Yogi Ferrell leads Mavericks to 108-104 win over Trail Blazers (VIDEO)

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Yogi Ferrell scored 32 points to help the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-104 on Friday night.

Ferrell, who signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks six days ago, had 22 points at the half – shattering his previous career-high of 17. He’s scored 71 points so far this week.

Dallas built its lead up to 22 points before Portland rallied to within one. Farrell answered with a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to give the Mavericks a cushion.

Former Blazers guard Wesley Matthews added 27 points for the Mavericks.

CJ McCollum scored 28 points, including buzzer-beaters at the end of the 2nd and 3rd quarters, to lead the Trail Blazers. Evan Turner added 24 points.

After a 4-17 start to the season, the Mavericks are well within striking distance for the eighth seed after winning eight of their last 11 games and four straight.

“It’s great that we’ve put ourselves in a position for these games to be meaningful,” Carlisle said.

Dallas is now two games back of the Denver Nuggets for final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is the President of the NBA Coaches Association. Over the past few weeks, NBA coaches have worn bow-ties to honor the passing of their Executive Director Michael Goldberg. Coaches will wear pins to honor Goldberg for the rest of the season. “It will be a remainder of the year-long tribute to a great man. A great advocate for coaches in the NBA,” Carlisle said. “A guy who was part a key part of history, like the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. He’s done so many important groundbreaking things for coaches of the last 37 years that will be felt for decades.”

Blazers: The Blazers are 4-2 since moving Evan Turner and Noah Vonleh into their starting line-up. “The starting line-up has been very effective, especially defensively. That’s a nice bi-product of that,” head coach Terry Stotts said. Portland’s Ed Davis returned to the line-up for the first time since missing six games with a left wrist injury. Davis played 17 minutes.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: At Denver on Monday night.

Trail Blazers: At Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

Report: Mike Woodson close to joining Suns coaching staff

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The Phoenix Suns are bolstering their coaching staff. After spending most the 2017-18 season under interim head coach Jay Triano, Phoenix finally settled on Igor Kokoskov as their top man.

Now, it appears they’re adding some veteran talent to the front row.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Suns are in talks to bring former New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson in as Kokoskov’s right hand man. Meanwhile, ArizonaSports.com is reporting that the decision has already been made to hire Woodson.

Via Twitter:

Woodson, 60, was last on the bench with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2014-2018. He was head coach of the Knicks from 2012-2014, and helmed the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-2010.

This is a smart hire for the Suns, who have needed some legitimacy after firing Earl Watson just three games into the season this year. Phoenix has been in a bit of a freefall since letting Jeff Hornacek go in 2015. Indeed, despite for one outlying 48-win season in 2013-14, Phoenix hasn’t been a very good team in this decade.

With a solidified coaching staff and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, there’s hope yet for the Suns. Now, the question is who they take with that pick. Luka Doncic? Deandre Ayton? The draft continues to intrigue.

Andre Iguodala out for Game 4 Tuesday vs. Rockets

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“When we’re right, when we’re playing how we are supposed to play, Andre’s right in the middle of it. His defense and being smart, making good decisions. Andre is one of the guys who seems to set the tone for that for us.”

That’s Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Andre Iguodala

The Warriors are going to have to be without that tone Tuesday night, Iguodala will miss the game with a knee contusion.

This is a blow to the Warriors, who have started small with Iguodala through the first three games of this series. The Warriors have been 4.3 points per 100 possessions better with Iguodala on the court through the first three games of this series.

Expect Kevon Looney or Nick Young to start, with the rest of the minutes divided up between Shaun Livingston, Jordan Bell, and David West.

Whatever Kerr and the Warriors go with, expect James Harden and the Rockets to attack it.

 

WNBA team rehearses ring ceremony at practice of team it beat in Finals

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The NBA does petty very, very, very, very, very, very, very well.

The WNBA is trying to give the NBA a run for its money.

The Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks have met in the last two WNBA Finals, the Lynx winning last year and the Sparks winning the year before. Minnesota hosted Los Angeles in the season opener Sunday, and the Lynx unveiled their banner and presented players with rings.

Before that, while the Sparks were practicing in Minnesota, the Lynx played their video for the event.

Holly Rowe of ESPN:

The Sparks beat the Lynx on Sunday, but I don’t think that’s enough to override Minnesota’s power move.

Kobe Bryant on Kanye West’s comments: “What the hell are you talking about?”

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Kanye West, the President Trump backing hip-hop star, drew a lot of backlash for his comments on TMZ:

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.” 

Mentally, maybe in some cases. But more so physically, with guns and whips and attack dogs and a whole lot more weapons that were all on one side. Nobody chooses slavery.

Tuesday, Kobe Bryant surprised a group of about 300 high school students at WE RISE — a 10-day pop-up festival dedicated to sparking a movement for change in the mental health system — in Downtown Los Angeles. One of the students asked him about Kanye’s comments. Kobe is not down.

“I’m sure (I feel) the same way everybody else here in this room feels. What the hell are you talking about? I think that was my reaction as is everybody else’s reaction….

“The thing about our country is that you have the right to say whatever it is that you want to say…that’s the beautiful thing about living in a democracy. I think, for him, he’s one of these entertainers that’s always in a constant state of growth, he’s always challenging … himself, doing a lot of questioning internally himself…so I just take it for what it is and completely disagree.”

If I need to explain to you why Kobe is in the right here, you need to take a basic American history course again.

Good on Kobe for his comments. More importantly, good on Kobe for taking the time to promote mental health awareness.

“It’s easy for us as people to kind of ignore the emotional side of it,  especially when it comes to things that deal with negativity, things that deal with insecurity, things that deal with fear,” Kobe said. “It’s very easy to take the fear and just push it down, try to act like it doesn’t exist. The reason why it starts with imagination is because you first must imagine the life that you want to have. You must first imagine what it is you dream of becoming.”

Kobe did that, and now he’s got an Oscar. Oh, and a few basketball awards, too.