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LeBron James’ 29 points lead Cavs past Hawks, 110-108 in OT

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ATLANTA (AP) — LeBron James had 29 points to pass another Hall of Famer on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and the Cleveland Cavaliers recovered after blowing a big first-half lead to beat the Atlanta Hawks 110-108 in overtime on Friday night.

James had 16 rebounds and nine assists, just missing a triple-double.

The Cavaliers still lead Toronto, which won at Memphis, by 2 1/2 games in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

James moved past Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson into 11th place on the NBA’s scoring list when he scored on a layup late in the third quarter. Atlanta’s Al Horford was called for goaltending on the play.

The basket gave James 26,711 points. He began the night 21 points behind Robertson’s 26,710 points.

The Cavaliers led by 21 points in the second quarter. Atlanta charged back to briefly take the lead in the third quarter. Cleveland led by 11 early in the fourth quarter before Atlanta forced the extra period.

Horford missed a 3-pointer at the end of overtime.

James made one of two free throws to give Cleveland a 105-104 lead. Paul Millsap, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds, missed a short jumper with 25.8 seconds remaining. Kyrie Irving, who had 20 points, made five of six free throws in the final 20 seconds of overtime.

Cleveland snapped a streak of five straight losses in Atlanta over four seasons.

Jeff Teague had 28 points and nine assists for Atlanta, which has lost two straight after winning nine of 10.

James moved past Robertson only one night after passing former Hawks Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins for 12th place.

With the game tied at 96-all late in regulation, James missed an 18-foot jumper, and Atlanta’s Kent Bazemore grabbed the rebound with 4.9 seconds remaining.

The Hawks couldn’t get off a shot. Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert stole the ball from Teague as the fourth quarter ended.

Cleveland took its biggest first-half lead at 55-34 when Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha dribbled the ball off his foot for a turnover, setting up a fast break that ended with a power jam from James.

WELCOME BACK

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue played parts of four seasons with the Hawks from 2004-08. Lue said he received a warm greeting in making his first return to Atlanta since being hired as coach on Jan. 22.

“It feels good to come back and see people who treated you well over the course of your career,” Lue said.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Cleveland’s previous win at Atlanta on Nov. 30, 2012. … Kevin Love had 15 points. Thompson had nine points and 14 rebounds. J.R. Smith made four 3s for 12 points. … The teams met for the first time since Nov. 21, when the Cavaliers took a 109-87 home win over the Hawks. They play again at Cleveland on April 11.

Hawks: Atlanta is 0-5 in overtime games this season. … Atlanta-based hip-hop recording artist T.I. performed at halftime. … The Hawks’ 16 turnovers led to 16 points for Cleveland. … Horford had 14 points and nine rebounds. Korver also had 14 points.

 

Jose Barea’s 29 points lead Dallas to 98-89 win over Pistons

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Jose Barea scored 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 98-89 on Friday night.

The win moved Dallas a half-game ahead of Utah for seventh place in the Western Conference, with the Jazz playing later Friday.

Even with the loss, Detroit leads eighth-place Indiana by a half-game and ninth-place Chicago by 1 1/2 games in the East. The Pistons visit the Bulls on Saturday.

Marcus Morris led the Pistons with a season-high 29 points, while Andre Drummond had 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Morris scored 16 points in the first quarter, but Detroit’s reserves struggled at the start of the second. Dallas put up the first 15 points of the quarter to take a 40-25 lead, forcing Stan Van Gundy to rush his starters back onto the floor.

They stopped the surge, but Dallas still had a 51-36 lead at the half. Morris had 22 for Detroit, but Barea had 19 points for the Mavericks while his opposing point guard, Reggie Jackson, was 0 for 7 with four turnovers.

Van Gundy switched defensive stopper Kentavious Caldwell-Pope onto Barea, and Detroit got back into the game. Jackson scored seven points in the first six minutes of the third, and Morris’ sixth 3-pointer tied the score at 58.

Dallas, though, regained control as soon as Van Gundy put in his reserves. They led 71-61 at the end of the third, but couldn’t put the Pistons away.

Stanley Johnson and Caldwell-Pope hit back-to-back 3s to make it 77-73 with 8:19 left, but Van Gundy had to pull Drummond because of intentional fouls with 4:33 left.

With Caldwell-Pope giving up 7 inches to guard the 7-foot Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews got to the line for a three-point play and an eight-point lead. After Morris missed, two free throws by Devin Harris made it 95-85 with 2:05 to play.

TIP INS

Mavericks: With Deron Williams (abdominal strain) and Raymond Felton (groin strain) both sidelined, Harris was the only traditional guard on the Dallas bench. … Charlie Villanueva, who was on the floor for the Mavericks’ 15-0 run, was booed by Pistons fans every time he touched the ball. He played five seasons for Detroit.

Pistons: Drummond missed eight of his first 10 free throws, and was pulled in both the third and fourth quarters when the Mavericks began to intentionally foul.

 

Former NBA player, coach Terry Porter to be head coach at University of Portland

Associated Press
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Terry Porter spent the first 10 seasons of his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he was a two-time All-Star, averaged 14.9 points and seven assists a game, and was a fan favorite. He’s lived in Portland for years.

Now he’s got a new job in Portland that is a little higher profile.

The former NBA head coach is taking over as the head coach at the University of Portland, reports Dwight Jaynes at CSNNW.com. The final details have to be hammered out, but expect an announcement sooner rather than later.

Porter spent three seasons as an NBA head coach, two in Milwaukee, plus he spent another five as an assistant coach. That plus his playing days should make him an excellent recruiter for the Pilots, who play in the West Coast Conference against the likes of Gonzaga, BYU, and St. Mary’s. Portland was 12-20 under Eric Reveno last season, who left after a decade coaching Portland.

Good luck to Porter, we’ll see if he can build a mid-major power.

Hornets’ Marvin Williams with true poster dunk on Carl Landry (VIDEO)

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Marvin Williams turns back the clock.

There’s a lot of dunks that get labeled as “poster dunks” but are actually a guy dunking around the defender, or the defender isn’t actively engaged in the play. This is what a poster dunk looks like. The Sixers’ Carl Landry had no answer.

Charlotte went on to win 100-91.

Steve Kerr has Warriors racing toward record 73 wins so they can get some rest

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While the players were willing to talk about it — off the record from very early on — Warriors coach Steve Kerr was not on board with chasing the 73-win mark for a long time. He wants this team to go back-to-back with titles, not burn itself out chasing a record, and said several times earlier in the season he would prioritize rest over wins down the stretch.

That has changed. This is Kerr after the Warriors’ dramatic come-from-behind overtime win in Utah Wednesday.

“Our team wants it. They’ve made it pretty clear, so what we’re doing is listening to them and trusting them that if they’re injured, they’re going to let us know. And if that’s the case, we’ll give them a rest. And if they feel like they’re perfectly capable of getting out there and playing and that’s what they want to do, then that’s what we’ll do.”

But Kerr may be able to get his team both the record and rest.

At 68-7, the Warriors need to go 5-2 the rest of the way to set the record. They will hit that mark.

However, if the Warriors can win their next five games, they can set the record and still have a couple of games where Kerr can go the full Popovich and rest virtually everyone. What are the Warriors’ next five games:

• Friday, April 1, vs. Boston. The Celtics are a good team, but they are not the same team without Jae Crowder (who will not play in this one but is close to a return). The Celtics have been outscored bu 2.7 points per 100 possessions their last 10, this is a game he Warriors should win comfortably.

• Sunday, April 3, vs. Portland. With Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollom in the backcourt the Blazers are dangerous, but this is a team 15-24 on the road this season. Plus, the Warriors have a pretty good backcourt of their own (and a taller one).

• Tuesday, April 5, vs. Minnesota. The young Timberwolves have been playing better of late, and Karl-Anthony Towns isn’t just clear Rookie of the Year he’s a clear franchise cornerstone player, but this should be a comfortable win for Golden State.

• Thursday, April 7, vs. San Antonio. Gregg Popovich has already hinted he plans to rest key guys for this game. He should. What he would like to leave as the Warriors’ last taste of the Spurs pre-playoffs was San Antonio’s win at home. The Spurs are never a pushover, but this is certainly winnable for Golden State.

• Saturday, April 9, at Memphis. Memphis is so banged up they may be pulling a guy out of the third row to play 15 minutes for this game.

There is a clear path for the Warriors to get to 73-7. Then there would be a week before the start of the playoffs, and Kerr could get his guys some time off.

I think Kerr wants this 5-0 run because he knows the next game for his team after Memphis would be a back-to-back in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 38-0 this season. Kerr would love to rest his guys for that game, and likely the season finale vs. Memphis.

It’s something to watch. Look for the Warriors to go hard at the record they want, and do it so they can still get in some nights off.