Leonard, Spurs escape with overtime win over Grizzlies

Leonard, Spurs escape with overtime win over Grizzlies


SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard had 32 points and 12 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs rallied in the final seconds of regulation before beating the Memphis Grizzlies 95-89 in overtime on Tuesday night in a matchup of likely first-round playoff opponents.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points, including the tying basket with 1.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Memphis point guard Mike Conley exited the game with 3:42 remaining in regulation with an eye injury after bumping heads with Leonard under the basket. The Grizzlies' leading scorer left the court while clutching a towel tightly to his right brow and did not return. His status is unknown.

Conley finished with 19 points and six assists.

Pau Gasol added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs. He and Patty Mills each hit a 3-pointer in overtime to lead San Antonio to its third straight win.

The Spurs forced overtime during a dramatic final five seconds.

Leonard tied the game at 82 with 4.9 seconds remaining with a step-back, 15-foot jumper over JaMychal GreenZach Randolph followed with a 12-foot, turnaround jumper 2.2 seconds later before Aldridge put in a layup off an inbounds pass from Gasol with 1.6 seconds left. Randolph's 3-pointer fell far short of the basket as the buzzer sounded after he mishandled the ensuing inbounds pass.

Randolph finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds.

San Antonio and Memphis, who split their four-game series, would meet again to open the playoffs if the standings remain the same. The Spurs are currently second in the Western Conference and the Grizzlies are seventh.

Memphis was without defensive stalwart Tony Allen, who had an eye injury, but was still able to stifle San Antonio.

The Spurs matched a season low for points in the opening quarter.

The Grizzlies followed by matching their season low with 35 points in the first half. It was also a season low in the first half by a San Antonio opponent.

Both teams shot under 40 percent in the first half.

Grizzlies: Memphis coach David Fizdale said Allen's vision was still bothering him after being poked in the left eye during Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. . Marc Gasol and Green played after both were listed as questionable. Gasol has a strained left foot and Green has a sore left shoulder. . G Andrew Harrison sat the game out with an injured right ankle. . Memphis has scored 35 points in the first half twice before, most recently against Utah on Dec. 18. . Memphis is 8-7 in the Southwest Division with one game remaining against Dallas. . Memphis' last win in San Antonio was a 117-116 victory in triple overtime on Dec. 17, 2014.

Spurs: San Antonio PG Tony Parker was 4 for 8 from the field, giving him 7,368 career field goals to pass David Robinson (7,365) for third in franchise history. Tim Duncan (10,285) and George Gervin (7,526) are the franchise leaders. Parker also played his 1,139th career game, passing Danny Schayes for 53rd in league history. . The Spurs have scored 14 points in the first quarter twice before, most recently March 4 against Minnesota.

Grizzlies: Host Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

Spurs: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.


Report: Tyler Ulis signing with Warriors instead of Kings, Rockets


Report: Tyler Ulis signing with Warriors instead of Kings, Rockets

The Warriors still are waiting on Patrick McCaw to sign his qualifying offer, but they reportedly brought in some backcourt depth in the meantime.

The two-time defending champions are set to sign ex-Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis to an Exhibit 10 contract, according to The Athletic and ESPN. Ulis chose to sign with the Warriors over the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets, ESPN's Marc Spears reported Friday.

Ulis averaged 7.8 points and 23.4 minutes per game in 71 appearances with the Suns last season. He started 43 games, two of which came in April against the Warriors. 

The 22-year-old, whom the Suns drafted in the second round in 2016, figures to have a tough time cracking the Warriors' rotation. Point guards Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston and Quinn Cook all will be ahead of him on the depth chart, and Ulis' lack of size (5-foot-10, 150 pounds) makes time at the other guard spot unlikely. 

That explains his contract, then. An Exhibit 10 deal means that Ulis will receive a bonus of up to $50,000 if he signs with the G-League Santa Cruz after the Warriors waive him, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks' explainer of the deal. Ulis' deal also can become a two-way contract, minus the bonus. 

NBA rule changes announced for 2018-19 season


NBA rule changes announced for 2018-19 season

Some of you may still be celebrating the Warriors' 2018 title in the street of Oakland.

Keep celebrating if you will, but it's time to move on to the 2018-19 season. And with that, the NBA is bringing more change to the game that keeps on growing. 

On Friday, the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved three rule changes that will take place this season. With these changes, the league is looking to speed the game up while making it easier to follow.

Below is how the NBA describes each change: 

Shot Clock Reset – The shot clock will reset to 14 seconds in three scenarios: after an offensive rebound of a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim; after a loose ball foul is called on the defensive team immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim; or after the offensive team gets possession of the ball after it goes out of bounds immediately following a missed field goal or free throw that hit the rim.

The rule has been in effect in the NBA G League since the 2016-17 season, in the WNBA since 2016 and in FIBA play since 2014-15.  The rule was also in place during 2018 NBA Summer Leagues.

Simplification of the Clear Path Foul Rule – The changes to the clear path foul rule establish “bright line” standards based on the position of players at the time of the foul while also narrowing required referee judgment and reducing the number of variables impacting the rule’s application. 

A clear path foul is now defined as a personal foul against any offensive player during his team’s transition scoring opportunity in the following circumstances: the ball is ahead of the tip of the circle in the backcourt; no defender is ahead of the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity; the player with the transition scoring opportunity is in control of the ball (or a pass has been thrown to him); and if the foul deprives his team of an opportunity to score.

As part of the clear path foul rule simplification, referees will no longer need to make judgment calls as to whether or not a defender was between (or had the opportunity to be between) the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity and the basket.  In addition, referees will no longer have to determine whether or not the defender was at any time ahead of the offensive player prior to committing the foul, nor will it be relevant whether or not a defender beat the offensive player with the transition scoring opportunity into the frontcourt.  Further, plays of this nature will no longer have to originate in the backcourt (since transition scoring opportunities can originate in the frontcourt).

Under the simplified rule, a clear path foul cannot occur if the fouled player is in the act of shooting or if the foul is caused by the defender’s attempt to intercept or deflect a pass intended for the player attempting to score in transition. 

If a clear path foul is committed, the offended team will continue to be awarded two free throws and possession of the ball on the sideline nearest the spot where the foul occurred.

Expanded Definition of “Hostile Act” for Replay Purposes – For purposes of triggering instant replay review, the definition of a “hostile act” has been broadened to enable referees to determine the appropriate penalty for players or coaches if they are involved in hostile encounters with each other, referees or fans. 

Let the games begin.