Archive for April 6th, 2013

monta ellis

Monta Ellis had 22 points and nine assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks secured their first playoff berth in three seasons with a 100-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

Brandon Jennings had 16 points and seven assists, while Larry Sanders added 12 points, nine rebounds and six blocks for Milwaukee, which needed a win and a Miami victory over Philadelphia on Saturday to clinch at least the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat beat the 76ers, 106-87.

The win was Milwaukee’s 10th straight over Toronto, its longest active winning streak over any opponent. And it pulled the Bucks within two games of the idle Boston Celtics for the No. 7 seed.

Alan Anderson led Toronto with 14 points off the bench, and Quincy Acy had 13. Rudy Gay, Toronto’s leading scorer with 18.2 points per game, made 1-of-10 shots and matched his season low with four points.

Toronto shot just 36 percent (30 of 83) and had 18 turnovers.

The game wasn’t close after the first quarter, as the Bucks used a 15-4 run late in the period to go up 24. They led 61-42 at halftime behind 14 points and seven assists from Ellis.

– Reported by Erik Brooks of the Associated Press

Rick Adelman reaches 1,000 wins as an NBA head coach

With tonight’s Minnesota Timberwolves’ 107-101 win over the Detroit Pistons, Wolves head coach Rick Adelman becomes the eighth NBA head coach to record 1,000 career victories, joining Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl as the only active members of the 1,000-win club. By reaching the milestone in his 1703rd NBA game, Adelman becomes the fifth-fastest NBA head coach to win 1,000 NBA games. In his 22nd season as an NBA head coach, tonight’s victory moves Adelman’s career coaching record to 1000-703, a winning percentage of .587.

Adelman, 66, has served as head coach of five NBA teams: Portland (1988 - 94), Golden State (1995 - 97), Sacramento (1998 - 2006), Houston (2007 - 11) and Minnesota (2012 - current). Some of his coaching highlights include: two NBA Finals appearances (1990 and 1992 with Portland), four Western Conference Finals (1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland and 2001-02 with Sacramento) and four division titles (1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland; 2001-02 and 2002-03 with Sacramento).

Adelman’s teams have reached the NBA playoffs in 16 of his 21+ seasons as a head coach, and he holds an all-time playoff record of 79-78 (.503 winning percentage). He is one of only five head coaches in NBA history to win 60+ games in a season with two different teams (Portland and Sacramento). Adelman has been runner-up for the NBA Coach of the Year award four times.

Adelman began his coaching career at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, where his teams amassed a 141-39 record over six seasons (1977-83). Chemeketa won or shared in three Oregon community college championships and one regional title.

John Wall

On a night when the Washington Wizards celebrated the 35th anniversary of the franchise’s only championship, John Wall played like someone who might someday carry on that legacy, scoring 37 points in a display of speed and flair Saturday to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Wall made 16 of 25 shots, throwing his palms up after making an improbable 14-foot sideways runner and flexing his muscles to the fans on the first row after banking in a fast-break layup. He even blocked a layup attempt by Roy Hibbert, the 6-foot-4 point guard rising to swat the ball away from the 7-foot-2 Pacers center.

Wall also had five assists, four rebounds and two blocks for the lottery-bound Wizards, who have won nine straight at home and are 18-4 at the Verizon Center this season when he’s on the floor.

They were especially motivated to put on a good show Saturday night, with Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes and the other members of the 1978 team on hand for a halftime celebration in which a new, larger banner was raised and the franchise, at least one more time, was again known as the Bullets…

Hibbert had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who went cold at the start of the second half. The Wizards took a 51-48 halftime lead and turned it into 63-48, with Wall scoring half of the points in the 12-0 run while Indiana was going 4:15 without a point. The Pacers didn’t get closer than seven the rest of the game.

— Reported by Joseph White of the Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies have assigned guard Keyon Dooling and re-assigned guard Tony Wroten to the NBA Development League’s Reno Bighorns, the team announced today.  This marks the first D-League assignment for Dooling and the fourth for Wroten this season.

Both players will be available for the Bighorns’ regular season finale tonight against the Canton Charge.

Dooling (6-3, 196) logged two minutes in his Grizzlies debut on April 3 at Portland after signing with Memphis as a free agent the same day.  The 32-year-old owns career averages of 7.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists on .415 shooting in 19.5 minutes in 722 games (86 starts) over 13 seasons for the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies.

Wroten (6-6, 208) holds D-League averages of 15.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.50 steals on .410 shooting in 25.4 minutes in 10 games (two starts) over three assignments with Reno this season.  The 19-year-old recorded 24.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.50 steals on .410 shooting in 29.0 minutes in two games during his most recent assignment from Jan. 11-14.

Drafted by Memphis in the first round (25th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft after one season at the University of Washington, the Seattle native has averaged 2.7 points and 1.3 assists in 8.0 minutes in 33 games for the Grizzlies during his rookie season.

Memphis will finish its three-game West Coast road trip tomorrow at 5 p.m. CT against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard Jerel McNeal for the remainder of the season.

McNeal (6-3, 200, Marquette), whose first name is pronounced Jah-rell, was originally signed by the Jazz to a 10-day contract on March 27 from the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam but has not yet appeared in a game. He was the NBA’s 30th overall D-League Call-Up of the 2012-13 season and 26th different player called up.

A 25-year-old two-time NBA D-League All-Star selection, McNeal averaged 18.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 44 games (36 starts) in 2012-13 for the Jam, who acquired him in a trade with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers prior to the season. McNeal also tallied 13 points and seven assists for the Prospects team during the 2013 D-League All-Star Game on February 14 as part of NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston. In addition, McNeal was a D-League All-Star selection in 2011 while a member of the Vipers.

Undrafted in 2009, this marks McNeal’s second career NBA regular-season stint, having previously spent 10 days with the New Orleans Hornets from March 9-19, 2011, although he did not appear in a game. McNeal attended 2012 training camp with the Toronto Raptors but was waived prior to the 2012-13 season, and has also participated in NBA training camps with the Los Angeles Clippers (2009) and Houston Rockets (2010). He has also played with Dexia Mons-Hainaut in Belgium (2009-10) and Sutor Montegranaro of the Italian League (2011-12), in addition to D-League seasons with Rio Grande Valley (2010-11) and Bakersfield (2012-13).

Following the move, the Jazz roster remains at 15 players.

Doc Rivers

Does he pay attention to the standings?

“I do but I don’t,” Rivers said in his best hedging language. “I really don’t. I know we’re in the seventh spot. I know we want to stay out of the eighth spot.

So, Rivers is actually admitting he wants avoid the Heat?

“Of course we would,” Rivers admitted when asked that very question. “But if we play them, we’ll be ready. But of course we would. Listen, I’m not that dumb. I’m not the brightest guy but come on. Really, you would love to avoid anyone [like Miami]. Listen, no matter who we play, we’re going to play a tough team. It’s going to be New York, Indiana or Miami. There’s no cakewalk for us. It’s going to be hard.”

To Rivers point, the Celtics are 1-3 this year against New York, 1-2 against Miami and 2-0 against Indiana. The Celtics play the Heat next weekend in Miami and the Pacers at the Garden on April 16.

– Reported by Mike Petraglia of WEEI

The Suns marketers have stretched the usual Fan Appreciation Night into a Fan Appreciation Month.

The Suns players are unable to stretch a quarter or half that their fans appreciate into an entire game.

The Suns played their season’s best first quarter for a 37-23 lead Friday night. It was their highest-scoring quarter of the season. With a 64-55 halftime lead, the Suns had matched their best scoring half. Trying to stretch that effort for an entire game was like stretching gum too thin. The bubble popped.

The Suns rallied late but could not clean up the wreckage of a 10-turnover third quarter and lost 111-107 to Golden State at US Airways Center. The Suns are on a season-worst eight-game losing streak, their first one since the last Steve Nash-less team, and have matched the franchise record for consecutive home losses of six. By losing for the 12th time in the past 13 games, the Suns now have the NBA’s third-worst record (23-53)…

michael beasley

Beasley finished with 25 points, his second best total of the season, and his fourth consecutive double-digit scoring game, matching his season’s best streak.

“I just stopped listening to people,” Beasley said. “I’m doing what I know how to do. That’s really it. The more I listen to people, the more I got to think about. So, at times, it messes me up when I’m trying to think about a thousand things at once. I just stopped listening to people and just started trusting my instincts again.”

What people?

“Everybody,” Beasley said. “My friends, my family, my teammates, the coaches.”

– Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

demarcus cousins

The end of this season is beginning to feel a lot like the end of the Paul Westphal coaching era in Sacramento.

There are obvious issues between center DeMarcus Cousins and coach Keith Smart, like there were with Cousins and Westphal.

And just like the end of Westphal’s time before he was fired early in the 2011-12 season, Cousins found himself in an unusual spot Friday night – coming off the bench.

Cousins played just nine minutes – all in the second quarter – of the Kings’ 117-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Sleep Train Arena.

Cousins was benched for the first time this season when healthy and dressed for a game. In December, Smart left Cousins in Sacramento for a road game in Portland as part of a disciplinary action for a verbal altercation in Los Angeles.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Former Knick Bernard King has finally gotten into the Hall of Fame, according to a source.

The announcements will become official Monday at the Final Four in Atlanta. Ironically, King lives in Atlanta and attended the Knicks game Wednesday.

King played from 1982-87 with the Knicks and his career was shortened by knee trouble. He was disappointed in recent years about being passed over for the Hall. His name came up this week when Carmelo Anthony nearly acheived his feat of posting back-to-back 50-point games. King did that during the 1984-85 season. King averaged 26.5 points during his Knicks career.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post (Blog)

Shaun Livingston

Ware is expected to play again and the injury, despite the goriness, is not career-threatening. Livingston suffered a more damaging fate. Doctors says ligament tears are much more difficult to overcome than bone breaks, and Livingston had to rehabilitate from multiple ligament tears. His quickness, at one time a strength, was gone.

He has walked the road Ware is about to embark, an arduous rehabilitation filled with self doubt, constant visions of that night, and questions about your durability and desire.

“I would say stay away from the public’s opinion,” Livingston said when asked what advice he would offer Ware. “Just stay strong with his faith and focus on the positives.

“Obviously everything is going to be about what he can’t do, his limitations and all that. He has to focus on the positives, moving forward. That’s the way he’s going to make progress.”

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Kobe Bryant feels worn out

Kobe Bryant feels worn out

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The effect of all those minutes is taking a toll on Kobe Bryant.

What was left of him after playing all but 73 seconds the previous two games and 42 more minutes in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 86-84 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night could barely get up out of the chair afterward.

“I’m f-ing tired,” Bryant said, when asked why his voice sounded so rough. Bryant is one of the best-conditioned athletes on the planet. He puts his body through rigorous workouts during the season and over the summers to be able to handle workloads like this. But even he might have a limit.

– Reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles

Kobe, Lakers hold off Grizzlies 86-84

Kobe, Lakers hold off Grizzlies 86-84

Dwight Howard got in the way when Mike Conley drove the lane in the waning seconds, doing his delicate best to alter Conley’s potential game-deciding shot without fouling.

When Conley couldn’t score over Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers could exhale - one more victory in their desperate playoff push.

Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists, Pau Gasol added 19 points, and the Lakers stayed in the final playoff position in the Western Conference with an 86-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Howard hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left before playing solid defense on Conley’s final shot attempt, and the Lakers won their third straight in the final weeks of their push for a postseason spot. Los Angeles (40-36) barely leads Utah (40-37) - and everybody on the Lakers’ high-priced roster is aware of their situation…

Howard had nine points and 10 rebounds, while Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison contributed 13 points apiece off the bench as the Lakers won without injured starters Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. Los Angeles also avoided getting swept in its season series with the Grizzlies, whose four-game winning streak ended.

But it wasn’t over until Conley, who scored 21 points in a stellar performance, missed a potential go-ahead jumper with 5 seconds left and another layup before the buzzer. The playoff-bound Grizzlies couldn’t score in the final 2 1/2 minutes, and they gave some of the credit to the Lakers’ desperate defense…

Memphis’ Marc Gasol had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a lively matchup with his brother. Zach Randolph added 15 points as the Grizzlies fell one game behind Denver for the fourth seed in the West.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

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