Archive for February, 2009

Norm Van Lier dies

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:  Former Bulls great and broadcaster Norm Van Lier has died at the age of 61. The Bulls drafted Van Lier in the third round in 1969. He played for the Bulls from 1971-72 until 1978 and was a three-time All-Star.

Kevin Durant’s college jersey retired

The Oklahoman (Darnell Mayberry) reports (via blog): Kevin Durant had his No. 35 jersey retired last night at the University of Texas and called it an “unbelievable” experience… “I told myself I wasn’t going to cry,” Durant said. ”But once they played a video of highlights from when I was there and then unveiled the jersey I got real emotional. It was one of the best days of my life. I’ve come a long way. A lot of people doubted me when I was growing up. A lot of people doubted me and said I wasn’t going to be anything when I went to Texas. So it feels good to prove all those people wrong and shine some light on the university and also Oklahoma City. So I was excited and it was a great time for me and my family.”

No suspension for Rasheed Wallace, yet

Detroit Pistons veteran forward Rasheed Wallace was set to be suspended due to the NBA’s rule about the number of technical fouls a player is allowed to receive.

But, it won’t happen. Yet. Michican Live (A. Sherrod Blakely ) reports:

Although Wallace picked up his 15th and 16th technical fouls of the season last night — which should have earned him a one-game suspension — a team official learned this morning that two of Wallace’s technicals from earlier this season (Dec. 23 and Feb. 7) have been rescinded.

Both teams played hard.

Bulls to visit President Obama

The White House has announced that the Chicago Bulls team will be visiting with President Barack Obama at approximately 2:45 p.m. CT in the Blue Room of the White House this afternoon.

“The opportunity to visit President Obama at the White House is a great honor for the Chicago Bulls organization,” stated Steve Schanwald, Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the team. “The President has been a fan of the Bulls for many years and we are very appreciative of this opportunity to say hello to him and pay our respects.”

Randolph leads Clippers upset of Celtics

The AP reports: Zach Randolph scored 30 points, including the final three of the game, to lead the Clippers past the defending NBA champions—who have run into injury problems of their own. Already missing Kevin Garnett and Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics lost a bit more of their edge when Paul Pierce dislocated his right thumb in the third quarter, and again in the fourth. He finished with 20 points, but went 7-of-19 from the floor and missed a 13-footer that would have given Boston the lead with 20 seconds remaining… Randolph also had 12 rebounds. Davis had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles. Rondo and Ray Allen each scored 17 in the loss.

Wallace and Bobcats beat Kings 98-91

The AP reports: Once a seldom-used Kings reserve, Gerald Wallace returned to Sacramento and enjoyed a starring role. Wallace showed little remorse for the struggling Kings, scoring 27 points to help the Charlotte Bobcats win their first road game in nearly a month, defeating the Sacramento 98-91 Wednesday night… Boris Diaw scored 23 points for Charlotte, which had dropped seven straight road games. Emeka Okafor had 13 points and 11 rebounds, DJ Augustin scored 12 points and Vladimir Radmanovic added 10. Kevin Martin scored 23 points for the disjointed Kings, who added seven new players following last week’s trading deadline. Francisco Garcia had 15 points, newcomer Drew Gooden scored 12 and collected 13 rebounds, and Andres Nocioni added 11 points.

Nuggets end skid, beat Hawks 110-109

The AP reports: For the fourth straight game, the Denver Nuggets trudged off the court, scowls on their faces, dejection in their gait—only this time they won. “I was angry,” explained Chauncey Billups, who scored a season-best 33 points for Denver, which escaped with a 110-109 win over the depleted Atlanta Hawks when Flip Murray’s 14-footer bounced off the rim at the buzzer Wednesday night… The Hawks were without starters Mike Bibby (flu) and Josh Smith (family matter). Bibby was replaced by Murray, who scored 15 points, at point guard, and forward Zaza Pachulia (nine points) took Smith’s place in the lineup. Marvin Williams led Atlanta with a season-best 31 points, Johnson had 26 and Horford 21 points and 11 boards.

No Duncan, but Spurs beat Blazers 99-84

The AP reports: With Tim Duncan sidelined for the second straight game with a leg injury, Tony Parker scored 39 points in a dazzling encore to his 37 the previous night, and the Spurs continued Portland’s misery in San Antonio with a 99-84 win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night… Matt Bonner added 15 points and Michael Finley had 13 for San Antonio, which held Portland to 37.6 percent shooting from the floor. It was the second straight night San Antonio held its opponent to under 40 percent, and the Spurs improved to 10-0 when that happens… Brandon Roy had 14 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 13 for the Trail Blazers.

Howard scores 27, Mavs beat Bucks 116-96

The AP reports: Josh Howard scored 27 points, Jason Kidd added 19 and Dallas avenged its worst loss of the season by beating the Bucks 116-96… Brandon Bass came off the bench to score 18 points and grab 11 rebounds for the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki and Antoine Wright each added 14 as Dallas put six scorers in double figures. Charlie Villanueva, who scored 19 in the first quarter, finished with 25 points. Charlie Bell added 19 points and Richard Jefferson had 16.

The AP reports: David West had 30 points, Chris Paul scored 20 and added 13 assists and the duo combined for 23 of the Hornets’ 25 points in the fourth quarter of a 90-87 victory Wednesday night… Walter Hermann missed a 3-pointer from the wing that would have forced overtime as the Pistons lost for the eighth consecutive time, their longest skid in 14 seasons. Richard Hamilton scored a team-high 24 points… Detroit ended the game without Allen Iverson or Rasheed Wallace.

The AP reports: Ronnie Brewer scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Boozer showed signs of his old self in Utah’s 120-103 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. In his second game back after missing the previous 44 with a knee injury, Boozer had 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting in 21 minutes. Mehmet Okur scored 25 for the Jazz, who extended their winning streak to a season-long six games… Kevin Love had career highs with 24 points and 15 rebounds and Ryan Gomes added 24 points and eight boards for the Wolves, who have lost seven in a row at home.

Harris scores 42, Nets beat Bulls 111-99

The AP reports: Devin Harris scored 19 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter and carried the New Jersey Nets for the second straight game in a 111-99 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night… Reserve Bobby Simmons added 18 points and rookie Brook Lopez had 13. Vince Carter had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Nets set a franchise record hitting all 25 of their free throws. Their previous best was 23-of-23 in 1999, also against the Bulls. Ben Gordon had 17 points and recently acquired John Salmons added 15 points to lead the Bulls, who were a woeful 7-for-25 from the field in the final quarter, including one of their first 11.

The AP reports: Dwight Howard had 24 points and 21 rebounds in his 20th career 20-20 game, and the Orlando Magic held on to beat the Knicks 114-109 on Wednesday night. Hedo Turkoglu scored 33 points to lead the Magic, who bounced back from a 120-102 loss in Chicago on Tuesday, their worst defensive performance of the season. Orlando was in control most of the way before the Knicks used some clutch 3-point shooting to pull within two in the final 30 seconds… Wilson Chandler had 27 and Al Harrington finished with 26. David Lee had 10 points and 10 rebounds to remain tied with Howard for the NBA lead with 46 double-doubles, though D’Antoni admitted Lee wasn’t sharp. Larry Hughes was 1-of-6 from the field, falling to 4-for-22 since the Knicks acquired him from Chicago at the trade deadline.

The AP reports: Andre Iguodala had 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds Wednesday night as the 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 106-98 win over the Washington Wizards… Andre Miller scored 17 points, Louis Williams had 16 points, Willie Green chipped in 12, and Samuel Dalembert finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds as the 76ers improved to .500 on the season… Caron Butler scored 17, Jamison had 16, and Dominic McGuire picked up 14 points and matched his career-high with 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who were hurt by 21 turnovers, including nine in the third quarter.

Pacers top Grizzlies 104-99

The AP reports: Indiana point guard T.J. Ford expected to carry a lighter load than usual against the Memphis Grizzlies. He ended up doing some heavy lifting. Ford, whose availability was a game-time decision because of the flu, scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Pacers beat the Grizzlies 104-99 on Wednesday night… Brandon Rush and Marquis Daniels each scored 14 points and Troy Murphy had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers. Memphis’ Rudy Gay missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that would have tied the score. Marc Gasol had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and rookie O.J. Mayo added 21 points for Memphis, which lost its sixth straight.

Mavericks notes after beating Bucks

Wednesday night in Dallas the Mavericks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-96. Here are Mavs team notes:

TONIGHT’S KEY RUN: Milwaukee  led 15-7 with 6:15 to go in the 1st quarter. The Mavericks then went on a 58-26 run through the end of the 1st half to take a 65-41 lead into the locker room. During the run, Dallas shot 67.9% (19-28 FGs) from the field while Milwaukee shot 29.4% (10-34 FGs). Dallas made their last 7 FGAs of the 1st half.

MORE NOTES:

Charlie Villanueva scored 19 of MIL’s 23 1st quarter points. He went 8-12 from the field while the rest of the team went 0-12 from the field in the period.
Villanueva’s 19 points were the most in a quarter by an opposing player this season (Paul Pierce 18 vs. BOS, 2/12). He finished the game with 25 points (10-22 FGs, 1-4 3FGs, 4-4 FTs).

Dallas scored 21 fast break points in the 1st half (to MIL’s 4). Dallas averages 15.5 FB ppg (ranks 5th in the NBA). The Mavs finished the game with 30 FB points.

Brandon Bass recorded his 4th double-double of the season with 18 points (5-8 FGs, 8-8 FTs) and season-high tying 11 rebounds (8DR) in 30 minutes.
Josh Howard scored a game-high 27 points (10-16 FGs, 4-6 3FGs, 3-4 FTs) with 7 rebounds, season-high 5 steals and season-high tying 3 blocks in 35 minutes. Howard now has 5 25-point games for the season (his last was 29 at LAC, 12/28).

Over their last 9 wins, the Mavericks are shooting 53.3% (390-732 FGs) from the field. Tonight, they outshot the Bucks 53.4% (39-73 FGs) to 42.0% (37-88 FGs).

Dallas committed a season-high 25 turnovers resulting in 29 MIL points (previous high was 22 vs. LAL (11/11)).

The Mavericks recorded their 6th 20+ point victory of the season, winning by 20 points tonight. Dallas last 2 wins have come by an average of 20.5 points.

MIL came down with an opponent season-low 25 rebounds (18 DR). The Mavericks are now 12-0 when outrebounding the opposition by at least 10 (51-25 tonight).

Dallas is 15-3 when shooting 50% FG and 11-1 when scoring 110+ points.

Tonight’s attendance was 19,558 fans (19,200 capacity). The Mavs have sold out 304 consecutive regular season games at AAC and 362 games including the pre and postseasons. Dallas currently owns the longest running sellout streak in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings previously held the streak.

Michael Jordan girlfriend

The Chicago Tribune reports on Michael Jordan and his girlfriend: Michael Jordan has taken a 30-year mortgage and is playing house in modest suburban Miami with his reported new paramour, Cuban model Yvette Prieto. According to Miami-Dade County records, Prieto, 30, and Jordan, 46, co-own a three-bedroom home that property-appraisal records list as having three bedrooms and 5,500 square feet. None of the neighbors called by the Palm Beach Post realized that the six-time NBA champion is on the deed of the two-story villa. Said the sexy-voiced Prieto: “I can’t talk about the house just yet. Sorry.”

Leon Powe talks to InsideHoops

Boston Celtics muscleman Leon Powe is a tough, smart player. Playing 16 minutes per game, the power forward contributes more than his 6.6 points and 4.4 rebounds would indicate.

InsideHoops.com talked to Powe about the Celtics, what it was like to play in the Finals, his favorite away arena to play in, fun stuff off the court and more.

Read the Leon Powe interview.

Fiba.com reports: Serbia basketball great Vlade Divac on Tuesday became the new president of the country’s Olympic Committee (OKS). Divac, who won numerous medals with the former Yugoslavia in international competition and also enjoyed a long career in the NBA, was confirmed as the new president at the General Assembly of OKS just minutes after his rival, former president Ivan Curkovic, decided to step out of the race. Curkovic explained that his sudden move was made “due to political pressure” that he was under, and “to secure legality of the election” since delegates previously had decided not to vote secretly for the president, which is a requirement under current OKS statutes if there is more than one candidate.

Kevin McHale may keep coaching Wolves

The St. Paul Pioneer Press (Don Seeholzer) reports: Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor strongly indicated today during a telephone interview that he would like to see Kevin McHale remain as coach and doesn’t see him returning to his former role as vice president of basketball operations. “I think we’re beyond that,” Taylor said. “I think Kevin has taken over coaching. I don’t think he’s making a decision of going back to that or not. I think the decision that he will make is, he said he’d commit with this team to coach them (this season). I think that’s the direction that he’s chosen, I’ve chosen, and I think that’s the direction that we’re looking at. I anticipate that he will be here in coaching.”

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