Archive for January 18th, 2009

Rudy Fernandez in dunk contest

The Oregonian (Jason Quick) reports (via blog): Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez has won a fan vote to compete in the 2009 NBA Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Phoenix on Feb. 14, The Oregonian has learned. For the first time, the NBA this season opened a slot in the contest for a rookie, who would be chosen by a fan vote. Fernandez won the voting over Milwaukee’s Joe Alexander and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I’m surprised. Of the three candidates, he was the one I thought should get the fewest votes.

Utah Jazz sign Jerry Sloan to extension

The Utah Jazz announced today the decision by Jerry Sloan to return as head coach for the 2009-10 season, which will mark his 22nd season at the helm of the Jazz.

“We have been blessed as an organization that Jerry Sloan has been with us as long as he has.  Jerry is the standard for hard work and consistency,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.  “Jerry has brought a level of credibility to the Utah Jazz that nobody else could.  I am excited that we’ll have Jerry with us through 2010.”

Sloan has been Utah’s head coach since assuming the reigns from former head coach Frank Layden on December 9, 1988.  The fourth-winningest coach in NBA history (1113-734), Sloan is the longest tenured active coach with one team in major professional sports, and is also the longest tenured head coach in NBA history.  Earlier this season Sloan (1019-613 with Jazz) became the first NBA head coach to win 1,000 games with one team, and currently ranks 224 victories ahead of Red Auerbach (second in all-time wins with one team) and 360 wins ahead of San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (third all-time), the only other active coach in the top five.

“I look forward to watching our team continue to grow and mature,” said Sloan.  “I am grateful for all the opportunities Larry and Gail Miller have provided to me.”

Since Sloan’s hiring there have been a total of 225 coaching changes (counting interim coaches) in the NBA.   Every team in the league has made at least two changes except for Utah.  In addition five current NBA teams did not exist when Sloan took the helm in Utah, and two others were just over a month into their inaugural seasons.  Sloan has coached 123 different Jazz players in regular season games during his time.

“We appreciate Jerry’s continued commitment to our organization,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby.  “His coaching style, approach to the game and values portray everything we could ever look for in a coach.”

Over his first 20 seasons, Sloan has produced two conference championships, seven division titles, 16 consecutive winning seasons, 12 seasons with 50-plus wins and 18 playoff appearances.  He is seeking his third straight Northwest Division title in 2008-09.

The AP reports: Another game, another injury for the Los Angeles Clippers. Only this time, they managed to play through the adversity caused by Marcus Camby’s sprained left ankle in the fourth quarter and snap a 12-game losing streak. Camby and Brian Skinner each scored 18 points, and the Clippers pulled away in the in the final 6 1/2 minutes with help from reserve guard Ricky Davis to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-92 on Saturday night… Richard Jefferson scored 26 points for Milwaukee. Michael Redd, coming off a season-high 44-point effort in Friday night’s 129-122 win at Sacramento and averaging 30.3 points over his previous four games, finished with 21.

The AP reports: Regardless of the source—or sources—of inspiration, Nowitzki gave a brilliant performance Saturday night, making 16 of 20 shots and scoring 39 points to carry the Mavericks to a 115-108 victory over the Jazz… He was 7-of-8 in the second half. He also was emotional all night, punctuating his toughest shots with screams or fist pumps… Kidd had 11 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds, Jason Terry added 22 points and Brandon Bass scored a season-high 17 to keep the Mavericks from matching their longest losing skid of the season… Deron Williams had 30 points and nine assists before fouling out in the last minute, and Mehmet Okur had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Utah.

The AP reports: The Orlando Magic believe in themselves. After a dominant road trip, the rest of the NBA is believing in them, too. Hedo Turkoglu scored 31 points, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis had 23 each and the Orlando Magic completed a perfect four-game West Coast trip with a 106-88 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night… Dwight Howard had 14 points and 20 rebounds to help the Magic win their seventh straight and ninth in 10 games. It was Howard’s second straight 20-rebound game… Linas Kleiza, who had a season-high 26 points, led the Nuggets with seven points in the third.

Perfect Yao leads Rockets past Heat

The AP reports: Yao Ming wasn’t counting his shots Saturday night, but he knew how easily they were coming. Yao set a Houston record by going 12-for-12 from the field, and finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds in the Rockets’ 93-86 victory over the Miami Heat. Yao’s perfect shooting night eclipsed Joe Meriweather’s 10-for-10 game against Atlanta in 1976. Yao’s only miss came at the free-throw line, where he was 2-for-3… Rafer Alston added a season-high 22 points to help the Rockets improve to 2-1 since Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest were shelved to recover from injuries… Dwyane Wade shook off a bad first half to score 29 points for Miami.

Parker leads Spurs past Bulls

The AP reports: Tony Parker had 20 points and eight assists to lead the Spurs to a 92-87 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Tim Duncan added 18 points and 14 rebounds to help the Spurs bounce back after their worst loss of season, a 109-87 setback in Philadelphia on Friday night… Manu Ginobili had 21 points, scoring the final nine points of the game for the Spurs in the last 1:04. San Antonio has won 11 of its last 14 games. Andres Nocioni had 17 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for Chicago.

76ers win 7th straight, beat Knicks

The AP reports: Two buzzer-beaters one night. Another one Saturday on something resembling an alley-oop 3-pointer. Andre Iguodala is on a roll, and so are his Philadelphia 76ers. Iguodala had 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and the 76ers returned to .500 for the first time in nearly two months with their seventh straight victory, 107-97 over the New York Knicks… Andre Miller added 27 points and eight assists for the 76ers, making a pair of baskets in a 10-0 burst after the Knicks had closed within one with 5 minutes remaining. Lou Williams scored 15 points to help Philadelphia beat New York for the 11th time in the last 13 meetings… Al Harrington scored 26 points for the Knicks, who welcomed back Danilo Gallinari after a 2 1/2 month absence while losing for the second time in two nights. Quentin Richardson added 19, and Wilson Chandler had 17.

Paul leads Hornets past slumping Pistons

The AP reports: Chris Paul had 23 points and 14 assists to help the New Orleans Hornets hand the Detroit Pistons their fifth straight loss, 91-85 on Saturday night… David West added 20 points for the Hornets, who had six players in double figures. Tyson Chandler finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, winning the praise of New Orleans coach Byron Scott… Richard Hamilton led the Pistons with 20 points, but couldn’t keep the Pistons from their longest losing streak since just before they acquired Rasheed Wallace in 2004.

The AP reports: Sure, the game went into overtime and there were several key late plays in the Charlotte Bobcats’ third straight victory. But all anybody wanted to talk about after the Bobcats’ 102-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night was the dunk. The alley-oop, one-handed jam by Gerald Wallace over 7-footer Greg Oden in the fourth quarter that had fans gasping and players craning their necks for a glimpse of the replay… It was part a monster night from Wallace, who had 31 points and 16 rebounds to lead the new-look Bobcats… Emeka Okafor added 22 points and 11 rebounds, outplaying the foul-plagued Oden as the Bobcats used tough defense over the final minute to secure their longest winning streak since March. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points, and Brandon Roy added 17 but shot poorly from the field and the line for the Blazers, who finished 2-2 on their East Coast trip.

The AP reports: Ray Allen scored 25 points to lead the Celtics to a 105-85 win on Saturday afternoon. The Celtics put the game away in the opening quarter, taking an 18-2 lead behind nine points from Allen. Boston had beaten New Jersey by 32 points at home on Wednesday… Devin Harris and Vince Carter, the Nets leading scorers, had front row seats for the entire second half to watch the Celtics road show as New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank benched his two stars… Paul Pierce and Eddie House both had 13 points for the Celtics, while Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe each had 12. Rajon Rondo came close to a triple double with eight points, nine rebounds and 14 assists… Brook Lopez led New Jersey with 28 points and Jarvis Hayes added 15 for the Nets, who dropped their third straight game. Harris had seven points and Carter finished with five.

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