Archive for March 11th, 2009

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed guard Dontell Jefferson to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Bobcats roster now stands at 15 players.

The 6-5 Jefferson has played in 32 games for the Utah Flash in the D-League this season, where he is averaging career highs of 18.6 points, 5.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 36.7 minutes per game and is tied for ninth in the league in assists and tied for 14th in scoring.  Jefferson was named D-League Co-Player of the Month in January after averaging 21.4 points and 6.2 assists in 11 games, including a career-high 38 points on Jan. 26 against Fort Wayne.

In three D-League seasons, Jefferson has career averages of 14.1 points, 4.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 114 games with the Dakota Wizards and Utah Flash.  He also spent part of the 2007-08 season with Barons/LMT Riga in Latvia were he averaged 8.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 15 games with the Latvian League and 7.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in seven games in the Baltic League.

Sacramento Kings lowering ticket prices

The Sacramento Bee (Melody Gutierrez) reports:  As a response to the bad economy, the Kings will announce season-ticket price reductions today that will cut the cost of some plans by as much as 44 percent for the 2009-10 season. One-third of all tickets in Arco Arena will be $25.50 or less, and the franchise will continue to offer 1,000 tickets at $10 for next season. The move mirrors what most NBA teams have done in recent weeks to reach out to fans struggling to pay their mortgages and retain their jobs… The price cuts will save season-ticket holders an average of $594 and as much as $1,562 for one ticket plan compared to 2008-09 prices. The savings of up to 44 percent will be on a portion of tickets previously priced at $40.50, which will now cost $22.50. The rest of the tickets previously priced at $40.50 will be $36.50, depending on their location.

The Chicago Bulls today signed forward Linton Johnson III to a 10-day contract.  Johnson, a 6-8, 205-pound forward, will be in uniform tonight when the Bulls take on the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena at 6:00 p.m. (CT).

Johnson, a five-year pro, most recently played with the Charlotte Bobcats during the start of the 2008-09 campaign.  He appeared in two games with the Bobcats before being waived on Nov. 19, 2008.

The Chicago native will re-join the Bulls for the second time in his career.  During the 2003-04 season, he appeared in 41 games with Chicago and posted averages of 4.2 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 17.9 mpg.  Johnson has also enjoyed stints with the San Antonio Spurs (member of the 2005 NBA Championship team), New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and Bobcats.  For his career, he has posted averages of 4.0 ppg and 3.4 rpg in 14.5 mpg. He owns career shooting averages of .417 from the field and .699 from the line.

Johnson, 28, was undrafted out of Tulane University.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 14.

Jay Triano, Raptors struggling

The Toronto Star (Dave Feschuk) reports: Toronto Raptors coach Jay Triano, think about it, has to make daily attempts at explaining a dud of a campaign without trashing the wafer-thin roster that has been assembled by Bryan Colangelo, the resident president and general manager. Repeatedly suggesting that a lack of talent is at the heart of these past couple of years of woe, after all, is one of the key reasons a truth teller named Sam Mitchell got a paid vacation after 17 games. Unlike Mitchell, Triano doesn’t have a multi-million-dollar golden handshake awaiting him if he loses his gig. He has to remain in Colangelo’s favour if there is any chance of him retaining the job come autumn (and there is, make no mistake, a good chance that he will).

The AP reports: A 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter isn’t always insurmountable when LeBron James is on the court. James recorded his second straight triple-double with 32 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, Mo Williams hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 6.6 seconds to play, and the Cavaliers stormed past the Los Angeles Clippers for a stunning 87-83 victory on Tuesday night. James notched his 22nd career triple-double, scoring his final 10 points in the frenetic fourth quarter and recording his 800th career steal… Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 16 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland. Williams was held to just 14 points on 4-for-17, but capped the comeback with his clutch 3-point shot. He came in averaging 18.0 points… Al Thornton and Zach Randolph each had 20 points for the Clippers. They used their 30th different starting lineup, with center Chris Kaman returning to action after missing 48 games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

The AP reports: Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 of his 34 points in the second half and the Dallas Mavericks beat Phoenix 122-117 on Tuesday night to widen their lead over the Suns to five games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Suns have lost five straight and have just 18 to play. Phoenix’s Steve Nash said his team came out inexplicably flat in the second half… Jason Terry added 25 points and Jose Barea 16 for Dallas, which snapped a five-game road losing streak… Shaquille O’Neal scored 21 on 9-of-10 shooting for Phoenix to pass Elvin Hayes for sixth on the NBA’s career scoring list. Nash had 23 points and 13 assists for the Suns. Matt Barnes added 21 points.

The AP reports: Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook each scored 24 points, and the Thunder made it a nice homecoming for their popular interim coach, holding on for a 99-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. Oklahoma City, which started the season 2-24, won for the fifth time in six games… Thabo Sefolosha had 17 points for the Thunder and Nenad Krstic added nine points and 15 rebounds. Spencer Hawes tied a career high with 20 points and added 10 rebounds and five assists for the Kings, who had 22 turnovers. Francisco Garcia made four 3-pointers and scored 18, Andres Nocioni had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Rashad McCants added 13 points. Kevin Martin, the Kings’ leading scorer, was on the bench in the game’s final 15 minutes and scored 12 points.

The AP reports: The Charlotte Bobcats finally lost, but are still in the playoff hunt. The San Antonio Spurs won again and now await what might be a playoff preview. Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the Spurs halted Charlotte’s franchise-record winning streak at six with a 100-86 victory Tuesday night. Roger Mason and Tony Parker added 21 points apiece for the Spurs, who will take a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers, a marquee meeting of the Western Conference’s top two teams… Raymond Felton had 15 points and Gerald Wallace 14 for Charlotte.

The AP reports: Nate Robinson scored 10 of his 32 points in the final five minutes and Larry Hughes added a season-high 39 as the Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 120-112 on Tuesday for only their eighth road win of the season… David Lee added 19 points and 18 rebounds for the Knicks, who were becoming frustrated by recent close losses… Charlie Villanueva scored 32 for the Bucks, who came into Tuesday’s game clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference despite a season filled with significant injuries… Ramon Sessions finished with 22 points.

The AP reports: The Utah Jazz prefer not to think about their longest winning streak since 1999. Mehmet Okur’s 24 points helped the Jazz beat the Indiana Pacers 112-100 on Tuesday night for their 12th straight victory, moving them one game closer to the franchise record of 15 consecutive set twice during the 1996-97 season. “Don’t jinx us,” Utah forward Carlos Boozer said… Paul Millsap had 22 points and nine rebounds, Ronnie Brewer scored 18 and Deron Williams added 12 assists for the Jazz (41-23), who haven’t lost since falling 116-96 at Golden State on Feb. 8… Jarrett Jack and Ford each had 21 points for Indiana (28-38), which continues to battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers finished with 22 turnovers, resulting in 26 Utah points.

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