Archive for February 26th, 2010

Three Rockets reach 30 in win over Spurs

Three Rockets reach 30 in win over Spurs

Friday night in Houston, the Rockets beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-104. Three Rockets went bonkers and scored 30 or more points. It’s the first time that has happened in team history.

Check out the post-game notes highlighting various Rockets accomplishments tonight:

- Tonight’s attendance of 18,195 marks the ninth sellout for the Rockets this season.

- Houston snapped a four-game (2/6/10-2/24/10) losing streak at Toyota Center with a 109-104 win over San Antonio tonight.

- The Rockets outscored the Spurs by a 31-14 count in the first quarter, which matched San Antonio’s season low for first quarter points (14 first on 11/6/09 at Portland). Houston’s 31 first-quarter points also marked its most over the opening 12 minutes since setting a season-high 39 first-quarter points vs. Golden State (2/2/10).

- Kevin Martin registered 33 points (9-24 FG, 14-14 FT), five rebounds and four assists tonight. Martin marked his 13th 20-point outing of the season (fourth 30-point game) and his first as a member of the Rockets.

- Luis Scola posted a career-best 30 points (8-17 FG, 14-14 FT) and 13 rebounds tonight, marking his 21st double-double of the season and the 59th double-double of his career. Scola’s previous high was 28 points (10-15 FG, 8-10 FT) at Golden State (4/10/09).

- Martin and Scola each tied Houston’s individual record for most free throws made in a game without a miss is 14-of-14 (14-14 FT by Don Kojis on 3/1/69 vs. L.A. Lakers, 14-14 FT by Cuttino Mobley on 3/8/01 vs. L.A. Clippers and 14-14 FT Yao Ming on 11/9/07 vs. Milwaukee). They were also the first Rockets tandem to go perfect from the line with 10 or more attempts since Calvin Murphy (10-10 FT) and Jimmy Walker (10-10 FT) vs. Golden State (11/22/1972).

- Aaron Brooks added 31 points (13-23 FG, 1-3 3FG) and three assists tonight. Brooks has now made at least one 3-pointer in a career-best 30 consecutive games (12/22/09-2/26/10), which is the second-longest such streak in team history (37 by Luther Head from 11/4/06-1/13/07).

- Tonight marked the second time this season the Rockets have had three starters net 20-plus points in the same game: Trevor Ariza (28), Shane Battier (23) and Luis Scola (20) at Sacramento (11/13/09). The last time prior to 2009-10 that three starters each posted 20 points in the same outing was back in 2006-07 (Yao-30, McGrady-25, Alston-21 on 4/14/07 vs. New Orleans).

- Tonight also marked the second time this season that a Rockets tandem reached 30 points in the same game (Brooks-34 and Landry-31 on 1/6/10 at Phoenix) and the first time ever in team history for three players with 30 points in the same outing.

- George Hill scored a career-high 26 points (8-14 FG, 3-5 3FG, 7-8 FT) tonight, netting 11 in the third quarter. His previous best was 23 twice before (last on 2/3/10 at Sacramento).

- Tim Duncan, who had 25 points (15-21 FT) and 14 rebounds in the last meeting at San Antonio (1/22/10), had 17 points (8-17 FG) and eight boards tonight.

- Manu Ginobili finished with eight points (1-8 FG, 6-6 FT) and a season-high 10 rebounds tonight. Ginobili has actually missed the last two Rockets-Spurs contests in Houston (3/14/09 and 11/27/09). He finished with 11 points (2-6 FG) and five turnovers in 21:42 off the bench in his last game played at Houston (11/29/08).

- Tony Park was placed on the inactive list tonight. Parker also missed two previous games due to a left hip flexor sprain (missed 2/11/10 at Denver and at 2/21/10 at Detroit).

Eddy Curry should bring his A-game

Eddy Curry should bring his A-game

By Jerald Hoover

New York Knicks center Eddy Curry should seize the moment, get his act together, get in shape and become a viable part of the rotation.

With the trade of Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill, the club was left devoid of bigs.  True, Jeffries nor Hill are what you would call “classic centers” but they were 6-feet-11 inches.

For all of Tracy McGrady’s  wondrous gifts and talents as a basketball player, the hot shooting that Eddie House can provide and for all of the flashy passes that Sergio Rodriguez can throw, there isn’t a real BIG MAN to provide lost post scoring.  Curry is a horrible defender and that’s well known but he is a huge seven-footer that could be a real BEAST down low.

If McGrady stays healthy and can play like a star, perhaps it’ll bring the best out in Curry, if he ever sees the floor.

Curry is talented, and if he needs to be coddled, pampered and consoled to an extent then do it, if you can get 20 points and at least five rebounds and a block or two.  That would allow Coach D’Antoni to move David Lee to his natural position of power forward and the Knicks can become a little more conventional.

Tough to say whether coach Mike D’Antoni will ever give Curry a shot, and no one is sure if Curry is in the type of shape needed to play in the first place.

Jerald L Hoover is a producer and director of a Mount V, NY basketball documentary: Four Square Miles to Glory.

NBA fines Andrew Bynum

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Bynum was fined for his comments made following the Lakers 101-96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

“It’s hard to win when it’s five against eight,” Bynum said Wednesday.

He meant it was difficult to play against five Mavs plus the three referees. Bynum said he had expected to be fined for the first time in his career.

“I knew it was going to happen,” he said. “Whether it’s fair is debatable.”

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Shaun Livingston to a ten-day contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

A former “Mr. Basketball” in Illinois (2003-04), Livingston led Peoria Central High (Peoria, IL) to Class AA state titles in 2003 and 2004 before jumping straight to the NBA as the L.A. Clippers’ first-round pick (fourth overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft.  Livingston has appeared in 167 games (61 starts) in parts of five seasons in the NBA, compiling career averages of 6.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.  He most recently appeared in 10 games this season for the Oklahoma City Thunder and also played briefly for the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers in 2008-09.  Livingston was enjoying his best professional season as a member of the Clippers in 2006-07 (9.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.1 apg, .463 fg% in 29.8 mpg) before sustaining a season-ending knee injury on February 26 that kept him out of action for the duration of the 2007-08 season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have recalled forward Darnell Jackson from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Jackson was assigned to Erie on Wednesday and played in the BayHawks’ 114-108 victory over the Dakota Wizards last night. He posted game highs of 34 points on 14-22 shooting (.636) and 12 rebounds while adding two assists, four steals and one block in 42 minutes. Pending his arrival in Toronto this afternoon, he will be available to play tonight for the Cavaliers in their 7 p.m. game versus the Raptors.

The BayHawks are the D-League affiliate of the Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.

Guillermo Contreras of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Local and federal authorities are searching for former Spurs player Alvin Robertson, who is wanted in connection with a sex trafficking ring that allegedly forced a 14-year-old girl to have sex with men throughout San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

Authorities announced charges against seven people tied to the ring on Friday morning. Of the seven, Robertson is the only one who hasn’t been arrested, said Deputy Ino Badillo, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

“We don’t know where he is,” Badillo said. “We have ICE (Immigration Custom Enforcement) and other agencies looking for him.”

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports:

Stephen Jackson wants to make All-Star team

Charlotte Bobcats guard Stephen Jackson took a nice, little vacation during the All-Star break: tropical weather, good food, umbrellas in the drinks.

He’d rather have been working. And it saddens him he might never get the chance to work the Sunday of All-Star Weekend.

“I’m not on (NBA commissioner) David Stern’s favorites list because of a couple of incidents,” Jackson said when asked why he’s never been selected for an All-Star Game.

“I get really depressed when I don’t get in because I think that’s one of the last things on my ‘to-achieve’ list. I won a championship (in San Antonio) and I’ve gotten better every year. My last two goals are to be on first- or second-team All-NBA and to play in an All-Star Game.” …

“I thought the All-Star Game was about (assembling) the 20 best players in the league, not the guys who they want (promoted) to sell tickets. Nothing against (the Knicks’) David Lee, but he made it and my team has a better record,” Jackson said.

Mike Baldwin of the Oklahoman reports:

Kevin Durant streak of consecutive 25-point games ends

Kevin Durant’s streak of consecutive 25-point game ended at 29 Wednesday night in a loss at San Antonio. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the streak was never a priority. Brooks’ only caveat was Durant shoot within the offense.

Durant scored 30 or more points in 23 of the 29 games, shot 50.8 percent from the field and drained half his 102 3-point attempts.

One key was Durant got to the free-thrown line an average of 11 times a game, while attempting just over 20 field goal attempts.

The AP reports:

Manu Ginobili didn’t believe he would actually stuff Kevin Durant when the NBA’s leading scorer elevated for a runaway dunk on a crucial fast break in the final minutes.

“I was more expecting to be dunked on, to tell you the truth,” Ginobili said.

Think again.

Coming almost out of nowhere to block Durant and deny Oklahoma City from retaking the lead, Ginobili made what Thunder coach Scott Brooks called a “superhero” play that propelled the San Antonio Spurs to a 95-87 victory on Wednesday night.

The AP reports:

The block had other repercussions: It helped finally end Durant’s streak of scoring 25 points or more at 29 games. He finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, marking the first time Durant has scored fewer than 25 points since Dec. 19.

Manu Ginobili feels like himself again

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Manu Ginobili feels great

Manu Ginobili, the beating heart of a four-time NBA champion, has declared he feels like, well, Manu Ginobili.

The importance of such self-actualization can’t be overstated for a team that will play the Rockets at the Toyota Center still seventh in the Western Conference.

“I feel great, and I bet you can tell,” Ginobili said after submitting Exhibits A through Z in a Wednesday night victory against the Thunder. The performance gave every Spur aboard the short flight to Houston reason to believe a late-season surge is possible.

The 32-year-old guard scored 26 points Wednesday, his second-highest output of the season and his sixth game with at least 20 in the past nine outings.

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