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Pistons sign Lorenzo Brown

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a contract.

Brown, a 6-5, 189-pound guard, signed two 10-day contracts with the Pistons this season (March 18 and March 28) but did not appear in a game with Detroit. He also signed to two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns earlier this season and averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 7.6 minutes in eight games.

A native of Roswell, GA, Brown holds NBA averages of 3.3 points, 2.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 13.2 minutes in 63 career games with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.

Brown was a second-round selection (52nd overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2013 NBA Draft. Prior to his two 10-day stints with the Pistons, he played for the Detroit Pistons NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. In 25 contests with the Drive, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals.

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Dahntay Jones

Cleveland Cavaliers sign Dahntay Jones

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Dahntay Jones, who will wear jersey number 30 for the Cavaliers and will be eligible for the playoffs.

Jones (6-6, 225) appeared in 43 games (39 starts) for the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League this season, averaging 15.7 points on .546 shooting from the field, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 35.7 minutes. He also shot .546 from the field, .413 from the three-point line and .851 from the charity stripe with Grand Rapids.

Originally selected as the 20th overall pick out of Duke University by the Boston Celtics in the 2003 NBA Draft, Jones has played in 622 games (157 starts) over his 11-year NBA career. He holds career averages of 5.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game with Memphis, Sacramento, Denver, Indiana, Dallas, Atlanta and the Los Angeles Clippers. The 6-6 guard has also appeared in 49 NBA playoff games (16 starts) with averages of 4.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.1 minutes.

The NBA Development League, the Phoenix Suns and the Town of Prescott Valley, Ariz., announced today that the Suns have acquired the Bakersfield Jam and are relocating the team to Prescott Valley. The Suns become the 15th NBA team to own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate.

The team will be known as the Northern Arizona Suns and will play a 24-game home schedule at the 5,100-seat Prescott Valley Event Center (PVEC) beginning with the 2016-17 season.

“Today’s announcement is exciting not only to have the Phoenix Suns join the ranks of NBA D-League owners, but also to welcome Prescott Valley to the NBA D-League family of communities,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “I’m looking forward to watching the Northern Arizona Suns take the court in November.”

The Bakersfield Jam has served as the Suns’ single-affiliate NBA D-League team the past two seasons, with the NBA franchise running basketball operations. The Suns will now assume business operations for the organization, with the new team serving as an extension of the Phoenix Suns’ brand in northern Arizona.
“We are thrilled to bring professional basketball to the Town of Prescott Valley,” said Suns President Jason Rowley. “In addition to the basketball advantages of our D-League affiliate being close to home, today’s announcement creates endless opportunities to strengthen the connection with our fans in northern Arizona.”

Suns interim head coach Earl Watson and assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren both began their coaching careers in the NBA D-League, while six members of the current Suns team have NBA D-League experience. The team has assigned 15 players to the NBA D-League since 2001.

“We’re happy to have an organization the quality of the Phoenix Suns in our community and region,” said Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog. “It’s an exciting thing to bring the Suns’ brand and legacy to Prescott Valley.”

Launched in 2001, the NBA D-League has expanded from an eight-team league to a record 22 teams for the 2016-17 season. All 19 teams for the 2015-16 season were singly affiliated with an NBA parent club, a first for the NBA D-League, and the three teams joining the NBA D-League for 2016-17 are owned by the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls.

Heat sign Dorell Wright

Heat sign Dorell Wright

The NBA playoffs start soon, and the Miami HEAT today added depth and experience with the signing of forward Dorell Wright.

Wright spent last season in Beijing, China with the North Control appearing in 37 games averaging 24.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.03 steals while shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from three-point range and 84.8 percent from the foul line. He posted 13 30-point games, including six-straight to end the season, and tallied at least 40 points on four occasions, including a season-high 48 against the DongGuan Leopards on February 3. He has appeared in 549 career NBA games (222 starts) and averaged 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 22.4 minutes while shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the foul line. He led the league in three-point field goals made (194) during the 2010-11 season and has appeared in 15 career postseason games averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game.

Wright, who spent his first six seasons in Miami, and was a member of the HEAT’s 2006 NBA Championship team, was originally drafted by the HEAT in the first round (19th overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft and appeared in 211 games (56 starts) with Miami averaging 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 19.5 minutes while shooting 46.1 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from three-point rage and 80.6 percent from the foul line.

Wright will wear number 11.

Canton Charge point guard Quinn Cook today was named the 2015-16 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year. The award, voted on by the league’s 19 head coaches, recognizes the first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team’s success during the season.

Cook (6-2, 179, Duke) led the Charge to a 31-19 season by averaging team highs of 19.6 points and 5.4 assists to go with 3.9 rebounds in 43 games (37 starts). He shot 47 percent from the field and connected on a team-high 86 three-pointers.

A 2016 NBA D-League All-Star, Cook led Canton in scoring 19 times and assists 21 times. He scored in double figures 40 times, including four games with at least 30 points, and helped the Charge secure the Eastern Conference’s third seed in the 2016 NBA D-League Playoffs.

Undrafted in 2015 after a four-year career at Duke, Cook was a member of the Blue Devils’ NCAA Championship team during his senior season in 2014-15.

Jrue Holiday undergoes surgery for orbital wall fracture

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that guard Jrue Holiday underwent successful surgery to repair an orbital wall fracture on his right eye. The timetable for his return is 6-8 weeks. Holiday is expected to make a full recovery prior to the 2016-17 season.

Holiday (6-4, 205) appeared in 65 games (23 starts) this season while averaging 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals. The UCLA product has appeared in 437 games (370 starts) and holds career averages of 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals.

NBA records set by the Warriors so far

NBA records set by the Warriors so far

The Golden State Warriors (now 72-9, with one game left to play) achieved several league milestones with Sunday’s road win against the Spurs, most notably matching the 1995-96 Bulls (72-10) for the most victories in an NBA regular season.

In addition, the Warriors set an NBA record for most road wins in a season (34). It is now guaranteed that they will become the first team in league history to go a full season without losing to the same team twice, and also guaranteed that they will become the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row.

The stage is now set for Wednesday, when the Warriors will try for an NBA-record 73rd victory in their regular-season finale against the Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. ESPN will televise the game at 10:30 p.m. ET, while Kobe Bryant’s final game in the league will air on ESPN2.

– NBA News

Big night in NBA West Playoff race

Big night in NBA West Playoff race

The Eastern Conference’s eight playoff teams are now known. In the Western Conference, two postseason spots remain up for grabs. The Mavericks can clinch one of those spots if they defeat the Jazz tonight in Utah (9 p.m. ET, NBA LEAGUE PASS) or if the Rockets lose to the Timberwolves in Minnesota (8 p.m., NBA LP). Utah can clinch a postseason spot if it beats the Mavericks and Houston loses to Minnesota. If the Jazz wins and the Rockets lose, Houston would be eliminated from playoff contention. Also tonight, the Cavaliers can clinch the best record in the East with a victory over the Hawks in Cleveland (7 p.m., NBA TV).

– NBA News

Boston Celtics sign guard John Holland

Celtics sign John Holland

The Boston Celtics signed guard John Holland today.

The 6’5” guard has appeared in 37 regular season contests for the NBA Development League Canton Charge this year and has averaged 16.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.2 minutes per game. He shot 52.0 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line during the regular season. During the 2015-16 D-League Playoffs, Holland has averaged 28.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and shot 62.5 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from the three-point line.

Holland, the 40th Gatorade D-League call-up this season, was named the America East Conference Player of the Year as a Boston University senior when he led the Terriers to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He finished his collegiate career as just the second player in America East history with at least 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals.

A native of the Bronx, New York, Holland has played professionally in France, Spain and Turkey, and was in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

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.

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