Archive for December 2nd, 2008

Dec 2: Pistons 89, Spurs 77

The AP reports: Rasheed Wallace made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 19 points as the Detroit Pistons rallied from 10 points down to beat San Antonio 89-77 on Tuesday night despite the return of Manu Ginobili to the Spurs’ starting lineup. Allen Iverson also scored 19 for Detroit (11-6), which has won two of three. Richard Hamilton added 16 points and Tayshaun Prince scored 15. The Spurs (9-8) have dropped two straight after winning four in a row. They were led by Tim Duncan, who had 23 points, but just one point in the fourth quarter. Ginobili scored 13 in his first start of the season after missing the first 12 games because of offseason ankle surgery.

Dec 2: Blazers 104, Knicks 97

The AP reports: Brandon Roy scored 23 points, and Portland dominated the fourth quarter to beat the tiring New York Knicks 104-97 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory… The Knicks have been playing basically seven players because of trades, injuries and the Stephon Marbury situation… The Blazers shook off a dismal offensive night from rookie Greg Oden, who botched two dunks in the first five minutes and finished with two points, matching Kwame Brown for the lowest-scoring effort by a No. 1 overall pick in his Madison Square Garden debut in 40 years… LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and Travis Outlaw 16 for the Blazers, who have won the first two games of their five-game Eastern Conference trip and are 6-0 against the East, their best start since winning their first 12 in 1990-91… David Lee finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Dec 2: Wizards 108, Nets 88

The AP reports: Caron Butler had 22 points and 10 assists, and DeShawn Stevenson added 21 to lead the Washington Wizards to an easy 108-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night… The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Nets (9-8), who won all three contests on the road. The Nets were led by Devin Harris, who had 18 points, but only three after halftime, and Vince Carter, who had 16 points. Keyon Dooling added 14 off the bench for the Nets.

Dec 2: Pacers 118, Lakers 117

The AP reports: Troy Murphy and Danny Granger spent most of Tuesday night working to keep the Pacers close to the Lakers. They spent those final few seconds like everyone else in Conseco Fieldhouse — watching, waiting and wondering if Murphy’s tantalizing tip would actually drop through the net. It did—just as the buzzer sounded. Murphy’s game-winner completed an improbable comeback and gave the Pacers a desperately needed 118-117 victory after replay reviews confirmed the basket was good… Granger, who scored 32 points, and Murphy, who had 16 points and 17 rebounds, methodically led their teammates back by making big baskets and getting the ball to open teammates. The Pacers (7-10) also allowed just 16 points over the final 12 minutes… Kobe Bryant finished with 28 points, becoming the second-fastest player in league history to reach 22,000 career points. Wilt Chamberlain was one day younger than Bryant when he reached that milestone.

Jay-Z: Brooklyn (We go hard)

Jay-Z has a new song out called Brooklyn (We go hard) that is said to be produced by Kanye West.

It’s pretty cool.

In the beginning of the song it sounds like Jay-Z is tossing a nod to Lil Wayne, by using some of Wayne’s semi-trademarked high-pitched yelp stuff. Other than that it’s pretty standard and cool. Good chorus, too.

Here’s the song (hit the play button)

Suns notes

Matt Barnes is averaging 12.0 points, nearly double what he averaged last season with Golden State, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.3 minutes on the season.

Shaquille O’Neal has the second-highest field goal percentage (.599) in the NBA this season. Shaq is averaging 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds in 27.5 minutes. He needs one block to pass Tree Rollins for 7th place on the NBA’s all-time blocks list.

Raja Bell is shooting a team-best .481 (37-77) from behind the arc (12th). Against New Jersey on Sunday, he scored 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 3FG) and had four rebounds.

Amare Stoudemire is averaging a team-high 21.7 points (12th in NBA), 8.0 rebounds (28th) and 1.3 blocks (40th). On Nov. 30 against New Jersey, he tallied 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.

Steve Nash led the Suns in scoring for the second time over the past four games with 25 points and nine assists against New Jersey. Nash is shooting .512 (33rd) from the field, .436 (33rd) from three-point range and .922 (8th) from the line on the season.

UPCOMING GAMES

The Suns head to New Orleans to face Chris Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler of the New Orleans Hornets at  New Orleans Arena on Wednesday, December 3  for the first time since the Hornets took the Suns’ home opener on October 30, 108-95.  Phoenix has lost five-straight to the Hornets following a stretch during which the Suns won 11-of-12 matchups.  The Suns are 4-1 this season in the front end of a back-to-back set.

The Suns take on  Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd  of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Thursday, December 4 for the first matchup between these two teams this season.  The Suns have an advantage in the all-time series, 69-49.  Phoenix has won five of the last nine games in the series and has split the last 14 meetings with Dallas.

Phoenix plays host to Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur of the Utah Jazz on Saturday, December 6. The Suns have a slight advantage in recent history, posting eight wins in the last 15 matchups. On March 7, 2008, Shaquille O’Neal became the 11th player in NBA history to reach 26,000 career points with a 20-point, seven rebound and two-block effort in the final meeting between the clubs last season.

The  Milwaukee Bucks, featuring Richard Jefferson, Michael Redd  and Andrew Bogut make their only visit of the season to the Valley on Tuesday, December 9. The Suns have won 31 of the last 35 meetings overall, including 20 consecutive wins at home to share the league’s longest-active home winning streak against a single opponent.

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher  of the Los Angeles Lakers host the Suns at STAPLES Center on Wednesday, December 10. These two teams have faced one another 206 times during the regular season, more than any other opponent in Phoenix history. On January 17, 2008, Steve Nash dished out a season-high 20 assists in a 106-98 win at STAPLES Center. Phoenix lost three of four contests last season, but the Suns have won 11 of the last 17 regular season matchups.

With five consecutive wins against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, the Suns look to continue their winning ways against the Magic on Friday, December 12 at US Airways Center. Phoenix has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, sweeping the season series the past two years. On November 10, 2007, Leandro Barbosa tallied a career-high 39 points in a 106-96 victory.

Houston Comets (WNBA) shutting down

The AP reports: The Houston Comets, a franchise that won the first four WNBA championships, is disbanding. The league-owned team will be shut down because new owners couldn’t be found. “You have to build on strength,” WNBA president Donna Orender told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “My outlook is to build on the fact that the league has great momentum and in Houston we didn’t have the enough runway to get a deal done in time for the 2009 season. So right now we have to move on.”

Ticker reports: The league will hold a dispersal draft for the remaining players on the Comets. “December 8 we will have a dispersal draft and the players who are available to be drafted will be drafted in an inverse order of finish by the current WNBA teams”, Orender said. “So the Atlanta team will have the first available player or the player they so chose on December 8.”

The Houston Chronicle reports: The decision to shutter the team came almost four months after the league took it over. The WNBA began running the Comets when owner Hilton Koch had decided to put the team up for sale. In mid-August, Houston Mayor Bill White issued a letter to potential investors, placing the value of the franchise at $10 million and setting a November deadline to find local ownership. Koch bought the team from Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander in October 2006. The team broke away from the Rockets’ organization, established a new front office, saw longtime head coach Van Chancellor resign and moved assistant coach Karleen Thompson into the top job.

Houston Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander issued the following statement today regarding the WNBA’s announcement that the Houston Comets will suspend operations this week.  Alexander was the original president and owner of the Comets from the 1997-2006 seasons before selling the team to Houston businessman Hilton Koch on January 31, 2007: “While this is a sad day for me personally, as well as for all who worked so hard to bring women’s basketball to our great city, the Comets were a source of deep pride for all Houstonians.  I will never forget our team making history by winning that first WNBA championship—then following it up with three more consecutive titles.  The team was a great source of inspiration and had a great impact on thousands of young women everywhere.  I will choose to focus on the many great times that we shared, and the incredible players like Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Kim Perrot, and of course our Hall of Fame coach Van Chancellor.  We had the most loyal and energetic fans in the league, and the team will be missed by all.”

Dec 1: Heat 130, Warriors 129 OT

The AP reports: Chris Quinn hit a tying 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left in overtime, Michael Beasley stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made the decisive free throw, and the Miami Heat pulled off a wild 130-129 comeback win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night… Jamal Crawford scored six of his 40 points in overtime and dished out seven assists, but his team fell short again. Udonis Haslem scored on a putback for Miami at the buzzer of regulation to force the extra session… Wade finished with 37 points and 13 assists, and Haslem and Shawn Marion each had 21 points. Beasley, who jumped in front of Andris Biedrins’ inbounds pass at the end, added 19 points and six rebounds off the bench… Corey Maggette had 29 points, Biedrins 17 points and 15 boards and Brandan Wright 16 points for a Warriors team that went 0-5 on its recent road trip. It was Golden State’s first 0-5 trip since the 2003-04 season.

Dec 1: Celtics 107, Magic 88

The AP reports: Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter to lead the Boston Celtics to their ninth straight win, 107-88 over the Orlando Magic on Monday night… Ray Allen added 21 points, Rondo had 16 points with 12 assists and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points for the Celtics (17-2) in a win over a top Eastern Conference rival… Rashard Lewis paced Orlando (13-5) with 30 points. Turkoglu had 19 and Dwight Howard, the NBA’s leading rebounder, had 14 points with 15 boards and four blocked shots… The Magic were without their starting backcourt for the second consecutive game.

Dec 1: Bobcats 100, Wolves 90

The AP reports: Jason Richardson scored 25 points in another strong performance after being sidelined with knee trouble, leading the suddenly efficient Bobcats to a 100-90 win over the error-prone Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night… Emeka Okafor, often invisible in the paint this season, added a season-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. The notoriously poor free-throw shooter made all six from the line and added 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton had a season-high 14 assists, and didn’t commit his only turnover until just more than 2 minutes remained… Randy Foye scored 23 points and Mike Miller added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which was never in sync in its second straight loss. Top scorer Al Jefferson was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and Minnesota committed 14 of its 18 turnovers in the first half.

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