John Wall wins NBA Cares Community Assist Award

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John Wall was clearly inspired to honor the memory of Miyah Telemaque-Nelson, a 5-year-old who lost her battle with cancer in 2014.

So, the Wizards guard did work in the community in her name – so much work, the NBA gave him an award.

NBA release:

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has received the 2015-16 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his many charitable efforts and yearlong dedication to community outreach, the NBA announced today.  The award recognizes an NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities, following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.

Owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier and Kaiser Permanente Senior Director of External Affairs Maritha Gay will present Wall with the award at Bright Beginnings Inc. (BBI) tomorrow afternoon in Washington, D.C.  Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will also donate $25,000 to the John Wall Family Foundation.

Following the award presentation, Wall and attendees will participate in a community service project at Bright Beginnings Inc., a non-profit that offers education, shelter and meals to homeless children and their parents.  Earlier this year Wall surprised BBI with a generous donation to support programming and a new facility, and he recently received their Champions for Children Award honoring his commitment to the health and welfare of children and families.

In addition to his efforts with BBI, Wall worked to make a difference for those in need throughout local communities this season.  After his friend, 5-year-old DaMiyah Telemaque-Nelson, lost her battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma, Wall sponsored the “Miyah’s Troupe” walking team, and joined DaMiyah’s family in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in D.C.

In partnership with the John Wall Family Foundation, Wall funded the Passport to Manhood Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, which teaches adolescent boys responsibility, leadership and the importance of giving back through community service projects.  He also hosted various Wizards Make-A-Wish nights, and his second “FITTED” Prom Project, where he provided ten high school seniors with suits and accessories for their upcoming proms.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as the 2016 Seasonlong NBA Cares Community Assist Award winner and would like to thank all the fans and my many friends who voted for me on social media,” said Wall.  “I am privileged to be in a position to better my communities in both Washington and Raleigh and I consider the outreach that I do to be the most rewarding part of being an NBA player.”

The award was voted on by fans and an NBA panel of judges.

Good for Wall.

Watch Dinwiddie get ejected for elbow to Poole’s face; Mavs still win behind Doncic 41 points

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Dallas has gotten in trouble this season because of a lack of secondary shot creation behind Luka Doncic, so when Spencer Dinwiddie got ejected for an elbow to the face of Golden State’s Jordan Poole, it seemed like the Mavericks might be in danger of falling to the Warriors.

Doncic had other plans — and a 41-point triple-double.

The ejection happened early in the fourth quarter, when Dinwiddie drove the lane on Poole and, bringing the ball up, elbowed Poole in the face.

That was reviewed by the referees who ruled it a Flagrant 2. The league has cracked down on blows to the face and head — intentional or not — the past couple of seasons.

Dinwiddie being out just meant more Luka — and that was bad news for the Warriors.

Despite Doncic and his triple-double, the Warriors had a couple of chances in the final seconds. First, Stephen Curry got called for a travel.

The Warriors argued that call but got nowhere with the referees. But they got one more chance on a Klay Thompson 3 to tie, but it was just not their night.

The Mavericks got the 116-113 win. Tim Hardaway Jr. pitched in 25 points, including five 3-pointers for Dallas. Curry led the Warriors with 32.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.