Archive for February 24th, 2013

carmelo anthony

Even when he wasn’t hitting his shots, Carmelo Anthony delivered a shot.

Tired of losing and determined to stop it, the New York Knicks toughened up and fought their way out of their worst slump of the season.

Anthony scored 29 points, Amare Stoudemire had a season-high 22, and the Knicks snapped their four-game losing streak by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 99-93 on Sunday night.

”Losing games, games we think we’re supposed to win, you come into a game like this, we want to win,” Anthony said. ”Definitely want to be a very high-intensity game, a very high-energetic game back here on our home court and we didn’t want to lose this game.”

Anthony was only 6 of 18 from the field, but made 16 of 18 free throws and also was called for a flagrant foul for the fired-up Knicks, who have fallen behind Indiana into third place in the Eastern Conference and whose Atlantic Division lead over the Brooklyn Nets is down to two games…

”After losing four straight, it’s never a good feeling losing games, so tonight we came out with the intensity from the start that we needed,” said Stoudemire, who was 9 of 10 from the field.

All-Star Jrue Holiday had 30 points, five rebounds and five assists for the 76ers, who have lost five straight overall. Evan Turner had 21 points and Thaddeus Young added 11 points and 10 rebounds after missing six games with a strained left hamstring…

Raymond Felton finished with 14 points despite bruising his right heel and J.R. Smith also had 14 for the Knicks…

Kenyon Martin didn’t play in his first game since signing a 10-day contract Saturday. Though he hasn’t played since finishing last season with the Los Angeles Clippers, Martin said he has kept himself in good shape and would find ways to produce until he got back into good basketball condition.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

anthony davis

Anthony Davis had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Eric Gordon added 17 points and eight assists to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 110-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Ryan Anderson scored 17 points, Roger Mason had 13, and Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez 12 apiece for New Orleans, which won its first game since an 0-3 start following the All-Star break.

The Hornets also improved to 18-12 when holding opponents below 100 points.

John Salmons scored all 18 of his points in the second half for the Kings. Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas each added 16 as Sacramento lost its fifth consecutive overall and eight straight on the road.

Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton had 12 points each for Sacramento…

Newly acquired C Cole Aldrich was not with the Kings on Sunday, Sacramento coach Keith Smart said before the game. Smart said Aldrich was in Sacramento for additional medical tests. Aldrich, along with Toney Douglas and Patrick Patterson were acquired in a trade with the Houston Rockets this past week in exchange for Thomas Robinson. Douglas and Patterson were with the team and Patterson scored 2 points. Douglas did not play.

– Reported by the Associated Press

lebron james

LeBron James scored 28 points, Dwyane Wade scored 11 of his 24 in the final five minutes, and the Miami Heat extended the NBA’s longest current winning streak to 11 games, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-105 in a back-and-forth matchup Sunday night.

Mario Chalmers scored 16 points, Shane Battier added 14 and Ray Allen had 11 for the Heat, who took a 22-point lead early in the second half, then prevailed despite being outscored by a whopping 30 points over a 17-minute stretch.

Miami was down eight with 5:16 remaining, and still won.

Dion Waiters scored 26 points, C.J. Miles added 19 and Kyrie Irving scored 17 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers are now 1-8 against the Heat since James signed with Miami in July 2010.

Cleveland erased a 22-point deficit in the third quarter to take the lead, and led by 97-89 with 5:16 remaining - before the Heat found a way to come back.

More specifically, before Wade found a way to come back.

Wade started what turned into a 16-4 run with a fadeaway with just under 5 minutes to go, then added a three-point play on the next Miami possession to cut the Cavs’ lead to 97-94…

Miami’s two wins over Cleveland this season, both at home, have come by a combined six points. … Heat F Mike Miller (ear infection) was back with the team Sunday, though did not play. ”He can’t hear anything we’re saying,” Spoelstra quipped before the game. … The Heat held a moment of silence pregame for Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, the moment ending with warm applause from the crowd. Heat President Pat Riley coached for Buss, and Cavaliers coach Byron Scott once played for the Lakers.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Will Bynum of the Detroit Pistons has been suspended one game without pay for striking Tyler Hansbrough of the Indiana Pacers in the stomach, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 8:39 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Pistons’ 90-72 loss to the Pacers on Feb. 23 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Bynum will serve his suspension on Monday, Feb. 25 when the Pistons host the Atlanta Hawks.

Jarrett Jack has been a rock-steady pro for eight years now, the kind of reliable performer contending teams crave.

Even though he is still coming off the bench for Golden State, he’s found himself in more of a starring role lately, and he showed the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday that he is equally comfortable as the leader of a playoff-caliber unit.

Jack had 23 points and eight assists to rally the Warriors to a 100-99 victory over the Timberwolves.

David Lee had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who trailed by 16 in the first quarter before Jack jumpstarted the offense as he has all season. Reserve Carl Landry added 19 points and nine rebounds for Golden State, which has won three in a row following a six-game losing streak…

Derrick Williams had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had a chance to win it in the final seconds. But Luke Ridnour’s mad dash down the court ended with a floater that was off the mark, and the Warriors escaped.

Nikola Pekovic had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Ricky Rubio had 16 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and six steals for Minnesota, which scored just 18 points in the fourth.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press

The trade of J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayón and Ish Smith has had a cascade effect on the entire Orlando Magic roster, but perhaps it has impacted Maurice Harkless most of all.

Redick’s absence means Arron Afflalo will spend more time at shooting guard instead of shifting out of position to small forward.

And with Afflalo playing at small forward less often, that almost certainly will result in more minutes for Harkless, especially down the stretches of games.

“J.J. played a major role, and a lot of his minutes will probably come my way now,” Harkless said. “I just have to just take advantage of that and step up.”

From the beginning of this season, even when the team started with a 12-13 record, the Magic have tried to accelerate the development of the team’s youngest players — players such as Harkless and his fellow rookies, power forward Andrew Nicholson, center/power forward Kyle O’Quinn and wing DeQuan Jones.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Raptors fans booing Andrea Bargnani

Raptors fans booing Andrea Bargnani

Quite obviously, things are getting ugly at the Air Canada Centre as it relates to Andrea Bargnani. The longest-serving Raptor is being booed every time he takes a shot now, with things getting particularly gruesome on Friday night against New York.

But, here is a question worth asking: Can the Raptors do anything to help Bargnani get out of his funk? The team has changed a lot since his December injury, with the pick and roll, where Bargnani has thrived before, rarely used since the arrival of Rudy Gay and departure of Jose Calderon. Bargnani has taken just six shots in 34 minutes in the last two games. For his career, Bargnani averages 15.2 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes.

The Raptors are barely looking his way. Given his defensive and rebounding deficiencies, there is little point using him at all if the Raptors are not going to use him on offence.

“We have some sets in that feature Andrea,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “We haven’t run them as much since he [has come back from injury], but we’re starting to run them more now. And [when] we run those for him, they’re basically his plays. Kyle [Lowry] is an effective pick-and-roll player, a different type of pick-and-roll player than Jose is, but there’s some things we can do in our pick and rolls with Andrea involved that can make sure we’re taking advantage of his skill set.”

– Reported by Eric Koreen of the National Post

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant had 38 points to win a scoring duel with Dirk Nowitzki, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-99 Sunday in a matchup of teams fighting to get in the playoff race.

With chants of MVP from a strong contingent of Lakers fans, Bryant scored 14 in the fourth, including seven in the final 3 minutes to hold off a spirited Dallas effort.

Nowitzki finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had a chance to pull virtually even with the Lakers for ninth place in the Western Conference. Houston is in eighth, with a cushion of several games.

Bryant, who also had 12 rebounds and seven assists, was playing in Mark Cuban’s building two days after the outspoken Dallas owner suggested in a radio interview that the Lakers might have to consider dumping the five-time NBA champion through the amnesty clause.

Steve Nash had 13 of his 20 in the second half against his former team in a game that neither team led by more than six.

– Reported by Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press

Former Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is hospitalized in a Chicago-area hospital after recently suffering a stroke.

Heisley was stricken last weekend soon after returning home from Houston, where he attended the NBA All-Star game.

“The family appreciates all the thoughts and prayers,” Heisley’s wife, Agnes, said Saturday in a statement that requested respect for the family’s privacy.

Heisley, whose 76th birthday is March 13, has privately dealt with a few medical issues over the past several years. He underwent a heart procedure within the past two years. Even so, Heisley shed 80 pounds last summer and began a workout regimen that included three-mile walks.

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

andrew bogut

Warriors center Andrew Bogut didn’t fly with the team from Oakland as it started its final extended road trip of the season Saturday because of a disc protrusion that is causing back spasms, according to team officials.

The 7-foot, 260-pounder played only 12 of the team’s first 54 games because of left ankle surgery and missed Friday’s overtime win against NBA-leading San Antonio after his back started acting up. He missed 43 games with a stress fracture in his lower back in 2008-09, a game in 2009-10 with a mid-back strain and five games in 2010-11 with a sore back.

The Warriors say there is no real timetable for Bogut’s return, but they’re holding out hope that he can join the team at some point during their five-game trip.

– Reported by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle (Blog)

Wizards aiming to be clutch by committee

The Wizards don’t have a proven superstar or an established go-to guy who they can get the ball to in the final seconds, get out of the way and let him operate.

The clutch-by-committee philosophy certainly served as a disadvantage early on, as they racked up close defeats. And that certainly isn’t the preferred situation for contending teams that can simply draw something up for LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony or even Joe Johnson and live with the results.

But Coach Randy Wittman doesn’t go into late-game possessions determined to set up one individual, relying mostly on his gut while seeking to exploit mismatches on the floor. The hero emerges within the flow of the game, rather than from reputation.

Wittman has managed to make it work in recent weeks, with the team winning 13 of 22 and calling on everyone from Bradley Beal, to Nene, to John Wall, to even the recently-dealt Jordan Crawford, to make a play with the game on the line.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

Before he took a seat on the bench, LeBron James made sure to grab one more rebound.

James had 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his 35th career triple-double and the Miami Heat cruised to their 10th straight win, 114-90 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

The three-time NBA MVP knew he was one board away from a special night so he went after it hard early in the fourth quarter. After Chris Anderson blocked Evan Turner’s shot, James hauled it in, drove up court and banked a shot in for good measure.

”I was going to stay out there until I got it,” James said. ”I wasn’t going to let this one slip away. I’ve had too many games where I was one assist, one rebound away. I wasn’t coming out.”

Dwyane Wade had 33 points, Mario Chalmers scored 14 and Chris Bosh added 13 to help the defending NBA champions improve to 39-14. The Heat have a comfortable 5 1/2-game lead over Indiana in the Eastern Conference.

They’ve won four in a row on the road, including impressive wins over Oklahoma City before the All-Star break and Chicago on Thursday.

”It was a professional win,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”LeBron started it with his unselfishness, finding the open guy, making it contagious. Then it was an efficient shooting night.”

Jrue Holiday scored 21 points and Nick Young had 19 for Philadelphia, which continues to fall further behind in the playoff chase. The Sixers entered 3 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the No. 8 spot in the East.

– Reported by Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press

Ty Lawson has set a goal for the Denver Nuggets as they close the regular season: eighteen wins.

Denver took a step in the right direction Saturday night, pulling away from the Charlotte Bobcats in the fourth quarter for a 113-99 win that snapped a four-game road losing streak.

Lawson had a team-high 20 points, marking the 13th time in 19 games he’s reached the 20-point plateau, and JaVale McGee had 17 points, including seven of his team’s 14 dunks.

”If we get to 53 or 54 (wins) I think that we’ll get that fourth seed” in the playoffs, Lawson said. ”But we know it’s going to be a grind for the next couple weeks, couple months.”

Perhaps not - if Lawson keeps playing the way he has.

Nuggets coach George Karl said Lawson has developed a better understanding of the rhythm of the game and is becoming more assertive in running the offense. He also said Lawson is gaining confidence with his jumper - something he didn’t have earlier this season.

The rest, Karl said, might be out of his hands.

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

The Rockets dominated early with an impressive 3-point shooting display and finished with more attempts than any NBA team this season. The Wizards countered by going big and going inside and it paid off when the former league laughingstock took down another winning team.

Bradley Beal scored 21 points and Emeka Okafor had 17 points, 11 rebounds and made the go-ahead free throw with 5.2 seconds remaining to help the Washington defeat Houston 105-103 on Saturday night.

Trevor Ariza added 18 points and John Wall had 12 points and 11 assists for the Wizards, who came back from a 17-point deficit for their second straight win. Washington, winner of 10 of its last 12 home games, scored 54 points in the paint to offset the 57 points Houston scored on 19 3-pointers.

James Harden scored 27 points and Chandler Parsons had 24 with five 3-pointers for the Rockets, who had won their first two games after the All-Star break. Houston attempted 46 3-pointers, the most in the NBA this season and three shy of the league record. The Rockets made 13 from beyond the arc in the first half, one off the NBA record they tied against Golden State on Feb. 5.

”We just wanted to make it tough, make them make contested shots,” Wall said. ”In the first half they weren’t missing. Second half we kind of got into more defensively, changed some of our game plans up and just executed on the other half.”

– Reported by Benjamin Standig of the Associated Press

Cavaliers pound Magic 118-94

Kyrie Irving has proven multiple times this season that he can be an unrelenting scorer when he needs to be.

Against the Magic, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ young point guard showed he can also do some damage when he’s creating opportunities for his teammates.

Marreese Speights scored 18 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and the Cavaliers used a big fourth quarter to run past the Magic 118-94 on Saturday night.

Irving chipped in with 12 points, but had a game-high nine assists in just three quarters of work for Cleveland, which has won two straight overall and snapped a six-game losing streak in Orlando.

”Coming out in the second half we knew the things we needed to do, especially on the defensive end,” Irving said. ”That has to be our identity, first and foremost. Our defense has to lead to our offense and that’s what he did.”

Arron Afflalo scored 16 points for the Magic in their first home game since a trade deadline deal last week that saw the departure of four players, including sixth man J.J. Redick. Two of their three new additions, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih, finished in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

– Reported by Kyle Hightower of the Associated Press

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