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Pelicans’ DeCousins out vs. Rockets with knee, rib soreness

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Pelicans say forward DeMarcus Cousins has been scratched from the lineup for Friday night’s game against Houston because of left knee soreness and a right rib bruise.

The Pelicans say Cousins has been examined by team physicians and that an MRI scan on his left knee did not show any structural damage.

Cousins has played in 10 games for New Orleans since being acquired in a trade during the All-Star break. New Orleans is 3-7 in those games.

Cousins, a Western Conference All-Star is averaging 26.7 points and 10.8 rebounds on the season as a whole, and 20.7 points and 11.8 rebounds since his trade to the Pelicans.

New Orleans entered Friday’s action six games out of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with 14 games left.

PBT Extra: Dwyane Wade done for season, which means Bulls’ season done

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The Chicago Bulls are just one game out of the playoffs heading into the weekend. Mathematically they are far from out of it.

Realistically, they are done. That’s the topic of this latest PBT Extra.

The Bulls have lost Dwyane Wade for the season to a fractured elbow. It’s not just his 18 points a game, it’s that he’s one of the best clutch players on a team that already has lost six of its last seven. The spiral is heading downward.

That doesn’t mean GarPax is going anywhere. It does mean the Bulls — and Wade — have a lot of questions to answer this summer.

Chris Paul fakes shot, fakes pass, sends Plumlee spinning (VIDEO)

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One more highlight from Thursday night we just had to pass along.

With Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, it was a bit of Chris Paul against the world when the Clippers took on the Nuggets. In this case, Mason Plumlee got switched on to CP3, who shot faked, then faked a pass, all of which got Plumlee spun around and gave Paul room to knock down the jumper.

Denver went on to get the win 129-114, and it wasn’t even that close.

Tyson Chandler said he chose to remain with Suns rather than push for trade

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There was a glut of bigs on the market at the trade deadline, and while DeMarcus Cousins and Nerlens Noel did get moved, plenty of others (headlined by Jahlil Okafor).

The Suns were willing to put Tyson Chandler in that group, but he didn’t want to be moved, something he confirmed to the Arizona Republic.

(GM Ryan) McDonough and team owner Robert Sarver asked Chandler his preference: go to a postseason contender or stay with the rebuilding Suns in a limited on-court role….

“That’s true,” (Chandler) said after Tuesday’s practice. “I feel like it’s a journey I started that I want to see through. If things change, I don’t know, but as long as I’m here, I’m going to try and do what’s right by these young fellas. I didn’t want to go nowhere. I wanted to be with these dudes and finish it out.”

Chandler has two years, $26.8 million left on his contract, that and his declining skill set would make it difficult for the Suns to move him for anything of real value in a trade. Especially in this market.

Also, maybe Chandler just likes the lifestyle in Phoenix. There’s a lot more to picking a market to play in than just basketball.  If Chandler like living in Phoenix for a while, the Suns will have to live with it.

PBT Extra: Fan poll picks Westbrook as MVP, media poll goes different direction

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iRussell Westbrook. James Harden. Kawhi Leonard. LeBron James.

You can make a legitimate case for any of them as MVP.

For this PBT Extra, I decided to poll fans on Twitter for their call, and you all picked Russell Westbrook (35 percent) followed by James Harden (26 percent), Kawhi Leonard (22), and LeBron James (17).

It’s an interesting result, but different from what Tim Bontemps’ straw poll of the media — who vote for MVP — found.

With a month left in the season, this race is still up in the air.