Archive for January 18th, 2013

The Miami HEAT announced today that center Dexter Pittman has been re-assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League. The Skyforce are the HEAT’s D-League affiliate.

Pittman was originally assigned to Sioux Falls earlier this season on December 26 appearing in 10 games (seven starts) and averaged 12.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.90 blocks, 1.20 steals and 25.1 minutes while shooting 46.3 percent from the field. He posted four double-doubles and was named to the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase Second Team before being recalled by the HEAT for their 99-90 win against the Los Angeles Lakers last night.

Pittman will rejoin the Skyforce and be available for tonight’s game against the Texas Legends.

Nikola Pekovic

Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic will miss the next seven to 10 days because of badly bruised right quadriceps.

Pekovic was injured in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night after a collision with Blake Griffin. Pekovic did not practice on Friday and Timberwolves president David Kahn says he will miss at least a week.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Rasual Butler

The Tulsa 66ers, proud affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder, announced Friday that they have acquired guard Rasual Butler.

Drafted by the Miami Heat in 2002, Butler brings 11 years of NBA experience to Tulsa, averaging 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 23.4 minutes over his career. The La Salle University product has averaged over 10 points a game in three different seasons.

He has seen action in 638 NBA games (263 starts) with the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Bulls and Raptors. Butler spent two seasons in Oklahoma City while a member of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

Most recently a member of the Toronto Raptors in 2011-12, Butler averaged 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 34 games (14 starts).

He is expected to be in uniform when Tulsa hosts the Austin Toros tonight at 7:00 at the SpiritBank Event Center.

alvin gentry

The Phoenix Suns and Alvin Gentry have mutually agreed to part ways after his five-plus seasons as head coach, the club announced today. An interim coach will be named in the next 24-48 hours.

“Alvin’s hard work, dedication and coaching ability over the last nine years have been an important part of the success of our organization,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. “These partings are never easy but are, unfortunately, part of the business of professional sports. I wish nothing but the best for Alvin and his family.”

Said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby: “All of us, including Alvin, realized that the pieces weren’t fitting. To be sure, integrating nine new players was a challenge. Alvin is a good coach and a good person. I wish him the best. As for us, we will remain focused on moving this team forward.”

Gentry originally joined the Suns organization as an assistant coach prior to the 2004-05 season, and was named Phoenix’s interim head coach in Feb. 2009 before officially becoming the 14th head coach in franchise history on May 9, 2009. In five-plus seasons leading the Suns, Gentry’s teams compiled a 158-144 (.523) record, earning one playoff appearance and a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals. The Suns currently own a 13-28 (.317) record at the midway point of the 2012-13 season.

“After nine years with the Suns, the organization and I came to a mutual agreement to go in different directions,” Gentry said. “I have the utmost respect for (Suns Managing Partner) Robert (Sarver) and what he’s done with the organization. It’s unfortunate that I was unable to accomplish what I set out to do here.”

According to the Associated Press, “Gentry had coached the Suns since replacing the fired Terry Porter at the All-Star break of the 2008-09 season, compiling a 158-144 record. His 2010 squad, led by Steve Nash, went 54-28 and advanced to the Western Conference finals. But Nash left and the team underwent what has been a disastrous rebuilding effort. The Suns have lost 13 of 15 and four straight at home. Their 98-94 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday night snapped the Bucks’ 24-game losing streak in Phoenix. The Suns’ 13-28 record is the worst in the Western Conference and fourth-worst in the NBA. Only Cleveland, Charlotte and Washington are worse.”

More from the AP: “The rebuilt team lacked a go-to scorer and struggled with depth as Gentry continuously tried new lineups. He had said recently that the team, with the season obviously headed south, might simply turn to its younger players and look to the future.”

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed guard Mike James to a second 10-day contract.

James (6-2, 188) signed his first 10-day contract with the Mavericks on Jan. 8 and played in all five games during the length of that contract. He averaged 1.6 points, 1.0 assists and 8.2 minutes in five games off the bench.

The Copiague, N.Y., native is a 10-year veteran and has played in 544 games (263 starts) with Miami, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Houston, Toronto, Minnesota, New Orleans, Washington, Chicago and Dallas. He holds career averages of 10.3 points, 3.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 24.8 minutes per game.

LeBron dominates, Heat beat Lakers in LA

LeBron dominates, Heat beat Lakers in LA

LeBron James had 39 points and eight assists [plus seven rebounds and three steals], Dwyane Wade added 27 points on his 31st birthday and the Miami Heat held off the Los Angeles Lakers 99-90 Thursday night to finish their six-game road trip with three wins.

Ray Allen scored seven of his nine points in the final 5 minutes as the defending NBA champions repelled a late charge by the Lakers, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.

Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles, which rallied for a brief lead midway through the final period before James and Allen secured the Heat’s second win in their last eight road games against the Lakers.

Dwight Howard had 13 points and 16 rebounds, but missed two key free throws with 1:51 left while Miami pulled away, capping the All-Star starting center’s 5-for-13 effort at the line. Metta World Peace scored 16 points for the Lakers, who committed 20 turnovers and didn’t score in the final 2 1/2 minutes.

Pau Gasol had 12 points and four rebounds in his return from a five-game absence with a concussion for the Lakers, who had hoped to build on consecutive victories following a six-game losing streak that knocked them well out of the Western Conference playoff picture…

James and Wade got little help until Allen’s late flurry, but they didn’t need it. Chris Bosh had just seven points and six rebounds in 35 minutes for Miami.

Bryant scored at least 20 points in his 23rd consecutive game, but the NBA’s leading scorer missed 14 of his first 17 shots.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

monta ellis

Mike Dunleavy hit a 3-pointer with 57.4 seconds left to cap a 10-0 run and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled away to beat the Suns 98-94 on Thursday night, snapping a 24-game losing streak in Phoenix.

Monta Ellis scored 24 points and Larry Sanders added 19, while Dunleavy and Brandon Jennings had 16 apiece for the Bucks, who had not won in the Valley since Feb. 21, 1987, at the old Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Milwaukee has won four of six since interim coach Jim Boylan replaced Scott Skiles on Jan. 8.

Shannon Brown scored 20 points off the bench and Luis Scola added 16 for the Suns, who have lost four straight at home for the first time since 2004 and have dropped 13 of 15 overall…

One game after logging more than 40 minutes, Suns big man Marcin Gortat was limited by early foul trouble to seven points and five rebounds over 29 minutes. . Dunleavy added three of the Bucks’ 11 blocked shots. . Jennings has scored 53 points in his past two games against Phoenix after scoring 30 points in his first four appearances against the Suns.

– Reported by Jonathan Dalton of the Associated Press

jamal crawford

Jamal Crawford scored 22 points, Blake Griffin added 20 and the Los Angeles Clippers hardly broke a sweat in cruising to a 90-77 victory over the free-falling Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.

Lamar Odom grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out six assists, and the Clippers outscored Minnesota’s bench 45-23 to overcome Chris Paul’s third straight missed game because of a knee injury.

Luke Ridnour scored 21 points and Ricky Rubio had four points and six assists in his first start of the season for the Timberwolves, who lost leading scorer and rebounder Nikola Pekovic to a bruised right quadriceps in the third quarter.

The Timberwolves shot just 35.7 percent and missed 15 of their 19 3-pointers in losing their fifth straight game.

Even without their MVP candidate out there to steer the ship over the last few games, the Clippers have been humming right along. Backup Eric Bledsoe clearly has been watching how Paul goes about his business because the third-year Kentucky point guard has played with a maturity and explosiveness that has allowed the Clippers to not miss a beat…

Pekovic was injured while getting tangled with Griffin under the basket in the third quarter and Alexey Shved rolled his left ankle midway through the final period, the latest in an incredible pile of injuries for the Wolves this season.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press

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