Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) scored five points in 19 minutes on Saturday night as the Sacramento Kings beat the Warriors in overtime, 114-106. Rush hit a three-pointer and had two assists, a steal and a block (full stats here). Rush’s only other points came on a fastbreak dunk, which put the Warriors up by two with two minutes left in regulation. Rush was also on the floor with the other Warriors reserves (a.k.a., the “Dub-stitutes”) as the second unit helped spark a fourth-quarter rally from 11 points down. He played almost all of the fourth quarter but sat for the overtime period, and the Kings finally surged ahead. Rush finished with zero rebounds for just the second time in 21 games this season.
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) couldn’t hit his shots on Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats, but he still had 11 points and eight rebounds as the Suns won, 95-89. Markieff hit just 3 of 13 shots, and two of those makes were three-pointers. He also had two assists and a steal in 26 minutes (full stats here). And although it probably wasn’t planned this way, Markieff took the Suns’ last shot at the end of each of the first three quarters. At the close of the first, he missed a 24-foot three-pointer with 0.7 left on the clock. Just before halftime, Markieff missed another three-pointer, this time with 35 seconds left, and then, a possession later, with two seconds left, he missed a three-foot jumper. Finally, with 16 seconds left at the end of the third quarter, Markieff nailed a three.
Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) hit 2 of 6 shots (1 of 2 threes) on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers and finished with five points, a rebound and an assist as his Hawks lost, 98-87. Hinrich played 19 minutes and did not turn the ball over (full stats here).
Xavier Henry (New Orleans Hornets) did not play (coach’s decision) on Saturday against the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons won, 89-87 (full stats here). Henry has not played in the Hornets’ last three games.
Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) did not attempt a shot for the second game in a row and went scoreless on Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs. Collison played 18 minutes as the Spurs held off the Thunder, 107-96. He added three rebounds, an assist and a steal, but he also had three turnovers and four personal fouls (full stats here).
Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder) saw three minutes of garbage time on Saturday as the Thunder lost to the Spurs, 107-96. On his first possession after entering the game with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter, Aldrich dunked the ball for his only two points of the night. He also secured a rebound in the final 30 seconds (full stats here).
Mario Little (Ukraine-Superleague - SK Dnipro Azot Dniprodzerzhynsk) played his last game of the season on Friday, helping defeat former Jayhawk Darnell Jackson and Ukrainian league rival BC Donetsk. Little hit four three-pointers en route to 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. He made 8 of his 12 shots overall (full stats here).
Darnell Jackson (Ukraine-Superleague - BC Donetsk) finished the Ukrainian regular season with a nice 14-point, 5-rebound performance in 21 minutes on Thursday (full stats here) and an 8-point, 1-rebound performance in 19 minutes on Friday (full stats here). Jackson’s team lost both games, but BC Donetsk will continue on in the fourth round of the Eurocup Last 16 tournament early next week.
Sherron Collins (Turkish Basketball League - Hacettepe University) made 2 of 4 three-pointers for eight points as his team lost, 87-75, on Saturday. Collins also had a rebound, an assist and two turnovers in 21 minutes (full stats here).
Sasha Kaun (Russia PBL - CSKA Moscow) had five points, a rebound and two blocks on Thursday in a Euroleague Top 16 tournament victory (full stats here) and five points, three rebounds on Saturday in a regular season win (full stats here). Kaun played 16 minutes and 15 minutes respectively in the two games.
Russell Robinson (Turkish Basketball League - Trabzonspor) led his team in scoring on Saturday with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting (3 of 8 from three). Robinson also had four rebounds, an assist, two steals and five turnovers in 26 minutes (full stats here). His team lost, 92-80.
Bad news: Aaron Miles (Russia PBL - Krasnye Krylya) had nine turnovers on Saturday. Good news: Miles put up 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals (full stats here). Miles also missed three of his seven free-throw attempts.
Keith Langford (Israeli Premier League - Maccabi Electra) scored 16 points with five rebounds, one assist and three turnovers in 29 minutes during a Euroleague Top 16 tournament loss on Thursday (full stats here). Langford followed that up with a 7-point, four-rebound, two-assist, one-turnover performance on Saturday in 20 minutes during a 20-point regular season victory (full stats here).
Marcus Morris (NBA D-League - Rio Grande Valley Vipers) looked more like himself on Saturday, in his second game since recovering from an ankle injury. Marcus had 19 points, seven rebounds and two steals as the Idaho Stampede, well, trampled the Vipers, 120-105 (full stats here). Marcus didn’t have a strong shooting performance (hitting 6 of 15), but he finally connected on some three-pointers (2 of 7) and got to the free-throw line (5 of 9).
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) put together a solid stat line on Saturday, with 13 points, a rebound, two steals, four assists and zero turnovers. The 66ers won, 96-81. Morningstar made 4 of 8 shots, including 1 of 2 from three and all four of his free throws (full stats here).
Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) and brother Marcus Morris (Houston Rockets/Rio Grande Valley Vipers) signed a shoe contract with AND1 Basketball recently. There’s a nice bit of symmetry here, as the Philadelphia natives will be endorsing/wearing AND1, which was founded and headquartered in Paoli, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philly).
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic caught up with Marcus and Markieff earlier in the week, as the twins spent time together for the first time this season. It’s a good read and reinforces everything you’ve ever read and loved about the brothers’ bond, but one of the things that stood out most to me was this:
On draft night, the Suns explored the possibility of trading for Houston's No. 14 pick to draft Marcus as well as Markieff. The cost of a future first-round pick was too much.
Oh, what could have been.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Memphis Grizzlies were considering calling up Greg Ostertag before the big guy shelved his comeback attempt with the D-League's Texas Legends. (“Oh, what could have been” x2)
Speaking of Greg Ostertag, did you know that he shares something in common with high-flying “Dr. J,” a.k.a, Julius Erving? Turns out Ostertag is tied with the good doctor for 43rd on the NBA’s all-time blocks list, at 1,293 rejections.
How he chose his current uniform number: “I picked 4 because it represents my mom, dad, brother and I. I wore 13 in Memphis because my dad and my brother wore it before me when they played.”
What he’d be doing if he weren’t an NBA player: “Playing golf. I’d definitely be trying to get onto the PGA Tour.”
“When you start to become a major prospect, agents … have all kinds of tricks of the trade,” Pierce said. “I had a chance to meet with a lot of prominent agents throughout that time; some who were honest, some who were not so honest. … I was offered $100,000, a home in Malibu, and a Mercedes Benz. … It was really tempting, coming from a single parent home. [My mom] said, ‘that’s not the way to go,’ … and I’m really thankful to her for that.”
Pierce added: “It’s a dirty game … it’s not always honest. Some people cheat to get there, but I think at the end, the most successful [agents] do it the right way. Jeff has done it the right way, and that’s why he’s one of the best, if not the best out there right now.”
Schwartz also prides himself on being available for his clients at all times, a fact Pierce has taken advantage of through the years:
“[Paul] sometimes calls me at 4 in the morning, just to see if I’ll answer my phone, which I don’t do anymore,” Schwartz recently told Harvard Law School students. “First thing in the morning, I call him back and he says, ‘too late, I’m dead.’ ”
“This is true … I just like to keep him on his toes,” Pierce said.
11 a.m., NBATV, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies
noon, Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Toronto Raptors
6:30 p.m., Kirk Hinrich and the Atlanta Hawks vs. Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns
7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the San Antonio Spurs
7 p.m., Xavier Henry and the New Orleans Hornets vs. the Sacramento Kings
9 p.m., NBATV, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Portland Trailblazers