Archive for February 3rd, 2013

pau gasol

In a season full of turmoil and frustration, this would have been a particularly exasperating loss for the Los Angeles Lakers.

One of the most accurate free throw shooters in NBA history had missed two, giving the Detroit Pistons one more chance at a game-winning shot. Kyle Singler lobbed the ball toward the basket, and rookie Andre Drummond stretched his 6-foot-11 frame and tried a one-handed dunk with Pau Gasol defending.

No good. The Lakers held on for a 98-97 victory.

”Every game is like a playoff game for us right now,” Los Angeles coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”And some crazy things happen in playoff games.”

Gasol had 23 points and 10 rebounds and was the last line of defense on Detroit’s final alley-oop attempt Sunday. The Lakers blew an 18-point third-quarter lead but overcame their late free throw struggles to win for the fifth time in six games.

Los Angeles has won two in a row without Dwight Howard. The All-Star center sat out again with a right shoulder problem…

Detroit was still without guard Jose Calderon, who the Pistons acquired from Toronto on Wednesday. The Spanish-born Calderon has not been available to play because of unresolved visa issues.

The Lakers trail eighth-place Houston by 3 1/2 games in the Western Conference playoff race. Bryant scored 18 points but shot poorly from the perimeter. After an airball with the score tied at 95, he decided to drive to the basket the next time down. Bryant muscled through a foul and scored a basket that was counted on a continuation call…

Bynum had 18 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, and Greg Monroe added 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Clark had 17 points for Los Angeles. Nash had 11 points and 10 assists…

Bryant had five assists, snapping his streak of five straight games with at least eight.

– Reported by Noah Trister of the Associated Press

avery bradley

The Celtics keep rolling without Rajon Rondo.

Not even a late comeback by one of the NBA’s best teams could keep Boston from beating the Los Angeles Clippers 106-104 on Sunday and improve to 4-0 since a knee injury ended their star point guard’s season.

”A lot of people say that we don’t have a chance to go to the playoffs, we can’t do this, we can’t do that,” starting guard Avery Bradley said. ”We know we have each other and we’re going to go out there and fight for each other, no matter what, every single night.”

The Clippers played without their own brilliant point guard. Chris Paul missed his seventh straight game with a bruised right knee cap.

But they cut a 98-83 deficit to 103-101 on a 3-pointer by Eric Bledsoe with 56 seconds remaining. Then Bradley drew an offensive foul on Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford with 26 seconds to go.

Paul Pierce then held on to the ball - and was surprised that the Clippers didn’t foul him - before making a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to clinch the win and finish with a team-high 22 points…

Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa scored 14 points each for the Celtics and led a 52-point contribution from the bench. The Clippers were led by Bledsoe, replacing Paul, and Crawford, who made a 3-pointer at the buzzer, with 23 points each. Blake Griffin had 20 points and 11 rebounds…

Backup Celtics C Jason Collins, playing more because of Sullinger’s absence, had a season-high seven points. … Barnes returned for the Clippers after a one-game suspension for striking Minnesota’s Greg Stiemsma on Wednesday.

– Reported by Howard Ulman of the Associated Press

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, Feb. 17 (8 p.m. ET), at the Toyota Center in Houston.

The Heat (30-14, .682) clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 3, by virtue of its 100-85 road win against the Toronto Raptors.

Spoelstra, in his fifth season as Miami’s head coach, led the Heat to its second NBA title last season. Spoelstra owns a career winning percentage of .631 (224-132). Since becoming Heat head coach, Spoesltra has guided the Heat to two division titles, two conference championships, and the 2012 NBA championship. He is tied for the franchise postseason record in victories (34), playoff series wins (seven) and winning percentage (.607), and he ranks second to Pat Riley in franchise history with 56 postseason games coached.

The West All-Stars will be coached by the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich. The Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Scott Brooks coached in last year’s All-Star Game and were therefore ineligible for the honor this year.

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 (8 p.m. ET), televised exclusively on TNT and broadcast exclusively on ESPN Radio in the U.S. The All-Star Game will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages.

Jamal Crawford suffers broken nose

jamal crawford

Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford fractured his nose late in Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors but will play Sunday with a face mask against the Boston Celtics.

Crawford said he fractured his nose with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter after missing a free throw and bumping into Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. Crawford didn’t know it was actually a fracture until Saturday, when he was forced to sit out of Clippers practice and get fitted for a mask.

“I’ve never worn a mask before,” Crawford said after warming up with the mask. “It felt pretty good. I actually shot better than I thought I would. I try to not think about it.”

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard will miss the Los Angeles Lakers’ game at Detroit on Sunday because of his ailing shoulder.

Howard was scratched from Friday night’s game at Minnesota with a sore right shoulder and returned to Los Angeles to receive platelet-rich plasma treatments. It’s the same injury that kept him out of three games in January.

Howard was with the team Sunday but says he’s still sore, and he wants to make sure this isn’t a recurring problem for the rest of the season.

– Reported by the Associated Press

dexter pittman

The Miami Heat today re-assigned Dexter Pittman to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s NBA Development League affiliate.  The assignment is the record 124th of the 2012-13 NBA and NBA D-League seasons, while Pittman is one of the record 52 players to have been assigned to the NBA D-League this season.

Pittman (6-11, 285, Texas) returns to Sioux Falls having been assigned twice before this season, when he appeared in 12 games and averaged 13.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 25.8 minutes.

Originally selected by the Heat in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Pittman has appeared in four games for Miami this season, averaging 1.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.0 minutes.  In 41 career games for the Heat, Pittman has averaged 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 7.9 minutes.

Pittman is expected to join the Skyforce today and be available on Wednesday, Feb. 6 when the team travels to face the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in Indiana at 7 p.m. ET.

stephen curry

Stephen Curry started campaigning early, sending several signals out to coach Mark Jackson for playing time.

”He was ignoring me, turning his back on me and giving me that look my kids give me when they want something special for Christmas,” Jackson said. ”He wanted badly to be out on the floor.”

Curry returned after missing two games with an ankle injury and scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, helping the Golden State Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 113-93 on Saturday night.

”I’ve been through that same conversation with him three times,” Curry said of Jackson. ”I put up a good fight today. I was 0 for 2 before that. It was not really a pain issue but a swelling issue. I gave it all day to lessen and then conferred with the trainers to get the OK.” …

Harrison Barnes matched his season high with 21 points for the Warriors, who have won four straight and seven of nine overall. David Lee had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Klay Thompson added 17 points and Andrew Bogut finished with 11…

Curry, who twisted his right ankle in the third quarter of Monday night’s win over Toronto, was 6 for 10 from 3-point range as Golden State beat Phoenix for the fourth straight time…

The Warriors recorded a season-high 34 assists and had four players - Curry, Lee, Thompson and Jarrett Jack - with at least seven for the first time in franchise history and the first time in the NBA since Nov. 24, 2006, when the Denver Nuggets did it against the Warriors.

Michael Beasley scored 24 points for the Suns, who have dropped four of five. Jared Dudley added 16 points, Goran Dragic scored 13 and Luis Scola had 14 rebounds.

– Reported by Rick Eymer of the Associated Press

james harden

James Harden never had a game like this, and he never saw a player hurt the way Charlotte’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was on Saturday night.

Harden had 21 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double in the Rockets’ 109-95 win over the Bobcats on Saturday night.

The Rockets broke open a close game in the fourth quarter, after Kidd-Gilchrist collided with teammate Jeff Taylor and left the court on a stretcher. Kidd-Gilchrist, the second overall pick in last year’s draft out of Kentucky, was fitted with a neck brace and taken to the hospital for X-rays.

The team said late Saturday night that Kidd-Gilchrist would be hospitalized overnight with a concussion. The X-rays and a CT scan were negative, the Bobcats said…

Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson scored 24 points apiece for the Rockets. Patterson hit 10 of 12 shots and scored 14 points in the final quarter to help Houston finally pull away…

Houston had 16 assists on 24 first-half field goals and led 62-51 at the break…

Sessions scored at least 20 points for the fourth time in five games. … Rockets F Carlos Delfino strained his right elbow in the second quarter and did not return to the game. … The Rockets have scored at least 60 points in 18 first halves this season. … Asik had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Houston.

– Reported by Chris Duncan of the Associated Press

kyrie irving

Kyrie Irving wasn’t just interested. He was incredible.

With one shot better than his last, Irving scored 35 points, including 13 in the final 2:52, as the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-110 on Saturday.

One night after saying he was ”disinterested” during a loss in Detroit, Irving was simply spectacular down the stretch. He single-handedly closed out one of the NBA’s best teams, making his last five shots and showing why he’s an All-Star at age 20. Irving’s biggest bucket was a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to make it 113-108.

”He’s a killer,” said newly acquired Cavs forward Marreese Speights, who added 21 points. ”I knew a little about him, I didn’t know THAT.”

Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook had 28 for the Thunder, who came in 35-11 and with the league’s best road record. Durant left briefly in the third quarter with an injured rib, but returned and scored 13 in the fourth…

Tristan Thompson added 12 rebounds and C.J. Miles scored 16 for the Cavs, who had played poorly in consecutive losses this week to Golden State and Detroit…

Speights, recently acquired in a trade with Memphis, gave the Cavs a huge spark in the fourth, scoring 10 of Cleveland’s 13 points in one stretch. The 6-foot-10 big man has only practiced twice with his new teammates.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

amare stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire sat through the sluggish start, and had one thought in mind when it was his turn to change it.

”Dominate,” he said. ”Dominate is the main objective. That’s the only thought that I think when I go in the game.”

That’s exactly what Knicks did. Really, really dominate.

Stoudemire was 10 for 10 from the field for 21 points, and New York unleashed a 38-4 run on Sacramento in the first half and clobbered the Kings 120-81 on Saturday night for its fourth straight victory.

The Knicks actually trailed by 10 when Stoudemire entered in the first quarter, then went on to challenge the franchise-record victory margin of 48 points and kept alive Mike Woodson’s chances of coaching the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

It was an awesome display by New York in front of some special guests: 150 children, their families and teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Knicks didn’t even need much from leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who tied a season low with nine points and had his run of 20-point games snapped at 31, the longest single-season streak in franchise history…

J.R. Smith scored 25 points and Steve Novak added 15 as the Knicks made 19 3-pointers. Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 20 rebounds, becoming the first Knicks player with consecutive 20-board games since Marcus Camby on Dec. 8 and 11, 2001…

DeMarcus Cousins had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who were horrible from all areas of the court, missing shots right at the rim on offense and often not even getting anywhere near the Knicks’ 3-point shooters on defense.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Luol Deng

Luol Deng and Taj Gibson were exhausted and determined to stay on the floor. They kept playing in the final minutes, long after the Chicago Bulls had secured another win.

Deng said the starters in a patchwork lineup were determined to finish what they started.

Deng had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the short-handed Bulls used their stifling defense to shut down the Atlanta Hawks in a 93-76 victory on Saturday night.

Playing without injured starters Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, Chicago dominated near the basket and got a lift from the frenetic play of Nate Robinson. The Bulls used only eight players for the second straight night, but it was more than enough for an impressive road win.

Deng, Gibson and Jimmy Butler each logged more than 45 minutes. Robinson topped 40 minutes as the Bulls had a strong answer for their 89-83 loss at the Nets on Friday night…

Gibson had 19 points and a career-high 19 rebounds…

Butler added another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Robinson went 4 for 6 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points.

The Hawks had no answer for Deng, who had five assists, four steals and two blocks. He had seven offensive rebounds…

Josh Smith led Atlanta with 19 points and 13 rebounds but his only basket in the second half was a 3-pointer. Jeff Teague scored 16, and Al Horford had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

– Reported by Charles Odum of the Associated Press

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital tonight after getting hit in the head during the team’s game against the Rockets.

Kidd-Gilchrist, who was alert and had movement in all extremities before leaving the Toyota Center, underwent precautionary X-rays and a CT scan, all of which were negative for head and neck injuries. He does have a concussion and will remain hospitalized overnight for observation.

The injury occurred at the 10:42 mark of the fourth quarter when Kidd-Gilchrist collided with teammate Jeffery Taylor.

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