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Doc Rivers, Tom Thibodeau think All-Star Game rosters should be expanded to 15, want draft televised

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers believes the NBA should expand its All-Star rosters to 15 players on each side.

I wish the league would go to 15, Rivers said prior to Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Whatever we dress [in regular-season games], we should have All-Stars.

Rivers, like many players, coaches and fans also believes that the upcoming All-Star Game draft between captains LeBron James and Stephen Curry should be televised. As an added bonus, Rivers also believes that the league’s coaches’ vote should be made public as well.

As it stands, both Rivers and Thibodeau know how difficult the competition is to get their players on the roster. Thibodeau was advocating for Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, and hoping even possibly Andrew Wiggins would get consideration. Rivers was hoping Clippers sharpshooter Lou Williams would get a chance to participate. Rivers acknowledged that Towns and Butler deserved to be in, but summed up the tough voting decisions this way.

It’s just the West, Rivers said. There’s a lot of good players. You got to vote for the entire Golden State team, and then there’s not a lot of guys left after that.

It was good, Frazier told the New York Daily News. He’s a nice guy, to finally meet him and he looks good, he’s playing the part off well. He looks like an upstanding gentleman, and it was nice to finally meet him.

In September, when the Yankees were playing the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series relocated to the Mets’ Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma in Florida, a YES Network camera caught the bearded, suspender-wearing Dunaier making the disapproving gesture after Frazier hit a three-run homer.

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Todd Frazier, ‘Thumbs-Down Guy’ meet at autograph signing

All New York Mets fan Gary Dunaier did was show his disapproval for his crosstown rivals. Four months later, the Thumbs-Down Guy got to meet the New York Yankees’ player who adopted his inverted digit as the team’s rallying cry.

Dunaier surprised Todd Frazier on Saturday as they met each other for the first time at an autograph signing on Long Island. The free-agent third baseman greeted the 55-year-old fan with a hug.

Dunaier, who was in the second row behind the visitor’s dugout — occupied by the Yankees — was surrounded by a sea of Yankees fans. The clip of his thumbs-down gesture went viral, and Frazier and the Yankees embraced the gesture for the remainder of the season as they came within one game of advancing to the World Series.

It was great, Dunaier, who again was wearing his suspenders, told the Daily News about meeting Frazier on Saturday. We chatted for a little, talked about the fate of everything and how it all worked out.

Sports is entertainment. I’m happy I can bring joy to fans. It doesn’t bother me that much. Maybe if the Mets were good and were in [the playoffs], it would have been different. The Yankees turned thumbs-down into a good thing. It still means a bad thing for me.

I actually think they should do the coaches vote, that should be public. And I think since we’re in the age of transparency, we’re announcing every time our official makes a mistake, that should definitely be live, the pick of the teams. Doesn’t hockey do that?

When reminded by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the NHL once gave a car to the last person drafted in their All-Star draft, Rivers was all for that idea.

That’s sweet. You’re kidding me? I love that. We should do it.

Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau echoed Rivers’ sentiments regarding roster expansion.

I’m all for 15 players, Thibodeau said. I think we should increase it so guys don’t get left off.

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Magic win for 3rd time in 20 games, beat Celtics 103-95

After a near-miss in their last game, the Orlando Magic were rewarded for another solid effort.

Evan Fournier added 19 and Aaron Gordon had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic.

Was a really good win for us and we are playing really hard right now, Fournier said. We almost let it slip, but made a few plays to close the deal and it feels really good.

Trailing 59-58 at halftime, Orlando outscored the Celtics 32-12 in the third quarter while shooting 60 percent. The Magic held Boston to four field goals, three by Irving, and led 90-71 after three.

I thought Payton was the leader of the pack, Magic coach Frank Vogel said. The Elfrid in the third quarter was the guy driving the engine.

Jayson Tatum sparked a fourth-quarter run by scoring seven of his nine points to draw the Celtics to 93-84, but both teams traded points and Orlando maintained control the rest of the way.

The Warriors were wrapping up a five-game road trip and had won the first four games to tie a franchise record for consecutive road wins. But they struggled from the outset Saturday and trailed by double digits for most of the first half.

It was Harden’s second game back after missing seven with a strained hamstring. He was in a much better rhythm than in his return Thursday night, when he scored a season-low 10 points. He had eight assists, two steals and two blocks Saturday.

The Rockets got the victory despite missing Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green, who were both serving the second game of a two-game suspension for an altercation with the Clippers. Clint Capela added 18 points for Houston on a night when top reserve Eric Gordon went 0 for 9 from 3-point range and finished with just six points.

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