Bass' hard work paying off in sixth man role

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Bass' hard work paying off in sixth man role

BOSTON -- Brandon Bass turned heads when he scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his debut with the Boston Celtics.

In the short time since then, he has established himself as a reliable contributor off the bench who can not only score, but also exemplify the Celtics foundation of defense.

On Wednesday night, in just the seventh game of the season, Bass recorded his second double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds in a win against the New Jersey Nets.

There is no doubt Bass is fitting in with the Celtics. After being traded from the Orlando Magic in the deal for Glen Davis, his teammates and coaches are happy to have him around.

Brandons efficient, said Kevin Garnett after the Celtics 89-70 victory. He knows his game, he doesnt come out of that. Hes playing with a group of guys who are rooting for him and I dont think hes ever been rooted for like this. We sort of parade each other, we praise each other, but at the same time we push each other and hes no different from that. Hes falling right in to being a Celtic.

Garnett is one of the players who can benefit directly from Basss presence. Bass allows for him to take a breather while hes on the court. He also gives the Celtics a different look at the four spot -- a power forward who can both shoot a jumper and drive to the basket.

Its rare you can come out of a timeout and run a pick-and-roll for a pop for the big, said Doc Rivers. Its actually an iso for him to take someone off the dribble. Thats just nice to have. I dont think Ive ever had that.

Whether its scoring or playing defense, Bass has accepted his sixth man-type role on the Celtics. He talks of energy and bringing it each game. With that comes continuing the hard work the Celtics are seeing pay off on the court.

Before the season really kicked off I was doing two-a-days, coming back, getting extra shots up, and conditioning, Bass told CSNNE.com. Now on game days Im doing two-a-days, kind of like after our walkthroughs I put some shots up.

But thats what got me here, just hard work, consistency, and determination. Thats what got me here so Im going to continue to do that the rest of my career.

Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

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Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Klay Thompson made a playoff-record 11 3-pointers and scored 41 points, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors forced a seventh game in the Western Conference finals with a 108-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

Stephen Curry bounced back from a slow start to finish with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Warriors, who set the league's regular-season record with 73 wins, will host Game 7 on Monday. The winner will play Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City dominated Games 3 and 4 at home, but the Warriors made 21 of 44 3-pointers on Saturday, while Oklahoma City was 3 of 23.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 28 for the Thunder. But Durant made just 10 of 31 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 27.

Trying to become the 10th team to overcome a 3-1 deficit, the Warriors trailed much of the game and trailed by eight going to the fourth quarter.

Thompson kept them in it with four 3-pointers in just over seven minutes to start the period. Curry then hit two 3s, the second of which tied the game at 99 with 2:47 to play.

Thompson's 3 with 1:35 to play put the Warriors up 104-101.

The Thunder, who blew a number of fourth-quarter leads during the regular season, fell apart in the final minutes after Golden State had finally gone ahead for good.

Westbrook lost control of the ball, and after Thompson missed a 3, Westbrook turned the ball over again. Curry's layup with 14.3 seconds to play put the Warriors up by five, the Thunder turned it over again, and the Warriors were in the clear.

The Thunder led 23-20 after one quarter, then seized momentum early in the second. Steven Adams' powerful one-handed dunk on Draymond Green drew a roar from the crowd and gave Oklahoma City a 37-28 lead. Green, who had hit Adams in the groin area twice during the series, was a constant target for the vocal Thunder fans.

Thompson opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors a 54-53 edge, but the Thunder closed the quarter strong and led 83-75 heading into the fourth.

Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot and killed

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Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot and killed

By Kurt Helin, NBC Pro Basketball Talk

This is a sad and stunning development.

Bryce Dejean-Jones, the rookie guard of the New Orleans Pelicans, has died, the Dallas, Texas, County Coroner has confirmed to NBC Sports. Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune broke the news.

Dejean-Jones was just 23.

The coroner’s office would not give a cause of death, but Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had the tragic detail.