Archive for December 22nd, 2012

Hornets guard Eric Gordon cleared for full contact in practice

New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon, who has not played this season because of knee surgery, has been cleared for contact practice.

No timetable has been established for his return.

Shortly before the Hornets were to face Indiana on Saturday, Hornets general manager Dell Demps said Gordon would begin full contact practice with the team next week and officials would monitor his progress.

“We’re going to put him in situations (during practice) and will evaluate him,” Demps said, adding that once he returns, “it would not be smart to play him 48 minutes.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Jazz PG Mo Williams to get MRI on thumb

Jazz PG Mo Williams to get MRI on thumb

Utah Jazz starting point guard Mo Williams plans to schedule an MRI test on Sunday to determine the severity of a right thumb injury he sustained midway through Saturday’s loss to the Miami Heat.

Williams was hurt late in the second quarter and did not return for the second half of Utah’s 105-89 loss. The Jazz wrap up their four-game road trip Sunday in Orlando, but coach Tyrone Corbin was uncertain of Williams’ status.

An X-ray taken on Williams in Miami was negative, but the 10-year veteran said the pain in his thumb was similar to what he felt when he tore a ligament in his hand in 2008.

“I can’t feel it now,” Williams said after the game of the numbness.

– Reported by Michael Wallace of ESPN.com

Steve Nash returns to action for Lakers

Steve Nash

Steve Nash will start for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Golden State Warriors after missing 24 games because of a small fracture in his lower left leg.

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said before the game Saturday night that Nash will have no minutes limit. The 38-year-old was injured in the second game of the season, the former Phoenix star’s first with the Lakers. Los Angeles is 12-14 so far this season.

Nash, a two-time NBA MVP, averaged 4.5 points and four assists in 25 minutes during his two games - both losses - for the Lakers. Los Angeles has won three in a row over Washington, Philadelphia and Charlotte.

– Reported by the Associated Press 

Dallas Mavericks waive Derek Fisher

Dallas Mavericks waive Derek Fisher

Veteran guard Derek Fisher’s time with the Dallas Mavericks has ended.

The Mavs announced today they have requested waivers on Fisher, who was signed as a free agent by Dallas on Nov. 29, 2012.

Fisher (6-1, 210) averaged 8.6 points, 3.6 assists and 25.4 minutes in nine games (all starts) for Dallas this season.

According to ESPN.com, Fisher issued the following statement: “In Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia, I suffered an injury to my patellar tendon. The recovery time will be approximately two weeks. With this news and the difficulty I have been having being away from my family, I have asked the organization to waive me so I can return home. “(Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban has been extremely supportive and has granted me this request. I cannot say enough good things about this organization. From Mark, to Coach (Rick) Carlisle, to the players on the Mavericks’ team, I sincerely thank them for the opportunity. “I have made decisions in the past, leaving money and opportunity on the table, and I will need to do that again. My family is my priority and that is where I choose to be. I won’t close the possibility that I will play again, however for now my family and being close to them remains the priority.”

The Mavericks’ roster now stands at 14 players.

Celtics re-assign Kris Joseph to D-League yet again

The Boston Celtics have re-assigned rookie forward Kris Joseph to the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s NBA Development League affiliate. The assignment is the record 68th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Joseph is one of 42 NBA players to have been assigned this season.  The previous assignment record was 67, set during the 2011-12 season.

Joseph (6-7, 210, Syracuse) has appeared in three games for Boston this season, scoring two points in nine minutes of action.  He returns to the Red Claws having played in seven games, averaging 20.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 38.1 minutes.

Joseph is expected to be in Maine today and available to play when the Red Claws host the Erie BayHawks at 7 p.m. ET.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled guard Scott Machado from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Machado (6-1, 205, Iona), who was re-assigned to the Vipers on Nov. 30, has averaged 12.0 points, 7.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 11 games (nine starts) with Rio Grande Valley. At the time of his recall, Machado ranked third in the D-League in assists per game, which included a league single-game high of 13 helpers at Texas (12/15/12).

Grizzlies recall Josh Selby from D-League

The Memphis Grizzlies recalled guard Josh Selby from the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Selby (6-2, 183) posted 22.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists on .439 shooting in 34.0 minutes in two games for Reno after being assigned on Dec. 17.  The 21-year-old finished with 23 points and scored the Bighorns’ final 10, including the go-ahead free throws with 5.0 seconds remaining, in a 98-97 win on Dec. 21 at Austin.  He totaled 21 points in his season debut for Reno on Dec. 20 at Rio Grande Valley.

Drafted by Memphis in the second round (49th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Baltimore native has logged a total of 15 minutes in five appearances for the Grizzlies this season.

Selby will join the Grizzlies for tonight’s tilt with the Houston Rockets at 7 p.m. at the Toyota Center, where Memphis will seek its fifth consecutive victory.

demarcus cousins

The drama in Sacramento continues.

Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie today announced that the team has suspended center DeMarcus Cousins indefinitely for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team.

Cousins, currently in his third NBA season, is averaging a team-high 16.6 points (.414 FGs, .200 3FGs, .769 FTs), 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.35 steals per game through 23 contests.

Earlier today, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (blog) reported: “Keith Smart is one of DeMarcus Cousins’ biggest supporters. Apparently that doesn’t mean Smart will allow Cousins to speak to him however he likes. And that’s why DeMarcus was left in the locker room for the second half of Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Cousins went at his coach verbally after Smart said something to him at halftime. So Smart decided the Kings were better off without their leading scorer and rebounder. “We’re trying to set a standard for all of our players and all our guys who are here,” Smart said after the game. “When guys don’t fall in line to that we’ve got to move on.”

The Brooklyn Nets have recalled forward Tornike Shengelia and guard Tyshawn Taylor from the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Billy King.  The two players were assigned to Springfield on December 21.

In the rookies’ first career D-League action last night vs Erie, Shengelia notched a triple double (22 points, 10 rebounds,12 assists), while Taylor poured in a team-high 32 points.

Both players are expected to practice fully with the team today in preparation for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

DeMarcus Cousins

Keith Smart is one of DeMarcus Cousins’ biggest supporters.

Apparently that doesn’t mean Smart will allow Cousins to speak to him however he likes. And that’s why DeMarcus was left in the locker room for the second half of Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cousins went at his coach verbally after Smart said something to him at halftime. So Smart decided the Kings were better off without their leading scorer and rebounder.

“We’re trying to set a standard for all of our players and all our guys who are here,” Smart said after the game. “When guys don’t fall in line to that we’ve got to move on.”

Smart intends to maintain this stance, too. You have to assume that means penalties will escalate if the behavior does not change.

Smart wouldn’t address whether Cousins would play in Sunday’s game against Portland. If he does, another blowup could mean suspensions for conduct detrimental to the team.

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

Melo, 3 others ejected as Bulls beat Knicks

Bottled up by the Bulls and baffled by the officials, Carmelo Anthony expected to spend the final minutes of the Knicks’ loss alone in the locker room.

Turns out the early exodus of Knicks was just beginning.

Coach Mike Woodson and center Tyson Chandler were also ejected from the foul-filled game, and Chicago beat New York for the second time this season, 110-106 on Friday night.

Chandler and Bulls counterpart Joakim Noah were tossed after a fourth-quarter altercation, shortly after Woodson had been ejected following his second technical. He drew a loud ovation during his walk to the back from Knicks fans who angrily booed the officiating for much of the second half…

Luol Deng had season highs of 29 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls despite briefly leaving the game with an injured left shoulder. Marco Belinelli added 22 points as Chicago won for the fourth time in five games.

Anthony finished with 29 points on 10-of-25 shooting, ending his streak of four straight 30-point games. The Knicks lost for the second time in three home games after winning their first 10.

Noah finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in completely outplaying Chandler, who took only one shot and was limited to five points and eight boards…

Kirk Hinrich had 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Bulls, who were totally shutting the Knicks down until allowing 45 mostly meaningless points in the fourth quarter after Chicago had led by 25 in the third…

[J.R.] Smith had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who fell to 19-7. Their 19 wins through 25 games was bettered only twice in franchise history, when they were 23-2 in 1969-70 and 20-5 in 1972-73. They won the NBA title both times.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Clippers win 12th straight to set franchise record

After the Los Angeles Clippers set a record for the longest winning streak in franchise history, Chris Paul was thinking about Ron Harper, Corey Maggette and other former players who endured all that losing.

Paul had 24 points and 13 assists to help the Clippers, for decades synonymous with long losing streaks, break a 38-year-old club mark with their 12th consecutive victory Friday night, 97-85 over the Sacramento Kings.

”Most of those guys have been here through tougher times,” Paul said. ”I know Ron Harper really well. He’s a good friend of mine, and he’s excited for us. We just played against Corey Maggette, and he was excited to see how it is now. So it’s been exciting for me in the short amount of time I’ve been here, especially knowing some of the people who have been with the team for 25 or 30 years and the season-ticket holders. But we can’t be satisfied. We’ve got to keep it going.”

The previous record was set by the Buffalo Braves during the 1974-75 season, when current Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was 8 years old. The head coach back then was Jack Ramsay, whose formidable roster included Bob McAdoo, Garfield Heard, Randy Smith, Jim McMillian, Jack Marin and Bob Weiss.

That team won 49 games - still a record for a beleaguered organization that has called three different cities home, wasted first-round draft picks on Benoit Benjamin, Terry Dehere, Michael Olowokandi and Darius Miles, and was labeled ”the worst franchise in sports history” by Sports Illustrated in an April 17, 2000, cover story.

– Reported by Joe Resnick of the Associated Press

Basketball blog