Archive for February 9th, 2013

Lavoy Allen had 14 points and a career-high 22 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 20 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to an 87-76 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

Evan Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeremy Pargo scored 12 points in his Sixers debut. Pargo signed a 10-day contract this week after he was waived by Cleveland.

The Sixers improved to 5-2 on their eight-game homestand that ends Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers. The solid showing at home has helped the Sixers inch closer to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Ramon Sessions scored 20 points, Byron Mullens had 16 and Gerald Henderson 13 as the NBA-worst Bobcats lost their seventh straight.

Wearing No. 0, Pargo was a pleasant surprise in his first game since he was waived at the end of last month. He started 11 of his 25 games played with the Cavaliers and averaged 7.8 points. He even scored a career-high 28 against the Sixers in November.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, Kenneth Faried added 17 and the Denver Nuggets won their ninth straight game with a 111-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

The Nuggets, who have won 15 of 17, are on their longest winning streak since posting 10 straight victories from March 30-April 15, 2005.

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 26 points, but was plagued by foul trouble. The All-Star guard picked up his fourth foul with 5:20 remaining in the third quarter and went to the bench with the Nuggets leading 72-61. Irving returned to start the fourth quarter with Denver ahead 84-73. He scored 12 points in the period, but Cleveland’s rally fell short.

The loss ended Cleveland’s three-game winning streak that matched a season high. The Cavaliers haven’t won four games in a row since March 17-24, 2010, which was LeBron James’ final season with the franchise.

Alonzo Gee scored 20 points for Cleveland with 16 coming in the first quarter.

– Reported by the Associated Press

chris wilcox

When the season began, Chris Wilcox was an everyday rotation player who entered games as a first-quarter sub for Kevin Garnett.

Injuries, inconsistent play and the emergence of Jared Sullinger (and to a lesser extent, Jason Collins) relocated Wilcox to near end-of-the-bench status even after he was cleared to play following his most recent ailment.

Sullinger’s season-ending back surgery has paved the way for Wilcox to garner more minutes, and the veteran is making the most of the opportunity.

Although the final score in Boston’s 116-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers was decisively lopsided, Wilcox’s play off the bench was among the subtle but important contributions in the Celtics victory.

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE

Rick Carlisle impressed with Warriors

Just because the Golden State Warriors played and lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, 99-93, on Friday night, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t believe that gives his team a distinct advantage when they face the Warriors tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center.

“They’re very, very good and they always bring it,” Carlisle told three reporters after this morning’s shoot around. “The other thing about them statistically, a lot of teams have big dropoffs on (the second game of) back-to-backs.

“These guys actually have better stats in a lot of areas on back-to-backs, which shows what great condition they’re in and how tough-minded they are.”

– Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Blog)

Knicks defense can use improvement

raymond felton

John Wall torched the Knicks on pick-and-roll plays in the Wizards’ win over New York on Wednesday. The Bucks and Magic backcourt scored at will against the Knicks in the first half of recent home games. And Jeff Teague (27 points) and Jrue Holiday (35 points) had big scoring nights against New York, thanks to pick-and-roll success.

“When you’re playing quick point guards like that you have to stick to the game plan and if the game plan doesn’t work, then you have to make adjustments,” Tyson Chandler said last week. “We had problems in accomplishing either.”

The Knicks have relied heavily on switching against the pick-and-roll play, rather than having the player guarding the ball handler fight through the screen. This has led to favorable mismatches for the opponent. It’s also forced the Knicks into defensive rotations that oftentimes have created fissures in coverage.

“We’ve got to stop begging for help,” said Woodson, whose team has another tough test on Sunday against Chris Paul and the Clippers.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

lebron james

He’s made 37 of his last 47 shots over his last 111 minutes, a torrid 79-percent clip. For the season, he’s shooting a career-best 56 percent so far, easily on pace for the sixth straight season of improvement in that department. His 3-point shooting, at 42 percent this season, is much improved. He’s shooting 70 percent inside the paint.

“I want to continue to push the button, continue to get better, maximize my potential and not waste an opportunity,” James said.

The numbers go on and on. He’s averaging 26.9 points this season. According to STATS LLC, only five players in NBA history have averaged that many points while shooting at least 56 percent over a full season. Maybe that’s why Heat guard Dwyane Wade marvels when talking about James these days, saying “every year, it seems like he does the amazing.”

“Numbers don’t lie,” James said.

At least, they don’t in this case. After winning his third MVP award, second Olympic gold medal and first NBA championship, James said he wanted to get even better.

– Reported by the Associated Press

dwight howard

When asked about the unfolding soap opera in Los Angeles, Dwight Sr. defended his son and criticized both Bryant and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni.

“I told him before he said it publicly, ‘It’s your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can’t worry about what Kobe or anybody else says,’” the elder Howard said. “Nobody can say what Kobe said — that’s stepping into another man’s shoes. I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He’s trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, ‘I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn’t matter. We’re two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this.’”

Dwight Sr. said he believed Bryant was trying to motivate his son, but that the advice was misplaced, adding: “The problem is the coach. (D’Antoni) needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here. Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn’t have happened. (Howard) wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.”

– Reported by Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

louis williams

The Atlanta Hawks say they are optimistic guard Lou Williams will be ready for training camp following reconstructive surgery on his right knee.

Williams’ surgery was performed on Thursday in Gulf Breeze, Fla., by Dr. James Andrews, leaving about eight months before the start of next season’s training camp. The Hawks say they are basing their optimism on the success of other athletes who have had surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate ligaments, including Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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