Kurt Helin

Watch Damian Lillard drop 30 on Lakers in preseason OT win

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Damian Lillard was in midseason form Tuesday night.

Maybe better than that — at one point he scored 15 points in 2:45 seconds.

The Blazers guard finished 30 points on 10-of-17 shooting — 6-of-9 from three — in what went on to be a 109-106 Portland win in overtime. Maurice Harkless pitched in 14 points off the bench for Portland.

Derrick Rose says on witness stand he suspected ‘rape’ setup soon after act

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The night after Derrick Rose and two of his friends had sex with his ex-girlfriend, he had a hunch she was going to claim they raped her, the NBA star testified Tuesday.

Rose said he became suspicious of the woman when she texted later the same day of the alleged attack in August 2013 to say how inebriated she had been and to describe burns she claimed she got on her hands from a fire pit outside his Beverly Hills house. Rose said he believed she was sober and never witnessed any burns the night before.

“It looked like a setup,” Rose said. “It turned out to be what I thought.”

Rose was testifying for a second day in the $21.5 million lawsuit that claims he and his friends had sex without the woman’s consent when she was incapacitated from drinking and, possibly, drugs.

The woman claims the three entered her apartment and had sex with her while she was blacked out after drinking tequila at Rose’s rental house earlier.

Rose said the woman was sober and he assumed consent based on their past, a text message she sent out of the blue that morning saying he made her “horny” and her behavior throughout the day and night.

Rose testified he was raised by a single mother, who was his mentor and had taught him to respect women.

Attorneys for the woman showed video taken of Rose in June testifying at his deposition in which he said he didn’t understand the word consent.

When asked by his own lawyer, he said he was nervous at the deposition and he defined consent as both parties being in agreement. He said the woman had consented all the previous times they had sex over an 18-20 month period.

Although they had split up a couple months before, he said he took her suggestive text the morning of Aug. 26 as offering consent.

“When she sent me texts like that 99 percent of the time it ended up in sex, so what do you expect?” he said.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman because it generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Rose was expected to wrap up his testimony in the afternoon.

The trial is proceeding even as a judge considers a declaring mistrial after criticizing the plaintiff’s lawyers as “unbelievably careless” in production of exhibits.

Rose’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald to declare a mistrial because they had not been given three text messages important to their case until Friday, when Rose was on the witness stand.

Fitzgerald, who used the phrase “unbelievably careless” several times, said it was not a frivolous matter and he told the lawyers to prove the texts had been disclosed.

“You have been very careless with the exhibits,” Fitzgerald said. “I was not happy about it.”

The judge said that if there is a mistrial it would push a new trial into the NBA regular season.

Rose testified that he has permission from New York Knicks President Phil Jackson to miss the next three preseason games until the trial is concluded.

The texts at issue were sent by the woman to Rose. The defense lawyers said they happened to be looking at exhibits handed to them in a binder Friday and noticed texts that hadn’t been disclosed before the trial.

The judge did not indicate when he would rule on the mistrial request.

Jeremy Lin predicts Warriors will win 73 games

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Since pretty much the second the Warriors signed Kevin Durant to form a superteam, they have tried to tamp-down regular season expectations. The general manager has done it. Draymond Green has done it. To a man, the Warriors have said they expect bumps at the start of the season as they figure things out, and that they have no intention of chasing 73 wins again.

But with all that talent, if they wanted it…

The Nets’ Jeremy Lin thinks they will do it.

It’s debatable whether the quest to set the NBA’s regular season win record was part of the reason the Warriors were down 3-1 to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, then blew a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the Finals. There were a lot of factors involved in both (including that the Thunder and Cavaliers were very good teams). What matters is the Warriors believe it played a role.

They are not going after the record; they are going after the ring. Lin isn’t wrong, they could do it, the issue is they don’t want to.

Hawks’ big man Tiago Splitter out four weeks with strained hamstring

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Tiago Splitter — who played only 36 games last season due to injuries, including a hip that required surgery — will now miss the start of the 2016-17 season as well.

This time it’s a strained hamstring, the team announced on Tuesday. Here is the entire official release, for your reading pleasure:

Atlanta Hawks forward/center Tiago Splitter has been diagnosed with a grade 2 hamstring strain, which he sustained in a recent practice. An MRI taken yesterday at the Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center revealed the injury. He will be out a minimum of four weeks and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Splitter is Dwight Howard‘s primary reserve, bringing some old-school big man game to the court. Plus, because Splitter can hit free throws, he may get some run in key moments while Howard sits. Splitter plays solid man defense in the paint, and if you get him the ball in the post he’s an efficient scorer. Keep him in his lane and he can help a team.

Splitter being out is just more run for high-energy center Walter Tavares, which is not a bad thing for the Hawks.

Dwyane Wade speaks truth: Bulls winning title this season “unrealistic”

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If Gar Forman owned a DeLorean with a flux capacitor in the back and could get the 2011 versions of his latest additions of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, we’d all be predicting they could win the NBA title. (Unless Phil Jackson had the same car and went and got the 2011 versions of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Carmelo Anthony… but now we’re veering into alt historical fiction).

But alas, that car does not exist, and the Bulls have the 2016 versions of their stars. Which means the Bulls are what they are, a team that missed the playoffs last season and are trying to take steps forward. So, stop using the words “championship” and “Bulls” in the same sentence, Wade said on Tuesday after practice (via Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com).

For the Bulls, the mid-40s in wins and making the playoffs is a good season. Let’s be honest, only one team in the East has real championship aspirations, and so long as LeBron James is upright it’s hard to see any other team in the conference getting through to the Finals.

Of course, the big question around the Bulls is what kind of floor spacing they will have with Rondo, Wade, and Jimmy Buttler, none of them feared from three? But CSNChicago’s Goodwill was on the PBT’s podcast looking at the Bulls and he pointed to two other keys:

Health. Which is obvious but a legitimate question in this case.

Second, how well does Rondo fit in? Butler is a young player coming into his own as the face of the franchise, Wade is past his prime but still is a valuable contributor (he scored an efficient 19 points a game last season). But what about Rondo? He’s going to get the freedom from coach Fred Hoiberg that he craves, but what does he do with it? Will he make the Bulls better?

It’s going to be an interesting season in Chicago.