Kurt Helin

Kevin Garnett becomes NBA’s all-time leader in defensive rebounds


It happened just minutes into Denver’s eventual win over Minnesota: Kenneth Faried missed a shot in close to the rim and Kevin Garnett went up and grabbed the rebound.

With that KG had 11,409 defensive rebounds and he passed Karl Malone for the NBA’s all-time lead in that category. Through his two decades in the league, Garnett has always been strong on the defensive glass, grabbing 26 percent of his rebound opportunities there.

If you’re wondering how Garnett and Malone have more defensive boards than Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell, know that the NBA didn’t start keeping the defensive rebound stat until 1974.

Curry, Warriors beat Boston 124-119 in 2OT, improve to 24-0

Stephen Curry, James Young

BOSTON (AP) — The Golden State Warriors needed two overtimes to remain perfect on a very imperfect night from the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player.

Stephen Curry scored 38 points with 11 rebounds and eight assists and the Warriors improved to 24-0 this season by outlasting the Boston Celtics 124-119 Friday night.

Counting the wins in their final four games last season, the defending NBA champions have taken 28 in a row. They broke a tie with the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second-longest winning streak in league history, and now trail only the 33 straight by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1971-72.

“Everybody contributed,” Curry said. “Huge win.”

And the Warriors did it despite his worst-shooting night of the season.

Curry made only 9 of 27 shots from the field. But he was 6 for 13 from 3-point range and a perfect 14 of 14 from the free throw line, sinking a pair of foul shots with 13.4 seconds left to give the Warriors a three-point lead – his only points of the second overtime.

“Nothing was pretty about this game,” he said.

Jae Crowder then missed a 3-pointer to tie it, and Andre Iguodala got the rebound and drew the foul. That sent the Boston fans to the exits, but the Golden State crowd remained to see Iguodala sink both free throws and keep the winning streak alive.

The Warriors play the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night to complete a seven-game road trip. No NBA team has ever gone 7-0 on a single road trip.

Kelly Olynyk scored 28 points for Boston, and Avery Bradley had 19 while guarding Curry much of the night. Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and 10 assists, and Jared Sullinger had 13 rebounds for Boston, which had won two in a row and six of its previous eight games.

Draymond Green scored 24 points with 11 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots. Iguodala scored 13 with 10 boards and Festus Ezeli had 12 and 12 for Golden State, which was playing without injured Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes.

The game brought a playoff atmosphere and a sold-out crowd to the new Boston Garden, but this time the loyalties were more divided than usual. Although the Celtics’ green still dominated, there was plenty of Golden State blue as well.

Fans crowded around the Golden State end of the court during warmups to watch the defending NBA champions and their star. During introductions, the Celtics rooters struggled to drown out the cheers for Curry.

After the game, Golden State fans remained long after the final buzzer, cheering Curry when he went to the locker room after his postgame, on-court TV interview.

“Now I can admit I’m tired,” Curry said. “We’ll dig deep for tomorrow.”

TIP-INS: New England Patriots players Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and LeGarrette Blount were in the crowd. … The Celtics went 2 for 7 from the free throw line in the first half. … Barnes missed his seventh straight game. … Curry had eight turnovers – three of them when he stepped out of bounds in the fourth quarter and overtimes.


Remembering John “Hot Rod” Williams (VIDEO)

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Former Cavalier John “Hot Rod” Williams lost his battle with cancer and passed away on Friday at the age of 53.

He had a good NBA career, playing on some strong Cavaliers teams in the 1990s, a guy who was a defensive specialist and was beloved by fans for his effort on the court. This is a video tribute to him put out by the NBA.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends in this difficult time.

Regrets? Sam Hinkie had a few, but then again, too few to mention

Sam Hinkie
Associated Press
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Sam Hinkie will be the first to admit he didn’t want the Sixers to be THIS bad. He made mistakes. He trusted the process, but he knew he needed a point guard to get Jahlil Okafor the rock in his preferred spots on the floor.He thought he had one in Kendall Marshall, but he has not been healthy until tonight (Friday) when he finally enters the lineup to help stabilize the backcourt.

This week Hinkie, the Sixers’ GM, had his legs cut out from under him by the hiring of Jerry Colangelo by owner Joshua Harris. Well, probably. We don’t know who has the hammer in that organization, but the smart money is on Colangelo having it or at the very least having a better chance of convincing Harris — the owner always has the ultimate hammer — to go with his ideas.

Does Hinkie have regrets about what led him to this moment? Small ones, yes. Ones that may have sealed his fate. But he did it his way — he doesn’t regret the process overall, he told Zach Lowe of ESPN. He knows he needs to get a franchise cornerstone and sees the draft as the way the Sixers could get that guy.

Translation: you need stars to win a title, and the best way to get a star over his entire prime is to draft him. “The most challenging part is to go from zero stars to one,” Hinkie says. “After the Clippers got Blake Griffin, Chris Paul is a possibility. After the Rockets had James Harden, Dwight Howard is a possibility. After the Cavaliers have Kyrie Irving, LeBron coming back is a possibility.”

Hinkie has few regrets about his moves, but concedes, again, that he could have spent more to acquire a couple of mid-career veteran free agents. “There have been deals where we were close, and we reached our limit, and they reached their limit,” Hinkie says. “Maybe our limit was too low. But we haven’t done anything big that I regret.”

Those limits in chasing veterans for the locker room and using cap space to overpay and chase guys on restricted free agent contracts are likely to changes coming to the Sixers under Colangelo. It’s an effort to provide stability and competence on the court. But don’t expect big changes — the Sixers should have three or four first-round picks this June, they are not going to ship those out to win 30 games this season. That would be foolish. Talent wins and the Sixers are in a better situation to get it now than they were a few years back.

Hinkie freely admits he could have played this safer but chose not to. That strategy may have cost him in the pecking order in the organization and still have been the smart moves long term — those ideas are not mutually exclusive.

There have been reports Hinkie would step down soon after this move by ownership, but as you would expect he denied that.

Hinkie has no plans to step down, and remains confident in his power. “Our owners made it very clear they want me leading us long-term,” Hinkie says. “Adding one more voice will make the conversation richer. Might it be challenging at times? I’m sure it will be. But making big decisions shouldn’t be easy — it shouldn’t be that you have an idea, and you get to execute it without anyone questioning it.”

The Sixers will take a safer route and win more games next season. If things turn around in the next few years and this core — led by coach Brett Brown — starts to look like a future contender

Klay Thompson out for Warriors game vs. Celtics Friday night

Klay Thompson
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Klay Thompson was comfortably on the bench, having gone there at the end of three quarters with the other Golden State starters as the team was up 28 against the Pacers Tuesday night. The Warriors were going to cruise to another comfortable win.

But the Pacers didn’t know it’s a damn show. They thought it was a damn fight. They battled back and made it close enough that Luke Walton had to send the starters back in to secure the victory. The potential danger with that came true — in the final minute of the game Klay Thompson leapt and came down on the foot of Shaun Livingston, and Thompson rolled his ankle. He is out Friday night against Boston.

Thompson had 39 points against Boston, is averaging 18.2 a game this season, and is a key defender for the Warriors.

On the fifth game of a road trip and without two starters, going against a strong defensive team, this is about as vulnerable as the Warriors get. Jeff Van Gundy predicted Boston would win.

They have a chance. I wouldn’t bet my hard-earned money on it, but they have a chance.