Archive for January 22nd, 2009 reports: A source tells TNT’s David Aldridge that the Memphis Grizzlies have fired head coach Marc Iavaroni. Assistant coach Johnny Davis will take over the team on an interim basis, the source said. The Grizzlies are currently on a seven-game losing streak with an 11-30 record. They have lost 15 of their last 17 games and in last place in the Southwest Division. Iavaroni’s overall record in Memphis was 33-90. will update this page when more information is known.

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Monta Ellis to play Friday reports: has just learned from our contacts with the Warriors PR staff that Monta Ellis’ long road back from his offseason ankle injury will soon be complete, as the fourth-year guard will make his 2008-09 season debut tomorrow night when the Warriors host the Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena. The decision to have Ellis return to the court was made after Thursday’s practice. Following practice, Ellis expressed his excitement about returning to the floor.

Official 2009 All-Star starters

Here are the official starters for the 2009 NBA All-Star game:

East: Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard

West: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudemire, Tim Duncan, Yao Ming.

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Nets recall Sean Williams from D-League

The New Jersey Nets have recalled second year center Sean Williams from the team’s D-League affiliate, the Colorado 14ers, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.

Williams was assigned to Colorado on Dec. 29, 2008. He appeared in eight games, including six starts, and posted averages of 9.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.88 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game.  He tallied 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting and 16 rebounds in 37 minutes at Rio Grande on 1/14 and recorded 16 points and 16 boards to go with six blocks in 38 minutes at Austin on 1/10.

Prior to his assignment, Williams had appeared in 16 games for the Nets this season, averaging 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

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The AP reports: Covenant defeated The Dallas Academy 100-0 on Jan. 13. Covenant led 59-0 at halftime. The Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and just 20 girls in the school. The academy specializes in teaching students with what it calls “learning differences,” such as short attention spans or difficulty in concentrating.

Cavaliers defending well (John Schuhmann) reports: The Cavs currently rank as the second-best defensive team in the league, just behind the Celtics, allowing 101.5 points per 100 possessions. Last season, they didn’t crank up the “D” until the postseason, but this year has been different. “Everybody bought into the system and everybody is committed to playing defense,” Ben Wallace said Monday in Los Angeles. “That was one of the things we stressed in training camp. “Defense has to start with the individuals. You can’t be a good team defense if you got five poor individual defensive players out on the floor, so it has to start with an individual. Everybody has to take it personal that they’re going to go out there and do whatever they can do to go out there to try to get stops. Once one, two, three players start it, it gets contagious and everybody buys into it.”

The AP reports: Andrew Bynum scored a career-high 42 points, Kobe Bryant had his second triple-double in three games and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Clippers 108-97 Wednesday night… Bynum became the first Lakers player to reach 40 points other than Bryant since Shaquille O’Neal scored 48 against Boston on March 21, 2003. Bynum shot 17-of-24 from the floor and 8-of-11 from the foul line, and added 15 rebounds and four blocked shots… Lamar Odom had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who have won their last seven games against the Clippers by an average of 24.4 points. Rookie DeAndre Jordan, making his second career start, had career-high totals of 23 points and 12 rebounds for the injury-ravaged Clippers (9-32), who have lost 14 of 15. Al Thornton added 20 points and rookie Eric Gordon had 16 points and six assists.

Thunder beat Warriors on buzzer-beater

The AP reports: Jeff Green scored 26 points, including a turnaround jumper from 16 feet at the buzzer to lift Oklahoma City to a 122-121 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night… Russell Westbrook matched his season high of 30 points while Durant added 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who went into the game with the NBA’s worst record. The win is just the third in 20 road games for Oklahoma City (9-34) this season. Stephen Jackson had 29 points and seven assists for Golden State, which played without starting center Andris Biedrins (sprained left wrist). Corey Maggette added 26 points and six rebounds for the Warriors (13-30).

The AP reports: LeBron James had 34 points and 14 assists, while Mo Williams added a season-high 33 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers. Cleveland made 11 of 19 3-point attempts in shooting 52.6 percent (41-of-78) from the field… Brandon Roy had 23 points for Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 and reserve center Joel Przybilla had 15 rebounds… Greg Oden had 10 points and eight rebounds, short of the success he had Monday in Portland’s 102-85 victory over Milwaukee when he had a season-high 24 points and 15 rebounds.

Jamison, Wizards top Kings

The AP reports: Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler helped the Washington Wizards pick up a rare road victory. Jamison had 33 points and nine rebounds and Butler scored 30 for the Wizards, who held off the Sacramento Kings for a 110-107 win on Wednesday night. Andray Blatche added 20 points for Washington. The Wizards had lost seven of their eight previous games and are 3-17 on the road… Kevin Martin added 22 points and Garcia had 14 for the Kings, who have dropped three straight and four of five.

The AP reports: No matter who’s in the lineup, no matter when they meet during the season, the Houston Rockets always expect a tough game against the Utah Jazz. Yao Ming had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Rafer Alston scored 23 and the Rockets built a big lead, then hung on to beat the Jazz 108-99 on Wednesday night. Deron Williams had 32 points and 11 assists and Ronnie Brewer had 23 points for the Jazz, who’ve dropped seven of their past 10 road games. Andrei Kirilenko sat out for Utah after leaving Tuesday’s game against Minnesota with a right ankle injury… “It’s really hard for them to give up,” said Luis Scola, who had 19 points and nine rebounds for Houston. “That pretty much guarantees it’s going to be a close game.”

The AP reports: Michael Redd scored 27 points, punctuated by a crossover, fadeaway jumper over Nowitzki, and Charlie Villanueva added 32 points and 10 rebounds, lifting the Bucks to a 133-99 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night… The Bucks shot 29 percent in the first quarter, but picked up the pace with 111 points over the final three quarters. Milwaukee made a season-best 13 3-pointers and committed nine turnovers… Ramon Sessions, who finished with 21 points, hit all seven of his attempts and Milwaukee shot 57.8 percent as a team.

Hornets defeat Nets, 102-92

The AP reports: Another dominant performance by Chris Paul made the absence of two starters seem like only a minor inconvenience for the New Orleans Hornets. Paul narrowly missed his fifth triple-double of the season with 29 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and New Orleans beat the New Jersey Nets 102-92 on Wednesday night… Vince Carter scored 20 points for New Jersey but the Nets lost their fourth straight, unable to take advantage of the absence of Hornets starters Tyson Chandler (left ankle) and David West (back spasms). New Orleans also was without Chandler’s primary backup, Hilton Armstrong (left knee). Peja Stojakovic had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Adjusting his perimeter game to make up for the Hornets’ lack of size, Stojakovic sneaked inside to grab double-digit rebounds for the first time all season and New Orleans wound up outrebounding New Jersey 42-37.

The AP reports: Richard Hamilton’s first game as a reserve for the Detroit Pistons was supposed to be the story of the night. Tayshaun Prince had other plans. Prince scored 23 of his 25 points in the second and third quarters, helping the Pistons pull away from the Toronto Raptors in a 95-76 win Wednesday night… Hamilton scored seven points in his first game off the bench since Feb. 1, 2002, when he was playing for the Washington Wizards. The following offseason, they traded him to Detroit for Jerry Stackhouse… Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points for the Raptors and Jermaine O’Neal had 11 points, playing for just the second time in 13 games. O’Neal has been slowed by a sore right knee… Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points, Maxiell had season highs in points (16) and rebounds (11), Iverson scored 11 and reserve Antonio McDyess had 10 points and eight rebounds.

The AP reports: Something about playing in Miami brings out the best in Eddie House. The former Heat guard scored 20 points—more than he’d managed in any game this season—in the second quarter, finishing with 25 and the Boston Celtics ran their winning streak to six games by downing the Miami Heat 98-83 on Wednesday night… He was 7-for-11 from 3-point range, Ray Allen was 5-for-6, and the Celtics finished a season-best 15-for-25 from beyond the arc, matching the most 3’s ever allowed by the Heat in their 21 seasons. Allen finished with a game-high 27 points, Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Paul Pierce added 14 points for Boston… Dwyane Wade finished with 25 points, Daequan Cook scored 20 and Michael Beasley added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat.

The AP reports: The Knicks held Shaquille O’Neal to just one field goal in the second half after he had 18 points in the first. And the smaller players forced to guard him created mismatches of their own on the offensive end. David Lee led the Knicks with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Tim Thomas, saddled by foul trouble the first three quarters, scored all 10 of his points in the first five minutes of the fourth as New York pulled in front for good… The Suns made it 112-109 on Jason Richardson’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds left, but Al Harrington hit a pair of free throws to clinch the win. Richardson led the Suns with 27 points. Steve Nash had a season-high 19 assists.

The AP reports: Raja Bell gave Brown the game he craves Wednesday night, helping the Charlotte Bobcats continue their impressive turnaround from an ugly start in Brown’s first season in charge. Bell scored 25 points, but perhaps more importantly pestered Memphis’ O.J. Mayo all game, limiting him to 13 points in the Bobcats’ 101-86 victory over the Grizzlies… Charlotte has won four of five and 10 of 17 overall, which coincides with the trade with Phoenix that put Bell and Boris Diaw under Brown’s watch… Emeka Okafor had 20 points and 15 rebounds—proving the Bobcats are getting the ball inside. Raymond Felton scored 19 and Gerald Wallace had 13 points, nine rebounds and four steals, helping harass the Grizzlies into 21 turnovers.

Andrew Bynum scores 42 points

The Los Angeles Times (Lisa Dillman) reports: One absent Marcus Camby meant two eye-opening words for the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum. Career night. Or if you want to continue the political theme: Running unopposed. Bynum had 42 points and 15 rebounds in the Lakers’ 108-97 victory over the Clippers on Wednesday night at Staples Center in front of a sellout crowd. Bynum’s previous high was 28 points, and he eclipsed that mark early in the third quarter, pounding home a one-handed dunk. Speaking of pounding . . . were those tire tracks on the backs of poor Brian Skinner and DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers? It was the Lakers’ seventh straight victory over the Clippers to put the Lakers (33-8) in a tie with Orlando for the league’s best record. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was asked if this was a breakthrough for Bynum. “Offensively, yeah,” he said. “But there’s two ends to the game still. Don’t forget that, right? That was his career high too.” He was speaking about the 23 points by Clippers rookie Jordan.

Alonzo Mourning retires

The Palm Beach Post (Chris Perkins) reports: Alonzo Mourning, perhaps the greatest player in Heat history, announced his retirement Thursday afternoon in a news conference at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mourning, 38, is a likely Hall of Fame selection who spent the majority of his career - roughly 11 full years of his 15 seasons - with Miami. The 6-foot-10 center teamed with guard Tim Hardaway and coach Pat Riley to form the basis of Miami’s success of the late 1990s and early this decade. Mourning, who returned to the NBA after undergoing a kidney transplant in 2003, was a key contributor to the Heat’s only championship season in 2006. Mourning, who will be 39 on Feb. 8, sustained a devastating knee injury on Dec. 19, 2007 in Atlanta, tearing his patella tendon and quadriceps muscle in his right leg. “I spent the past year rehabbing and thinking about my basketball future. after 16 years I truly feel it’s best i retire from the game of basketball,” Mourning said Thursday. “If you’ve got something you love and you’re passionate about it’s hard to let that go.”

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Phil Jackson to coach West All-Stars

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson will coach the Western Conference All-Stars for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, Feb. 15, at US Airways Center in Phoenix.

With the Lakers’ 108-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers tonight, Jackson and the Lakers (33-8, .805) have at least tied for the best winning percentage in the conference through Feb. 1. In the event that the Spurs and the Lakers have the same winning percentage through Feb. 1, Jackson would earn the spot to coach the West All-Stars since Gregg Popovich has coached an All-Star team most recently (2005). This marks the fourth time Jackson will serve as an All-Star head coach (1992, 1996, 2000).

Head coaches for the East and West All-Star teams are based on teams with the best winning percentage in each conference. Last year’s coaches – Boston’s Doc Rivers and New Orleans’ Byron Scott – are not eligible to coach in the 2009 All-Star Game.

This season marks Jackson’s ninth year at the helm of the Lakers and his 18th season as a head coach. Jackson’s 1,009-426 (.703) record gives him the best winning percentage in NBA history, with his win total ranking him sixth all-time. Jackson became the first coach in NBA history to lead a team to three consecutive championships three different times (Chicago, 1991-93 and 1996-98; Los Angeles, 2000-02), while his 193 postseason wins are the most by any head coach in league history. A member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, Jackson has led the Lakers to three NBA Championships and five Western Conference Championships. The Lakers’ 15-1 (.938) run in the 2001 NBA Playoffs marked the highest winning percentage by any team in a single postseason. From 1996 to 2003, Jackson led his teams (Chicago and Los Angeles) to an NBA-best 25 consecutive postseason series wins. With nine NBA championships over the last 18 years, Jackson is tied with Red Auerbach (Boston) for most NBA Championships in league history.

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