Archive for May 21st, 2013

Tony Parker

Tony Parker had 15 points and a career playoff-high 18 assists, Tim Duncan scored San Antonio’s first six points of overtime and the Spurs bounced back after squandering a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 93-89 on Tuesday night.

The Spurs took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals with Game 3 on Saturday in Memphis.

Duncan opened the extra period with a layup, then made a tiebreaking putback on Parker’s missed jumper before making a runner that bounced high of the back iron and rattled in for a 91-87 lead with 1:08 to play.

The Grizzlies had a chance to tie after Jerryd Bayless hit a jumper and Parker missed one of two free throws with 14.6 seconds left, but Bayless’ 3-pointer from the left wing was off-target.

Bayless and Mike Conley each had 18 points to lead Memphis.

Duncan had 17 points and nine rebounds, missing most of the second half with foul trouble before coming up with the key baskets in overtime.

Memphis stormed back from a 13-point deficit with a 15-2 run over the final 8 minutes of regulation to tie it at 85 on Conley’s runner in the lane with 18.2 seconds to play.

Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

THE STAT: Despite the comeback, the game got away from the Grizzlies when they shot 24 percent in the second quarter and were outscored 31-18. Randolph went 0-for-7 and Tony Allen was 0-for-4. Memphis missed 14 straight shots to finish the half.

TURNING POINT: It was not enough to steal the win, but perhaps the fourth quarter has given the Grizzlies new life heading back home. Trailing 76-64, Memphis outscored San Antonio 21-9 even through the Grizzlies shot 38 percent from the floor. Memphis was down 0-2 in the first round after losing both games to open the Clippers series in L.A.

QUOTABLE II: “They ran at us. They got easy buckets, They got hot. But the second half I think we played more our basketball. We attacked, and of course everything works better when you make shots.”

Reported by Tim Price of NBA.com

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today they will not offer a new contract to head coach Vinny Del Negro. A search for a new coach will begin immediately.

“We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years with the organization,” Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks said. “Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish. This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward”

Del Negro compiled a 128-102 (.557) record with the Clippers in three seasons, guiding them to the Playoffs in 2012 and 2013. The Clippers finished the 2012-13 season with a franchise-high 56 wins and the fourth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs before falling 4-2 to the Memphis Grizzlies in the First Round. In five seasons as a head coach with the Chicago Bulls and Clippers, Del Negro owns a 210-184 (.533) career record.

amare stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire will go into next season with $45 million left on his contract and no guarantee of a starting job.

He also could remain a reserve who plays restricted minutes.

Searching for ways to improve next season, the New York Knicks could use a reliable second scorer and dependable low-post option. They have no way of knowing if Stoudemire can provide either because of his knees.

“He’s a heck of a player and I think we all know that. The question is his health and how much he can play,” general manager Glen Grunwald said Tuesday. “So we’ve got our medical staff and training staff working with him to design an offseason program that will get him to full health, and we hope he’ll be able to play significant minutes for us next year. How much that will be, we don’t know at this time.”

Stoudemire was limited to just 29 games in the regular season and four brief appearances in the postseason because of a pair of knee surgeries.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Vinny Del Negro

Vinny Del Negro is out as the Los Angeles Clippers’ coach, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.

Following one of the best seasons in franchise history, the Clippers opted not to offer a new contract to Del Negro, whose current deal will expire on June 30, sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne.

Del Negro coached the Clippers to a franchise-record 56 wins this season and the Pacific Division title.

– Reported by ESPN.com

Carmelo Anthony

Knicks GM Glen Grunwald declined to fire back Tuesday at Jim Boeheim for the longtime Syracuse coach’s published comments eviscerating the team assembled around former Orange star Carmelo Anthony.

“Jim’s a great coach and he’s obviously very loyal to Melo,” Grunwald said. “So I understand where his comments came from.”

Boeheim, whose lone championship at Syracuse came with a freshman Anthony leading the way in 2003, took direct shots at Anthony’s coaches and supporting cast — including Tyson Chandler, Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton — in a story in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Asked if he believes Anthony can win an NBA title with the current Knicks, Boeheim replied: “Not on that team. He did what he can do. He played very well the final game. Everybody’s killing him. … Carmelo gets turnovers and the announcers aren’t smart enough to even think, ‘Well, the guy should try to catch the ball.’

“Tyson Chandler claims he never gets the ball. He doesn’t try to get the ball. He had two points and Hibbert had (21).”

– Reported by Peter Botte of the New York Daily News

The Pistons are content with their young big men — third-year power forward Greg Monroe and rookie center Andre Drummond, who will represent the Pistons on stage tonight when the TV lights pop on at Times Square Studios.

So whom would the Pistons select if Drummond provides the luck needed to parlay a 3.6% chance into the No. 1 pick when the draft is held June 27?

Teams looking for perimeter help — like the Pistons — might turn to Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.

McLemore, 20, who spoke to reporters at the NBA predraft combine last week, knows he is close to realizing a lifelong dream.

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant has a very good reputation, and his generous actions today only solidified that sentiment.

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Durant through his family foundation pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma.

“The Red Cross relies on its donors to perform its mission in relieving human suffering following disasters,” said Janienne Bella, regional CEO. “Mr. Durant’s gift and support to Oklahoma comes at a time of great need and we’re forever thankful for his generosity.”

The Durant Family Foundation pledged the matching gift to inspire and challenge others to immediately do the same.

To donate to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment President and CEO Tim Leiweke announced Tuesday that he has revamped the senior leadership of the Toronto Raptors in preparation for next season. Bryan Colangelo has had his contract extended as the team’s President and will report directly to Mr. Leiweke. The club has also created a new position of General Manager that will have final authority on all basketball-related decisions. At this time, with input from Colangelo, Leiweke is conducting a search to identify candidates and expects to name the new GM in the next 30 days.

“After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization,” said Leiweke. “By splitting the roles and having both men report directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in the future. The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due diligence around the League indicates that we have a fine, young core and a few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season.”

While the General Manager will have autonomy over basketball decisions, Colangelo will continue to advise Leiweke on basketball-related matters while also broadening his involvement with the business side of the franchise. “The future of this team and this organization excites me more than ever, and I am looking forward to being part of our future success,” said Colangelo. “I will add whatever is necessary to help improve our basketball team while also expanding my efforts to increase brand awareness and influence growth of the game across this great country.”

“Bryan is skilled, knowledgeable and respected across the NBA and will be a resource that we count on to help build the Raptors into Canada’s team,” said Leiweke.

MLSE also announced that Leiweke would move up his official start date from July 1 to June 3 at the suggestion of the Board.

sacramento kings

In the last six lotteries, the Kings never improved their selection.

They had the worst record in 2008-09 but ended up with the worst possible pick, No. 4.

“You certainly can’t say the gods of chance have been smiling on us in that regard,” Petrie said.

The Kings had the fifth-worst record in 2011-12 and stayed in the fifth spot. That pick was used on Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, who was traded to Houston in February.

This year’s draft is considered to be lacking in potential superstars.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

The Milwaukee Bucks are searching for a coach in a crowded marketplace.

Other NBA teams are in the hunt for a coach, too, and this summer it’s likely at least one-third of the league’s head coaching jobs will change hands.

One team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, already has hired a new coach. The Cavs moved quickly to hire Mike Brown, who coached Cleveland once before, from 2005-’10, before a brief stint leading the Los Angeles Lakers.

Coaching jobs are now open in Milwaukee, Detroit, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, and Phoenix is likely to replace interim coach Lindsey Hunter.

Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew was in Milwaukee on Monday to meet with Bucks officials. His contract with the Hawks runs out June 30, and he and general manager Danny Ferry have agreed that both parties can explore their options in the meantime. It is expected the Hawks will change coaches.

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

zach randolph

Zach Randolph’s miserable Western Conference finals debut led to a sleepless night and a long film session.

The All-Star power forward and his Memphis Grizzlies are hardly down and out, though. In both rounds of the playoffs so far, Memphis has lost Game 1 before rallying back to knock out the Los Angeles Clippers and then the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This time, Randolph had his worst game ever in the playoffs, managing two points in a 105-83 blowout. His only lower-scoring game in 40 playoff appearances was when he played 1 minute as a rookie for Portland in a 2002 game.

“It’s more frustrating than embarrassing,” said Randolph, who missed his first seven shots in Game 1. “It’s basketball. It happens to the best of them.

“Muhammad Ali, he got knocked down before. What made him the greatest fighter in the world is he always bounced back.”

It took the Grizzlies two games to get off the mat in the first round, when they suffered a 21-point blowout at Los Angeles and then lost on a Chris Paul buzzer-beater in Game 2. Memphis then won the next four.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

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