James Wiseman will not see the court in his second season in the NBA after the Golden State Warriors made the decision to shut him down for the year. 

Wiseman's rookie season was cut short by a meniscal tear in his right knee, for which he underwent surgery last April. 

The center – the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft – had averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds across his first 39 professional games. 

But Wiseman has not added to those numbers in 2021-22, spending the entire season rehabilitating his knee. 

Now, with only nine games of the regular season remaining, the Warriors have confirmed the 20-year-old will not return – even with a playoff campaign to come. 

Warriors general manager Bob Myers explained the decision in a statement released by the team on Friday. 

"We've maintained throughout his entire rehabilitation process that we're going to be patient and look out for James' best interests in what we anticipate to be a long and successful career," Myers said. "As a 20-year-old, his entire career is ahead of him. 

"For us, as an organisation, our focus is on James' long-term health, and we're confident – and our doctors are confident – that this long-term approach will help James become the player we believe he will evolve into when he returns to the court." 

Coach Steve Kerr added his input when meeting with the media as the Warriors prepared for their game against the Atlanta Hawks. 

"Ultimately, it's very simple: we're just protecting James' future," Kerr said. "It makes the most sense to go this route. 

"I feel terrible for James – he's been through so much already in just two seasons – but his long-term health looks good, the knee looks sound. 

"It's just a decision that we feel makes the most sense for his own best interest and our best interest as well." 

Kerr explained it was a call made "in the name of being cautious" as Wiseman's knee is "structurally sound, but he has swelling". 

"It didn't make sense to play him over the next couple of weeks, that's where the knee is," the coach added. 

And Kerr is confident the Warriors will not be left short at center in their postseason run. 

"I still feel really good about our roster and the situation at center with Draymond [Green] and Loon [Kevon Looney] and Bjeli [Nemanda Bjelica], JK [Jonathan Kuminga] can play small-ball five, Otto [Porter Jr.] as well," he said. "I feel fine about our depth there." 

Erik Spoelstra said his mid-game spat with Jimmy Butler showed the passion within the Miami Heat ranks and their unwillingness to tolerate slumping performances.

Coach Spoelstra and six-time All-Star Butler, along with Udonis Haslem on the Heat bench, appeared to exchange fiery words and gestures during a timeout as the Heat struggled against the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State bolted to a 69-50 lead after scoring the first 19 points of the third quarter, and amid this slide came the dispute within the Heat ranks.

Spoelstra slammed a clipboard down onto the court and confronted Butler before others attempted to separate the pair.

Allowing himself to joke after the game, which saw the Heat roar back to establish an 84-81 lead before crumpling to a 118-104 defeat, Spoelstra explained the incident.

"Everybody was wondering where the dinner plans were tonight after the game," he said, before answering more seriously.

"It was pretty clear, we have a very competitive, gnarly group, and we were getting our a***s kicked, and it's two straight games we were not playing to the level we wanted to play.

"Every person in that huddle was pretty animated about our disappointment at how we were playing."

 

This game followed a 113-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Eastern Conference-leading Heat's record now stands at 47-26.

Asked about whether the public bickering could have a lasting impact, Spoelstra said: "It won't, we have bigger things to accomplish, but we do want to play better, and everything has to be better across the board.

"It starts with our leadership, our veteran players have to lead, and then we just have to play better, play better to our identity and that's really all the discussions were.

"I know how it can look from the outside, but that is more our language than playing without passion or without toughness, or without multiple efforts and lifelessness.

"Everything that happened in the hall from then on, as we cut that 19-point lead, that's way more to our personality."

Spoelstra even hinted the flash point could have a positive impact.

"You can use moments during a season to catapult you. You can galvanise together over frustration and disappointment," he said. "Teams can also go the other way. I don't see that with our group. But we have needed a kick in the butt from these two games.

"These two games were disappointing to everybody. You see a competitive group that is not playing to the level or the standards we want to play at.

"Let's give credit to Golden State. We played with great passion to get back into the game, but they executed well, and they made some big shots."

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving delivered big performances, but the Memphis Grizzlies were unstoppable in the first half on the way to a 132-120 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving finished with 43 points (15-of-27 shooting, six-of-11 from three) and eight assists, while Durant posted figures of 35 points (12-of-28 shooting, 10-of-10 from the free-throw line) with 11 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.

But the Grizzlies would not be denied in front of their home fans, clicking on all cylinders early to jump out to a 76-62 half-time lead.

It was yet another stunning showing without MVP candidate Ja Morant who missed again through injury, with seven Grizzlies scoring double figures to pick up the slack.

Desmond Bane (eight-of-17 shooting) and De'Anthony Melton (eight-of-13 shooting) led the way with 23 points each, while Jaren Jackson Jr swatted away four shots as he continued his charge for Defensive Player of the Year.

With the win, the Grizzlies moved to 50-23 for the year, and an incredible 15-2 in games Morant has missed.

 

Warriors 'punk' the Heat

A day after Draymond Green said his Golden State Warriors were being "punked" in recent losses, they responded in style, beating the Miami Heat 118-104 without Green and injured star Stephen Curry.

In a game where Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler had to be physically separated from coach Erik Spoelstra during a time-out, the Miami defence simply could not get stops in the second half as tempers flared.

Jordan Poole shone yet again for the Warriors, scoring 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, going three-of-seven from long range, while rookie Jonathan Kuminga, All-Star Andrew Wiggins and bench player Damion Lee chipped in with 22 points each.


Ayton and the Suns shine in Minnesota, Davion dominates

A 42-point fourth quarter capped off a terrific 125-116 comeback win for the Phoenix Suns on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Trailing 64-51 at the halfway stage and by five at three-quarter time, the Suns got 11 points from centre Deandre Ayton down the stretch to cap off a big 35-point (15-of-24 shooting), 14-rebound performance.

Devin Booker controlled the contest for the Suns, scoring 28 points on only 15 field goal attempts, going 13-of-16 from the free throw line while also dishing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, rookie top-10 pick Davion Mitchell starred in the Sacramento Kings' 110-109 away win against the Indiana Pacers, scoring 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting and collecting seven assists in arguably his best game as a professional.

Joel Embiid scored 30 points and had 10 rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the Philadelphia 76ers in their 126-121 win over a Los Angeles Lakers side who were without LeBron James.

Draymond Green says the Golden State Warriors are "playing stupid" after they got "punked" by "one of the worst teams in the league" the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

The Warriors slumped to a third consecutive defeat, going down 94-90 after scoring only 16 points in the final quarter at Amway Center.

Golden State slipped to 47-25 and are third in the Western Conference, with the struggling Magic registering only a 20th win of the season.

Steve Kerr's Warriors side were once again out of sorts in the absence of the injured Stephen Curry and Green pulled no punches with his verdict on their latest loss.

The four-time NBA All-Star said: "I think we're playing soft. We're playing stupid. We're just not playing good basketball and we're getting punked.

"It's hard to win a game getting punked. So that's where we are right now."

Green added: "In order to execute, that requires a certain level of physicality. We're not meeting that.

"No disrespect to the Orlando Magic, but that's one of the worst teams in the league. We can't match that with them. And if you can't match that with them, you definitely can't match that going against a great team."

 

Head coach Kerr also gave a frank assessment of Golden State's shortcomings.

He said: "We have to be smarter. There has to be a level of discipline and accountability, of competitive desire.

"And, I know these are great guys. I love these guys. I know they want to win. But we have to learn how to win. Right now we don't know how to win."

Trae Young's return to Madison Square Garden was like a recurring nightmare for New York Knicks fans as the Atlanta Hawks prevailed 117-111.

Young, who became public enemy number one in New York when he erupted in the playoffs, eliminating the Knicks in the process, was spectacular again on Tuesday night.

He finished with a game-high 45 points (13-of-25 shooting, seven-of-15 from three) to go with eight assists, and was supported by a season-high 32 points (11-of-20 shooting, four-of-10 from three) from Bogdan Bogdanovic off the bench.

New York's R.J. Barrett played hard, but was ultimately inefficient, scoring 30 points on nine-of-25 shooting, going one-of-seven from long range and 11-of-17 from the free throw line.

The win pulls the Hawks' record even at 36-36, with last year's Eastern Conference finalists set for a play-in battle as they occupy the 10 seed.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said his team needs to appreciate a decreased margin for error with Stephen Curry injured, after their 110-108 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Curry is in a race to return to the court before the playoffs begin in April, and the Warriors felt his absence, getting out-shot from long range by the 28-44 Spurs, currently 11th in the Western Conference.

The Warriors have been undermanned all season with their big-man stocks as James Wiseman, the second pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is yet to make his season debut.

Coach Kerr stressed this point, and pointed out that he did not feel like his team brought the requisite intensity before it was too late.

"We have to understand – and I told the guys this at half-time and after the game – that we're undermanned," he said.

"There's 11 games left now, and we're looking at the playoffs, and there's gotta be a sense of urgency. 

"There's gotta be a sense of competitive fight that we take to the other team from the very beginning of the game, and I did not see that until we were really late in the game.

"We were great in that fourth quarter, fighting like crazy, but we need to fight like crazy from the start."

Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry is optimistic he can return from his left foot injury prior to the playoffs.

Curry sprained a ligament in his left foot on March 16 against the Boston Celtics, with the Golden State Warriors stating on Friday that he would be re-evaluated in two weeks.

The Warriors, who held a 47-23 record prior to Sunday's game against the San Antonio Spurs and sit third in the west, will have five regular-season games remaining when Curry is due to be re-evaluated.

The NBA playoffs are due to commence on April 16 and Curry was optimistic about getting in some games prior to that when he spoke to the media on Sunday wearing a boot on his injured foot.

"I think I'll get enough time for that but I'm an optimist," Curry told reporters.

"It was definitely painful at first. But it's getting better by the day. Trying to assess the recovery in real-time, just knowing how much we can push it on a day to day.

"I'm just trying to stay patient and know that it will continue to get better."

Three-time NBA champion Curry has been a key part of the Warriors' success this season, after the side missed the playoffs in 2020 and 2021.

Curry, who broke Ray Allen's all-time NBA record for three-pointers made this season, has scored 25.5 points per game, with 5.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists this season.

Sunday's game against the Spurs will be Golden State's first without Curry since the injury, with the side hoping to hold on to the third seed in the west with the Memphis Grizzlies (49-23) ahead of them, while the Utah Jazz (44-26) and Dallas Mavericks (43-28) are a few games back.

Curry, however, said diligence in recovery was the key with a view to fully recovering from the injury ahead of the playoffs.

"You want to not rush the beginning phases of healing," Curry said. "That's where you can get the most progress so when you put the shoe back on, get back out on the court, you're not dealing with crazy soreness.

"You give yourself a better shot because this is one that if you push it too soon, it can linger and be a real nuisance."

Curry also had no hard feelings towards Celtics guard Marcus Smart who was involved in the incident that led to the injury after head coach Steve Kerr had criticized him for "dangerous play".

"He made the play that he did, but I don't think it was malicious or dirty," Curry said.

The return of 2020 NBA Draft pick two James Wiseman has been delayed again following more swelling in his right knee.

The 20-year-old center has not played all season for the 47-23 Golden State Warriors due to injury.

Wiseman had returned to action via the G League last week but was held out of practice on Friday and Saturday, with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealing a setback.

"We will take a pause and see how the knee responds from there," Kerr told reporters.

The Warriors only have 12 regular-season games prior to the playoffs but will not put a line through Wiseman's season yet, although they are unwilling to offer a timeframe on his return.

"We can't make a decision based on the schedule," Kerr said. "We can't make decisions based on the playoffs. Every decision should be made around James' career and his future."

He added: "I feel terrible for James. I will just keep going back to the fact that he's 20 years old. He's got his whole future ahead. We just have to be really, really cautious. We have to do what is best for him long term."

Stephen Curry's foot injury will be "re-evaluated in two weeks", the Golden State Warriors have revealed.

Curry sustained the injury in Wednesday's 110-88 defeat to the Boston Celtics, leaving the court in the second quarter after contesting a loose ball with guard Marcus Smart.

Reports on Thursday said the 34-year-old would be out "indefinitely", and the Warriors confirmed on Friday that the player has suffered a sprained ligament in his left foot after undergoing an MRI.

"Stephen Curry, who exited Wednesday's game vs. Boston with 4:09 remaining in the second quarter due to a left foot injury, underwent an MRI on Wednesday night," a tweet from the Warriors read.

"The MRI indicated that Curry suffered a sprained left foot ligament. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks."

Curry scored 47 points in his previous game against the Washington Wizards on Monday, and has averaged 25.5 points per game this season for the Warriors.

He broke Ray Allen's record for most career three-pointers in December, though this season his percentage from beyond the arc sits at 38.0, slightly down on his career average of 42.8.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr criticised Smart for "dangerous play" in the incident, and the duo exchanged words on the sidelines shortly after.

Smart defended himself from Kerr's claims, stating that Curry's injury was "unfortunate" and that he was "not a dirty player".

Stephen Curry will be out "indefinitely" after suffering sprained ligament damage to his left foot, according to reports.

The Golden State Warriors star sustained the injury in Wednesday's 110-88 defeat to the Boston Celtics, with Curry leaving the court in the second quarter after contesting a loose ball with guard Marcus Smart.

However, Shams Charania of The Athletic claims the 34-year-old has avoided a "fracture or major damage".

Curry scored 47 points in his previous game against the Washington Wizards on Monday, and has averaged 25.5 points per game this season for the Warriors.

He broke Ray Allen's record for most career three-pointers in December, though this season his percentage from beyond the arc sits at 38.0, slightly down on his career average of 42.8.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr criticised Smart for "dangerous play" in the incident, and the duo exchanged words on the sidelines shortly after.

"I thought it was a dangerous play," Kerr told reporters. "I thought Marcus dove into Steph, and that's what I was upset about.

"I've got a lot of respect for Marcus. He's a hell of a player, a gamer, a competitor. I coached him in the World Cup a few summers ago. We talked after the game and we're good. But I thought it was a dangerous play."

Smart defended himself from Kerr's claims, stating that Curry's injury was "unfortunate" and that he was "not a dirty player".

"I saw the ball, I dove for the ball, trying to make a play. Unfortunately that occurred," Smart said.

"I'm sure I'm going to get called dirty. But I know who I am. I play very hard and I leave everything on the court. My team-mates, my colleagues, they know I'm not a dirty player."

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has criticised Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart for "dangerous play" in the incident that led to Stephen Curry being forced off injured.

Curry left the court in the second quarter due to a left-foot injury that he was immediately sent for an MRI on post-game after the Warriors lost 110-88 to the Celtics.

The two-time MVP and Smart contested a loose ball, with the Celtics forward rolling on to Curry's left leg, leaving him limping, before exiting the game.

Kerr and Smart exchanged words on the sidelines shortly after the incident, with the Warriors head coach particularly vocal.

"I thought it was a dangerous play," Kerr told reporters. "I thought Marcus dove into Steph, and that's what I was upset about.

"I've got a lot of respect for Marcus. He's a hell of a player, a gamer, a competitor. I coached him in the World Cup a few summers ago. We talked after the game and we're good. But I thought it was a dangerous play."

Kerr said the Warriors would learn the extent of Curry's injury once the MRI scans were returned and offered no insight on their level of concerns.

Meanwhile, Smart defended himself from Kerr's claims, stating that Curry's injury was "unfortunate" and that he was "not a dirty player".

"I saw the ball, I dove for the ball, trying to make a play. Unfortunately that occurred," Smart said.

He added: "I'm sure I'm going to get called dirty. But I know who I am. I play very hard and I leave everything on the court. My teammates, my colleagues, they know I'm not a dirty player."

The result leaves the Warriors with a 47-23 record to be third in the Western Conference having lost six of their past 10 games.

Spencer Dinwiddie delivered the buzzer-beating dagger in the Dallas Mavericks' 113-111 win on the road against the Brooklyn Nets.

In a game with First Team All-NBA stars Luka Doncic and Kevin Durant going head-to-head, Dinwiddie hit the most important shot of the night as defenders rushed to trap Doncic with just seconds remaining as the Mavericks trailed 110-111.

The game only required Dinwiddie's heroics after a string of late-game shot-making saw the lead seesaw.

After a Dirk Nowitzki-esque mid-range fadeaway from Doncic to grab a 110-108 lead, Durant took matters into his own hands.

Facing a defence that was game-planned to get the ball out of Durant's hands by sending two defenders to him whenever he had the ball, the seven-foot star was unselfish throughout the game as he moved the ball to the open outlet pass and racked up 10 assists to go with his 23 points (8/20 shooting).

But with everything on the line, Durant was determined to live and die by his own shot-making, pulling up and draining a ridiculous long-three with two defenders closing in on him to nab a one-point lead, before Dindwiddie answered.

Stephen Curry was forced to sit out the second half of the Golden State Warriors’ game with the Boston Celtics on Wednesday after injuring his left foot.

With just over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Curry and Celtics guard Marcus Smart dove for a loose ball. The resulting tumble meant Smart fell on Curry’s leg, causing an inward tweak.

The Warriors confirmed Curry would not return in the second half, citing "left foot soreness".

At that point in the game, Curry had three points, one rebound and two assists with the Warriors down 33-25.

Curry has been the key player for the Warriors this season, with the side sitting third in the Western Conference with a 47-22 record prior to Wednesday's game.

The two-time MVP leads the NBA this season in three-pointers made with 284. Prior to Wednesday's game, Curry was averaging 25.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists this season.

Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson enjoyed an on-court reunion on Monday, which was described by the latter as "magical".

For the first time since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, the Warriors had their star trio of Curry, Green and Thompson on the court together.

Green had been out since early January due to a back injury, meaning he had been unable to feature since Thompson's return from two serious injury lay-offs.

But the trio were back and as good as ever against the Washington Wizards, who the Warriors defeated 126-112.

Green featured for 20 minutes and had six points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Thompson added 20 points to the Warriors' tally.

Curry, meanwhile, marked his 34th birthday in sensational style, scoring a season-high 47 points and finishing with six rebounds and as many assists. 

It was the sixth time in 2021-22 that Curry has enjoyed a 40-plus point game.

"That was magical," Thompson told reporters, while Green enthused: "It was beautiful."

Curry explained: "I think what it did for him is what it did for all of us. You could tell the energy picked up.

"It's not anything more than what's built on 10 years of experience and chemistry and winning and an understanding of how we do things. No matter how much time we have off, we can get right back to it.

"It is crazy to think first time me, Klay and Draymond had been on the court in a very, very long time.

"We want to keep building on that. We know each other like the back of our hand, we complement each other very well."

Golden State have now won four straight games all by double digits, following a five-game losing streak.

The Warriors moved to 47-22 for the season and have now beat every other team in the NBA at least once this season.

On a day that saw MVP favourites Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic go head-to-head, it was fellow center Karl-Anthony Towns who stole the headlines.

Towns scored a career-high 60 points in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 149-139 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

It is the most points scored by any player in a single game this season, ahead of Trae Young and LeBron James, who both scored 56.

After reaching half-time with 24 points, Towns exploded into life after the break, scoring 32 of his side's 46 third-quarter points on his way to final shooting figures of 19-31 from the field, 7-11 from three and 15-16 from the line.

Towns, who is the first center to hit 60 points in a single NBA game since Shaquille O'Neal in March 2000, also grabbed a personal season-high of 17 rebounds, while on the other side Dejounte Murray was no slouch with 30 points and 12 assists, though it was not enough for the Spurs.

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