Archive for December, 2008

The AP reports: The Celtics bounced back from back-to-back losses in emphatic fashion, beating the Sacramento Kings 108-63 Sunday night in one of the most one-sided wins in franchise history… The 45-point margin of victory matched the sixth biggest by the Celtics, who also beat the New York Knicks by that amount last season. The last time Boston had a bigger win was a 153-107 victory over the Baltimore Bullets on Nov. 27, 1970… John Salmons’ 11 points led the Kings. Francisco Garcia shot 1-for-7 before leaving in the first half with stiffness in his right calf. Kevin Garnett made 10 of 11 shots to lead the Celtics with 21 points and 11 rebounds despite playing just under 23 minutes. He now has 20,894 career points, moving past Bob Pettitt into 27th place all-time. Ray Allen added 19 on 7-for-8 shooting and Eddie House had 15 off the bench.

Cavaliers cool off Heat 93-86

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 33 points—four more than his good buddy Dwyane Wade—and took on the challenge of guarding the NBA’s leading scorer down the stretch as the Cavaliers remained the league’s only unbeaten team at home with a 93-86 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday night… Mo Williams scored 20 before fouling out and Ben Wallace had 14 rebounds for the Cavs (26-4), who won their sixth straight. In the final seconds, Wallace and Varejao played a game of volleyball over the basket, tipping missed shots repeatedly before one dropped through to seal Cleveland’s win… Miami rookie G Mario Chalmers strained his right hamstring in the fourth.

The AP reports: Chris Paul scored 11 points in the game’s final 3:36 and David West hit a 17-foot fadeaway jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining to help the Hornets rally for a 105-103 win over Indiana on Sunday night. Paul and James Posey scored 19 points each for the Hornets (18-9). West added 18 points, Rasual Butler scored 15 and Peja Stojakovic had 12… Danny Granger led Indiana (10-20) with 34 points. Roy Hibbert scored 19 before drawing his fifth foul with 6:46 to play in the third quarter. He did not return. Troy Murphy had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Pacers, who led by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter. No other Pacer scored in double figures.

The AP reports: The Dallas Mavericks didn’t miss Dirk Nowitzki nearly as much as the Los Angeles Clippers missed Zach Randolph. Josh Howard had 29 points, nine rebounds and a career-best seven assists, leading Dallas to a 98-76 victory Sunday while Nowitzki served a one-game suspension… Despite the absence of Nowitzki and his 8.9 rebounds per game, the Mavericks held a 53-38 advantage on the glass. Five of their players had eight or more rebounds, including Erick Dampier, point guard Jason Kidd, James Singleton and reserve Brandon Bass… Marcus Camby returned to the Clippers’ lineup after missing the previous game due to his father’s death, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Al Thornton also had 16 points.

The AP reports: Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points after missing three games with a bruised right elbow, and the Denver Nuggets sent the Knicks to their sixth straight loss with a 117-110 victory Sunday… J.R. Smith added 16 points and Billups 14 for the Nuggets, who shot 57 percent from the field in the opener of a four-game road trip. Nate Robinson scored 20 points on just 5-of-17 shooting and David Lee had 19 for the Knicks, who have yielded an average of 115.5 points during their skid. They came in allowing teams to shoot 48.3 percent, highest in the NBA, and even Mike D’Antoni’s high-scoring offense can’t overcome that… Chris Duhon had 17 points and 11 assists for the Knicks, while Wilson Chandler also scored 17 points but shot only 6-of-19.

Dirk Nowitzki suspended one game

ESPN.com (Marc Stein) reports: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has received a one-game suspension for striking Utah’s Matt Harpring in the face with a backhanded swipe Friday night. The league announced the suspension three hours before the Mavericks’ 12:30 p.m. PT Sunday tipoff against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Mavericks were not informed of Nowitzki’s enforced absence until Sunday morning. The league office began reviewing Nowitzki’s flagrant foul/penalty 2 on Harpring on Saturday. The foul resulted in Nowitzki’s ejection early in the fourth quarter of Dallas’ 97-88 defeat on Friday night… Nowitzki was ejected for swinging his arm in response to under-the-basket contact from Harpring. Video replays confirmed that although it was a backhanded swipe, Nowitzki made a closed-fist connection with Harpring’s face on his follow-through.

Clippers sign Fred Jones

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent guard Fred Jones. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

A six-year NBA veteran, Jones played 70 games with the Knicks last season, averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 25.1 minutes. The Clippers will be the fifth NBA team for Jones, who has appeared in 378 total games and is averaging 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his NBA career.

A star at the University of Oregon, Jones helped lead the Ducks to the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Tournament and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 14th selection of the 2002 NBA Draft. Jones played four seasons with Indiana, winning the 2004 NBA Slam Dunk Contest as a Pacer before signing with the Raptors prior to the 2006-07 season.

Jones joined Portland midway through the 2006-07 season in a trade, teaming up with current Clipper Zach Randolph and then going to New York along with Randolph in a five-player deal on June 28, 2007.

Fatigue hits Celtics

The Boston Celtics have dropped two games lately, which isn’t a huge deal, but by their high standards is two losses too many. The Boston Globe (Marc J. Spears) reports: So, what’s wrong with the Celtics now after so much went right? Fatigue is a factor. Entering last night, Boston was the only Eastern Conference team to have played more than 30 games. Center Kendrick Perkins sprained his surgically repaired left shoulder in the first quarter against the Lakers and missed his first game of the season against Golden State. Although the games against the Lakers and Warriors were day-night, back to back, with a short plane ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Rivers believes it took its toll on his players, so he gave them yesterday off. “I would have rather had the day off [Friday],” Rivers said. “[The Lakers game] was a hard-fought, emotional game. We didn’t play very well. But it was still hard-fought. It was one of those rare games during the regular season where guys have a lot of emotions invested into the game. I would have much rather had a day off.

Dec 27: Blazers 102, Raptors 89

The AP reports: This time, Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers didn’t need any late-game heroics to beat the Toronto Raptors. Roy had 14 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points and nine rebounds, and Portland beat the Raptors 102-89 Saturday night, sweeping the season series for the first time since 2002-03. Greg Oden broke out of a slump with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Travis Outlaw added 12 points for the Blazers. Chris Bosh had 29 points and nine rebounds for Toronto, which had a two-game winning streak stopped. Jermaine O’Neal scored 17 points, Andrea Bargnani added 13, and Jose Calderon had 11 points and eight assists.

Dec 27: Pistons 87, Bucks 76

The AP reports: With Richard Hamilton sidelined, the Detroit Pistons abandoned their three-guard lineup and used a bigger starting unit that stifled the Milwaukee Bucks. Tayshaun Prince scored nine of his 19 points in the decisive third quarter and Allen Iverson added 18, lifting the Pistons to an 87-76 victory Saturday night. The Bucks had won three consecutive games, averaging 106 points during the streak. The Pistons, starting 6-foot-9 Amir Johnson in place of Hamilton, a slim 6-7 guard, held Milwaukee to 30 percent shooting… Johnson had eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, giving the Pistons a different defensive look from their usual lineup that consists of 6-11 Rasheed Wallace as their only big starter… Andrew Bogut had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee, which mainly rested its starters for the final 15 minutes after the game was decided. Michael Redd, the Bucks’ leading scorer, had four points and missed nine of 11 shots, including his last five.

Dec 27: Spurs 106, Grizzlies 103, 2OT

The AP reports: Tony Parker scored 32 points, hitting two of San Antonio’s three baskets in the second overtime, and Michael Finley blocked Memphis’ final shot as the Spurs pulled out 106-103 victory Saturday night… Kurt Thomas, who scored the Spurs’ first basket of the second overtime, added a free throw for the last point with 0.5 seconds left on the clock. Tim Duncan scored 29 points for the Spurs before fouling out in the first overtime and Manu Ginobili scored 20.

InsideHoops.com note: OJ Mayo shot 12-of-22 for 29 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

Dec 27: Rockets 120, Jazz 115, 2OT

The AP reports: The Houston Rockets acquired Ron Artest to win games like this. Artest scored 10 of his 28 points in the second overtime and the Rockets recovered from blowing a 16-point lead in the second half to beat the Utah Jazz 120-115 on Saturday night. Yao Ming had 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who led 59-43 early in the third quarter, then went 3-for-18 from the field in the fourth to fuel Utah’s comeback… Ronnie Brewer scored 23 and Deron Williams had 14 points and 11 assists for the Jazz, who played without their top three scorers and rebounders—Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap—for the second straight game… “We came back in the second half, but couldn’t finish the game,” said Andrei Kirilenko, who scored 20.

Dec 27: Magic 118, Wolves 94

The AP reports: Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu made sure there would be no letdown for the Orlando Magic. Turkoglu scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, Nelson returned with an injured toe to score 12 in the final frame, and the Magic slowly pulled away to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-94 on Saturday night. Rashard Lewis added 24 points, Nelson 20 and Dwight Howard 17 for the Magic, who won their seventh straight and 11th in 12 games—all against the Western Conference. The last time Orlando won seven straight was March 31-April 15, 2006, when the team won eight in a row… Rashad McCants scored 21 points for Minnesota, which ended a 13-game losing streak Friday in New York. Al Jefferson had 16 points and Ryan Gomes 14 for the Timberwolves, who have lost nine straight at home.

Dec 27: Hawks 129, Bulls 117

The AP reports: After holding 14 of their last 15 opponents under 100 points, the Atlanta Hawks expected a low-scoring game against Chicago. When that plan failed, the Hawks seemed to enjoy a rare opportunity to change their style. Joe Johnson scored a season-high 41 points, Josh Smith also set a season high with 24, and the Hawks withstood Ben Gordon’s 3-point barrage to beat the Bulls 129-117 on Saturday night. The Bulls lost despite shooting 54.4 percent from the field and matching their scoring high for the season only one night after a 90-77 loss at Miami… Ben Gordon scored 33 points and was 6-of-8 behind the arc to pass Scottie Pippen and become the Bulls’ career leader in 3-pointers. Rookie Derrick Rose added a career-high 27 points.

Dec 27: Wizards 104, Thunder 95

The AP reports: The Washington Wizards didn’t care that they beat a team with only three wins. They were just happy they won at all. The Wizards beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-95 on Saturday night in a matchup of teams with the two worst records in the NBA. They broke an eight-game losing streak, their longest since 2001, with just their fifth win against 23 losses. Oklahoma City fell to 3-28… Antawn Jamison tied his season high with 29 points. Andray Blatche had 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds… Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Green had 23 points.

Dec 27: Nets 114, Bobcats 103, OT

The AP reports: The New Jersey Nets are at their best on the road. Vince Carter scored 28 points and the Nets got support from their bench in overtime to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 114-103 on Saturday night. Devin Harris added 26 points, and reserves Jarvis Hayes and Josh Boone added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for New Jersey, which improved to 10-4 in road games this season… Gerald Wallace scored 32 points. Raja Bell added 18, Emeka Okafor had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Raymond Felton scored 13 points for Charlotte, which had defeated New Jersey 95-87 in East Rutherford, N.J., just 24 hours earlier.

Wally Szczerbiak out one week

Cavaliers forward Wally Szczerbiak has experienced right knee contusions during the last several Cavalier games.  He had an MRI at The Cleveland Clinic Friday, December 26th, which confirmed the contusions.  He is expected to be out for approximately one week.

For the season, Szczerbiak is playing 19.4 minutes a game and averaging 6.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, on subpar 41.8% shooting.

Dec 26: Warriors 99, Celtics 89

The AP reports: Stephen Jackson returned to the lineup and scored eight straight points during the decisive fourth-quarter stretch to finish with 28, and the Golden State Warriors sent Boston to back-to-back losses for the first time this season by rallying past the Celtics 99-89 on Friday night. Paul Pierce had 21 points and five assists and Kevin Garnett scored 14, but the Celtics couldn’t hold a 14-point lead a day after their franchise-record 19-game winning streak ended with a nine-point loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas… Jackson—who had missed the past four games with a sprained left hand— scored 15 points in the final period and Marco Belinelli totaled 22 for the Warriors, who have won five straight and 12 of 15 against the Celtics at home. Golden State lost 119-111 in Boston on Nov. 26 in the teams’ first meeting.

Dec 26: Raptors 107, Kings 101

The AP reports: Jermaine O’Neal scored 36 points in his highest-scoring game in two seasons and the Toronto Raptors ended a 10-game losing streak in Sacramento with a 107-101 victory over the Kings on Friday night… With Chris Bosh limited to just 13 points because of foul trouble, O’Neal took over the game for the Raptors. He hit a pair of difficult drives midway through the fourth quarter after the Kings had tied the game at 95 with just under 5 minutes to play… Jose Calderon added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Andrea Bargnani also had 14. Brad Miller and John Salmons scored 20 points each to lead the Kings. Bobby Jackson added 17 points off the bench.

Dec 26: Nuggets 105, Sixers 101

The AP reports: The Denver Nuggets played most of the game disinterested in anyone or anything that wasn’t standing within a step of the 3-point line. Odd, then, that they won it with a backboard-shaking dunk from a big guy, Kenyon Martin, who spent most of Friday night acting as though he was one of Denver’s many shooting guards. Martin took a bounce pass from Chauncey Billups and drove for the go-ahead dunk with 9 seconds left to lift the Nuggets to a 105-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers… J.R. Smith made seven 3s for the Nuggets and finished with a team-high 27 points. Billups had 26 points and 10 assists… Andre Miller, used as trade fodder two seasons ago when the Nuggets dealt for Allen Iverson, had 19 points and eight assists for the Sixers… Louis Williams finished with 16 points, and his nice alley-oop to Marreese Speights gave Philly a 101-100 lead with 17.7 seconds to set the stage for Martin.

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