Warriors

Doc Rivers: 'Not cool' for Cavs to rest LeBron for primetime game

Doc Rivers: 'Not cool' for Cavs to rest LeBron for primetime game

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LOS ANGELES -- When the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to rest LeBron JamesKyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the same game, they also provided a welcome boost to the Los Angeles Clippers, who got to sit their own starters for the entire fourth quarter of a predictably one-sided victory.

The fans paying for high-priced Staples Center seats, or tuning in for a national television game between title contenders?

They all lost out, thanks to the unsavory choices prompted by the NBA's demanding schedule.

Blake Griffin scored 23 points and the Clippers snapped their three-game losing streak with a 108-78 win over Cleveland on Saturday night.

But the Clippers' domination of the Cavs' supporting cast added another chapter to the NBA's long-running debate on rest. Coaches are increasingly choosing caution over competitiveness, and both Cleveland's Tyronn Lue and Los Angeles' Doc Rivers expressed ambivalence about the choice Lue felt he had to make.

"There is a fan base that probably bought tickets tonight to see LeBron James play for the first time," said Rivers, who rested Griffin on Thursday. "They didn't get a chance to see that, and that's not cool."

The crowd hated Lue's decision, reacting with confusion when the starting lineups were announced and then booing James when he joined the Cavs on the bench early in the first quarter. "We Want LeBron!" chants were taken up by much of the crowd on several occasions.

"I heard," Lue said. "I wanted him, too."

Lue said Love already was scheduled to sit out this game in his comeback from left knee surgery, and Irving left Thursday's game at Utah early with tightness in his own left knee. With the Cavs beginning a stretch of eight games in 14 days, Lue also decided to rest James instead of allowing him to play without his full supporting cast.

"It's a long season, and a lot of games," Lue said. "We have a lot of back-to-back games. Everybody has. Four in five nights are tough. Five in seven are tough. ... But it's been going on for years. It's not the first time we've done it. I think coaches are taking responsibility, trying to look after their players, make sure they get the proper rest."

James didn't speak to reporters before heading out into the Hollywood night, but Lue said the superstar didn't like the decision. Lue said his three stars all will return Sunday night against the woeful Lakers.

CLIPS CRUISE:
The result was not surprising - and perhaps just what the Clippers needed to shake up their team in a humdrum March. Los Angeles (41-29) had lost six of 10, and Oklahoma City is a half-game behind the Clippers for fifth place in the Western Conference.

J.J. Redick added 16 points as the Clippers swept their season series with the Cavs. Griffin poured in 13 points in the third quarter while Los Angeles pulled away.

"Playing against the best is the reason everyone wants to play in the NBA," Griffin said. "But at the same time, we'll take all of these wins. It's a bit of both. Not clear-cut one way or the other."

THE LEFTOVERS:
Channing Frye, Deron Williams and J.R. Smith started for Cleveland in the stars' place along with Iman Shumpert and Tristan Thompson. All five starters hit double figures.

The Cavaliers (45-22) have lost five of eight, but still lead Boston by 1 1/2 games atop the Eastern Conference. Richard Jefferson scored 12 to lead the Cavs in their lowest-scoring game of the season.

NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME:
For the second straight week, ABC's showcase Saturday night game was dampened by a coach's decision to sit his best players. Golden State's Steve Kerr sat Stephen CurryKlay ThompsonDraymond Green and Andre Iguodala for a showdown with San Antonio last week.

Rivers said the Saturday national games used to be protected against these problems because their afternoon starts prevented a team from being forced to play Friday night. The showcase is now an evening game.

"I think that we have to protect the national games," Rivers said. "We have to treat those games like they're afternoon games, and you don't play the night before, and you don't play the next night after. It sounds so easy, but it is not, because it's hard to schedule around that. It makes the rest of the schedule harder ... but the look of (these last two) back-to-back ABC national games is not good."

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Shumpert played after spraining his left shoulder Thursday. ... Kyle Korver also missed his sixth straight game with a foot injury. Lue still hopes he can play on this road trip.

Clippers: Rivers flatly rejected a widely reported rumor of a possible reunion with the Orlando Magic: "I have a past with the Magic. I have no future. My future is here." Rivers coached the Magic from 1999-03. ... Chris Paul went 0 for 8 from the floor, but had seven assists.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Clippers: Host the New York Knicks on Monday.

Kevin Durant: 'Whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail'

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AP

Kevin Durant: 'Whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail'

There are some people out there who are still extremely bitter about Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder for the Warriors.

An eighth grade Spanish teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma issued a handout on the first day of school.

Part of it read:

DON'T BE A ... Kevin Durant
KD left the OKC Thunder last summer after falling to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Following the end of the season, he decided it was in his best interest to join the very same team that had just knocked him out of the playoffs. Don't be like KD. Don't take the easy way out. Things like cheating, plagiarizing, and copying your friends homework may not seem like a big deal now but they are building habits that can significantly hinder you later in life. Additionally, always strive to finish what you've started. Half-finished homework is unfinished homework. Don't try to turn in an assignment if you have not done what is necessary and expected.

DO BE A ... Michael Jordan
MJ! The GOAT! 6 championships, 4 MVPs. Yadda yadda. The greatest thing this man ever did? Saving the Looney Tunes from a lifetime of servitude to an alien race. Did MJ take the easy way out? Did he ever back down from a challenge? NO! Be like Mike. Learning a new language is a challenging thing and parts of this year are going to be...

And then the words get cut off.

Well, Kevin Durant got wind of this and responded on Twitter:

If anything happens to this teacher, we will let you know...

Andre Iguodala falls short in 'Best off the Bench' award

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USATI

Andre Iguodala falls short in 'Best off the Bench' award

According to NBA players, Andre Iguodala is not the best sixth man in the league.

On Friday morning, Lou Williams was recognized as the "Best off the Bench" player.

At the inaugural NBA Awards Show in late June, Iguodala finished runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year race to Rockets guard Eric Gordon.

Iguodala received 43 first-place votes, 34 second-place votes and nine third-place votes.

Gordon registered 46 first-place votes, 40 second-place votes and eight third-place votes.

Williams was a very distant third with five third-place votes, 10 second-place votes and 15 third-place votes.

He averaged 18.6 points and 3.2 assists over 58 games with the Lakers last season, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from deep.

In 23 regular season games with the Rockets, Williams averaged 14.9 points and 2.4 assists on 38.6 percent shooting overall and just below 32 percent from 3-point territory.

Against the Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, Williams struggled to the tune of 7.3 points per game. He shot 35 percent from the floor and below 18 percent from distance.

Iguodala played arguably his best game of the season in Game 5 of the NBA Finals -- 20 points (9 for 14 FG), four rebounds and three assists.

For the series, his +60 mark led the Warriors by a comfortable margin (Draymond Green +30, Kevin Durant +33, Steph Curry +30, Klay Thompson +22).

Iguodala was rewarded with a 3-year, $48 million contract this summer.

I doubt he cares whatsoever about falling short for this award...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller