short takes

Nuggets bring in a ringer

Longtime assistant coach Melvin Hunt made his NBA head coaching debut last week, leading Denver to consecutive victories over Milwaukee and the Timberwolves after the Nuggets fired Brian Shaw and promoted Hunt to interim head coach.

Unofficially, though, he was 3-0: Hunt was brought in over All-Star break to coach his son's eighth-grade team and led the Cherry Hills, Colo., team to its first victory over the school's staff in nearly 20 years.

"The staff always had a ringer, a guy so they asked me to coach them," Hunt said. "They thought I was the best thing in the world. Here I am now, head coach in the NBA."

Jordan, CP3 are Clippers' new two-man game

While the Los Angeles Clippers continue to wait for Blake Griffin's return from an infected elbow, center DeAndre Jordan just keep on grabbing rebounds. He has collected 15 or more in 10 consecutive games, the NBA's longest active streak and the longest by a Clipper since the 1985-86 season.

Wolves coach Flip Saunders calls Jordan's recent stretch, particularly his rebounding, "phenomenal" and called Jordan the league's player best at setting screens to free teammates. Saunders' team plays Jordan's Clippers Monday in Los Angeles.

"Right now, both Jordan and Chris Paul are the top players at their respective positions, with how they're playing," Saunders said, referring to Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul. "Those guys are carrying them."

Who is that masked man?

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook's captivating streak of consecutive triple-double games ended at four Thursday when the NBA's leading scorer delivered a mere 43 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a loss at Chicago while wearing a clear mask to protect a facial fracture. Those were the most triple-doubles in a row since Michael Jordan did so in seven consecutive games during the 1988-89 season.