Archive for March 24th, 2014

Los Angeles D-Fenders forward Brandon Costner and Springfield Armor forward Willie Reed were today named NBA Development League Co-Performers of the Week for games played Monday, March 17- Sunday, March 23. The award is the first for both players this season.

Costner (6-9, 235, North Carolina State) led the D-Fenders to a 2-1 week, including wins over the Austin Toros and Santa Cruz Warriors. For the week, Costner averaged 27.0 points on 59 percent shooting from the floor to go with 11.3 rebounds. He recorded a season-high 38 points and 14 rebounds in the team’s 140-121 win over the Warriors on March 22. For the season, he is averaging 14.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 26.7 minutes.

Reed (6-10, 220, St. Louis) helped the Armor record a 2-2 week, securing wins against the Erie BayHawks and Canton Charge while averaging 18.3 points on 56 percent shooting, to go with 19.3 rebounds, including 7.5 offensive rebounds. His 24 rebounds against the BayHawks on March 17 tied the Armor’s franchise record. On the year, Reed is averaging 14.8 points, 10.1 rebounds and 31.8 minutes.

Other top performers considered included Austin’s Flip Murray, Iowa’s Moses Ehambe and Othyus Jeffers, Maine’s Frank Gaines, Santa Cruz’s Cameron Jones and Sioux Falls’ Tre Kelley.

joe johnson

The Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Johnson and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 17, through Sunday, March 23.

Johnson led the Nets to a 4-0 week, which included wins over the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Johnson connected on 14-of-24 (.583) three-point field goals on the week, including a 6-of-8 performance from distance en route to 27 points on March 21, during a 114-98 win over the Boston Celtics.

kevin durant

Durant led the Thunder to a 3-0 week, tallying 35 points or more in all three contests. He averaged a league-best 40.3 ppg and added 11.7 rebounds (fourth in the conference) and 6.0 assists (tied-10th in the conference). Durant closed the week with a 51-point, 12-rebound, seven-assist effort on March 21, as the Thunder topped the Toronto Raptors 119-118 in double overtime.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Houston’s James Harden, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, San Antonio’s Tiago Splitter and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that they have signed guard Casper Ware to a 10-day contract.

Since graduating from Long Beach State in 2012, Ware has played in Italy. He spent the 2012-13 season with A.S. Junior Casale and was named MVP of Legadue Basket. This season, Ware played for Virtus Bologna of Lega Basket Serie A.

As a senior for the 49ers, Ware was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in assists.

In addition, Darius Johnson-Odom’s 10-day contract with the Sixers has expired.

Here is the New York Post reporting on a man found dead whose name is the same name as a former Nets/NBA player. But, it’s not that player. It’s another guy.

Cops are investigating the suspicious death of a man whose body was found buried in a shallow grave on the Far Rockaway beach Monday morning.

Initial reports that the victim is former Nets basketball player Quinton Ross are incorrect, police said.

The victim, also named Quinton Ross was stuffed into a trash bag that was hidden in a patch of weeds midway between the water and the boardwalk at Beach 40th Street, cops said.

A law-enforcement source said he had been reported missing to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, on Thursday.

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting on the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have to suddenly play amazing basketball and get lucky on top of that if they still hope to somehow qualify for the playoffs:

The Timberwolves’ playoff hopes already were on life support even before they tipped off Sunday against the Phoenix Suns in their only home matinee game of the season.

With the end of the season drawing near, the Wolves were in 10th position in the Western Conference playoff chase five games behind Phoenix, which sat just a game behind Memphis for the eighth and final berth.

A Wolves victory would have sent pulses skipping a bit and renewed enthusiasm for the final weeks.

But only Phoenix moved in a positive direction.

The Suns essentially pulled the plug on the Wolves’ faint playoff hopes with a 127-120 victory in front of 17,866 at Target Center. Markieff Morris scored 25 points and Eric Bledsoe had 21 and P.J.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins:

In terms of maturity, Nov. 9, 2012 was one of the low points during DeMarcus Cousins’ NBA career.

Following a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Cousins left the Kings locker room to confront former Spur and current television analyst Sean Elliott over comments he deemed as critical.

The NBA deemed that confrontation threatening and hostile and suspended Cousins for two games.

When the Spurs were in Sacramento this past Friday, Cousins approached Elliott before the game and apologized.

“What happened between me and Sean the other day was just me being man enough to admit that I was wrong,” Cousins said. “I wasn’t expecting it to get out. I was hoping it was going to be something between me and him.”

Here’s an NBA video of the top 10 assists of the week, through March 22, 2014:

Here’s an NBA video of the top 10 dunks of the week, through March 22, 2014:

Here’s Mavericks guard Monta Ellis hitting a great reverse layup against the Nets. Brooklyn wound up winning the game in overtime, 107-104:

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the latest Nets victory:

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson made sure Jason Kidd’s 41st birthday was a happy one.

Johnson, who has been automatic in late and close situations since joining the Nets two summers ago, hit the game-tying layup with 9.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and then led the Nets with six points in overtime on the way to an improbable 107-104 victory over the Mavericks in front of a sellout crowd of 19,603 at American Airlines Center Sunday night.

“Down the stretch, man,” Johnson said, “those moments are ones I really cherish and love.”

They have become moments the Nets (37-31) love to have Johnson for, as he is 7-for-7 in his one-plus seasons as a Net when they are within three points in the final 10 seconds of the game, and 3-for-3 this season.

“He’s clutch, man,” said Deron Williams, who finished with 15 points in his return to his hometown. “That’s why the ball is in his hands.”

Here’s the Los Angeles Times Blog reporting on the Lakers, who helped the Orlando Magic maintain their losing ways:

Jordan Hill had a career-high 28 points to help the Lakers end their four-game losing streak with a 103-94 victory over the Orlando Magic.

In an outcome that likely ended any hope the Lakers had for the third lottery position of the 2014 NBA draft, the Lakers gave Orlando their ninth straight loss.

Playing on the second night of back-to-back games, the Magic got a double-double from rookie Victor Oladipo (21 points, 10 assists). Orlando owned a 46-34 rebounding advantage but couldn’t overcome 20 turnovers.

Pau Gasol sat out the second half because of dizziness and nausea after scoring six points and getting two rebounds in 18 minutes in the first half.

Nick Young helped carry the offensive load for the Lakers. He finished with 26 points off the bench. Hill had 13 rebounds. Jodie Meeks also scored in double figures with 13 points and he had six steals.

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