Archive for April 4th, 2014

Timberwolves edge Heat in 2OT thriller

Making one free throw at the end of regulation wasn’t enough for the Miami Heat, nor was making just one again at the end of the first overtime.

In the second extra session, one made all the difference for Minnesota.

Corey Brewer hit one of two free throws with 1.8 seconds left after getting a call on an awkward-looking play, and that was enough to help the Timberwolves escape a three-hour thriller with a 122-121 victory over the Heat on Friday night.

Kevin Love scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which got 24 from Chase Budinger, 15 from Gorgui Dieng and 13 apiece from J.J. Barea and Ricky Rubio, who also added 14 assists. Referee Ken Mauer called the last foul on Miami’s Norris Cole, who was guarding Brewer near the basket as a pass was coming his way.

– Associated Press

Bradley Beal made the go-ahead jumper with 22 seconds left and scored 28 points, and the Washington Wizards took advantage of nine turnovers by Carmelo Anthony to edge the New York Knicks, 90-89 on Friday night.

Wall added 19 points, combining with Beal for Washington’s final 12.

The loss dropped the Knicks out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with the struggling Atlanta Hawks taking a one-game lead after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Friday.

J.R. Smith scored a season-high 32 points for the Knicks but misfired on a potential game-winning 3 with 2.2 seconds remaining after Anthony lost control of the ball.

Anthony, held to 10 points, made a jumper to cut the Wizards’ lead to 88-86 lead with 1:33 remaining.

– Associated Press

Larry Sanders suspended 5 games for violating anti-drug program

The NBA announced today that Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Sanders’ suspension will begin with the next NBA regular season game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

In response to this, the Milwaukee Bucks issued the following statement: “Larry Sanders has a responsibility to every person in our organization and our fans. We are all disappointed by the news of his suspension.”

And, Larry Sanders issued a statement: “I apologize to the entire Bucks organization and our fans for being suspended five games for using marijuana in violation of the NBA Anti-Drug Program. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The NBA imposes a five-game suspension upon the third positive test for marijuana use. Sanders is not active at this time due to an injury he suffered on Feb. 8. He underwent surgery to repair orbital fractures after being elbowed in the eye in a game against Houston and said in an interview in Portland last month that he would miss the rest of the season. His suspension will not take effect until he is physically able to play, so Sanders is likely to begin his four-year, $44 million contract extension next season with the five-game suspension.”

Houston Rockets power forward/center Dwight Howard received the March Community Assist Award in recognition of his charitable contributions and efforts in the Greater Houston area, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.

Last month, Howard’s D12 Foundation launched its grassroots program, “Block Out Violence,” within participating junior and senior high schools in Houston to promote anti-bullying, nonviolence, respect and acceptance. Howard began the campaign by hosting an assembly and a flash mob at Carnegie Vanguard High School, encouraging kids to help create safer campuses and communities. Thirty-two Houston schools have participated in the program, spurring thousands of students and their families to host events in their neighborhoods and post 800,000 positive messages of nonviolence on social media using the #BOV hashtag.

In addition to the “Block Out Violence” program, Howard has dedicated his time and resources to helping disadvantaged children and their families throughout Houston. Howard purchased 50 season tickets for kids as part of the Rockets for Youth ticket program. He also hosted a breakfast and provided gifts for homeless mothers and their children at the Salvation Army Residence Center in Houston. Extending his charity beyond his community, Howard worked with the D12 Foundation to provide $10,000 to the BETA Center in Orlando, an organization that provides support to teen moms and at-risk families.

“I’ve made it a point to give back to the community since my career began, and now that Houston is my home I want to make a difference here. I’ve been concerned about the violence and bullying that seems to be taking control of our schools and communities – not only in Houston, but throughout the country,” said Howard. “My hope is that the “Block Out Violence” campaign will motivate students to start grassroots movements in their schools that get them thinking and talking about the way they treat one another – ultimately, making safer schools and communities.”

During tonight’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier and Houston Rockets and Toyota Center CEO Tad Brown will present Howard with the David Robinson Plaque during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Howard’s behalf to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that they have signed guard Casper Ware to a second 10-day contract. He signed his first 10-day contract on March 24, 2014.

Ware has appeared in five games for the Sixers this season. After graduating from Long Beach State in 2012, Ware played in Italy. He spent the 2012-13 season with A.S. Junior Casale and was named MVP of Legadue Basket. Prior to joining the Sixers this season, Ware was with Virtus Bologna of Lega Basket Serie A.

Mavericks enjoy big win vs Clippers

Here’s the Dallas Morning News blog reporting on the Mavericks, who on Thursday beat the Clippers in Los Angeles, 113-107.

It’s a huge win: Just keep repeating that to yourself. Don’t worry about the fact that the Mavericks lost all but two points of a 109-97 lead in 85 seconds, which is really hard to do for an NBA team that still is trying hard. “The win was nice,” said Dirk Nowitzki. “Not so much the last couple minutes. We started to give the ball away again. And (J.J.) Redick had a (3-point) shot for the lead, which was amazing after having a 10-point lead.” Nevertheless, the Mavericks held on and that’s all that really matters.

Hope springs eternal: This win, and the win against Oklahoma City at home last week, is the sort of showing that makes you believe that the Mavericks have a puncher’s chance when the playoffs roll around. And it looks more and more now like the Mavericks will be a part of the postseason party this season. They aren’t in, by any stretch. But they have the three worst teams in the Western Conference (by record) coming up to finish this trip. They could be knocking on the door of clinching a playoff spot by the time they return home Wednesday.

Watch this NBA video of the top 10 plays by flashy retired point guard Jason Williams, aka White Chocolate:

Thursday in Oklahoma City the Thunder beat the Spurs 106-94, ending San Antonio’s 19-game winning streak. Kevin Durant scored 28 points in the win, while Russell Westbrook had 27. Here are some video highlights:

Video: Blake Griffin vs Dirk Nowitzki

Thursday in Los Angeles, the Dallas Mavericks stepped up and beat the Clippers, 113-107. Here are some video highlights of Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki, who both had good teams for their squads:

Sure, it was easy for the Washington Wizards to say they were going to rebuild their team the “right way,” using the draft to restock the roster and doing a lot of losing before, hopefully, getting back to at least a little bit of winning.

Try living through it.

“Let me tell you, it feels like I’ve been here 20 years,” said coach Randy Wittman, who actually arrived as an assistant in 2009. “But it makes it worth the while, too. I wouldn’t wish some of the struggles that we went through on anybody, but it also makes it nicer then to see the other end of it.”

No one is proclaiming that the Wizards are the NBA dynasty, but the long-suffering franchise is back in the playoffs, having booked their spot Wednesday night with a 26-point thrashing of the Boston Celtics.

– Associated Press

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