Archive for December 4th, 2008

Elton Brand day-to-day

Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand will miss Friday night’s game at Detroit due to a right hamstring strain. An MRI taken this morning confirmed the injury.

Brand did not travel with the team. He is listed as day-to-day.

Glance at Arron Afflalo

The Detroit Free Press (Vince Ellis) reports: Arron Afflalo does have a growing offensive game. He works constantly to be known as more than just a defensive specialist. But Curry tells him if he plays defense and keeps the ball moving, he will earn more playing time to display his offensive ability. Afflalo’s teammates aren’t all that concerned about his offense as long as he keeps accepting the challenge of guarding opponents’ top guns. “I always tell him when he gets minutes, I ain’t got to say nothing to him because he hangs his hat on defense,” Rasheed Wallace said. “He’s always wanted to guard the best guys, and he did somewhat of a good job on Manu tonight. That’s not an easy task guarding him.”

Nets need to defend perimeter

The New York Post (Dan Tomasino) reports:  “[Our record of] 9-8, we’ll take it right now,” Devin Harris said. “We’re making strides. Two steps forward, one step back. We made a big stride on the road. We’ve just got to play better at home.” There are many factors involved for the Nets to become more consistent. Improved defense against 3-pointers is a must. They’re second worst in the NBA, allowing opponents to make 42 percent from beyond the arc. Offensively, finding a third scorer to complement Harris and Carter is a challenge.

Brandon Jennings doing little overseas

The Washington Times (Barker Davis) reports: The 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard has all but vanished from basketball’s collective conscious. Jennings is the fourth member of Lottomatica Roma’s backcourt rotation. Buried in the depth chart behind guards like former All-Big East performer Allan Ray (Villanova) and former Ivy League player of the year Ibrahim Jaaber (Penn), Jennings exited the team’s first eight games averaging 4.9 points and 3.0 assists in 17.3 minutes. Jennings is being well-compensated for his spot duty. Contracts with the Rome-based club and UnderArmour are reportedly earning him in excess of $3 million this season. But the long-term wisdom of his career choice remains questionable.

Cuttino Mobley may retire

The New York Post (Marc Berman) reports: Cuttino Mobley is strongly mulling a medical retirement because of an enlarged heart condition and could make the announcement tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the situation. Mobley, 33, still has one more heart test left today in Minnesota. It had been reported that Mobley had signed a waiver with the Clippers to release them of liability if he had heart problems. If Mobley, obtained in the Zach Randolph trade from the Clippers, retires, it would free open a roster spot and save the Knicks about 75 percent of the $18. 9 million left on his pact because of insurance.

Dec 3: Heat 93, Jazz 89

The AP reports: Dwyane Wade overcame his headache and foul trouble while leading Miami to a 93-89 victory over the short-handed Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, getting the Heat back above .500 as they ended a five-game Western Conference road trip. “I was going to play. Anything I can do to help my guys and try to get a win,” said Wade, who had 23 points and five assists… The Jazz were missing a large chunk of their regular lineup and the Heat took advantage inside, outrebounding Utah 45-38 as injured forwards Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring watched from Utah’s bench in suits. Udonis Haslem had 13 rebounds and Joel Anthony had four blocks for the Heat, who held off several runs by the Jazz and went 9-of-11 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to seal it… Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points and 13 rebounds… Shawn Marion scored 15, Michael Beasley had 12 points and reserve Chris Quinn added six assists for Miami.

Dec 3: Rockets 103, Clippers 96

The AP reports: The Houston Rockets will have to win games the hard way until Tracy McGrady gets healthy. Yao Ming had 24 points, Rafer Alston sank five 3-pointers and added 21, and the Rockets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 103-96 on Wednesday night. Ron Artest scored 19 points and Yao grabbed 10 rebounds and went 12-for-13 from the free throw line for the Rockets, who played their fourth straight game without McGrady. The seven-time All-Star is out three weeks with a sore left knee… Al Thornton scored 24 and Zach Randolph had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who’ve dropped six of seven road games this season. Baron Davis had 13 points and nine assists, despite leaving in the first quarter with apparent food poisoning. He started the second half and never came out of the game again, playing 34 minutes in all.

Dec 3: Bucks 97, Bulls 90

The AP reports: With Andrew Bogut ailing, Dan Gadzuric had a big game off the bench. The seldom-used center had 11 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, and fellow reserve Charlie Villanueva scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Milwaukee Bucks over the Chicago Bulls 97-90 Wednesday night… “We made our run, we just weren’t able to sustain it,” said Gordon, who finished with 22 points… Derrick Rose, who had 18 points and nine assists along with five turnovers in 43 minutes, thought he was hit on the play.

Dec 3: Hornets 104, Suns 91

The AP reports: Peja Stojakovic finished with 24 points, his sharp shooting opening the floor for the rest of his teammates, who took full advantage. Chris Paul also scored 24 points to go with 15 assists for his 13th double-double of the young season. David West added 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Tyson Chandler narrowly missed a double-double of his own with 14 points and nine rebounds… Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 26 points, while Leandro Barbosa added 19 and Grant Hill 17. However, the Suns were unable to keep pace with guard Steve Nash sidelined because of an illness. Shaquille O’Neal also sat out for Phoenix, hoping to be fresh when the Suns play Thursday night at Dallas.

Dec 3: Celtics 114, Pacers 96

The AP reports: The way Rajon Rondo played, there was no way the Boston Celtics could lose to the Indiana Pacers again. Rondo notched his first career triple-double and Ray Allen scored 31 points, leading the Celtics over the Pacers, 114-96 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight victory… Rondo scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out a career-high 17 assists. Garnett added 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who matched their longest winning streak since their 2007-08 championship season, a 10-game run from Feb. 24-March 12… Danny Granger led the Pacers with 20 points, while Troy Murphy chipped in with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Dec 3: Magic 100, Wolves 89

The AP reports: Dwight Howard had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Lewis also scored 23 points to lead the Magic to a 100-89 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Turkoglu added 22 for the Magic, who have won two of three despite missing their top three guards with injuries. Al Jefferson had 19 to lead the Timberwolves. The Magic’s starting backcourt of J.J. Redick and Anthony Johnson combined for only seven points, but rookie Courtney Lee came off the bench to score a season-high 16. Lee shot 8-of-10 from the field and made all three 3-pointers.

Dec 3: Lakers 114, Sixers 102

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant tormented his hometown team again, scoring 32 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers rebound from a last-second loss with a 114-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night… Pau Gasol had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Andrew Bynum scored 18 points for the Lakers. Los Angeles never let the middling Sixers get too close in this one. Philadelphia was within six in the third quarter when Derek Fisher and Bryant nailed 3-pointers that ballooned the lead to double digits… Andre Miller scored 26 points and Iguodala had 19 for the Sixers, who played the entire fourth quarter and the last 4:50 of the third without Elton Brand.

Dec 3: Cavs 118, Knicks 82

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 21 points and then grabbed an early seat on the bench as the Cleveland Cavaliers improved to 10-0 on their own floor for the first time in their history and won for the 14th time in 15 games, 118-82 over the tired and tired-looking New York Knicks on Wednesday night… Mo Williams added 16 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and none of Cleveland’s starters played more than 28 minutes. Al Harrington scored 20 points, Anthony Roberson had 19 and David Lee 16 with 16 rebounds for the short-handed Knicks, who made 28 turnovers one night after losing at home to Portland.

Dec 3: Bobcats 103, Thunder 97

The AP reports: With 10 points and 11 rebounds, Sean May recorded his first double-double in nearly two years. With Emeka Okafor adding 25 points and 13 rebounds, the Bobcats had rare production inside, fueling their fourth win in six games under new coach Larry Brown… Gerald Wallace added 21 points and Jason Richardson scored 18 to surpass 10,000 points in his career for the Bobcats, who won consecutive games under Brown for the first time and sent the Thunder back to their losing ways. The Thunder were playing their first game since snapping a franchise record-tying 14-game losing streak Saturday at Memphis. Kevin Durant scored 24 points and Jeff Green added 18, but while Oklahoma City shot 54 percent, it couldn’t overcome 19 turnovers and its lack of depth inside in dropping to 2-17.

Dec 3: Hawks 105, Grizzlies 95

The AP reports: Josh Smith wasted no time asserting himself after missing the past 12 games with an ankle sprain. The Atlanta Hawks’ fourth-year forward stole a pass from Memphis rookie O.J. Mayo a few seconds after tip-off, passing to Joe Johnson for an easy layup. “I knew I had to do something early just to get myself established in the game,” Smith said. “I definitely wanted to start on the defensive end, and being able to come up with that steal off the tip was key.” Johnson scored 26 points, and Mike Bibby had 20 points and 10 assists in the Atlanta Hawks’ 105-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. The Hawks, who have won three of four and five of seven, benefited from Smith’s 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, four turnovers and one blocked shot in 28 minutes… Rudy Gay finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds as Memphis dropped its season-worst seventh straight.

Dec 3: Blazers 98, Wizards 92

The AP reports: Brandon Roy took his time to get going Wednesday night, and then he took over, scoring 12 of his 22 points in the final 8 minutes to help the Portland Trail Blazers extend their winning streak to six games by coming back to beat the Washington Wizards 98-92. One of his most important baskets came on a drive to his left past defender DeShawn Stevenson to set up a lefty layup, giving Portland a four-point lead with 35 seconds to go… The well-balanced Blazers did put five players in double-figures: Roy, Greg Oden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Fernandez and Steve Blake. Oden, the rookie center who missed all of last season, finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double in the past 12 games.

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