Kurt Helin

Kendrick Perkins ejected for foul on Damian Lillard

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Kendrick Perkins is old school. He does not shy away from hard fouls.

But clothesline a guy and you get ejected.

That’s just what Perkins did to Damian Lillard in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game in Portland. Perkins was staying back a little off the high pick-and-roll, which allowed Lillard to run downhill with a full head of steam, and Perkins was trying to keep up. And failing. So he fouled — but it ended up being a clothesline.

A blow to the head or neck like that is an automatic flagrant 2 and an ejection. Following the foul, there was also some chest puffing from Perkins and Mason Plumlee, which amounted to nothing.

Portland won the game 117-112.

Splash Brothers set up San Antonio showdown, topping Mavs 130-112

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DALLAS (AP) — Stephen Curry had several dazzling plays on his way to 31 points, fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson scored 39 and the Golden State Warriors tuned up for a showdown in San Antonio with a 130-112 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

Among a number of displays that drew roars from the typical swarm of the sharpshooting star’s fans on the road, Curry stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki near midcourt before hitting a 35-footer over him at the first-quarter buzzer. Then he glanced a 3-pointer off the glass from the corner with Nowitzki in his face again in the second quarter.

The Warriors made 14 of their first 17 from long range, finished 22 of 38 and won their seventh straight. Now they try to tackle the NBA’s longest losing streak on another team’s court – 32 straight at the Spurs going back to Feb. 14, 1997.

Nowitzki had 24 points for the Mavericks (34-35), who dropped under .500 for the first time since Nov. 11.

Curry missed Golden State’s first trip to Dallas on Dec. 30, when the Warriors lost for just the second time this season.

So there was plenty of anticipation, including before the game when Masters champion Jordan Spieth, a Dallas resident, lined up with the rest to watch Curry warm up. The two stars later chatted briefly.

The reigning MVP was ready when the game started, hitting a 3 less than 2 minutes in while finishing the first half with 22 points to 20 for Thompson.

They combined to make 11 of 17 from long range before halftime, when the Warriors had the highest-scoring quarter (43) and half (73) against Dallas this season. Golden State also topped the previous game high against the Mavericks, set by the Warriors in a 127-107 win in January.

Although they are fading and now in danger of missing the playoffs in the Western Conference, the Mavericks stayed close into the fourth quarter, getting within 98-97 on a 3-pointer by J.J. Barea, who had 16 points and seven assists.

Thompson scored 11 straight Golden State points before another dribbling display by Curry led to an easy layup for a 111-101 lead with 4:20 remaining.

The Mavericks got within five in the final 3 minutes before another 3-pointer from Thompson started the run that finished off Dallas. Curry barely missed a triple-double, leading the Warriors with 10 assists and nine rebounds.

The dynamic pair backed up some pregame comments from Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who said the Warriors were “bigger than the Rolling Stones on tour” by NBA standards.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr didn’t disagree, saying “I was on the Beatles back in `96, so I guess it’s fitting that I’m now with the Stones. Either way, I was just a roadie setting up the stage for both teams.”

TIP-INS

Warriors: C Andrew Bogut left in the second quarter with a left big toe injury and didn’t return. … Thompson had his 1,000th career 3-pointer in the first quarter. … Harrison Barnes scored 20 points, and Draymond Green had 15 points and eight assists. … Marreese Speights had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Mavericks: F Chandler Parsons came out midway through the third quarter with right hamstring soreness and didn’t return. He scored 14 points. … G Wesley Matthews had a scare in the fourth quarter when his right knee buckled and he crumpled to the court. But he stayed in the game after a timeout. … David Lee had 16 points and 16 rebounds in his second game against his former team.

 

Dirk Nowitzki likes to see Stephen Curry shoot crazy threes, too

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, defends as Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, gets past on his way to the basket for a score in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Associated Press
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He probably likes it less in person, but…

Dirk Nowitzki likes watching Stephen Curry shoot the rock as much as you do.

Curry’s handles and range — plus the fact he’s skinny and not relatively tall, making him relatable — have made him the most popular player in the league and a must-watch guy who crosses over to a mainstream audience. But make no mistake, NBA players are blown away by him too. Check out what Nowitzki told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

I mean, I don’t think this league has ever seen anything like it. His range is basically as soon as he crosses half court. He’s making shots look routine that no other player can even make in practice consistently. He just makes it look effortless. He just kind of goes up from the dribble in one motion, doesn’t waste any effort there. Incredible.

He’s so much fun to watch. When he’s in the zone, I catch myself screaming at the TV, ‘Shoot! Shoot!’ as soon as he crosses half court. It’s so much fun to watch.

It is fun.

It will be interesting to see how Curry handles the added hype and pressure he and the Warriors will bring into the playoffs this season. Although, based on how they handled the added hype and pressure of winning their first NBA title, I would say they will be just fine.

Draymond Green, other NBA Michigan State alums in shock after NCAA Tournament loss

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans high fives the crowd as he runs off the court after defeating the St. Louis Billikens during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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I’ll be honest, I had Michigan State winning the NCAA Tournament.

So the Spartans’ dramatic upset loss to Middle Tennessee State — which I can only assume is located in the middle of Tennessee somewhere — cost me.

But it stunned and hurt Draymond Green and the many Michigan State alums in the NBA, many of whom took to Twitter to express their frustration.

Although I like best this one from Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com — it is crying Jordan time in East Lansing.

Check out renderings of Milwaukee Bucks new arena

Milwaukee Bucks arena rendering 1
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The arm twisting and not-so-subtle threats worked, with the help of public financing from the city and state the Milwaukee Bucks got their new arena funding in place.

Now they just have to build it, and the latest renderings have come out — and I have to say I like it.

“The exterior design for the new arena is inspired by Milwaukee’s proud architectural heritage and bold outlook, coupled with the region’s natural environment of rivers, lakes and forests” is how the official press release puts it. To paraphrase the old line about art, I don’t know much about architecture, but I know what I like. And I like this.

Here are some looks at the design.

Milwaukee Bucks arena rendering 1

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