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Dirk Nowitzki had a season-high 26 points, four rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers on 11-of-21 shooting in Tuesday's tough loss at Portland.

Dirk hit a clutch 3-pointer to put the Mavs up by three near the end of the game, but LaMarcus Aldridge also hit a big 3-pointer, and then hit a fadeaway 12-footer to win the game at the buzzer as the Mavs blew a 21-point lead. Dirk is back and is averaging nearly 18 points, six boards and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five, but is shooting just 42 percent from the floor. He's getting better every week.
Wed, Jan 30, 2013 01:19:00 AM

Joel Embiid made 2-of-11 from the field and 10-of-13 from the line for 14 points against the Heat in a Game 4 win on Saturday, adding 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal, five blocks and eight turnovers.

Besides his outstanding defense and the sloppy turnovers, a big story going forward is that Embiid clearly doesn't like playing with his mask and that may be part of the reason he made just 2-of-11 from the field. He apparently tried to sneak out on the court for an offensive position to play without the mask and was fouled on a shot just seconds later, but coach Brett Brown was furious and forced Embiid to put the mask back on. Besides that, he is the first 76er with five blocks in a playoff game since Dikembe Mutumbo, and he's the first 76er with 10 free throw makes in consecutive games since Allen Iverson in 2003. If the 76ers can close out on Tuesday, maybe Embiid can have the mask off for the next round.
Apr 21 - 5:34 PM

Dwyane Wade scored 25 points with three rebounds, one assist, three steals and two turnovers in 26 minutes against the 76ers during a 106-102 loss in Game 4 on Saturday.

He kept the Heat in this game with 12 points in the final frame, but he did miss a costly free throw with 17.6 seconds left as the Heat now have to overcome a 3-1 deficit. Miami just doesn't have the firepower to guard Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid at the same time, so the deck is stacked against them for Game 5 in Philly on Tuesday. As for Wade, he gets plenty of credit for his strong play down the stretch of games at age 36.
Apr 21 - 5:29 PM

Hassan Whiteside scored 13 points with 13 rebounds and one block in 26 minutes against the 76ers on Saturday.

He was actually engaged in the second half and part of that is thanks to Josh Richardson for hitting him on rolls to the rim. Whiteside did get late minutes in this game because of how Kelly Olynyk couldn't get into a rhythm due to foul trouble. Besides the loss factor and how he was crashing the boards when he didn't need to, his second-half run is about as encouraging as it gets after it looked like there was a chance he wasn't even going to hit 15 minutes based on his first stint today.
Apr 21 - 5:23 PM

Josh Richardson set a playoff franchise record with seven steals against the 76ers on Saturday, adding 10 points, five rebounds, seven assists and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes.

He did suffer a left shoulder contusion in the second quarter, but he started the third quarter and looked fine. Richardson showed the mainstream NBA crowd that he's earned a First Team All-Defense nod with his outstanding instincts with his ball pressure and he's been able to guard four positions. Plus, he was a big part of getting Hassan Whiteside going on the offensive side in this close loss. His fantasy owners know he's a stud, but they'll have to pay up for him next year.
Apr 21 - 5:20 PM

Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Evan Turner, Al-Farouq Aminu and Jusuf Nurkic will start against the Pelicans on Saturday.

Turner is getting over his toe injury and he will have a small metal plate in his shoe to protect this injury. It's also mildly interesting that Jusuf Nurkic is starting again after getting owned all series. Expect Turner and Shabazz Napier to play more minutes with Moe Harkless out.
Apr 21 - 4:21 PM

Moe Harkless (knee) will not play in Game 4 against the Pelicans on Saturday.

Even though Evan Turner will be out there, it's bad news for the Blazers that they won't have Harkless. The Blazers need some additional ball handlers to help out the backcourt, so we may see some extra Shabazz Napier to take pressure off Damian Lillard.
Apr 21 - 3:30 PM

Coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart (thumb) will see a doctor next week, and he could return to action if he is cleared.

The Celtics have said that he's hopeful for Game 7 against the Bucks, so making it back before next weekend is possible. Smart was was given a 6-8 week timetable and the 27th would be six weeks. If he's back, he may still come off the bench because of how well Terry Rozier has played. Shane Larkin would lose minutes.
Apr 21 - 3:10 PM

John Henson (back soreness) is doubtful for Sunday's Game 4 vs. Boston.

He did not play in Game 3 and was ruled out almost two hours before tip time, so he wasn't close for that one. Thon Maker was one of the heroes for Game 3 with five blocks and 14 points, but he'll likely come off the bench behind Tyler Zeller. Jabari Parker is the clear winner here as the Bucks will go smaller more often.
Apr 21 - 2:45 PM

Kevin Durant (ankle) went through practice on Saturday and is expected to play in Game 4 on Sunday in San Antonio.

After he slightly rolled his ankle as he went after a loose ball, KD has downplayed this injury being a problem since Thursday night. Going through practice today makes it clear that this issue shouldn't affect him much, so he's a viable stud to play in your DFS lineups tomorrow.
Apr 21 - 2:25 PM

Coach Steve Kerr said Stephen Curry (knee) participated in most of a non-contact practice on Saturday.

The Warriors are saying Curry will do some "modified team practices" over the next week as he ramps up on-court activity. If the Warriors and Pelicans advance in 4-6 games, the conference semifinals could move up to Apr. 28 or 29. Curry is going to be re-evaluated on Apr. 27, so he's likely out for Game 1.
Apr 21 - 2:14 PM

Coach Tyronn Lue said that George Hill (back spasms) is having an MRI and that he is questionable for Game 4 on Sunday.

Hill's back flared up on him in Game 1, and it's been a problem for him since. He was initially listed as questionable for Game 2, but did end up playing. He finished with six points, three assists and two turnovers in 20 minutes before fouling out. If Hill is unable to suit up, Jose Calderon will likely draw the start at point guard, with Jordan Clarkson seeing an uptick in minutes off the bench. This is not an ideal scenario for the Cavs in what is essentially a must-win game.
Apr 21 - 1:40 PM




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