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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.

lebron james

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27.

James helped the Cavaliers to a 3-1 week with averages of 29.0 points (first in the Eastern Conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 8.5 rebounds. James bookended the week with triple-doubles in wins over the Denver Nuggets on March 21 and New York Knicks on March 26. In all four of Cleveland’s games, James scored 25-plus points, grabbed five or more rebounds and handed out five or more assists. James’ Cavaliers sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 52-21 record.

klay thompson

Thompson led the Warriors to a 4-0 week behind an NBA-best 32.3 points. He shot 62.2 percent (28-of-45) from distance and made at least five three-pointers in each of Golden State’s four games. Thompson closed the week with back-to-back 40-point games in wins over the Dallas Mavericks on March 25 and Philadelphia 76ers on March 27. Thompson’s Warriors own the league’s best record at 66-7.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Indiana’s Ian Mahinmi, the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

The Atlanta Hawks are 44-30 this season, which is the third best record in the Eastern conference — though the Boston Celtics are only half a game behind them. Their best player this season has been power forward Paul Millsap, who caught a shot to his head but will keep on playing. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

Paul Millsap gets stitches for cut on head

Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap sported a big bandage over his left eye.

It was the protective covering for a cut that required 10 stitches to close, sustained in Saturday night’s win over the Pistons. The injury won’t force him to miss Monday night’s game against the Bulls.

“It was just a head bump,” Millsap said Monday morning at Hawks shootaround. “Hurts like hell. It wouldn’t affect me at all. … Everything is good to go.”

Pistons sign Lorenzo Brown to second 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a second 10-day contract.

Brown, a 6-5, 189-pound guard 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. He was signed to two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns this season and averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 7.6 minutes in eight games.

A second-round selection (52nd overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown most recently 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.

The Philadelphia 76ers have “called up” forward Christian Wood from the Delaware 87ers and signed him to a 10-day contract.

Wood has appeared in 32 games with the Sevens this season, averaging a team-high nine rebounds, as well as 17 points on 53% shooting in 29 minutes per game.

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

In a related move, the team has waived guard-forward Sonny Weems.

Blake Griffin begins serving suspension

Blake Griffin begins serving suspension

The L.A. Clippers announced today that forward Blake Griffin has been medically cleared for all basketball activities and will begin serving his four-game, team-imposed suspension on Sunday, March 27 when the Clippers play the Denver Nuggets.

Griffin has missed the last 41 games with a partially torn left quad tendon and right hand fracture, and will return to action on Sunday, April 3 against the Washington Wizards.

In his 30 games this season, Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 34.9 minutes

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed guard Xavier Munford to a second 10-day contract.

Munford (6-3, 180) has appeared in five games with the Grizzlies after signing his first 10-day contract with the team on March 16 and has averaged 2.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 10.2 minutes. The 23-year-old was called up from the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam, where he appeared in 41 games (37 starts) and averaged 20.4 points (.490 FG/.412 3P/.811 FT), 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes. A 2016 D-League All-Star, he ranks sixth among qualifying players in assists per game and 11th in scoring average.

Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford transferred to the University of Rhode Island as a junior and completed his collegiate career with averages of 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) over two seasons. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.

The Brooklyn Nets have signed center Henry Sims to a second 10-day contract.

Originally signed to a 10-day contract on March 17, Sims has appeared in four games with the Nets, averaging 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game.

The Nets are 21-51 this season which is the second worst record in the Eastern conference.

Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons underwent arthroscopic surgery today to address an injury to his right medial meniscus. The surgery was performed by team physician Dr. Daniel Worrel at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas.

Parsons will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

The Mavericks are 35-36 this season and currently the 7th seed in the Western conference. They are in a very tight playoff race against the 6th seed Trail Blazers and 8th seed Rockets, with the Jazz very close in the 9th spot.

Parsons (6-10, 230) finished the year with averages of 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 29.5 minutes in 61 games (51 starts). He shot 49.2 percent (320-of-651) from the field and 41.4 percent (104-of-251) from 3-point range.

Over his final 30 games of the season (since Jan. 12), Parsons averaged 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 34.3 minutes. He shot 52 percent (204-of-392) from the floor and 47.5 percent (75-of-158) from deep in his last 30 games.

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