It was an entertaining, if meaningless game Wednesday in the Spurs’ preseason opener, with Alba Berlin clawing back from a huge early deficit before stunning the defending NBA champions 94-93 on Jamel McLean’s running bank shot from about 15 feet as time expired.
McLean stole an errant inbound pass from Tim Duncan before racing down court. It was the last of 24 turnovers for the Spurs, who also shot just 4 for 16 on 3-pointers in their first official action since crushing Miami in last season’s Finals for their fifth championship.
Interestingly, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich went for the victory, giving Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard big fourth-quarter minutes as the two teams battled back and forth. The Spurs, who blew all of an early 16-point lead, appeared to have things wrapped up as Parker headed to the foul line with 14.1 seconds left.
Chris Paul Says He’ll Pay Green’s Fine for Shove, Ejection
Chris Paul says he will pay any fine that results from teammate Gerald Green shoving Minnesota Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng in the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 129-120 win Sunday night.
Green was ejected for coming to Paul’s defense after a frustrated Dieng pushed him down after a foul.
Celtics’ Smart (Thumb) Confident He’ll be Back for Playoffs
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he’s confident he’ll be back on the court for the postseason after undergoing thumb surgery last week.
Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand while diving to the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers earlier this month. A hand specialist in New York advised immediate surgery with hopes that Smart might be able to return even quicker than the six- to eight-week timeline the team announced after surgery.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN