Archive for February 1st, 2013

Indiana did it again Friday night.

And this time, the Pacers beat Miami at its own game.

David West scored 30 points, Paul George added 17 and Indiana became the second team to beat the defending champs twice this season with a 102-89 victory.

The Pacers (28-19) have won 13 in a row at home and two straight since ending a three-game losing streak earlier this week. They’ve also won three straight regular-season games over the Heat and have not lost to Miami since the Heat swept the final three games of the Eastern Conference semifinal series last spring.

For Miami (29-14), it was a frustrating night. While players and coaches promised to play a more physical game than the first one, the 87-77 loss on Jan. 8 also at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, it didn’t make much difference.

The Heat still got outrebounded, and allowed the Pacers to shoot a season-high 55.7 percent from the field. During one stretch, West made 11 straight baskets.

How frustrating was it? Three different Miami players and coach Erik Spoelstra drew technical fouls.

– Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

The New York Knicks will host 150 children, their families and teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School on Saturday.

Twenty or more children from the Newtown (Conn.) Choir from Sabrinas Encore Products will sing the national anthem before the Knicks’ game against the Sacramento Kings.

The Knicks organization visited Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at the school in December, on Tuesday.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

danny granger

Pacers coach Frank Vogel says Danny Granger could be back on the court before the All-Star break in mid-February.

Granger has been out all season with a patellar tendinosis in his left knee, but was cleared to participate in full contact practice for the first time Thursday. Vogel says he worked for 20 minutes in half-court sets.

In early November, the Pacers said Granger could miss up to three months after getting an injection in his injured knee. Granger has been mostly quiet since the announcement.

– Reported by the Associated Press

jared sullinger

Big injury hits keep striking the Boston Celtics. First starting point guard Rajon Rondo, and now a prized rookie who was having a solid first season.

The Celtics announced forward Jared Sullinger underwent successful lumbar disc surgery today at the New England Baptist Hospital. Surgery was performed by the medical staff at the New England Baptist Hospital which is under the direction of Celtics Team Physician, Dr. Brian McKeon. Sullinger is expected to be ready in time for training camp for the 2013-14 season.

Sullinger, a 6’9” forward, appeared in 45 games for the Celtics this season averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game. He posted a season-high of 16 rebounds against Phoenix on January 9 and recorded a season-high of 16 points twice (November 18 against Detroit, December 25 against Brooklyn).

Miami Heat forward LeBron James and San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.

James captured his third straight Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month award by ranking second in the conference in scoring (27.0 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.555), fourth in steals (1.92 spg), fifth in assists (7.2 apg), and 16th in rebounds (8.1 rpg). In January, James scored at least 20 points in 12 games, at least 25 points in seven games and 30 or more points in five games.  He became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points when he achieved the feat at Golden State on Jan.16.

Parker helped the Spurs to a 12-3 record in January, tied with the Denver Nuggets for the best mark in the league.  He ranked third in the conference in assists (7.9 apg), sixth in scoring (21.9 ppg) and seventh in field goal percentage (.563), scoring at least 20 points in 12 games , including two 30-plus point games.  He notched five point-assist double-doubles during the month, including dishing out a season-high 13 assists in a 106-102 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 23.

Other nominees for NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, Chicago’s Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari, Houston’s James Harden, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Washington’s Emeka Okafor.

Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers has been suspended one game without pay for striking Greg Stiemsma of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the neck, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 8:26 remaining in the second quarter of the Clippers’ 96-90  victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Target Center.

Barnes will serve his suspension tonight when the Clippers visit the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

To view the play, click on this link.

Fort Wayne Mad Ants forward Luke Harangody has been named NBA Development League Player of the Month for games played in January.  The honor is the first of Harangody’s career.

Harangody (6-8, 240, Notre Dame) led Fort Wayne (13-14) to an 8-4 record during January, averaging 18.5 points on 45 percent shooting from the floor, to go with 9.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists.  He scored in double figures in 10 of the 11 games he played in, including five 20-plus point performances, and a season-high 31 points to go with 12 rebounds in a 113-106 loss to the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Jan. 19.  He led the team in scoring six times in January and was the team’s leading rebounder in nine games.

Harangody has appeared in 13 games for Fort Wayne this season, ranking second in the East Division with 13.4 rebounds per game and fifth in the East with 21.4 points per game.  He was named NBA D-League Performer of the Week on Jan. 14.

Fifteen other top NBA D-League prospects were considered for the honor, including Austin’s Cory Joseph, on assignment from the San Antonio Spurs, Bakersfield’s Jerel McNeal, Canton’s Kyle Gibson, Erie’s D.J. Kennedy, Idaho’s Coby Karl, Iowa’s Chris Wright, Los Angeles’ Courtney Fortson, Maine’s DaJuan Summers, Reno’s Walker Russell, Jr., Rio Grande Valley’s Andrew Goudelock, Santa Cruz’s Stefhon Hannah, Springfield’s James Mays, Sioux Falls’ Demetris Nichols, Texas’ Sean Singletary and Tulsa’s Jeremy Lamb, on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The NBA Players Association announced Friday that embattled union chief Billy Hunter has been placed on indefinite leave of absence.

Longtime union lawyer Ron Klempner will be appointed acting executive director of the union until every member of the union “can have a vote in the matter,” the NBPA said.

The NBPA also announced that it has formed an interim executive committee and advisory committee “to move the organization forward” in the wake of a damaging report by an independent firm (Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison) hired to look into the union’s business practices under Hunter’s leadership. The interim executive committee will consist of the five active members of the most recent executive board, according to union bylaws.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

After declining to comment following the NBA office’s admission that referees blew a critical call against the Mavericks earlier this week, owner Mark Cuban fired a quick jab at officiating Thursday night, and coach Rick Carlisle added his own criticism of late-game officiating in the league.

“Cant wait to see what the NBA says about this no call with 2 secs left. #2gamseinarow,” Cuban tweeted with seconds remaining in the Mavs’ 100-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Cuban, who tweeted before Vince Carter’s desperate 3-point attempt fell short at the buzzer, was referring to Warriors center Andrew Bogut’s block of Brandan Wright’s potential go-ahead shot with six seconds remaining. Replays showed that Bogut went straight up with his arm and got all ball, although Wright flailed his arms.

However, Carlisle shared Cuban’s opinion on the no-call, also criticizing the officiating.

“Look, the game came down to the call that wasn’t made,” Carlisle said. “Brandan Wright got hit in the arm and it’s obvious. It’s two (games) in a row.”

– Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Reggie Evans

In a radio interview yesterday, Reggie Evans claimed his message for LeBron James and the Heat was lost in translation.

The Nets power forward, appearing on SiriusXM’s “Off The Dribble,” said he didn’t knock the fact the Heat claimed last season’s title at the end of a lockout shortened season before Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Heat.

“I didn’t say it didn’t prove anything,” Evans said. “Those were not my exact words. I said they won a championship in a lockout season. That’s what I said. That was really about it.

“I never said they did not prove anything. I just said they won a championship in a lockout season. That was it. I guess people just took it out of proportion, that’s all.”

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

jose calderon

The financial ramifications of the deal for the Pistons are obvious — Calderon’s $10.5 million comes off the books after this season.

If they do nothing else through the Feb. 21 trade deadline, Charlie Villanueva picks up his $8.5-million option for next season, and they decide to keep Rodney Stuckey for the full $8.5 million for next season, the Pistons will be roughly $20 million-$23 million under the cap. If they decide to invoke the amnesty clause on Villanueva during a weeklong window in July and cut Stuckey (they would owe him $4 million) before the June 30 deadline, the total could move to roughly $30 million-$35 million.

The cap space means the Pistons could be players in free agency next summer. A more likely outcome is the Pistons being in position to facilitate a trade with a team looking to dump a good player for financial reasons.

But don’t discount the Pistons trying to keep Calderon — at a reasonable price.

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

Brandon Roy struggling in his recovery

Brandon Roy

For a brief moment, former Portland Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy nearly called it a career after suffering yet another setback in his rehabilitation from knee surgery last Saturday in an individual workout.

The plan for the Minnesota Timberwolves guard was to make his return to action Feb. 1 against the Los Angles Lakers at Target Center, after having two successful workout days. After that, he would join the team for practices leading up to the game.

Friday’s session went as planned. Saturday’s didn’t.

While performing a move in the first 20 minutes of the workout, he felt something in his right knee that he has felt far too often. He tweaked it, eliminating any possibility of him returning to action before the All-Star break.

“As soon as it happened, in my head, I said ‘I quit. I just quit,” an emotional Roy told CSNNW.com. “That was my first thought, that I couldn’t do this anymore.

“I’m at a crossroad in my career.”

– Reported by Chris Haynes of CSNNW

Although Klay Thompson won’t admit it, without Stephen Curry on the court, Golden State depends on him even more for offensive production. He turned in another big night.

David Lee finished an assist short of a triple-double, Thompson scored 27 points and the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 100-97 Thursday night.

”I have the same mindset going in. I try to score, be a play maker and play some defense,” Thompson said. ”I’m going to take those shots any way.”

Thompson connected on 11 of his first 14 shots two days after scoring a career-high 32 points in the Warriors’ 108-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

”He’s a knockdown shooter, as good as it gets, and he defends his tail off,” Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson said. ”He knows without Curry on the floor we need him to score more.”

Lee had 15 points, a season-high 20 rebounds and nine assists, and Jarrett Jack scored 13 points, including two free throws with 2 seconds left to help the Warriors win their third straight. Harrison Barnes had 12 points.

Andrew Bogut, in his second game since returning from injury, was also a big factor for the Warriors. In limited playing time, he had three blocked shots, including one when the Mavericks had a chance to win the game in the final seconds.

– Reported by Rick Eymer of the Associated Press

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