Archive for January 20th, 2009

Josh Childress having hernia surgery reports: Olympiacos Pireaus on Tuesday announced that forward Josh Childress will undergo hernia surgery today and miss most, if not all, of the Top 16. Childress (203, 25) is the third-best scorer (10.7 ppg.) and second-best rebounder (5 rpg.) for the Reds, while leading the team in minutes played (26.3 mpg.). Childress returned to the United States over the weekend for medical attention concerning an inguinal hernia.

The Phoenix Suns have signed free-agent center Courtney Sims to a 10-day contract, the club announced today.

The 6-11, 245-pound Sims has spent the last two seasons with the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.  The Energy, coached by Nick Nurse, became the Suns’ affiliate this season.  Sims, 25, joins Phoenix after starting all 17 of his games in Iowa this season, averaging 22.4 points and 11.6 rebounds, both team-bests.  A season ago, Sims averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 15 games with Iowa.

A four-year collegiate performer at the University of Michigan, Sims was an undrafted free agent signee of the Indiana Pacers in 2007-08.  The Roslindale, Mass.-native saw action in three regular season games for the Pacers.

The Suns roster now stands at 13.

JaVale McGee still unused

The Washington Post (Ivan Carter) reports (via blog):  When Etan Thomas went down with a torn MCL in his left knee, many assumed that rookie center JaVale McGee would see an increased role. To this point, that still hasn’t really happened. McGee, who started 13 games earlier in the season and has flashed talent while showing that he’s still a raw young guy with plenty to learn, played 14 minutes against Milwaukee, 16 minutes at New York, four minutes at home against the Knicks and five minutes yesterday at Golden State against a team that doesn’t employ a traditional center. Clearly, interim coach Tapscott still feels more comfortable starting Andray Blatche at center and playing Darius Songaila long minutes at that spot. Blatche put up 22 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes yesterday while Songaila posted six points, two rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes.

Richard Hamilton to come off bench

The Detroit Pistons have a problem. A bunch of their best players, Tayshaun Prince, Allen Iverson, Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey are small. They’re little. You can pick them up and toss them in the air. If they’re all on the court at the same time, Prince, who is a skinny bean-pole, is forced to play power forward, which is just silly.

So now, a roster decision has been made. One that could change at any moment. But for now, here’s what’s up, as reported by the Detroit News (Chris McCosky):

Pistons coach Michael Curry announced Tuesday that he will begin using guard Rip Hamilton off the bench, with guard Allen Iverson and forward Amir Johnson starting… Curry said Hamilton, who has never come off the bench as a Piston, will start the second and fourth quarters.

Watch the Pistons, as they try to figure themselves out.

Walker Russell, Jr. of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants has been named NBA D-League Performer of the Week for games played during the week of Jan. 12, 2009.  Russell is the first Mad Ant to earn the honor this season.

Russell averaged 28.5 points and 16.0 assists in two wins over the Sioux Falls Skyforce last week, including on Thursday when he scored a season-high 30 points while adding 18 assists.  He returned on Friday to score 17 points and 14 assists in another victory.

A 6-0 guard, Russell is leading the NBA D-League with 11.6 assists per game this season.  He also ranks fourth in the league with 2.5 steals, while averaging 16.9 points.

Other top performers last week included Tulsa’s Ronald Dupree, who averaged 30.5 points and 15.5 rebounds in two games for the 66ers; Othyus Jeffers, who averaged 26.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games for the Iowa Energy; Idaho’s Coby Karl who finished the week averaging 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two games for the Stampede; Antonio Meeking, who averaged 20.0 points and 10.3 rebounds in three games for the Reno Bighorns; and Anaheim’s James White, who averaged 27.0 points in three games for the Arsenal last week.

Memphis Grizzlies re-sign Darius Miles

The Memphis Grizzlies have signed forward Darius Miles to a second 10-day contract, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

After signing his first 10-day contract on Jan. 10, Miles played in three games and averaged 8.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.67 blocks on 55.6 percent shooting (10-18 FG) in 12.0 minutes. The 6-9, 235-pound forward is averaging 5.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.80 blocks per game in 9.0 minutes in five total games with the Grizzlies this season.

Miles was signed by the Grizzlies as a free agent on Dec. 13 (and later waived on Jan. 7) after missing all of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons following microfracture surgery on his right knee.  The 27-year-old signed a free-agent contract with the Boston Celtics on Aug. 22, 2008 and appeared in six preseason games, averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds in 10.4 minutes before his release on Oct. 20.

The third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft became the first player in league history drafted straight out of high school (East St. Louis High School) to earn All-Rookie honors when he posted 9.4 points and 1.54 blocks for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000-01.

The Bellville, Ill. native holds career averages of 10.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.15 blocks in 27.5 minutes in 417 career games (190 starts) with Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James tussled to a virtual standoff Monday night, but Bryant’s supporting cast was far more effective, and that was the difference as the Lakers beat Cleveland 105-88 to snap a five-game losing streak to the Cavaliers. Bryant had 20 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in 41 minutes despite dislocating the ring finger on his shooting hand less than two minutes into the game… Pau Gasol shot 11-of-13 and led Los Angeles with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Andrew Bynum and Sasha Vujacic scored 14 points each and Derek Fisher added 11 for the Lakers, whose 32-8 record is tops in the Western Conference. James had 23 points and nine rebounds, but shot just 9-of-25. Mo Williams added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists and Sasha Pavlovic scored 12 for the Cavaliers (31-8), who absorbed their most one-sided loss of the season.

The AP reports: Greg Oden had just one word to describe how he felt after arguably his best game of the season. “Hungry,” he said, showing off his goofy side Monday night after he scored a career-high 24 points and added 15 rebounds in the Portland Trail Blazers’ 102-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks… LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers. Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva had 23 points each for the Bucks, who have lost two straight. Villanueva also had 10 rebounds… The Bucks were without top rebounder Andrew Bogut, who missed his third straight game because of back spasms. Bogut is averaging 10.4 rebounds a game.

Celtics blow out Suns

The AP reports: Rajon Rondo had 23 points and seven assists before sitting out the fourth quarter with the rest of the starters, and Boston opened a 30-point lead before coasting to a 104-87 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night. The Celtics have won five straight since a 2-7 slump that was the worst stretch of the new Big Three era. “I don’t think this is a team that will get shaken or rattled when we go through a struggle,” said Paul Pierce, who had 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists… Pierce scored all of his points by halftime to help Boston take a 64-34 lead. Ray Allen scored 20, and Kevin Garnett had 16 points with eight rebounds… Shaquille O’Neal scored 16 with 11 rebounds for Phoenix, which had won seven of its last 10. Amare Stoudemire, the Suns’ leading scorer this season, had just three points on 0-for-7 shooting.

The AP reports: Allen Iverson and the Detroit Pistons tightened up on defense to end their losing streak and prolong the agony of the Memphis Grizzlies. Iverson scored 27 points and helped Detroit limit Memphis to just four shots in the final quarter on the way to an 87-79 victory over the Grizzlies on Monday, ending the Pistons’ longest losing streak in five seasons. Rasheed Wallace scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half to help bring Detroit’s five-game skid to an end… O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 15 points apiece and rookie center Marc Gasol had 12 points and 13 rebounds… The Grizzlies, who lost their sixth straight and for the 14th time in 16 games, missed 10 of their final 12 shots. They didn’t score after Mike Conley’s driving layup with 2:56 left.

Warriors roll past Wizards

The AP reports: Jamal Crawford had 28 points and eight assists, and Stephen Jackson added 26 points in the Warriors’ third win in four home games, 119-98 over Washington on Monday in a rare matinee game at Oracle Arena… Corey Maggette scored 16 points for the Warriors, who had won three of four just once previously in their disappointing season. Golden State comfortably held off the Wizards, hitting 13 3-pointers and making 53 percent of its shots against Washington’s sketchy defense… Anthony Morrow added 11 points for Golden State, and Andris Biedrins had 15 rebounds. Jackson and Azubuike hit three 3-pointers apiece, mostly with no hands in their faces.

Hornets beat Pacers on Paul’s late 3

The AP reports: Chris Paul capped a 27-point performance with a fadeaway 3-pointer as time expired, lifting the hobbled New Orleans Hornets to a 103-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday… Peja Stojakovic hit five 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 26 points for New Orleans, which started the game without David West (back) and then lost center Tyson Chandler (left ankle) late in the second quarter. Danny Granger scored 30 points in his homecoming to his native New Orleans. His game-tying 3 went down with 2.5 seconds left, setting off a brief celebration by the Pacers. Moments later, Granger was slumped over, hands on his knees, head hanging, as the Hornets mobbed Paul and the crowd erupted following the winning shot.

The AP reports: The Minnesota Timberwolves may be able to thank the Los Angeles Clippers for the wakeup call six weeks ago that provided them with the turning point to their season. Not that they showed much gratitude Monday. Al Jefferson scored 20 points and tied a season high with 17 rebounds, and Craig Smith also had 20 points for the Timberwolves in their 94-86 victory over the Clippers. Minnesota has won seven of its past eight after losing 15 of 17… Rookie Eric Gordon led Los Angeles with 25 points and reserve Steve Novak had a career-high 18. The loss was the 13th in 14 games for the Clippers, coming off a 101-92 win against Milwaukee on Saturday that ended a 12-game skid.

The AP reports: Tim Duncan experienced the full spectrum of emotions in 10 seconds. First, he had a potential game-clinching shot blocked. Then he hustled back and blocked Raymond Felton’s tying shot attempt—only he swatted it so hard it landed in the hands of a wide-open Boris Diaw. Then he watched helplessly as Diaw’s game-winning 3-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer, giving Duncan a sigh of relief and his San Antonio Spurs a wild 86-84 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday… Duncan had 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while Tony Parker added 13 points and 10 assists for the Spurs, who held the Bobcats to 36 percent shooting in their second straight win following a 22-point loss to Philadelphia that began their three-game road trip… Raja Bell scored 25 points in his best offensive performance since being acquired by the Bobcats last month. Diaw added 16 points and 13 rebounds.

The AP reports: The Denver Nuggets felt a bad call cost them a win against the Houston Rockets. Yao Ming scored 31 points, Rafer Alston added 18 points and 11 assists and the Rockets beat the Nuggets 115-113 on Monday. Denver’s Kenyon Martin missed two foul shots with 2.6 seconds left, and Yao got the rebound to clinch the win. But the Nuggets felt they had the go-ahead basket wrongly taken away on their previous possession. Yao missed with 18 seconds left, Martin rebounded and Denver coach George Karl called timeout. Linas Kleiza drove into the lane and passed to Nene for a dunk. But the basket didn’t count because referee Bennett Salvatore called a charge on Kleiza for running into Chuck Hayes… J.R. Smith scored 24, Nene had 23 and Martin 22 for the Nuggets, who lost for just the third time in 12 games… Von Wafer had 18 points and Luis Scola finished with 16 for the Rockets, who have won five of their last six games. Yao went 13-for-19 from the field— 5-for-8 in the fourth quarter.

The AP reports: Jamario Moon’s key miss for Toronto set up Joe Johnson’s clincher for Atlanta. Johnson scored 28 points, including a jumper with 12.5 seconds left, Mike Bibby added 23 and the Atlanta Hawks rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 87-84 Monday despite missing two injured starters. Josh Smith, the Hawks’ only healthy regular up front, had 22 points and 14 rebounds as Atlanta sent Toronto to its sixth loss in a row. Al Horford was out for the fifth straight game because of a bone bruise in his right knee. Marvin Williams was absent after sustaining a concussion in Friday night’s loss at Golden State… Chris Bosh had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Andrea Bargnani had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The AP reports: Despite missing 13 of his first 14 shots and 16 of 23 overall, the seven-foot forward (Dirk Nowitzki) hit a turnaround 17-foot jumper over Reggie Evans at the buzzer to give the Dallas Mavericks a 95-93 victory against Philadelphia, snapping the 76ers’ season-high seven-game winning streak… Nowitzki finished with 24 points, Jason Kidd had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Jason Terry added 20 for the Mavericks (24-17)… Lou Williams scored 25 points, while Andre Iguodala had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers (20-21), who are trying to climb above .500 for the first time since Nov. 23 when they were 7-6. Andre Miller added 12 points for Philadelphia, whose four-game home winning streak ended.

The AP reports: Chris Duhon scored with 31.2 seconds left to help lift New York to a 102-98 victory over the Chicago Bulls in an afternoon Martin Luther King Jr. Day game. He wasn’t sure Monday morning if he would play… Duhon has flourished in coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, averaging 12.3 points and 8.0 assists after scoring 19 Monday… Derrick Rose has justified his draft position, averaging 16.9 points and 6.4 assists. His 20 points Monday were the most for a No. 1 overall pick making his Madison Square Garden debut since LeBron James had 22 in 2004… Quentin Richardson led the Knicks with 24 points… Rose hit two jumpers and fed Luol Deng for a dunk for two of his six points during the spurt. Deng’s slam came in transition after Joakim Noah blocked Jared Jeffries’ shot. Deng finished with 20 points for Chicago.

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