VIDEO: Highlights from Thursday’s games
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Bosh, Heat exploring all medical options — Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh has been dealing with a blood clot issue in his leg and the circumstances surrounding his future with the team remains decidedly unclear. Bosh hasn’t played in a game since before the All-Star break (Feb. 9) and may or may not play again this season. As he and team officials try to figure out what’s next, they aren’t ruling out any possible treatments, writes Michael Wallace of ESPN.com :
Team president Pat Riley confirmed Thursday that Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh continues to seek medical evaluations for a condition that threatens to sideline him for the rest of the season.
“They are continuing to find ways and to explore options,” Riley said of Bosh and his representatives. “That’s probably the best way to deal with it. I’m not going to comment (further) right now.”
Riley was the first Heat official to address Bosh’s status since Miami’s leading scorer was held out of All-Star Weekend activities two weeks ago for what initially was disclosed as a calf strain.
This is the second time in the span of a year that Bosh, 31, could miss the second half of the season. Last season, Bosh missed the Heat’s final 30 games after it was discovered that a blood clot had traveled to his lungs. He was hospitalized a week after participating in the 2015 All-Star Game in New York.
Riley refused to speculate when asked specifically Thursday if he believed Bosh would return to play at some point this season for the Heat (32-25), who are fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
“I’m not a doctor,” Riley said. “I’m not going to comment on that.”
Heat players were initially optimistic that Bosh could return this season, but that sentiment has waned in recent days as teammates have spoken more about the prospects of finishing the season without him. Star guard Dwyane Wade, who is closer to Bosh than anyone on the team, said Bosh remains in good spirits as he contemplates his medical condition and basketball career.
“You have to ask him what he wants to do — that’s not my position,” Wade said Thursday. “As a friend of mine, all I care about his how he’s feeling in his everyday life. As far as health, he’s feeling good. He’s been around every day. He’s been positive. From there, it’s a decision he’s going to have to make.”
Stephen Curry could only laugh at the sight of banking in a half-court shot at the third-quarter buzzer in the Warriors’ 130-114 win against the Orlando Magic.
“That really isn’t supposed to happen,” Curry said, smiling. “I made a bunch of threes in the third quarter and then finished with that one. It was really funny to me.”
With Curry, everything is possible. He exploded for 51 points Thursday in a mind-bending performance that enabled the Warriors to improve their record to 52-5. In the process of putting together a 20-for-27 shooting performance, he made that half-court shot — one of his 10 3-pointers — seem easy.
“I don’t know that the record is that significant because it’s so simple,” coach Steve Kerr said. “A 3-point shot is like a layup. A half-court shot is like a 3-point shot. Steph, that’s just what he does. It’s to the point where we expect everything to go.
“The half-court shot, (assistant coach) Jarron Collins said after the game, ‘It was a rhythm shot. It just went in.’ Who else would you say that about? With Steph, it’s actually true.”
“I actually knew he’d hit that half-court shot,” Klay Thompson said. “I swear I did.”
Said Draymond Green: “I knew that one was going in. He hits that shot all the time.”
Curry notched his third 50-point game of the season, as he became the first Warriors player to have that many since Rick Barry in the 1973-74 season.
Even on the other side of the country, the Warriors were mobbed by fans after Curry’s outburst. They lingered for glimpses of Curry after the game as if he were a rock star. Curry handed his shoes to a team security guard to give to a child who had a sign asking for them because it was his birthday.
Curry had his own memento from the game, as he got the game ball after setting the 3-point record.
“Steph has unlimited confidence,” Kerr said. “He’s doing things that nobody’s ever done.”
No. 3: Rockets CEO dismisses talk of Harden meddling — In a story published yesterday on CBSSports.com, Ken Berger reported the Houston Rockets’ firing of coach Kevin McHale early on this season may have been caused by star James Harden pushing for it. Also in the story, Berger reports Harden tried to push GM Daryl Morey to trade fellow star Dwight Howard, too. In a rare interview with reporters, Rockets CEO Tad Brown vehemently shot down that talk, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
Rockets CEO Tad Brown vehemently disputed a report Thursday that guard James Harden pushed to have Kevin McHale fired as coach or lobbied to have Dwight Howard traded, calling recent reports “disappointing” and “bothersome.”
“I can tell you unequivocally being part of that management, those things never happened,” Brown said. “That’s frustrating. For whatever reason, it’s been consistent throughout this season as we struggle on the court to try to get things where we want them to be that people continue to take shots at our guys, take shots at our team with unnamed sources routinely providing that information.”
“Whether it is James supposedly came in and demanded there be a coaching change; that never happened. Whether it is Dwight came in and said he wanted to be traded; that never happened. These things come up and they take on a life of their own.
No. 4: Report: Wolves, Martin in buyout talks — The Minnesota Timberwolves gave one veteran guard on the roster a chance to sign with a playoff team before the March 1 deadline to do so, and may be doing so for another one. A day after waiving Andre Miller, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports the Wolves are deep in buyout talks with veteran Kevin Martin, who has been with the team since 2013-14 but hasn’t been in the playoffs since an 11-game run as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012-13:
Kevin Martin and the Minnesota Timberwolves are in advanced negotiations on a contract buyout, according to league sources.
Provided that the sides can reach a settlement before Tuesday’s midnight deadline, Martin will be eligible to play in the playoffs for his next team.
Martin would be another strong addition to the buyout market that has steadily formed in the wake of last week’s NBA trade deadline, joining Joe Johnson as an established scorer for playoff teams to pursue once he clears waivers.
Martin, 33, has also been used sparingly this season by the Wolves, who have fully focused on developing their young players in the wake of their inability to keep building on an 8-8 start.
Martin has long been regarded as a high-efficiency player with a propensity to get to the free throw line. He’s also a lifetime. 385 shooter from 3-point range who has averaged 17.6 points in 30.5 minutes per game over his 12-season career.
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and NBA legend Oscar Robertson are firing back and forth at each other over Stephen Curry … Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is a big advocate of the job Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts is doing … Why coach Brad Stevens may actually be the Boston Celtics’ best asset … Speaking of the Celtics, they reportedly approached the New York Knicks about a trade for Carmelo Anthony at the deadline a few weeks ago … Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough admits he made a mistake in trading Isaiah Thomas last season … San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is apparently a fan of analytics … How good could the Utah Jazz be when it’s all said and done?