Kurt Helin

Kristaps Porzingis with putback dunk over LaMarcus Aldridge (VIDEO)

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Kristaps Porzingis is showing flashes of what he can be.

He had 13 points and 14 rebounds against the Spurs on Monday night, making a few big plays like the putback dunk over LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s not exactly efficient — 5-of-15 shooting — and his defense needs work still, but you can see the potential.

It wasn’t near enough — Aldridge had 19 points, and the Spurs handled the Knicks at Madison Square Garden 94-84.

Late in the game, in a scramble for a ball under the basket, Porzingis went to the ground and Carmelo Anthony came down on top of him. Porzingis stayed on the ground in pain then went directly to the locker room. However, X-rays were negative, and it was described as a soft tissue injury. So, strain. His status is day-to-day, but this is nothing serious, fortunately.

Watch Timberwolves moving video tribute to Flip Saunders

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Monday night was the Timberwolves first home game this season, and the evening started with a tribute to the Timberwolves icon and coach Flip Saunders.

Above is the video tribute, with seemingly everyone around the league talking about how they were impressed with Saunders the coach, and more importantly just liked being around and speaking with Saunders the person. There also are touching comments from the current Timberwolves players.

RIP Flip.

The Timberwolves were playing the Trail Blazers Monday, and CSNNW.com had some video from in the arena of the tribute.

LeBron James scores 25,000th career point on impressive alley-oop

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Monday night LeBron James became just the 24th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 career points — and he was the youngest to do it at 30 years, 307 days

And he crossed the line in style, finishing an alley-oop from Matthew Dellavedova.

LeBron put up numbers from day one in the league — he averaged 20.9 points per game as a rookie straight out of high school. That gave him an edge in getting to this milestone at a young age (that and he has rarely been injured). It’s just the latest milestone; there will be plenty more before he hangs up his shoes.

By the way, his bucket to get to 24,999 was pretty impressive in its own right.

Ginobili talks his way into playing, despite Pop’s rest plan

Manu Ginobili
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NEW YORK (AP) — Gregg Popovich’s plan to give some rest to one of his veterans hit a snag.

Chalk it to Manu Ginobili‘s persuasion. Or blame the “bunch of cowards” Popovich has for assistant coaches.

Either way, Ginobili was set to play for the San Antonio Spurs on Monday at New York on the second half of a back-to-back.

The Spurs won in Boston on Sunday and Popovich says he told the 38-year-old Ginobili he would sit out Monday, following a plan he says they discussed earlier this season.

Popovich says Ginobili didn’t recall agreeing to the plan, and when Popovich grew tired of the player’s lobbying, he told the Argentine star to discuss it over breakfast this morning with the Spurs’ six assistants.

Popovich says when the meeting was over, Ginobili was playing.

But Popovich adds that he controls the playing time, so Ginobili will “play like three minutes a half.”

Lakers’ rookie Larry Nance Jr. breaks nose in practice

Larry Nance Jr., Damian Lillard
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Welcome to the NBA, kid.

Lakers’ second round pick Larry Nance Jr. hasn’t even gotten in an NBA game, but he’s got an injury to show for it, the team announced. It was broken by bruising fellow rookie Julius Randle.

Officially both he and Brandon Bass — who suffered a corneal abrasion in the loss to Dallas — are listed as questionable for Tuesday night’s game against Denver. I expect it might be a few more games before Nance gets in some run.

The Lakers have struggled — for all the talk of Kobe Bryant and their offense, their defense is worse — but the Nuggets are struggling with their shooting, have their own rookie point guard, and this would be a chance for the Lakers to get their first win of the season. Of course, the Nuggets are thinking this one should be theirs.