Dan Feldman

John Wall drives past Russell Westbrook, dunks on Enes Kanter (video)


The Thunder allow 117.0 points per 100 possessions when Russell Westbrook and Enes Kanter share the floor.

John Wall showed why.

But Westbrook is so good, the Thunder still beat the Wizards last night.

Mark Cuban: NBA should suspend or demote referee Ken Mauer for missed calls in (Clippers-Nets game video)

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is again expressing frustration with NBA officials, although this time his criticism has nothing to do with his own team.

Prior to the Mavericks’ game Wednesday night against San Antonio, Cuban complained about missed traveling and double-dribble calls in the first 15 seconds of the Clippers-Nets game Tuesday night – Brooklyn’s Bojan Bogdanovic committed both uncalled violations within feet of referee Ken Mauer.

“Suspend him, demote him, make him ref a game in the D-League,” Cuban told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“I’m almost ready to get fined after watching that double-dribble yesterday,” said Cuban, who has been fined more than $1.5 million over the years for comments about officiating.

“That was a classic. If that was us, I probably would have protested it, even if we would have lost, because then every SportsCenter would have played it over and over and over again. That was ridiculous and hopefully they take action. … That call at the beginning of the game, right in front of him, that wasn’t an error in judgment.”

Cuban said he thinks those missed calls were a “symptom of a problem,” but would not elaborate on what he thinks the problem is.

“Refs are going to miss things, because there are other things going on,” he said. “But there was nothing else going on. It was the first or second play of the game, and he was standing right there all by himself.

“The quality of officiating matters in this game. Standings are impacted. Mistakes happen, lots of calls are hard, but not all of them. Some of them is a lack of focus and attention, and that’s the one thing you should be able to avoid at all times, particularly from a serious ref.”

Cuban would not elaborate on what he thought the problem was.

The league did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks gets standing ovation in return to Oklahoma City (video)


When Scott Brooks took over the Thunder, they were 1-12 and headed toward their fourth straight losing season. In his first full season, he guided Oklahoma City to 50 wins. The team steadily rose to championship contention under his watch, peaking with an NBA Finals loss.

Of course, the inevitable ascension of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka had something to do with that.

But the warm feelings of that era will forever be associated with Brooks.

He helped instill a culture with a young roster, effectively implementing his system until the Thunder steadily advanced deep enough the playoffs that Brooks’ simplistic offense became a liability. Essentially, by succeeding, he made his job too advanced for himself.

That can be a tough pill to swallow, but Brooks’ reputation earned him a lucrative contract with the Wizards and a standing ovation in his return to Oklahoma City tonight. (Westbrook ruined the good vibes for Brooks and Washington.)

I expect Durant to get a similarly warm reception when he returns with the Warriors on Feb. 11.

Carmelo Anthony’s game-winner spoils Karl-Anthony Towns’ 47-point night (video)


In a fun matchup between the players who finished 1-2 in Rookie of the Year voting last season, award-winner Karl-Anthony Towns (47 points, 18 rebounds, two assists and three blocks) eclipsed Kristaps Porzingis (29 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks).

But Porzingis had help from Carmelo Anthony, whose late jumper gave the Knicks a 106-104 win over the Timberwolves tonight.

Still, this was a special night from Towns. Only Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone have posted a 47-18 game since 1984 (as far as Basketball-Reference.com records go back).

It’ll be a treat to watch Towns in the years to come, especially when he’s battling Porzingis.