Oladipo scores 21, Pacers hold on to beat Bucks 103-96


The Indiana Pacers can finally smile on their four-game road swing.

Grinding out a 103-96 win over the Milwaukee Bucks erased the bitter taste of back-to-back defeats to 40-loss teams Atlanta and Dallas during the first two stops on the trip.

Victor Oladipo had 21 points to lead the Pacers, who held on after nearly blowing a 17-point lead in the middle of a mistake-laden fourth quarter Friday night.

Recently, the Heat have been the worst matchup in the league for small forwards, allowing just around 20 fantasy points per game to the position. It’s a small slate, but there are several other appealing options at SF, starting with LeBron James — the only true star on the schedule — but also including affordable options like DeMarre Carroll, Robert Covington, Nemanja Bjelica and Josh Richardson, not to mention the bargain Justin Jackson.

Wiggins has not surpassed four combined assists and rebounds in four of his past five games, proof his game is somewhat hollow past his penchant for putting up a lot of shots. Even with Butler sidelined, I don’t project Wiggins to enjoy a jump in any statistical category other than scoring. At similar pricing, I’d prefer Brandon Ingram, who has averaged more than five assists over the past five games.

Nick Friedell: The Bulls have been very cautious not to even breathe the word “tank.” The front office is very sensitive to the situation, especially after Mavericks coach Mark Cuban was fined 600K after his recent comments.

So the guess here is that unless LaVine and Dunn suffer an injury, it will be business as usual for the Bulls, as they hope the pair continue to find a rhythm on the floor. The Bulls have made it clear that LaVine will not play on both ends of back-to-backs, but it’s hard to see them sitting him completely and not getting a call from the league office.

Unlike veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday, both of whom have been healthy scratches several times since the All-Star break, LaVine is a huge part of the Bulls’ core moving forward.

Rockets: Gordon returned after missing four games, one to a sore knee Cheap Jerseys World and the last three due to an illness. … D’Antoni, on any spillover of hard feelings from the chippy Jan. 15 meeting with the Clippers, when several Rockets tried to enter the Clippers’ locker room from a back corridor that resulted in two-game suspensions for Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green: “That doesn’t Cheap Kids NHL Jerseys play any part in it. They’re all grown men. They know better.”

Irving’s desire to move out from under James’ shadow isn’t new.


Had the Cavaliers done that, they could have quelled Irving’s desires to move on from the organization or been proactive in finding him another home. Now, they’re stuck Cheap Jonathan Toews Jerseys looking for suitors for Irving and trying to find something close to an equal return.

Plus, Irving’s desire to move out from under James’ shadow isn’t new. He reportedly thought about requesting a trade after the Cavs won the NBA Finals last year. The Cavaliers failed to keep tabs on that situation, and they’re paying for it now.

Such are the perils of organizational dysfunction. The Cavaliers went into this offseason with no stability. They had no general manager during the NBA draft and the crucial parts of NBA free agency. Their best player remains coy on his commitment beyond next season and, now, their most explosive offensive weapon wants out. Now they’re scrambling to pick up the pieces.

Meanwhile, any Cavaliers trade probably needs to involve a third team or Kevin Love. In other words, this is going to be a wildly difficult quest in any case.

But the first step in finding a new home for Melo is getting Cheap Kids NHL Jerseys past the no-trade. So maybe there’s a chance.

Reminder: NBA free agent signing tracker and NBA free agent and trade rumor tracker.

The Nuggets won the Paul Millsap sweepstakes, giving the big man three years and $90 million. That means that Danilo Gallinari is assuredly gone — the Clippers look like the best guess for him — and Kenneth Faried is likely trade bait. What about free agent Mason Plumlee, for whom Denver just gave up a first-round pick and Jusuf Nurkic? Good question!

Millsap to the Denver means that the Timberwolves’ hunt for a power forward went a different direction, and that direction is familiarity: Minnesota signed Taj Gibson to a lucrative two-year deal, reuniting him with Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler.

Stephen Jackson says Gregg Popovich told him he had to quit smoking weed to join Spurs


Stephen Jackson and Gregg Popovich are straight shooters.

Just ask Cap’n Jack, now a popular NBA analyst on ESPN, what he thinks of current Nets wingman DeMarre Carroll’s comments about the Raptors, his former employer, or bring up President Donald Trump around the Spurs coach.

Knowing that, it’s no surprise Popovich’s pitch to Jackson was as clear cut as they come when the two crossed paths back in 2001. Popovich knew he could use the 6-8, 220-pound Port Arthur, Texas native, but he also knew there was one obstacle keeping San Antonio from acquiring Jackson’s services.

Jackson, who played with the Spurs in Summer League after spending his rookie season in New Jersey, recently relayed the story on the “Ryen Russillo Show” on ESPN Radio.

It was a tough time for the entire family and one situation that LaVar Ball wasn’t aching to talk about, but the way Lonzo reacted when asked about his mother did show that he is a little more reserved than his father.

“She can’t really talk right now,” Lonzo told ESPN in May. “But she definitely knows what we’re saying, and she smiles all the time. So that’s a good thing.”

But hopefully there are some good things coming in Tina’s recovery. The Ball’s have said she has been making progress and many got to see that progress firsthand Thursday as she made her first public appearance since suffering her stroke in February.

LaMelo Ball and the Big Ballers AAU team went on to win Thursday night, 101-94.

In the meantime Lonzo dropped his second triple-double Cheap Kids NHL Jerseys of the New York Giants Cheap Jerseys summer in the Lakers’ win over the Cavaliers in the summer league.