Archive for March 25th, 2013

John Wall

John Wall finished Washington’s last game on the bench after getting two technical fouls.

He stuck around for the finish of his best NBA performance Monday, scoring 17 of his career-high 47 points in the fourth quarter as the undermanned Wizards beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 107-94.

”I was just in a zone. I made my first couple of shots and I knew I was in a great rhythm. Ten points in the first quarter, I knew I had it going,” Wall said after posting the third-highest point total in the NBA this season.

Wall, who added eight assists and seven rebounds, shot 13 of 22 from the field and made a career-high 19 free throws on 24 attempts.

”That was an incredible performance for him. We jumped on it and he carried us. It felt to me that it was all under control. All within our offense. All within what we were doing,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.

Emeka Okafor added 21 points and nine rebounds for a Washington team that was without five members of its rotation.

Already without guard Bradley Beal (sprained left ankle), guard A.J. Price (groin) and forward Trevor Ariza (flu), Wittman announced before the game that forwards Nene (sore right knee) and Martell Webster (abdomen strain) were also out.

– Reported by Harvey Valentine of the Associated Press

Brian Roberts

Even Brian Roberts couldn’t believe the performance he delivered to help end Denver’s 15-game winning streak.

Starting for only the second time, the rookie doubled his season high with 18 assists, Ryan Anderson scored 23 points and the short-handed New Orleans Hornets beat the Nuggets 110-86 on Monday night.

”It’s crazy to fathom, having 18 assists,” Roberts said. ”Guys play years and don’t have that many assists. Somebody pointed out I had more assists than they had as a team. For me to come out in my second start and do that is just a testament to my teammates making shots.”

And to Roberts’ work ethic, too. He never had 10 assists in four years at the University of Dayton, where he was more of a scorer than a facilitator. Then he spent five years trying to make an NBA roster before hooking on with the Hornets last summer, re-working his game to become a pass-first player.

Eleven of those passes turned into assists in the first half alone against the Nuggets, who finished with four fewer assists than Roberts. He became the 20th rookie to have 18 assists or more and the first since Darren Collison did it for New Orleans in 2010…

Danilo Gallinari had 24 points for the Nuggets, who were without starting point guard Ty Lawson (right heel injury) for the third consecutive game. Denver lost for the first time since Feb. 22 against Washington after matching its 1969-70 ABA team’s record of 15 straight victories.

”We played a bad game and they played a great game,” said Nuggets point guard Andre Miller, who had nine points and six assists.

– Reported by Guerry Smith of the Associated Press

Hawks guard Devin Harris misses game with foot injury

Devin Harris missed Monday’s game against the Pacers with a left foot injury.

Harris was hurt in the third quarter of Sunday’s victory over the Bucks and was unable to return after scoring 16 points. It marked the 14th game Harris missed this season with foot problems that have plagued him most of the season’s second half.

His status for Wednesday’s game against the Raptors in undetermined.

“He is still a little sore,” coach Larry Drew said. “We’ll see how he is (Tuesday).”

– Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

nikola vucevic

Nik Vucevic sat out as the Orlando Magic attempted to end the Miami Heat’s winning streak at 26 games on Monday night.

“I sure am going to miss him tonight,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn predicted about 90 minutes before tipoff.

Vucevic suffered a mild concussion on March 19, and he can’t play again until he passes the NBA’s concussion protocol. Even after he’s cleared medically, Vaughn will face a decision whether or not to put Vucevic back on the floor.

Vucevic’s absence meant the Magic were missing four players who started in the season-opener: shooting guard Arron Afflalo, small forward Hedo Turkoglu, power forward Glen Davis and Vucevic.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

The Dallas Mavericks today signed Texas Legends guard Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract, for the 29th NBA-to-D-League “Call-Up” of the 2012-13 NBA Development League season. He joins 122 players with NBA D-League experience currently on NBA rosters.

Dentmon (6-0, 185, Washington) has appeared in 40 games for the Austin Toros and Texas this season. He was acquired from Austin via trade on Jan. 22 and in 22 games for Texas is averaging 26.0 points, 3.4 assists, 1.8 steals and 38.5 minutes.

Dentmon comes off a 2012 NBA D-League season where he led the Austin Toros to the NBA D-League championship, while also capturing to the league’s MVP award. He was also named to this year’s NBA D-League All-Star games as a member of the Prospects All-Star team. He had two NBA stints in 2011-12 with the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors.

Dentmon is expected to join the Mavericks today and be available when the team hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday at American Airlines Center.

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have signed forward DaJuan Summers to a second 10-day contract.

Summers has appeared in two games for the Clippers, averaging 1.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 3.5 minutes of action.

The 26th D-League to NBA “Call-Up” of the 2012-13 season, Summers averaged 18.0 points and 7.6 rebounds in 33.1 minutes of action for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League this season over 29 games (16 starts).

The 6’8” Georgetown product was the 35th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft as an early entrant candidate. He appeared in 81 games (7 starts) for the Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Hornets from 2009-2012, averaging 3.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 10.0 minutes of action.

City officials reached a preliminary agreement Saturday night for a new downtown arena with an investment group that hopes to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson first announced the deal on his Twitter account. A few hours later, the city released the details of the non-binding term sheet.

The group includes Silicon Valley software tycoon Vivek Ranadive, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and billionaire Ron Burkle. The City Council is planning to vote on the agreement Tuesday.

“Once again, we’re proving the strength of our market — both as host to an NBA team, but as an emerging region with global potential,” Johnson said.

The city of Sacramento plans to contribute $258 million to the $447 million project, mostly by leasing out parking garages and land. The other $189 million will come from the investment group.

– Reported by the Orange County Register

Magic guard Arron Afflalo injures hamstring

Orlando Magic officials wanted to use the final weeks of the regular season to accelerate the development of youngsters such as Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and DeQuan Jones.

But this isn’t how the team wanted it to happen.

Arron Afflalo, the team’s starting shooting guard and its leading scorer, will miss the final 12 games of the season after he strained his right hamstring during Friday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although team officials wouldn’t specify how severe the strain is, they said Afflalo’s injury will be treated with rest and physical therapy.

“He’s a leader out there on the floor,” Harkless said. “He brings a lot of energy, a lot of intensity. But we’ve played without him before. We’ve just got to do it again and stick together. We’re all we got.”

Afflalo’s absence will force the team’s least experienced players into more prominent roles, most notably Harkless.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Goran Dragic

One of the best games of Goran Dragic’s career still wasn’t enough for the Phoenix Suns.

Instead, Deron Williams and C.J. Watson made a handful of crucial plays down the stretch and the Brooklyn Nets escaped with a 102-100 victory Sunday night.

Dragic fell a rebound shy of what would have been his second career triple-double with 31 points, 12 assists and nine boards. He was a point short of his career scoring high.

Dragic’s only career triple-double came with Houston two years ago and he knew he must have been close to one as this game progressed…

Brook Lopez added 20 points and Kris Humphries a season-best 17 for Brooklyn. Watson scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Nets, playing without Joe Johnson, who bruised his thigh in Brooklyn’s loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday night…

Wesley Johnson added 21 points - including 5 of 9 3-pointers - for the Suns, who were coming off consecutive blowout losses at home to Washington and Minnesota…

Dragic reached double digits in assists for a career-best fifth game in a row. His 11 double-digit assist efforts since the All-Star break are second only to Milwaukee’s 12 and Jennings has played one more game.

– Reported by Bob Baum of the Associated Press

mike james

Mike James didn’t play like a 37-year-old on his last legs in the NBA on Sunday night.

James scored a season-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 17 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the slumping Utah Jazz 113-108.

The journeyman point guard scored 12 points in the third quarter, including seven in a 20-2 run which bridged the third and fourth quarters.

”I’m like a little kid in the candy store,” James said. ”People don’t understand how much fun I’m having out there.”

The 11th-year point guard is probably enjoying himself more now considering he didn’t even have an NBA job three months ago. James joined Dallas on a 10-day contract on Jan. 8, and the Mavericks signed him for the rest of season three weeks later.

Rick Carlisle inserted James into the starting lineup on March 6, and the Mavericks have gone 8-3 since then to get within two games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference…

Vince Carter and Shawn Marion each had 15 as the Mavericks improved to 2-1 on a season-long six-game homestand. Dallas has gone 21-13 since dropping 10 games under .500 on Jan. 9…

Enes Kanter scored 17 points as the Jazz lost their ninth straight on the road, Utah’s longest such skid since losing 17 in a row away from home during the 1981-82 season. The Jazz’s last road win was Feb. 13 at Minnesota.

– Reported by David Jimenez of the Associated Press

James Harden

The Houston Rockets got contributions from several players Sunday night against the Spurs.

In closing time, they turned to James Harden again.

Harden sank an off-balance jumper with 4.5 seconds left to lift the Rockets to a 96-95 victory over San Antonio. Harden scored 18 of his 29 points in the second half as the Rockets rallied from three down in the final minute to snap a four-game losing streak to their state rivals.

Houston has won three in a row and inched closer to clinching a postseason berth.

”Tonight was a great environment, great crowd,” Harden said. ”Hopefully, we can continue to build off this lead. It’s momentum.”

Tony Parker scored 23 points, including 10 in a row to put San Antonio ahead with just under 2 minutes left. The Spurs led 95-94 when Harden got the ball from Omer Asik, drove to the free throw line and hit the winning jumper between Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard…

Chandler Parsons scored 20 points and Asik grabbed 14 rebounds for the Rockets. Backup point guard Patrick Beverley had 11 points and blocked Danny Green’s layup attempt with 1:22 left to keep Houston within one.

Duncan had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 42 percent (33 of 78), gave away 18 turnovers and were held below 100 points for just the third time in 12 games.

– Reported by Chris Duncan of the Associated Press

lebron james

The world’s best came out to see if Miami could do it again. Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked men’s tennis player. Wladimir Klitschko, the world heavyweight boxing king. Rory McIlroy, who sits atop the golf rankings for at least one more night.

And they got quite a show.

The Heat won their 26th straight game on Sunday, with LeBron James going for 32 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in a 109-77 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

”I think it’s very humbling that you can have some of the greats from other sports come to see your team play, come to see you play,” said James, who was 11 for 14 from the field in another surgical performance. ”You try to leave an impression on them, as a team and as an individual, absolutely. So it was great to have them in the building, for sure.”

Chris Bosh and Norris Cole had 15 points apiece for the Heat, who played without Dwyane Wade, held from the lineup because of right knee soreness that the team believes is minor. And after yet another slow start, Miami is now seven victories shy of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the league record of 33 in a row.

The show now goes on the road for a four-game trip that begins in Orlando on Monday, a swing that also will take the Heat to Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio. And the Heat will start that trip 2 1/2 games ahead of San Antonio in the race for the NBA’s best record.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

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