Kurt Helin

Harlem Globetrotters’ Buckets sinks indoor/outdoor trick shot at Kings’ new arena

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The Kings’ new arena in the heart of Sacramento is state of the art and stunning. Taking advantage of that California weather, one end of the area opens up to create this amazing indoor-outdoor feel for the arena. It’s unique.

It also opened the door for some trick shots.

The Harlem Globetrotters’ Buckets Blakes knocked down some indoor-outdoor trick shots at the new arena. He lived up to the nickname.

Kyle Korver found groove, scored 18 for Cavaliers vs. Kings (VIDEO)

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As our own Dane Carbaugh broke down for you in video form, the Cavaliers already ran a lot of the sets that Atlanta ran to free up Kyle Korver, it was only a matter of time before the sharpshooter started to find a comfort level in his new home.

That time came Friday night.

Korver shot 7-of-10 on his way to 18 points against Sacramento. Six of his shots came as he ran off screens (via Synergy Sports) and that is where he was comfortable, as he told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“I still didn’t know what was going on half the time, but I knew what was going on half the time,” Korver said after his 18 points helped Cleveland to a 38-34 advantage in bench scoring. “So that was really helpful.”

One thing we could see a lot going forward: Korver and Channing Frye spacing the floor with the second unit, and LeBron James getting run with that group.

“It’s something that we did a lot last year, and we want to get back to that,” said James, who tied a season high with 15 assists. “Our second unit was very good for us, not only in the regular season but in the postseason last year, so it was good to get back out there with those guys, and we had a really good feel.”

Golden State will get a good look at all of this Monday when the two teams have a rematch (and Finals preview).

Stan Van Gundy, Pistons’ players frustrated by team’s poor defense. As they should be.

AUBURN HILLS, MI - JANUARY 05: Head coach Stan Van Gundy reacts to a foul call during the second half while playing the Charlotte Hornets at the Palace of Auburn Hills on January 5, 2017 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Detroit won the game 115-114. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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In the month of November, the Detroit Pistons allowed just 103 points per 100 possessions to their opponents.

In their last 15 games, they have allowed 113.4 per 100. Only the Nuggets have been worse.

The Pistons have gone 4-11 in that stretch, falling out of the playoffs (they are three games back of the eight seed as of this writing). Stan Van Gundy is a defense-first coach, and he is frustrated, as reported by Aaron McCann of Mlive.com reports.

“We can’t stop anybody. We just can’t,” Van Gundy said. “The first 21 games, we were the second-best defensive team in the league. And now we’re one of the worst. I’m frustrated — not with our players, I’m frustrated with myself. That I can’t figure this out. I mean, we literally can’t stop anyone. Ever.”

Point guard is Reggie Jackson (who has played better of late after missing the start of the season) echoed those comments.

“It has to be fixed — or it’s going to be a long (expletive) season,” Jackson said. “It’s been a season from hell so far. So it’s going to be a long-(expletive) season if we don’t find a way to fix it.”

So what’s the problem?

“A little bit of everything,” Jackson said. “Sometimes we have mental breakdowns. Not sticking to our principles. I think sometimes we’re not just playing simple basketball and understanding who we’re guarding or where we want to be. And I think just, too many times we’re letting our offense and a lack of making shots at times really dictate how much effort we put out on defense. We can’t do that.”

Teams have been killing the Pistons from three of late — shooting 47 percent in the last nine games —something that is a bit of a statistical fluke and will regress over time. But the problems go far beyond that.

We came into this season thinking the Pistons had a formula with Andre Drummond in the middle and four guys out, but this season that equation hasn’t added up. For example, when Drummond and Tobias Harris are on the court together, the Pistons get outscored by 7.6 points per 100 possessions. Van Gundy the coach should be frustrated, but the real work in getting this team working again may fall to Van Gundy the GM.

Kyle Lowry blocks Brook Lopez? It happened (VIDEO)

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This is more about timing than super-human leaping ability. Still, it is 6’1″ Kyle Lowry rejecting 7-foot Brook Lopez in the paint.

Lopez is backing down Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas, then he goes for the up-and-under move to get off a shot, which brings him down to Lowry’s level as the Raptor guard comes through from the weak side. And we get the rejection.

Toronto scored pretty much at will on Brooklyn and won 132-113, led by 28 points from DeMar DeRozan.

Utah’s Joe Johnson hits buzzer beater from opposite three-point line (VIDEO)

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Now that’s a buzzer beater.

Utah’s Joe Johnson drained a 70-foot three pointer from the opposite three-point line Friday night, just beating the third quarter clock. Barely.

This was one of the signs everything was going right for the Jazz, who picked up the 110-77 win over the Pistons.