Archive for December, 2012

PJ Carlesimo

The Brooklyn Nets, who today fired head coach Avery Johnson, have appointed Assistant Coach P.J. Carlesimo as the team’s interim head coach, it was announced by General Manager Billy King.

A search for a new head coach will commence immediately.

Carlesimo has previous NBA head coaching experience in Portland, Golden State and Seattle/OKC.  He owns a career coaching record of 204-296 in the regular season and 3-9 in the playoffs.

Brooklyn Nets fire head coach Avery Johnson

The Brooklyn Nets have relieved Avery Johnson of his head coaching duties, it was announced today by General Manager Billy King.

“The Nets ownership would like to express thanks to Avery for his efforts and to wish him every success in the future,” said Brooklyn Nets principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Johnson was named head coach of the Nets on June 15, 2010.  In two-plus seasons as head coach of the Nets, Johnson compiled a record of 60-116.

The Nets are expected to name current assistant P.J. Carlesimo as the interim head coach.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Raymond Felton

Will the Knicks ever get healthy and whole?

Raymond Felton, the team’s starting point guard, said last night he has a fracture in his right pinkie, discovered following an X-ray. He added he will likely need surgery and be out four to six weeks.

Bah, humbug. Carmelo Anthony also missed last night’s 99-97 victor y over the Suns with a hyperextended knee suffered during Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers, but his injury doesn’t appear serious.

The timing of Felton’s latest injury is tough considering Amar’e Stoudemire is expected back on Jan. 1 and Iman Shumpert is gearing up to return later in the month. Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni will now be the point guards.

Felton took the X-ray of his shooting hand at halftime after sitting out last night. He injured the pinkie fighting for a loose ball with the Lakers’ Steve Nash. Felton will fly to New York tomorrow and see a hand specialist to confirm the next course of action, a Knicks official said.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned forward Perry Jones, guard DeAndre Liggins and center Daniel Orton to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Jones has appeared in 10 games this season with the Thunder while recording averages of 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per game.

In seven games with the Thunder, Liggins is averaging 0.7 points and 1.1 rebounds in 3.0 minutes per game.

Orton has seen action in one game for the Thunder, scoring two points in two minutes versus Cleveland on Nov. 11th.

All three players will travel with the 66ers to Canton for this weekend’s matchups with the Charge on Fri. Dec 28 and Sat. Dec 29.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-assigned forward Terrence Jones to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Jones (6-9, 252, Kentucky) has averaged 22.5 points and 17.5 rebounds in two starts with Rio Grande Valley this season.

The Memphis Grizzlies re-assigned guard Tony Wroten to the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Wroten (6-6, 208) averaged 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists on .370 shooting (.438 three-point shooting) in 22.8 minutes in six games for Reno during his first assignment from Nov. 27-Dec. 17.  The 19-year-old scored a D-League season-high 21 points in his Bighorns debut on Dec. 2 at Santa Cruz and matched that total in his next game on Dec. 7 vs. Bakersfield.

The Seattle native will be Bighorns for their next game on Friday, Dec. 28 at Idaho.

Drafted by Memphis in the first round (25th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft after one season at the University of Washington, Wroten has totaled eight minutes in three appearances for the Grizzlies during his rookie season.

Memphis will seek its fourth consecutive home victory tonight when the Grizzlies host the Philadelphia 76ers at 7 p.m. tonight at FedExForum.

The Miami Heat today assigned third-year center Dexter Pittman to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the record 72nd of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, and is the first for Pittman this year. He becomes the 43rd NBA player to have been assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Pittman (6-11, 285, Texas) has appeared in four games for Miami this season, averaging 1.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.0 minutes.  He returns to the Skyforce having played in 22 games on assignment as a rookie in 2010-11, when he averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 27.8 minutes.   In 41 career games for the Heat, Pittman has averaged 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 7.9 minutes.

Originally selected by the Heat in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Pittman averaged 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 134 career NCAA games.

Pittman is expected to join the Skyforce today and be available on Friday, Dec. 28, when the team hosts the Maine Red Claws in Sioux Falls at 8 p.m. ET.

DeMarcus Cousins

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is not with the team and will not play against the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was coach Keith Smart’s decision not to bring Cousins on the trip.

Cousins was reinstated from an indefinite suspension Monday, but Smart said reinstatement meant Cousins would be allowed to practice, not necessarily play.

This will be the second game Cousins has missed since his verbal altercation at halftime of last Friday’s loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (Blog)

The Chicago Bulls game against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night (December 26) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana has been postponed due to weather conditions.

The game will be rescheduled and announced at a later date.

Tickets for Wednesday night’s game will be honored for that game.

Knicks guard Raymond Felton sprains finger

Because of his toughness, guard Raymond Felton can’t be counted out for Wednesday night’s game against the Suns in Phoenix. But even he admitted after spraining his right pinkie on his shooting hand that if he plays he is likely to be limited by the injury.

“I ain’t the same with it,” he said of the injury. “We’ll see what happens.”

With a little less than nine minutes to go in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 100-94 loss to the Lakers, Felton and L.A.’s Steve Nash both dove for a loose ball. Felton said Nash tried to tap it away while he tried to corral it and the ball bent the finger outward.

He came out of the game and returned with it bandaged. He finished with 10 points on 5-for-19 shooting and six assists. He was 1-for-10 shooting after the injury. He left with a splint on the finger.

– Reported by Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News

amare stoudemire

Injured forward Amar’e Stoudemire could be back on the court for the New York Knicks on New Year’s Day.

There are indications from Stoudemire that he could see his first action on Jan. 1 against Portland in Madison Square Garden. He called that date “a possibility” when asked when he would make his season debut, according to Newsday.

The veteran forward is working his way back from a knee injury.

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

jamal crawford

Jamal Crawford led a dominant performance by the Los Angeles reserves with 22 points and the Clippers defeated the Denver Nuggets 112-100 on Tuesday night, extending their franchise-record winning streak to 14 games.

Matt Barnes added 20 points - one off his season high - as the bench outscored the Clippers starters 64-48 in claiming the NBA’s best record at 22-6, one win better than Oklahoma City which lost to Miami earlier Tuesday.

Kosta Koufos and Jordan Hamilton scored 16 points each for Denver in the finale of a Christmas Day doubleheader at Staples Center. The Lakers, who will play the Nuggets on Wednesday night in Denver, beat the Knicks 100-94 in the first game.

Ty Lawson added 15 points for the Nuggets, who fell to 7-13 on the road, where 22 of their first 32 games are being played.

Crawford’s 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter pushed the Clippers’ lead to 20 points and kept the starters on the bench for the final 12 minutes…

Crawford scored eight points in the quarter. He leads the NBA’s reserves in scoring, and topped 20 points for the 12th time this season.

Chris Paul led Los Angeles’ starters with 14 points; Blake Griffin had 13; and Willie Green 11.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press

Omer Asik

Omer Asik enjoyed his trip back to Chicago. And he got help from James Harden and Jeremy Lin.

Asik returned to the United Center and had a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds [plus three blocks] to lead the Houston Rockets to a 120-97 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

It was his first trip to Chicago since signing with the Rockets in the offseason…

Harden scored 26 points and Lin added 20 points and 11 assists for Houston, which had all five starters score in double figures.

Chandler Parsons scored 23 points and Marcus Morris had 10.

Houston has won six of seven…

Lin capped a 14-2 run midway through the quarter with a drive and a layup to make it 55-34. He scored 12 in the second quarter and Harden had 13…

Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 27 points, and Marco Belinelli scored 15…

Harden, fourth in the league in scoring, followed up two strong performances - 37 points against Detroit and 45 against Atlanta - with another strong game. He was 7 for 13 from the field and 11 for 13 from the free throw line.

Houston improved to 11-2 against the Eastern Conference.

– Reported by the Associated Press

LeBron James

LeBron James and Kevin Durant exchanged words. Dwyane Wade and Serge Ibaka did a little shoving. Five technical fouls were called, and Russell Westbrook punched a table in frustration.

This NBA Finals rematch met expectations.

And like that series, it ended with Miami on top.

James had 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, Wade scored 21, and the Heat survived a frantic finish to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 on Tuesday…

Mario Chalmers scored a season-high 20 for the Heat, who were 19 for 19 from the foul line, the second-best effort in franchise history behind only a 30-for-30 game in Boston on March 24, 1993. Chris Bosh added 16 for Miami, which has beaten the Thunder five straight times going back to last June’s title series.

Durant scored 33 points and Westbrook added 21 for Oklahoma City, but both Thunder stars missed potential game-tying 3-point attempts in the final seconds…

The game had a little of everything - a fast start by the reigning champions, a one-handed dunk by James on an offensive rebound that will be added to his copious highlight reel, a scrum after a hard foul that led to double-technicals on Wade and Ibaka early in the fourth, an easy rally by the Thunder from an early double-digit deficit, and even workout partners in Durant and James barking back and forth in the final minutes…

Oklahoma City got within one when Durant made a jumper over James, but no closer. Ray Allen’s two free throws with 15.6 seconds left made it 100-97, and Miami’s last three points came from the line. Durant missed a 3-pointer that James contested, Westbrook wound up with a second chance that Wade defended, and the Thunder guard smacked a nearby table arguing that he was fouled…

Chalmers had 12 points, matching his season high, in the opening quarter alone, and that was also Miami’s lead after his layup for a 15-3 edge.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Lakers beat Knicks to get to .500

Kobe Bryant

The pieces of the puzzle that have been the Lakers’ confounding season so far are starting to fall into place.

Kobe Bryant engineered a second-half comeback, the defense stepped up, and Los Angeles beat the New York Knicks 100-94 on Tuesday, extending its winning streak to five games.

”We’re .500,” a smiling Dwight Howard said. ”We did it on Christmas, too. I knew this day would come.”

Bryant scored 34 points in his NBA-record 15th Christmas Day game and Metta World Peace added 20 points and seven rebounds while defending Carmelo Anthony, whose 34 points led the Knicks. Anthony said he hyperextended his left knee, but expects to play on Wednesday in Phoenix.

Bryant, the league’s leading scorer, has topped 30 or more points in nine straight games…

The Lakers improved to 14-14 - 9-9 under new coach Mike D’Antoni - and upped their holiday record to 21-18, including 13-9 at home. They returned to .500 for the first time since they were 8-8 on Nov. 30…

The Knicks controlled most of the game behind Anthony and J.R. Smith, who had 24 points. But they struggled offensively in the fourth, when Anthony was limited to seven points and Smith had five as the Lakers’ defense clamped down. World Peace fouled out with 1:58 to play and the Lakers ahead by four…

Nash had 16 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in his second game in nearly two months. He missed 24 straight games while recovering from a small fracture in his lower left leg. Howard had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Gasol had 13 points and eight rebounds…

World Peace scored 16 points in the second quarter, including eight in a row, when the Lakers played catch-up most of the way. His 3-pointer gave the Lakers their first lead of the period with 1:10 remaining. Smith tied it up with a free throw before Nash’s jumper sent the Lakers into halftime leading 51-49.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press

Celtics easily handle Nets in Brooklyn

rajon rondo

Rajon Rondo lost his cool, and any chance at history, in the second quarter when Boston last met Brooklyn.

This time, the second period featured some of the best basketball the Celtics have played this season.

Rondo scored 19 points in his first full game against the Nets this season, and the Celtics won 93-76 on Tuesday in another game with some heated moments between the division rivals.

Rondo, sidelined in the first meeting and thrown out of the second after shoving Nets forward Kris Humphries into the courtside seats, outplayed counterpart Deron Williams and helped the Celtics take control early…

Rookie Jared Sullinger tied a career high with 16 points and Jeff Green had 15 for the Celtics (14-13), who avoided falling under .500 with just their second victory in six games.

The Celtics took control with a 23-5 run in the second quarter of the opener of their four-game road trip. They had 11 assists on 13 baskets and outscored the Nets 34-18 in the period after dropping the previous two meetings…

Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez each scored 15 for the Nets, who have lost four of five. Struggling to find anything that worked, they played Lopez and fellow center Andray Blatche together with three guards at one point, but Brooklyn shot just 41 percent and committed 20 turnovers that led to 25 points.

Williams had only 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting and Joe Johnson, his partner in a high-priced backcourt, shot 4 of 14 for his 12 points.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

shaun livingston

The Cleveland Cavaliers have claimed guard Shaun Livingston off waivers from the Washington Wizards and waived guard Donald Sloan, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

The Wizards waived Livingston Sunday night, December 23rd, giving the Cavaliers until today at 5 p.m. to claim Livingston and create the roster space for him.

The Cavaliers rosters now stands at 15.

Livingston, 27, has appeared in 17 games (four starts) for the Wizards, averaging 3.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 18.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-7, 175-pound guard out of Peoria Central (IL) High School is in his eighth NBA season and has career averages of 6.6 points on .457 shooting, 2.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 22.4 minutes over 341 games (110 starts).

Donald Sloan has played in 20 games this season for the Cavs, averaging 4.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 12.9 minutes per game. Sloan was signed by the Cavs from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League on March 16, 2012 and has appeared in 53 games (11 starts) during his two-year NBA career, averaging 5.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 17.5 minutes per game.

The Washington Wizards are desperate for whatever help they can get.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed free agent guards Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple.

Mack (6-3, 207) was originally selected by Washington with the 34th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.  In 11 games this season with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League, he has averaged 19.7 points (ranked sixth) and a D-League best 7.5 assists in 40.7 minutes per contest.  He was named NBA D-League Performer of the Week on December 10.  In 64 games during his rookie campaign with the Wizards, Mack averaged 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 12.2 minutes per game.  The former Butler Bulldog averaged 4.1 points in eight games during the 2012 preseason with Washington before being waived on October 28, 2012.

Temple (6-6, 195) was undrafted out of LSU in 2009.  In nine games this season with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League, he has averaged 14.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 36 minutes per contest.  Temple has appeared in 51 career NBA games with the Rockets, Kings, Spurs, Bucks and Bobcats while averaging 3.8 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.  In 63 career D-League games, he holds averages of 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists with Rio Grande, Erie and Reno.  The former Tiger spent the 2012-13 preseason with Miami, appearing in six games and tallying 4.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

The Sixers (13-15), who begin an 11-day, seven-game Western Conference road trip Wednesday in Memphis, so far seem to prefer to stand outside and shoot jump shots rather than attack the basket and absorb the hard hits that prompt officials to call fouls.

“We just keep talking to them about the ‘moment of truth,’ ” said Sixers coach Doug Collins, who gave the players Christmas Eve off. “At the moment of truth, just go in there and get hit. We had the ball in the paint 48 times [Sunday]. We’ve got to just get in there and find a way.”

Of the 30 teams in the NBA, only Orlando, with an average of 16.5, attempts fewer free throws per game than the Sixers, who average 18.0. It’s not surprising that none of the four teams ranked at the bottom of the list has a winning record.

– Reported by John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Kris Humphries out for two games

Kris Humphries out for two games

Brooklyn Nets power forward Kris Humphries will miss the next two games with a mild abdominal strain, coach Avery Johnson said Tuesday.

Humphries will not play against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon and will not make the trip to Milwaukee for Wednesday night’s game against the Bucks. He will be re-evaluated when the Nets return from Milwaukee, Johnson said.

Humphries visited with doctors Monday after experiencing issues with his abdominal muscles.

– Reported by Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York

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