<span class="vcard">Kurt Helin</span>

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers

Kevin Love leaves game with eye injury not to return

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Kevin Love was having a solid night — 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, six rebounds and four assists. That after another impressive game where he had 32 points. Maybe this could be something to build on…

Fate is just not going to let it be that easy for Love this season.

He suffered an eye injury a couple minutes in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Dave McMenamin of ESPN has the details.

Love suffered a right corneal abrasion and was to travel with the team to Chicago on Wednesday night. The Cavs said Love’s injury would be re-evaluated Thursday and that they would update his status for that night’s game at that time.

Expect him to sit out Thursday’s night showdown with the Bulls in Chicago (who may be without Jimmy Butler). Hopefully, he is back after the break.

Then he can get back to trying to figure out how to play with LeBron James (Chris Bosh warned it would not be easy for Love.

Anthony Davis out of All-Star Game; James Harden, Klay Thompson to start

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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The NBA injury gods that have taken no mercy on this season are not letting up for the All-Star Game. They just took away the guy many of us most wanted to see.

Three-fifths of the players the fans voted in as All-Star Game starters in the Western Conference are out of the game, we are just now finding out who might replace some of them.

Anthony Davis, who has missed the last two New Orleans games with a sprained shoulder after a nasty fall, is going to miss Sunday’s All-Star game because of said injury, Davis announced through the team Wednesday.

“After careful thought and consideration, I’ve decided I will not be participating in this year’s NBA All-Star competitions, Davis said in a released statement. “I want to thank the fans for voting me into the All-Star game and I am sorry I will not be able to play…. More than anything, I am anxious to get healthy and back on the court with my teammates after the All-Star break.”

That makes three Western Conference starters voted in by the fans who are out: Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Davis.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will name Davis’ replacement, and early reports have Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas getting the call. Throughout the process, Silver has selected the next guy in line by the coaches’ voting. Nowitzki is averaging 18.3 points a game and this would be his 13th All-Star appearance.

He has already named the replacements for Bryant and Griffin — DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard — but it was up to West coach Steve Kerr to name the starters. He named the first two on Wednesday:

Now Kerr has one more starter to name.

Evan Turner hits game-winning floater lifting Boston over Atlanta (VIDEO)

Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics
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Even the Atlanta Hawks have off nights.

Atlanta led by 18 at one point Wednesday night, but maybe their four key players were looking ahead to the short flight to New York for the All-Star Game. Still, you have to give the Celtics credit for battling back.

To cap it all off, Evan Turner goes behind his back, gets in the lane and hits the floater with 0.2 seconds left and Boston wins.

With that victory, the Celtics are just 1.5 games out of the playoffs. Despite Danny Ainge’s best efforts they are in the mix.

Dwyane Wade plans return Feb. 20 against Knicks

Dwyane Wade
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This is where the extended one-week All-Star break is helping some teams this year.

Dwyane Wade has a right hamstring issue that, when announced at the end of last month, was expected to keep him out a few weeks. That will end up being seven games (they were 2-4 entering the Cleveland game Wednesday night), plus the All-Star Game Sunday in New York.

However he will be back right after that, Wade told Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I look forward to after the break, coming back for the guys, getting a practice [next] Wednesday and Thursday and getting ready to play Friday, just getting ready to understand the last 30 games, we’ve got some good some basketball we have to play if we want to play further, in April and May.”

W missed seven games back in November with a left hamstring issue, this time it’s the other leg. It would have been more games this time around had it not been for the extended All-Star break.

Miami needs Wade back as they are in a tough playoff fight — entering Wednesday night seven-seed Miami, eight-seed Charlotte, Brooklyn and Detroit were all within two games of each other for the final two playoff spots in the East.

Karl Malone wants to fight Kobe Bryant? Of course he does.

Timberwolves v Lakers
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If Karl Malone had just referred to himself in the third person, this might have been the most Karl Malone interview ever.

The Hall of Famer sat down with Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post and talked about a variety of topics. One of them was Kobe Bryant. Remember back in 2004 when Malone (and Gary Payton) came to the Shaq/Kobe Lakers to go ring hunting, Kobe and Malone had a little beef. Allegedly over Malone hitting on Kobe’s wife. When it was brought up here is what Malone said:

“We had a little issue… Are we cool? I don’t hold grudges… If Kobe doesn’t like me today, that’s Kobe Bryant’s fault. It ain’t mine, it’s his problem. I don’t have a beef with nobody…. I dont’ feel no tension, but I’m a hunter, so I’m right there anyway….

“I love Westerns. I’m old-school Western. Back in the day, when you had a beef, you didn’t go get guns and knives … we just go back in the back with no cameras and knuckle up. Get it over with.”

Malone said that was a standing offer.

While I would pay to see that cage match — and you know Kobe would be scrappy and tough in a fight — it’s never going to happen. They’re going to spend the rest of their lives passing each other in the hall occasionally and just saying “what’s up?” then keep right on walking.