Kurt Helin

Jimmy Butler drops 42, seals win over Raptors with overtime three (VIDEO)

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Usually a spin into a step-back three is not a good shot, but when you’re as hot as Jimmy Butler is lately everything is going to fall.

Butler hit the shot above in OT to seal the Bulls win over the Raptors, and he finished with 42 points and 10 boards on the night. Butler has been playing like an MVP the past couple weeks — not the kind of guy that should be coming up in trade rumors.

This week the Bulls knocked off the Hornets, then the Cavaliers, and now the Toronto Raptors.  None of it happens without Butler playing this well.

Adam Silver hints NBA may allow fans to buy final five minutes of game broadcast

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Consider it the Red Zone Channel for the NBA.

Imagine a scenario where a fan would get an alert via the NBA app on their phone when their favorite team is in a close game — within five points with five minutes to go — and they can instantly pay for and watch just the remainder of that game.

It’s the direction the NBA is moving, Adam Silver told Diamond Leung of SportTechie.

“Certainly we’re going from a place where it was one price for an entire season of games,” Silver said, referring to NBA League Pass. “Now just in the last two years, we’ve made single games available. But I think you’re going to get to the point where somebody wants to watch the last five minutes of the game, and they go click, they’ll pay a set price for five minutes as opposed to what they would pay for two hours of the game. So I think you’re going to take the same great content, and you’re just going to make it that much more available to people who want it….

“I think it’s going to be a lot easier to watch games on mobile devices,” Silver said of the future.

“I think you’re going to hit the point where for example…you’re on a Twitter feed or you get an alert. I think there will be a lot more sophisticated alerts, and you’ll see ‘I know Sue Bird, I like Sue Bird, Sue Bird’s going for a record-setting game.’ And then you’re going to go click, and then you’re going to get the game.”

It makes sense. The NBA is a product and the goal is to get people to pay to see that product, not just watch the playoffs and some nationally televised games. If the league can get a fan an alert that Damian Lillard or Klay Thompson or whoever is going off on a monster night, or his/her team is in a close game, they might pay a few bucks just to watch the ending. Get the product in front of the people.

It’s also a smart recognition by the league that more and more people are viewing on mobile devices, and they may not watch a full two-hour game that way often, but they will watch some of it.

Mike Conley sparks comeback from 24 down to lead Grizzlies past Warriors (VIDEO)

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This looked like another one of those games where the Warriors were up big and would cruise in for a garbage time win.

Then two things happened. First, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol got hot. Second, the Warriors got ice cold — they shot 2-of-13 in the fourth quarter, scored 13 points in the frame, and didn’t get their first field goal of the fourth until Stephen Curry hit a jumper with 3:14 to go.

Mike Conley scored 27 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies went on to force overtime then ultimately beat the Warriors 128-119. You can see the highlights of the comeback above.

 

Hawks GM Wilcox apologizes after fan insulted by joke

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ATLANTA (AP) Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox has apologized for making a joke a fan believed was racially insensitive.

Wilcox insisted he was only trying to make fun of himself and his family.

Wilcox, who is white, made a reference to his mixed-race marriage and family while speaking to season-ticket holders in December.

Wilcox issued a statement, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, after the fan, Clarenton Crawford, was upset by the joke.

“At an early December chalk talk, I made a self-deprecating comment at my own expense regarding my family, which is multi-racial,” Wilcox said in the statement. “This joke offended Mr. Crawford and his wife and for that, I apologize.”

The Hawks have not issued a statement regarding the matter.

Former Hawks GM Danny Ferry resigned on June 22, 2015, after repeating racially charged statements from a scouting report about then-free agent Luol Deng.

Lakers Jordan Clarkson, Heat’s Goran Dragic get in scuffle, both ejected (VIDEO)

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Most NBA scuffles are more posturing than punching. However, the Jordan Clarkson and Goran Dragic one in the third quarter of the Lakers/Heat game was pretty legitimate.

Miami had the ball and Dragic threw the ball into the post, then went to set a screen for Tyler Johnson, catching Jordan Clarkson in the body (the Lakers just switched the pick). Clarkson and Dragic got tangled up, and this continued as Dragic moved down the key.

First Clarkson two-hand shoved Dragic. Then Dragic responded with a shoulder check to Clarkson. Then Dragic stepped into Clarkson again but Clarkson had his hands up and dropped Clarkson. Soon the officials stepped in separated them.

Both men were ejected. Which is the right call, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t like it.

As for Clarkson…

Both men will get at least a fine, and maybe a suspension, for the altercation.

The Lakers went on to win 127-100. Miami faded after Dragic got ejected.