Feb. 13 during the NBA All-Star Weekend at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Although the league didn’t extend an official invite — it was more of a “feeling out” call to gauge interest, Nance told ESPN.com after practice Monday — the Lakers’ training staff ultimately advised Nance against taking part in this year’s contest because of the continuous soreness in his right knee that has sidelined him for the past four games.

“That’s something that I’ve always said I’ve wanted to do at some point,” Nance said of the dunk contest. “With the recent [injury] in my knee and everything, I don’t want to go against the training staff’s advice.

Just four Lakers have ever competed in the dunk contest:

  • Shannon Brown in 2010
  • Kobe Bryant in 1997
  • Antonio Harvey in 1995
  • Michael Cooper in 1984

Though Kobe won, that’s a relatively low dunk-contest output for a franchise that has prided itself on being Showtime. It’d be cool if Nance Jr. can compete in the future.

For now, you’ll just have to settle for in-game highlights like this and this:

A question, though: If Nance is banged up, why is he the one forced to sit on the floor for Kobe?

Steve Kerr: Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry share similar aura

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After one of the most impressive performances by any team in the NBA all season, next for the Golden State Warriors is a chance to beat the only team they have faced that they’ve yet to defeat.

Having Stephen Curry in the lineup should make things easier this time.

Curry was out when the Warriors lost to the Dallas Mavericks last month, and he’ll try to help Golden State match the second-longest regular-season home win streak in NBA history Wednesday night.

Golden State (41-4) crushed San Antonio 120-90 on Monday in what turned out to be a mismatch between the NBA’s best teams. Curry, averaging a league-high 30.3 points, hit six 3-pointers and scored 37 in 28 minutes.

The comparisons between the Warriors and the 1995-96 Chicago team that won a record 72 games continue to grow. Coach Steve Kerr, who played on that Bulls team, admitted at Tuesday’s practice that the reigning league MVP’s impact reminds him of the legendary Michael Jordan.

“There is an aura that’s similar,” Kerr said. “Steph is obviously a worldwide phenomenon now and you see a thousand people watching him warm up or you see a couple hundred people at the hotel at 2 a.m. trying to get his autograph, that’s similar to the Michael phenomenon.”

Jordan fans may like to point out that he didn’t miss any games that season. Curry has missed two due to a bruised lower left leg, including a 114-91 defeat at Dallas on Dec. 30.

The Warriors have taken seven straight over the Mavericks with Curry in the lineup, although that isn’t the streak that will be on everyone’s minds Wednesday.

Golden State can match the 40-game run in the regular season at home by Orlando between March 21, 1995-March 19, 1996. The only longer streak is the 44-game stretch by Jordan’s Bulls from March 30, 1995-April 4, 1996.

The Warriors’ current four-game win streak includes road victories by 34 over Cleveland and 31 over Chicago, and is a run in which they are averaging 124.8 points on 51.5 percent shooting overall and 42.7 percent on 3-pointers.

“That’s the most exciting part about it is that yeah, we’re 41-4, yeah that’s great, a great start but we’re nowhere near where I know we’re going to get and that’s encouraging,” forward Draymond Green said.

Dallas (26-21) has dropped five straight at Golden State, and it’s not clear who will be available for the Mavericks after they had to work hard for Tuesday’s 92-90 road win over the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Dirk Nowitzki‘s tiebreaking jumper with 2.1 seconds left.

Nowitzki made 5 of 14 shots for 13 points.

“I didn’t really have touch there the entire night,” he told the Mavericks’ official website. “They did a good job and did some switching on my pick-and-rolls, and they didn’t leave me much.”

Coach Rick Carlisle has twice rested at least four starters in the second game of back-to-back sets, with Dallas going 7-4 overall in such contests. Those two instances came after games that went overtime and nobody logged more than 34 minutes in Los Angeles.

Mavs guard Devin Harris sat out Tuesday with a toe injury and center Zaza Pachulia has missed two straight games with a leg injury.

NBA revokes Rajon Rondo’s triple-double against Hawks (video)

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Rajon Rondo, who led the NBA in triple-doubles in 2011-12 (six) and 2012-13 (five), is having a resurgent season.

He already has six triple-doubles this season.

Correction: Had.

Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee:

This wasn’t a judgment call. It was just a scorekeeping error. DeMarcus Cousins clearly grabbed that rebound.

There’s no need to fret about the correction. Rondo’s on-court accomplishments still stand up just fine, and triple-doubles are an overrated stat anyway.

Was Rondo really less impactful because he had just 11 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the Kings’ win over the Hawks?

Karl-Anthony Towns, Dominican national teamer, leads U.S. in Rising Stars Challenge All-Star Weekend

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) celebrates with guard Andrew Wiggins (22) after Towns blocked a shot by Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris (12) at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime during an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015. The Magic won 104-101. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
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Karl-Anthony Towns, a member of the Dominican Republic national team, will represent the U.S. team in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Good thing the NBA classified Towns, who was born in New Jersey, as an American for this All-Star weekend game. Otherwise, the World Team would have have had the two best players – Towns and Timberwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins.

As it stands, Wiggins will lead an international squad that won the first game with the U.S.-against-the-World format last year.

This year’s full rosters:

U.S. Team

World Team

How players were selected:

The NBA’s assistant coaches chose the rosters for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, selecting four guards, four frontcourt players and two players at either position for each team.  The coaches also picked a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players for each team.

The World Team is stacked in the frontcourt, so there was no easy way to get him in. But it’s a shame fan-favorite Boban Marjanovic didn’t make it. There are frequently injury replacements for this game, previously known as the rookie-sophomore challenge. So, maybe the Spurs center will eventually get included.