Kurt Helin

Wizards’ poster night: Kelly Oubre, Marcin Gortat get in on action (VIDEOS)

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The Sixers may have won three in a row, but they were without Joel Embiid and going up against what should be a desperate Washington squad that needs wins to secure itself a playoff spot in a crowded middle of the East.

The Wizards were attacking the rim, and it showed up in a couple huge poster dunks Saturday night. There was Kelly Oubre with the steal than transition throw down above, and below Marcin Gortat is showing he still has power inside.

The Wizards got the 109-93 win to move a game above .500.

Report: Frustrated Carmelo Anthony went on locker room rant after loss to Sixers

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The Knicks lost to the 76ers in dramatic fashion last week, blowing a 10-point lead late. On the final play, Derrick Rose drove the lane, when the defense collapsed he kicked it back out to the arc to Brandon Jennings, who had open players on either side of him: 40 percent three-point shooter Kristaps Porzingis in the corner, or 35 percent from deep shooter Carmelo Anthony above the break. Jennings chose Porzingis (who had just re-entered the game, bothered by his Achilles) and he clanked it off the side of the backboard. Seconds later at the other end of the court, Philly’s T.J. McConnell was knocking down the game winner over Anthony.

After the game, all the frustration with the Knicks season and him not getting the ball on the final play bubbled over for Anthony, and he went on a tirade, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

According to a source close to the Knicks’ veteran forward, Anthony went on a tirade after the shocking loss, admonishing his teammates for blowing a 10-point lead in the final 2:30 to the inexperienced 76ers. He was also upset that he was frozen out on the Knicks final possession, a sequence that ended with Kristaps Porzingis shooting an air ball from the corner which led to Philadelphia’s fast-break. Anthony never touched the ball.

Afterwards, Anthony told reporters that the loss was “unacceptable” while one of Anthony’s associates said “that was as down as I’ve ever seen him after a game.”

Anthony and Phil Jackson are not tight, and Anthony reportedly blames Jackson for how this roster is constructed and the fact they can’t win. He’s not wrong, but when Anthony re-signed with the Knicks and took the big payday a few years back, he knew what kind of team he was signing up for (if anything, they should be doing more rebuilding and less win-now moves such as Rose and Joakim Noah). If winning was what mattered most, he could have taken less money to win now in a variety of cities (Chicago, then with Rose and Tom Thibodeau, was at the top of that list).

None of this means Anthony is so frustrated as to waive his no-trade clause and get out of town. He’s not, and he’s not going anywhere short term. One of Phil Jackson’s good buddies just wrote — and you have to think it was influenced by PJ — that Anthony would only waive his no-trade for the chance to contend with the Cavaliers or Clippers (or that maybe he could be talked into the Lakers). Neither of those is happening. The Cavaliers already are title contenders with the highest payroll in the NBA and are not adding ‘Melo’s $26.2 million next season (and reducing Kevin Love‘s minutes to shoehorn Anthony into the rotation, that or trading Love). Doc Rivers is far too smart to trade 27-year-old, in his prime Blake Griffin for 33-year-old and sliding down the hill Anthony.

It may be a dysfunctional marriage, but Anthony and the Knicks are going to stay together for a while.

So if he blows off some steam occasionally, the Knicks will just shrug and move along.

Utah’s Rodney Hood hyperextends knee, to be re-evaluated Sunday (VIDEO)

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That looks scary. Hopefully, it’s not serious.

It was late in the fourth quarter or Utah’s eventual win over Orlando Sunday night when Rudy Gobert rejected a Nikola Vucevic shot with enough authority to start a fast break the other way. Rodney Hood was leading the way, attacked the rim, stepped on the foot of Jodie Meeks, and he went down awkwardly.

He hyperextended his knee. Here is the latest, via Jody Genessey of the Deseret News.

Hood starts at the two for Utah and has averaged 14 points a game for the Jazz this season. The team is 7.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court. If he is out for any length of time, it will mean more run for Koe Ingles and Alec Burks.

Devin Booker has 39 points, Suns beat Spurs in Mexico City

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Devin Booker scored a career-high 39 points for the second straight game in Mexico City and the Phoenix Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs 108-105 on Saturday in the fifth regular-season game in the country.

Booker was 12 of 22 from the field, and Eric Bledsoe added 17 points and 10 assists. Coming off a loss to Dallas in their Mexican opener Thursday night, the Suns overcame an 11-point deficit to snap a two-game losing streak.

Kawhi Leonard had 38 points for the Spurs (31-9).

Booker made two baskets to give the Suns the lead in the last minute, including a dunk off a break with Bledsoe to put them ahead 106-103. Leonard made two free throws to get San Antonio within one. P.J. Tucker made two free throws, and the Spurs’ Danny Green missed an open 3-pointer to seal the win for Phoenix.

Phoenix is the first team to play two regular-season games in the same season south of the border.

 

Jordan tops Clippers’ hot shooting in 113-97 win over Lakers

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — DeAndre Jordan scored 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting, and the Los Angeles Clippers shot 52 percent to cruise past the Lakers 113-97 on Saturday and improve to 6-0 in 2017.

Jordan had 21 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 20 points and 13 assists for the Clippers, off to their best start since going 7-0 to begin 1974 when the franchise was located in Buffalo. Their streak is the longest active one in the NBA.

The Clippers shot 52 percent and are 15-0 when they do so. Led by Jordan, they had a season-high 56 points in the paint.

Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points for the Lakers, who never led in losing their third in a row and seventh in 10 games.

Jordan’s shooting was nearly perfect; he tipped in his own miss with 4:41 remaining in the game for his lone miss.

The big man put on a dunk clinic with eight, including a two-handed jam on the game’s opening possession.

The Lakers, who shot 44 percent, never made a run in the fourth.

The Lakers cut their deficit from 19 points to 10 in the third. After an unsportsmanlike technical for hanging on the rim, Timofey Mozgov dunked to launch a 9-2 run that included consecutive 3-pointers by Brandon Ingram and Nick Young and got the Lakers to 69-59.

The Clippers closed with a 15-9 spurt that sent them into the fourth leading 84-68. Jordan had two more dunks, both one-handers in the quarter.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Starting F Luol Deng sat out to rest after playing 19 minutes in Thursday’s loss to the Spurs, well under his 27-minute average. He missed his first game of the season on Jan. 5 at Portland. … G Lou Williams, the team’s leading scorer, made his first start of the season. It was the Lakers’ 14th different starting lineup. … They were averaging 10.1 turnovers (71 total) over the previous seven games and had 15 against the Clippers.

Clippers: They had eight turnovers, one off their season low. … They lost to the host Lakers on Christmas, snapping their 11-game winning streak in the series. … The Clippers have won nine in a row at home against the Lakers.

CHANGING THINGS UP

For just the third time in the 17-year history of Staples Center, all three tenants were playing at home on the same day. The Kings were set to host the Jets in the evening. It takes a 45-person crew nearly two hours to convert the arena from basketball to hockey. The three teams previously played on the same day in 2006 and 2008.