Warriors overpowered by Howard, Magic, fall 117-109


Warriors overpowered by Howard, Magic, fall 117-109

OAKLAND The Warriors scored the first nine points of the game. but the Orlando Magic scored the final eight, giving them a comeback win at Oracle Arena. The Warriors, who were coming off an overtime win against Miami, now head out onto the road for a four-game road trip beginning Saturday in Charlotte.Magic 117, Warriors 109Star of the game:Dwight Howard finished the game with 45 points and 23 rebounds as the Warriors spent a portion of the game fouling him intentionally.
When the Warriors werent fouling him on purpose, they were fouling him because they had to. Howard set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a game against the Warriors with 39. His final line looked like this: 12-for-21 from the field, 21-for-29 from the foul line.I think he was in a pretty good rhythm all night, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. The guy missed 18 free throws. I can understand people thinking: Why? But dont get caught up in the free throws. Think about when we didnt foul him. Dunks, hooks at the rim. Hes a great player and hes a bad free throw shooter. We were giving ourselves the best chance possible. We tried to mess up their rhythm, take their 3-point shooters out of it. Which we did.Key stretch: The Warriors and Magic were tied 109-109 with 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Howard followed up a Hedo Turkoglu miss and turned it into a 3-point play. Then Monta Ellis, who finished with 30 points and 11 assists, missed a 3-pointer and Von Wafer knocked down a triple at the other end. That made it a six-point game with half-a-minute remaining and that was that.Record-setting night: At various points the Warriors intentionally fouled Orlando Dwight Howard. At other times, they simply fouled him hard to stop inside moves. Then other times, he was fouled normally.All this fouling resulted in Howard going to the line 39 times, which set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a game. Wilt Chamberlain, playing for Philadelphia, took 34 free throws in a game against St. Louis on Feb. 22, 1962.Jackson said afterward he wouldnt have fouled Howard as much if Kwame Brown were healthy. Brown suffered a tear in his chest muscle against Miami on Tuesday and will miss approximately three months.Intentional fouling: Warriors coach Mark Jackson intentionally fouled Dwight Howard on several possessions in the second quarter. While the Warriors lead dwindled over that period, it wasnt because Howard was knocking down his free throws.It was because the Warriors didnt use the strategy consistently and got caught twice not fouling when they had been instructed to do so. Howard finished the first half with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but he was just 9-for-18 from the foul line.Curry update: : Warriors general manager Larry Riley talked to point guard Stephen Curry on Thursday and said Curry was working out back in Charlotte.He was actually able to do some shooting, Riley said. We wont know for sure how far he responded. Were probably another day away from putting some kind of timeline from when we expect him back. I think well have a better feel (Friday).Curry has missed the past four games with a sprained right ankle. He sustained the injury on Jan. 4 against the Spurs.

John Wall commits to Wizards long term with huge contract extension


John Wall commits to Wizards long term with huge contract extension

The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.

Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.

Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.

The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.

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Kevin Love closes Twitter response with 'now go kick some rocks'


Kevin Love closes Twitter response with 'now go kick some rocks'

On Friday afternoon, news broke that Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavs.

Shortly thereafter, a Twitter account with over 296,000 followers tweeted the following:

[RATTO: Kyrie Irving needs to be traded to one place, and one place only]

A little over an hour later, Kevin Love responded:

On Tuesday night, Irving told Sports Illustrated the Cavs are "in a very peculiar place."

In the weeks between Cleveland's Game 5 loss to the Warriors and the start of free agency, Love was reportedly on the trading block.

The Cavs and GM David Griffin "mutually" parted ways three days before the NBA Draft.

Cleveland is finally finalizing a deal with assistant GM Coby Altman to become the permanent general manager, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

LeBron James can opt out and become a free agent next summer, and there is already speculation about where he may go.

Man. The last six weeks in Cleveland have been wild...

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