When Gregg Popovich gives his best players a night off to rest, it’s not uncommon for the San Antonio Spurs coach to get letters from upset fans.
This time, he’s going to hear from an upset commissioner – even after Popovich’s short-handed team nearly knocked off the Miami Heat.
Ray Allen’s 3-pointer with 22.6 seconds left gave Miami the lead, LeBron James finished with 23 points and the Heat rallied to beat the Spurs 105-100 on Thursday night – digging deep despite San Antonio’s decision to have four top players resting at home in a move that bothered NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The Spurs played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green, all sent back to San Antonio by Popovich, who said the move was in his team’s best interest…
Allen scored 20 points, Dwyane Wade added 19 and Chris Bosh finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, now 7-0 at home.
Neal had 20 points for the Spurs. Tiago Splitter scored 18 points, Nando De Colo added 15, Boris Diaw scored 12 and Bonner had 10 for San Antonio, which finished a six-games-in-nine-nights road trip with a 5-1 record. Bonner also had 10 rebounds, one more than he had grabbed all season entering the game…
San Antonio closed the first quarter on a 21-6 run, taking a 27-22 lead after the period, and simply did not go away. The Spurs led by as many as seven at one point, and after James Anderson made a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds left in the third, San Antonio held a 76-73 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
— Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press
The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived forward Luke Harangody and signed forward Kevin Jones to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
The Cavs have assigned Jones to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, as one of their NBA roster players.
Harangody appeared in 42 games (one start) with the Cavs over two seasons and averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game. Harangody did not appear in any games this season.
Jones, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound rookie forward from West Virginia University, has played in three games this season with the Charge and is averaging 27.0 points on .540 shooting and 13.7 rebounds in 41.3 minutes per game. He was one of three players on the Cavaliers training camp roster that were released and then designated for assignment to the Charge, playing under an NBADL contract.
The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed free agent guard Derek Fisher.
Fisher (6-1, 210) is a five-time NBA World Champion and has played in 1,173 games (722 starts) with the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State, Utah and Oklahoma City. He holds career averages of 8.6 points, 3.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 26.2 minutes per game. Fisher has played in all 82 regular season games in nine of his 16 NBA seasons.
Fisher was originally the 24 th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and went on to win five World Championships in Los Angeles (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010). He also served as President of the NBA Players Association from 2006-2012.
The veteran point guard finished the 2011-12 season with the Thunder where he was a member of the 2012 Western Conference Championship team. Fisher has seen action in 229 postseason games.
The Little Rock, Ark., native played collegiately at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he played for four years and was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year as a senior.
Fisher will replace Troy Murphy on the Mavericks’ 15-man roster. Murphy was waived after playing in 14 games for Dallas and averaging 4.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 18.3 minutes per contest.
The Phoenix Suns have assigned guard Kendall Marshall to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, the club announced today. Suns Player Development Coordinator Lindsey Hunter will accompany Marshall to Bakersfield.
Marshall, the Suns’ first-round selection (13th overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft, has appeared in six games this season for Phoenix.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned guard Jeremy Lamb to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Lamb, who was originally acquired from the Houston Rockets along with Kevin Martin on Oct. 27, has appeared in eight games this season averaging 2.1 points in 4.3 minutes.
He will be in uniform when the Tulsa 66ers take on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Nov. 30 at the SpiritBank Event Center.
Forget Hack a Dwight.
Opposing teams may just want to adopt this strategy to win games: Hack the Lakers.
The Lakers rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in free-throw shooting at 66.8 percent. In four of the Lakers’ eight losses, the margin between made and missed free throws exceeded the point differential between winning and losing. Among the worst Lakers players to send to the free-throw line include Dwight Howard (47.8 percent), Morris (56.5 percent), Jordan Hill (61.5 percent) and Antawn Jamison (63.2 percent).
“Stop talking about it. I don’t want to hear about it,” Howard said after going 3 of 12 from the line in the Lakers’ 79-77 loss Tuesday to the Indiana Pacers. “That’s my problem, thinking too much at the line.”
— Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News
Evans has played well lately, averaging 21 points while shooting 54.8 percent from the field. So if the game is on the line, he wouldn’t mind having the ball.
“I want to try to take on that challenge if the coach puts the ball in my hands to make a play for me or one of my teammates,” Evans said after Wednesday’s practice. “That’s what I was trying to do (Tuesday) night. I thought I could have had the elbow jumper a little bit more, but I was looking for the assists, I was looking to pass the ball.”
Evans said the Kings usually look for the player who is hot late in games.
In the last two seasons, that’s sometimes meant finding Marcus Thornton, who has been a go-to guy in the fourth quarter.
Other times, the Kings have looked to DeMarcus Cousins. That’s been good in the past but hasn’t worked well in the last two losses.
— Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee
Through 16 games, Greg Monroe is on pace to put his name among the elite centers in the NBA.
Monroe is averaging 16.5 points and 9.4 rebounds.
But it’s his playmaking skill that makes him different from other bigs. His 3.6 assists per game put him third among NBA centers behind the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol (4.8 entering Wednesday) and the Bulls’ Joakim Noah (4.0).
Coach Lawrence Frank said before Wednesday’s game that the assist total is part of the plan, and Monroe, 22, only has scratched the surface of his potential.
— Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press
James Harden’s return to Oklahoma City was only a small part of an emotional day for the Houston Rockets.
Kevin Durant matched his season high with 37 points and the Thunder beat Houston 120-98 on Wednesday night, after the Rockets made a stop in Minnesota earlier in the day to attend the funeral of coach Kevin McHale’s daughter.
Harden scored 17 points, but was limited to 3-for-16 shooting. He had six shots blocked by the Thunder.
After a draining 24 hours, he was ready to put it behind him.
”It felt good just to be competing against those guys and finally get this over with, to play here and get it over with,” Harden said. ”Now, I can continue on with the season.”
Harden missed his first nine shots, and by the time he made one, the Rockets were down by double digits in the second half. They never got closer than 10 after that.
— Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press
Doc Rivers wants the Boston Celtics to be tough – not violent.
The message came too late for Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics point guard was ejected from Wednesday night’s game against the Nets when he retaliated for a hard foul against Kevin Garnett by shoving Brooklyn forward Kris Humphries into the courtside seats. Rondo, Humphries and Nets forward Gerald Wallace were ejected, and Brooklyn held on to win 95-83…
Joe Johnson scored 18 points and Andray Blatche had 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Nets opened up a 21-point, first-half lead and took advantage of the loss of the Celtics’ All-Star to win for the ninth time in 11 games.
Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Pierce added 14 points for Boston. Rondo had three assists before he was kicked out, ending his streak at 37 games with double-digits – tied for second-longest in NBA history.
The Nets led by eight after one quarter and scored 19 of the first 25 points in the second to make it 47-26. Boston cut the deficit to 14 points and trailed by 16 when Garnett took an off-balance jumper from the right baseline and Humphries leveraged him to the floor with his left arm.
Rondo trailed the play with a two-handed shove that sent Humphries into the courtside seats.
— Reported by Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press