Archive for February, 2013

Chris Paul scored 29 points, and Blake Griffin finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers hold off Indiana’s late charge for a 99-91 victory Thursday.

The Clippers (42-18) have won three straight and seven of their past eight.

David West led the Pacers (36-22) with 22 points, while All-Star Paul George had 20 points and five assists. Danny Granger finished with a season-high 12 points.

But without the suspended Roy Hibbert, the Pacers barely resembled the team that had won five straight by an average margin of 23.8 points.

Instead, Indiana had the lead only once in the first half and only three times in the third quarter - never by more than two points.

And each time Indiana appeared to be on the verge of taking control, the Clippers answered the challenge.

In the second quarter, Los Angeles went on a 13-3 spurt that allowed it to dictate the rest of the half. Indiana’s late charge cut the halftime deficit to 49-47.

When Indiana took its first lead of the second half, the Clippers scored five straight and after trading leads three times amid a flurry of dunks shortly after, the Clippers finally took charge with another 13-3 run that gave them a 76-69 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

– Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out Thursday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on the third day of his improbable journey with VICE to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later dining on sushi and drinking with him at his palace.

“You have a friend for life,” Rodman told Kim before a crowd of thousands at a gymnasium where they sat side by side, chatting as they watched players from North Korea and the U.S. play, Alex Detrick, a spokesman for the New York-based VICE media company, told The Associated Press.

Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with three members of the professional Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy and a production crew to shoot an episode on North Korea for a new weekly HBO series.

The unlikely encounter makes Rodman the most high-profile American to meet Kim since the young North Korean leader took power in December 2011, and takes place against a backdrop of tension between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test just two weeks ago, making clear the provocative act was a warning to the United States to drop what it considers a “hostile” policy toward the North.

Kim, a diehard basketball fan, told the former Chicago Bulls star he hoped the visit would break the ice between the United States and North Korea, VICE founder Shane Smith said.

– Reported by the Associated Press

ron artest

The NBA has retroactively given Metta World Peace a flagrant foul for a play in Denver against the Nuggets on Monday.

In the final seconds of the third quarter, World Peace connected with an elbow to what looks like the face of Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried. No foul was called live by the officials (which would have meant an ejection), but the league upgraded the call on review.

World Peace now leads the league in flagrant foul points with five, tied with teammate Dwight Howard.

– Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Blog)

James Harden

Guards Jeremy Lin and James Harden sat out Thursday’s practice, and Rockets coach Kevin McHale said he had “no idea” if they will be able to play in Orlando on Friday. McHale said both were “banged up.”

Harden knocked knees with Milwaukee’s Monta Ellis on Wednesday, but after a time out remained in the game. Lin turned his right ankle, but also played his usual minutes. Lin went through post-practice shooting drills, offering an indication he would be able to play.

– Reported by  Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

michael jordan

Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has bought his second Charlotte area property in three years – this time on the shores of Lake Norman.

First Community Bank sold the 12,310-square-foot home in the Peninsula Club in Cornelius to The Jordan Family Gift Trust for $2.8 million, according to property records. It closed Feb. 19 after more than 460 days on the market.

In 2010, the former University of North Carolina star and six-time NBA champion invested $3.15 million in two combined top-floor penthouses at The Trust condos in uptown Charlotte.

Jordan also recently built a $12.4 million mansion with 11 bedrooms and 28,000 square feet on a 3-acre property in Jupiter, Fla., according to the Chicago Tribune.

– Reported by Elisabeth Arriero of the Charlotte Observer

The Brooklyn Nets have re-assigned forward Tornike Shengelia to the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Billy King.

This will be the third time this season Shengelia has been assigned to the Armor. In his three appearances, the 6’8’’ Georgia native is averaging 28.3 points, 13.7 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 1.7 blocks on 64.6% shooting. Shengelia recorded a triple-double in his NBA D-League debut 12/21 vs. Erie, and followed that showing with a 39-point outburst 1/24 vs. Maine, tied for the second-most points scored in the NBA D-League this season on 17 field goals (league-best).

Shengelia, acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers after being drafted 54th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, has appeared in 13 games for the Nets this season, averaging 1.4 points, 1.0 assists and 0.7 rebounds per game.

Shengelia will be in uniform when the Armor take on the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday March 1st at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have recalled guard Cory Joseph from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. The team also announced that it has assigned center Aron Baynes to the Toros.

Joseph has appeared in 26 games in five stints with the Toros this season, averaging a team-high 19.4 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.92 steals in 38.5 minutes, while shooting .458 (175-382) from the field, .479 (35-73) from three-point range and .804 (119-148) from the free throw line. The University of Texas product ranks fourth in the D-League in both points and steals while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage.

Joseph has appeared in 10 games this season for the Spurs, averaging 1.9 points, 1.3 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 6.8 minutes.

This will mark Baynes’ second stint with the Toros this season. Assigned to Austin on Feb. 1, the Australian native played in two games and averaged 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in 27.5 minutes.

Baynes has appeared in eight games with the Spurs this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.6 minutes.

Stephen Curry scores 54 points

Stephen Curry rose for another jumper, and by then even the Knicks probably figured it would go in.

Curry had hardly missed in a scintillating second half of the NBA’s most electric performance this season, the crowd cheering even before the ball left his hands.

This time, Raymond Felton jumped with him, making the play New York needed to finally withstand Curry.

Felton’s blocked shot led to J.R. Smith’s tiebreaking basket with 1:10 left, and the Knicks overcame Curry’s NBA season-high 54 points to beat the Golden State Warriors 109-105 on Wednesday night.

Curry was 18 of 28 from the field, finishing one shy of the NBA record with 11 3-pointers in 13 attempts, in a performance that had the crowd hanging on his every shot. But the Knicks and Felton finally stopped him with 1:28 to play and the score tied at 105…

Carmelo Anthony followed Smith’s basket with another one and the Knicks hung on to spoil former Knicks star and Warriors coach Mark Jackson’s homecoming.

Anthony finished with 35 points and Smith had 26…

Playing all 48 minutes, Curry finished with seven assists and six rebounds while passing his previous career best of 42 points, and Kevin Durant’s 52-point performance that had been the best in the NBA this season.

”I felt good all night. Obviously played the whole game, so was just trying to keep my legs underneath me on the offensive end, and you know, just stick to the game on the defensive end,” Curry said. ”Once I started seeing that 3-ball go down in transition, all sorts of spots on the floor, I knew it was going to be a good night.”

But he had little help without All-Star forward David Lee, who was suspended one game for his role in an altercation Tuesday night in Indiana.

Tyson Chandler had 16 points and a career-best 28 rebounds for the Knicks, who won their second straight after a season-high, four-game losing streak. Amare Stoudemire had 14 points and Anthony added eight assists on the day the Knicks learned they could be without reserve forward Rasheed Wallace for the rest of the season because he needs surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

jermaine o'neal

After a 25-day, nine-game road trip, the San Antonio Spurs were glad to be back in their own building, relaxed and ready to add to their 18-game home winning streak.

Maybe too relaxed.

Jermaine O’Neal had 22 points and 13 rebounds, Wesley Johnson hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime and the Phoenix Suns rallied to upend San Antonio 105-101, stunning a raucous crowd that had begun celebrating midway through the third quarter only to exit in silence.

Tony Parker had 22 points to lead San Antonio, which had not lost at home since Nov. 19 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tim Duncan had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and DeJuan Blair and Kawhi Leonard added 15 points apiece.

Luis Scola added 15 points and Goran Dragic had 13 points and 13 assists for Phoenix, which snapped a six-game losing streak against the Spurs…

Trailing by 11 points with 11:29 left in the game, the Suns rallied behind O’Neal. The veteran center had 13 points and five rebounds as Phoenix (20-39) outscored San Antonio 33-23 in the fourth…

Dragic and reigning MVP LeBron James of Miami are the only players leading their team in points, assists, steals and free throw attempts.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed forward D.J. White to a 10-day contract.

White, a 6’9” forward, appeared in 32 games for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association this season averaging 21.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 33.0 minutes per game. White has posted career averages of 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 16.2 minutes in 124 games split between Charlotte and Oklahoma City. White was originally drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 29th pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft.

kevin durant

Russell Westbrook warned Kevin Durant that he was going to come off a pick-and-roll and then make a backdoor cut to the basket.

Thabo Sefolosha dived on the floor to save a possession for the Oklahoma City Thunder and get Durant in position to make another play. In a matter of minutes, Durant went from being in the neighborhood of a triple-double to being right on the doorstep. He made sure to finish it off before another early exit in the Thunder’s latest blowout.

Durant had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists - the last five coming in a 4-minute flurry in the third quarter - and the Thunder finished a perfect three-game homestand by routing the short-handed New Orleans Hornets 119-74 on Wednesday night.

”When you get a triple-double, people think it’s just about the guy that gets it,” Durant said. ”Your teammates make so many great plays to put you in position to do that. So, it’s not just me. My teammates made me look good tonight.”

With Oklahoma City already up by 23, Durant went into assist mode to get his second triple-double since the All-Star break…

Ryan Anderson started in place of injured No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis (shoulder) and led New Orleans with 14 points. The Hornets trailed by at least 29 in three of the four meetings with Oklahoma City this season, getting swept in the season series…

New Orleans was also without second-leading scorer Eric Gordon, who has been sitting out the second game of back-to-back sets this season while working his way back from a knee injury…

Westbrook scored 29 points, making all 12 of his free throws, and Ibaka finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

Anthony Davis out with shoulder sprain

The New Orleans Hornets say rookie forward Anthony Davis has a left shoulder sprain and will not play on Thursday night in Oklahoma City.

Davis hurt his shoulder in a collision with Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez under the basket late in the third quarter of New Orleans’ 101-97 loss to the Nets.

Team officials said during the game that he was available to return, but coach Monty Williams elected not to put him back in, and team officials say Davis did not travel to Oklahoma City.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The New York Knicks say new X-rays of Rasheed Wallace’s left foot show a broken bone, and he is expected to miss another eight weeks.

The forward will have surgery this week, a damaging blow for a team that has missed his play off the bench.

The 38-year-old Wallace came out of a two-year retirement to join the Knicks this season and averaged 7.2 points while appearing in 20 of the first 22 games, helping the Knicks get off to a 17-5 start.

– Reported by the Associated Press

In honor of center Andrew Bynum, who didn’t make a public appearance in the Wells Fargo Center during Tuesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, his 76ers teammates didn’t show up, either.

A season that has become a long trudge through quicksand took another stumbling step toward oblivion with a 98-84 loss to the Magic. If the prospect of losing the game ever concerned the Sixers, it wasn’t noticeable.

“I certainly didn’t see this effort coming. It’s mind-numbing to me,” coach Doug Collins said. “Youth is a blaming thing. After a while, the talk gets old. It just does.”

The Sixers have a handy excuse for their dreadful circumstance, of course, and that is the absence of Bynum, the player around whom the team was designed. He hasn’t played and, at least judging by Tuesday night, he might not even feel healthy enough to sit with his teammates on the bench and stand during timeouts. Not that we know for sure.

Bynum was expected to update the world before the game regarding the state of his aching knees and the prospect that he might eventually use them once again in an NBA game. That didn’t happen, though, and the 76ers organization, which appears to be growing weary of either the questions or the answers, wasn’t in much of a mood to shed much light on the matter.

– Reported by Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer

David Lee wants to play for Team USA

david lee

Jerry Colangelo doesn’t know who the coach will be and is still holding out hope it will be Mike Krzyzewski. But some of the players are coming together who could represent Team USA at the World Cup next year in Spain.

Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball, said Tuesday by phone that Golden State Warriors forward David Lee, a former University of Florida star, approached him at All-Star Weekend earlier this month in Houston to indicate his desire to play for Team USA. And Colangelo is intrigued.

“He’s had a heck of a year,’’ Colangelo said. “He’s been healthy. He’s been with us before but he had injuries.’’

Lee was in Team USA’s training camp in the summer of 2010 in preparation for the last World Cup, which was then known as the World Championships. Lee was considered to have a good chance to make the team, which eventually won gold in Turkey. But he had to drop out due to a finger injury.

– Reported by Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida

Clippers blow out Bobcats 106-84

With the NBA’s worst team in town, the Los Angeles Clippers were conscious not to play down to the Bobcats’ level.

Blake Griffin scored 24 points, keying a decisive second-quarter burst that put the Clippers in command en route to a 106-84 victory Tuesday night that improved their home record to 23-6.

Matt Barnes added 17 points off the bench, Caron Butler had 16 points, DeAndre Jordan 13, and Chris Paul had 13 of the Clippers’ season-high 34 assists for their sixth win in seven games. The Bobcats managed just 17 assists…

Gerald Henderson tied his season high with 24 points and Kemba Walker had 15 points for Charlotte, which has lost four straight and 12 of 14 while falling to 7-23 on the road…

The Clippers put together a 21-6 run over the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth that extended their lead to 91-63 - largest of the game. Lamar Odom ended the third with a 3-pointer and opened the fourth with another for six points in the spurt. Griffin had five points and Grant Hill three.

Griffin was involved in two highlights during that stretch. Jordan blocked a shot, Paul grabbed the ball and fed Griffin on the break for a left-handed dunk and a foul that resulted in a three-point play. Barnes set Griffin up on the break with an alley-oop pass that the All-Star converted into a layup…

Clippers backup G Jamal Crawford had the night off after his wife gave birth to their daughter, London Faith, on Monday in Seattle. He will rejoin the team for its game at Indiana on Thursday. … Clippers reserve G Eric Bledsoe sat out with a sore left calf he injured last week against San Antonio. He’s day-to-day.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press

Monta Ellis made sure the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t lose another close game.

Dirk Nowitzki couldn’t do the same, even with a stat line the Dallas Mavericks had not seen from their star in nearly 10 years.

Ellis scored 22 points, and the Bucks spoiled Nowitzki’s first game since April 2003 with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a 95-90 victory over the Mavericks on Tuesday night.

Playing point guard with struggling backcourt mate Brandon Jennings on the bench, Ellis twice put the Bucks ahead in the final 2 minutes, the last time on a jumper for a 92-90 lead with 1:03 remaining. Milwaukee snapped a three-game losing streak - all by three points or fewer, just the third time that’s happened in franchise history.

”We can put that behind us now and build off of that,” said Ellis, who also had game highs with nine assists and six steals.

Nowitzki had 21 points and 20 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had two chances to tie after Ellis’ go-ahead basket. Vince Carter missed a 3-pointer, and after Nowitzki’s 20th rebound at the other end, Darren Collison’s wild shot on a drive wasn’t close…

J.J. Redick, playing his second game in Dallas in six days but in a different uniform after he was traded from Orlando to Milwaukee, had nine points at halftime, tied with Mike Dunleavy for the team lead, and finished with 14. Dunleavy had 13…

Larry Sanders had 11 of his 13 points in the second half and led Milwaukee with 13 rebounds…

O.J. Mayo, Dallas’ leading scorer, bounced back with 18 points after scoring just eight on 2-of-9 shooting while Kobe Bryant dominated with 38 in the Lakers’ win Sunday. Elton Brand had 12 points and 14 rebounds.

– Reported by Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press

Dion Waiters scored on jumpers, turnarounds and an assortment of moves in the lane. Shaun Livingston made a couple of a big plays in a rare start, and Wayne Ellington provided some scoring punch when the reserves were in the game.

Even without Kyrie Irving, the improving Cleveland Cavaliers had too much talent for the banged-up Chicago Bulls.

Waiters scored 25 points, Livingston added 15 in the same state where he starred in high school and the Cavs held on for a 101-98 victory on Tuesday night that snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Bulls.

”Without Kyrie, we knew it was going to be tough, period,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. ”But I thought guys stepped up big time.”

While Irving rested a sore right knee in street clothes on the sideline, Waiters converted a fadeaway jumper and a layup before Tyler Zeller drove along the baseline for a layup that helped Cleveland open an 87-78 lead with 7:33 left in the game…

Ellington finished with 13 points as Cleveland held on for its third win in the last four games, bouncing back from a difficult 109-105 loss at Miami on Sunday…

Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and Deng had 26 for Chicago, which has dropped five of seven. Kirk Hinrich returned to the lineup after missing three consecutive games with a lingering right elbow issue and finished with 11 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.

– Reported by Jay Cohen of the Associated Press

Deron Williams snapped out of a lackluster second half in time to save the Brooklyn Nets from a painful collapse.

One game after coming up empty in the final minutes of a close loss to Memphis, Williams scored for 11 of his 31 points in the final 1:24 in New Orleans, and the Nets snapped a two-game skid by holding off the Hornets, 101-97 on Tuesday night…

Williams was coming off a game against the Grizzlies in which he went scoreless during the last six minutes, with one shot blocked and a turnover with 10.9 seconds left with his team trailing 74-72.

After scoring 20 points in the first half in New Orleans, Williams had only one basket during the next 22:36 as the Hornets nearly erased a deficit that had been as large as 22. Then Williams drained a timely 3, added a fadeaway jumper, and followed that with six free throws in the final 18.7 seconds to seal it…

Brook Lopez added 20 points and four blocks while playing against his twin brother, Robin, and Keith Bogans added 12 points for Brooklyn, hitting all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Williams made four of his eight 3-point attempts, and the Nets shot 60 percent (12 of 20) from long range as a team.

Greivis Vasquez scored 20 and Robin Lopez 14 for New Orleans, which has lost four of five.

– Reported by Brett Martel of the Associated Press

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra summed up the efforts of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in three words: ”Video game numbers,” he said.

Both put up monster stat lines.

And the Miami Heat needed them.

James scored 40 points and added a career-high 16 assists, Wade had 39 points, and the Heat pushed their winning streak to 12 games by outlasting the Sacramento Kings 141-129 in double overtime on Tuesday night.

”Some great stat lines tonight,” James said. ”But I’m happy I was able to do what I did and help our team win.”

Great stat lines might be calling it an understatement. Consider:

- A season high in scoring for James, who capped off the best shooting month of his career.

- A season high in scoring for Wade, who tied a career best with 19 field goals.

- A 36-point night for the Kings’ Marcus Thornton, the most by any non-starter in the NBA this season.

- The 141 points tied a Heat franchise record, set in 1991.

- Add James’ assists to the mix, and he put up the NBA’s first night of at least 40 points and 16 assists since April 1994. The man who did it then? None other than Phoenix guard Kevin Johnson, now, ironically enough, the mayor of Sacramento. And for February, James finished 139 for 217 from the floor, that 64.1 percent clip the best of his career for any month.

”It was a great atmosphere,” said Thornton, who made 11 of 18 shots, including 8 of 12 from 3-point range.

– Reported by Tim Reyolds of the Associated Press

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