NBA Notes: Thunder add experience with Raymond Felton, Patrick Patterson signings

NBA Notes: Thunder add experience with Raymond Felton, Patrick Patterson signings

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson have each played in the NBA long enough to appreciate the importance of playing for a team with legitimate title aspirations.

Both believe they found that in Oklahoma City, a point they made clear Tuesday as they were formally introduced by the Thunder.

"The best feeling ever is having a parade," said Felton, a 12-year veteran from North Carolina. "I've never experienced that. I experienced (a title) at the college level but never here in the NBA. I definitely want to do that before I retire from this game."

Oklahoma City is attempting to regain its status as a championship title contender after making a first-round playoff exit in its first season without Kevin Durant, who left for Golden State and helped the Warriors win their second title in three years.

The Thunder acquired forward Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in a blockbuster deal that provides an All-Star teammate for reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. Felton and Patterson bring a combined 19 seasons of NBA experience.

"These guys are veteran guys," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "They've played in a lot of games, and a lot of big games. I think them having a great, clear understanding of what goes into winning (and) the sacrifices ... I think that's very, very important" (see full story).

Cavaliers: Team officially signs Jeff Green
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed veteran forward Jeff Green.

The Cavs announced the move on Tuesday after agreeing to terms on a deal for the veteran's minimum last week. Green averaged 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds for the Orlando Magic last season and will give the Cavaliers some depth in the frontcourt.

Green turn 31 in August. He has averaged 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds during his career. Green has appeared in 38 postseason games, most recently with the Clippers in 2015-16.

The No. 5 overall pick by Seattle in 2007 out of Georgetown, Green averaged career lows in points, rebounds and shooting rate (39.4 percent) for the Magic last season.

The Cavaliers will be his sixth NBA team.

Nuggets: 37-year-old Mike Miller waived
DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets have waived 37-year-old shooting guard Mike Miller.

The team announced the news on its Twitter account Tuesday.

Miller played only 20 games last season as he served more of a coaching role from the bench for a Nuggets team that missed out on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Over his career, Miller also played for Cleveland, Memphis, Miami, Washington, Minnesota and Orlando. He suited up in 1,032 games and averaged 10.6 points.

Miller was the sixth man of the year in 2005-06 while with the Grizzlies. He averaged 13.7 points that season and made 138 3-pointers.

In addition, Miller was named to the All-Rookie team in 2000-01 after being taken with the fifth overall pick by the Magic.

Marcus Morris' last-second shot gives Celtics win

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Marcus Morris' last-second shot gives Celtics win

BOSTON -- Marcus Morris made a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left and the Boston Celtics stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-99 on Tuesday night.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Morris added 21 points as Boston snapped the Thunder's six-game win streak.

Russell Westbrook finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Oklahoma City, which fell apart in the closing minute.

Boston took an 82-81 lead in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Shane Larkin, who finished with 17 points off the bench.

The Thunder missed 15 of their first 21 3-point attempts before making four straight to go back in front 93-89.

Boston closed to 99-97 on a 3 by Terry Rozier, and quickly fouled Carmelo Anthony with 7.7 seconds remaining. Anthony missed both attempts and the Celtics gathered the rebound.

Out of the timeout, Tatum dribbled across the lane and found Morris on the wing for the go-ahead 3.

Westbrook was able to get off a long 3-pointer on the Thunder's final possession, but it came up short at the buzzer (see full recap).

Schroder’s career night helps Hawks upset Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 41 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta Hawks stunned the Utah Jazz 99-94 on Tuesday night.

Dewayne Dedmon had 15 points and 15 rebounds to help the Eastern Conference-worst Hawks snap their six-game losing skid and end Utah's winning streak at nine. Taurean Prince made four free throws in the final 11 seconds to clinch the victory.

The Jazz, who won 21 of 23 games in between losses to the Hawks, made their final field goal on Gobert's basket with 2:33 to play and missed their last five shots.

Schroder on a variety of drives and bested his previous career high of 34 points, set in a 110-105 loss to Brooklyn on Jan. 12.

With 2:07 to play and after another of his driving layups, Schroder flailed his arm and caught Ricky Rubio with a hand to the face. He was assessed a flagrant-1 foul and Rubio hit both free throws. Joe Ingles followed with two foul shots for Utah's final lead.

Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and Rubio had 23 for the Jazz (see full recap).

Towns, Wiggins lead Timberwolves to victory
MINNEAPOLIS -- Karl-Anthony Towns racked up 30 points and 10 rebounds for his NBA-best 60th double-double and Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points in an all-around performance, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 123-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night that was critical for their push for the playoffs.

Jeff Teague pitched in 20 points and 12 assists for the Timberwolves, who swept the four-game season series and sent the weary Clippers to their fourth consecutive loss on the commencement of a four-game, six-night trip.

Jamal Crawford scored 20 points and Taj Gibson had 15 points and eight rebounds as the Timberwolves pushed their lead over the Clippers (37-33) to three games. With five losses in their last seven games, the Wolves (41-31) had fallen into eighth place in the Western Conference. Denver (38-33) is in ninth.

DeAndre Jordan led the way for the Clippers with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but Tobias Harris played with flu-like symptoms and finished with only 10 points on 5-for-16 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point tries. Lou Williams and Sean Kilpatrick each had 15 points off the bench (see full recap).

These players could come 'out of left field' for Sixers

These players could come 'out of left field' for Sixers

Brett Brown’s witnessed many playoff battles during his days as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.

That’s when the stars shine brightest in an attempt to help their team hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy. It’s also when role players get an opportunity to change the course of a series and leave an imprint that lasts a lifetime.

Think Kenny Smith’s seven three-pointers in Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals, Steve Kerr’s series-sealing jumper in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals and Robert Horry in, well, too many games to count.

“Every one of my years with San Antonio, 12 of them, somebody came out of left field in one of the games for six minutes, maybe more, and had a significant impact on a win,” Brown said last week.

Sure, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are going to do the heavy lifting. But the real question is who else will make a significant contribution during those crucial postseason moments?

Robert Covington is certainly not planning to shy away from the big stage.

After three months of sliding production, the swingman has regained his shooting form at just the right time as the Sixers appear headed for their first postseason berth since 2011-12. Covington is shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range with an offensive rating of 128 in March.

“My teammates have been pretty much finding me the same shots, but I just changed up a little bit of my workout, switched it up,” Covington said after scoring 18 points (6 for 12 shooting) in the Sixers’ 108-94 win over the Hornets on Monday. “That’s what allowed me to get where I’m at now. My teammates have been finding me open spots. We’ve been moving the ball really well.

“That’s just doing the right things and waiting on that moment.”

Marco Belinelli knows all about seizing that moment. He’s played — and played very well at times — over the course of 48 career playoff games.

The Sixers got a taste against the Hornets of just how much of a boost Belinelli can give a team when he’s on target. The 10-year veteran scored 21 points off the bench and contributed five of the Sixers’ 18 threes as he sharpens his game for the major challenge on the horizon.

“It’s huge,” Simmons said of finding shooters such as Belinelli and Covington in addition to JJ Redick in close games. “It’s just the way we’ve been playing all year.”

With Justin Anderson now back in the rotation and contributing, it could be the performance of secondary guys that keep the Sixers playing longer than anyone expected before the season started.