After missing 10 games with back spasms, Kevin Garnett unsure of return date

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Brooklyn is doing just fine without Kevin Garnett — 8-2 in their last 10 games outscoring opponents by 8 points per 100 possessions, with the 5th best defense in the NBA and 10th best offense in that stretch.

But that is the regular season, the Nets are going to need KG during the playoffs — if the postseason started today the Nets would get the Bulls again in the first round.

Garnett has missed the last 10 games due to back spasms and he told the Bergen Record he has no idea when his back will let him return to the court.

This afternoon, the 37-year-old spoke for the first time since his ordeal began on Feb. 27, when he tweaked his back in a win at Denver. Garnett said that his condition went “downhill” sine then, but over the last five days he’s been “improving.” He hopes to return “soon.”

“The most frustrating part about this is that you just can’t push through this,” Garnett said, speaking to reporters for the first time in more than three weeks. “The back … deals with the legs, the lower part of your body, the core, your hand movements, your breathing, a lot of it comes into play.

“So it’s not like an ankle where I can muscle through it, or a knee or an arm, neck, something. This is damn near your [entire] body, and I have a whole new respect for the body.”

Because of how well the Nets have played in his absence there is no pressure on Garnett to get back fast. The Nets goal is to catch the Raptors for the Atlantic Division crown (2.5 games back) or get past the Bulls (2 games back), either of which would get Brooklyn home court in the first round of the playoffs.

But they need a healthy KG in the playoffs more than anything else. So the Nets are being patient. And when he returns Garnett should be rested and ready to try and make a playoff run.

Phoenix council postpones vote on Suns arena renovation

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PHOENIX (AP) — The City Council has postponed a vote on a proposed $230 million renovation of the Talking Stick Resort Arena that would keep the Suns in downtown Phoenix.

The council agreed unanimously Wednesday to postpone a decision until Jan. 23 so residents can attend five public meetings to be held around Phoenix to discuss the project.

Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly threatened to move the franchise to Seattle or Las Vegas if not given enough public funding.

Suns President and CEO Jason Rowley says the organization looks forward to the public discussions and to answering any questions about the proposed renovation.

The deal would revamp the nearly 30-year-old arena, the oldest in the NBA that is not currently being renovated.

The Suns agreed to a 40-year lease in 1992, but the deal included a provision for the team to opt out at 30 years.

Final minute of Celtics-Wizards featured five-possession, 10-point, no-stoppage stretch (video)

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Crunch time of a close NBA game is awesome.

It’s exponentially better when nobody calls timeout.

The Celtics and Wizards finished with a flourish tonight, Boston coming out ahead in a frenetic final minute. The last minute included two Kyrie Irving 3-pointers (one tightly contested, one extremely deep) and a sharp drive by John Wall (who had just returned to the game from an injury).

After a flow-killing foul in the final few seconds, the Celtics won, 130-25.

More games should be like this.

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)