Kurt Helin

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, shoots between Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson (33), center DeAndre Jordan, rear, and guard Austin Rivers (25) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Oklahoma City won 120-108. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Associated Press

Five Takeaways from NBA Wednesday: Durant, Westbrook don’t let Thunder blow this lead

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Just a reminder for those of us dads, we may not be perfect, but we could be worse. For the dads who missed the NBA games Wednesday night, here’s what you need to know from around the Association.

1) Thunder hang on to lead this time, beat Clippers at home behind video game Russell Westbrook. This was cathartic for Oklahoma City and its fans — it was what they should have done a week ago. OKC took a double-digit lead against the Clippers into the fourth quarter and held on for a comfortable win, 120-108. Yes, the OKC stars put up serious numbers — Kevin Durant had 32 points, and he described Russell Westbrook’s night of 25 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists as being like NBA2K on rookie mode. That’s 11 triple doubles this season from Westbrook, and he has become a beast in the post. But what sealed the win for the Thunder was their defense — they held the Clippers to 46 second half points, after allowing 62 in the first 24 minutes. And underrated performance came from Andre Roberson, who stuck with J.J. Redick as well as anyone has this season (Redick still had 22 points, but for stretches the Clippers couldn’t go to him).

This does not wash away the last couple weeks of the Thunder’s play, but it’s a step in the right direction (and it keeps them alone as the third seed). OKC had big games against San Antonio and Portland coming up where they can prove they are again back to being a real threat in the West.

2) Memphis’ Mario Chalmers went down with an injury that looked bad. Non-contact injuries are the worst, and this one looks bad. Grizzlies’ point guard Mario Chalmers tried to plant and take a step forward and just collapsed on the floor in pain in a game against Boston. He had to be helped back to the locker room and was done for the night, officially with a foot injury (he left the arena in a wheelchair). I hope I’m wrong, but this looked like an Achilles injury. He’ll have an MRI on Thursday. Memphis is already without Mike Conley for a couple of games with a foot injury (not to mention Marc Gasol is done for the season, Zach Randolph is out, and frankly we don’t have the space here to list all the Memphis injuries).



3) Warriors get a team win, but Stephen Curry did drain another half-court buzzer beater.
Stephen Curry was human for a night, with 12 points on 12 shots. Of late that has meant trouble for the Warriors, but for the first time in a little while they responded with their most balanced team game of the season, beating Utah 115-94. It was the kind of win the Warriors need more of. That said, after the game all everyone wanted to talk about was another Stephen Curry 55-footer — Curry is now 5-of-13 this season on “heaves” from beyond 39 feet. That’s 38.4 percent. For this one he had to shake Trey Burke then just drained it like it was nothing.

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4) Kemba Walker scores 30+ for fourth consecutive game. When we talk about the top point guards in the NBA, Kemba Walker’s name needs to come up. He scored 35 points on 18 shots — draining five threes and getting deep into the paint for his other looks — to lead the Hornets to a fifth-straight win, 122-113 over the New Orleans Pelicans. When New Orleans made a run and made it a game early in the fourth, Walker responded with six straight points to spark the Charlotte run that kept them in front. Anthony Davis dropped 40 for the Pelicans and did what he could, but it was not going to be enough against Walker and a Hornets team that knocked down 15 threes on the night.

5) Chris Paul may get a fine for smacking Kevin Durant in the, er, “groin.” Chris Paul is the master of making this look incidental, but it happens too often for that to be the case. In this instance, we’ll see if the NBA hits him with a fine. But when he cuts to open space and swings his arms, CP3 has found a way to slow his defender that is effective.

Another day, another Stephen Curry 50-foot buzzer beater

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At this point, if Stephen Curry hit a Meadowlark Lemon halfcourt hook shot, would you even be surprised?

He hit another ridiculous buzzer beater from beyond halfcourt Wednesday night.

Curry did not have a great shooting night, scoring 12 points on 12 shots. However, Klay Thompson had 23 and the Warriors played good defense on their way to a 115-94 win over Utah at Oracle Arena. That makes 46 consecutive wins at home for the Warriors.

Chris Paul appears to hit Kevin Durant in the, um, family jewels

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul passes in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kyle Singler (5) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Oklahoma City won 120-108. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Associated Press
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Was this intentional?

Chris Paul has Kevin Durant guarding him, throws a pass to DeAndre Jordan in the midpost, then makes a cut into space — as he does his arm swings and appears to catch Kevin Durant right in the, er, place guys least like to be hit.

Durant’s reaction says CP3 made contact. Intentional or not. Although if I had to guess based on Chris Paul’s history, I’d say it was no accident. This has happened before.

Durant had the last laugh, scoring 30 to lead the Thunder to a 120-108 win, avenging their blown-lead loss from the previous week.

Heat’s Josh Richardson with monster dunk over Greg Monroe

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I didn’t know Josh Richardson had that in him.

He went left away from the high pick that was set, blew by his man, and there was nothing Greg Monroe could do but be in the poster at that point.

It wasn’t enough; the Bucks beat the Heat 114-108 behind 24 from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 23 from Jabari Parker (who are showing a real chemistry together).

Peter Holt steps down as CEO, lead owner of San Antonio Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JUNE 15:  San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt celebrates after defeating the Miami Heat to win the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center on June 15, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. 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.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The two-decade success of the San Antonio Spurs starts with ownership — they provide support, but hire the best basketball people they can then let them handle the basketball decisions. The sacrifice for the team, the culture in San Antonio that has built the best organization in sports starts at the very top.

Peter Holt has been the CEO and face of that ownership group. Until now.

Holt announced his retirement Wednesday and his wife, Julianna Hawn Holt, will take over as both Chairman and CEO.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved over the last two decades,” said Peter Holt. “The championships are wonderful, bringing new sports franchises to San Antonio is important but the biggest accomplishment for me will always be the impact we’ve had in our community. The pride, support and love that our city has for the Spurs is truly amazing.”

“Our ownership in the Spurs has always been a family affair,” said Julianna Hawn Holt. “For many years I’ve had the desire to take a more active role with Spurs Sports & Entertainment. We felt this was the right time to make this transition. We are very excited about the current Spurs season and the future of the organization.”

Rick Pych, part of the ownership group (which also owns the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA and the Austin Spurs of the D-League) will serve as co-CEO.

The Spurs have made the playoffs 19 consecutive seasons (including this one), won at leat 50 games every non-lockout season since 1997, and they have won five NBA titles. This season’s Spurs are 54-10, and 30-0 at home, and are a legitimate threat to Golden State for the top spot in the NBA.

If you think this changeover is going to impact the Spurs and how they operate as an organization, you don’t know that franchise at all. Consistency will reign.