Archive for March 23rd, 2012

russell westbrook

Russell Westbrook scored 45 points, Kevin Durant added 40 points and a season-high 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a career-high 51 points from Minnesota All-Star Kevin Love to beat the Timberwolves 149-140 in double overtime Friday night.

Westbrook set the tone in the second overtime, stealing the ball on Minnesota’s opening possession and racing to the other end for a layup that resulted in a three-point play.

The Thunder never trailed in the period and put it away with nine straight points after Nick Collison blocked Love’s shot that would have tied it at 140.

Love, who beat Durant in the 3-Point Contest on All-Star weekend, made a career-high seven 3s and also pulled down 14 rebounds while becoming the third player to eclipse 50 points this season…

Love, whose previous career-high was 43 points, was 16 of 27 from the field and went 7 for 11 on 3s, hitting his first five attempts. Barea added a season-high 25 points and a career-best 14 assists and Tolliver chipped in a season-high 23 points.

James Harden scored 25 off the bench and Kendrick Perkins contributed a season-high 12 points despite not playing in the fourth quarter or overtime for Oklahoma City.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

Indiana Pacers sign Kyrylo Fesenko

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday the signing of 7-1, 280-pound center Kyrylo Fesenko (Kuh-rile-oh Feh-sink-o) to a contract. Per club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Fesenko, who is from Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, played four seasons in the Ukraine and was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by Philadelphia, then traded to Utah, where he played the last four seasons, including some time with the Utah Flash of the D-League. With the Jazz, he played 132 games with averages of 2.3 points per game and 2.0 rebounds per game.

San Antonio Spurs sign Boris Diaw

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they signed forward Boris Diaw. Per club policy details of the contract were not released.

The 6-8, 235-pound Diaw started the season with the Charlotte Bobcats before being placed on waivers on March 21. In 37 games with the Bobcats, Diaw averaged 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 27.5 minutes. He scored in double figures in 11 games, including a season-high 27 points at New York on Jan. 4. Diaw came with two assists of his seventh career triple-double posting 16 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists vs. Miami on Dec. 28.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Diaw was originally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 21 st overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns on Aug. 19, 2005. In his first season with the Suns, Diaw won the 2006 Most Improved Player Award, after averaging 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 35.5 minutes over 81 games.

For his career, Diaw has appeared in 660 NBA games, averaging 9.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 30.3 minutes while shooting .491 (2,645-5,389) from the field, .329 (293-891) from three-point territory and .708 (780-1,101) from the foul line. He has posted six triple-doubles during his career. Diaw has seen action in 39 playoff games, averaging 13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 34.9 minutes.

Toronto Raptors waive Rasual Butler

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have waived forward Rasual Butler.

Butler was signed as a free agent December 10. The 10-year NBA veteran appeared in 34 games, averaging 3.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 13.3 minutes.

“We want to thank Rasual for bringing professionalism and hard work to our team every day,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “This move allows us the option to look at other wing prospects down the stretch of the season while affording Rasual the opportunity to potentially sign with and help a playoff-bound team.”

The roster now stands at 12 players heading into tonight’s game vs. New York (Sportsnet ONE, TVA Sports, OMNI Television / Sportsnet 590 The FAN).

Mavs assign Kelenna Azubuike to D-League

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have assigned guard-forward Kelenna Azubuike to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

Azubuike (6-5, 215) was signed as a free agent by the Mavericks earlier today and did not join the team in San Antonio. He will be available to the Legends when they take on the Reno Bighorns tomorrow night, March 24, at 7:00 pm on HP Court at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco,Texas.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed center/forward Ryan Hollins. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

To make room on the roster for Hollins, the Celtics requested waivers on forward/center Chris Wilcox.

Hollins, a 7′0″ center/forward, appeared in 24 games for the Cavaliers this season averaging 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. Hollins recorded season-highs in points (15), rebounds (7) and minutes (31) against the Washington Wizards on March 3. In his seven starts for the Cavaliers this season he recorded an average of 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds. He also shot 60.0% from the floor in those seven contests. The former UCLA Bruin recorded his best statistical season during the 2009-10 season when he was with Minnesota averaging a career-high 6.1 points and 2.8 rebounds. Last season with Cleveland he shot a career-high 59.8% from the floor.

Dallas Mavericks sign Kelenna Azubuike

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed guard-forward Kelenna Azubuike. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Azubuike (6-5, 215) joins the Mavericks as a free agent after spending last season on the New York Knicks roster. Before joining the Knicks, Azubuike spent four seasons with the Golden State Warriors playing in 205 games with 84 starts. He holds career averages of 10.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 24.4 minutes per game while shooting .459 from the field, .409 from three-point range and .770 from the free throw line. Azubuike had a career-year in 2008-09 when he averaged 14.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 74 games (51 starts) for the Warriors.

Azubuike played in only nine games to start the 2009-10 season before suffering a torn patella tendon that would sideline him for the remainder of the year. On July 9, 2010, Azubuike was traded to New York, along with Anthony Randolph and Ronny Turiaf and a second round draft pick, in exchange for David Lee. He never logged a game with the Knicks and was waived on Feb. 28,2011.

A standout at the University of Kentucky, Azubuike was originally an early entry candidate into the 2005 NBA Draft and went undrafted. He averaged 14.7 points as a junior led the Wildcats to a Southeastern Conference title and an Elite Eight appearance on his way to being named All-SEC Second Team.

Born in London, England, Azubuike was raised in Tulsa, Okla. He led Victory Christian to the Class 4A State Championship Game as a senior while averaging 39.1 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. He finished his high school career with 3,530 points,just 89 points shy of Oklahoma’s all-time scoring mark.

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