Archive for March 10th, 2013

The Utah Jazz today signed Santa Cruz guard Travis Leslie to a 10-day contract. It is the 24th Call-Up of the 2012-13 NBA Development League season.  Leslie joins 121 players with NBA D-League experience currently on NBA rosters.

Leslie (6-4, 205, Georgia) has played in 28 games for Santa Cruz this season, averaging 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 27.6 minutes.  He has scored at least 20 points in nine outings, including two 30-plus point games. He was named to the Prospects All-Star squad for the 2013 NBA D-League All-Star Game and went on to win MVP honors with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go along with seven rebounds in a 139-125 victory over the Futures Team.

Leslie was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 47th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He appeared in 10 games for the Clippers during the 2011-12 season and averaged 1.4 points and 4.5 minutes. He was waived by the Clippers before the start of the season and subsequently selected by Santa Cruz in the 2012 NBA D-League Draft.

Leslie is expected to join the Jazz today and be available tomorrow when the team hosts the Pistons at 9 P.M. EST.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard scored 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds, Kobe Bryant chipped in with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Chicago Bulls 90-81 Sunday.

The Lakers improved to 33-31, the first time this season they have been two games over .500. They also moved one-half game of the Utah Jazz and into sole possession of the No. 8 and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers led almost throughout, only briefly falling behind by two points in the second quarter, and led by as many as 18 in the third period.

Steve Nash had 16 points for the Lakers.

Nate Robinson led the Bulls with 19 points, and Joakim Noah had 18 points and 17 rebounds…

After a sluggish first half by both teams, the Lakers came out hot to start the third quarter. Led by 10 points from Nash, Los Angeles went on a 21-7 run to begin the quarter, capped by a 3-pointer by Jodie Meeks that gave the Lakers a 65-47 lead. But the Bulls responded with an 8-0 spurt to narrow their deficit to 65-55…

Bryant took only three shots in the first quarter, going scoreless in the opening 12 minutes. Metta World Peace was cold as well, missing four open 3-pointers, but the Lakers held an early lead thanks to Howard’s efforts down low. Though he missed all three free throws he took in the quarter, Howard was 3 of 3 from the field for six points and grabbed seven rebounds.

– Reported by Joe Haakenson of the Associated Press

Thunder grind out 91-79 win over Celtics

Kevin Durant

In a reunion with his former Boston teammates, Kendrick Perkins and the Oklahoma City Thunder got just the kind of victory he enjoys most.

Kevin Durant had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook scored 15 points and Thunder beat the Celtics 91-79 on Sunday to stretch their winning streak to five games.

Boston was able to slow the Thunder from their best-in-the-NBA scoring pace of 107 points per game, but Oklahoma City’s lowest output since Jan. 13 was still enough to come out ahead in this one.

”I told the guys coming into this game that it’s going to be one of those low-scoring games, one of those nights that we have to grind out, so that’s what we did,” said Perkins, who won the 2008 NBA title with Boston. ”Every night, we can’t go out and expect to put up 100 points and the score to be 120-100. Some nights, it’s going to be like this.”

The Thunder limited Boston to 25 percent shooting in the second half after the Celtics shot 51 percent in the first. Boston dropped off to 33 percent in the third quarter and all the way down to 18 percent in the fourth, when the game got away…

Paul Pierce had 20 points to lead Boston, which had its own run of five straight wins broken. Kevin Garnett chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Celtics finished at 38 percent shooting for the game with 19 turnovers, more than four above their average, while falling to 14-5 since All-Star Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury…

Martin added 12 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which moved to 28-4 at home.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed forward D.J. White to a second 10-day contract.

White, a 6’9” forward, has appeared in one game for the Celtics this season after signing his first 10-day contract with the team on February 28. White grabbed two rebounds and blocked two shots in four minutes of action against the Indiana Pacers on March 6.

Wizards finally get win over Bobcats

The Washington Wizards are one of the few NBA teams who can actually call the Charlotte Bobcats a nemesis, and that’s nothing to brag about.

So the Wizards had no problem finding the motivation to become the latest team to beat up on the worst club in the league. They never trailed Saturday night in a 104-87 victory, Charlotte’s 10th straight loss.

”They beat us two times on the season,” said Nene, who scored 19 points, ‘’so we needed to step up.”

Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 26 points as Washington shot 50 percent against a team that hasn’t played very much competitive basketball lately. The Bobcats have been outscored by an average of 21.5 points during the 10-game skid.

But the Wizards had been 0-2 against the Bobcats, dropping both games back in November when Charlotte was actually toying with the idea of a respectable season. Washington has remained near the bottom of the league as well, sitting 13th in the 15-team Eastern Conference…

Kemba Walker scored 29 points for the Bobcats, who were done in by their 5-for-17 shooting from the field in the second quarter. Charlotte did manage to cut a 22-point, third-quarter deficit down to nine early in the fourth, but Ariza made a pair of 3-pointers to restore the Wizards’ comfortable lead.

– Reported by Joseph White of the Associated Press

Balanced Grizzlies beat Hornets 96-85

The Memphis Grizzlies keep returning from halftime and imposing their style on opponents.

With an emphasis on defense and pressure to increase the pace, Memphis again used a strong third quarter to beat the New Orleans Hornets 96-85 on Saturday night.

”I think our focus coming out of halftime, understanding what we need to adjust, then going out and executing it, has been phenomenal,” said guard Mike Conley, who led Memphis scorers with 22 points.

”We came in the locker room and said: ‘We have to do this, that and this,’ and we go out there and do it.”

Conley, who also had eight assists, led seven Memphis players in double figures as the Grizzlies won their fourth straight. Tony Allen had 14 points, while Tayshaun Prince and Quincy Pondexter scored 13 points apiece. Ed Davis had 12 points, nine rebounds and matched his career best with five blocks.

Davis, who came to Memphis in the three-team deal that sent Grizzlies leading scorer Rudy Gay to Toronto on Jan. 30, said he is becoming more comfortable in his new surroundings and that the Grizzlies’ defensive mindset allows him to roam more on defense.

– Reported by Clay Bailey of the Associated Press

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