Good morning. Sorry for this morning's delay. Let's basketball.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF TRIPLE-DOUBLES: Bethlehem Shoals on the new golden age of triple-doubles, and how Russell Westbrook and Draymond Green's box score promiscuity reveals a parallel evolution of basketball.
MORE LIKE EMMANUEL RUDE-IAY: The poor 76ers have been stuck on nine wins for a couple of weeks. Up 103-101 with seconds left, they thought they had magical Win No. 10 in Denver. Emmanuel Mudiay decided to hit one of the more improbable game-winners of the season to end that noise.
THE ROCKETS' SEASON IN A NUTSHELL: With the game tied, Rodney Hood got right by Trevor Ariza and James Harden on a high screen, drew Dwight Howard forward and dished to an open Derrick Favors for a game-winning dunk. Go Jazz.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: See our full playoff picture and tiebreaker update here. The Pistons won and Bulls lost, which grants (for now) Detroit the No. 8 seed in the East. The Heat's loss paired with wins for Atlanta and Boston dropped Miami to No. 5 and bumped the other two up. The Jazz took the No. 8 in the West (for now) from Houston with that Favors dunk. As important: the Jazz avoided losing the season series to the Rockets. Tied at 2-2, if they finish the season even in the standings, the team with the better conference record gets the slot.
SCORES GALORE ...
ATL 122, WAS 101
MIL 104, CLE 113
TOR 79, BOS 91
ORL 102, DET 118
NYK 115, CHI 107
UTA 89, HOU 87
SAC 104, MIN 113
MIA 88, SAS 112
PHI 103, DEN 104
LAL 107, PHX 119
DAL 103, POR 109
LAC 98, GSW 114
DAILY D'ANGELO: D'Angelo Russell with a 45-foot laser of a bounce pass.
DUNK OF THE DAY: DeAndre Jordan with a hyper-athletic alley-oop finish. Or how about LeBron with a double-clutch reverse? Or Andrew Wiggins catching a draft that sends him into flight? Or Kristaps Porzingis calmly slicing through the Bulls and finishing emphatically? Dunks!
BROTHERHOOD: Brilliant brilliant brilliant Howard Beck look at the long kinship of LeBron and Melo. In that piece, LeBron mentions that he wants to play with Melo, CP3 and Wade before their careers end. Here's how that could actually happen next year with only Wade taking a huge pay cut.
WHEN SNEAKER WARS GO WRONG: Nike lost Stephen Curry in part because a swoosh official called him "Steph-on" during a pitch meeting and because the PowerPoint deck was an unfixed leftover from a Kevin Durant meeting. Now Steph is worth $14 billion to Under Armour.
THE BREANNA GENERATION: 538 puts the sheer dominance of UConn's Breanna Stewart into context. I hold that she warrants a Summer League invite, if it can be worked out with the WNBA schedule.
ON THE AIR TONIGHT: The Sweet 16 begins Thursday night: we've got Nova-Miami, Oklahoma-A&M, Kansas-Maryland and Oregon-Duke. In addition, NBA TV has Pelicans-Pacers at 7 p.m. ET. Not the best counter programming! You can catch Jazz-Thunder and Blazers-Clippers -- both potential first-round matchups -- on League Pass.
Happy Thursday. See you next time.