James Harden jaws with fan, sets new free-throw record (video)

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As James Harden – the NBA’s most-infamous foul-drawer – stepped to the line in the first quarter, he had a quick back-and-forth with a San Antonio fan.

Fan: “No one wants to see a free-throw shooting contest.”

Harden: “Nobody wants to see fouls either, goddammit.”

Neither got what they wanted. Harden shot 24 free throws in the Spurs’ 135-133 double-overtime win over the Rockets last night. Remarkably, Harden made all 24 attempts.

That broke Dominique Wilkins’ record for free throws without a miss in a game (23-for-23 in 1992). Dirk Nowitzki also shot 24-for-24 from the stripe in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference finals, but playoff games don’t count for these records.

Here are the most free throws made without a miss in a game in NBA history:

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However, if the Rockets get their way, this record won’t stand. Houston could protest the game after officials didn’t count a Harden dunk that went through the net in the middle of the fourth quarter. Harden made nine free throws after that play, including seven in overtime.

The Rockets have talked about the NBA simply reversing the result and giving them a win. That seems far-fetched. More likely (though not necessarily likely), the league will uphold a protest and have the teams replay the final 7:50 of the fourth quarter. That’d wipe away all stats from that point in last night’s version of the game.

Would Harden still draw and make nine free throws during a replayed 7:50? Extremely doubtful. But if anyone can, it’s him.

Trae Young gets ankles absolutely destroyed by Dejounte Murray (video)

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The Hawks got Trae Young his desired help, trading for Jeff Teague.

Maybe Young will do his part and step up on defense.

That didn’t happen on this possession against Spurs guard Dejounte Murry.

At least Young continued his breakout season on the other end, scoring 31 points and dishing nine assists in Atlanta’s rare victory in San Antonio.

Tristan Thompson slaps Jae Crowder’s rear end, gets ejected (video)

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What is it about Cleveland athletes slapping butts and getting in trouble?

Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. faces a simple battery charge for slapping a police officer’s backside in LSU’s locker room after the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Last night, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson got ejected for slapping Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder‘s behind.

Thompson and Crowder got double technical fouls earlier in the game. So, Thompson got ejected with a tech for this incident between free throws.

Though the two are former Cleveland teammates, Crowder didn’t look amused. Crowder doesn’t play.

The Cavs rallied without Thompson, but Memphis won, 113-109.

Kyle Lowry flings in wild 3-pointer (video)

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Kyle Lowry had the ball in his left hand when he felt contact. Not only did he try to sell a foul by flailing his arms, the right-hander tried to draw a shooting foul by hurling an off-balance 31-footer toward the basket.

No continuation. No whistle at all.

But Lowry made the shot, anyway.

Lowry and the Raptors will take it, but they didn’t need a break like that against the Wizards’ dismal defense last night. Toronto won, 140-111.

Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett out at least a week with right ankle sprain

R.J. Barrett
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NEW YORK (AP) New York Knicks rookie R.J. Barrett will miss at least a week with a sprained right ankle.

Barrett was hurt during the Knicks’ loss to Phoenix on Thursday. On Friday, he had X-rays, which were negative.

The Knicks announced afterward that Barrett will be re-evaluated in a week.

The No. 3 pick in the draft from Duke is averaging 14.1 points.