Kurt Helin

Watch Russell Westbrook’s three to force OT; his triple-double not enough for win

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Russell Westbrook had another triple-double and hit the shot that forced overtime (which you can see above) — and that wasn’t enough.

Westbrook had 31 points, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t an efficient night as he was 15-of-34 shooting. Westbrook himself said he played like manure after the game, except he used a different word for it, one I can use here. That’s overstating it, but the problem for OKC is if he’s not at his peak they can’t win.

The Pacers got the win in OT 115-111 behind 30 from Jeff Teague.

C.J. McCollum scores 33 points, Trail Blazers beat Nets 129-109

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NEW YORK (AP) — C.J. McCollum scored 33 points, Evan Turner had 19 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Brooklyn Nets 129-109 on Sunday.

Portland snapped a three-game losing streak and extended Brooklyn’s skid to four.

Damian Lillard added 18 points for the Trail Blazers, and Allen Crabbe had 14. Crabbe signed a four-year, $75 million restricted free-agent offer sheet with Brooklyn before Portland matched in the offseason.

Brook Lopez had 21 points for the Nets. Trevor Booker had 16, and Bojan Bogdanovic 15.

McCollum made four 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Trail Blazers take a 99-84 lead into the fourth.

McCollum extended Portland’s lead to 22 by making a driving layup and then sinking a free throw.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Coach Terry Stotts praised the growth of Mason Plumlee as a playmaker. “What we use the most is his playmaking ability, his passing. We give him the freedom to get a rebound and take it up. We play through him out on the perimeter because he’s a good passer. He sees the game. I think he helps our perimeter guys get better shots because of his playmaking, passing and rolling, rolling to the weak side.” … Al-Farouq Aminu (left calf) and Festus Ezeli (left knee) were inactive.

Nets: Coach Kenny Atkinson left the door open for former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett to have an expanded role going forward. “That was a pleasant surprise to see Anthony come in and help us out. We’ll keep looking at it. We’re going to keep looking at our rotations and, really, we want to give guys opportunity. When we see something in practice, when we see another guy might need a rest, I think we’re always looking at giving our guys opportunities. Yes, you’ll see him and other guys thrown in there at times.” … Jeremy Lin (strained left hamstring) and Caris LeVert (left foot rehab) were inactive.

Lin Return?

“Jeremy is progressing well,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I can’t give you a timetable or an update in terms of a specific day he’s back. I just think he’s progressing on schedule.”

 

Report: Grizzlies’ Chandler Parsons has left knee bone bruise, could miss two weeks

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Chandler Parsons has played just six games for the Grizzlies this season, coming off summer knee surgery, but in that time the Grizzlies have been 8.3 points per 100 possessions better when he is on the court.

Which means they are going to miss him the next couple weeks while he recovers from a bone bruise. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Source: Chandler Parsons has a bone bruise in his left knee that could cause him to miss up to two weeks. That is not the knee that Parsons has had surgically repaired twice. The Grizzlies announced that Parsons will miss Monday’s game in Charlotte, the second straight game he will miss.

That it’s not the right knee is good news.

Parsons has played just 21 minutes a game, averaging 7.7 points and three rebounds a game since his return. However, his playmaking and ability to space the floor with his shot makes him important to the team going forward. Fortunately, this is not going to sideline him for long.

Watch Damian Lillard’s and-1 circus shot

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Portland’s entertaining offense was on full display Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn. C.J. McCollum was doing his thing, he dropped 33 on the Nets, taking just 19 shots.

And Damian Lillard was making those shots only he hits — like this and-1 circus shot bucket after the harm.

Lillard finished with 18, and the Trail Blazers won 129-109.

Report: Knicks’ players, Phil Jackson have clear the air meeting

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Phil Jackson wanted to see more triangle offense (or he didn’t), but either way the players are chafing against that offense. Derrick Rose is not a triangle point guard, he wants to get going downhill of the pick. The Knicks spent $72 million on Joakim Noah to play center, but have looked better with Kristaps Porzingis at the five (although in such small numbers it’s hard to know for sure). Carmelo Anthony didn’t like Jackson’s comments about LeBron’s “posse.”

There’s been a push and pull between the style the Knicks players want and what management wants to see — one that came to a head after an ugly loss to the Wizards Thursday. It led to a team meeting with Jackson, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

The one game since that talk was a quality win Sunday against the Hawks at Madison Square Garden (a game where the Hawks looked like they had enjoyed their night out in NYC the night before and weren’t exactly peaking at game time). They have a tough series ahead against Portland then a home-and-home with Charlotte.

The Knicks defense is one of the worst in the NBA, and that has been their biggest problem — until the last four games, where they are 3-1 and the defense has been middle of the pack. We’ll see if that continues.