Archive for December 18th, 2012

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is still must-see TV in New York.

Lin’s first trip back to New York since signing with the Houston Rockets resulted in MSG Network’s highest-rated Knicks game of the season, according to the network.

The Rockets’ 109-96 victory Monday drew a 4.77 rating, MSG said Tuesday. That’s well above the 3.41 average rating for the first 18 games of the season.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Dion Waiters

Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters is back in the starting lineup after missing eight games because of a sprained left ankle.

Cleveland hosted Toronto on Tuesday night.

Waiters is averaged 15 points and more than three assists per game. He was injured on Dec. 1.

Waiters was cleared to play late last week. Coach Byron Scott wanted Waiters to go through Monday’s practice session before he returned.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled forward/center Donatas Motiejunas from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Motiejunas (7-0, 222, Lithuania), who was re-assigned to Rio Grande Valley on Dec. 14, has averaged 23.5 points and 10.8 rebounds over four starts with the Vipers this season.

Durant, Westbrook dishing assists for Thunder

From the NBA Finals to the All-Star Game to the Olympics, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have proven themselves to be one of basketball’s most dynamic duos.

To lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the league’s best record, they’ve found even more ways to make an impact - primarily by putting their teammates in better positions to contribute.

Both Durant and Westbrook are averaging career highs in assists this season while cutting down on their turnovers, helping the Thunder become the NBA’s highest-scoring team with an impressive line of statistics. Oklahoma City leads the league in 3-point accuracy and free throw percentage and ranks second in overall field-goal shooting.

”We’re passing the ball so much better this year,” said coach Scott Brooks, who has long harped on the need to improve the team’s assist numbers and cut down on turnovers. ”Our basketball knowledge has improved a lot the past few years just from all the experiences that we’ve had. Our passing and our spacing is really good. Our offense has been in a nice rhythm.”

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

A jury has returned a $17.3 million verdict against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in a lawsuit by an actress who lost most of her belongings in a fire at a West Hollywood apartment building he owns.

City News Service says the jury awarded $15 million in punitive damages to Robyn Cohen on Tuesday in her breach-of-contract and emotional distress lawsuit. The panel awarded her $2.3 million in general damages on Monday.

She sued Sterling over a 2009 fire caused by an electrical problem. She said a fire alarm horn and a dozen smoke detectors in the building weren’t working.

– Reported by the Associated Press

deron willliams

Nets coach Avery Johnson said after Tuesday’s morning shootaround that he’s already privately heard the criticisms Deron Williams leveled at his offense following Monday’s practice, and is already trying to rectify it.

“I think we’re putting more and more stuff in that he’s familiar with, and getting back to some of those things, a lot of the things he did in his Utah system,” Johnson said.

“But at the end of the day, when the shots are going down, everybody feels better about the team and their individual game.”

Williams spoke at length Monday about the offense the Nets are running, and that’s it has been an adjustment for him from the system he was running in Utah under former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.

But while Williams didn’t back away from any of the comments he made Monday, he did claim that the media had overblown them.

“You asked me about Utah, my time in Utah, [and] I’m not going to bad-mouth Utah,” Williams said.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Here’s a TV commercial starring the White Mamba, Brian Scalabrine for a drink called “Greater Than”

The New York Knicks today assigned Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Copeland and James White to the Erie BayHawks, the Knicks’ NBA Development League affiliate.

Copeland (6-8, 225, Colorado) joins the BayHawks having played in 14 games for the Knicks this season, averaging 5.7 points and 8.0 minutes.

White (6-7, 215, Cincinnati) has appeared in 18 games for the Knicks this season, averaging 1.8 points and 6.6 minutes.

All three players are expected to practice with the BayHawks at MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, N.Y. today.

It seems like this is just for practice purposes. All three players may be called back up to the Knicks in a day or so.

Suns come from behind to beat Kings

Shannon Brown

The Phoenix Suns couldn’t seem to make a shot from anywhere, struggled defensively and gave up too many offensive rebounds while falling behind by 19 points in the first half.

No problem. Big comebacks are their specialty.

Shannon Brown scored 14 of his 22 points in third quarter to bring Phoenix back, Jared Dudley had 20 points and the Suns added to their list of comebacks by beating the Sacramento Kings 101-90 Monday night…

The Suns were back to their fall-behind-big ways against Sacramento, out of sorts at both ends in the first half, drawing boos from the home crowd and plenty of stomping along the sideline by Gentry.

Phoenix looked like a different team in the second half, working the ball around for open shots on offense, playing better defense and getting to the glass better…

Marcin Gortat had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. Luis Scola gave the Suns his usual hustle while scoring 14 points and dishing out a career-high 10 assists. Dudley hit a couple of big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter when the Kings tried to rally…

Aaron Brooks added 12 points for Sacramento, which had a 51-38 rebounding advantage, including 18 on the offensive glass…

Hitting the shots that weren’t falling early, Phoenix went on an 18-4 run midway through the third quarter, going up 61-58 after Brown hit three straight shots, including a 3-pointer as he fell into Sacramento’s bench.

– Reported by John Marshall of the Associated Press

mike conley

The Memphis Grizzlies were struggling early against the stingy Chicago Bulls, taking bad shots and committing turnovers.

Then the Grizzlies’ bench took over, providing the burst that helped Memphis beat the Bulls 80-71 on Monday night.

”I thought it was huge what they did,” Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said of the second-period play by the reserves. ”They came in and changed the game, changed the tempo. They got it going up and down a little bit. Got the ball movement where we like it to be.” …

Conley led Memphis with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and four assists, while Zach Randolph added 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Rudy Gay had 12 points for Memphis but shot 5 of 13, continuing his slump. Wayne Ellington scored all 11 of his points in the second quarter, when the Grizzlies’ reserves provided the lift after a sluggish first period, when Memphis managed only 11 points for its lowest output in the opening quarter this season.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Marco Belinelli finished with 13 points. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah had 11 points apiece for the Bulls, but Deng was 4 of 17 from the field…

Both teams shot just better than 37 percent. But Memphis was 6 of 11 from 3-point range compared to the Bulls hitting only 2 of 11 long-range shots. The Memphis frontline of Gay, Randolph and Marc Gasol were a combined 10 of 34, while the Bulls starting frontline of Deng, Boozer and Noah made 16 of 42.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka ripped away an offensive rebound, got hacked in the process and found his way toward midcourt to flex his muscles in celebration.

Ibaka is a force to be reckoned with, and what better way to show it than by delivering his best game of the season against a rival who had a player take a jab at him on Twitter?

Ibaka tied his career best with 25 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-93 Monday night for their 11th straight win…

It was the first meeting for the teams since San Antonio’s Stephen Jackson made a threatening post about Ibaka on Twitter, drawing a $25,000 fine from the NBA…

Jackson just happened to make his return after missing the previous 14 games with a broken right pinkie finger…

The Spurs never found an answer for Ibaka, who had just four points while fighting foul trouble in Oklahoma City’s season-opening loss at San Antonio. He finished 10 for 16 from the field, led the Thunder to a 49-37 rebounding advantage and also blocked three shots…

”It was just another game on the list for us,” said Kevin Durant, who scored 19…

Parker and Nando De Colo had 14 points apiece to lead the Spurs. Manu Ginobili did not play because he bruised his left quadriceps in Saturday’s win at Boston.

Russell Westbrook chipped in 22 points and nine assists and Kevin Martin scored 20 for the Thunder, who had no interest in fanning the flames on the Ibaka-Jackson feud.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

Jeremy Lin

His old fans booed him. His old friend clobbered him.

Otherwise, it was Linsanity all over again at Madison Square Garden.

Jeremy Lin had 22 points and eight assists in his return to New York, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-96 victory Monday night that ended the Knicks’ 10-game home winning streak to open the season.

Cheered then jeered, and later floored by Tyson Chandler’s flagrant foul, Lin added another masterpiece to the ones he put together last season during the height of his memorable run. No longer the fan favorite he was when wearing the home uniform, Lin got a mixed reception when he left the game with 2:25 remaining and the Rockets leading by 16.

”It was a lot of fun playing out there and I think our team, we took a step in the right direction,” Lin said. ”And for me, it was great to be back and it was a lot of fun to play on that court again.”

James Harden had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who blew out the Knicks for the second time this season. They have won the last seven meetings, including a 131-103 rout in Houston on Nov. 23.

Rookie Chris Copeland scored a career-high 29 points for the Knicks, who played without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony and had their four-game winning streak snapped. They fell to 18-6, matching the record they finished last season with under Mike Woodson…

Felton scored 14 points but shot 7 of 18. Kidd was 2 for 9, and both committed three turnovers.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Jamal Crawford

The Los Angeles Clippers are learning to adapt.

Playing their fourth road game in seven nights, they could have easily been overrun by the often overlooked Detroit Pistons.

Not this club.

Jamal Crawford scored 15 points and Chris Paul added 14 to lead the weary Clippers to their 10th straight win, 88-76 over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night…

No Clippers player scored more than 15 points, but they had five players score in double figures…

Blake Griffin also had 15 points for Los Angeles and Paul had seven assists. Griffin had two breakaway dunks in the last 30 seconds, one on a pass banked off the backboard by Matt Barnes…

Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 16 and Tayshaun Prince added 15. Detroit, which committed 17 turnovers, lost its fifth straight…

Both teams struggled in the first half, with the Clippers taking a 42-40 lead into the intermission despite shooting just 39 percent. Detroit hit 42.5 percent of its shots, but managed only one free throw and two offensive rebounds. The Clippers tried for the last shot of the half, but Prince stole the ball and two quick passes gave Greg Monroe a wide-open layup at the buzzer.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Glen Davis scores 28 points vs Timberwolve

The Orlando Magic had to figure out how to defend down low before they could make their move.

Using a second-half rally, Glen Davis and the Magic won their third straight with a 102-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

”It boiled down to who was going to be the aggressor, that team was going to win,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. ”That was my message at halftime. It was good to see our bigs respond to that kind of physicality.”

Orlando got manhandled inside by Minnesota’s front line in the first half, but Magic big men Davis and Nikola Vucevic pushed back in the second half to help their team to its third straight victory.

Davis scored a game-high 28 points and Vucevic had his third straight double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. J.J. Redick contributed 18 points and seven assists as Orlando rallied from 15 points down in the third quarter to snap Minnesota’s four-game win streak.

Kevin Love led Minnesota with 23 points and 15 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic added 19 points and 12 rebounds, but they did most of their damage in the first half when Minnesota shot 49 percent from the field while building a 61-49 lead at the break.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Basketball blog