Archive for March 30th, 2013

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have recalled Jared Cunningham from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

Cunningham (6-4, 194) served two stints with the Legends, averaging 15.3 points, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 34.5 minutes in 15 games (13 starts). He was originally assigned to the D-League on Dec. 11, then re-assigned on Jan. 28.

Cunningham has seen action in eight games for the Mavericks this season and is averaging 2.0 points and 3.3 minutes per game.

Zaza Pachulia injured

Atlanta Hawks forward/center Zaza Pachulia has elected to have surgery to repair his sore right Achilles. Pachulia will have surgery Wednesday, April 3rd, in Charlotte at Mercy Hospital. Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina will perform the surgery and Hawks Team Physician Dr. Michael Bernot of Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic will accompany Zaza.

“After thoroughly reviewing the possible options with Zaza, we all felt this was the best decision to insure Zaza’s complete recovery so that he can be at 100 percent going forward. Zaza is a professional with a strong work ethic. The Hawks will continue to be completely supportive as he tackles the return to play process,” said President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry.

The expected recovery time following surgery is approximately six months.

Tyson Chandler sits again with neck issue

Center Tyson Chandler missed his ninth straight game Friday night amid growing concern he has a pinched nerve in his neck.

There is no longer a timetable for his return. Twelve days ago, after an MRI exam uncovered a bulging disk in his cervical spine, the Knicks announced he would be back in one week.

“There’s always a concern but he’ll be fine,’’ coach Mike Woodson said. “We’re just being cautious. Eventually, he’ll be back. I like to think he’s getting better. He’ll let us know when it’s time for him to step back on the floor.’’

Dr. Wellington Hsu, a spine specialist at Northwestern University, told The Post the symptoms appear to be related to a pinched nerve that isn’t easy to get rid of.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Miami Heat President Pat Riley has added another chapter to his rivalry with the Boston Celtics.

After LeBron James complained about calls and Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge chided him for it, Riley lashed back Friday night.

Riley’s response: “Danny Ainge needs to shut the (expletive) up and manage his own team.”

This saga started Wednesday after Miami’s 27-game winning streak ended in Chicago. James told reporters that night that he does not believe some of the hard fouls he takes are “basketball plays.” A day later, Ainge told Boston radio station WEEI that “it’s almost embarrassing that LeBron would complain about officiating.”

Riley was clearly irked, calling Ainge “the biggest whiner going when he was a player.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

According to Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post, “After Donovan relayed Riley’s quotes to the media Friday evening, coach Erik Spoelstra was asked to speak on them. “I love direct GM-to-GM communication,” he said, smiling. “It’s awesome.” Ray Allen, who played for the Celtics the past five seasons, also smiled when the quotes were read to him. “That’s between Danny and Pat,” Allen said. “They obviously have a lot of history.” James does not hold a structured press availability prior to games, but when Riley’s just-released statement was mentioned to him — as he got stretched on the floor and scrolled through Twitter — he referred to it as “awesome.” When told of the statement, a couple of his teammates also heartily approved. Heat players have frequently expressed amusement that representatives of other teams — whether players, coaches or executives — tend to talk so much about them. They are especially amused by the Celtics’ chatter about them, whether it’s coming from Jason Terry or Paul Pierce or whomever; one Heat player referred to it as an “obsession.”

Nathan Jawai wins Euroleague MVP of the Week

Nate Jawai was unstoppable for Barcelona Regal on Friday night, dominating inside, leading his team to victory with a career night and in the process earning Top 16 Week 13 bwin MVP honors. Jawai was the leading man in Barca’s 69-77 victory over Montepaschi in Siena, Italy. Making just his third start of the season in place of injured February MVP Ante Tomic, Jawai went for 22 points and 12 rebounds in compiling a performance index rating of 34, which led all players in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague this week. The Aussie center shot 9 for 10 from the field, made 4 of 5 free throws and also blocked 2 shots in brilliant effort. The second best index for the week came from the hands of Rudy Fernandez, who drained 6 of 8 three-pointers en route to 24 points and a 30 index in an 81-72 loss at CSKA Moscow. Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv swingman Devin Smith needed just 18 minutes on the floor to amass a 27 index in a 101-58 rout of Besiktas JK Istanbul. Smith tallied 16 points on 3-of-3 three-point shooting, 9 rebounds and 2 steals. Rounding out the list of the week’s best are Marcus Williams of Unicaja Malaga and Jonas Maciulis of Panathinaikos Athens, each with 26.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

denver nuggets

The Denver Nuggets’ success runs deep, especially on their home floor.

With playmaking guard and scoring leader Ty Lawson sidelined by foot problems, rookie Evan Fournier had a season-high 19 points to lead a strong showing by Denver’s reserves, and the Nuggets extended their home winning streak to 18 games by beating the Brooklyn Nets 109-87 Friday night.

Denver improved to 33-3 at the Pepsi Center this season, the best home record in the league, and hit the 50-win mark for the fifth time in the last five full seasons.

Wilson Chandler had 16 points, and Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufos added 13 points apiece for the Nuggets, who need one win to match their longest home winning streak, from Jan. 28-April 20, 1989, despite missing Lawson. He was ruled out for the third time in four games after an exam Thursday of his strained heel also revealed a plantar fascia tear in his right foot…

Andre Miller started in place of Lawson and finished with 12 points, but the Nuggets also anticipated that Fournier would get additional playing time and produce given the opportunity…

Deron Williams scored 19 points for the Nets, who missed a chance for their team-record 21st road win of the season. Especially hurt by an off night at the free throw line - Brooklyn converted only 18 of 36 - the Nets lost to the Nuggets for the sixth straight time in Denver…

Andray Blatche had 16 points and Reggie Evans added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Nets, who are trying to finish a season with a winning road record for the first time in team history.

– Reported by Dennis Georgatos of the Associated Press

Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs All-Star Tim Duncan is a man of little emotion and even fewer words.

The Los Angeles Clippers brought out a demonstrative side rarely seen from the 16-year veteran and it helped lead to their downfall.

Duncan had a season-high 34 points, including a game-winning three-point play with 2.2 seconds left, and San Antonio outlasted Los Angeles 104-102 on Friday night.

Sparked by a pair of hard fouls in the second quarter, Duncan was 12 for 19 from field and also had 11 rebounds in leading San Antonio (55-17) to its seventh straight home victory.

”There was a stretch where they put the whistle away,” Duncan said. ”It gave me a little energy to kind of play a little harder. I got some shots to go early and it just kind of snowballed from there.”

Tony Parker added 24 points and eight assists, and Tiago Splitter had 14 points for San Antonio.

The Spurs extended their lead in the Western Conference to 2 1/2 games over Oklahoma City, which lost 101-93 to Minnesota.

Blake Griffin scored 18 points, Jamal Crawford added 16 and Chris Paul had 14 for the Clippers (49-24), who remain fourth in the West. Caron Butler added 11 points and Willie Green had 10.

– Reported by the Associated Press

nikola pekovic

If the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t able to catch the San Antonio Spurs in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, Kevin Durant and Co. may look back to a late March night in Minnesota as the moment they let it slip away.

Barreling down on the Spurs with 11 victories in their previous 14 games, the rolling Thunder slammed into a 6-foot-11, Montenegrin road block and a feisty Timberwolves team they never saw coming.

Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists to help the Timberwolves stun the Thunder 101-93 on Friday night.

”We’ll be fine,” Durant said. ”You know, just a little bump in the road.”

Chase Budinger scored 13 points and Andrei Kirilenko played superb defense on Durant in the second half to help the Wolves deal the Thunder an unexpected setback in their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Durant had 36 points and seven rebounds, but was just 4 for 9 in the final 22 minutes. Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who fell to 2 1/2 games behind the Spurs in the West after San Antonio beat the Clippers.

”I’m pretty sure he’s tired right now,” Kirilenko said of Durant.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press

paul pierce

The Boston Celtics, who have already had their share of key injuries, had a quick scare seconds into the second half when Paul Pierce fell to the floor hard and was down for a bit before limping to the bench.

After a timeout, the 35-year old captain shook off the slight injury to his left leg, headed back onto the court and went back to work on his third triple-double of the season.

Pierce had 20 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, and Jeff Green scored 27 points to carry the Celtics to a 118-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night…

Jason Terry was 5 of 7 on 3-pointers and finished with 24 points for Boston, which won its second straight following a five-game losing streak. Brandon Bass scored 13 and Shavlik Randolph grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds with nine points…

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 18 points but shot just 7 of 23 from the floor and 0 for 6 in the second half. Mike Scott scored 19 and Jeff Teague added 17 points and seven assists…

Hawks F/C Al Horford missed the game due to an illness. … Rivers said before the game that the timetable for F/C Kevin Garnett’s return remained the same. ”I think it’s still two weeks,” he said. ”I don’t think it’ll be any longer than that. But if it’s two and a half, I don’t want to you to call me a liar or anything like that.” Garnett missed his fourth straight with what the team called ”left ankle inflammation.” … Boston G Courtney Lee returned after missing three games with a sprained left ankle.

– Reported by Ken Powtak of the Associated Press

J.R. Smith leads Knicks to 7th win in a row

J.R. Smith hasn’t had a run like this since high school.

No NBA reserve has in more than two decades.

Smith scored 37 points, his third consecutive 30-point outing, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Bobcats 111-102 on Friday night for their season-high seventh straight victory.

”He is focused. He is dialed in. Locked in,” Carmelo Anthony said. ”He is playing extremely well and his confidence is sky high. We are following his lead.”

Anthony had 32 points and Raymond Felton added 18 for the Knicks, who have the longest current streak in the NBA. They built a 30-point lead that was reduced to single digits for the second game in a row.

Gerald Henderson tied a career high with 35 points for the Bobcats. Kemba Walker added 16, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 and Ben Gordon finished with 12.

Smith had 23 points at halftime, shooting 9 of 11 from the field. He is the first player with three straight 30-point games as a reserve since Ricky Pierce in 1990.

– Reported by Jeff Bernstein of the Associated Press

Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors are out of the playoff picture and have just 10 games left before their season ends. That doesn’t mean they’re going to go quietly.

Gay scored 19 of his 21 points during a dominant third quarter and the Raptors ended a five-game skid with a 99-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Toronto led 46-45 at the break and took control by outscoring the Pistons 23-5 in the first eight minutes of the third period.

DeMar DeRozan also had 21 to help Toronto win a second straight meeting with the Pistons.

”Whatever he drank at halftime, he needs to keep drinking it,” coach Dwane Casey said of Gay, who was 7 for 11 from the floor in the third.

”Something clicked at halftime to get him going.” …

Amir Johnson added 20 points, including 10 during the second period that helped the Raptors take the lead for good.

Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Kyle Lowry added 11 assists…

Jonas Jerebko scored 20 points to lead the Pistons, who also got 17 from rookie Andre Drummond in their eighth straight home loss. Detroit made just six field goals in the third and often couldn’t seem to stop Gay once he got hot.

– Reported by the Associated Press

It’s clear the Orlando Magic are playing for next year, and Friday night was the first of what they hope will be some good signs during the season’s final weeks.

Orlando was up and down against the Washington Wizards, but when it came time to decide things, defense and some clutch offense from second-year forward Tobias Harris produced a 97-92 win for the Magic.

Harris scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Magic break an eight-game losing streak. Harris stopped Washington runs on at least four occasions during the game with timely shots. That included a 15-foot floater with 1:22 left in the game to put Orlando ahead 93-88 and three of four from the free throw line in the final 14 seconds that sealed the victory.

”Tonight was a good step for me,” said Harris, who came to Orlando from Milwaukee at the trade deadline. ”There have been times since being in a Magic uniform that I’ve struggled to close out games, but you’ve got to be ready when the opportunity comes and I took advantage of it.”

The Magic started Harris, three rookies - Maurice Harkless, Kyle O’Quinn and DeQuan Jones - and eight-year veteran Jameer Nelson, who left the game in the first quarter with a sprained ankle and did not return.

Harkless scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while second-year man E’Twaun Moore had 15 and rookie Andrew Nicholson scored 14…

The Wizards, by contrast, didn’t get much of anything from anyone other than John Wall and Martell Webster. Wall led Washington with 35 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Webster was the only other Wizard in double figures, scoring 19.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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