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Notes from around the NBA: April 7

The Mavericks are allowing an average of 86.0 points during their current five-game winning streak, which has given them a one-game lead over the Jazz for seventh place in the West.

Pistons center Andre Drummond has joined Isiah Thomas (1984-85) as the only Detroit players to lead the NBA in double-doubles for a season. Drummond has 66 double-doubles – 14 more than any other player this season.

The Trail Blazers, who clinched a playoff spot Wednesday, are a season-high six games above .500 (43-37).

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (27.1 ppg, 11.6 rpg) is on pace to become the first player to average at least 27 points and 11 rebounds since Shaquille O’Neal in 2002-03. Cousins, who is also averaging 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks, would be the first player to average 27 ppg/11 rpg/3 apg/1.5 spg/1 bpg since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1993-94.

Bulls center Pau Gasol is averaging 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.0 blocks. The last player to average 16 ppg/11 rpg/4 apg/2 bpg for a season was Kevin Garnett in 2003-04.

Suns guard Devin Booker has six 30-point games this season, the most by a rookie since Blake Griffin (14) in 2010-11 with the Clippers.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has been the team’s outright scoring leader in each of the last 17 games, the longest streak in the NBA this season.

Thunder center Enes Kanter scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds Wednesday, joining DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Dwight Howard as the only players with 30-and-20 games this season.

Raptors rookie guard Norman Powell, the 46th pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, averaged 14.5 points and shot 52.6 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from three-point range in a six-game stretch from March 25 to April 2.

Pacers forward Paul George has scored 1,826 points in 2015-16, the fourth most for a season in team history. Billy Knight is the all-time leader with 2,075 points in 1976-77, followed by Reggie Miller in 1989-90 (2,016) and 1990-91 (1,855).

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is shooting an NBA-best 70.1 percent from the field after hitting an NBA-best 71.0 percent last season. No NBA player has ever had multiple seasons of shooting at least 70.0 percent.

Magic center Nikola Vucevic has come off the bench to average 21.5 points (on 63.9 percent shooting) and 8.8 rebounds in 26.6 minutes over his last four games.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry needs 18 three-pointers to reach 400 for the season. With four more threes, he would have 100 more than in 2014-15, when he set the NBA single-season record with 286.

With his next appearance, Spurs big man Tim Duncan will pass Reggie Miller for sole possession of second place on the NBA’s all-time list of games played with one team. Duncan has played 1,389 games with San Antonio, the same number Miller played with Indiana. John Stockton appeared in 1,504 games with Utah.

– NBA News

Tonight marks the first meeting in NBA history between two teams that enter with at least 65 victories each. If the Warriors prevail, they would clinch the best record in the Western Conference (and in the NBA) and become the second team in NBA history to win 70 regular-season games. Golden State, coming off an overtime loss to Minnesota on Tuesday, has not lost two in a row all season. No team has ever gone an entire season without losing back-to-back games. (San Antonio, riding a four-game winning streak, also hasn’t lost consecutive games this season.)

The Warriors and Spurs have a combined winning percentage of .865. The highest combined winning percentage among the top two teams in one season is .829 in 1995-96. In that season, the Bulls finished an NBA-record 72-10 and the SuperSonics were 64-18; Chicago went on to defeat Seattle in The Finals. Golden State can surpass Chicago’s single-season record of 72 victories by winning its last four games – the two against the Spurs and two against the Grizzlies (Saturday in Memphis at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and Wednesday, April 13 in Golden State at 10:30 p.m.).

– NBA News

Security shakeup at Pelicans arena

Here’s the New Orleans Times Picayune with an update on the Pelicans’ arena security situation, which received a slight wakeup call recently as a young kid was able to wander onto the court, hug a player and return to his seat:

An usher lost her job and a New Orleans police officer will no longer be hired by SMG to work security details for Pelicans games because of a breakdown that enabled a young boy to run onto the court to hug New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony during a game last week at the Smoothie King Center.

Superdome/Smoothie King Center general manager Alan Freeman said the retractable tensile or crowd control barrier was not in place and the usher who should have been watching the aisle was not in place either.

”Then, there is a police officer stationed in that general area also, and he was not doing his job,” Freeman said. ”So essentially what happened there is that you get two people who were not doing their responsibilities and that led to a black eye for us as the building operator.

”So what we have done since then is first of all, we obviously replaced those two people who failed to do their jobs - the usher and the police officer.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green is on pace to become the first player to average at least 13.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists since Grant Hill in 1996-97.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry needs eight three-pointers to pass Glen Rice (1,559) for 20th place on the NBA’s all-time list.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside has come off the bench in his last 24 games to average 17.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in 29.5 minutes.

Kings rookie center Willie Cauley-Stein recorded the first two 20-point performances of his career in back-to-back games on March 25 and 27.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas is averaging 26.2 points in his last 13 games, scoring at least 20 in each contest.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tied an NBA record for the most regular-season games played at one venue in the Lakers’ overtime win over the Heat at the Staples Center on Wednesday. Bryant has played 595 games at the Staples Center, matching Hakeem Olajuwon’s mark at The Summit (later known as Compaq Center).

Wizards guard John Wall has 187 assists in March, tying the franchise record (Wall also had 187 in December 2015). It is the highest total in a month for any player this season. You have to go back to March 2012 to find the last time a player accumulated that many assists: Rajon Rondo (219) and Steve Nash (188).

Nuggets guard Will Barton has come off the bench to lead or tie for the team lead in scoring 20 times this season, tops in the NBA. Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson is second on the list with 10 such games.

Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson appeared in his 362nd consecutive game on Tuesday against Houston, surpassing Jim Chones (361) for the longest streak of consecutive games played in Cavaliers history.

The Raptors won their 50th game of the season Wednesday, the first time the franchise has reached that milestone. Every current team has now produced at least one 50-win season.

– NBA News

Spurs set an NBA record for home wins

With their win on Wednesday over the Pelicans, the Spurs set the NBA record for most consecutive home victories (38) to open a season. San Antonio also tied the franchise record for wins in a season with 63, set in 2005-06. For Tim Duncan, it was his 998th win as a member of the Spurs dating back to 1997. Duncan is poised to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,074) and Robert Parish (1,014) as the only players in history with 1,000 victories. Duncan holds the record for most victories with one team, ahead of John Stockton, who won 953 games with the Jazz. The Spurs host the Raptors on Saturday before embarking on a three-game road trip against the Jazz, Warriors and Nuggets.

– NBA News

D.J. Stephens of the Iowa Energy was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27. It’s the first Performer of the Week honor of his career.

Stephens (6-5, 188, Memphis) led Iowa to a 3-0 week, averaging 24.7 points (sixth in the league) on 61.4 percent shooting to go with 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks (tied for fifth), 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals. He connected on 11-of-18 three-point attempts (61.1 percent – eighth in the league).

For the season, he is averaging just 8.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Other top performers considered were Austin’s Keifer Sykes, Bakersfield’s Terrico White, Idaho’s J.J. O’Brien, Reno’s Erick Green, Rio Grande Valley’s Will Cummings, Sioux Falls’ Jarnell Stokes and Texas’ Andre Dawkins.

Historical Warriors NBA season continues

With Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, the Warriors joined the 1995-96 and 1996-97 Bulls as the only teams to win at least 66 games in consecutive seasons. Golden State became the 15th team ever to win 66 games and joined the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls as the only franchises with multiple 66-win seasons. The Warriors must go 7-2 to break the 1995-96 Bulls’ record for wins in a season (72). Six of their final nine games are at home, where Golden State has won a record 53 straight regular-season games over two seasons. The Warriors won 18 straight home games to end their 2014-15 campaign.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

Notes from around the NBA: March 21

These are through NBA games of Sunday, March 20:

Thunder forward Kevin Durant has scored at least 20 points in 55 straight games, one shy of his career high.

The Pacers need one victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to secure a winning home record for the 27th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the NBA. Indiana has three home games this week, starting tonight against Philadelphia.

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki needs one three-pointer to pass former teammate Steve Nash (1,685) for sole possession of 15th place on the NBA’s career list. Nowitzki, 37, made three triples as part of a 40-point effort in Sunday’s overtime win over Portland, becoming the oldest player to score 40 points in a game since 39-year-old Karl Malone scored 40 for the Jazz against the Magic on March 12, 2003.

Raptors center Bismack Biyombo has three double-doubles in his last four games, including 16 points and a franchise-record 25 rebounds in a victory at Indiana on March 17.

Jazz guard Shelvin Mack is averaging 16.8 points, 8.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds and shooting 60.9 percent (14-of-23) from three-point range in his last six games – a 5-1 stretch for Utah.

The Cavaliers have made 10 or more three-pointers in a season-high seven consecutive games. Their season average for threes made (10.3) is on pace to be a franchise record.

The Pistons are 2-1 on their franchise-record nine-game homestand.

Bulls forward Doug McDermott has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four games.

Lakers guard Marcelo Huertas, a 32-year-old rookie from Brazil, is averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 assists in his last eight games.

Guard Isaiah Thomas has scored 20 or more points in nine games in a row, the longest streak by a Celtics player since Paul Pierce’s 16-game run in February-March 2006. Thomas is averaging 26.3 points in those nine games.

In the Kings’ win over the Knicks on Sunday, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins (24 points, 20 rebounds) and New York center Robin Lopez (23 points, 20 rebounds) became the first opposing players to have at least 20 points and 20 rebounds since Cleveland’s Michael Cage and San Antonio’s David Robinson on Jan. 10, 1996.

Swingman Joe Johnson is averaging 15.7 points and shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 59.0 percent from three-point range in 11 games with the Heat. Miami is 8-3 with Johnson in the lineup.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

Lots of NBA triple-doubles this season

Triple-doubles are piling up around the NBA. Through games of Sunday, March 20, the league has produced 59 triple-doubles this season with more than three weeks still to play. That number is a single-season record for a 30-team league, as well as being the fifth most all time and only six behind the second most. The NBA record is 78 triple-doubles in the 1988-89 season, followed by 65 in 1961-62 (when Oscar Robertson recorded 41 and averaged a triple-double). This season’s barrage is led by Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who on Saturday became the first player to post 11 triple-doubles in a 30-game span in one season since Michael Jordan in 1989; Oklahoma City is 14-0 when he puts up a triple-double this season. Also Saturday, Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph registered his first triple-double in his 974th game, an NBA record for most games before a triple-double.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

Buying online tickets is generally safer these days thanks to many services that use technology to make the transfer of ticket ownership a near certainty. But then stuff like this still happens. Here’s the NY Daily News reporting:

An NCAA racket brought nothing but March sadness to one man who bought $500 in fake tickets off of Craigslist, police said on Sunday.

The 20-year-old man purchased the fraudulent tickets off of someone he met through the online classifieds site on Thursday, police said.

Once at the Barclays Center, just steps from the national college basketball tournament, he was informed the tickets were fakes.

NBA notes from around the league, through games of Sunday, March 13.

The Hornets have won seven consecutive games for the first time since March 2002.

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has recorded all four of his career triple-doubles in the last 11 games. He is the first player in franchise history with four triple-doubles in a season.

Spurs big man Tim Duncan needs three points to pass John Havlicek (26,395) for 14th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

After passing Kevin Johnson on Sunday for 19th place on the career assists list, Cavaliers forward LeBron James needs 11 assists to pass Muggsy Bogues (6,726) for the 18th spot.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson has joined teammate Stephen Curry as the only players in NBA history with 200 three-pointers made in four consecutive seasons.

Stephen Curry celebrates his 28th birthday today.

Pistons center Andre Drummond leads the NBA with 55 double-doubles. The franchise single-season record is 69 by Bob Lanier in 1972-73.

With 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Friday’s victory over New Orleans, 36-year-old Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes became the oldest player to record his first career triple-double.

Suns rookie Devin Booker has scored 27 or more points in four of his last six games, including recent back-to-back games of 32 and 35 points. He became the first Phoenix rookie with consecutive 30-point games since Walter Davis in 1977.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert is averaging 13.8 rebounds in his last nine games.

The Delaware 87ers, the Philadelphia 76ers’ National Basketball Development League affiliate, are the first NBA D-League or NBA team ever to have four players score 45 or more points in a game in a season. Sean Kilpatrick, Jordan McRae, Russ Smith and Christian Wood have all accomplished the feat.

Kilpatrick, now on his second 10-day contract with the Nets, has scored in double figures in four of his last five games for Brooklyn, including two 19-point performances.

NBA stats and stuff: March 7, 2016

Jazz forward Derrick Favors had 28 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots in Saturday’s win over New Orleans, making him the only player this season with more than one game of at least 25 points, 10 boards and five blocks.

Pacers forward Paul George has scored at least 30 points in 20 of 63 games this season. He entered this season with 15 career 30-point performances in 292 games.

Heat guard Goran Dragic is averaging 19.2 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds in his last 10 games – an 8-2 stretch for Miami, which has closed within a half-game of Boston for third place in the East.

Miami guard Dwyane Wade needs 70 points to reach 20,000 for his career.

The Mavericks on Sunday played their NBA-high 11th overtime game this season (7-4), three shy of the league record. The 1990-91 76ers played 14 overtime games.

Rockets guard James Harden is averaging 36.6 points, 7.4 assists and 6.0 rebounds in his last seven games.

Suns center Alex Len is averaging 19.0 points and 12.4 rebounds in eight games since the All-Star break.

The Pistons have matched last season’s win total (32) in 63 games.

Nuggets guard D.J. Augustin is averaging 12.8 points in 23.2 minutes over nine games since being acquired from Oklahoma City.

– VIA NBA News

LeBron James about to pass John Havlicek on NBA All-Time scoring list

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James on Saturday passed San Antonio’s Tim Duncan for 14th place on the NBA’s career scoring list. James (26,378 points) moved into third place among active players, behind the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (33,335, third all time) and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki (29,136, sixth all time). The Cavaliers’ forward is set to rise another spot on the all-time list as soon as tonight against the Grizzlies (7 p.m. ET, NBA TV): He needs 18 points to pass John Havlicek for 13th place. In addition, James is only 20 assists shy of supplanting Kevin Johnson (6,711) for 19th place in NBA history.

– Via NBA News

New York Knicks interim head coach Kurt Rambis acknowledged rookie Kristaps Porzingis probably has become a step slower defensively because of the so-called NBA rookie wall, but said he doesn’t believe the team’s losing is shaking the 7-foot-3 Latvian’s confidence or enthusiasm.

Porzingis’ failure to win the Eastern Conference NBA Rookie of the Month award for February (Indiana’s Myles Turner captured it) underscored his downturn. Porzingis had won the award for November, December and January. Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, who has swept all four Western Conference monthly prizes, is now a heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year.

In 11 games in February, Porzingis averaged 14.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, as his shot-blocking and rebounding numbers took a downturn.

New York Post

An overseas NBA All-Star game someday?

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer with reporting on some of what NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently told media here at All-Star weekend:

Sunday marked the first the time the NBA All-Star Game was played outside of the United States. The top players in the world had their showcase at the Air Canada Center.

One would assume the next step is to take the All-Star Game overseas. However, logistically, that would be more difficult than it seems even though the all-star break has been expanded from four to eight days.

“There’s a ripple effect in terms of the number of days we take off on the rest of the schedule,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday.

Right now, teams play an 82-game schedule in roughly 162 days. The amount of days decreased when the additional time was added for the all-star break.

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on Commissioner Adam Silver’s press conference from this evening:

The NBA may make changes to prevent the increasingly more-practiced, and increasingly loathed, hack-a-Shaq tactic.

Hack-a-Shaq is the strategy of fouling a poor free-throw shooter away from the basketball in an effort to limit an opponent’s scoring. The tactic is best known for being implemented against, and named for, former center Shaquille O’Neal.

“It’s an issue that we have been studying for some time now,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday night at his all-star weekend news conference.

This week in the NBA

Monday, Feb. 1: All-Star starters LeBron James of Cleveland and Paul George of Indiana go head-to-head in the first game of NBA TV’s doubleheader (7 p.m.), followed by Milwaukee visiting Sacramento.

Tuesday, Feb. 2: If both players are healthy, this would mark the final regular-season matchup between Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (10:30 p.m., NBA TV). Garnett and Bryant are two of five players in NBA history to play 20 or more seasons.

Wednesday, Feb. 3: Guards Stephen Curry of Golden State and John Wall of Washington, both All-Stars for the third year in a row, square off at 8 p.m. in the opener of ESPN’s doubleheader, which concludes with Timberwolves-Clippers at 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 4: New York begins this week as one of four teams within three games of eighth-place Detroit in the East. The Knicks visit the Pistons in the opener of TNT’s doubleheader (7 p.m.). The Lakers and Pelicans meet in the second game (9:30 p.m.).

Friday, Feb. 5: Along with ESPN’s doubleheader of Pacers-Hawks (7 p.m.) and Spurs-Mavericks (9:30 p.m.), the Cavaliers play host to the Celtics (7:30, NBA LEAGUE PASS). Boston is one of only four teams to beat the Cavs in Cleveland since Jan. 19 of last season.

Saturday, Feb. 6: The Thunder and Warriors meet for the first time season in a game featuring five 2016 All-Stars and the current top two offenses in the NBA (9 p.m., ESPN). Golden State will bring a 40-game home regular-season winning streak into the matchup; a victory would give the Warriors sole possession of the second-longest home winning streak of all time.

Sunday, Feb. 7: In an ABC matinee (2 p.m.), the Clippers play the Heat in the second game of a four-game road trip. The Clippers open the week with a 15-9 road record, tied for the second-most road victories in the NBA.

– NBA News

d-wade

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant were today named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 31.

Wade led the Heat to a 4-0 week, which included wins over the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, behind averages of 24.0 points (tied-third in the Eastern Conference), 7.0 assists (fourth in the conference), 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals (tied-eighth in the conference) and 1.75 blocks (tied-fifth in the conference). On Jan. 26, he tallied 27 points, eight assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks during a 102-98 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

kevin durant

Durant’s league-best 34.7 points on the week helped the Thunder to a 3-0 record. He ranked fourth in the Western Conference with 11.7 rebounds, contributed 4.3 assists and averaged a conference-high 40.0 minutes. Durant recorded point-rebound double-doubles twice, including a 44-point, 14-rebound outing on Jan. 26, as the Thunder topped the New York Knicks 128-122 in overtime.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Indiana’s Monta Ellis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Memphis’ Jeff Green, New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

The National Basketball Association announced today that two games scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 have been postponed due to potential severe weather conditions in the Eastern United States.

The game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers has been postponed and will be made up on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. ET. The game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Look, people. Pregame NBA dance routines from players are important. They set the tone. Bad dance routine? Expect a loss. That’s just the way it is.

OK, maybe not quite. Perhaps we’re just being silly. Still, pregame dance routines are fun, so we support them and any coverage they receive.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Cameron Payne says there’s a simple name for it.

“Swagdaddies,” he says.

Hyphen?

“No hyphen. One word. Swagdaddies.” With an emphasis on swag.

Payne has used that word to describe other things, like a ridiculous Euro step, but in this case is talking about his now moderately infamous pregame dance routine — if you want to call it that — with Russell Westbrook. It goes like this: Actually, it doesn’t go like anything. You’ve just sort of got to see it. And then watch the next game’s routine, because no two are the same.

“Every game is something new,” Westbrook said.

Basketball blog