Dirk leads Mavs over Lee, Warriors


Dirk leads Mavs over Lee, Warriors

Mavericks 112, Warriors 103Player of the game: Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 27 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a victory over the Warriors at Oracle. Nowitzki went 10-for-23 from the floor, but made the big shots to stave off a Warriors rally in the fourth quarter.If you want to nit-pick Nowitzkis game, consider this: He had only one rebound.Halftime I was disappointed in our effort, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. It was our seventh game in 12 days. Physically I can understand we were drained but thats no excuse. For some reason we were a step behind on every play defensively.Thompsons night: Warriors rookie shooting guard Klay Thompson finished with 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. The assists and rebounds were career-highs.It was impressive, him crashing the boards, Jackson said. His size and athletic ability I thought he started out battling but his feet were in quicksand. But he bounced back and had a great all-around game.Key stretch: The Warriors, who had trailed by as many as 19 points, made a big-time second half run and pulled within 89-86 with nine minutes remaining.But Dallas promptly went on a 10-2 run to re-establish control, and wound up winning going away.Turnover issues: Sixteen turnovers may not seem like a lot and in the grand scheme of things might not be but it was too many on this night.It wasnt just the turnovers, its what they subsequently led to Dallas buckets. The Mavericks turned those miscues into 24 points for the game.Forward David Lee had five of those turnovers, continuing a recent trend of a touch of carelessness. Lee has 33 turnovers in his past eight games.Lee did lead the Warriors with 30 points and eight rebounds.Everybody is in: The Mavericks led the Warriors 63-49 at halftime and it was difficult to find a Dallas player who wasnt in on it. Ten Mavericks scored in the first half, and they were led by Dirk Nowtizki with 13 points.Rodrigue Beaubois added 11 first-half points.Wright on: Former Warrior Brandan Wright has a nice role with the Mavericks and he showed it off at Oracle.Wright entered Thursdays game averaging 6.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. Wright played more minutes than that against the Warriors, and it was easy to see why.Wright played 14 first-half minutes and had 12 points and six rebounds in that time.Wright finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes.Bollywood night: The Warriors held their second annual Bollywood night on Thursday, a celebration of Indian culture and tradition. Warriors vice chairman Vivek Ranadive was responsible for putting evening together.Ranadive is the only Indian owner of an NBA team.

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.

Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.

On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.

While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.

James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.

At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.

There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.

Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.

Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.

Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?

And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?

On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.

There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.

But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.

And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.