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Patrick Beverley co-opts Russell Westbrook’s rock-a-bye-baby celebration

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Thunder star Russell Westbrook has made the rock-a-bye-baby his signature celebration:

Most famously, Westbrook rocked the baby after scoring on longtime-nemesis Patrick Beverley:

As Westbrook explained afterward:

“You got little kids, you gotta put them to sleep. When you got little kids on you, that’s what happens.”

But Beverley used the celebration himself in the Clippers’ win over the Pelicans last night:

That’s intellectual theft! That move belongs to Westbrook, and Beverley — unlike Klay Thompson and Iowa State wide receiver Hakeem Butler — darn sure isn’t paying homage. Beverley is, as usual, trying to get under Westbrook’s skin.

Will it work?

Westbrook probably didn’t see it immediately. He was busy rocking his own baby last night, pulling the move after scoring on Reggie Jackson – yet another nemesis – in Oklahoma City’s win over the Pistons:

Markieff Morris throws backward, over-his-head outlet pass that leads to John Wall dunk

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The Wizards haven’t had much fun this season.

This play in their 110-107 win over the Knicks last night was a notable exception.

Turned the wrong way, Markieff Morris chucked the ball upcourt to Bradley Beal, who found John Wall for a fastbreak dunk.

After whistle, Nikola Jokic makes no-look deep 3-pointer

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The Nuggets gained a one-point lead over the Raptors with seven seconds left last night, because Toronto fouled Nikola Jokic before an inbound pass, and he made the resulting free throw. Denver kept the ball, forcing the Raptors to foul.

Jokic received the inbound, knew a foul was coming and hoisted a wild 3-pointer – that went in! Unfortunately, officials (correctly) ruled the attempt came after the non-shooting foul.

At least Jokic made the resulting free throws to give the Nuggets a 106-103 victory. He had a great game – 23 points, 15 assists, 11 rebounds, two steals – with numerous highlights.

But the best one didn’t count.

Rudy Gobert on officiating for ‘small-market’ Jazz: ‘Every night is the same s—’

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In the final moments of the Jazz’s 102-100 loss to the Heat yesterday, Utah guard Donovan Mitchell missed a shot amid contact from Josh Richardson. On the other end, Dwyane Wade drew a Rudy Gobert foul and hit the game-winning free throws for Miami.

Gobert sure didn’t like the officiating.

Gobert, via Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune:

“I just want it to be consistent, at one point. Every night is the same s—. Every night has been the same s—. If you call something one way, you have to call it the other way. Once they start doing that, I’m going to have a little more respect. I’m just tired of it. Every game is the same,” Gobert said.

“They can’t be deciding the issue of a game just like that. If you call a foul on the play on D. Wade, Donovan got pushed harder right before. But he’s not Dwyane Wade, it’s fine,” Gobert said.

“We’re a small market and we know it,” Gobert said.

That will probably get Gobert fined. The league generally doesn’t take kindly to insinuations of market size affecting officiating.

Besides, I think both calls were correct. Richardson’s contact with Mitchell was minimal. Gobert’s off-hand appeared to knock Wade off-balance.

But even if Gobert’s specific gripe about yesterday’s calls were legitimate, I doubt there’s a grand conspiracy to keep Utah down. Gobert is a competitor and looking for an edge, so it’s understandable he’d think that way. But people associated with every single team in the NBA believe the league is out to get their team. They can’t all be right.

Report: David West’s cryptic comments were about Warriors’ meningitis scare

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After the Warriors won last season’s championship, Golden State forward David West (since retired) said, the public had “no clue” about the shocking things the team dealt with internally.

Warriors coaches tried to downplay West’s remarks, but speculation was rampant. Draymond Green‘s and Kevin Durant‘s recent argument only intensified speculation about internal dysfunction.

But…

Sam Amick of The Athletic:

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Warriors dealt with a team-wide meningitis scare in mid-March that was the root of West’s infamous comments. An outside vendor who handled the team’s food on a daily basis contracted a contagious form of the disease, then survived a life-threatening challenge before eventually returning to work with the team.

The Warriors took numerous precautions. Seemingly, nobody from the organization contracted the disease. In hindsight, this seems somewhat minor.

But it was probably still scary amid the uncertainty – and potentially league-changing. What if the NBA’s best team suddenly had numerous players knocked out with meningitis? That would have been colossal.

Still, this doesn’t put the matter to rest entirely.

Amick:

Now, does this mean the meningitis scare was the end-all-be-all of West’s mysterious comments? Even he made it clear that wasn’t the case. But sources say this isn’t the first time West explained his post-Finals perspective by highlighting the medical situation as the main inspiration, as he did the same in conversations with Warriors officials after last season as well.

So, what else was West referring to?