Jason Kidd (6'4''-PG-73, college: California) has played in 24 career homecoming games on the road against the Golden State Warriors in his 18 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets.
Yet Kidd insisted Wednesday, on the eve of the Mavericks' second and final visit of the season to Golden State, that Thursday night's nationally televised showdown on TNT won't be his last game on Oakland hardwood.
'I want to play another year,' Kidd told ESPN.com.
Despite turning 39 on March 23 and struggling throughout this lockout-shortened season with various back, calf and groin ailments that have shelved him for 15 games -- including the Mavericks' previous trip to Oakland on March 10 -- Kidd says he's determined to play on to try to help Dallas add to the breakthrough championship it won last season.
Sources with knowledge of the Mavericks' thinking likewise indicate that management is determined to find a way to re-sign the former Cal star in free agency even amid the roster clearout that Dallas has planned to create the requisite salary-cap space to pursue Dallas-area native Deron Williams in free agency this summer. Kidd's most recent three-year contract expires at season's end, but he long has been regarded as one of the Mavs' point men for recruiting free agents since returning to Dallas in 2008. Sources say, furthermore, that Kidd has a good relationship with Williams from their time playing together on Team USA.
One source close to the situation, asked if bringing Kidd back remains part of the Mavs' plans, said: 'Absolutely.'
Furthermore, team sources say the 10-time All-Star happily would move into a backup role should the Mavs win the Williams sweepstakes.
On the current squad, though, Kidd's teammates openly have longed for his return after a groin injury forced him to sit out four games last week. Although he's generating career-low numbers in virtually every category, Kidd continues to run the Mavericks' offense with a level of precision no one else on the roster can match, with half-court execution ranking as one of the strengths that propelled Dallas past the favored Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in two of its four playoff rounds last spring.
Kidd returned to the lineup in Tuesday night's home win over Sacramento and had seven points, seven assists and six rebounds in 22 minutes and said afterward it was 'the best he's felt all season' from a health standpoint.
This is just the fifth time Kidd has missed at least 15 games in a season.
The Mavericks believe his health woes, as much as anything, have contributed to Kidd's modest averages in points (5.9), rebounds (4.1), and assists per game (5.3), as well as his career low shooting percentage (.347).
Kidd has recorded two of his 107 career triple-doubles in Oakland and has lifetime averages of 16.8 points, 10.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds against the Warriors to go with a record of 13-11. He has never faced the Warriors in a playoff game.
Hawks deliver early playoff KO, romp past Wizards 116-98 - 9 hours ago
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The Hawks are back in the series, and the bad blood with the Washington Wizards shows no signs of letting up. Paul Millsap (6'8''-F-85, college: Louisiana Tech) scored 29 points, Dennis Schroeder (5'11''-PG-93, agency: Octagon Europe) had 27 and Atlanta delivered an early knockout blow in a 116-98 victory Saturday, slicing the Wizards' lead to 2-1 in the opening-round playoff matchup. After two tight losses in Washington exposed plenty of ill feelings between the teams , Millsap and Washi... [read more]
The Hawks are back in the series, and the bad blood with the Washington Wizards shows no signs of letting up. Paul Millsap (6'8''-F-85, college: Louisiana Tech) scored 29 points, Dennis Schroeder (5'11''-PG-93, agency: Octagon Europe) had 27 and Atlanta delivered an early knockout blow in a 116-98 victory Saturday, slicing the Wizards' lead to 2-1 in the opening-round playoff matchup. After two tight losses in Washington exposed plenty of ill feelings between the teams , Millsap and Washington's Markieff Morris (6'10''-F-89, college: Kansas) continued to go at it in Game 3. "He's a crybaby," Morris said afterward. "You get all the calls when you're a crybaby. That's how it went tonight." Those comments were quickly relayed to Millsap at the postgame news conference. "It definitely got personal now," he replied, before offering some unsolicited advice to Morris: "Take his loss and go back to the hotel, be ready for the next game." Cheered on by a raucous home crowd, the Hawks built a 25-point lead by late in the first quarter and were never seriously challenged by the Wizards. John Wall (6'4''-PG-90, college: Kentucky) kept up his dazzling play in the series, scoring 29 points, but he was essentially a one-man team. The other Washington starters combined to score 30 points on 14-of-45 shooting. Beal, in particular, had a miserable night after averaging 26.5 points in the first two games. He was held to 12 points on 6-of-20 shooting, missing all six of his attempts beyond the arc. "That's probably the most I've ever seen him air-ball in one game," Wall said. "He'll figure it out." Game 4 is Monday night in Atlanta. The Hawks came out intent on moving the ball, getting open looks and cutting down on the turnovers that plagued them in the first two contests. Talk about following the game plan. Atlanta pushed out to a double-digit lead before the game was 3 minutes old and stretched the margin to 38-13 with just under a minute to go in the opening quarter on Schroder's 3-pointer. Wall did everything he could to spark the Wizards. He posed along the baseline after a thunderous dunk, which might have had more effect if the Wizards weren't losing by 23 at the time. He somehow made a 3-pointer while falling out of bounds in the corner at the end of the first quarter . He darted through the lane against a collapsing defense to bank in an improbable shot, drawing gasps from the Atlanta crowd. Wall made all but one shot and scored 21 points in the first half, but the Wizards trailed 64-46 heading to the locker room. The other four Washington starters had just 18 points. The Hawks took advantage at the other end. "They jumped on us in that first period," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "Their sense of urgency was very high. I wouldn't say we came out relaxed, but we came out missing shots, and we let that affect out defense." Millsap also led the Hawks with 14 rebounds. Courtesy of: chicagotribune.com
Tied at 2: Gasol lifts Grizzlies past Spurs 110-108 in OT - 10 hours ago
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Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said he was an option to take the final shot and that the San Antonio Spurs thought so, too, on a night when he scored a franchise postseason record 35 points. Marc Gasol (7'1''-C-85) laughed and insisted he didn't know his teammate was an alternative on the game-winning play. Zach Randolph (6'9''-C-81, college: Michigan St.) backed up his All-Star center, too. "He told me he was going to get it and go to his fadeaway, and that's what he did," Randolph said. Ga... [read more]
Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said he was an option to take the final shot and that the San Antonio Spurs thought so, too, on a night when he scored a franchise postseason record 35 points. Marc Gasol (7'1''-C-85) laughed and insisted he didn't know his teammate was an alternative on the game-winning play. Zach Randolph (6'9''-C-81, college: Michigan St.) backed up his All-Star center, too. "He told me he was going to get it and go to his fadeaway, and that's what he did," Randolph said. Gasol hit a 12-foot floater with 0.7 seconds left in overtime, and the Grizzlies beat the Spurs 110-108 on Saturday night to even up their Western Conference first-round series at 2-2. The Grizzlies won despite blowing a 10-point lead with 7:38 left in regulation and franchise postseason-high 23 turnovers that San Antonio turned into 31 points. Gasol finished with 16 points after shooting 5 of 12 for the game. He also had 12 rebounds. The Grizzlies overcame another postseason personal best from Kawhi Leonard (6'7''-F-91, college: San Diego St.), who had 43 points. He rallied the Spurs by scoring the last 16 points of regulation, but missed a 21-footer short of the rim with James Ennis defending him just before the buzzer ending regulation. Leonard also tied it at 108 with 17 seconds left in overtime with a 3 from the left corner. "That was great game," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Both teams played their hearts out. Just a fantastic basketball game. The fans got their money's worth tonight for sure. At the end, Marc made a great shot. L.A. (LaMarcus Aldridge (6'11''-F/C-85, college: Texas)) contested it very, very well, and it went down." Game 5 is Tuesday night in San Antonio. Conley also had eight assists and nine rebounds. Randolph added 12 points and 11 rebounds, but was 4 of 12 from the field. Tony Parker (6'2''-PG-82) scored 22 points after being shut out in Game 3, and Aldridge finished with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The Spurs made all 17 of their free throws, a tremendous improvement from Game 3 when they were 16 of 28 from the line. Unlike Game 2, Memphis also got to the line more than San Antonio and was 22 of 24. Leonard finished with 24 points combined in the fourth quarter and overtime in a thrilling game that also featured six lead changes and seven ties in the fourth quarter and overtime. Conley said it was scary watching the two-time Defensive Player of the Year and MVP candidate this season shooting away. "He's unbelievable," Conley said. "It got to a point where you just knew if he got a shot off it was going in." Memphis coach David Fizdale was pretty impressed with his own guard who got a five-year, $153 million contract last summer in what was the richest deal in the NBA at that point. "I don't think we will be having a discussion about how much money he is worth," Fizdale said. "I don't want to hear about it at least. The guy's a superstar." In overtime, the Spurs led 102-100 when Parker intercepted a pass by Conley and pushed the ball up-court. But rookie Andrew Harrison (6'6''-PG-94, college: Kentucky) raced down to block Mills' shot, and Gasol was fouled when he scored inside to tie it up. His free throw with 1:32 left put the Grizzlies up 103-102, then Conley hit a floater with 47.3 seconds left. With Ennis defending Leonard, the MVP candidate committed a turnover when he lost the ball out of bounds with 43.7 seconds left. But Leonard's final 3 tied it up one last time before Gasol's big bucket. "They were able to counter Kawhi going off and making incredible shots," Spurs forward Pau Gasol (7'0''-F/C-80) said. "So you've got to give them credit. You've got to regroup and get ready for Game 5." Courtesy of: abcnews.com
Raptors beat Bucks 87-76 in slugfest, tie series at 2-2 - 10 hours ago
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DeMar DeRozan (6'7''-F/G-89, college: USC) reverted back to his playmaking form. The Toronto Raptors reasserted themselves on defense. They're headed back to Canada after winning a bruiser of a first-round playoff game on Saturday over the Milwaukee Bucks. DeRozan scored 33 points, and Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova) had 14 of his 18 points in the second half of Toronto's 87-76 victory to tie the Eastern Conference series at two games apiece. The Raptors turned up their inten... [read more]
DeMar DeRozan (6'7''-F/G-89, college: USC) reverted back to his playmaking form. The Toronto Raptors reasserted themselves on defense. They're headed back to Canada after winning a bruiser of a first-round playoff game on Saturday over the Milwaukee Bucks. DeRozan scored 33 points, and Kyle Lowry (6'0''-PG-86, college: Villanova) had 14 of his 18 points in the second half of Toronto's 87-76 victory to tie the Eastern Conference series at two games apiece. The Raptors turned up their intensity before a hostile road crowd after getting embarrassed in a 27-point loss to Milwaukee in Game 3. They forced 21 turnovers. "I've always said we play better with our backs against the wall," coach Dwane Casey said. "It's a tough way to live, but I love our team's resilience and personality." Toronto reclaimed home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Monday at the Air Canada Centre. Tony Snell led Milwaukee with 19 points, including five 3-pointers, both playoff career highs. His 3 with 3:14 left got the Bucks within seven. Lowry answered with a bucket before setting up another basket with a drive-and-dish to center Jonas Valanciunas (7'0''-C-92) for a layup in traffic. While Toronto's star guards produced in the clutch, the defense threw up roadblocks after the Bucks ran roughshod all over the court on Thursday night. Milwaukee shot 37 percent overall in Game 4, but 31 percent (13 of 42) in the second half. "Our tempo was extremely slow," coach Jason Kidd said. "Give (Toronto) credit, they slowed us down." Giannis Antetokounmpo (6'11''-G/F-94, agency: Octagon Europe) was held to 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting, while also committing seven turnovers. Toronto's P.J. Tucker (6'6''-F-85, college: Texas) helped contain the Bucks' All-Star with physical play in the post in the fourth quarter. "We were just trying to send as many bodies to him as we possibly could," Casey said. Courtesy of: espn.com
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