Archive for December 10th, 2008

Melo scores 33 in one quarter

Wednesday night the Denver Nuggets hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves, and home star forward Carmelo Anthony put on an incredible scoring display.

In the third quarter, Melo scored 33 points, scoring in a variety of ways, including jumpers in the face of defenders, cuts to the basket, and any other way he felt like it.

Anthony’s outburst is the greatest single-quarter point scoring in Nuggets history.

At the end of the third quarter the Nuggets lead the Wolves, 84-78.

Minnesota was actually playing a terrific game until the third. At halftime they were up 56-44.

For the game, Melo is 15-of-24 for 42 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.

–InsideHoops.com editor

Suns trade for Jason Richardson

Uptrade: Trade is now official. Click here.

The Arizona Republic (Paul Coro) reports: The Suns acquired dynamic shooting guard Jason Richardson today in a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats that will also bring second-year forward Jared Dudley and a 2010 second-round draft choice to the Suns in exchange for shooting guard Raja Bell, forward Boris Diaw and rookie point guard Sean Singletary. The deal, pending players passing physicals, brings a new dimension to the Suns’ shooting guard position with Richardson, who can hit 3-pointers and be an athletic fit into an uptempo system like he starred in during five seasons with Golden State… Richardson makes $12,222,222 this season, $13,333,333 next season and $14,444,444 in 2010-11. Diaw was under contract for $9 million per season through 2011-12. Bell is making $5 million this season and gets $5.25 million next season in his contract’s final year.

Read fan reaction and post your opinion in this forum thread.

The Chicago Bulls have needed better big-men for a long time. The roster includes Tyrus Thomas, an athletic, thin power forward, and Joakim Noah, a power forward who can also play center. Neither guy is impressing this season and coach Vinny Del Negro has made his displeasure clear. The Arlington Daily Herald (Mike McGraw) reports:

There has been nothing subtle about recent messages sent from Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro to young big men Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas. Noah went from starting at center to not playing at all Saturday against Washington. Thomas, one week removed from a 14-point, 13-rebound game against Philadelphia, sat out Tuesday’s 105-100 win over the Knicks by coach’s decision. Following Wednesday’s practice at the Berto Center, Del Negro listed the specific qualities he’s looking for, not only in Noah and Thomas, but all his players. “We’re trying to play a lot of guys,” Del Negro said. “The guys that are going to focus in, know their roles, commit to it, come with effort every day (will play). I can handle mistakes, but I can’t handle lack of effort and I can’t handle lack of commitment to the team. Those guys know that and they’re working better. That’s always a work in progress with a young team.”

For the season, Thomas is playing 21.5 minutes per game and averaging 6.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks but shooting a miserable 34.4%.

Noah is playing 16.5 minutes and putting up just 3.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.16 blocks, shooting a lousy 40.7% and disappointing 62.1% free throws.

Both have potential to be capable backups, or role-playing starters, but they’ve been lost so far in 2008-09.

Joe Maloof suffered stroke

The Sacramento Bee (Ailene Voisin) reports (via blog): Kings co-owner Joe Maloof confirmed that he did in fact have a stroke last week. “Just a mild one, a mild one,” the Kings co-owner informed me. “I’m fine. I just have to get back to working out consistently, which I wasn’t doing because of my knees. But I’m so much better now. I’m coming back to Sac in a few days, and I’ll be around. I’m feeling so good now I can hardly believe it.”

Pistons now super-small

The Detroit Pistons are struggling and playing ineffective basketball lately. Recently, coach Michael Curry made point guard Rodney Stuckey a starter, shifting undersized Allen Iverson to his natural shooting guard position and bumping Richard Hamilton up as a very undersized small forward. The Detroit Free Press (Jamie Samuelsen) blogs:

Michael Curry had to try something. There is a lot of time left and things can still work out, but some early season trends are rather disturbing. The Pistons have already lost to the Timberwolves and the Wizards. Those are two teams playing so poorly that they’ve already fired their respective coaches. That’s saying something. Curry’s move is bold, but I don’t like it. It totally depletes the bench scoring, which has been inconsistent in the early going. Maybe they thought that Arron Afflalo could be the prime shooting threat off the bench, after all he had 17 against the Knicks the other day. Last night, he had nothing in 18 minutes. The Stuckey move reflects a clear discomfort with having Iverson play the point. He and Rip Hamilton aren’t gelling in the same backcourt, so they need a point. And the best point guard on the roster is Stuckey.

It’ll be fun to see the new, super-small Pistons and seeing how they can compete. Watch their next couple of games.

Nuggets assign two to D-League

The Denver Nuggets have assigned C Cheikh Samb and G/F Sonny Weems to the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

Samb, 7-1, 245, has averaged 0.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 0.83 bpg in six appearances with the Nuggets. Samb spent two stints with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League last season posting averages of 10.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and a league-leading 4.0 blocks in 19 games.

Weems, 6-6, 203, has yet to play for the Nuggets this season but averaged 9.2 ppg and 3.0 rpg in 22.2 mpg in five games for the Nuggets summer league entry in Las Vegas this past summer.

Samb and Weems mark the 10th and 11th player assignments to the NBA Development League this season and the first assignments to the 14ers in 2008-09.

Samb was acquired by the Nuggets from Detroit along with G Chauncey Billups and F Antonio McDyess in exchange for G Allen Iverson on Nov. 3.

Weems was acquired by Denver in a draft-night trade with the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a 2009 second round drat pick.

Daniel Gibson out 2 weeks

Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson left last night’s game versus the Toronto Raptors with 9:50 remaining in the second quarter with a sprained left great toe. He was seen by Dr. Jim Sferra at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health today. A MRI and x-rays were performed. He is estimated to be out two weeks and will continue to be reevaluated.

This season in 24.3 minutes per game Gibson has averaged 9.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Though coming off the bench and not shooting very well this season, he’s a key contributor.

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired guard Antonio Daniels and a future second round pick in a three-team deal with the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards. As part of the trade, the Hornets send guard Mike James to the Wizards. The Hornets acquired a future second round pick from the Grizzlies and Daniels from the Wizards. Memphis sends guard Javaris Crittenton to Washington, while Washington sends Memphis a future first round pick that Washington originally acquired in the deal that gave Memphis Juan Carlos Navarro.

Read and join in fan discussion of the trade.

“We are excited to get a player of Antonio’s caliber,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “He is a guard with excellent size, versatility and toughness. Daniels is also a proven veteran who has won a championship and we look forward to all of those attributes strengthening our bench.”

Daniels has averaged 5.1 points, 1.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 22.2 minutes of play in 13 games (five starts) with the Wizards. He has scored in double figures twice and has had seven games of four or more assists.

“AD has always been a steady, proven guard in this league.” said Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott. “He has won at the highest level and is a clutch player; he also gives us a different look in the backcourt with his size.”

Daniels, the fourth overall pick out of Bowling Green University in the 1997 draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, has spent time with five NBA teams - Grizzlies (1997-98), San Antonio Spurs (1998-2002), Portland Trail Blazers (2002-03), Seattle Sonics (2003-05) and the Wizards (2005-08).

He won an NBA Championship as a member of the Spurs during the 1998-99 season where he averaged 4.7 points, 2.3 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game during his second season in the NBA. Daniels best season in the league came during the 2004-05 season while a member of the Sonics where he averaged a career-best in points (11.2) and rebounds (2.3), while adding 4.1 assists in 27.0 minutes.

Daniels has ranked in the top seven in the NBA in assist per turnover three times in his career, including leading the league during the 2003-04 season.

Dec 9: Magic 109, Blazers 108

The AP reports: Hedo Turkoglu banked in a 3-pointer from 25 feet with less than one second remaining, and the Orlando Magic rallied from a late eight-point deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-108 on Tuesday night… Rashard Lewis hit six 3-pointers and led Orlando with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Turkoglu scored 24 points. Jameer Nelson hit four 3-pointers and added 21 points for the Magic. Portland, which fell to 15-8 and into a first-place tie with Denver in the Northwest Division, was led by Brandon Roy, who scored a season-high 30 points. Roy hit 10 of 20 shots and scored 20 points during the second half… Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds. The second pick of the 2006 draft, Aldridge hit 12 of 17 shots, and went 5-of-5 during the fourth quarter. Reserve Joel Przybilla added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Dec 9: Kings 113, Lakers 101

The AP reports: Francisco Garcia and John Salmons scored 21 points apiece, and the Sacramento Kings snapped an eight-game losing streak with a surprising 113-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night. Bobby Jackson added 15 points for the Kings, whose first victory in nine home games was one of the NBA’s most improbable results of the young season. Sacramento (6-16), which had lost 11 of its last 12 games overall, steadily increased a fourth-quarter lead against the Lakers, who couldn’t rally while Kobe Bryant struggled with 9-of-25 shooting. Bryant scored 28 points and Pau Gasol had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who had won three straight while opening the season 17-2, matching the best start in franchise history.

Dec 9: Suns 125, Bucks 110

The AP reports: This is how the Phoenix Suns’ offense was supposed to flow with Shaquille O’Neal. The Suns would run when they could—and when they couldn’t, they’d settle into a halfcourt offense and feed Shaq in the post. It went from a work in progress to near perfection as O’Neal scored a season-high 35 points and the Suns beat Milwaukee 125-110 on Tuesday night, extending their domination of the Bucks in Arizona… O’Neal hit 14 of 19 shots from the floor and 7-of-12 from the line, and he added eight rebounds… Amare Stoudemire added 22 points and Steve Nash had 19 points and 10 assists on a night the Suns resembled the free-flowing team shaped by D’Antoni. Phoenix scored a season-high 36 points in the first quarter, then topped that with 38 in the second… Charlie Villanueva scored 24 points, Michael Redd had 23 and Richard Jefferson added 22 for Milwaukee, which has lost six of its last eight games.

Dec 9: Bulls 105, Knicks 100

The AP reports: “I’m not going to turn them down. It’s going to be one of two things. It’s going to go in or it’s not. As long as it’s a good look and one of my teammates finds me, I’m definitely willing to take the shot,” Larry Hughes said Tuesday night after his late 3-pointer sent the Chicago Bulls to a 105-100 victory over the New York Knicks… Drew Gooden led the Bulls with a season-high 22 points and 16 rebounds. Gordon, who tied the game at 97 with a 3-pointer, added 17 points and Hughes had 16. Hughes, who missed the first eight games this season with a dislocated shoulder, sank a game-winner at the buzzer last month against Utah. Al Harrington shot 13-for-21 from the field and finished with 28 points to lead the Knicks, who used only seven players in the fast-paced game. Quentin Richardson added 22 points, while Chris Duhon scored 15, had 14 assists and grabbed nine rebounds in his return to the United Center, while playing 45 minutes and 14 seconds…  David Lee had 11 points and 15 boards for New York.

Dec 9: Spurs 133, Mavs 126 2OT

The AP reports: A defensive specialist who recently lost his starting job, Bowen still knows how to nail an open 3-pointer, and he did exactly that with 1:47 left in a second overtime, putting the Spurs ahead for good in a 133-126 victory over the Mavericks on Tuesday night… Duncan scored eight of his 32 points in the decisive extra period, and Tony Parker added 29 points and 10 assists as the Spurs for the seventh time in nine games. This one evened the season series between these Interstate-35 rivals, and added to their collection of thrilling performances… Dirk Nowitzki scored 35 points and Jason Kidd added a season-high 24 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, but the Mavericks lost for only the second time in their last 11 games. They also had a five-game home winning streak snapped; they were 3-0 in a seven-game homestand and were eyeing a sweep.

Dec 9: Rockets 92, Hawks 84

The AP reports: The Houston Rockets blew a big lead, then relied on Yao Ming to lead the winning rally on Tuesday night. Yao scored 24 points and grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds, and the Rockets came back from eight points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Hawks 92-84. Luis Scola added 12 points and 10 rebounds, Ron Artest scored 19 and the Rockets outrebounded Atlanta 57-40 to hand the Hawks their 10th consecutive loss in Houston… Joe Johnson scored 22 points and Josh Smith added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks… Alston had six assists and scored 12 for Houston, but went 4-for-15 from the field. Mike Bibby added 15 points for Atlanta.

Dec 9: Jazz 99, Wolves 96

The AP reports: For one game, at least, McHale seemed to inject some energy and heart into a team that has lacked both since a six-game losing streak started nine days ago… Mehmet Okur hit the go-ahead shot with 1.7 seconds to play and the Jazz capitalized on 16 missed free throws by Minnesota to rally for the victory. Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 21 points. The Timberwolves led by seven with 2:45 to play, but Love’s misses in the final three minutes allowed the Jazz to hang around… Ronnie Brewer scored 25 points for the Jazz on the 20th anniversary of Jerry Sloan’s promotion to the team’s head coach… Love finished with eight points and 15 rebounds, but went 2-for-9 from the free throw line.

Dec 9: Cavs 114, Raptors 94

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 31 points and became Cleveland’s career steals leader and Zydrunas Ilgauskas moved atop the Cavaliers’ rebounding chart as Cleveland improved to 12-0 at home with its latest rout. In winning their ninth straight by at least 12 points, the Cavaliers, now 17-1 since Nov. 3, are the first team in league history to win nine consecutive games in a single season so handily. Cleveland came in tied with Portland (1990-91), Chicago (1996-97), Detroit (2003-04) and Houston (2007-08)… Joey Graham scored 17 points, Jose Calderon 14 and Chris Bosh tied a season low with nine—16 below his average—for the Raptors, who have lost five in a row and three straight since coach Sam Mitchell was fired last week.

Dec 9: Wizards 107, Pistons 94

The AP reports: Caron Butler’s 33 points were supplemented by a season-high 16 from Juan Dixon and 15 from Darius Songaila as the Wizards rallied for a 107-94 victory Tuesday night over the redesigned lineup of the Detroit Pistons. Songaila, Dixon (seven assists), Dominic McGuire (3-for-3, six points), Andray Blatche (eight points, five rebounds), and Nick Young (nine points) all provided inspired play off the bench, a necessity given that the Washington starters not named Butler combined to score only 15 points… Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 29 points, Rasheed Wallace added 19, and new starting point guard Rodney Stuckey had 10 points and 11 assists for the Pistons. Hamilton and Wallace each were called for technicals for fussing at the refs.

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