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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Basketball

Kyle Lowry calls play where he got injured ‘a little dirty’

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry left Monday night’s game against the New York Knicks after suffering an ankle injury, and he believes it could have been avoided if rookie Mitchell Robinson wasn’t playing so recklessly.

The injury occurred late in the third quarter, when Lowry grabbed a rebound and Robinson fouled him hard from behind. Lowry’s right ankle buckled awkwardly underneath him, and he was in obvious pain.

Fortunately, the injury is not believed to be serious. When asked about the play after the game, Lowry said he felt it was “a little bit dirty” but chalked it up to inexperience from Robinson.

It didn’t look like Robinson intentionally tried to drag Lowry down, but the foul seemed a bit unnecessary. While we’ve seen much harder fouls, those are plays that can probably be avoided.

Terry Rozier hits 76ers fan with sick burn

Terry Rozier

Terry Rozier hit out at a trolling Philadelphia 76ers fan over Twitter on Monday night.

A Sixers fan responded to a tweet from Rozier by saying that the 76ers would hand the Celtics a loss when the two teams meet on Wednesday. Rozier saw that and answered the fan, swatting him down with a serious comeback.

Have the Celtics dominated the 76ers as badly as Rozier says they have? He’s not far off.

Boston has beaten Philly in four straight playoff series and hasn’t lost to them in a playoff series since 1982. Since the 2014-2015 NBA season, the Celtics have gone 17-2 against the 76ers in the regular season. That’s not quite as far back as when Allen Iverson was playing for them, but it’s still enough to get Rozier’s point across.

Spurs have one of most incredible stats you will see in sports

Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs have been good for a very, very long time under future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich, but one stat may highlight their incredible run over the past 20 years better than any other.

The Spurs won their 42nd game of the year against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, which means they are guaranteed to have yet another winning season. They have barely ever been below .500 since just after Popovich took over the team, and no other team even comes remotely close in that department.

That’s right, there have been just over two months total that the Spurs have featured a losing record in the past 20-plus years. The next closest is the Houston Rockets, and they are a distant, distant, distant second.

As you might expect, the Spurs have not missed the postseason since that time. Despite the significant changes they have gone through with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retiring and Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker leaving, they are once again playoff bound this year and are currently the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

Popovich may rub people the wrong with the way he treats the media, but there’s no debating he is one of the best coaches in NBA — and all of sports — history. In terms of championships and sustained success, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are the only other franchise that compares.

Chauncey Billups gives Paul Pierce grief over Isaiah Thomas situation

Paul Pierce

Monday was Isaiah Thomas’ time to finally receive the recognition from Boston Celtics fans that he deserved. It also opened up an opportunity for Chauncey Billups to bring up a sore spot with one of his colleagues.

You may recall that last year Paul Pierce blocked Thomas from receiving a video tribute upon a trip to Boston because it would take some attention away from Pierce, who was being honored with his jersey retirement that day. The end result is that Thomas didn’t receive his tribute until Monday, a year and a half after his trade away from the Celtics.

The video tribute went well and ended with a standing ovation for Thomas at TD Garden.

Billups, an analyst at ESPN, had some fun rehashing the past with Pierce. Watch:

Pierce hogging the spotlight the day of his jersey retirement was his prerogative and a right he earned, but it rubbed some the wrong way. Billups had some fun bringing that back up again.

Kobe Bryant supports trading young Lakers for Anthony Davis

Kobe Bryant

You won’t hear any opposition from Kobe Bryant when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of Anthony Davis.

Bryant spoke with Spanish outlet AS for an interview that was published on Friday as part of his role as an ambassador for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. In one of the questions, he was asked about the Lakers’ trade pursuit of Davis. Bryant said that Davis is one of the best NBA players in history and worth trading several young players for.

Here was his answer to a question about the team trying to trade for Davis (via Google Translate and Showtime Forum).

“Kuzma, Lonzo, Ingram … Are all three better than Anthony Davis? No no!. Ciao! Bye! Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the world. Not from now, from history. What are we talking about? If you can sign Anthony Davis, you do it. If not, agree. We have three players who are very young and who work hard. They are intelligent and must be developed. But if you can sign Anthony Davis … yes!”

This sort of attitude from Bryant should not be the least bit surprising. Recall that several years ago he was asked about the Lakers’ pursuit of Jason Kidd. Some in the front office did not want to trade Andrew Bynum for Kidd, whereas Kobe said on video the Lakers should “ship his a– out” regarding Bynum, if it meant getting Kidd.

Kobe won three championships with Shaq and demanded a trade unless the Lakers upgraded their roster, which they did by adding Pau Gasol, leading to two more titles. He knows as well as anyone how important it is to have star players if you want to win a championship.

H/T Showtime Forum

Watch: Mavs fans go crazy after Dirk passes Wilt

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki has added another accomplishment to what was already one of the great careers in NBA history.

Nowitzki came into Monday’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans seventh on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, four points behind Wilt Chamberlain. It didn’t take long for the Mavericks legend to move up a spot.

Early in the first quarter, Nowitzki hit a jumper from above the free-throw line to give him 31,420 points. During the first stoppage in play, fans at American Airlines Center went crazy for their beloved star.

Here is the video tribute that played for him:

Next up on the list is Michael Jordan, who scored 32,292 points. While it’s unlikely Nowitzki will surpass Jordan, he has put together a career that will likely end with him being called the greatest European-born player in NBA history.

Watch: Isaiah Thomas gets standing ovation after tribute video

Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas returned to TD Garden in Boston on Monday and finally received the tribute he wanted.

The Celtics played a tribute to Thomas a few minutes into the first quarter of their game against the Denver Nuggets. The tribute video included highlights from Thomas’ plays on the court for the Celtics; clips of interviews he had done; his community work; and even talked about playing through the death of his sister.

The Nuggets guard was clearly moved by the video, not to mention the warm reception from the fans, who gave him a standing ovation.

The video and reception probably makes up for the whole fiasco surrounding Thomas’ departure and the original video tribute controversy. The Celtics trading him after a season where he averaged a career-high 28.9 points per game, was named to the All-Star team, and led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals, did not sit well with many. Then there was the whole issue about Paul Pierce not wanting a video tribute to Thomas playing on the day when he was supposed to be honored. Plus, former Celtics players threw shade at Thomas on top of things.

Ultimately, Thomas got the video and reception he deserved based on what he did for the team. He seemed to appreciate the love and recognition.