Archive for January 3rd, 2013

lebron james

Most wins in the Eastern Conference, fewest rebounds in the NBA.

It might not sound like a winning formula, but it’s working for Miami.

The Heat (22-8) are on pace for the second-worst rebounding season in franchise history, better than only the 2007-08 campaign where Miami won just 15 games in what was Pat Riley’s final season on the sideline as coach. And even though it was Riley who once said ”no rebounds, no rings,” the Heat are clearly not the type of team that will dominate on the backboards.

Only reigning MVP LeBron James is currently ranked among the NBA’s top 30 rebounders in terms of average per game, and the Heat have a lineup that’s outsized in nearly every game - sometimes by a significant amount.

”Rebounding is not something that you work on,” James said. ”It’s a knack.”

Countered Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: ”It’s interesting how sometimes we have the knack.”

What they’re doing is simply defying logic on some nights. The Heat have been outrebounded by margins this season of 15, 17, 19 and 29 - and somehow, they went 4-0 in those games.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Jamal Crawford

“He gets my nomination for sixth man of the year,” Bryant said of Crawford after Thursday’s Lakers practice.

It’s quite an endorsement, though Crawford’s numbers speak pretty well for themselves.

Crawford, who comes off the bench for the Clippers, is averaging 16.5 points in 29.1 minutes a game. He was instrumental in the Clippers’ franchise-best 17-game winning streak and  has helped the team to an impressive 25-8 record.

Crawford, 32, was named sixth man of the year in 2010, but he’s never made an All-Star team.

– Reported by Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times

Former LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson has finally popped the question to his longtime girlfriend Jeanie Buss — after 12 years of dating — but the real question … could this affect the Zen Master’s possible coaching gig with the Brooklyn Nets?

Our Lakers source tells us the engagement went down on Christmas day, but Jeanie — daughter of Lakers owner Jerry Buss — didn’t reveal the ring until moments ago.

– Reported by TMZ.com

Rajon Rondo

Rondo said the search for who they are as a team isn’t the most frustrating aspect of what’s happening this season.

“The frustrating part is we’re losing,” he said. “Regardless of how many combinations we’ve had, how many different starting lineups we’ve had, we’re still losing. I’m a sore loser. It’s tough to lose.”

Avoiding that feeling won’t get any easier with the Indiana Pacers coming to town on Friday and a road game at Atlanta the following night.

“I’m a confident player. We’re a confident team,” Rondo said. “We just haven’t found our way now.”

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE

lebron james

LeBron James sat out of Thursday’s practice to receive extensive treatment for his bruised right knee but hopes to play in Friday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

It wasn’t initially clear whether James aggravated the slight knee injury during the Heat’s 119-109 overtime victory against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. But James has dealt with soreness in both knees for much of the season.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t reveal James’ latest injury during his session with reporters immediately after Thursday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. But during the final stages of practice that were open to the media, James was seen riding a stationary bike.

– Reported by Michael Wallace of ESPN.com

Cavs assign forward Jon Leuer to D-League

The Cleveland Cavaliers toady re-assigned second-year forward Jon Leuer to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers’ NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the record 90th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons and the second for Leuer, who is one of a record 46 NBA players to be assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate this season.

Leuer (6-10, 228, Wisconsin) returns to the Charge following a six-game assignment earlier in the season, when he averaged 20.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 35.8 minutes.  He has appeared in five games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 3.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 14.4 minutes.  Originally selected in the second round (40th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Leuer played in 46 games for Milwaukee last season.  In 51 career NBA games, Leuer has averaged 4.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 12.3 minutes.

A four-year contributor for the Badgers, Leuer averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 123 career NCAA games (68 starts).  As a senior, Leuer led Wisconsin with 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and was a First Team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches.

Leuer is expected to join the Charge today and be available tonight when they face the Springfield Armor in Massachusetts.

Mike James to audition for Dallas Mavericks

In an attempt to convince the Dallas Mavericks that he can help them, veteran point guard Mike James is joining the D-League’s Texas Legends in time for Saturday’s game against Tulsa, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

After playing for 10 NBA teams, most recently last season with the Chicago Bulls, James has cleared the D-League waiver process to become eligible to sign with the Legends as a free agent.

James arrived in town Thursday with no guarantees from the Mavericks, sources said, but the 37-year-old has been lobbying them to let him audition for a roster spot by playing in a few games with the Legends to prove he can help stabilize their backcourt.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

The Indiana Pacers today re-assigned Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignments are the record 88th and 89th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Plumlee and Johnson are two of the 46 players who have been assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Plumlee (6-11, 255, Duke) re-joins the Mad Ants following four previous assignments when he played in six games and averaged 14.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 33.0 minutes.  He has appeared in six games for the Pacers this season, averaging 1.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 3.7 minutes.

Selected 26th overall by the Pacers in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Plumlee was a four-year member of the Blue Devils, where he won an NCAA Championship in 2010.

Johnson (6-5, 220, UC-Santa Barbara) has appeared in three games for Indiana this season. In his previous two assignments with Fort Wayne, Johnson averaged 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals.

Selected in the second round (36th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, Johnson was acquired by the Pacers via trade on June 28, 2012. In just three seasons at UC-Santa Barbara, Johnson became the Gauchos all-time leading scorer (1,825 points), and is the only player in school history to have scored 500 or more points in a season three times. His 674 points as a junior and 39 points in a game vs. Cal-Davis are also school records

Plumlee and Johnson are expected to be in available tonight when the team hosts Santa Cruz Warriors.

Fab Melo

Fab Melo was recalled from Maine of the Development League, but it was to get treatment for a concussion he received when he ran into a hotel door. Melo missed the Red Claws’ Dec. 31 win over Springfield and is questionable for Friday’s game with Erie.

Melo said he still feels concussion symptoms and is unsure when he can return.

“I still have a little headache sometimes. I can only focus on things for a certain time,” he said.

Melo, a first-round pick from Syracuse, has been making headlines, blocking 23 shots over a two-game period, including a league-record 14 Dec. 22 against Erie. In 12 games, the 7-footer is averaging 10.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks.

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Chris Wilcox will not need surgery

Chris Wilcox

Backup center Chris Wilcox is unsure when he will return from a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb and he will be reexamined next week. Wilcox has been wearing a brace on his hand since sustaining the injury Dec. 18 at Chicago.

He said doctors have informed him he will not need surgery.

“The doc told me I need to take some time off. I gotta let it heal; it’ll be a while,” he said. “Yesterday I got good news; they told me I didn’t have to have the surgery. Now I’m just trying to see what I’m comfortable with.”

Wilcox, who last season underwent surgery to repair an enlarged aorta, said he considers this injury a minor setback.

“It’s been tough for me,” he said. “But this is minor compared to what’s happened to me in the past. Anything other than that is nothing.”

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Jrue Holiday

After Luis Scola gave the Phoenix Suns a nice cushion late in the game, the 76ers were unable to complete a late rally and fell to the Suns, 95-89, Wednesday night at US Airways Center.

The loss wasted a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) by Jrue Holiday. The Suns, led by Scola’s 21 points, ended a six-game losing streak and beat a Doug Collins-coached Sixers team for the first time.

“I don’t want a triple-double if we don’t win,” Holiday said.

The Suns took their largest lead of the game early in the fourth quarter when Scola sank a jump shot for a 77-66 advantage. The Sixers steadily cut into the lead and finally got to within 87-85 when Holiday hit Dorell Wright for a layup with just over two minutes to play.

That was the closest the Sixers would get.

– Reported by John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

DeMarcus Cousins

It’s one thing for DeMarcus Cousins to say the Kings play better when they share the basketball.

It’s another for Cousins to put that into action. Cousins has tried to do that more lately, and it’s working.

Cousins scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Wednesday, but it was a pass to John Salmons for his sixth assist of the night that was his biggest play in helping the Kings beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-94 at Quicken Loans Arena.

It was the Kings’ second road win in 15 games.

The Kings (12-20) trailed 90-89, having squandered a 10-point lead in the third quarter, when Cousins found Salmons in the corner for a three-pointer and a 92-90 lead with 52.9 seconds to play. Cousins’ six assists led the Kings.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

The son of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was found dead of an apparent drug overdose at his Malibu home, authorities said Wednesday.

The body of Scott Ashley Sterling, 32, was found shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said.

The death cast a pall on what has been a joyous season for the Clippers, normally an NBA doormat but now among the league’s best teams. The team is in first place in its division and had a franchise-record 17-game winning streak that was snapped Tuesday.

Sterling, 77, a billionaire real estate mogul who purchased the team in 1981, and wife Shelley released a statement thanking friends for sympathy, asking for privacy and saying their son was diabetic, but did not indicate what role, if any, that may have played in his death.

– Reported by the Associated Press

stephen curry

Stephen Curry’s shooting stroke flowed so smoothly he swished shots without even looking at the basket.

At one point, the Los Angeles Clippers cornered Curry on the sideline near the Golden State Warriors’ bench. The 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom tried to crowd Curry out of bounds, and the diminutive point guard never hesitated to chuck up the shot.

”I lost sight of the rim and I knew it was going in,” Curry said. ”I haven’t been that locked-in in a while.”

Curry scored 25 of his 31 points in the first half, David Lee finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Warriors coasted past the ailing Clippers 115-94 on Wednesday night.

After winning a franchise-record 17 straight games, Los Angeles has suddenly dropped two straight and has Golden State surging from behind.

Curry made nine of his first 10 shots, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, and added eight assists and six rebounds to pace Golden State’s 26-8 spurt to start the game. His twice-surgically repaired right ankle healthy again, Curry - along with Lee - is making a strong case to be the first All-Star for the Warriors since Latrell Sprewell in 1997…

Jamal Crawford scored 24 points on a sore left foot and Chris Paul had 23 points and six rebounds for the Clippers, playing with heavy hearts after learning of the death of owner Donald Sterling’s son earlier in the day. Small forward Caron Butler also wasn’t with Los Angeles because of personal reasons.

After owning the NBA’s longest winning streak since the Boston Celtics rolled off 19 consecutive games from Nov. 15 to Dec. 23, 2008, Los Angeles has struggled to shoot in losses at Denver and Golden State. The Clippers shot 38.5 percent in Tuesday night’s 92-78 loss at Denver and 36.4 percent at Golden State, ending a difficult 24 hours for the franchise.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press

Joe Johnson

P.J. Carlesimo’s first big motivational message as the interim coach of the Brooklyn Nets earned him an elusive win in Oklahoma City, and perhaps the kind of jolt his team needs to get out of a monthlong funk.

Joe Johnson scored a season-high 33 points, Deron Williams added 19 points and 13 assists, and the Nets snapped Oklahoma City’s 12-game home winning streak by beating the Thunder 110-93 Wednesday night in a game featuring the first ejection of Kevin Durant’s career.

Johnson said Carlesimo ”jumped on us” after a 31-point thumping at San Antonio two nights earlier, stressing the importance of ball movement on offense and helping each other out on defense…

The Nets built a 23-point lead late in the second quarter, then allowed Oklahoma City to tie it at 85 before ripping off a 23-8 run to seize control right back. Durant was ejected near the end of the surge, arguing with Danny Crawford after the referee had already issued a technical foul against Kendrick Perkins.

”I just thought it was a bad call. You get frustrated throughout a game, you show emotion. That’s how you can tell you love it,” said Durant, who scored 27 points…

Brook Lopez added 25 points as Brooklyn ended a seven-game losing streak in the series and got Carlesimo a victory against the team that fired him back in 2008. He’d only had one win in Oklahoma City during his abbreviated tenure in charge of the Thunder, getting fired after a 1-12 start after the team’s summer relocation from Seattle…

Russell Westbrook had 26 points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City, which lost for only the third time at home this season.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

LeBron scores 32, Heat beat Mavs in OT

lebron james

Once the Miami Heat found a way to rally in the final moments of regulation, they made overtime look easy.

LeBron James scored 32 points and finished one assist shy of a triple-double, Dwyane Wade scored 27 and the Heat pulled off both early and late before beating the Dallas Mavericks 119-109 in overtime Wednesday night.

Down 100-94 with 3:02 remaining in regulation, the Heat closed the game on a 25-9 run - and sent Dallas to its sixth loss in as many overtime games this season.

”We have ultimate confidence in our team, our talent level, our execution,” said Chris Bosh, who scored 17 points for Miami. ”And we believe in each other. To know we can be down by six with 3 minutes left and still have the confidence to overcome everything and get the job done, it works out great.”

Ray Allen added 15 for Miami, which extended its Eastern Conference-leading record to 22-8 despite trailing by 12 in the opening minutes. James had 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Heat, who scored the first seven points of overtime.

O.J. Mayo scored 30 and Dirk Nowitzki - still working his way back from knee surgery - added 19 in 29 minutes for the Mavericks…

Vince Carter had 15 points, Chris Kaman scored 14 and Darren Collison finished with 11 for Dallas.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Paul George

Good enough to beat the Wizards, not good enough to satisfy Paul George.

George had 29 points and 14 rebounds, leading the Indiana Pacers to an 89-81 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.

”I’m glad we got this win but we’ve got to look past this,” George said. ”We didn’t do a good enough job executing.

”Luckily we made enough shots to win, but we didn’t do a good job at all of executing. We let them pressure us and get us out of stuff; we play tough teams and that’s not going to fly.”

The Wizards (4-26) came into the game with the NBA’s worst record, and had lost eight straight against the Central Division-leading Pacers (19-13)…

Roy Hibbert added 13 points for the Pacers, who won their sixth straight home game. Ian Mahinmi added nine points and 11 rebounds.

Jordan Crawford scored 20 points to lead Washington, which fell to 1-14 on the road this season. Kevin Seraphin scored 16, Nene added 15 points and Bradley Beal scored 14 for the Wizards, who never led in losing for the third straight game.

– Reported by Andy Proffet of the Associated Press

Suns beat 76ers to end six-game skid

Luis Scola

Luis Scola and the Phoenix Suns have watched a lot of late leads vanish. On Wednesday, they found a way to hold on.

Scola scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half and the Suns beat the Philadelphia 76ers 95-89 to snap a six-game losing streak.

”It’s only one win but we needed one win,” Scola said…

Dragic added 20, Shannon Brown scored 12, and Marcin Gortat had 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Suns…

Holliday had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double for the 76ers, who are 2-7 in the second half of back-to-back games. Wright and Thaddeus Young had 14 points apiece for Philadelphia…

Scola has scored 20 or more in three straight games. … Phoenix has won five of its past seven at home. . The Sixers are six games into a season-high, eight-game holiday road trip.

– Reported by Jonathan Dalton of the Associated Press

Tim Duncan

After a 69-point outburst in the first half, it would have been easy for the San Antonio Spurs to believe they were going to capture their seventh consecutive win with little resistance.

Instead, the Spurs had to withstand a pair of second half rallies from the Milwaukee Bucks to hang on for a 117-110 victory Wednesday night.

”We knew they were going to make a run at some point,” said San Antonio forward Tim Duncan, who had 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. ”They made a run there at the end. They are very good in this building and we knew that. They’ve come back on a lot of people here.” …

”We were in a good groove but in the second half (Milwaukee) played hard,” said Tony Parker, who added 23 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who shot 52 percent from the field for the game. ”They played with a lot of energy and came back on us. They played very physical.”

Brandon Jennings paced Milwaukee with 31 points. Henson scored a career-high 20 points and added nine rebounds. Mike Dunleavy had 19 points…

Spurs guard Gary Neal returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing four consecutive games with a strained right calf. ”He’s a dangerous player. I’m really happy for him because he finally has an NBA career,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Neal, who played four seasons overseas before joining the Spurs in 2010.

– Reported by Rich Rovito of the Associated Press

Mike Conley, Grizzlies hold off Celtics

Tony Allen scored a season-high 15 points to help his current team beat his old one. Then he went down the sideline trading fist-bumps and hugs with his former teammates and coaches.

Mike Conley had 23 points and nine assists, and Allen had nine points and four of his five rebounds in the second half on Wednesday night to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 93-83 victory over the Boston Celtics. It was the fourth consecutive loss for Boston, which won its 17th NBA title with Allen in 2008…

Rudy Gay scored 19 points for Memphis, which shot 61 percent from the floor - and 62.5 percent from 3-point range - in the first half. The Grizzlies led by 18 early in the fourth quarter, then made 8 of 11 free throws down the stretch after the Celtics made it a five-point game…

Paul Pierce scored 17 for Boston, but he had just one basket in the third quarter and none in the fourth while missing seven of his last eight shots.

Rajon Rondo had 11 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, who trailed by 79-61 after the opening basket of the fourth quarter but closed the gap to 83-78 with under 5 minutes to play on back-to-back 3-pointers from Jason Terry. Boston began fouling and the Grizzlies made their shots.

– Reported by Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press

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