Los Angeles Clippers today announced the team will play against the Denver Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay Events Center inside the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. PT as part of its 2014 preseason schedule. This marks the third straight year for the Clippers to play a preseason game in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay.

Tickets will be available exclusively for Clippers season ticket-holders and other select groups from Friday, April 11 – Sunday, April 13, and individual tickets for the game will go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 14 at 10:00 AM PT and can be purchased through Ticketmaster and the Mandalay Bay Box Office.

The Mandalay Bay Events Center is a multi-purpose arena home to World Championship Boxing, premier concerts and special events. Its seating capacity holds up to 12,000 people.

Atlanta Hawks great Lou Hudson passes away

Statement from the Atlanta Hawks

atlanta hawks

The Atlanta Hawks family has learned of the passing of Hawks great and six-time All-Star Lou Hudson today in Atlanta.

Originally drafted in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1966 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks, Hudson averaged 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists (.489 FG%, .797 FT%) in his 13-year NBA career, including 11 outstanding seasons with the Hawks. His number 23 is one of three retired jerseys that hangs in the rafters at Philips Arena.

Hudson averaged 18.4 points as a rookie in St. Louis, and was named to the All-NBA Rookie Team. After missing part of the 1967-68 season to serve his country in the United States Army, Hudson returned as the franchise relocated to Atlanta in 1968, and scored the first basket in Atlanta Hawks history on October 15, 1968. In 1970, he helped lead the Hawks to the Western Division Championship.

The 1969-70 season began a stretch of five consecutive years averaging at least 24.0 points per game. In his 11 years with the Hawks, he put up 20.0 points per game or better seven times. He shares the franchise single-game scoring record, having put up 57 points against Chicago on November 10, 1969.

He was traded by Atlanta to the Los Angeles Lakers on September 30, 1977, and played his final two seasons with Los Angeles. Hudson later relocated to Park City, Utah where he served on the City Council in the 1990’s and was active in numerous charitable endeavors. He later moved back to the Atlanta area, and regularly attended games and team alumni events. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

One of the first three African-American basketball players to attend the University of Minnesota, Hudson played for legendary coach John Kundla. His uniform number 14 was retired by the Gophers in 1994 and he’s a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

Hudson was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on July 11, 1944 and starred in basketball, football and track at Dudley High School in his hometown. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL Draft despite not playing college football.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

STATEMENT FROM ATLANTA HAWKS CO-OWNER MICHAEL GEARON:
“Lou Hudson holds a special place in the Hawks family, in the hearts of our fans and in the history of our club. As a fan growing up with this team, I’m fortunate to say I was able to see almost every game Sweet Lou played as a member of the Hawks. He was an integral part of successful Hawks teams for over a decade, and is deservedly recognized with the ultimate symbol of his significance to the franchise with the number 23 hanging inside Philips Arena. On behalf of the Hawks organization, I’d like to extend condolences to Lou’s family and friends.”

xavier henry surgeries

Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent successful surgeries today to repair both a torn ligament in his left wrist and the cartilage abnormality in his right knee. The wrist surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Shin and the knee surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Lombardo, both at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.

In 43 games (five starts) this season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes.

Pelicans sign forward James Southerland

Pelicans sign forward James Southerland

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward James Southerland for the remainder of the season.

Southerland (6-8, 221) joins the Pelicans after playing for the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2013-14. The Syracuse product appeared in 42 games (14 starts) with the D-Fenders this season and averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game.

Prior to his release, the 6-8 small forward appeared in one game earlier this season with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Southerland will wear No. 31 and will be available for tonight’s contest against Oklahoma City.

Bobcats sign DJ White for remainder of season

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward DJ White for the remainder of the season.

The 6-9 White, who signed a pair of 10-day contracts on March 21 and 31, has seen action in two games for the Bobcats this season, tallying two rebounds and one steal in five minutes. He is in his sixth NBA season and has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 138 games played with the Thunder, Bobcats and Celtics. For his career, White has shot .507 from the field (348-687) and .720 from the free-throw line (113-157).

Prior to joining the Bobcats, White played 27 games this season for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31.9 minutes, while shooting .672 (219-326) from the field and .733 from the free-throw line (96-131). He scored in double figures 25 times, including 17 games of 20 points or more, and posted eight double-doubles.

The Sacramento Kings today signed guard Jared Cunningham for the remainder of the season, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

Signed to a 10-day contract on March 31, Cunningham is averaging 3.0 points (.235 FG%, 10-10 FT), 0.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 6.3 minutes per game in six games off the bench for the Kings.

Earlier this season, Cunningham played for the Atlanta Hawks, totaling two points (1-2 FG, 0-1 3pt, 0-2 FT), one rebound, three assists and 22 minutes in five games off the bench before being waived on February 22.

Cunningham was selected out of Oregon State in the first round (24th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers before being traded along with Jae Crowder and Bernard James to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Tyler Zeller and Kelenna Azubike.

In his rookie campaign with the Mavericks, he recorded a total of 16 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 26 minutes in eight contests off the bench.

The 6-4, 194-pound guard has also spent time in the D-League, playing for the Texas Legends (2012-13) and Bakersfield Jam (2013-14). With the Legends, Cunningham averaged 15.3 points (.335 FG%, .257 3pt%, .721 FT%), 2.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 34.5 minutes per game in 15 games, of which he started 13. Cunningham posted averages of 16.5 points (.394 FG%, .330 3pt%, .803 FT%), 3.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 31.1 minutes per game in 22 contests, starting 19 of those.

mike james

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard Mike James and forward Lou Amundson (Ah-mund-son) for the remainder of the season. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.

James (6-2, 188), an 11-year NBA veteran, appeared in 11 games with Chicago earlier this year and averaged 1.0 ppg, 1.5 apg and 0.6 rpg in 7.0 mpg. For his career, James has appeared 595 regular season games (286 starts) and averaged 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg and 2.2 rpg in 24.1 mpg, while shooting .417 from the field, .379 from deep and .802 from the free throw line. James has also played in 33 playoff games and averaged 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 1.2 apg in 11.9 mpg.

lou amundson

Amundson (6-9, 225), a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 345 regular season games (seven starts). During that time, he has posted averages of 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 0.72 bpg in 12.7 mpg, while shooting .491 from the field and .436 from the free throw line. Amundson has also played in 29 playoff games and averaged 2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.41 bpg in 10.3 mpg.

A native of Ventura, Calif., Amundson most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans. While with the Pelicans earlier this season, he saw action in 18 games and averaged 2.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 0.61 bpg in 10.2 mpg. For his career, he has also played with Philadelphia (twice), Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, and Chicago during the 2012-13 season.

James will wear No. 8 and Amundson will wear No. 17.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15 players.

wizards

The Washington Wizards have partnered with Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic to help grant the wish of 10-year-old Wizards fan Amaris Jackson. Amaris, who is battling renal cell carcinoma and will undergo surgery in the near future to remove a tumor in her lungs, will be signed by the team for this weekend’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, April 12. Amaris, who is point guard on her school’s basketball team, is from Washington, DC.

Amaris will join Coach Randy Wittman and the entire team for the pregame shootaround followed by a personalized basketball workout with assistant coach Ryan Saunders. Later that evening, she will join Monumental Sports & Entertainment majority owner, chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis and Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld for the signing of a one-day contract. Amaris will lead the team onto the court prior to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks and will take part in various in-game activities throughout the night.

Rockets sign Dexter Pittman, waive Greg Smith

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed center Dexter Pittman to a multi-year contract. The 47th “Call-Up” this season, Pittman joins the Rockets from the D-League’s Austin Toros. To open a roster spot, the Rockets have waived center/forward Greg Smith.

Pittman (6-11, 285, Texas), who is currently in his fourth season in the NBA, was originally selected by Miami in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 50 regular season games (six starts) with Miami, Memphis and Atlanta, averaging 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per outing. Pittman has also seen action in three career postseason contests (one start) with the Heat. This season, Pittman was signed to a 10-day contract by the Hawks on Feb. 22 and appeared in two games before being released on Feb. 27. Pittman previously played three seasons with the Heat before being traded to the Grizzlies. In addition, he participated in 2013 NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs followed by a training camp invite from the Chicago Bulls.

In 28 games with the Toros (20 starts) this season, Pittman averaged 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and finished third overall in the D-League with 2.25 blocks per game. Pittman was acquired by Austin from the Springfield Armor on Jan. 6, 2014. While with Miami, Pittman was also assigned to the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce (2010-11 and 2012-13), where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 37 games played (34 starts).

A former standout at Terry High School in Rosenberg, TX, Pittman played four seasons at the University of Texas. He appeared in 134 games (59 starts), averaging 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds over four seasons with the Longhorns.

Smith (6-10, 250, Fresno State), who was in his third season with Houston, saw action in just 11 games this season with the Rockets.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog with an update on Bucks center Larry Sanders:

Larry Sanders begins 5-game suspension

Bucks officials confirmed that fourth-year center Larry Sanders has started his five-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.

Sanders was not with the Bucks for their Wednesday game against Indiana and could not be at the arena, per NBA policy.

Sanders was suspended for a third positive marijuana test. He was out due to surgery for right orbital fractures and it was uncertain when his suspension would begin.

Video: Clippers vs Thunder dunk mix

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder visited Los Angeles and beat the Clippers 107-101. Russell Westbrook put up 30 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals in the win. Here’s a video dunk highlight mix:

Dorell Wright hits game-winning 3-pointer for Blazers

Dorell Wright hadn’t hit a game-winner since high school, and certainly he’d never had a winner that was his only basket of the game.

But on Wednesday night, Wright hit a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the late-charging Sacramento Kings 100-99.

The three points amounted to his final total.

“That was pretty cool right there,” the nine-year NBA veteran said after the game. “Especially since I was mad at myself for not making my shots the whole game.”

Ray McCallum missed a 21-foot jumper as time ran out for the Kings and Portland’s Robin Lopez grabbed the rebound and held it tight for the victory.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points to lead the Blazers, who have won six of their past seven games.

– Associated Press

The Charlotte Bobcats have leapfrogged another team, increasing the odds that their return to the playoffs won’t be a token appearance.

The Washington Wizards have dropped a spot and are having issues. Or, as center Marcin Gortat put it: “The way we play right now, we ain’t going to beat anybody, including Milwaukee.”

The Bobcats blew a 20-point, first-half lead to the Wizards on Wednesday night before winning 94-88 in overtime, moving Charlotte into position for the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

“To go from basically the worst team going to the six seed, I mean, it shows a lot,” said guard Kemba Walker, who scored the only field goal in overtime for either team.

The win left both teams at 40-38 with four games remaining, but Charlotte won the season series 3-1 and therefore holds the tiebreaker. Both teams want to stay out of seventh or eighth to avoid a first-round series against the two conference powerhouses, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.

– Associated Press

Warriors sign Hilton Armstrong for remainder of season

The Golden State Warriors have signed center Hilton Armstrong for the remainder of the season, the team announced today.

Armstrong, 29, has appeared in 12 games with Golden State this season, averaging 1.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 5.3 minutes. He originally signed with the Warriors as a free agent on Dec. 11 before being waived on Dec. 29 and subsequently signed a 10-day contract with Golden State on Feb. 22, and a second 10-day contract on March 30.

In addition to his time with Golden State, the 6-11 center has appeared in 32 games (23 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League this season, averaging 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.75 blocks in 26.2 minutes while hitting 55.9 percent from the field.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on the Lakers:

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a multiyear extension with general manager Mitch Kupchak.

The Lakers, in response to an ESPN.com report earlier Tuesday night, confirmed the new deal for Kupchak to reporters late in the fourth quarter of a 145-130 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Kupchak has presided over four NBA championships since succeeding Jerry West as the Lakers general manager in 2000. He has been with the organization since retiring as a player in 1986.

Details of Kupchak’s current contract have never been released, but he had at least another year on his current deal.

Here’s Lakers point guard Steve Nash dishing a pass that became the assist moving Nash above Mark Jackson into 3rd place on the NBA’s all-time total assists list:

Watch video of Nets rookie Mason Plumlee blocking Heat star LeBron James with around four seconds left. The Nets won the game, 88-87. This was huge. LeBron felt he got fouled on the play. Notice Joe Johnson swiping at LeBron before Plumlee’s block.

Here’s the Columbian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers, who have clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs:

“I think everybody is excited about it, but we understand that these three games are really important for us,” said Damian Lillard when asked how things have changed since Portland clinched a playoff spot with Robin Lopez’s arm draped over his shoulders.

Lillard, Lopez, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum did their media interviews in what was basically giant group-hug in Tualatin.

With a 2-game lead over Golden State for the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoffs, the Blazers would face Houston next. The Rockets are now all but cemented as the No. 4 seed.

Golden State, the team chasing the Blazers, comes to Portland on April 13 with a chance to win the season series tiebreaker should the two teams finish with the same record and pick up a game in the standings.

Lopez said on the Blazers’ mentality: “I think we really want to get these next two. If we win these two, then beat Golden State that puts us in pretty good position.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t going to make the NBA playoffs, but at least they got to enjoy a win over the league-leading San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Four months later, under far different circumstances, and in front of a relatively sparse crowd announced at 10,117, the game was finally played.

Tuesday’s game between the Timberwolves and San Antonio at Target Center was originally scheduled for Dec. 4 in Mexico City, an international experience that went sour when a malfunctioning generator filled the arena with smoke, sending both teams home early. So, all these weeks later?

“It was worth the wait,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said.

Getting contributions from just about everywhere the Wolves put a 110-91 pasting on the Spurs.

Kevin Love and Gorgui Dieng each had double-doubles. From Love, that’s not news. But from Dieng it’s an emerging story that added a chapter Tuesday, when he got the better of Spurs star Tim Duncan (10 points on 4-for-11 shooting).

“I dreamed of playing against those guys,” said Dieng, who didn’t shoot the ball terribly well but scored 12 points and got 15 rebounds. “Tim Duncan, he’s going to be a Hall of Famer. A great player. When I got the chance I didn’t want to let it go. Because you never know when you’ll get a chance again.”

Here’s the Miami Herald with an update on the Heat and D-Wade, whose main focus is to be healthy for the upcoming NBA playoffs, which start Saturday, April 19:

Dwyane Wade misses seventh game in a row as a precaution

Dwyane Wade is close to returning to the court, but was held out of his seventh game in a row on Tuesday as a precaution.

Wade, who injured his hamstring March 26 against Indiana, put in extra hours in the training room and on the court Monday and wanted to play against the Brooklyn Nets, but the Heat’s trainers and coach Erik Spoelstra remained cautious. Wade, who has missed 26 games this season, might return to the court Wednesday in Memphis, but remains doubtful.

“He really pushed it the last two days and came in this morning and really pushed it,” Spoelstra said. “He is making progress and making, actually, significant progress, but he’s just not quite there.

“We’re going to go into it day by day like we usually do. I like the progress he has made. It’s day-to-day.”

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