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Paul Millsap, NBA Players of Week

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 4 through Sunday, April 10.

Millsap helped the Hawks to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. He averaged 19.0 points, led the league in both rebounds (15.7 rpg) and blocks (4.33 bpg), and posted point-rebound double-doubles in all three contests. On April 9, Millsap’s 31-point, 16-rebound, five-block performance lifted Atlanta to a 118-107 win over Boston and moved the Hawks one game ahead of the Celtics for the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Karl-Anthony Towns wins nba player of week

Towns led the Timberwolves to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 21.3 points (seventh in the Western Conference), 10.3 rebounds (tied-sixth) and 1.67 blocks (tied-sixth). On April 9, Towns made the game-winning shot with 1.8 seconds remaining during the Timberwolves’ 106-105 win over the Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford.

Warriors now have 72 wins

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors earned their 72nd win of the 2015-16 season with Sunday’s 92-86 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs, matching the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ NBA record for most wins in a single season.

With Sunday’s win, the Warriors finished the season with a 34-7 (.829) record on the road, establishing an NBA record for most road wins in a single season. At 72-9 (.889) on the season, Golden State has become the first team in NBA history to reach 63 games above the .500 mark. The Warriors snapped a 33-game regular-season road losing streak against the Spurs, earning their first regular-season win at San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. Golden State improved to 16-1 (.941) this season against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is in his second year at the helm, was a key reserve on the record-setting Bulls team.

Miami Heat sign Briante Weber

The Miami Heat have signed guard Briante Weber. He will wear jersey number 12.

Originally signed by the HEAT earlier this season on October 19 and then waived on October 24, Weber appeared in 28 regular season games (nine starts) this season with the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.11 steals and 28.8 minutes while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the foul line.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Although he recently completed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Weber is playoff eligible because 10-day contracts do not count against the ban on playoff eligibility for players with other NBA teams after March 1.”

Among NBA D-League leaders, he finished third in defensive rating (99.5) and fourth in steals per game. He recently helped the Skyforce complete the 2-0 series sweep of the Westchester Knicks in the first round of the NBA D-League playoffs after scoring 21 points, grabbing five rebounds and recording five steals in a, 112-105, victory on April 8.

Earlier this season, he signed a 10-day contract with Memphis on March 11 and appeared in six games (four starts) with the Grizzlies averaging 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 27.7 minutes while shooting 34.2 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line. He scored in double-figures twice and led the team in steals and blocks once each.

Weber played all four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth finishing as VCU’s all-time career steals leader (374), shattering the previous 29-year old record by 117, capping his career third on the NCAA’s steals list, just 12 shy from becoming the all-time career leader before missing the final 10 games of his senior season due to injury.

Philadelphia 76ers Managing General Partner Josh Harris announced today that the team has named Bryan Colangelo as President of Basketball Operations.

As part of the transition, Jerry Colangelo will relinquish the role of Chairman of Basketball Operations and remains as a special advisor to Harris.

Colangelo most recently served as President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors from 2006 to 2013. In his first full season at the helm of the Raptors (2006-07), the team saw a 20-win improvement from the previous year and tied a then franchise-high with 47 wins. Colangelo was named 2007 NBA Executive of the Year.

One of only three executives to win the award with two different franchises, Colangelo was also named NBA Executive of the Year in 2005 with the Phoenix Suns. After Colangelo’s offseason acquisition of point guard Steve Nash, who would go on to win back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player awards in 2005 and 2006, the Suns notched a 62-20 regular season record and an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.

During his tenure with Toronto, Colangelo drafted current Raptors DeMar DeRozan (ninth overall, 2009), Jonas Valanciunas (fifth overall, 2011) and Terrence Ross (eighth overall, 2012). During the 2012 offseason, Colangelo dealt for point guard Kyle Lowry, who would be named an NBA All-Star in 2015 and 2016.

Over the span of 15 years with the Suns organization, Colangelo drafted NBA All-Stars Michael Finley (21st overall, 1995), Steve Nash (15th overall, 1996), Shawn Marion (ninth overall, 1999) and Amar’e Stoudemire (ninth overall, 2002).

All told, his teams have appeared in the NBA Playoffs 11 times and have captured four division championships in his 18 seasons as a general manager.

Pelicans sign James Ennis for rest of season

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed forward James Ennis for the remainder of the 2015-16 season, which ends on Wednesday.

The 6-7, 201-pound player was initially signed by the Pelicans on March 30. In six games, Ennis has averaged 11.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per outing.

Prior to joining the Pelicans, Ennis most recently played for the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, appearing in 24 games this season, averaging 18.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 33.3 minutes per contest.

Brandon Knight has surgery for sports hernia

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight had surgery yesterday to treat a sports hernia. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.

In his fifth NBA season and first full season with the Suns, Knight averaged a career-high 19.6 points in addition to 5.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 52 games, one of just 10 players in the NBA to post at least those averages in each of those categories.

Knight has already begun rehabilitation and will return to Phoenix next week.

The 2015-16 NBA regular season ends Wednesday. With a 21-58 record, the Suns were one of the biggest disappointments in the entire league this season and didn’t come close to qualifying for the playoffs.

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors earned their 70th win of the 2015-16 season with Thursday’s 112-101 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors join the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA-record 72 games, as the only teams in NBA history to win at least 70 games in a single season. Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is in his second year at the helm, was a key reserve on the record-setting Bulls team.

With Thursday’s win, the Warriors have clinched the best record in the NBA for the second consecutive season, becoming the seventh franchise in NBA history to own the league’s best record in back-to-back campaigns and the first to do so since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-09 and 2009-10. At 70-9 (.886) on the season, Golden State is tied with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best record in NBA history through 79 games. The Warriors are now 13-1 (.929) this season against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

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

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed forward Christian Wood to a contract for the rest of the season, which for the league ends this coming Wednesday, April 13.

Wood, who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, signed with the 76ers last September 14. He has appeared in 16 career NBA games with the Sixers, averaging three points and two rebounds per game. Wood registered career-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds on November 13 at Oklahoma City.

Wood appeared in 32 games with the NBA Development League Delaware 87ers this season, averaging a team-high nine rebounds, as well as 17 points on 53% shooting in 29 minutes per game.

The Memphis Grizzlies today waived center Ryan Hollins, and signed guard Xavier Munford to a multi-year contract.

Hollins (7-0, 240) appeared in 32 games (nine starts) for the Grizzlies this season and averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes. The 31-year-old has averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 518 games (76 starts) over a 10-year NBA career with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies.

Munford (6-3, 180) has appeared in 10 games (zero starts) with the Grizzlies and has averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 14.2 minutes after signing with the team to the first of two 10-day contracts on March 16. The 23-year-old played 41 games (37 starts) for the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam, averaging 20.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes, and was recognized as a 2016 D-League All-Star.

Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) in his final two collegiate seasons at the University of Rhode Island. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.

Alec Burks should return soon for Jazz

The 39-39 Utah Jazz have gotten just 28 games of action from shooting guard Alec Burks this season, but he will reportedly soon make his return. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

Alec Burks should return soon for Jazz

More than three months after he went down with a broken left fibula that was only supposed to keep him out for a couple of months, Alec Burks will finally be returning to the Jazz lineup for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, according to sources in the Jazz organization.

The 6-foot-6 fifth-year guard out of Colorado is expected to play limited minutes Friday just as Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors did after sitting out for extended times earlier this season. The hope is that Burks can contribute to the Jazz playoff push over the next week and to the playoffs, which would start next weekend if the Jazz were to qualify in the Western Conference.

josh richardson

Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Richardson helped the Heat go 10-5 in March by ranking second among East rookies in scoring (12.0 ppg) and assists (2.1 apg), and leading the conference’s first-year players in field goal percentage (53.7), three-point field goal percentage (58.9) and steals (1.3 spg). He averaged 29.1 minutes for the month and scored in double figures in eight of 10 games from March 9-28. His versatility was on full display March 14, when Richardson posted 17 points (including 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range), four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals in a 124-119 win over the Denver Nuggets.

karl-anthony towns

Towns, the West winner for the fifth month in a row, ranked second among rookies in scoring (21.9 ppg) and led all first-year players in rebounding (10.5 rpg) and field goal percentage (58.2). He scored in double figures in all 15 of Minnesota’s games and posted 11 games with 10 or more rebounds, adding to his franchise rookie record for double-doubles, which now stands at 48. On March 23, Towns accounted for 26 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks during a 113-104 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Toronto’s Norman Powell.

lebron

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

James ranked second in the East in scoring (25.6 ppg) and fifth in assists (7.1 apg) as the Cavaliers went 11-5 for the month (10-4 with James in the lineup). He added 8.2 rebounds and shot 53.8 percent from the field. James was the only player in the NBA to average at least 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in March. He posted seven double-doubles and recorded two triple-doubles. In a 107-87 win over the Brooklyn Nets on March 31, James scored 24 points to move into 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (he is now 11th).

russell westbrook

Westbrook led the Thunder to an 11-5 record behind averages of 21.7 points, 10.6 assists (third in the NBA) and 8.3 rebounds. His seven triple-doubles in March were the most in a calendar month since Michael Jordan had seven in April 1989. Those performances increased Westbrook’s season total to 16 triple-doubles, the most since Magic Johnson had 17 in 1988-89. Westbrook scored at least 20 points in 11 of 16 games for the month and logged nine games with double-digit assists, including a career-high 19 in a 120-109 win over the Clippers on March 9.

Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Houston’s James Harden, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

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

jordan farmar

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Jordan Farmar for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

Farmar (6-2, 180) has played five games (three starts) for the Grizzlies since signing a 10-day contract on March 21 and has averaged 10.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 25.6 minutes. The 29-year-old has appeared in 495 games (33 starts) across nine NBA seasons and averaged 7.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 19.5 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.

Originally from Los Angeles, Farmar was selected by the Lakers in the first round (26th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft following a standout collegiate career at UCLA, where he averaged 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists in a total of 66 games. As a sophomore, he was named to the All-Pac-10 First Team and guided the Bruins to the NCAA National Championship game.

Nic Batum gets triple-double vs Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers are technically an NBA team, so no matter what you think of their roster, getting a triple-double against them is still a solid achievement. Here’s the Charlotte Observer reporting:

Nic Batum gets triple-double vs Sixers

Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford hasn’t always thought his team scored in the lane enough this season.

Tuesday they sure did, pummeling the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers in the paint for a 100-85 victory at Wells Fargo Center.

This victory get the Hornets ever closer to their third playoff berth since the NBA returned to Charlotte in 2004.

Small forward Nic Batum (19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists) completed his second triple-double as a Hornet and center Cody Zeller had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/article68919517.html#storylink=cpy

Carmelo Anthony gave a perfect response here, but what happened in New Orleans is definitely a security issue that needs to be addressed. Per the New York Daily News:

Carmelo Anthony gives good response to kid running onto court to hug him

A day later, Carmelo Anthony was still grateful for the hug and any concerns of a security breach were alleviated by the trespasser’s age.

“That’s probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for somebody to run up to you and give you a hug,” he said. “Especially if it’s a kid. That’s the way I look at it.”

A boy who looked about 10 years old darted on the court at the Smoothie King Center near the end of the Knicks loss Sunday to the Pelicans, making a bee line for Anthony at the top of the key wheere he gave the All-Star forward a quick hug. The boy then ran off the court and was never approached by security, raising concerns about the staff at the Smoothie King Center.

Small forward DeMarre Carroll was supposed to be a big part of the Toronto Raptors this season, but he has played just 22 games, averaging 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists on 39% shooting. Developing chemistry on a new team can take time, so those numbers likely would have improved as the season went along. But it isn’t clear if the team will learn more about this until next season. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting:

Unclear if DeMarre Carroll will play again this season

The elephant in the room, where the Raptors are concerned, is the status of DeMarre Carroll.

The prized free agent signing, who is also the team’s highest-paid player, appeared close to a return a few weeks ago when he was driving to the hoop against assistant coaches and launching three-pointers. The next step was clearance for contact. But then all went dark. Carroll’s been in Atlanta tending to some personal matters (he is due back this week), the team has kept tight-lipped, but every indication from talking to various people is there has been some sort of set-back and his return this season is very much in doubt. Quietly, the team has taken the belief that he will need more time, and only a deep playoff run would let him return this season.

One thing that appears to be clear is that the plantar fasciitis Carroll had earlier this year made him compensate a bit and that led to the knee trouble that required surgery.

Pelicans announce injuries to Ryan Anderson, Norris Cole, Alonzo Gee, Jrue Holiday

The New Orleans Pelicans are racking up injuries this season, not wins.

The team announced today medical updates for forward Ryan Anderson, guard Norris Cole, forward Alonzo Gee and guard Jrue Holiday.

Anderson (6-10, 240) has been diagnosed with a sports hernia. He will seek a second opinion from a specialist in Philadelphia later this week. Additional details will be announced appropriately following further evaluation. Anderson has appeared in 66 games (seven starts), holding averages of 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists per contest.

Cole (6-2, 175) is experiencing lower back discomfort and is listed as day-to-day. The Cleveland State product has appeared in 45 games (23 starts), averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Gee (6-6, 225) suffered a complete rupture of the right proximal rectus femoris and will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. The injury occurred during the second quarter of last night’s game against the New York Knicks. Gee holds season averages of 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists in 0.9 steals in 73 contests (38 starts).

Holiday (6-4, 205) has been diagnosed with a right inferior orbital wall fracture. He will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season. The injury occurred with 56.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the New York Knicks. The UCLA product has appeared in 65 games (23 starts) while averaging 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals.

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