THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT: In a 664-word game story Friday night, the AP writer in San Antonio mentioned that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili sat out for the Spurs but conveniently overlooked the fact that leading scorer Goran Dragic didn’t play for the Suns.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce, after rookie teammate Mason Plumlee blocked a shot by LeBron James to preserve a win:
“He’s still got to come in here and carry the bags and get the towels.”
TANKAPALOOZA!: The Pelicans, who spent 70-plus games winning too much to keep their top-five protected draft pick, have lost eight straight games to potentially increase the value of that pick, which belongs to the 76ers.
LINE OF THE WEEK: Corey Brewer, Minnesota vs. Houston, April 11: 45 minutes, 19-30 FGs, 2-6 3-pointers, 11-15 FTs, two rebounds, one assist, six steals, two turnovers, 51 points in a 112-110 win. Brewer became the fifth player this season to score 50 in a game – and the sixth in NBA history to score 50 before scoring 30 – as he tied Kevin Love’s franchise record. “I want to watch it again and see if he really scored 51,” teammate Ricky Rubio said.
LINE OF THE WEAK: Roy Hibbert, Indiana vs. Atlanta, April 6: 9 minutes, 0-5 FGs, 0-0 FTs, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero blocks, zero steals, one turnover, zero points in a 107-88 loss. The start of a spectacular week for Hibbert, who was benched for the second half of this game, benched with his fellow starters Wednesday at Milwaukee, “bounced back” with five points and one rebound in 34 minutes of Friday’s loss at Miami and shot 0-of-9 vs. Oklahoma City on Sunday.
TRILLION WATCH: The heroes of zeros saved some of their best for last. There were 2 trillions from Minnesota’s Othyus Jeffers vs. San Antonio on Tuesday and Atlanta’s Mike Muscala vs. Miami and Dallas’ Jae Crowder vs. Phoenix on Saturday. Celtics center Joel Anthony had a 4 trillion at Atlanta on Wednesday. But Bulls rookie Tony Snell took the grand prize, following a 4 trillion at Minnesota on Wednesday with a 7 trillion vs. Detroit on Friday. Snell joined Thunder forward Perry Jones III and Magic guard Doron Lamb as the only players this season with two games of at least 5 trillion.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Memphis at Phoenix, April 14. Memphis can clinch the West’s final playoff berth if it wins this game. But if the Suns win – and beat Sacramento at home on Wednesday – the Grizzlies will have to beat Dallas at home on Wednesday to get in.
GAME OF THE WEAK: LA Lakers at Utah, April 14. The Lakers have to lose this game to have any chance at moving into the top five of the lottery, which right now is Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Orlando, Utah and Boston.
TWO MINUTES: Last season ended with Kyle Korver owning a streak of 73 games with a 3-pointer. This season likely will end with Stephen Curry owning a 70-game streak, which will rank fifth all-time behind Dennis Scott (78), Michael Adams (79), Dana Barros (89) and Korver (127). … In Charlotte’s overtime win at Washington on Wednesday, the teams combined to shoot 1-of-15 in the extra session. … If the Suns miss the playoffs, they are going to look back on games they gave away down the stretch. In its last three losses, Phoenix squandered a 13-point lead to Dallas, a 21-point lead to San Antonio and an 18-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers. … Since the All-Star break, the Lakers have had games where they have allowed 134, 122, 132, 142, 134, 131, 119, 125, 143, 124, 120 and 145 points. … Paul Pierce, Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, Dominique Wilkins and Oscar Robertson would make a pretty good team, wouldn’t they? Well, that’s who Dirk Nowitzki passed on the all-time scoring list this season, moving from 19th to 10th. Nowitzki likely will pass Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone next season, and 30,000 career points – a threshold reached by just five players – isn’t out of the question. … Kings coach Mike Malone, after Game 3, a loss to Golden State on Nov. 2: “I thought our energy, the fact that we were not ready to play, is what set the tone all night.” Kings coach Mike Malone, after Game 78, a loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday: “We had some guys that played with no energy. It looked they didn’t even want to be out there.”
Trivia Answer: Chris Paul with seven. … Happy 31st Birthday, Nikoloz Tskitishvili. … A Fox News anchor said UConn was the “NAACP champs.” I know there’s a joke in there somewhere.
Chris Bernucca is the managing editor of SheridanHoops.com. His columns appear Monday during the season. You can follow him on Twitter.