Blog Posts by Eric Freeman

  • Jarrett Jack's game-winner allows Nets to fend off Warriors

    Enough has gone right for the Golden State Warriors this season that fans can be forgiven for expecting them to pull out an unlikely comeback victory. Down 108-99 to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center with 3:29 left in regulation, the Warriors went on a 9-0 run over more than two minutes to tie the game on a Stephen Curry jumper (to give him eight points in the run alone) with just 1:08 on the clock. Given the Warriors' performance this season, it seemed as if they were headed for a victory on the sixth and final game of their Eastern Conference road trip.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    It was not to be. After a Golden State turnover, the Nets called on former Warrior Jarrett Jack to create their final shot with the shot clock turned off. The defense from Curry was quality, but Jack got the better of him with this pull-up jumper:

    Curry attempted to put up a game-tying lay-up on the final play of the game but could not beat the buzzer, and

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  • The Houston Rockets went all out after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers by two points on Sunday, even going so far as to declare James Harden "the new King James" after having vanquished LeBron James in regular-season battle. Unfortunately for Harden, it looks like he will see some punishment for deposing the old monarch.

    The NBA announced Monday that Harden has been suspended one game for kicking James in the groin with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter. Harden was issued a flagrant-1 foul during the game, but that has since been upgraded to a flagrant-2. Harden will miss the Rockets' Tuesday game at the Atlanta Hawks, another East contender.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Take a look at the play:

    Many of you may watch that video and consider the suspension excessive considering that Harden did not exactly strike LeBron with the greatest of force. However, kicking another man — let alone a fellow All-NBA First Team member — in the nether

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  • Westbrook dominates again, but Blazers come back to top Thunder

    Feb 27, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) reacts after making a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter at the Moda Center. (Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)Feb 27, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) reacts after making a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter at the Moda Center. (Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook is the biggest story in the NBA right now, a player contributing at an MVP level and impressing with the sheer volume of his production even when he's not particularly efficient. He is currently the definition of a must-watch player.

    Westbrook notched his third-straight triple-double in Friday night's road game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but for the second game in a row he could not lead his team to a win. The Blazers came back from a 13-point fourth-quarter to deficit to top the Thunder 115-112, dropping OKC to just a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for the final playoff spot in the West.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Not surprisingly, Westbrook factored heavily during the finish. With six seconds remaining, Arron Afflalo knocked down two free throws to give Portland a 113-110 lead. The Blazers attempted to foul Westbrook to avoid a game-tying three, but Wesley Matthews

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  • Alexey Shved throws the ball way over the basket, confuses all

    The New York Knicks have given their fans little to cheer about this season. At their worst, the squad with the NBA's worst record have inspired questions about exactly where they're going, whether Derek Fisher is the right man to lead them, and the extent to which Phil Jackson can construct a winner. It's easy to watch them and feel very confused about what it all means.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Credit to guard Alexey Shved, then, for riding those vibes and coming up with one of the most confounding plays of the year. With roughly 7:00 remaining in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game at the Detroit Pistons, Shved darted to the basket after catching a deflection of his own pass for ... well, we're not really sure. Because instead of putting the ball in the general vicinity of the basket, he threw it 10 feet over everything. Take a look:

    We could take some guesses at what happened here, but it's probably more enjoyable just to

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  • Wizards lose to Sixers in another woeful performance, need answers

    Noel stonewalls Gortat. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)Noel stonewalls Gortat. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)The Washington Wizards have moved from genuine contention to serious disappointment over the course of just a few weeks. Unfortunately for them, there do not appear to be easy answers to their problems.

    The Wizards faced the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in need of a win after having lost five straight and 10 of their last 12. On paper, the opponent would have seemed to offer them a solid chance at a victory — the Sixers had lost five in a row themselves and quite famously suffer from a talent gap. So it's a mark of how bad things have gotten for Washington that they lost 89-81 in a listless display during which Philadelphia rarely looked particularly threatening. This was a truly bad basketball game, and the worst team in it held hopes of challenging for a title less than a month ago.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Despite the general character of the contest, the Sixers deserve credit for some quality execution in the final

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  • Bledsoe and Westbrook stuff the stat sheet as Suns top Thunder in OT

    The NBA is full of amazing lead guards, but perhaps no two are as active as Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns. Even when they're not at their best, these two players simply make things happen at both ends. They run around, fly through the air, and often crash into opponents and teammates. If they stop moving, something is probably wrong.

    Thursday night's game between the Thunder and Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena showed how both Westbrook and Bledsoe can impact a game. Phoenix ended up with a 117-113 overtime win, but the final score gives little indication of the straight-up weirdness of the night.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    After Phoenix had held an eight-point or low-double-digit lead most of the way, OKC fought back to turn the final few minutes into a battle for the win. With 20 seconds on the clock and the Suns up 109-106, Westbrook went to the rim in lieu of taking a game-tying

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  • LeBron dominates with season-high 42 points, Cavs handle Warriors

    Thursday's matchup between the league-best Golden State Warriors and red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers was billed as a potential NBA Finals preview. As with so many high-profile games before it, the night was dominated by LeBron James.

    The Cavs superstar scored a season-high 42 points on 15-of-25 shooting as Cleveland beat Golden State 110-99. The Warriors got out to a hot start in a high-scoring first quarter but were handled by the Cavaliers over the final three quarters in a game whose result rarely seemed in doubt.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    In addition to his impressive scoring total, James added 11 boards, five assists, and three steals over 36 minutes. Take a look at some of his highlights below:

    Cleveland's win ran their current home winning streak to 11 games, their best mark since LeBron's final pre-Miami season in 2009-10. In all, the Cavs have won 18 of their last 20 games, good enough to make them the hottest team in the league and

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  • Paul George practices with Pacers for first time since gruesome leg injury

    Paul George has met his self-imposed practice date. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)Paul George has met his self-imposed practice date. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)When Paul George suffered a gruesome leg injury in a Team USA exhibition this summer, the assumption was that he would miss the entire 2014-15 season with the Indiana Pacers while rehabbing. Yet that expectation changed several weeks ago — George told Yahoo's own Marc Spears that he had plans to practice by March 1 and return to real-live NBA games some time in the middle of the month. The plan seemed optimistic, but also made the return of one of the NBA's most exciting players much more real.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    George appears to be sticking to his timeline. The two-time All-Star was a full participant in Pacers practice for the first time since his injury Thursday, or three days before his self-imposed date. Michael Marot of the Associated Press has more:

    When asked if his vertical jump was back, he joked that it was fine in his left leg. He also noted he needs to be in better condition and move better than he did Thursday to
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  • Jusuf Nurkic taunts with kindness, earns hilarious technical foul

    Denver Nuggets rookie big man Jusuf Nurkic has developed a reputation as a classic NBA tough guy in just a few short months. The 20-year-old Bosnian has impressed as an interior presence at both ends, but he also plays with a no-nonsense style more often found in crusty veterans. I suppose we should expect nothing less from a player who may have only been scouted in the first place because someone wanted to know if his father, a policeman who earned headlines for defeating 14 people in a fight, had any sons.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    If you think all this talk of Nurkic borders on hyperbole, then you should take a look at this play from Wednesday night's game vs. the Phoenix Suns at Pepsi Center. With 7:00 remaining in the third quarter, Nurkic sent the defending Markieff Morris to the floor on a post-up (or maybe Morris sent himself to the floor). Nurkic scored fairly easily and happened to catch the ball on its way through the rim. So,

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  • Minnesota Timberwolves re-introduce Kevin Garnett with tribute video

    The return of Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves has been one of the top stories in the NBA since his trade from the Brooklyn Nets last Thursday. With all the anticipation, the reintroduction of the best player in franchise history after an eight-year absence did not disappointment.

    The 38-year-old Garnett started the first game of his Wolves return on Wednesday night vs. the Washington Wizards at Target Center. The franchise went all out for his intro, pausing after the announcement of rookie Andrew Wiggins to show a highlight video of Garnett highlights from his first 12 seasons in Minnesota. Garnett was then announced to raucous applause from the fans.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Take a look at the scene here (via The Cauldron):

    Unfortunately, the emotion of KG's return may have had an adverse effect on the Timberwolves to start the game. The Wizards took an 11-1 lead over his first five minutes of action as the Wolves

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