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Nets beat short-handed Lakers 107-99

InsideHoops.com Postgame Notes

BROOKLYN — Behind 30 points and 11 rebounds from center Brook Lopez, 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists from small forward Joe Johnson, and 17 points from guard Markel Brown, the Nets beat a badly short-handed Lakers squad 107-99

Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Carlos Boozer, Kobe Bryant (out for season) and Julius Randle (out for season) did not play for Los Angeles, whose squad today resembled the bargain bin at Walmart.

NETS NOTES

Nets swept season series with Lakers for first time since 2005-06 season

Brook Lopez averaged 28.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in his four games this week.

Nets guard Markel Brown scored a career-high 17 points today.

The Nets got 11 steals today, their most since a January 22 game against the Clippers.

The Nets are now 32-40 this season, and just 14-20 at home as they battle for a playoff spot.

Kevin Durant will have bone graft, out for 4-6 more months

Kevin Durant will have bone graft, out for 4-6 more months

The Oklahoma City Thunder released the following statement on behalf of Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding Kevin Durant:

“As we communicated last week, Kevin was going to use this time to engage in consultation and evaluation regarding the persistent soreness in his right foot at this stage of his rehabilitation. As part of this process, Kevin and Thunder personnel traveled to two additional specialists this past week; Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York City and Dr. James Nunley at Duke University. These in-person consults were designed to further supplement the previous evaluations of Dr. Bob Anderson. Several conference calls and discussions amongst the specialist team concluded that, while the majority of the soreness in Kevin’s foot was related to continued inflammation of the cuboid bone and would subside with rest, the evaluation process also determined that the Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal, which had shown significant healing previously, was now demonstrating signs of regression.

With the focus of this process being aimed entirely on Kevin’s long term health and stability, it was the consensus of the specialists team, in addition to a collective decision by Kevin, his representation and the Thunder, that to address the setback of the fracture site, a bone graft procedure would be the most proactive and recommended approach. The bone graft is the standard procedure for the five to eight percent of Jones fracture surgeries that do not initially have success or experience setbacks sometime within the recovery period. While everyone is disappointed that Kevin falls into that group, we are encouraged that the bone graft procedure has historically demonstrated long-term health and stability.

Dr. O’Malley will perform the bone graft surgery early next week in New York. He has extensive bone grafting experience amongst athletes and has been consulting on the case throughout. Kevin will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to basketball activities in the next four to six months.”

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed forward Chris Johnson to a multi-year contract.

Johnson re-joins the team following a 10-day contract with the Jazz from Jan. 28 through Feb. 6, during which time he appeared in two games and averaged 7.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 19.0 minutes per game.

The 24-year-old Johnson (6-6, 201, Dayton) most recently spent a pair of 10-day contracts with the Milwaukee Bucks (March 6-26), seeing action in eight contests and averaging 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 16.0 minutes.  He began the 2014-15 with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he averaged 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 20.8 minutes in nine games (two starts) before being waived on Nov. 15.  For the season, Johnson has played in a total of 19 games (two starts) and averages 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 0.9 steals in 18.6 minutes per game.

For his NBA career, Johnson has spent portions of three seasons with the Jazz, Bucks and 76ers (2014-15), Boston Celtics (2013-14) and Memphis Grizzlies (2012-13), appearing in 67 NBA games (two starts) and owns averages of 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game.

Prior to being called up by the Jazz and becoming the 15th D-League Call-Up in team history (fourth this season), Johnson had also appeared in 14 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League in 2014-15 and was selected as a 2014 NBA D-League All-Star and named to the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase Second Team.  Following his 10-day with the Jazz, Johnson returned to the Vipers for two additional games, and appeared in a total of 16 D-League games (all starts) this season, averaging 20.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 34.6 minutes per contest. He scored in double figures on 15 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in 10 games, including one 30-point contest.  Johnson has appeared in 75 games (58 starts) for Rio Grande Valley over three seasons and owns averages of 15.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.3 minutes.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Johnson played four seasons at Dayton (2008-12).  He earned Atlantic 10 All-Championship Team honors following his junior season and was the 2010 Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player recipient.  He was not selected in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Jazz waive Ian Clark

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived guard Ian Clark.  Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 14 players.

Clark (6-3, 180, Belmont) appeared in 23 games as a reserve this season for the Jazz, averaging 1.9 points in 7.0 minutes per game.  He also appeared in seven games (six starts) while on assignment with the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, the Idaho Stampede, where he averaged 14.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 32.0 minutes per contest.  The second-year guard appeared in a total of 46 games over two seasons with the Jazz, owning a career scoring average of 2.4 points in 7.2 minutes per game after originally joining Utah as an undrafted rookie free agent on July 29, 2013.

Warriors win 2014-15 Pacific Division title

The Golden State Warriors have clinched the 2014-15 Pacific Division title, improving to 58-13 on the season following Tuesday’s 122-108 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. This marks the organization’s first Pacific Division title since the San Francisco Warriors won back-to-back Pacific crowns in 1974-75 and 1975-76.

This is the organization’s fifth division championship since the team moved to the West Coast in 1962, with the Warriors claiming Western Division titles in 1963-64 and 1966-67. Overall, the team has now won eight division championships in franchise history, including Eastern Division titles by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1947-48, 1950-51 and 1955-56.

The Warriors are slated to make their third consecutive postseason appearance as the team finished second in the Pacific Division in each of the past two seasons, with records of 47-35 in 2012-13 and 51-31 in 2013-14. Golden State’s 58 wins thus far, with 11 games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, are the second most in team history and just one shy of the franchise-record 59 wins by the 1975-76 squad.

Bulls beat Hornets, clinch playoff spot

Nikola Mirotic scored 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, and the Chicago Bulls clinched a playoff spot with a 98-86 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

Pau Gasol had 27 points and 12 rebounds as Chicago moved into a tie with Toronto for third place in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler added 19 points in his return to the lineup after missing 11 games with a sprained left elbow.

The Bulls played without center Joakim Noah, who was scratched because of general soreness, but managed to bounce back from an ugly 107-91 loss at Detroit on Saturday.

Kemba Walker had 29 points and Mo Williams scored 15 for the Hornets, who were without Cody Zeller (right shoulder) and shot just 34.6 percent from the field.

– Associated Press

James Harden drops 44 points on Pacers

James Harden scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter and Josh Smith added 18 to help the Houston Rockets beat Indiana 110-100 on Monday night, handing the Pacers their sixth straight loss.

The Rockets (47-23) have won four of five.

Indiana’s sinking playoff hopes took another big hit despite 23 points from C.J. Watson.

George Hill had 20 points for the Pacers (30-40).

– Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they have signed forward Jordan Hamilton for the remainder of the season.

Hamilton appeared in eight games (two starts) for the Clippers averaging 4.0 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.3 assists in 9.6 minutes.

Hamilton, who was the 40th GATORADE call-up of the 2014-15 season, appeared in 27 games (22 starts) for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League and averaged 18.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 28.6 minutes.

Originally drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, Hamilton was traded to the Denver Nuggets on Draft Day. He has career averages of 5.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.1 minutes over 134 games (17 starts) with the Nuggets, Houston Rockets and Clippers.

The Los Angeles native spent two years at the University of Texas, earning second team All-American by the USBWA following his sophomore season. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists for his career at Texas over 70 games.

Even the biggest stars of the Houston Rockets’ past couldn’t outshine James Harden on Thursday night.

Harden scored a career-high 50 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Rockets to a 118-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on a night when the team celebrated the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.

Harden got a boost by knowing players such as Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were watching from the front row.

“That’s a special group right there,” Harden said.

– Associated Press

Rio Grande Valley Vipers guard Jarvis Threatt was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 9 – Sunday, March 15. The honor is the first of Threatt’s career.

Threatt (6-2, 165, Delaware) led Rio Grande Valley to a 2-0 week and averaged 25.0 points on 55 percent shooting, to go with 12.5 assists, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. On March 15, Threatt notched a triple-double with 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a 131-125 win over the Santa Cruz Warriors. It was the fourth triple-double in Vipers franchise history, joining Will Conroy, Gary Talton and Toure’ Murry. The win ended Santa Cruz’s 11-game winning streak.

Threatt has appeared in 27 games and is averaging 10.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals.

Other top performers considered included Bakersfield’s Jerel McNeal, Canton’s Arinze Onuaku, Maine’s Omari Johnson and Tim Frazier, Santa Cruz’s Mychel Thompson and Texas’ Dwight Powell.

Atlanta Hawks sign Austin Daye to 10-day contract

Hawks sign Austin Daye to 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Austin Daye to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Daye appeared in 26 games (four starts) earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes.

In 10 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Daye has averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 28.5 minutes.

A five-year NBA veteran, Daye has played in 285 career games (29 starts) with Detroit, Memphis, Toronto and San Antonio, totaling 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.2 minutes. He has also appeared in five career playoff games. Daye was originally selected by the Pistons in the first round (15th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft after a two-year college career at Gonzaga.

He will wear uniform no. 3.

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Sergey Karasev has been diagnosed with a dislocated patella and a torn MCL of the right knee, along with multiple loose bodies in the knee joint, General Manager Billy King announced.  The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s game versus New Orleans.  Karasev will undergo surgery tomorrow, March 12th, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Karasev played in 33 games (16 starts) for Brooklyn this season, posting averages of 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game.

Chandler Parsons concerned that his shoes were factor in his injury

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting on something we don’t get to hear much about: the impact that shoes have on NBA player injuries. There are plenty of suspicions in many cases. But few quotes or info to go on. Here’s the report:

chandler parsons

Dallas Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons returned Sunday after missing seven games due to an ankle injury.

His signature shoes were nowhere to be seen, however.

Parsons, who has a $1 million per year endorsement deal with the Chinese shoe company Anta, wore Jordan Brand sneakers with the logos covered during the Mavs’ 100-93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers because of concerns that his shoes contributed to the sprain and bone bruise to his left ankle.

“I just am trying to figure out if it was one of the shoes that I was wearing that bothered me,” Parsons told ESPNDallas.com. “I just wanted to fix them and make them stiffer.

“The injury that I had, [Mavs athletic trainer Casey Smith] was telling me how [the Anta shoes] were a little too flexible in the ankle, so I guess they said Jordan Brand had a stiffer shoe. In the meantime, I blacked out the logo and am trying to wear those until my new shoe is out.”

David Stockton named D-League Performer of Week through March 8

Reno Bighorns guard David Stockton was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 2 – Sunday, March 8. The honor is the first of Stockton’s career and the first for the Bighorns this season.

Fresh off a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings, Stockton led the Bighorns to a 2-1 record last week, averaging a double-double of 38.7 points and 13.7 assists to go with 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 steals.

In his first game back in Reno, Stockton scored a career-high 44 points, dished out 10 assists and notched a near-quadruple-double registering eight steals and seven rebounds in a 158-152 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Two days later, he amassed 22 assists to go with 37 points and five rebounds as his Bighorns defeated the Texas Legends 147-111. To finish the week, Stockton tallied 35 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as Reno fell 117-115 to the Iowa Energy on the road in Des Moines.

This season Stockton ranks fourth in the NBA D-League averaging 8.4 assists and second on the Bighorns averaging 18.5 points.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Orlando Johnson, Bakersfield’s Jerel McNeal, Delaware’s Victor Rudd, Erie’s Peyton Siva, Iowa’s Jarnell Stokes on assignment from the Memphis Grizzlies, Maine’s Tim Frazier, Santa Cruz’s Darington Hobston, and Texas’ Eric Griffin.

Nick Young still out with knee injury

Nick Young still out with knee injury

The Lakers are 16-45 this season. Nick Young is scoring 13.4 points per game on horrible 36.6% shooting. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with a health update:

Nick Young still out with knee injury

The outlook Lakers coach Byron Scott has on Nick Young’s progress on his swollen left knee no longer seems as positive.

Two days after holding out hope Young could begin on-court work to test out his knee, Scott revealed the possibility that Young could face a prolonged absence because of his injury that Scott said is “slowly healing.”

“It might take another week, or two or three,” Scott said about Young after talking with team doctors and head athletic trainer Gary Vitti. “[Nick] doesn’t know. It depends on how fast he heals. We’re not in a hurry. He still has some pain in there. That’s the biggest concern.”

Bucks sign Chris Johnson to 10-day contract

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Johnson to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Johnson is the 44th Gatorade Call-Up of the 2014-15 NBA Development League season.

Johnson, 24, most recently played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League where he’s averaged 20.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 17 appearances. He began the season with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he appeared in nine games (two starts) and averaged 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per contest before being waived on Nov. 15. Johnson also signed a 10-day contract with the Utah Jazz on Jan. 28 and appeared in two games, tallying 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Undrafted out of the University of Dayton in 2012, Johnson was later chosen by Rio Grande Valley with the seventh overall pick of the 2012 NBA D-League Draft and has spent time the Vipers in each of the last three seasons, logging 76 total games with career averages of 15.0 points, 5.2 rebounds 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals. He also received a pair of 10-contracts from the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2012-13 NBA season, and was called up to the Boston Celtics during the 2013-14 season. In all, Johnson has appeared in 59 NBA games with averages of 5.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per contest.

Craig Sager back for NBA on TNT

Craig Sager back for NBA on TNT

Craig Sager, he of daring yet highly questionable fashion decisions, is back in action for the NBA on TNT broadcast team. Here’s the Associated Press reporting:

Craig Sager returned to his familiar spot on the NBA sideline Thursday after being treated for leukemia.

The veteran reporter worked Oklahoma City’s game against Chicago for TNT, 11 months after he was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I’m 60 yards shorter off the tee, but I feel good,” Sager told The Associated Press upon his arrival at the United Center.

Best known for his outlandish outfits, Sager wore a red, black and gray plaid jacket and matching Nike shoes that sparkled in the dark for the occasion.

“Bulls colors,” he explained.

Gregg Popovich does not want a stretched-out NBA schedule

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting what Spurs coach Gregg Popovich thinks of an NBA schedule that goes deeper into the summer:

Gregg Popovich does not want a stretched-out NBA schedule

One would imaging that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would lead the drum beat for any NBA schedule change that would lessen the amount of back-to-back games, and especially the dreaded four-in-five nights.

If it comes at the expense of a longer season, however, he’s not a fan.

“I think the season is long enough,” Popovich said. “I will not come to work in July. If there’s a game in July, count me out.”

Even a championship game?

“Count me out. Count me out. Life is too short.”

Popovich was joking — we think — but his point remains: The NBA season already stretches over nine full months, from the start of training camp in October until finishing up with the Finals in June.

Amar’e Stoudemire unable to find Dallas spa that offers wine baths

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting on a tragic situation that should alarm and shock you all:

Amare Stoudemire unable to find Dallas spa that offers wine baths

After spilling into the courtside seats in pursuit of a loose ball, Amar’e Stoudemire ended up soaked in beer.

It’s the closest he’s come to getting one of his famous red wine baths since leaving New York.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think it has the same effect,” coach Rick Carlisle cracked to a referee, a conversation caught by the Fox Sports Southwest cameras on Saturday night.

Stoudemire looked for a spa in Dallas that offered vinotherapy, but it was a fruitless search. That lack of luxury is a minor inconvenience that ranks pretty far down the list of challenges presented to Stoudemire during his adjustment period since joining the Dallas Mavericks after the All-Star break.

Devyn Marble out 4-6 weeks due to detached retina

Orlando Magic guard Devyn Marble has suffered a detached retina in his left eye, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Marble is expected to miss four to six weeks of action.

Marble (6’6”, 200, 9/21/92) has appeared in 16 games (seven starts) during his rookie season with Orlando, averaging 2.3 ppg., 1.9 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 13.0 minpg. He also played in six games with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, averaging 13.0 ppg., 5.2 rpg., 2.2 apg. and 1.17 stlpg. in 30.3 minpg.

Marble was originally selected in the second round (56th overall) by Denver, his draft rights, along with Evan Fournier, were acquired by Orlando in exchange for Arron Afflalo on June 26. He played in 136 career games during four years at the University of Iowa, averaging 12.5 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 2.9 apg. and 1.29 stlpg. in 27.6 minpg. Marble ranks second on the school’s all-time games played list with 136. He also ranks in Hawkeyes’ history in scoring (fifth, 1,694 points), assists (sixth, 397) and steals (seventh, 176).

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