Archive for May 30th, 2013

lebron james

The game was very much in doubt. A sold-out arena was basically silent. The chance of getting back to the NBA Finals for a third straight year could have slipped away.

Cue LeBron James.

A third quarter for the ages by the four-time MVP turned the game, and perhaps the entire Eastern Conference finals, around. James scored 16 of his 30 points in the quarter, fueling what was a 20-point turnaround at one point, and the Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 90-79 in Game 5 on Thursday night.

The Heat lead the series 3-2, with a chance to finish it off in Indiana on Saturday night and move on to a finals matchup with the San Antonio Spurs…

Indiana was up 46-40 early in the third, surely sensing a chance to grab total control of the series. Over the next 11 minutes, the Heat outscored the Pacers 30-10, with James either scoring or accounting for 25 Miami points. He shot 7 for 10 in the third quarter; the Pacers shot 3 for 14. He had four rebounds in the quarter; the Pacers, as a team, grabbed six. He had four assists in the quarter; the Pacers had one…

James added eight rebounds and six assists, and Udonis Haslem made his last eight shots on the way to a 16-point night. Mario Chalmers scored 12 and Dwyane Wade added 10 for the Heat, who ousted the Pacers in six games in a second-round matchup last season and will look to do the same this time around, albeit one round deeper.

paul george

Paul George had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 22 points from Roy Hibbert and 17 from David West. The Pacers led by as many as seven at one point, but had no answer for the Heat in the third and now have to win back-to-back games - against a team that hasn’t lost consecutive games since early January…

For the second time in the series, Haslem - who has struggled with his shot for the better part of two years - finished 8 for 9…

Chris Andersen and Tyler Hansbrough needed to be separated early in the second, and both got technicals after Andersen appeared to hit Hansbrough twice, first with a shoulder and then with a two-hand shove. Andersen also picked up a flagrant-1 for his efforts, things cooled off a bit for the rest of the half, and Indiana went into the break up 44-40.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

To catch you up to speed on Utah Jazz legends, Jerry Sloan is still mentioned in job-opening rumors, Jeff Hornacek is the Phoenix Suns head coach and Karl Malone has agreed to mentor his old team’s big men.

Oh yeah, and John Stockton is now … an author!?

Yes, really.

The Hall of Fame point guard’s autobiography “Assisted” — co-authored by Kerry L. Pickett — will be released this fall.

Deseret Book posted an Instagram photo of Stockton signing his Shadow Mountain-published book Thursday from the Book Expo America in New York City.

Reported by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News

Opponents of a public subsidy for a new downtown sports arena are seeking to put the issue before voters in a special election.

The campaign behind the initiative - called Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork - notified the city clerk’s office on Wednesday that it intends to gather signatures for the Voter Approval for Public Funding of Professional Sports Arena Act. The city attorney’s office now has two weeks to write a ballot summary before the campaign can begin collecting signatures.

City Clerk Shirley Concolino said the group will need valid signatures from 15 percent of registered voters in the city - about 33,000. The campaign will also need to collect a buffer of several thousand more to account for invalid signatures and duplicates.

Those signatures would need to be filed with county elections officials by mid-July, giving the campaign just a few weeks.

Reported by Ryan Lillis and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee

The Magic won the second overall pick in the June 27 draft.

If the Cleveland Cavaliers use the first pick to select University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, then the Magic would be able to pick McLemore, whom many experts regard as the best shooter in the draft and one of the top overall prospects in the draft.

“The Orlando Magic, I think that’s a great program,” McLemore said. “I think I could fit perfectly in that system and that organization and help that team in different kinds of ways.”

On May 16, McLemore met with Magic GM Rob Hennigan, assistant GMs Scott Perry and Matt Lloyd and coach Jacque Vaughn during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

That 30-minute session served as a get-to-know-you meeting.

McLemore said he “can’t wait” to visit Orlando, work out individually for the Magic and have additional conversations with Magic officials.

Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Steve Nash battling ex-wife in court

steve nash

Steve Nash, the Suns former point guard, said Thursday morning on the witness stand in Maricopa County Superior Court that he expects to come back to the Valley after he ends his NBA career. Nash, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and leases a home in Manhattan Beach, Calif., said he intends to keep his permanent residence in Paradise Valley, where he has made recent renovations.

His residency has become an issue in a two-day “relocation trial” regarding his ex-wife and three children, and whether he would be involved in their lives. Nash’s ex-wife, Alejandra Amarilla Menrath, wants Family Court Judge Thomas LeClaire to approve the relocation of their children from the Valley to Southern California.

Menrath has said she wants to move with the children to Southern California so the three kids can be closer to their father. She also has indicated the move may allow her to obtain child support from a California court…

Nash, under terms of a sealed divorce settlement, does not pay child support. He pays for the children’s private education and health-care insurance through his employer, according to testimony.

Reported by the Arizona Republic

David Lee

Golden State Warriors forward David Lee underwent successful surgery this morning to address a torn right hip flexor, the team announced. Following the procedure, which was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, Lee is expected to begin rehabilitation in the next 10-14 days.

Lee, 30, suffered the injury in Game 1 of the Warriors’ First Round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on April 20, 2013.  After missing the next four games, Lee returned to action to play one minute, 27 seconds in Game 6, the final game of the First Round series, as Golden State defeated Denver 4-2.  In the Conference Semifinals against San Antonio, Lee did not play in either of the first two games, but appeared in each of the final four contests of the series, finishing the 2013 Playoffs with averages of 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 10.9 minutes over six games.

During the regular season, Lee appeared in 79 games, averaging 18.5 points (15th in NBA), 11.2 rebounds (T-4th), 3.5 assists and 36.8 minutes (15th) per contest, while shooting 51.9 percent (21st) from the field.  For his efforts, the 6’9” forward earned Third Team All-NBA honors, becoming the first Warriors player to earn such accolades since Latrell Sprewell was a First Team selection in 1993-94.

Offended by criticism that Dennis Rodman’s basketball diplomacy was a marketing gimmick for their season finale on North Korea, the creators of “Vice,” a new HBO newsmagazine with a penchant for daredevilish themes, said Wednesday that Mr. Rodman had improved the program but was not even their first choice.

At a preview screening of the finale, the creators said they would have preferred to have recruited another former N.B.A. star, Michael Jordan, whose autograph adorns a basketball presented to Kim Jong-il, the father of North Korea’s current leader, Kim Jong-un, by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright during her visit to North Korea in 2000 — when relations were comparatively warmer than they are now.

“Jordan wasn’t interested,” said Shane Smith, the founder and chief executive of the Vice Media Group, the HBO partner that conceived the North Korea trip and helped persuade the authorities there to permit it.

However, Mr. Smith said, Mr. Rodman’s ready acceptance of the idea turned out to be a blessing. “It fit right into our wheelhouse, because it’s absurd,” Mr. Smith said.

Reported by Rick Gladstone of the New York Times

Is Shane Battier a dirty player?

Indiana Pacers players say they have to protect themselves, especially their knees, when Miami Heat forward Shane Battier is in the game during the Eastern Conference finals.

Ahead of Thursday’s pivotal Game 5 with the series tied 2-2, Pacers big men David West and Roy Hibbert said part of the Pacers’ preparation for the Heat is to watch out for Battier attempting to take shots at their knees.

“I (learned) to always have my guard up and protect my knees,” West said. “(Battier) has got this funny way of moving into your knees. We’re very conscious of that. We talk about making sure we protect our knees.”

Earlier in the series, Hibbert accused Battier of a dirty play when Battier kneed him in the midsection on a drive to the basket. Hibbert said he is wary of Battier when he’s on the floor and again called Battier a “dirty player.”

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Miami’s LeBron James was among three players who were each fined $5,000 by the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday for violating the league’s anti-flopping policy during the Eastern Conference finals.

James, the NBA’s reigning most valuable player, was fined along with David West and Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers for exaggerating contact during Tuesday’s Game Four of the best-of-seven series, which is tied at two games apiece.

With the intense series set to resume on Thursday in Miami, the league decided to crack down on the theatrics displayed in Game Four, where the players involved tried to trick referees into calling fouls off limited contact.

James and West were cited for flopping on the same play during Indiana’s 99-92 home victory.

Reported by Reuters

The Pacers’ 99-92 victory Tuesday was filled with such plays and marked by a combined 55 personal fouls. One of those fouls, committed by West against Dwyane Wade with 5:57 left in the fourth quarter of Game 4, was upgraded by the NBA to a flagrant-1.

Steve Kerr, working the game as an analyst for TNT, said flopping has ”been apparent throughout the series but I think it got worse” during Game 4. The league made the announcements of the flopping calls and flagrant upgrade a few hours before Game 5.

James was voted to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team, but Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau accused him of flopping after a play during the Heat’s second-round series victory over the Bulls. The play with West came not long after James said flopping was ”not even a bad thing, you’re just trying to get the advantage.”

Reported by the Associated Press

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