Kurt Helin

Beal scores 34 points, Wizards rally to beat Suns

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 34 points, Ramon Sessions added 18 and the Washington Wizards rallied to beat the Phoenix Suns 109-106 on Friday night in a turnover-filled game.

Washington improved to 8-9 after losing five of its previous six games.

Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points, and Brandon Knight had 19 for the Suns. They’re 1-3 on a six-game trip.

The teams combined for 46 turnovers.

The Wizards took a 104-103 lead on Otto Porter‘s three-point play with 1:42 to play. Beal hit a floater with 47.9 seconds to play for a 106-103 lead, Bledsoe made a layup with 15.9 left, and Beal added two free throws with 11.6 left for a 108-105 advantage.

Knight attempted a 3-pointer with 8.8 left, but Beal fouled him. Knight missed two of the three, with Beal also missing a free throw after Phoenix was called for a technical foul.

Garrett Temple made one of two free throws for Washington with 6.3 seconds to play, and Bledsoe missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

Phoenix, which lost an 18-point lead in a loss at Detroit on Wednesday night, led by 10 early in the fourth quarter.

 

TIP-INS:

Suns: Center Tyson Chandler missed his fourth straight game because of a strained right hamstring. Coach Jeff Hornacek said that he hoped Chandler would return within the next few games. Markieff Morris returned after missing the Detroit game with a bruised left knee.

Wizards: Kris Humphries (left ankle), Nene (left calf) and Drew Gooden (right calf) were out.

 

Mavericks’ Devin Harris with and-1 circus shot (VIDEO)

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Just like Rick Carlisle drew it up.

Houston’s Patrick Beverley went for the foul on Devin Harris, and the veteran guard anticipated it and threw the ball up as he fell to the ground — and it went in. That is pretty much the definition of a circus shot.

Kobe Bryant tells teams no pregame ceremonies, gifts

Kobe Bryant, Garrett Temple
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Kobe Bryant is still trying to avoid having his farewell tour look like a farewell tour.

The Philadelphia 76ers did a nice pregame ceremony honoring their hometown guy Kobe — Dr. J presented him with a Lower Merion High School jersey — but that may be the last pregame ceremony we see. Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report has this little note.

Video tributes will be the norm, but some teams will try to do a little more. For example, the Lakers are in Atlanta Friday night, and the Hawks teamed up with the Atlanta Zoo to name their Black Mamba snake “Kobe.” I’m not making that up. I don’t speak Parseltongue, but I’m fairly sure snakes do not respond to having their name called.

There is going to be a buzz in the building wherever Kobe goes this season — tickets for Lakers games have been gobbled up and the prices now on the secondary markets are insane. Kobe may try to avoid the trappings of a farewell tour, but this is one nonetheless.

Rumor: Pelicans interested in Pacers’ Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill
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We told you earlier in the day that the Pacers had put Solomon Hill on the trade block. The fact Hill started 78 games a season ago for the Pacers speaks to how banged up they were, but this season with a resurgent Paul George in the lineup they had no real use for him. Hill has barely seen the court this season.

The real question is who would want Hill? Maybe New Orleans, reports Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star.

The Pelicans aren’t exactly loaded with quality, traditional threes. Alonzo Gee starts and behind him there is Dante Cunningham, Quincy Pondexter, and Luke Babbitt. Compared to that group Hill might be a minor upgrade. Hill can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, but after that, he’s lacking.

Hill is making $1.4 million this season, so the Pacers aren’t going to get much of quality in return, and I’m not sure the Pelicans are going to surrender a decent pick. This would be the definition of a minor deal, if it even happens.

Joel Embiid still growing, two inches taller than when drafted

Joel Embiid
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The officially listed heights of NBA players have some wiggle room in them. To put it kindly. Look at it this way: Kevin Durant officially is 6’9″, while Serge Ibaka is listed as 6’10” but look at the two of them standing next to each other and tell me again how those are right.

Joel Embiid has yet to step on an NBA court thanks to a couple of foot surgeries, but he was measured at 7’0″ even in shoes at the 2013 Hoop Summit. Embiid may not be playing but he continues to grow, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

It’s not surprising he is still growing; he was drafted at 19, it’s common for men that age to keep growing, especially if their diet improves (which can happen on a college campus and certainly with a professional nutrition program).

Of course, none of that matters until we see Embiid on the court. Hopefully next season.