Archive for March 22nd, 2012

paul pierce

With a team led by three veteran stars playing the seventh game of a taxing eight-game road trip, it wouldn’t have been shocking to see the Boston Celtics simply run out of gas.

Instead, they had more than enough energy to slow down and disrupt the suddenly streaking Milwaukee Bucks.

Paul Pierce scored 25 points to help Boston to a 100-91 victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night, snapping the Bucks’ six-game winning streak.

“It’s a good win definitely tonight, especially the way Milwaukee’s been playing as of late,” Pierce said. “This is a mentally strong group. We understand it’s been a long trip. This is a group that wants to get the next win and make it a great trip.”

Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Mickael Pietrus scored 13 points for the Celtics, who improved to 4-3 on the long road trip.

“These last two wins have been big,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “We felt like this game, we would have enough rest to play this game. We took two days off and that helped us.”

Brandon Jennings had 19 points for Milwaukee.

– Reported by Chris Jenkins of the Associated Press

Chris Paul’s Clippers lose to Hornets

chris kaman

Chris Kaman scored 20 points and the Hornets rallied for a 97-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, spoiling Chris Paul’s return to New Orleans.

The Clippers were held to 11 points in the fourth quarter as they shot 4 for 23 from the field. Los Angeles also missed its last 19 3-point attempts.

After trailing throughout the first three quarters, the Hornets went ahead with an 11-2 run at the start of the fourth and led the rest of the way.

Jarrett Jack and Jason Smith each scored 17 as New Orleans snapped a five-game home losing streak and won for only the 12th time in 47 games this season.

Blake Griffin had 21 points for Los Angeles, which has lost three in a row for the first time this season. Paul, who forced a trade from New Orleans before the season after six years as the face of the franchise, added 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The manager for Allen Iverson says the former NBA star will not play for a team in the Dominican Republic.

Gary Moore says Iverson has not signed nor is he considering signing with any team.

Earlier Thursday, Pueblo Nuevo team president Milton Nunez told The Associated Press the 36-year-old guard would play for his team.

Moore says Iverson is “shocked” by Nunez’s announcement.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Lack of 76ers scoring is a problem

It is frustrating to watch, so one can only imagine what it is like to be on the court playing the way the Sixers have for the past 18 games.

They compiled a 6-12 record over that stretch, despite holding opponents to a league-low 87.5 points.

“I would like to see us bring our ‘connectiveness’ and our energy and the things we bring defensively to the offensive end,” Doug Collins said. “Normally, you would see guys being inclined to do it offensively and not do it at the defensive end. My message to them over and over and over again is I cannot ask them to play any harder than they are playing.”

The Sixers do play hard, but a lack of scoring is an issue. The current roster has a core group of seven players that were together a year ago and averaged 99 points a game. This season, Collins’ team is averaging 94 points and since they posted a 20-9 record to open the year, that total has dropped to 91 a night.

– Reported by CSN Philly

allen iverson

Former NBA star Allen Iverson is joining a regional basketball league in the Dominican Republic for a month.

(LATEST UPDATE: Iverson’s manager denied the report.)

Team president Milton Nunez told The Associated Press on Thursday the 36-year-old guard will play for Pueblo Nuevo. He declined to say how much Iverson will be paid.

Iverson is to arrive Sunday and play for his second-place team that same day against GUG in Santiago province, Nunez said.

“He and his agent have told us that he has been training a lot and that even if he hasn’t been playing anywhere, he has what we need to help Pueblo Nuevo,” Nunez said.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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Rudy Fernandez

Denver Nuggets guard Rudy Fernandez will require surgery on his lower back and is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season.

Fernandez, 26, missed 12 games this season due to a lower back strain, and the injury recently flared up against Dallas on March 19, prompting further evaluation and more diagnostic testing. A date for the surgery has yet to be scheduled.

In 31 games for the Nuggets this season (one start), Fernandez averaged 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.03 steals in 22.9 minutes. He was acquired by Denver, along with Corey Brewer, from Dallas in exchange for a future second-round pick on Dec. 13, 2011.

Mavericks waive forward Sean Williams

Sean Williams

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have requested waivers on forward Sean Williams.

Williams (6-10, 235) played eight games with the Mavericks after signing as a free agent on Dec. 21. In those appearances, he averaged 3.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 8.1 minutes while shooting .750 (12-16 FGs) from the field and .833 (5-6 FTs) from the free throw line.

Williams also saw considerable time assigned to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League. He played 24 games with 23 starts for Texas and averaged 14.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.54 blocks and 1.0 assist in 28.5 minutes while shooting .496 (132-266 FGs) from the field and .766 (85-111 FTs) from the free throw line.

The Mavericks roster now stands at 14 players.

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Mickell Gladness to a 10-day contract, the team announced today.

Gladness, 25, made his NBA debut this season as a member of the Miami Heat, appearing in eight games over two different stints with the club.  The 6’11” center made the Heat’s opening night roster and appeared in three games before being waived on February 7.  He subsequently signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Heat on February 12 and signed the second 10-day contract on February 28.

Prior to joining the Heat for their 2011-12 training camp, Gladness appeared in four games for the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors’ NBA Development League team, averaging 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.75 blocks in 20.8 minutes per contest.  Overall, he has appeared in 81 D-League games over three seasons, averaging 4.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.41 blocks combined with Dakota and Rio Grande Valley.  A product of Alabama A&M, Gladness went undrafted in the 2008 NBA Draft and played one season professionally overseas before joining the D-League for the 2009-10 campaign.

Gladness, who will wear #32, is scheduled to be in uniform for the team’s game tonight at Houston.

monta ellis

This is no passing fancy.

At least the Milwaukee Bucks seriously hope not.

They are sharing the ball at a breathtaking pace during their six-game winning streak, piling up assists and leaving opposing defenses dazed and confused.

Those 35 assists against Portland in a 29-point runaway on Tuesday night?

Just more of the same for a Bucks team with suddenly serious designs on an Eastern Conference playoff berth.

Newcomer Monta Ellis led the way with nine assists and fueled a game-breaking run early in the third quarter to silence the Rose Garden crowd.

“He hasn’t surprised us,” said Bucks coach Scott Skiles. “He goes to the open man, and I think to his credit, he’s also trying to fit in.

“There are going to come moments when we’re going to need him to take the ball and go get baskets. He’s certainly capable of doing that.

“But he’s really making good reads. He’s hitting big guys diving to the goal. He’s hitting bigs on pick-and-pop. He’s spreading the ball around. He’s playing really well.”

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Chicago sportswriter Lacy J. Banks dies

Lacy J. Banks was an unconventional pioneer.

He was a trailblazer as the first African-American sportswriter for the Sun-Times, a job that led him to cover seven world championships involving Chicago teams.

He was a Baptist preacher for nearly 60 years, too, a side of himself he could uniquely intertwine into his career as a journalist.

And beginning in 2008 he became his own journalism subject, chronicling his health battles with prostate cancer, a brain tumor and heart disease in blogs he wrote for the Sun-Times.

He won his first two battles, but the last would conquer him. Banks, 68, died Wednesday.

Banks was the longest-serving sportswriter on the Sun-Times’ staff, joining the paper on Aug. 7,

1972, and remaining on staff until his death. For most of that time, he covered the Bulls and the NBA, ranking among the longest-tenured pro basketball writers in the country. His time on the beat spanned from the mid-1980s to last season, when he covered the Bulls into the NBA postseason.

– Reported by Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times

JJ Hickson

The Portland Trail Blazers have claimed forward J.J. Hickson off waivers, it was announced Wednesday.

“We like J.J.’s energy and physicality,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “He’s a young, but experienced player who can help our frontline.”

The Sacramento Kings waived Hickson on March 19.

According to the Associated Press, “Golden State and Phoenix had also been reported to have interest in the 6-foot-9 Hickson, who had been bothered recently by back spasms and had played only six minutes in the past 10 games. Hickson was a first-round pick by Cleveland out of North Carolina State in 2008. For his career, he has averaged 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.”

In a separate move, the team has waived center Mehmet Okur, acquired in a March 15 trade with New Jersey.

Hickson, 23, averaged 4.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 18.4 minutes in 35 games (nine starts) for the Kings this season.

In four NBA seasons with Cleveland and Sacramento, Hickson (6-9, 242) holds averages of 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 20.5 minutes in 258 games (148 starts).

The Trail Blazers roster stands at 15 players.

Ben Gordon

JaVale McGee’s debut with the Denver Nuggets was punctuated by a smashing finish.

And the Nuggets needed it to overcome Ben Gordon’s record-tying night from 3-point range.

McGee soared into the lane to rebound a teammate’s missed free throw and dunk with 5 seconds remaining, and the Nuggets withstood Gordon’s season-high 45 points for a 116-115 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

McGee’s rebound and slam followed a missed foul shot by Arron Afflalo, who was fouled while making a driving layup with 5.6 seconds left. That basket pulled the Nuggets within 115-114 after they had blown a 25-point lead…

Gordon, who tied the NBA record by going 9 for 9 behind the arc, said the loss was especially tough to take after coming all the way back.

“We had our shots, we just had two bad possessions at the end,” Gordon said. “Obviously the Afflalo drive; we fouled him while he was driving to the basket while we were up three. Should have just let him get the two. And the tip dunk by McGee. It came off the rim so fast and he got up there.”

Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 25 points and Afflalo had 23. McGee finished with 15.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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