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Jazz’s Rudy Gobert fined for criticizing officials



NEW YORK — Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Gobert made his comments to the media following the Jazz’s 102-100 loss to the Miami Heat on Dec. 2 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

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About Last Night: ‘Brooks’ confusion derails 3-team trade



In a bizarre scenario that had social media buzzing, a three-team trade that would have reportedly sent Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards apparently fell though due to a miscommunication between the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns.

The Grizzlies believed they were trading MarShon Brooks, while the Suns thought they were acquiring Dillon Brooks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski explains the confusion stemmed from the fact that Grizzlies and Suns did not communicate directly on the trade, using Washington as a conduit in coordinating the three-team deal.

The widely-reported trade ultimately fell through once it was apparent the two teams were talking about two different players.

Dillon Brooks took to Twitter to offer a funny response to the trade that never was.


Kings take moon shot at Curry

During the Warriors’ pregame introductions, a video appeared on the Golden 1 Center big screen of the first manned moon landing. It was a not-so-subtle jab at Stephen Curry, who sent social media into a tizzy earlier this week when he jokingly suggested on a podcast that the moon landing was faked.

As you can see, Curry appreciated the Kings’ next-level trolling.

As usual, Curry got the last laugh, scoring 35 points as the Warriors used 17-2 closing run to pull out a 130-125 victory.


Pacers withstand Embiid onslaught


Joel Embiid electrified Sixers fans with one of the best individual performances of the season.

The Indiana Pacers overcame a monster first half from Joel Embiid to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 113-101 in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders.

With Jimmy Butler out with a strained groin, Embiid was the 76ers’ offense, scoring 28 points and 14 rebounds in the first half. By comparison, the Pacers starters had 25 points and 11 rebounds at the break.

Embiid finished with 40 points and 21 rebounds, becoming the first Sixers player with at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game since Charles Barkley on Dec. 7, 1990.

Meanwhile, former Sixer Thaddeus Young scored a season-high 26 points as the Pacers extended their winning streak to six games.

Since Feb. 1, 2018, the Sixers are 32-4 at home, including 0-2 against the Pacers.


Heated exchange

In the final seconds of the Nuggets’ 109-98 testy win over the Thunder, Russell Westbrook and Jamal Murray pushed each other and argued after lining up next to each other for a jump ball.

Nikola Jokic tried to get between them, and Westbrook threatened to beat up Jokic while being restrained. No blows were exchanged, but Westbrook and Murray were each assessed a technical fouls.

Asked what led to the tussle with Jamal Murray, Westbrook said: “He was in my way.”


Emotional night

Hornets legend Muggsy Bogues started to tear up during a halftime ceremony where he was honored for his contribution to Charlotte basketball. The 5-foot-3 Bogues, drafted by the Hornets in 1988, played for the organization for 10 years.


Hustle points

It’s easy to see why Matthew Dellavedova is a fan favorite in Cleveland.

Dellavedova, reacquired last week from Milwaukee, dove into the scorers table saving a ball that was headed out of bounds in the second quarter and crashed into Fred McLeod, the Cavaliers’ television play-by-play man.

The collision sent both to the floor. Dellavedova climbed over the table and returned to action. McLeod was helped up and continued to call the game.


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Marvin Bagley III (knee) out at least 10-14 days



An MRI taken this evening on Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III revealed a left knee bone bruise. The rookie out of Duke left the game during second quarter action against the Golden State Warriors and did not return. He will be reevaluated in 10 to 14 days and an update will be provided at that time. 

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Reports: Wizards trade for Ariza called off after misunderstanding



Former NBA champion and valuable 3-and-D swingman Trevor Ariza was headed to Washington — until Phoenix and Memphis couldn’t agree on which Brooks would be dealt to the Suns.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic originally reported that the Suns, Wizards and Grizzlies had agreed on a multi-team deal that would send Ariza to Washington, Austin Rivers to Phoenix and Kelly Oubre to Memphis.

Later Friday evening, however, confusion grew as to whether Phoenix would acquire Marshon Brooks or Dillon Brooks (both currently with the Grizzlies) as part of the deal. 


The uncertainty surrounding this particular detail, Wojnarowski reports, could ultimately unravel the trade if Memphis and Phoenix cannot arrive to an agreement on which Brooks is to be dealt to the Suns.

Dillon Brooks is a 22-year-old guard taken in the second round of the 2017 Draft. Marshon Brooks is 29-year-old swingman who has played just 66 NBA games since 2013-14. The former was apparently too valuable to trade, as Memphis reportedly killed the deal roughly one hour after it was originally as all but complete.

Ariza previously played in Washington for two seasons (2012-14), and it was there he blossomed as a 3-point shooting specialist. The former second-round pick teamed up with John Wall and Bradley Beal to help the Wizards advance to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. After four years with Houston, Ariza signed a one-year deal with the young Suns during the 2018 offseason.

Phoenix, however, is dead-last in the West at 5-24 and in need of a point guard to play alongside Devin Booker. The Suns are a bottom-five team on both offense and defense while alternating between rookie point guards Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton.

Memphis, meanwhile, failed to acquire a versatile swingman at least for the time being. The 15th overall pick in 2015, Oubre is averaging a career-high 13.0 points per game, but will enter restricted free agency in 2019.

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