About Last Night

About Last Night: Trade Deadline Eve takes over

Games were no barrier to player movement, even if the players in question were still playing

The trade deadline waits for no one — not even the players who are still on the court.

Just ask Harrison Barnes, who was dealt to the Kings while logging 26 minutes during the Mavs’ 99-93 home win over Charlotte. One minute, Kristaps Porzingis (last week’s news) was waving hello to the Dallas community…

The next, Barnes was saying goodbye…

To his credit, Barnes stayed on the Mavs’ bench to support his teammates even after news broke of the trade. LeBron James, however, pointed out that player movement can be unfairly skewed against athletes but in favor of teams.

Sacramento is Barnes’ new home now, and it will be interesting to see how the 6-foot-8 swingman meshes with his up-and-coming teammates. The Kings have only just struck on their best chemistry and on-court success in 15 years. That hasn’t stopped them from shaking it up in an effort to accelerate their progress now.

Dallas, meanwhile, might have lost a step in this year’s playoff race, though that setback could be extremely temporary. The Mavericks, who are Luka Doncic’s team now more than ever, are now well positioned to add more dynamic talent this summer. Throw in a potentially healthy Porzingis, and Dallas’ 2019-20 leap could be breathtaking.

Let’s make a deal

Barnes was one of many to reportedly address changes on Trade Deadline Eve. The most timely switch occurred in Sacramento, where Kings guard Iman Shumpert found out he was traded to the very same Houston team Sacramento was playing. Not a bad head start on meeting new teammates.

Chicago and New Orleans also executed their own business even as their respective teams faced off in the Windy City. The Pelicans picked up a second-round pick for taking on remaining months of Markieff Morris’ contract, while the Bulls shipped off Bobby Portis and former homecoming king Jabari Parker to Washington in exchange for Otto Porter.

The move shocked Portis and Parker, each of whom spoke to reporters before the night was over.

The Bulls’ acquisition of Porter, meanwhile, should jog the memories of Shaqtin’ fans around the world.

Catch up on all our deadline updates with the NBA.com’s trade buzz. Also, don’t miss NBA TV’s trade deadline day coverage running from 1-5 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Durant breaks silence

Kevin Durant went more than a week without speaking to the media, and yes, it was on purpose.

The Warriors superstar was upset with the media for insinuating the Knicks’ trade of Kristaps Porzingis was meant to pave the way for Durant and possibly other superstars to sign with New York in the coming offseason.

“I have nothing to do with the Knicks,” Durant said emphatically. “I don’t know who traded Porzingis. That ain’t got nothing to do with me. I’m trying to play basketball.

“Y’all come in here every day asking about free agency,” he continued. “You ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That’s all I’m saying. Now when I don’t wanna talk to y’all, it’s a problem with me. Common, man. Grow up. Grow up.”

Big quarters

While the Wizards were wheeling and dealing off the court, the Bucks were blitzing them on it. Milwaukee scored a whopping 50 points in the first quarter (on 74.1 percent shooting!) en route to a franchise scoring record in their 148-129 win over Washington.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was at his long-striding best, torching the Wizards for 43 points on 17-of-21 shooting. Here’s a look at the All-Star captain’s absurd shot chart:

The Bucks’ killer quarter wound up just barely topping the Warriors’ nightly post-halftime push. The two-time defending champs dropped 49 points in the third quarter of their 141-102 rout over the Spurs. DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry scored 10 each in the period.

Not that the Spurs were concerned, as Gregg Popovich chose to rest his stars and trot out a starting lineup of Rudy Gay, Davis Bertans, Jakob Poeltl, Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli.

Russell’s All-Star statement

D’Angelo Russell may be an injury replacement in the upcoming All-Star game, but he followed up the league’s selection with a decisive performance against one of the West’s best teams. The former second overall pick poured in 27 points, 11 assists and six rebounds while leading Brooklyn to a 135-130 win over the Nuggets

The newly minted All-Star isn’t a self-centered teammate, either. Just look at the part he played in the Nets’ epic bench celebration following a successful Shabazz Napier Eurostep assist:

Honoring the legends

Golden State did Black History Month right by hosting and honoring Olympic track and field star Tommie Smith, who became an athletic icon of civil rights in the late 1960s.