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Kawhi Leonard to get load management night off Wednesday vs. Bucks

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For the second time in a couple of weeks, the Clippers are going to rest Kawhi Leonard during a nationally televised marquee matchup.

The Clippers announced Tuesday that Leonard will not play Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, a game being broadcast by ESPN. A game where the network thought it would get Leonard vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Leonard also was given a night off a week ago, against Utah, in another game ESPN broadcast (and the Jazz won).

Leonard will suit up Thursday night in another nationally broadcast game, this time on TNT against the Trail Blazers.

That the Clippers are giving Leonard half of a back-to-back off to keep his quad tendon/knee issues at bay is not a surprise to anyone. Los Angeles is going to have a lot of load management nights this season between Leonard and Paul George (once he returns from off-season shoulder surgeries). The timing is just interesting.

A couple of years ago, the league both expanded the length of the season — building in more rest days — and gave Commissioner Adam Silver broad powers to fine teams that did not follow the league’s guidelines on sitting players. The Clippers have been in compliance with the league’s rules, both times Leonard has rested this season it has been announced and everyone notified a day in advance. There have been no surprises.

Part of the spirit of the new rules — at the behest of the networks paying Brinks’ trucks full of money for broadcast rights — was to keep top players from being rested for national marquee games. It is a bad look to have players sitting out these high-visibility games, which happened a lot and with little notice a couple of seasons ago. The league wants its biggest stars on its biggest stages.

In this case, the league and the broadcast partners can blame themselves. The Clippers were scheduled into back-to-back nationally televised games, and it was always likely Leonard sat out at least one of them. ESPN came out on the short end on this one.

 

Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk

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Daniel Theis‘ play as a rim protector is one of the reasons Boston has a top-10 defense this season. He has anchored the Celtics’ defense in the paint.

Kawhi Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP, and if he wants to go to the rim nobody is stopping him. Theis found out the hard way.

After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.

This was the first game Leonard and Paul George played together and they combined for 42 points, and they both made key play down the stretch of a 107-104 overtime win.

It took Luka Doncic 25 minutes to put together 35-point triple-double (VIDEO)

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DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.

Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.

The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.

The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.

The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.

With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Eric Paschall led the Warriors with 22 points.

Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Dallas. Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double.

 

Bulls’ Otto Porter Jr out 2 weeks with bone bruise in foot

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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say forward Otto Porter Jr. has a bone bruise in his left foot and will be reassessed in two weeks.

The Bulls say a second MRI on Tuesday revealed the bruise, something “not apparent” on the first MRI.

“He had a second scan, and something showed up that didn’t show up on the first scan,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen told NBC Sports Chicago. “That’s tough, tough for him, feel bad for him. But we’ll treat him and move on.”

Chandler Hutchison had been filling in Porter’s spot in the rotation, but he is out indefinitely now with sore shins.

Porter, averaging 11.2 points in nine games, has been sidelined since he sprained his left foot at Atlanta on Nov. 6.

The Bulls were 4-10 with three straight losses heading into Wednesday’s game against Detroit.

Timberwolves’ new alternate uniforms resemble Minneapolis Lakers

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The Minneapolis Lakers’ history belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s why the Los Angeles Lakers claim the five championships the franchise won in Minneapolis and have worn light-blue Minneapolis throwbacks.

But Minnesota’s current NBA team – the Timberwolves – appear to be borrowing from that legacy.

The Timberwolves’ new alternate uniforms look awfully similar to the Minneapolis Lakers’ throwback:

Of course, the Timberwolves’ explanation contains no mention of the Minneapolis Lakers. The Timberwolves say the icy cool yet sky blue color … reflects the blue waters that are ubiquitous throughout the cities, namely the Mississippi River, which is outlined on the left side of the uniform.” It’s all about celebrating the Twin Cities – Minneapolis and St. Paul (MSP).

The best part: These alternates are officially branded as “City Edition” uniforms. The Timberwolves called theirs “Cities Edition.”