Archive for February 22nd, 2013

Taj Gibson said the Chicago Bulls need to get back to last season’s philosophy of putting tough losses behind them and not dropping back-to-back games.

They did just that on Friday night.

Gibson scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead a balanced scoring attack as the Bulls beat Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats 105-75. The win came after a disappointing 19-point loss at home to the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

”We liked the way were able to bounce back after a bad loss,” Gibson said. ”Last year we wouldn’t allow ourselves to lose two straight games. We need that same mindset.”

Now the tough part will be stringing two wins together.

The Bulls travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Sunday night in a game that figures to be a good measuring stick for the Chicago, which was has lost five of its last eight…

Carlos Boozer had 10 points and 10 rebounds as eight Bulls finished in double figures.

Luol Deng added 14 points, Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and Richard Hamilton all had 12, and Joakim Noah finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and the Toronto Raptors beat New York 100-98 on Friday night, handing the slumping Knicks their season-worst fourth straight loss.

Kyle Lowry scored 15 points, Amir Johnson 12 and John Lucas 10 as the Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games.

Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and J.R. Smith added 19 for the Knicks, winless since beating Minnesota on Feb. 8.

Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points and Raymond Felton added 10 for New York, which rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead with 6:11 left.

Trailing 79-70 to begin the fourth, New York scored nine of the next 11 points. Toronto called a timeout after Stoudemire’s dunk cut it to 81-79 with 9:09 left.

Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas had a game-high 10 rebounds. … Raptors rookie and newly crowned slam dunk champion Terrence Ross did not dress because of flulike symptoms. … Ex-Knick Landry Fields started for the Raptors in place of Johnson. … Toronto F Linas Kleiza denied a report from Lithuania that he is set to retire because of lingering right knee pain. Sidelined since Dec. 28, Kleiza said he hopes to return within a week. … The game was briefly halted when a fan ran onto the court in the fourth quarter.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

Wizards step up and beat Nuggets 119-113

The Washington Wizards put on one of their best offensive shows of the season Friday night, putting seven players in double figures while taking down another contending team with a 119-113 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who never trailed but had an 18-point fourth-quarter lead cut to two in the final minute. Bradley Beal had 17 points and a career-high 12 boards, Trevor Ariza scored 16 points and Martell Webster had 15.

Washington broke a two-game losing streak and added another example to its knack for knocking off top teams while sitting near the bottom of the NBA standings.

Ty Lawson had 27 points and 12 assists, Wilson Chandler had 22 points, and Andre Miller scored a season-high 19 for the Nuggets, who have lost four straight on the road as they jostle for playoff seeding as the fifth-place team in the Western Conference. They also have the dubious distinction of getting swept by the Wizards, having lost at home to Washington 112-108 on Jan. 18.

– Reported by Joseph White of the Associated Press

Surging Pacers destroy Pistons 114-82

David West scored 18 points, George Hill had 15 and the surging Indiana Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 114-82 on Friday night.

Indiana has won three straight and eight of 10, including a 98-79 victory against Detroit on Jan. 30.

This one was a runaway.

The Pacers grabbed control with a 14-4 run at the start of the second quarter. Orlando Johnson had 11 points in the run, making back-to-back 3-pointers to help Indiana to a 48-23 lead.

Will Bynum scored 17 points for the stumbling Pistons, who have split their last four games.

Indiana picked up right where it left off in Wednesday’s impressive 125-91 victory against the New York Knicks. The Pacers led 74-44 at halftime of that one, and Paul George finished with 27 points.

George was relatively quiet against Detroit, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds. But the Pacers didn’t need another big night from the All-Star.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Catching up with Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko

Caught up with Andrei Kirilenko at this morning’s shootaround in Oklahoma City on a couple notable topics:

The trade deadline passed and Kirilenko is still here – as it everybody else – but that doesn’t mean he’ll be here next season. He has an out-option is his contract this summer and said this morning that he’s keeping all his options open.

He has retired from the Russian national team so he can spend more times in the summer with his family.

As for his future with the Wolves…

That two-year, $20 million contract he signed with the Wolves last summer has a player’s option next season.

Of course, that would mean walking away from $10 million guaranteed in a summer when the NBA is heading into Year 3 of a tightening luxury-tax situation, but…

“I’m going to wait until the offseason, right now there’s no point to make any decision,” he said. “Wait until summer, analyze the season, and see what you want to do next.”

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Blog)

ron artest

Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace put on his Cookie Monster pajamas and came to the rescue of his nephew and brother who had been detained by police outside his condo complex earlier this week, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Unknown to World Peace, three men working for his Artest Media Group were shooting a scene about life on the streets and were staging a shootout with fake guns when the police showed up.

“I’m in my underwear, and my son says, ‘Hey Dad, there’s police at the door,’” World Peace told the Times on Wednesday. “So I jump out. I’m nervous. I see these police with rifles and scopes. I’m like, ‘What happened?’ I don’t know what’s going on at this point. ‘What happened, what happened?’ And then the police was like, ‘The building is being taken over by guys downstairs.’”

World Peace’s nephew and younger brother Isaiah had already tried to straighten out the situation but weren’t carrying identification, so they were detained by police. The men asked officers to verify their story with World Peace.

– Reported by ESPN Los Angeles

charlie villanueva

Charlie Villanueva laughed when asked about his future with the Detroit Pistons.

Specifically, he was asked if he was going to pick up the final season of the five-year, $35-million deal he signed in the summer of 2009.

He has the option of declining the $8.5-million player option by June 30 and becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Villanueva, 28, said there’s no decision.

“It’s obvious what I’m going to do,” Villanueva told the Free Press before the Pistons topped the Bobcats on Tuesday night. “Would you let that money go?”

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

robert swift

Former Seattle Sonic Robert Swift made a reported $20 million during his NBA career, but things haven’t gone as well for the first-round draft pick in recent years.

Swift lost his home to foreclosure, but apparently refuses to leave.

“And it seems like a very sad story and I definitely feel for him,” said the new owner, who wanted to hide her identity.

She thought she knew what she was getting when she bought the foreclosed home in January.

Cans of beer dot the grass outside the home. A bullet hole pierced the garage window at some point.

“Cars that don’t look like they’ve moved in a long time,” she noted.

Water festers in buckets outside of what was once a million dollar home in a wealthy Eastside suburb.

– Reported by Jon Humbert of KOMO News

Tony Parker scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs led all the way in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 116-90 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory and first over the Clippers this season.

The Spurs improved to an NBA-best 22-10 on the road, where they’ve also won five in a row.

Parker had seven assists and no turnovers in 28 minutes and Danny Green added 15 points. The West-leading Spurs tied their season-best with 59-percent shooting, hit eight 3-pointers and made 22 of 28 free throws. They had lost both previous meetings with the Clippers in November.

Matt Barnes scored 18 points, Blake Griffin had 17 points and Jamal Crawford 15 points as the Clippers’ four-game winning streak ended in their first game after the All-Star break. Chris Paul, MVP in Houston last weekend with 20 points and 15 assists, was held to four points on 1-of-6 shooting and three assists.

The Clippers have lost their first game coming out of the break in nine of the last 10 years, including five in a row. They came in trailing the Spurs by 4 1/2 games for the best record in the NBA, but they never got a run going and their defense didn’t do much. The biggest excitement during the game was generated by a fan who made a half-court shot during a timeout to win a new car.

– Reported by Beth Harris of the Associated Press

LeBron James scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 86-67 Thursday for their season-high ninth straight win.

James also had seven assists in another big performance after ending his franchise-record seven-game streak of scoring at least 30 the previous night in Atlanta.

Dwyane Wade added 17 points, and the Heat took control in the first half, sending the Bulls to their fifth loss in seven games on a night when the Derrick Rose recovery story took another twist.

After saying last week that he wouldn’t rush back from his knee injury to play this season if he wasn’t ready, Chicago’s sidelined superstar had to go into damage control mode after his older brother Reggie blasted the organization in an ESPNChicago.com article for not making a move before Thursday’s trade deadline.

Things didn’t get much better for the Bulls once the game started.

Nate Robinson scored 14 points, Carlos Boozer had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Joakim Noah added 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, but he also committed four of the Bulls’ season-high 27 turnovers.

Chicago was particularly bad in the first half, coughing it up 17 times as the Heat built a 45-35 lead, and the Bulls came up short after winning at Miami last month. This time, the Heat took control in the second quarter, scoring 13 straight points during a 4 1/2-minute stretch to turn a two-point deficit into an 11-point advantage even though James was on the bench for much of the run.

– Reported by Andrew Seligman of the Associated Press

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