Author: Dan Feldman

at Pepsi Center on November 5, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Jazz defeated the Nuggets 96-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Trey Burke

Trey Burke sends Jazz-Hornets to OT with 3 (video)

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The Knicks and 76ers finally ran out of overtime-forcing 3-pointers.

Don’t worry.

Trey Burke has you covered.

Robert Covington banks in 3-pointer to send Knicks-76ers to second overtime (video)

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02:  Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers takes a shot as Robin Lopez #8 of the New York Knicks defends at Madison Square Garden on December 2, 2015 in New York City.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Carmelo Anthony raised an overtime-forcing 3-pointer.

Robert Covington called.

 

The Knicks their turn in the second overtime, winning 119-113.

Carmelo Anthony sends Knicks-76ers to overtime with clutch 3-pointer (video)

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Who would’ve thought the Knicks and 76ers, tipping off early in the day no less, would play a fantastic game?

They have, and Carmelo Anthony‘s 3-pointer was a fitting end to regulation.

Luckily, we get five more minutes of good basketball.

Kyrie Irving on Warriors and Cavaliers: ‘We’re the best two teams playing right now’

<> at ORACLE Arena on December 25, 2015 in Oakland, California.
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The last time Golden State visited Cleveland, it left with the Larry O’Brien Trophy. It will still be the Warriors’ no matter what happens during their next trip, but a recent slump has them looking a little less invincible.

The Warriors will try to avoid their first losing streak since June’s NBA Finals in their second matchup against the Cavaliers since then on Monday night.

Golden State’s 89-83 win on Christmas Day was its fourth straight in this series, including three in a row on the way to its first championship in 40 years.

But after going from the NBA champs to seemingly immortal with 24 straight wins to open this season, the Warriors (37-4) suddenly look human again. They’ve followed a seven-game winning streak with losses in two of three, and hope to avoid their first losing streak since dropping the second and third games of the Finals.

Saturday’s 113-95 loss at Detroit was unique. In each of the Warriors’ first three losses, they were missing either Stephen Curry, Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes, but they had all of their top scorers available and still had trouble putting the ball in the basket. Golden State scored fewer than 100 points for the fourth time, shot a season-low 36.2 percent and had 18 assists – the first time this season it’s totaled fewer than 20.

The Warriors are 1-3 when shooting worse than 41 percent, all three defeats coming by at least 13 points.

“We’ve been saying it all year, but no matter where we go, teams are going to give us their best shot,” interim coach Luke Walton said. “In this league if you’re not ready to fight back, you’re going to get blown out.”

Cleveland (28-10) likely is the team with the biggest bone to pick. Kyrie Irving fractured his left kneecap in Game 1 and Kevin Love was out due to a shoulder injury sustained earlier in the playoffs, but the full group is back and looking like the Eastern Conference’s top dog again.

The Cavaliers’ lone loss in the last three weeks was Thursday’s 99-95 defeat at San Antonio, where the Spurs have rarely been tested. Cleveland won eight straight games prior and followed with Friday’s 91-77 win at Houston to complete a 5-1 road trip.

“We’re the best two teams playing right now,” Irving said of the heavyweight matchup with the Warriors. “We’re No. 1 in our respective conference, they’re No. 1 in their conference.”

Irving has averaged 17 points since returning in mid-December, and he led the Cavs with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting against the Rockets. He is back as a high-level second option to LeBron James, who is averaging 25.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists while shooting 54.8 percent in the last six games.

Golden State is the only team James averages more than 30 points against in his career with 30.4 in 28 games, including the postseason. He had three 40-point games and a pair of triple-doubles in the Finals, but the lack of a second scorer heavily impacted the Cavs.

James finished with 25 points and nine rebounds in this season’s first matchup, but no other Cleveland player scored more than 14. Green had 22 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for the Warriors in their lowest-scoring game.

The Cavs play five of their next six games at Quicken Loans Arena, where they have won six straight and are 15-1.

Report: Serbia, Philippines and Italy likely hosting Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12:  Marco Belinelli of Italy reacts as he is being treated for a foot injury during the FIBA Eurobasket 2007 qualifying round group F match between Germany and Italy at the Telefonica Arena on September 12, 2007 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
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Nine of 12 spots for the 2016 Rio Olympic men’s basketball tournament have been filled:

  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Venezuela
  • Argentina
  • Spain
  • Lithuania
  • Nigeria
  • Australia
  • China

The other three will be determined next summer by three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, six teams playing in each. Of those 18 spots, 15 have been claimed by the highest-finishing teams in last year’s continental tournaments:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • France
  • Serbia
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Czech Republic
  • Angola
  • Tunisia
  • Senegal
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Iran
  • Japan

The three remaining spots in the qualifying tournaments go to the hosts.

E. Carchia of Sportando:

Serbia, Philippines and Italy will likely host the three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments next July, according to Tuttosport.

Serbia and Philippines are almost sure to host the mini-tournament, according to the Italian newspaper while the third hosting nation will likely be Italy.

Here’s why that matters:

1. The host countries have a home-court advantage, giving them an easier path to the Olympics.

2. More importantly, the selection of the host countries determines which other three teams reach the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.

The three host countries are guaranteed entry. Serbia, Philippines and Italy have already qualified. So, the next teams from their continental tournaments qualify.

With Serbia and Italy hosting, Latvia and Croatia – which finished eighth and ninth in EuroBasket – would reach the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. The Philippines hosting would get Lebanon, fifth in the FIBA Asia Championship, in.

Croatia, especially with Dario Saric and Mario Hezonja gaining experience, could be dangerous.

Danilo Gallinari, Alessandro Gentile, Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli already make Italy a threat. Home-court advantage could put the Italians over the top and into the Olympics.