Archive for January, 2013

klay thompson

Tired, short-handed and eager to get home, the Golden State Warriors could have taken the night off.

Instead, they looked like a team that needs to be taken seriously.

Klay Thompson scored a career-high 32 points and the Warriors, playing without three starters and a key reserve, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-95 Tuesday night.

The Warriors were missing guard Stephen Curry (ankle), center Andrew Bogut (ankle) and forward Harrison Barnes (knee). Also, Carl Landry, one of the first players off Golden State’s bench, didn’t play because of a shoulder injury.

In all, the Warriors were missing an average of 49.1 points and 19.5 rebounds, but that didn’t matter. Golden State shot 54 percent, including 11 for 16 on 3-pointers as it hit the first nine from beyond the arc. The Warriors took control in the second quarter and built a 16-point lead in the second half.

”No matter who is out there, we’re still going to play Warriors basketball,” said David Lee, had 20 points and 13 rebounds. ”We could have mailed it in on the last game of a road trip, but everybody stepped up with a bunch of guys out.” …

Jarrett Jack, starting at point guard, had 26 points and 12 assists.

”I had to channel my inner Stephen Curry tonight,” he said.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who missed the morning shootaround because he was sick, scored 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting in 36 minutes. Irving was coming off the best week of his career when he averaged a league-best 35.7 points in three wins, was selected as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and was named the conference’s player of the week on Monday.

– Reported by the Associated Press

lamarcus aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge’s buzzer-beating shot had barely left his hands when teammate Nicolas Batum raised his arms in victory.

Aldridge’s turnaround jumper fell as time ran out and the Portland Trail Blazers came back from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-104 on Tuesday night.

”I knew,” Batum said. ”I knew he was going to make it.”

Aldridge finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which trailed 101-94 with 2:18 left. J.J. Hickson had a season-high 26 points and 15 rebounds for his 25th double-double…

Dirk Nowitzki finished with 26 points for Dallas, which had won six of its last eight games.

”We cannot let Aldridge get set on the block 10 feet from the basket and let him turn around and shoot a wide-open shot,” Nowitzki said. ”We make those mistakes, especially on the road, and you are going to get bit.”

The Mavericks were without center Chris Kaman, who sustained a concussion in a collision during practice on Monday, according to coach Rick Carlisle. There was no timetable for Kaman’s return. He is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds this season.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

brandon jennings

After Milwaukee’s reserves helped turn things around, Brandon Jennings turned the game into a rout.

Jennings scored 20 of his 30 points in the third quarter as the Bucks cruised to a 117-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Mike Dunleavy had 17 points and Monta Ellis added 14 for the Bucks, who rallied from a 15-point first-quarter deficit to take a 10-point lead at halftime. The Milwaukee reserves outscored Detroit’s 59-41, including 28-10 in the key second quarter.

”We got a ton of energy from our second unit to help us get back into the game - that really set the tone and got everybody’s blood going a little,” Milwaukee coach Jim Boylan said. ”And then Brandon came out and what can you say about that third quarter? Just ‘wow’.”

Jennings, considered a possibility to replace injured Boston guard Rajon Rondo at the All-Star game, certainly didn’t hurt his chances against Detroit. At one stretch in the third period, he hit four straight 3-pointers while accounting for all of the scoring during the Bucks’ 16-0 run that gave them an 85-56 lead…

Rookie Andre Drummond had 18 points and 18 rebounds for Detroit, while Greg Monroe scored 14 points. Drummond became just the second teenager to have an 18-18 game since 1985-86, joining Dwight Howard.

– Reported by the Associated Press 

Lakers edge Hornets for 3rd straight win

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers really think they’re on to something, even if it’s nothing revolutionary. They’re gaining confidence in their newfound attitude and approach with each victory they’re producing.

Not even a fantastic fourth-quarter rally by the New Orleans Hornets could shake Kobe’s conviction that the Lakers have finally figured out a few things about their puzzling season.

Dwight Howard scored 24 points, Bryant had 14 points and 11 assists in another pass-first performance, and the Lakers hung on to beat New Orleans 111-106 Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak in five weeks.

Earl Clark had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers (20-25), who jumped to an 18-point lead midway through the fourth quarter with their third straight game of patient passing and hard-nosed defense quarterbacked by Bryant. The fifth-leading scorer in NBA history has warmly embraced his new role as a playmaker - no surprise for somebody whose first basketball muse was Magic Johnson.

”It’s working pretty well,” said Bryant, whose 39 assists in the Lakers’ last three games are the biggest three-game total of his 17-season career. ”It’s very easy for me to look over the defense and know where they’re coming from, just kind of line my guys up in the right way and just pick them apart.” …

Eric Gordon scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half for the Hornets, who got within one point on Greivis Vasquez’s running jumper.

Ryan Anderson scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, who had won eight of 12, including an impressive victory in Memphis two nights earlier at the start of their five-game trip. Anderson, Vasquez and Robin Lopez led the impressive late rally that just fell short, with Lopez finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson is taking a pass on the D-League.

Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP, has turned down an opportunity to return to basketball with the Dallas Mavericks’ Development League affiliate. He posted a series of tweets on Tuesday explaining his decision to decline an offer from Texas Legends’ co-owner Donnie Nelson to join the team.

“I thank Donnie and Dallas for the consideration,” Iverson wrote, “And while I think the D-League is a great opportunity, it is not the route for me.” …

Moore was in Philadelphia visiting with Sixers owner Josh Harris and CEO Adam Aron about reconnecting Iverson with the 76ers. Iverson led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA finals and is firmly cemented as one of the franchise’s all-time great players. He is the franchise leader in 40-point games (76), 3-pointers (885), and is second behind Hal Greer in points (19,931). He had two stints with the Sixers and last played for them in 2009-10.

– Reported by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press

Chris Kaman

Center Chris Kaman will miss tonight’s Mavericks’ game in Portland because of a concussion he suffered Monday in practice.

Kaman apparently has not passed the appropriate tests to be cleared to play.

– Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

Nets start tough stretch against Heat

The Nets begin a tough three-game stretch Wednesday night against LeBron James and the NBA champion Miami Heat, who have won the last 12 meetings and remain the league’s standard in Carlesimo’s eyes.

”They’re the best team in the league until somebody beats them,” Carlesimo said Tuesday after practice. ”Maybe when the year’s out and we’ve played 82 games, somebody will have a better record than them. But they’re still the champions and they’re still going to the finals on a pretty regular basis, so until somebody knocks them off, this to me is the barometer you measure against and we haven’t shown yet that we can beat these guys. So that’s a huge challenge for us.”

So are the Chicago Bulls at home on Friday, and the Los Angeles Lakers next Tuesday. Starting Wednesday on ESPN, it’s the kind of high-profile stretch that can earn the Nets, who may be a little overlooked despite a 27-18 record, some added respect within the league.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has been trying to keep a lid on his wife’s health issues that caused him to be away from the team for three weeks, preferring to deal with the situation privately while keeping his eye on the team from afar.

Mary Kay didn’t seem to understand why, so Rick Adelman relented on Tuesday, one day after he returned to the team from his hiatus. Rick Adelman said his wife is suffering from seizures and doctors still haven’t figured out what has been causing them.

”It’s just a process now,” Adelman said after practice. ”We don’t know why. We have no clue why it happened. No one can figure it out. Now it’s a matter of finding it out. How do you manage it? What do you do with it? How do you go forward? … The good thing is she’s home.”

Rick Adelman missed 11 games to be by Mary Kay’s side as she went through treatments and met with doctors. For a man who has spent more than two decades in the NBA diagnosing what is going wrong on the court and trying to figure out how to fix his teams’ problems, it’s been a frustrating process of searching for answers that have yet to come.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press

Executive director Billy Hunter has fired his daughter and daughter-in-law from the NBA players’ association, less than two weeks after a review criticized his hiring practices.

In a letter to the union’s special committee of players, dated Jan. 23, Hunter informed them that Robyn Hunter was to be let go as of Jan. 25. Megan Inaba will stay on through the All-Star break to help coordinate activities in Houston before leaving her job on Feb. 17.

Hunter also states in the letter, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, that the NBPA will no longer work with Prim Capital, the banking firm that employs Hunter’s son, Todd.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed forward Mickael Gelabale to a second 10-day contract. The Timberwolves were granted an NBA hardship exception for a 16th roster spot due to having four players out for a minimum of two weeks due to injury.

The 6-7 forward has appeared in five games for the Wolves, averaging 7.8 points, on .556 (15-for-27) shooting, and 3.6 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game.

Gelabale, 29, spent two seasons (2006-07, 2007-08) in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics, and averaged 4.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 15.6 minutes per game in 109 contests. Gelabale was drafted in the second round (48th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by Seattle.

Gelabale began this season playing in Croatia for Cedevita Zagreb in the EuroLeague and Adriatic League. In 10 EuroLeague games, Gelabale averaged 12.8 points on 60.5 percent shooting, including 42.1 percent from beyond the arc. Gelabale signed with Valencia BC in Spain in December and played in five games in the EuroCup and Spanish League, averaging 10.8 points on 51.6 percent shooting from the floor. Gelabale has also spent time playing professionally in France, Belgium and Russia.

Gelabale played for the French National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics, averaging 7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in six contests, all starts.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Chris Johnson to a second 10-day contract. Johnson was originally signed to a 10-day contract on Jan. 19.

Johnson has appeared in five games for the Wolves, averaging 9.2 points, on .720 (18-for-25) shooting, and 3.8 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game.

Johnson playing in 14 games with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League this season where he was averaging 10.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 25.6 minutes in 14 games.

Johnson, 27, was a free agent invitee at the Wolves training camp this past fall. He appeared in three preseason games for Minnesota, and averaged 2.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.0 minutes per game. Johnson was waived on Oct. 27, 2012.

The 6-11 center has played parts of two NBA seasons with Boston, Portland and New Orleans. He started the 2011-12 season with Portland, averaging 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds in 20 contests. Johnson finished the 2011-12 season in New Orleans where he averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in seven contests. In 41 career games, he holds averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds.

Johnson averaged 16.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during the 2010-11 season for the Dakota Wizards and was named the 2011 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year. Spent his collegiate years at Louisiana State University and went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have recalled center Fab Melo from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

Melo, a 7’0” center, has appeared in 19 games for the Red Claws this season and has posted 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and an NBADL-high 3.8 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game.

Rockets beat Jazz in Utah by 45 points

james harden

The Houston Rockets had plenty of trouble getting to Salt Lake City as a blizzard left them grounded for a while in western Colorado.

Once they arrived, they made the Jazz pay, rolling to a 125-80 victory on Monday night and handing Utah the most-lopsided home loss in franchise history.

”We could have had Michael Jordan in his prime with us tonight . and it wouldn’t have mattered (the way we played),” Jazz center Al Jefferson lamented…

James Harden continued to do most of the damage, scoring 25 points despite sitting the entire fourth quarter with the rest of the Rockets starters…

When he wasn’t driving the lane, the Rockets were pouring in 3-pointers.

They hit 16 of 34 on the night to tie their season high for shots made beyond the arc.

But it was their pace that floored the Jazz, outscoring Utah 26-2 on the break…

The Rockets held Utah to 39.5 percent shooting, and the Jazz made just 5 of 18 3-pointers.

Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris each hit four 3-pointers alone for Houston and Omer Asik tied a career high with 19 rebounds.

Every Rockets player scored, including six in double figures, with Morris adding 16 and Delfino 14…

Randy Foye led Utah with 12 points.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin of the Associated Press

Lazar Hayward has returned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, it was announced today.  Hayward, signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 31st, became the D-Fenders first NBA Call-Up of the season and 12th in team history.

Selected by Washington in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft (30th overall) and later traded to Minnesota on draft day, Hayward has been a member of Minnesota, Oklahoma City and Houston since joining the NBA.  In 72 career NBA games with the Thunder and Timberwolves, Hayward has averaged 2.9 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 8.2 minutes.  The 6-6, 225 pound forward also played three games with Tulsa of the NBA Development League in 2012, averaging 24.0 points 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 34.3 minutes.

A standout at Marquette University, Hayward finished his career with the Golden Eagles as the program’s second all-time leading scorer (1,859 points) and fifth all-time leading rebounder (910 rebounds) after averaging 13.5 points (45.2 FG%; 35.7 3FG%) along with 6.6 rebounds in 138 career games.  Additionally, the Buffalo, New York native was named to the All-Big East Second Team (2008, 2010) as well as the Big East All-Tournament Team (2010), and earned an All-America Honorable Mention selection by the Associated Press (2010) during his time at Marquette.

Luol Deng

Luol Deng returned to the Chicago Bulls’ lineup on Monday night against the Charlotte Bobcats after missing five games with a hamstring injury.

Deng, who was recently named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, is averaging 17.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

– Reported by the Associated Press

rajon rondo

Rajon Rondo was having his best season for the struggling Boston Celtics.

He’s averaging career highs in points and rebounds. He leads the NBA in assists and triple-doubles by big margins. He was voted the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in next month’s All-Star game.

”He’s our guy that’s orchestrating everything for us,” guard Courtney Lee said. ”He’s our leader.”

Not anymore.

Rondo is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that requires surgery. So coach Doc Rivers must find a replacement from a group short on point-guard experience amid a widespread feeling that the Celtics’ already shaky playoff prospects are over.

He doesn’t believe it.

”You can write the obituary,” Rivers told reporters after Sunday’s 100-98, double-overtime win over the Miami Heat. ”I’m not. You can go ahead, but I’m not. We won (Sunday) and so the way I look at it is we’re going to stay in there.”

Lee could fill in at Rondo’s position. Or Jason Terry. Or Leandro Barbosa. Or, less likely, the Celtics could sign a free agent or trade for a point guard. Their first practice without Rondo is Tuesday.

– Reported by Howard Ulman of the Associated Press

Rick Adelman

Rick Adelman is back on the court and coaching basketball after three weeks away to help his wife through a health scare.

His Minnesota Timberwolves lost nine of 11 games without him to fall behind in the powerful Western Conference playoff race.

Adelman helped restore hope in this downtrodden franchise when he came aboard before last season. So the Timberwolves have missed him. In some ways, though, Adelman may need the Wolves as much as they need him.

Adelman ran practice Monday and said he planned to coach against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all is satisfactory with Mary Kay Adelman, who is being treated for an undisclosed condition. Adelman said he delayed his return until he felt it would be for good. He said his wife is improving and he hopes the worst is over.

”It’s hard,” Adelman said, referring to his absence. ”I’ve never done this. It’s never happened. But there’s some things that are more important than basketball or anything else. I think the team understands that. Hopefully things will settle down here now.”

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of 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 Rio Grande Valley.

Motiejunas (7-0, 222, Lithuania), who was re-assigned to the Vipers on Jan. 22, has averaged 20.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in seven starts with Rio Grande Valley this season. With the Rockets, Motiejunas is currently averaging 1.6 points and 0.3 boards in 14 games.

The Phoenix Suns have recalled guard Diante Garrett from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, the club announced today.

Originally assigned on Jan. 10, the 6-4, 175-pound guard averaged 15.1 points, 7.4 assists and 1.7 steals while appearing in seven games for the Jam (five starts).  During his seven-game assignment, the Jam compiled a 6-1 (.857) record, including a season-best six-game win streak.

Garrett shot 46.1 percent from the field (49-of-93), including a 62.5-percent clip from three-point range (10-of-16).  Both a scorer and a distributor, Garrett reached double figures in scoring in six of seven games, including four games of 15 or more points and one 20-point effort; he dished six or more assists in six of seven games, including two double-digit assist efforts.

Tornike Shengelia, playing for the Springfield Armor on assignment from the Brooklyn Nets, was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Jan. 21-27. 

A 6-8, 207-pound forward from the Republic of Georgia, Shengelia played in two of the Armor’s four games last week, helping the team to a 2-2 record.  He began his assignment, the second of his career, by tying an Armor franchise record with 39 points on 17-of-21 shooting to go with a game-high 18 rebounds and six assists in a 123-115 home win of the Maine Red Claws.  He finished the week with a 24-point, 13-rebound performance in a 111-100 victory over the visiting Santa Cruz Warriors.

For the week, Shengelia averaged 31.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 41.0 minutes.  He shot 76 percent from the floor (25-of-33) while going 4-of-7 (57 percent) from behind the three-point line.

Other top performers considered include Austin’s Rick Jackson, Bakersfield’s Damion James, Canton’s Kevin Jones, Erie’s D.J. Kennedy, Fort Wayne’s Luke Harangody, Idaho’s Coby Karl, Iowa’s Paul Harris, Los Angeles’ Elijah Millsap, Maine’s DaJuan Summers, Reno’s Walker Russell, Jr., Rio Grande Valley’s Terrel Harris, Santa Cruz’s Stefhon Hannah, Sioux Falls’ Donald Sloan, Texas’ Sean Singletary and Tulsa’s Jeremy Lamb, on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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