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Post Up: Devonte’ Graham Sinks Hornets’ Second-Straight Game-Winner 🚨


Nets 117 (5-7), Bulls 111 (4-9)

The Kyrie-less Nets managed to drop 43 points in the fourth quarter to pull off the road win.

Joe Harris dropped 22 points with 8 dimes and had a +16 plus/minus. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 20 of his team-high 24 points during the fourth.

Bucks 102 (9-3), Pacers 83 (7-6)

Milwaukee took care of business against a depleted Pacers squad.

Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped a game-high 26 points with 13 boards, 6 dimes and had +19 plus/minus.

Hornets 103 (6-7), Knicks 102 (3-10)

The Knicks looked like they were on their way to their fourth win of the season, but a red-hot Devonte’ Graham ripped their hearts out with a game-winning three.

Graham dropped a game-high 29 points, including 9 threes.

Rockets 125 (10-3), Wolves 105 (7-6)

The game was close until the fourth quarter, when Houston outscored the Andrew Wiggins-less Wolves by 12 points.

James Harden dropped 49 points on an insane 41 shot attempts (22 three-point attempts), finishing with a +16 plus/minus.

The Rockets have now won 7 straight.

Pelicans 94 (3-9), Heat 109 (9-3)

Miami took care of business against a depleted Pelicans team.

Jimmy Butler dropped 16 points, with 13 dimes and 8 boards, finishing with a +22 plus/minus. Bam Adebayo added 18 points with 14 rebounds. Kendrick Nunn dropped a team-high 22 points.

Raptors 102 (8-4), Mavs 110 (7-5)

Up 14 points mid-way through the fourth quarter, the Mavericks nearly blew the entire lead, but ultimately was able to hang on.

Luka Doncic dropped a game-high 26 points with 15 boards and 7 dimes.

Blazers 121 (5-8), Spurs 116 (5-8)

Down by 15 points early the third quarter, the Spurs would go on a run of their own after Gregg Popovich was tossed from the game. San Antonio would take a 15-point lead in the fourth, but Portland rallied back to regain the lead.

Damian Lillard dropped 22 points with 6 dimes, finishing with a +18 plus/,minus. CJ McCollum added a game-high 32 points with 7 dimes.

After the heartbreaking loss, San Antonio has now lost 5 straight.

Hawks 101 (4-8), Clippers 150 (8-5)

The Clippers simply couldn’t be stopped, as the TEAM shot 53.8/51.5/94.3 splits for the entire game.

In just his second game this season, Paul George dropped 37 points, scoring the most points of any Clipper in his home debut. PG would finished with a +28 plus/minus.

Ryne Nelson is a Senior Editor at SLAM. Follow him on Twitter @slaman10.





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A week into the college basketball season, Evansville pulls off upset of the year


Last season, Evansville won 11 games and lost in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Voters in the league’s preseason poll this year picked the Purple Aces to finish eighth in the conference standings.

On Tuesday, however, Evansville upset No. 1 Kentucky on the road.

College basketball is back.

Three things from Tuesday

Evansville is the story of the night after upset over No. 1 team

Evansville just pulled off the regular season’s version of No. 16 UMBC’s victory over No. 1 Virginia in the 2018 NCAA tournament. After his team’s loss to Evansville, John Calipari admitted that second-year coach Walter McCarty, a star on the 1995-96 Kentucky team that won a national title under Rick Pitino, “outcoached” him.



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Eric Gordon To Miss Six Weeks After Knee Procedure


The Houston Rockets will be without shooting guard Eric Gordon for six weeks as he braces to undergo a knee procedure, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

The guard will have the procedure to clean things up after an MRI revealed that he had significant debris in his knee, Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic adds.

The absence, which would keep Gordon on the sidelines until around Christmas, will test the Rockets’ second unit. While Gordon has averaged just 10.9 points per game so far this season, he averaged north of 16 in 2018-19.

The 30-year-old will sacrifice a sizable chunk of the 2019-20 campaign to finally address an issue that head coach Mike D’Antoni says has been troubling him since the middle of last year.

Gordon will fail to play 70 games this season, his 10th time missing the mark in 12 seasons.





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Kentucky Wildcats loss to Evansville won’t necessarily hurt in March


No sooner was the headline written — Get used to Kentucky at No. 1 — than the words “kiss of death” crossed my mind.

College basketball is too unpredictable, with so many more games determined by younger and younger players, for anything to last very long. Even the vaunted and generally infallible ESPN Power Rankings are apparently a little more fallible than we thought.

Here are two quick reactions from the not-even-ready-for-the-season Bracket Bunker: One, it’s the second week of November and we never used to play games this early. So we all need to take a deep breath.

And, two, the emergence of year-round Bracketology — I know, it’s my fault! — dictates there be an immediate consequence when top-ranked Kentucky falls to an Evansville team that hasn’t had a top-50 win since the first day of 2015 against Northern Iowa. In nonconference games, the Purple Aces haven’t knocked off a top-50 foe since winning at Butler in November 2011.

As for the Wildcats, let’s remember they are already the third preseason No. 1 seed to lose in barely a week’s worth of action. Kentucky took out former No. 1 overall Michigan State in the opening night Champions Classic, and Duke did the same to fellow top-liner Kansas in the same doubleheader.

What does it all mean for the next bracket update on Nov. 15? Michigan State and Kansas, barring additional wreckage, will remain No. 1 seeds. Both lost on a neutral court to the highest possible level of competition.

Kentucky, meanwhile, will drop off the top line despite owning the aforementioned victory over the Spartans. Before Big Blue Nation arrives in protest, remember Bracketology always values “body of work” over head-to-head results. The loss to sub-150 Evansville hurts considerably more than a marquee win helps, even one over the No. 1 team. The latter is considered a 50-50 game, and the loss is analytically inexplicable.

But the sun will come up in Lexington. The season is in no way lost. A No. 1 seed for Big Blue remains very attainable, even the No. 1 overall seed. No one in the Commonwealth should tear up their Final Four tickets.

The most similar loss in recent times came a little less than two years ago when North Carolina fell in Chapel Hill to a rising Wofford program. Those Tar Heels dropped a line or two in the short run but managed to recover enough for a No. 2 seed on Selection Sunday. And that was a fairly pedestrian Carolina team, 26-11 overall and tied for third in the ACC.

This Kentucky team is better than that North Carolina team, and the Wildcats will probably begin proving it as soon as John Calipari regains their attention. Meanwhile, we can all assume there will be many more projected top seeds to lose between now and March.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.



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The ‘Alien’ Yeezy Boost 380 is Now Live on StockX


The “Alien” Yeezy Boost 380 is now available on StockX.

Originally the Yeezy Boost 350 V3, Ye’s newest silhouette in his Three Stripes line was given its own name. The sneaker, which features the same shape as the 350s, comes with a never-before-seen PrimeKnit pattern on the upper and doesn’t come with the popular lateral side strip. There’s also an upgraded Boost midsole and an engineered outsole grip that adds the finishing touches on the sneaker.

The Price Premium (over original retail price) is at 239.1% and has an average sale price of $722. Hit StockX to grab your pair.





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Kentucky Wildcats get commitment from No. 22 recruit Isaiah Jackson


Five-star forward Isaiah Jackson committed to Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, giving the Wildcats their fourth five-star prospect in the 2020 class.

John Calipari’s program now has the inside track to the No. 1 recruiting class in 2020, which would be the first time since 2016 that the Wildcats had the top class in the country. Prior to last year, Kentucky had a top-two recruiting class every year since Calipari took over in Lexington in 2009.

Jackson chose Kentucky over Alabama and Syracuse. He had one of the more difficult five-star recruitments to read, with very little information coming out of his circle and the schools involved in the dark as to his final destination. Jackson took official visits to all three schools during the fall.

A 6-foot-9 power forward from Waterford Mott High School (Michigan), Jackson is ranked No. 22 in the ESPN 100. He’s the No. 4 player at his position. Jackson averaged 10.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks for The Family Detroit grassroots program on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and summer. He’s considered one of the best shot-blockers in the 2020 class and is continuing to improve on the offensive end.

Kentucky now has six players in the fold for 2020, following Jackson’s commitment and point guard Devin Askew‘s decision to officially reclassify from the 2021 class into 2020. Askew signed his letter of intent earlier this week, making his long-rumored move official. Along with Jackson and Askew, the Wildcats have five-star wings B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke, as well as top-50 prospects Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher.

Calipari knew he needed a big 2020 class, and he went out and did most of his work early in the cycle. Boston committed immediately after the end of the July live period, while Fletcher followed shortly after. Ware announced for the Wildcats in mid-September, and Clarke decided to reclassify and commit two days later. Askew and Jackson could round things out for Kentucky’s class, although the Wildcats could also decide to stay in the mix for top-10 prospect Greg Brown.



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D’Angelo Russell Out At Least Two Weeks With Thumb Injury


The Golden State Warriors have been dealt yet another blow as the organization reveals that D’Angelo Russell will miss at least two weeks after suffering a sprained thumb.

The 23-year-old has injured the right thumb just weeks after returning to the court following an ankle sprain. In the ten games that he has played so far this season, Russell has averaged 24.3 points and 6.7 assists per game.

Russell injured the thumb during their Friday night game against the Boston Celtics and an MRI revealed the sprain. Russell won’t travel with the team on their upcoming road trip.





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Georgia Tech appealing postseason ban, recruiting limits


ATLANTA — Georgia Tech has formally appealed sanctions levied by the NCAA against its men’s basketball program.

The ACC school announced its notice of appeal last month and filed its written arguments with the governing body Friday.

Georgia Tech is appealing a ban on postseason play this season as well as scholarship reductions and limits on official visits.

The NCAA ruled in September that major recruiting violations were committed by one of head coach Josh Pastner’s former assistants, Darryl LaBarrie, as well as an ex-friend, Ron Bell.

Pastner was not directly named in the NCAA’s findings and was largely cleared in the school’s investigation.

In its appeal, Georgia Tech contends the penalties are based in significant part on an improper aggravating factor. It also says the four-year scholarship reduction penalty is arbitrary and says the Committee on Infractions did not properly consider NCAA regulations when imposing limits on recruiting visits during home games over the next two seasons.

“It is our strong belief that the severity of the penalties imposed has a direct and unfair impact on current student-athletes,” athletic director Todd Stansbury said in a statement. “As our legal team prepared our appeal, it also became clear that the application of the penalties was unprecedented.”

Stansbury said the school reported the violations to the NCAA as soon as it learned of them and put its own sanctions in place.

“I am looking forward to us continuing to vigorously contest these penalties on behalf of our student-athletes,” he said.

The NCAA said LaBarrie gave $300 to a highly touted prospect for a visit to an Atlanta strip club and arranged for him to meet with a former Georgia Tech athlete who played for the Atlanta Hawks, an apparent reference to Jarrett Jack.

Joel Maturi, the chief hearing officer for the NCAA’s infractions committee, said the use of a strip club for recruiting purposes was especially disturbing.

“It goes without saying that we as a committee firmly believe that adult entertainment has no place in college sports,” he said in September.

The committee said Bell provided two players and a potential transfer athlete with $2,424 in shoes, clothes, meals, transportation and lodging.

Georgia Tech did not appeal the entire NCAA ruling, which included the forfeiture of all wins in which ineligible players were used, a fine of $5,000 plus 2% of the program’s budget, and additional limits on recruiting.

Some of the allegations were made public during the 2016-17 season, Pastner’s first year at Georgia Tech. LaBarrie was placed on leave early that season and resigned in February 2017.

Two former players, Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson, were suspended for six and three games, respectively, for accepting benefits, including apparel, meals and transportation.



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Kristaps Porzingis Shrugs Off Boos from Knicks Fans


Kristaps Porzingis was showered with a torrent of verbal abuse Thursday night by Knicks fans in his first game at Madison Square Garden as an opponent, and the big fella claims he was unaffected by the boos and taunts.

“I heard it of course. It was pretty loud,” Porzingis told reporters.

Marcus Morris hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining to secure New York’s 106-103 win against the Dallas Mavericks.

Per The AP:

“I get it around this league,” Knicks forward Marcus Morris said, “but it was a different level.”

Kristaps Porzingis couldn’t even hide from the taunts during the national anthem.

“I wouldn’t say it affected me,” Porzingis said. “I heard it of course. It was pretty loud. But I tried to play my game, stay focused and not think too much about what’s going on on the outside.”

Porzingis has declined to talk about what caused the deterioration of his relationship with the team, so he understood why there would be such a harsh reception.

“It’s what they know. It’s what they’ve heard,” he said. “It is what it is. We came here to win a game and we’re frustrated we didn’t get it done.”

Related Kristaps Porzingis Regrets Knicks ‘Never Really Got to Do Something Big’





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Duke’s Tre Jones thrives in win; flop rule starting to flop


There were no marquee top-25 matchups in college basketball on Friday, but several premier programs were in action. Duquesne and Lipscomb had a historically bad night shooting from the perimeter; Monmouth’s George Papas taunted Kansas players despite a 53-point deficit; BYU won at the buzzer when TJ Haws‘ shot hit the front rim and bounced in; and Auburn point guard J’Von McCormick set a school record with 16 assists.

But here were the top things to know Friday night and moving forward:

3 things from Friday

Tre Jones is a star in his own right

As a freshman last season, Duke’s Tre Jones established himself as one of the best defenders in the country, but he was still overshadowed on a nightly basis by Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. Jones was regularly the fourth option on the offensive end and wasn’t counted on to be a big-time scorer. Heading into this season, however, it was understood that would have to change; Jones needed to be more of a scorer. And without Williamson, Barrett and Reddish, Jones has thrived. He had 30 points, 15 assists and just four turnovers in the first two games of the season, against Kansas and Colorado State, but the best offensive game of his career came in Friday’s 74-63 victory against Georgia State.

Jones finished with 31 points, four 3-pointers, six assists and four steals — and Duke needed all of those points to hold off the Panthers for the first 25 or so minutes of the game. The Blue Devils went into halftime with just a two-point lead. But with the game tied at 40, Jones scored Duke’s next five field goals to ignite a 13-0 run that gave the Blue Devils some breathing room. This came after Jones scored 17 of Duke’s 36 first-half points.

While it was considered the No. 2 incoming group in the country, Duke’s freshman class is obviously not at the same level as last season’s. Every newcomer on the team has gone through some struggles through the first four games, and it’s going to be a work in progress to figure things out consistently on the offensive end. But if Jones is going to be a legitimate go-to guy at the end — and he was the player to make key buckets against Kansas in the opener — he will buy coach Mike Krzyzewski some time to mold the freshmen.

Early returns on the new flop rule aren’t great

While the extended 3-point line received more attention heading into the season, it is the NCAA’s attempt to rid the sport of flopping that has made more of an impact in the first two weeks. The NCAA is treating flops like delay-of-game violations: The first offense is a warning, and the second offense is a Class B technical foul.



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