Archive for January 15th, 2013

With the Rockets bringing a three-game losing streak into Tuesday’s game against the Clipper, forward Patrick Patterson returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 14, his last game before missing seven with a bruised right foot.

He moved back in as a starter in time for a stretch of games against Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki and David West, and was happy with the assignment.

“I’m happy and excited to finally get my starting spot back,” Patterson said. “I’ve been wanting it since I first came back, but we were in a groove with Marcus in the starting lineup. Coach said he would put me back in the starting lineup so I’m definitely happy. Of course I feel better than coming off the bench, but as long as I’m playing I’m happy overall.”

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle Blog

Kevin Love

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that Kevin Love underwent successful surgery this morning to repair the third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand. The surgery was performed by Dr. Michelle Carson at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He injured his hand during the third quarter of the Jan. 3 game at Denver.

Love is expected to be sidelined for 8-10 weeks.

For the season, Love has played in 18 games and leads the Wolves in scoring (18.3 ppg), rebounds (14.0 rpg) and double-doubles (14).

Doc Rivers vs son Austin on Wednesday

After being selected out of Duke by the New Orleans Hornets with the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft, Austin Rivers has yet to play an NBA game in front of his father.

But Wednesday night, when the Celtics host the Hornets, Doc will finally see his son in action.

Asked if he were looking forward to it, Doc said, “I’m actually not. I don’t even know what I’m looking forward to. It’s not like he’s playing a ton anyway. You never know. But as far as him and being on the floor, that’s a different feeling I still don’t know how to feel about it.”

In 36 games this season, Austin, a guard, has averaged 6.3 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 turnovers in about 25 minutes of playing time. But he has played less than five minutes in each of the last two games. He hasn’t scored a point in four straight.

“He’s just up and down,” Doc said.

– Reported by the Boston Globe Blog

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is taking his fight to keep the Kings in California’s capital city to NBA owners.

Again.

Speaking at the annual State of Downtown breakfast on Tuesday, Johnson said he has received approval from NBA Commissioner David Stern to present a counteroffer to the league from buyers who would keep the team in Sacramento. He said the city is in a ‘’six-week sprint” to put together a proposal for the NBA’s Board of Governors to consider over a potential sale and relocation to Seattle.

The league’s deadline for teams to apply for a move for the next season is March 1, though that has been extended each of the last two years for the Kings. And both times, Johnson - a former NBA All-Star - has convinced the league that Sacramento could help fix the franchise’s financial woes and secure its long-term home in a new arena.

”We want this to be the final act of a saga that’s gone on for far too long,” Johnson said.

People with knowledge of the situation said last week that a group led by San Francisco-based investor Chris Hansen, who wants to return the NBA to Seattle, has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Kings. They spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no deal has been reached.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press

derrick rose

Though Derrick Rose still hasn’t been cleared for full contact practice, his eventual return from left knee surgery continues to occasionally dominant Tom Thibodeau’s news conferences.

Rose, who again will travel with the Bulls on their two-game trip to Toronto and Boston, is as competitive as they come. But Thibodeau sees no issue between Rose and the Bulls’ management and medical staff as the plan for his return is formulated.

“We’re not worried about that,” Thibodeau said. “There’s been constant communication with Derrick and the doctors. It’s not going to be a problem.”

Thibodeau got asked this latest dynamic in light of Michael Jordan’s well-publicized frustration with management when he wanted to return earlier from a broken bone in his foot during his second season.

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

Jonas Jerebko getting no minutes on Pistons

Jerebko began last season as a starter and never griped when Ben Wallace, and later Jason Maxiell, stepped into the starting power forward role.  Jerebko continued to play hard and was praised for energizing the second unit.

Today, that backup job belongs to Charlie Villanueva.  In the last 24 games, Jerebko has appeared once, for six garbage minutes.

“Of course, I’m disappointed,” Jerebko said.  ”But all I can do is keep working hard and that’s what I’m doing.  I feel good about what I’m doing.

“I just go into the gym every day and do the same things I always do.  Just trying to get better.  Do what I can control.”

– Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

Dwight Howard says shoulder feels OK

dwight howard

Two days removed from playing for the first time in a week, Lakers center Dwight Howard provided a positive prognosis surrounding his right shoulder.

“It’s fine,” he said. “I haven’t had any issues.”

Howard will play tonight when the Lakers (16-21) host the Milwaukee Bucks (19-17) at Staples Center. But Howard missed Monday’s practice in favor of getting treatment on his right shoulder, which had a separated labrum. That injury stemmed last week from the Clippers’ Caron Butler and Denver’s Andre Miller fouling him on his shoulder. Howard then missed the next three games to restrengthen the shoulder before being susceptible to more contact inside.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

carmelo anthony

In the wake of an incident between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett that resulted in Anthony’s suspension, the Knicks recorded all in-game conversations between the forward and players around him Friday against the Bulls, a league source has confirmed.

Owner James Dolan ordered Madison Square Garden technicians to place two microphones on opposite ends of the court, a move league sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard was put in place in order to protect Anthony.

The Knicks were trying to ascertain whether other players were going overboard in their trash talking against Anthony, sources told Broussard.

It is not clear whether the recordings will continue, but sources tell Broussard that any move to paint them as Dolan “spying” on Anthony is “flat-out wrong.”

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Dallas Mavericks open to making trades

Memo to the rest of the NBA: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is in “Let’s Make a Deal” mode.

“We’re letting everybody know that the “Bank of Cuban” is open,” Cuban said Monday night, a couple of days after declaring that there was a “100 percent chance” the Mavs would aggressively pursue trade opportunities before the Feb. 21 deadline.

“If it’s the right deal, we don’t mind taking back money. But we’re not going to do a trade just to do a trade. It’s got to be worthwhile.”

The Mavs have the ability to take back significantly more salary in trades because they are under the salary cap. Cuban has continually insisted that is a primary reason he opted for financial flexibility instead of re-signing several key contributors to the Mavs’ 2010-11 title team, not just because they wanted to have enough salary cap space to sign a superstar in free agency.

– Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins didn’t let his frustration affect his game, which hasn’t always been the case this season for the emotional Sacramento Kings center.

Despite drawing a technical and flagrant foul during a short span in the third quarter, Cousins regained his focus and still had one of his best games of the season.

Cousins had 26 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in helping the Kings snap a four-game losing streak with a 124-118 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

The maturity of Cousins hasn’t gone unnoticed by Kings coach Keith Smart, who in late December suspended the third-year center following a verbal confrontation on the court.

Smart was pleased how Cousins handled a potentially damaging situation against Cleveland. He was called for a technical foul in the third quarter after committing his first foul of the game. Less than a minute later, Cousins was called for a controversial flagrant 1 foul against Zeller…

The Kings leading scorer and rebounder, Cousins made 7 of 14 shots, hit all 12 free-throw attemps, and also contributed three blocks and two steals, the second one which he converted into a layup late in the game…

Marcus Thornton had 20 points and Tyreke Evans added 18 for the Kings. Fredette had 16 points, John Salmons 14 and rookie Thomas Robinson tied a career high with 12 points and added seven rebounds.

Reserve Dion Waiters scored a career-high 33 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost three straight and eight of 10. CJ Miles scored 17 points and Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Kyrie Irving had 15 points, but shot 6 of 19 and had six turnovers.

– Reported by Jeff Weidel of the Associated Press

kevin durant

When Kevin Durant takes over a game, it’s quite a show.

This time, it was at the expense of Marcin Gortat and the rest of the Phoenix Suns.

Durant scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half - 19 in the fourth quarter- and the Oklahoma City Thunder became the NBA’s first 30-game winner this season by beating the Suns 102-90 on Monday night.

Russell Westbrook added 36 [with eight rebounds and five assists] for the Thunder, but it was Durant who took over late in his fourth 40-point game, falling one shy of the season-high 42 he scored two games earlier against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Durant sank an array of pull-up jumpers, added a couple of casual 3-pointers, made a handful of layups, then punctuated his night with a spectacular dunk over Gortat for a three-point play.

”I am just having a lot of fun out there,” he said. ”I got away with a carry on that (last) play, but I was able to free myself up. I saw the lane. Everyone knows he does a great job of contesting in the lane. I just tried to finish with some strength.” …

Shannon Brown scored 21 for the Suns. Gortat had 19 points and 15 rebounds, but was the unfortunate would-be defender on Durant’s spectacular dunk late in the game…

The Thunder were without Serge Ibaka for the second game in a row with a chest contusion. Phoenix didn’t have Jared Dudley (right wrist strain) or Jermaine O’Neal (back spasms).

– Reported by Bob Baum of the Associated Press

Darren Collison leads balanced Mavs over Wolves

Darren Collison now runs the floor where J.J. Barea was the spark that helped rally the Dallas Mavericks to their first championship two seasons ago.

Dallas’ new point guard made sure one of his predecessors didn’t finish off another comeback Monday night.

Collison led six players in double figures with 23 points and the Mavericks matched their season high with a third straight win, holding off a pair of Barea-engineered surges in a 113-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

”I felt like we were going to attack,” said Collison, who also had nine assists and three steals.

That used to be Barea’s job coming off the bench in Dallas, until he became a starter midway through the 2011 NBA finals on Dallas’ home court and helped erase a 2-1 series deficit against Miami.

He was finally back on that floor after sitting out Minnesota’s first two trips with injuries since signing as a free agent when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban decided not to bring back several key pieces of the title team.

The diminutive guard is a reserve again, and he had former teammate Dirk Nowitzki and others chasing him all over the court while running the pick-and-roll and scoring 11 second-quarter points. He led the Timberwolves with 21 and was on the floor for a second-half rally that cut a 23-point deficit to eight…

O.J. Mayo and Elton Brand had 20 points each for Dallas. It was a season high for Brand. Mayo matched Collison’s nine assists, and the Maverick had a season-high 33 as a team. Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and Vince Carter had 10 points apiece…

Interim Minnesota coach Terry Porter said there was nothing new on the status of Adelman, who has been out since the last home game, Jan. 8 against Atlanta, attending to his wife, who was hospitalized. Minnesota plays at home Thursday against the Clippers.

– Reported by Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press

Jamal Crawford

Playing without Chris Paul proved no problem for the Clippers. Not having Rudy Gay was a much bigger issue for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Reserves Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes each scored 16 points, and the Clippers easily routed the Grizzlies 99-73 Monday night with Paul missing his first game this season because of a bruised right kneecap.

”Missing the best point guard in the world in Chris Paul, we all had to play collectively and step it up, and I thought we did a good job of that,” Crawford said.

The matchup between two of the best teams in the West wasn’t close after the first quarter. While Paul watched from the bench, the Grizzlies were without their leading scorer: Gay was excused for his grandmother’s funeral in Baltimore.

This also was the Clippers’ first trip to Memphis since they won Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series last May. All they did was match their largest margin of victory on the road this season while holding the Grizzles to a season-low in points and their worst field goal shooting percentage on their home court in franchise history…

Eric Bledsoe, starting for Paul, had 14 points, and Blake Griffin scored 10. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was able to give nine players at least 17 minutes each before heading to Houston for the second half of a back-to-back Tuesday night…

Zach Randolph had 15 for Memphis, which lost its second straight blowout, after losing 104-83 at Dallas on Saturday night. Wayne Ellington added 11 in a rare start in place of Gay, and Darrell Arthur had 10 as the Grizzlies shot just 30.3 percent (27 of 89), a franchise-low at home. Randolph said they really missed Gay’s ability to drive and relieve pressure…

The Clippers had a 40-36 scoring edge in the paint as DeAndre Jordan and Griffin helped limit Randolph to 5-of-16 shooting and Marc Gasol to 4 of 13.

– Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press

Bulls shut down Hawks in 97-58 rout

carlos boozer

Tom Thibodeau sent a strong wake-up message to his team at a heated shootaround Monday morning. He got the response he was looking for.

Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Luol Deng scored 18 points and the Chicago Bulls held Atlanta to a franchise-low 20 points in the first half of a 97-58 victory over the Hawks on Monday night…

Reserve forward Mike Scott scored 10 points to lead Atlanta as none of the starters reached double figures. Josh Smith and Kyle Korver had nine points each.

Jeff Teague had a layup with 7.9 seconds left to prevent the Hawks’ lowest scoring total in franchise history…

The Bulls held the Hawks to just five points in the second quarter and led 48-20 at the break. Ivan Johnson had a basket for the Hawks with 2:54 left in the first quarter, and Atlanta did not score again until Al Horford’s tip with 5:15 left in the second. The Hawks missed 17 consecutive shots during the drought while getting outscored 14-0.

They finished the 2 for 21 from the field in the second quarter, with Smith making a free throw and a jumper for Atlanta’s other points. The Hawks shot 20.5 percent on 8-of-39 shooting in the first half. Josh Smith was 3 for 10 and Horford 2 for 8 in the opening two periods…

The Bulls set a record for the fewest points allowed, eclipsing the previous mark of 59 by Orlando last March 19. Atlanta’s 20 points in the first half also set a Chicago record for the fewest allowed in a half, bettering the 22 scored by the Knicks in 1999. The Bulls also limited New York to five points in the second quarter of that game…

The Hawks’ previous scoring lows were six points in a quarter (at Minnesota) in 1994, and 25 in a half - accomplished three times, most recently against New Orleans in 2011.

– Reported by the Associated Press

rajon rondo

It wasn’t too long ago that Rajon Rondo was one of the NBA’s up-and-coming ball-handlers, trying to show he belonged with veterans like Chris Paul, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash.

Now the Celtics point guard is trying to prove to the youngsters that he can still play. ”I’m getting a little bit older and the younger guys are coming in, and I may have a mark on my back being an older guy, having made a couple of All-Star (games),” Rondo said after recording his third triple-double of the season on Monday night in a 100-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. ”I have a target on my back every night so I just want to go out and do what I do best: run the show and make some shots.”

Rondo scored 17 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds - his 26th career triple-double, including playoffs. Motivated by facing 22-year-old Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker, Rondo had a hand in the Celtics’ first 19 points as they opened a double-digit lead early in the first quarter and coasted to their sixth consecutive victory…

Paul Pierce scored 19 and Avery Bradley added 16 for Boston. Kevin Garnett, who needed 13 points to tie Patrick Ewing for 16th on the NBA’s career scoring list, was 2 for 11 from the field and scored just seven points to go with his 10 rebounds.

Hakim Warrick and Ramon Sessions had 16 points apiece and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 10 with eight rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost their third straight and their 23rd in the last 25 games since opening the season 7-5.

– Reported by Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press

emeka okafor

For most of the first half of the season, the Washington Wizards consistently lost. They’re suddenly unbeatable, having won three straight.

Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 11 rebounds, leading six players in double figures as Washington cruised to its easiest win of the season, 120-91 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.

”That was a beautiful thing tonight,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. ”This has been building.”

The Wizards were just 4-28 before their streak, but beat Oklahoma City, Atlanta and now Orlando - all at home - to nearly double their wins total. Washington leaves Tuesday on a five-game, eight-day road trip while the nation’s capital will be consumed by Inauguration ceremonies.

John Wall had 12 points and six assists in 20 minutes in his second game of the season after missing the Wizards’ first 33 with a left knee injury…

Washington shot a season-best 56.1 percent, scored its most points and had its most assists. Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 11 rebounds, A.J. Price and Kevin Seraphin had 18, Beal scored 17, and Jan Vesely matched his season high with 10…

Jameer Nelson had 19 points and 12 assists to lead Orlando, and Nikola Vucevic added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Arron Afflalo, who had 30 points against the Clippers, missed 10 of 11 from the field and finished with two points…

Magic F Hedo Turkoglu did not play for the third straight game. He scored just one point in 37 minutes in his three previous games.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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