That right — there was a buzzer-beating, game-winning alley-oop from Dragan Bender to Tyson Chandler to lift the Suns over the Grizzlies on Tuesday. It took just 0.2 seconds of game clock to execute. Bender essentially shoots the ball, and Chandler punches it home.
Why isn't it offensive goaltending, as Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff is pleading with the officials? Chandler clearly touches the ball within the cylinder. But Suns coach Jay Triano knew a rule no one else (seemingly) did: there's no goaltending for shots that wouldn't count. You can't score from out of bounds. Because of that, you can't get called for goaltending a shot from out of bounds. Bender's shot wouldn't have counted had it gone in. But Chandler's touch makes it Chandler's shot.
Triano told reporters he discovered the rule 15 years ago, checked with officials, and kept it a secret, to be deployed at the right moment. It's no longer a secret!
Since there can be no goaltending on shots from out of bounds, I wonder if in endgame situations like this defenses will just park a big near the rim to swat away anything tossed near the basket. This might be the last successful out of bounds alley-oop we ever see!
Scores Galore ...
IND 83, DET 107
TOR 93, DAL 98
ORL 89, MIA 107
CHI 115, MIL 106
BKN 97, SAS 109
UTA 83, DEN 107
MEM 97, PHX 99
SAC 95, LAC 122
... And So Much More
The Raptors celebrated their new reign as the No. 1 seed in the East by ... immediately losing to the worst team in the Western Conference. Welp.
The NBA acknowledged in their last two minute report that, yes, Kevin Durant got away with three fouls on LeBron James in the closing moments. James apparently also got away with a hit on Durant.
In appreciation of Kevin Love, who is having his best season as a Cavalier.
Ratings for most of the Christmas slots were up. We should note that last year, Christmas was on a Sunday and the NBA was competing more fully with the NFL.
Gregg Popovich argues that rich people should help those in need. Novel!
Peak Scott Cacciola: a profile of a 44-year-old British basketball player named Fabulous Flournoy.
Isaiah Thomas is tired of being asked to talk about being traded by the Celtics. The problem here is Thomas has given some really great quotes about the trade — he's been raw with emotion over the way the Celtics traded him — and so other reporters are looking to get some of those awesome quotes for themselves. The lesson here: don't try.
The Warriors' biggest strength may actually be their shotblocking.
Players potentially coming back from injury in the next week: Steph Curry, Blake Griffin, and Thomas. Wow!
This is disturbing. Two players from the Memphis Sound G League team were given blankets by passengers in first class as they passed through while boarding a flight to North Dakota for a road trip. A flight attendant accused the players of stealing the blankets. An argument ensued. The players were removed from the flight. An assistant coach deplaned with them; all three missed the Sound's Christmas Eve team dinner.
Ten more games on a busy Wednesday, including Raptors-Thunder (8 p.m. ET) and Jazz-Warriors (10:30) on NBA TV. Full schedule here.
Be excellent to each other.