Archive for December, 2008

The AP reports: Nene scored 21 points, Carmelo Anthony added 20 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Toronto Raptors 114-107 on Wednesday night. Chauncey Billups scored 18 points and J.R. Smith had 16 for Denver, with Kenyon Martin adding 15 points and reserves Linas Kleiza and Chris Andersen each scoring 10. Denver coach George Karl earned his 900th career regular-season victory. He is 10th on the career list. Andrea Bargnani scored 26 points and Chris Bosh added 24 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Raptors, who have lost 13 of 17. Jose Calderon had 18 points and 11 assists for Toronto, with Anthony Parker scoring 12 points, Will Solomon 11 and Jamario Moon 10.

The AP reports: The Houston Rockets hardly sounded like the victorious team after struggling past the Milwaukee Bucks 85-81 on Wednesday night. Yao Ming had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Luis Scola added 11 points and 10 boards, but the Rockets sputtered on offense during long stretches for the third straight home game. Ron Artest had 15 points and reserve Carl Landry added 14 as the Rockets beat the Bucks for the eighth straight time, bouncing back from an embarrassing loss to Washington on Monday… Michael Redd scored 20, Richard Jefferson had 16 and Luke Ridnour dished out 11 assists for the Bucks, who’ve lost nine consecutive games in Houston. Milwaukee was outrebounded 40-34 and committed 17 turnovers—six in the second quarter, when Houston stretched its early lead to 15.

Pistons beat Nets 83-75

The AP reports: Allen Iverson and Tayshaun Prince stepped up for the short-handed Detroit Pistons. Iverson scored 19 points, and Prince added 16 to help the Pistons win their fifth straight game, 83-75 over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday… Detroit played without Rip Hamilton (groin) and Antonio McDyess (ribs), and lost Rasheed Wallace to a first-half foot injury, but still held the Nets to a season low… The Nets lost some of their advantage when Vince Carter was ejected after for arguing a second-quarter call with referee Derrick Stafford… Rookie Brook Lopez led New Jersey with 23 points and 12 rebounds, but the Nets weren’t able to overcome an 11-point second quarter.

Lewis leads Magic over Bulls, 113-94

The AP reports: The way he’s pouring in the points, Rashard Lewis just might shoot his way into the All-Star game. Lewis set the tone by scoring 16 of his 21 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic rolled over the Chicago Bulls 113-94 for their eighth win in nine games… Hedo Turkoglu added 18 points. Dwight Howard scored 15, and the Southeast Division leaders came through with a dominant performance after their seven-game win streak ended in a six-point loss at Detroit on Monday… Joakim Noah came through with a season-high 19 points and 11 rebounds. Larry Hughes scored 15 and Ben Gordon 18, but Chicago shot just 42 percent. Derrick Rose had a rough afternoon finishing with just 11 points and no assists.

Rockets re-sign Dikembe Mutombo

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the Rockets have re-signed unrestricted free agent center Dikembe Mutombo. Per team policy, financial terms were not released.

Mutombo (7-2, 260, Georgetown) has averaged 9.9 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.76 blocked shots in 1,187 career games (995 starts) with Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Houston. The NBA’s first four-time recipient of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001), Mutombo has averaged 3.3 points, 5.5 boards and 1.09 blocks in 258 games (83 starts) over four seasons with the Rockets. The second all-time leading shot blocker in NBA history (3,278) also stands 10th in blocked shots in Rockets annals (282). In NBA history, Mutombo ranks 17th in total rebounds (12,326), 10th in offensive boards (3,796) and eighth in defensive rebounds (8,530).

Last season with Houston, Mutombo averaged 3.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.23 blocks in 39 games (25 starts). He was also honored by Owner Leslie Alexander and the Rockets with “Dikembe Mutombo Tribute Night” on Mar. 26, 2008. Overall, Mutombo totaled 44 blocked shots (1.76 bpg) over his 25 starts. In 2006-07, Mutombo became the oldest player in NBA history to post 20 or more rebounds in a game with 22 boards at Denver (3/2/07). Mutombo also posted double-digit rebounding totals in 11 consecutive games (12/27/06-1/16/07), which was the fourth longest such streak of his career (16 games: 3/22/93-4/21/93; 15 games: 3/24/99-4/16/99; 14 games: 12/9/92-1/8/93).

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has hired Ron Adams as an assistant coach.

Adams brings 17 years of NBA coaching and player personnel experience to the Thunder. Most recently, Adams spent six seasons with the Chicago Bulls serving as an assistant coach, under three different head coaches, in his first five years. Most recently he held a personnel position as a Special Assignments Scout for the Bulls.

Prior to joining the Bulls, Adams worked as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks (1998-2003), Philadelphia 76ers (1994-96) and San Antonio Spurs (1992-1994). He also spent two seasons as a player personnel scout for the Portland Trail Blazers (1996-98).

Adams spent many years at the collegiate level, including being named head coach at Fresno State in 1972. The Fresno Pacific graduate started his coaching career at his alma mater as an assistant coach in 1972 and held similar positions at U.S. International, UC-Santa Barbara, Fresno State and UNLV.

Adams brings a wealth of international coaching experience having served as a coach and consultant to the Canadian national basketball program, two Japanese basketball teams and the Belgian national basketball program.

Adams will be on the bench tonight as the Thunder host the Golden State Warriors.

Charles Barkley arrested: DUI suspicion

The AP reports: Former NBA star Charles Barkley was arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving early Wednesday morning. An officer with a law enforcement task force that targets drunken driving saw Barkley run a stop sign around 1:30 a.m., said Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler. Barkley declined to submit to a breath test but was given a blood test. The results weren’t immediately available.

The AP reports: Even without All-Star guard Brandon Roy, the Portland Trail Blazers earned an impressive win Tuesday night. Steve Blake had 21 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 and the short-handed Blazers beat the Boston Celtics 91-86, sending the NBA champions to their third loss in four games… Reserve forward Travis Outlaw had 17 points for Portland and Greg Oden added 13 points and 11 rebounds despite injuring his ankle in practice Monday. Paul Pierce scored 28 points, making 14 of 15 foul shots, and Kevin Garnett had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics (28-5), who were at the end of a four-game road trip and have more losses since Dec. 25 than in the previous two months of the season… Rajon Rondo had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Boston.

There was a controversial play late in the second quarter when the Trail Blazers scored while using six players on the court. The basket counted, but a technical foul resulted in a free throw for the Celtics. More details here.

The AP reports: Playing his first game in nearly three weeks, Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 20 points and the Kings snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Los Angeles Clippers 92-90 Tuesday night… Brad Miller had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and John Salmons also had 15 points for Sacramento, which lost 19 of its previous 22 games. Beno Udrih had 13 points and Jason Thompson added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie guard Eric Gordon scored 24 points for the Clippers, while Paul Davis had a career-high 18. But he missed a foul-line jumper in the closing seconds that could have sent the game into overtime. Scoreless in the first half, Marcus Camby finished with 15 points and 24 rebounds. Bothered by a sore back, Baron Davis shot 3-of-17 and scored 11 points.

The AP reports: Jason Terry scored 24 of his 29 points in the second half, and Dallas rallied from a 29-point deficit to beat the Timberwolves 107-100 on Tuesday night. “The first half was ugly,” said Nowitzki, who had a bloody nose after being hit by Craig Smith on a drive to the basket in the third quarter… The Timberwolves led 70-41 early in the third quarter when the Mavericks started their comeback, the largest in franchise history… Al Jefferson scored 21 points, Ryan Gomes added 19 and Randy Foye had 18 for the Timberwolves, who blew the largest lead in franchise history… Josh Howard scored 23 and Kidd had 14 points and a season-high 16 assists for Dallas.

The AP reports: Tim Duncan missed the layup with 3.8 seconds to go and the Milwaukee Bucks hung on for a 100-98 victory over the Spurs on Tuesday night behind Michael Redd’s 25 points and 10 rebounds. Luke Ridnour scored 21 and Andrew Bogut added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks, who won for the sixth time in eight games and snapped San Antonio’s five-game winning streak… Michael Finley made eight of 10 shots and had 20 points for the Spurs, while Tony Parker added 19 points and 10 assists. The Bucks led by 11 with 2:31 left in the third quarter when Bogut scored on his second layup in less than two minutes… The Bucks’ front line of Jefferson, Luc Mbah a Moute and Bogut opened 7-of-8, and Milwaukee started with a 14-0 advantage in points in the paint before Parker finally got a short shot for San Antonio when he stole a pass from Charlie Villanueva and drove in for an easy layup to cut the Bucks’ 10-point lead to 23-20 with 2:14 to go in the first quarter.

The AP reports: Chris Paul had 15 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, tying a franchise record with his seventh career triple-double, and New Orleans beat the Washington Wizards 97-85 on Tuesday night… Rasual Butler scored 21 points and David West 20 for New Orleans, which led most of the way and never trailed by more than a basket in its third straight victory… Antawn Jamison scored 22 for Washington, while Mike James added 16 points and seven assists against the team that traded him to the Wizards this season. James struggled defensively against Paul, however, fouling out in the fourth quarter, when he also was called for a technical for arguing with officials… Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, while James Posey added 14 points.

The AP reports: While Shaquille O’Neal was moving into eighth place on the NBA scoring list, his Phoenix Suns teammates were putting on the defensive clamps. Leandro Barbosa scored 28 points, Shaquille O’Neal added 24 to move into eighth place on the NBA scoring list and the Phoenix Suns beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101-89 Tuesday night without ailing star Steve Nash. The two-time MVP sat out with back spasms, but Barbosa filled in admirably. He connected on 10 of 18 shots and scored 22 points in the second half. Phoenix also overcame the loss of big man Amare Stoudemire, ejected in the second quarter after his second technical… Hakim Warrick led Memphis with 25 points, while Marc Gasol finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Rudy Gay had 14 points and O.J. Mayo scored 12, but he missed 16 of 20 shots—including his last 13.

The AP reports: Dwyane Wade had 21 points and 12 assists, Mario Chalmers was 6-for-7 from 3-point range in a 21-point, eight-assist, no-turnover effort, and the Miami Heat dropped LeBron James’ pro record on birthdays to 0-3 by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-95 on Tuesday night… Fittingly, James scored 24 of his game-high 38 points after intermission, almost enough to rally Cleveland from a 16-point deficit—its largest of the season… Daequan Cook scored 17 points—with all five field goals being 3-pointers, meaning he and Chalmers combined to go 11-for-14 from beyond the arc—for the Heat. Shawn Marion (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Udonis Haslem (13 points, 10 rebounds) added double-doubles for Miami… Delonte West scored 20 for Cleveland, which had won six straight, and Mo Williams added 10 for the Cavaliers.

The AP reports: Wins have been rare for the struggling New York Knicks this season—except when they play former coach Larry Brown. Wilson Chandler scored seven of his 19 points in the final 4 minutes, and the Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 93-89 on Tuesday night to snap a six-game losing streak and improve to 2-0 against their ex-coach… “We’re going into the new year feeling good about ourselves,” said Al Harrington, who added 16 points and six rebounds in his second straight game coming off the bench. “We’re happy.” … Gerald Wallace scored 21 points and Diaw had 20 points, but also six turnovers. “We should have won that game,” said Felton, who had 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

The AP reports: Joe Johnson’s stellar play is putting him in high company. The Atlanta guard scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, including the final five of the game, and the streaking Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers 110-104 on Tuesday night… Josh Smith finished with 24 points, Mike Bibby scored 15 and Al Horford added 12 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Danny Granger had 25 points, Jack 22 and Jeff Foster finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers, losers of four straight. Indiana has dropped eight home games this season by eight points or less.

Blazers score with six players on court

Tuesday night in Portland the Trail Blazers are hosting the Boston Celtics and late in the second quarter were losing to the visitors 44-38. But they got a late first half basket using six players on the court.

A video clip of this has been added below (scroll down).

With 10 seconds left in the half, Portland took a 20-second timeout. A Blazers substitution brought Jerryd Bayless into the game. Greg Oden was supposed to leave the game, but he didn’t.

So, after the timeout, Bayless inbounded the basketball to Steve Blake. With time ticking down, Blake lobbed it down to Oden outside the left paint near the rim, who quickly flipped it to Travis Outlaw on the right side of the paint, who threw down an open dunk.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez were also on the court for the Blazers, giving them six players versus Boston’s five.

At this point I’m leering at the 200-inch 1080P 120mhz home office HD LCD television (valued at $75,000) and laughing.

On the court for the Celtics was their starting lineup: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins

Before Blake threw the pass, Kevin Garnett was guarding Aldridge at the left free throw corner. Oden was unguarded behind KG near the basket just outside the left paint. When Garnett spotted Oden he yelled/motioned for help (or was yelling that there are six Blazers men on the floor). Perkins, who was around the right side of the paint, responded.

Perkins switched over to guard Oden as Blake lobbed it inside, so Oden quickly flipped it to the now wide-open Outlaw, who crammed home the easy dunk with 3 seconds left, making it 44-40. is 95 percent certain it was Oden who should have come out.

The Celtics went wild protesting. But the amazing result was that the referees, who did not notice the problem until after the dunk, actually counted the basket for the Blazers but issued a technical foul on them, putting Ray Allen on the line for a free throw, which he hit, putting Boston up 45-40, the score going into halftime.

Is this the rule? Did the referees handle this correctly? If so, the Blazers actually benefitted from this!

What if a team intentionally put six men on the floor, almost always scored as a result, and only gives up a single technical foul free throw each time. Right? Of course, that would only work if they managed to score before the refs noticed there were too many players on the court, so they’d have to get it done very quickly before the tech gets called. It could work, for a few plays every now and then!

This was wild.

– editor Jeff Lenchiner

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum thread.

Blazers sideline reporter needs a hug

I’m watching the Boston Celtics at Portland Trail Blazers game on NBA League Pass right now.

Boston is up big early in the second quarter, up 25-13. I think it was their worst first quarter of the season. Not sure, though.

They’re playing without Brandon Roy, and clearly still adjusting to it.

A very key observation: The Blazers sideline reporter is Rebecca Haarlow, a beautiful young blond woman who has done a perfectly good job so far.

But one thing: She seems bummed out! Maybe it’s that Brandon Roy is out. But even early in the game when it was close, she sounded a bit too low-key. Pick up the enthusiasm, Rebecca!

As for the Blazers, they’re getting pushed around and look all shook up. The Celtics are assassins out there.

I’ll be glued to the game for the evening.

Carlos Boozer needs knee surgery

Utah Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer is a key part of the team, but like so many other players on the squad this season, injury has been his worst opponent. So far in 2008-08 Boozer has played just 12 games, and he hasn’t played since November 19.

It appears he’ll be out longer, probably for another month,  possibly longer. The Deseret News (Tim Buckley) reports:

Jazz All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer will undergo arthroscopic surgery sometime next month on his injured left knee. No specific date for the operation is set, but the team is targeting Jan. 9… A timetable for Boozer’s continued absence will not be released until sometime after the surgery, though O’Connor said he expects Boozer to be out at least another month.

With 19 wins and 14 losses, the Jazz have actually done fairly well considering the amount of injuries they’ve suffered. If the season ended today they’d just only miss the 8th spot of the playoffs by virtue of a tie-breaker that they’d lose to the Phoenix Suns.

Rockets re-sign Dikembe Mutombo

Aside from center Yao Ming and power forward Luis Scola, the Houston Rockets are pretty short up front. Carl Landry is strong but a modest 6′9″, and Chuck Hayes is listed at just 6′6″. But now Houston has brought back the Cookie Monster. The Houston Chronicle (Jonathan Feigen) reports:

The Rockets reached an agreement with veteran center Dikembe Mutombo on Tuesday, Rockets GM Daryl Morey said. Mutombo was signed for the remainder of the season at a pro-rated veteran’s minimum contract… “I almost haven’t touched a ball in six months. I shoot the ball in the park with my kid. I am not a shooter anyway,” said Mutombo, a career 52 percent shooter. “As long as I can rebound and block shots, that’s what’s important.”

Mutombo played 39 games for Houston last season, averaging 3.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on good shooting in 16 minutes per game.

It’s a good move for the Rockets. Mutombo can come in, take up space, rebound, wave his arms around, defend, and talk funny.

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