Kurt Helin

LeBron James, Kevin Love put on dunking exhibition in win against Nets

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The Cleveland Cavaliers needed a palate cleansing bounce-back win on Wednesday. The Brooklyn Nets rolled over and obliged. The Cavs won 91-78.

Kevin Love — who really needed a bounce back game — and LeBron James each had 17 points, and each was throwing down some impressive dunks.

There’s a tougher test ahead Thursday with the Los Angeles Clippers in town Thursday night.

Nowitzki out Wednesday night for Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki reacts after hitting a 3-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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DALLAS (AP) — Mavericks leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki is missing Dallas’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night because of fluid on the knee.

Coach Rick Carlisle said Nowitzki would get treatment on the knee and he wasn’t sure whether the 17-year veteran would miss more time. Chandler Parsons was scheduled to start at power forward in Nowitzki’s place.

“The challenge is rebounding,” Carlisle said of Nowitzki’s absence. “It really puts a big onus on your entire team to go get rebounds. Minnesota is a good rebounding team. Playing small has its advantages and it has other disadvantages.”

Nowitzki is averaging 18 points and seven rebounds per game. He has missed three other games this season, but all were instances in which the Mavericks scheduled rest for him.

Dwight Howard leaves game with sprained ankle, will not return

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In the first minute of the Rockets hosting the Pistons Wednesday, there was a big collision with Andre Drummond that sent both Dwight Howard and Ty Lawson to the ground.

In the process, Howard rolled his ankle. He left the game, went back to the locker room, and the Rockets have announced he is not returning to the game. There is no other word on the severity of the sprain.

Howard has missed seven games for the Rockets this season after battling injuries the past few seasons.

With Dwyane Wade already out, Hassan Whiteside leaves game with oblique strain

Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade, Kendrick Perkins
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Miami was going up against the Wizards shorthanded on Wednesday, with Dwyane Wade taking the night off due to a sore shoulder, joining Goran Dragic and Chris Andersen in street clothes.

Which is why it was bad news when big man Hassan Whiteside fell to the court grabbing his side in the second quarter. It was a non-contact injury, and he stayed down for a couple of minutes. He was helped to the locker room and is not expected to return.

Amare Stoudemire got the second half start for the Heat with Whiteside out.

With Eric Gordon out, Pelicans sign Bryce Dejean-Jones to 10-day contract

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 11: Bryce Dejean-Jones #31 of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks on July 11, 2015 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The  Pelicans had Ish Smith on the roster earlier this season, but let him go when all the guards on the roster finally got healthy. Except that health didn’t last — Eric Gordon is out for 4-6 weeks with a fractured finger. The Pelicans needed another guard on the roster for depth, but Smith isn’t available as he has become the guy turning the Sixers into a respectable team.

So the Pelicans have turned to Bryce Dejean-Jones.

Jones played well for the Pelicans in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 12.8 points a game on 61.8 percent shooting. He came to training camp with New Orleans and played well there, too, but he was on the wrong side of the numbers game. Even now he’s not going to get a lot of run with the team, he’s there for insurance purposes.

Expect Jones to get a second 10-day contract, but it will be interesting to see what the Pelicans do at the end of that time.