Archive for February 10th, 2009

Kobe Bryant hits 23,000 points

The Los Angeles Daily News (Elliot Teaford) reports (via blog): When Kobe Bryant made a free throw with 3:21 remaining in the first half, he reached 23,000 points for his career. He hit the milestone faster than any other player in NBA history at 30 years, 171 days. Wilt Chamberlain did it in 30 years, 176 days.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I’m a better player than both guys mentioned above. It just doesn’t show on the stat-sheet.

The AP reports: Jason Kapono is locked and loaded for another 3-point title. The two-time defending 3-point contest champion scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting as a reserve to rally the Toronto Raptors to a 110-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. Both teams were missing their big stars. Randy Foye had a career-high 33 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves, who played the first game of the rest of the season without center Al Jefferson. And that future looks grim. Jermaine O’Neal had 22 points and eight rebounds and Joey Graham scored 24 for the Raptors, who rallied from 13 down in the third quarter in their third straight game without All-Star forward Chris Bosh.

The AP reports: Chauncey Billups scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, Carmelo Anthony finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets swept the series with Miami for the fourth consecutive year, beating the Heat 99-82 on Tuesday night. Kenyon Martin had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while J.R. Smith scored 10 for Denver, which wasted much of a 20-point first-half lead before pulling away late and defeating Miami for the eighth straight time. Dwyane Wade scored 33 points on 12-for-22 shooting for Miami, which has lost five of its last seven games. Shawn Marion scored 14 and Mario Chalmers added 10 for Miami.

Duncan dominates, Spurs beat Nets 108-93

The AP reports: Tim Duncan had 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and the San Antonio Spurs posted a 108-93 victory over New Jersey on Tuesday night, beating the Nets for the 13th straight time. Matt Bonner scored 13 of his 22 points in the opening 5 minutes of the third quarter in helping the Spurs win for the 15th time in 19 games since the start of 2009. Tony Parker added 20 points and Bruce Bowen came off the bench in the third quarter to help cool off a hot Vince Carter, who led the Nets with 25 points. Devin Harris added 21 points for New Jersey, which lost its second straight game after winning a season-high four straight. Brook Lopez added 18 points.

The AP reports: Joe Johnson scored 22 points and the Hawks led from start to finish, erasing the memory off a dismal blowout by the Los Angeles Clippers with a 111-90 rout of the undermanned Wizards on Tuesday night. Atlanta raced to a 9-1 lead before most of the sparse crowd had even settled into its seats… Mike Bibby, who didn’t play against L.A. because of a sprained foot, scored 12 points and doled out six assists in 26 minutes… Caron Butler scored 22 points, but the last-place Wizards were outmanned, as they are on most nights without Gilbert Arenas, Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas.

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 47 points, had seven rebounds, four assists and had the Pacers crowd oohing and aahing all night. So, of course, he also made the decisive play — for the wrong team. James was called for a foul with 0.2 seconds left on Danny Granger, who hit a free throw to give Indiana a 96-95 victory over the Cavaliers. James started walking toward the locker room before the final buzzer sounded… Troy Murphy led the short-handed and nicked-up Pacers with 18 points. Granger, playing with a sore knee, finished with 16. Indiana also was without three key players—Jeff Foster, Mike Dunleavy and Marquis Daniels.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams has been named  by  NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace injured East All-Star forward  Chris Bosh (sprained right knee) of the Toronto Raptors in the 2009  NBA  All-Star  Game in Phoenix.

Williams will be making his first All-Star appearance.

Denver Nuggets G J.R. Smith has been chosen to replace the injured Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, Ariz. on Feb. 14, the league announced today.

Smith, in his third season with Denver, is averaging career-highs of 13.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 2.7 apg in a career-best 27.7 minutes per contest through 50 games this season.

The Nuggets’ high-flyer will be making his second appearance in the annual Slam Dunk Contest. As a member of the New Orleans Hornets, he finished third in the 2005 Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. Smith will become the fifth Nuggets player to appear in an official NBA Slam Dunk Contest, joining Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (sixth place in 1993), Robert Pack (second in 1994), Darvin Ham (fourth in 1997) and Chris Andersen (third in 2004).

Frederic Weis signs in Spain

The Hoop (a trusted fan blog which quotes official sources) reports: Menorca announced the signing of french center, Frederic Weis (2.18-C) who was recently released by Bilbao, until the end of the season. Weiss will add power and height to the frontcourt of Menorca and he also has 8 seasons of experience in the ACB as a player of Malaga and Bilbao.

Kings may be losing big money

The Sacramento Bee (Ailene Voisin) reports:  Responding to speculation about the Kings’ future in Sacramento, Kings co-owner Joe Maloof on Monday reiterated the family’s commitment to the community. However, he expressed concern about projected financial losses and an urgency regarding plans for a new arena. Though he refused to cite a figure, sources close to the team estimate the franchise could lose up to $25 million this season, making it seem more likely that the Maloofs would be receptive to offers from officials in other markets – with more profitable arenas – who are interested in acquiring an NBA franchise. One league executive identified representatives from Anaheim and San Jose as particularly aggressive suitors.

Paul Millsap is worn out

The Deseret News (Tim Buckley) reports: The gritty Paul Millsap, however, readily admits to being a snapshot of personal exhaustion. “The physicality of the game, a lot of dirty work that I do, the licks I take — I mean, I think it’s all just taking a toll on me right now,” he said. “In particular, my knee,” added Millsap, who has been playing extensively despite a still-bruised right knee and a previously strained left. “You know, physically, mentally — that’s still something I’ve got to learn (to) deal with. I’m still learning.”

Jason Terry has hand surgery

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that Mavericks guard Jason Terry had successful surgery to stabilize the fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand.  The surgery was performed by Dr. Scott Oishi and Dr. T.O. Souryal at Texas Sports Medicine.  No timetable has been set for his return.

Terry (6-2, 180) has played in all 50 Mavericks games this season and has averages of 19.9 points, 3.7 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.38 steals.

Jason Kidd must score more

With Dallas Mavericks scoring guard Jason Terry out, point guard Jason Kidd needs to step up in the points department. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (David Moore) reports: Kidd doesn’t look to score. Now, he doesn’t have any choice. Kidd doesn’t have to transform himself into a 15-point a night player. But he must do more than the 8.8 points he’s giving the Mavs. “It’s not really his nature to score big,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “His nature is to get other guys open and fill up the stat sheets in the other columns. But he needs to shoot a little more.” Kidd has taken 10 or more shots only three times in the last 19 games. He must make himself more of a threat.

OKC Thunder mascot will be a bison

The Oklahoman (Mike Baldwin) reports: Sources have confirmed a Bison will be the Thunder’s mascot, which will be unveiled at halftime of the Feb. 17 home game against New Orleans in the Ford Center. The name of the mascot remains uncertain, but the costume design has been completed.

Jim O’Brien: LeBron better than Kobe

LeBron James enters tonight’s game averaging 28.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists, the third season he has topped 25-7-7. He had his 20th career triple-double taken away last week when he was incorrectly given a rebound in his 52-point, 11-assist, nine-rebound performance against the New York Knicks. “He’s the best player in the league,” Pacers head coach Jim O’Brien said. “I don’t even know if it’s close right now. Certainly, Kobe Bryant is a great player and there are other great players in the league. But he is so big, so strong, so quick, so good off the dribble and so powerful, when he’s hitting 3-point shots, he’s unguardable.”

Nuggets stars to ignore beatdown

The Denver Post (Chris Dempsey) reports: Asked how the Nuggets expect to bounce back from their last game, a 44-point pounding at New Jersey, forward Carmelo Anthony had a simple response. “What game?” he said, smiling about Saturday’s game that at the time was no laughing matter. Said guard Chauncey Billups: “I forgot all about that game. I didn’t even know we played Saturday. As a matter of fact, we didn’t play Saturday.” Amnesia might be the best way for the Nuggets to move on from their worst loss this season, but as they practiced Monday at American Airlines Arena, they mixed forgetting with equal parts humor and trust.

Banged-up Bucks beat Rockets 124-112

The AP reports: Charlie Villanueva scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Ramon Sessions had 26 points and seven assists to give Milwaukee a 124-112 victory over Houston on Monday night that snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Rockets… Yao Ming finished with seven points on 2-of-8 shooting and Tracy McGrady had three points on 1-of-9 shooting… Richard Jefferson added 25 points, reserve Charlie Bell had 21 and Keith Bogans 13 as Milwaukee (25-29) moved within one win of its season total last year… Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 23 points, Luis Scola and Ron Artest had 20 points apiece and Carl Landry added 16 for the Rockets.

The AP reports: O.J. Mayo had 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while Mike Conley scored 18 and handed out eight assists to lead the Grizzlies to an 85-80 victory Monday night… Hakim Warrick had 15 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, while Marc Gasol added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which has won two straight and four of its last five. Peja Stojakovic scored 23 points to lead the Hornets, who were without their top three players in Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler and David West. Paul and Chandler were out with injuries, while West was suspended for the game after his flagrant foul against Minnesota’s Mike Miller on Sunday.

The AP reports: Marreese Speights had a career-high 24 points and Thaddeus Young scored 25 points to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to their third straight win, 108-91 over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night… Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Sixers (26-24) move two games above .500 for the first time this season. They’ve won 13 of 17 and are seven games over .500 since DiLeo took over in December. Amare Stoudemire shrugged off persistent trade rumors and scored 19 points for the Suns. Jason Richardson had 16 and Shaquille O’Neal grabbed 10 rebounds.

The AP reports: Vladimir Radmanovic, buried on the bench with the Lakers, scored 13 points and hit three fourth-quarter 3-pointers in his Charlotte debut Monday night, helping turn a close game into a rout in the Bobcats’ 94-73 win over the road-weary Los Angeles Clippers… Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the undermanned Bobcats, who were missing starters Gerald Wallace (rib, lung) and Raja Bell (groin)… Zach Randolph had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Eric Gordon scored 17 for the Clippers, who fizzled in the fourth quarter in the finale of a seven-game road trip… Al Thornton shot 3-for-13, Camby 3-for-8 and Davis 1-for-7 in his return to Charlotte, where he began his NBA career with the Hornets.

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