With most starters out, Hawks beat Lakers

The Atlanta Hawks are 52-14 this season, which is the best record in the Eastern conference and second best in the NBA behind the 52-13 Warriors. They believe a deep playoff run is possible. Which means they need to keep their squad healthy, and a good way to do that is to rest key players when their game schedule gets a little too crowded. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

What difference does another starter make?

The Hawks were already resting three starters – Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap – when they lost Kyle Korver to a broken nose during Sunday’s game against the lowly Lakers.

It didn’t matter.

Al Horford, the lone remaining starter, had 21 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists as the Hawks defeated the Lakers 91-86 Sunday night at Staples Center. Horford played a normal 35 minutes as the Hawks controlled much of the game and a held off a Lakers’ fourth-quarter rally in a reserve-lead effort.

Dennis Schroder had a game- and career-high 24 points to go with 10 assists. His layup with 13.9 seconds left stopped a 16-2 Lakers run. He added two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the win.

Knicks guard Jose Calderon remains out

Knicks guard Jose Calderon remains out

Here’s the New York Post reporting on a key member of the 13-52 Knicks:

Knicks guard Jose Calderon remains out

Derek Fisher allowed for the possibility that Jose Calderon won’t make it back this season despite the point guard’s ardent wishes to return.

Calderon has a tricky left Achilles tendon strain, and before the Knicks’ 125-94 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, the point guard was ruled out for the remainder of the western trip. He will miss his 10th straight game Sunday when the
Knicks finish their five-game journey in Phoenix.

The Knicks appear a little more cautious since Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews ruptured his Achilles tendon earlier this month. Matthews, who probably will miss training camp, is a free agent the Knicks covet.

Kyle Korver shooting slump may be over

Kyle Korver shooting slump may be over

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, who wasn’t quite so sharp for a while but seems to have regained the ability to do what he’s famous for:

Kyle Korver shooting slump may be over

It’s hard to argue with the benefits of an off day for Kyle Korver.

The Hawks guard was mired in a shooting slump for more than a month. His frustration was becoming evident as he couldn’t find his rhythm.

So when the team departed for a road game at Philadelphia last week, coach Mike Budenholzer told Korver to stay home. Get away from the game and clear your mind, he said. Korver missed the March 7 loss to the 76ers and didn’t touch a basketball during the brief time off. A weight lifting session and a chiropractic appointment were his only work-related activities.

There was plenty to get away from. Since Feb. 4, Korver was shooting 36.2 percent, including 34.6 percent from 3-point range.

However, in the three games since the hiatus, Korver is shooting 72 percent (18 of 25) from the field. That includes a stunning 73.7 percent (14 of 19) from long distance.

Tobias Harris discusses how to try to guard LeBron

At 6pm ET today, the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Orlando Magic. Guarding LeBron James has always been a difficult task, and it’s probably even harder now that Cavs chemistry has improved. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting:

Tobias Harris discusses how to try to guard LeBron

Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Aaron Gordon almost certainly will spend time guarding James one-on-one at some point tonight. But Borrego and Magic players said the task for slowing James and James’ teammates will be more of a “collective effort.”

“You’ve just got to be physical all night,” Harris said. “You’ve got to be tuned in. It’s gonna be a group effort from everybody, because he’s somebody that can make plays for everybody on the floor. He’s such a good passer that he gets everybody going. So it’s really going to be a collective effort from everybody on our team tonight.”

The Magic (21-46) need a win, any win, these days.

They’ve lost their last three games following a winless road trip to Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Boston in which they faltered down the stretch against the Bucks and the Celtics.

Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin during final stretch of season

Look. This wasn’t going to be the Lakers’ season, even if Kobe Bryant was healthy. Now, what does that point have to do with this particular story? Not a lot. It just needed to be said, for the sake of general overall perspective. As for Jeremy Lin, here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog reporting:

Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin

Lakers coach Byron Scott will soon make a move that Jeremy Lin supports.

Scott plans to start Lin at point guard, likely with 10 games left in the season. The timing is not definitive. The Lakers (17-46) will host the Atlanta Hawks (51-14) on Sunday at Staples Center featuring Jordan Clarkson at point guard for the 22nd consecutive start. The Lakers will also feature Wayne Ellington (shooting guard), Wesley Johnson (small forward), Jordan Hill (power forward) and Tarik Black (center), a lineup that has started for the past three contests.

But Scott plans to start Ryan Kelly at power forward at some point and Lin at point guard, the latter scenario seeming more definitive on the timing.

“I want to see how much of a difference it is now as opposed to the start of the season,” Scott said after Sunday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo.

Hawks sign Austin Daye to 10-day contract

Atlanta Hawks sign Austin Daye to 10-day contract

Hawks sign Austin Daye to 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward Austin Daye to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Daye appeared in 26 games (four starts) earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes.

In 10 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Daye has averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 28.5 minutes.

A five-year NBA veteran, Daye has played in 285 career games (29 starts) with Detroit, Memphis, Toronto and San Antonio, totaling 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.2 minutes. He has also appeared in five career playoff games. Daye was originally selected by the Pistons in the first round (15th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft after a two-year college career at Gonzaga.

He will wear uniform no. 3.

Joel Freeland, Shawne Williams suspended for headbutting each other

Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland and Detroit Pistons forward Shawne Williams have been suspended one game without pay for headbutting each other. The penalties were announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 118-99 win over the Pistons on Friday, March. 13, at Moda Center.

Williams will serve his suspension tonight when the Pistons travel to Utah to play the Jazz. Freeland will serve his suspension on Sunday, March 15, when the Trail Blazers travel to Toronto to play the Raptors.

To view the play, click on this link.

Mike Scott out with toe injury

Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott suffered a left toe injury against the Denver Nuggets on March 11 that was initially diagnosed as a strain. After further consultation and an MRI examination, taken yesterday at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Phoenix, a fracture of his left great toe was revealed. He will see a foot specialist at Peachtree Orthopaedics in Atlanta on Monday to determine the appropriate course of action. A timeline for his return will be updated at a later date.

Pelicans sign Elliot Williams to second 10-day contract

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed guard Elliot Williams to a second 10-day contract.

Williams, 6-5,180 has appeared in three games with the Pelicans, averaging 4.0 points, 1.0 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game.

Prior to joining New Orleans, Williams played for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League. Appearing in 25 games for Santa Cruz, Williams averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 36.8 minutes per game while being named a NBA D-League All-Star. Williams had signed 10-day contracts with Utah and Charlotte earlier this season, appearing in five games for Utah, averaging 3.6 points in 8.4 minutes per contest.

Selected by Portland with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Memphis, Williams has appeared in 99 career games, averaging 5.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game.

Sergey Karasev undergoes season-ending knee surgery

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Sergey Karasev underwent successful surgery on his right knee on Thursday, March 12, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. The surgery was performed by Nets’ Medical Director Dr. Riley Williams III along with Dr. David Altchek.

Statement from Dr. Riley Williams III:
“Sergey underwent successful right knee surgery to repair damage that occurred in association with a patellar dislocation on Thursday night. The surgery included the removal of several loose bodies as well as the repair of the medial patella femoral ligament and the medial collateral ligament. A full recovery is anticipated, and he is expected to be ready for training camp next season.”

Karasev played in 33 games (16 starts) for Brooklyn this season, posting averages of 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game.

Marreese Speights suspended for pleading no contest to reckless driving

Golden State Warriors’ center Marreese Speights has been suspended for one game without pay for pleading no contest to reckless driving, in violation of the law of the State of Florida, the NBA announced today.

Speights will be suspended for tonight’s game between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets.

Suns sign Earl Barron for remainder of season

The Phoenix Suns have signed center Earl Barron for the remainder of the season.

Barron signed his first 10-day contract with the club on Feb. 21, and his second 10-day on March 3. The 33-year-old center has appeared in eight games (one start) with Phoenix this season, averaging 1.1 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.7 minutes.

The 7-0 Barron averaged a double-double in 27 games with the Bakersfield Jam this season, posting 20.3 points and 10.9 rebounds for the Suns’ NBA Development League affiliate. Barron played with the Suns during the 2014-15 preseason and averaged 3.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 13.7 minutes in six appearances, including a 10-point, 13-rebound performance in 24 minutes at Houston on Oct. 13.

Barron, who saw action in 12 games with the Suns in 2010-11, is an eighth-season NBA veteran from the University of Memphis who has also played with New York, Miami, Milwaukee, Portland, Golden State and Washington.

Warriors recall James Michael McAdoo from D-League

The Golden State Warriors have recalled forward James Michael McAdoo from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

McAdoo, who signed with Golden State for the remainder of the season on February 19, has appeared in four games with the Warriors, averaging 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.0 minutes.

The rookie forward has appeared in 32 games (30 starts) with Santa Cruz, averaging 19.4 points (12th in the D-League), 8.8 rebounds (12th), 2.3 assists, 2.00 steals (fourth) and 2.06 blocks (sixth) in 32.9 minutes while hitting 58.3 percent from the field.

Pero Antic hopes to re-sign with Hawks

Pero Antic hopes to re-sign with Hawks

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting on a Hawks reserve who doesn’t play much but is enjoying being part of a successful squad and hopes to stick around in the future:

Pero Antic hopes to re-sign with Hawks

The Macedonian is in the final season of the two-year contract he signed with the Hawks in 2013. The center left Europe for a rookie season in the NBA at the age of 31. Now, he’d like to stay beyond that original deal…

The feeling is mutual. When Hawks management plans for next season, nearly every scenario includes Antic. The versatility of the 6-foot-11, 265-pound center has played a key role in the Hawks’ system under head coach Mike Budenholzer. The coach raves about Antic’s ability to stretch the floor from the center position. Yet, he’d rather talk about his defense, basketball IQ and leadership…

Antic signed a two-year, $2.45 million contract. The Hawks picked up his team option of $1.25 million this summer. Antic was selected to the Rising Stars Challenge, the rookie-sophomore exhibition, at last year’s All-Star Game. He finished his first NBA season appearing in 50 games and averaging 7.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.5 minutes. He shot .418 from the field, including .327 from 3-point range.

Raptors assign Lucas Nogueira to D-League

Raptors assign Lucas Nogueira to D-League

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have assigned center Lucas Nogueira (No-GARE-uh) to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League. Nogueira will continue to be included on the Raptors’ roster and will remain on the team’s inactive list. He is expected to be in uniform for the Mad Ants on Saturday when they play host to the Delaware 87ers at 7:30 p.m.

Nogueira made his NBA debut November 21 versus Milwaukee and grabbed a season-high five rebounds in nine minutes of action. He has played a total of 23 minutes in six games with Toronto this season, recording six points and 11 rebounds.

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nogueira was selected 16th overall by Boston in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Raptors acquired his rights June 30, 2014 from Atlanta. He spent the 2013-14 season with Estudiantes Madrid in the Spanish Liga Endesa and averaged 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 16.0 minutes in 18 games.

Wizards sign Toure` Murry

Wizards sign Toure’ Murry

Wizards sign Toure Murry

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Toure’ Murry. He is the 47th D-League “Call-Up.”

In 23 games in the D-League this season with Idaho and Rio Grande Valley, Murry has averaged 12.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 29.1 minutes per game. In 16 games with Rio Grande Valley this season, he tallied three triple-doubles, including two in his last four games with the Vipers.

In parts of two seasons with New York and Utah, Murry (6-5, 195) has appeared in 52 career regular season games while averaging 2.7 points in 7.2 minutes per game. Last season with New York, he appeared in 51 games while averaging 2.7 points in 7.3 minutes. Murry appeared in one game with Utah this season after signing with the Jazz in August of 2014.

Murry was undrafted out of Wichita State in 2012. While at Wichita State, Murry averaged 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists during his four-year career and helped the Shockers to the 2011 NIT title.

Sergey Karasev suffers season-ending injury

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Sergey Karasev has been diagnosed with a dislocated patella and a torn MCL of the right knee, along with multiple loose bodies in the knee joint, General Manager Billy King announced.  The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s game versus New Orleans.  Karasev will undergo surgery tomorrow, March 12th, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Karasev played in 33 games (16 starts) for Brooklyn this season, posting averages of 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game.

Suns sign Seth Curry to 10-day contract

Suns sign Seth Curry to 10-day contract

Suns sign Seth Curry to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns have signed guard Seth Curry to a 10-day contract.

Curry, a 6-1, 180-pound point guard, has averaged 23.5 points on shooting splits of 48.0 percent from the field, 48.2 percent from three-point range and 91.9 percent from the free throw line, in addition to 4.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 37.0 minutes in 36 games with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League this season. Among D-League leaders, Curry ranks second in scoring average, first in three-point percentage and second in free throw percentage.

Curry played in all five games with the Suns at 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 10.2 points in 21.0 minutes, including a 26-point performance against Milwaukee on July 13. Curry played with the Orlando Magic during the 2014-15 preseason before joining Erie.

The younger brother of Golden State Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry and son of former Charlotte Hornets great Dell Curry, Seth Curry has played in two career NBA games with both coming during the 2013-14 season. Curry played in one game each with the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers, making his debut with the Grizzlies at Detroit on Jan. 5, 2014, and scoring his first NBA points on a three-pointer against Houston with the Cavaliers on March 22, 2014.

An All-ACC selection at Duke University in 2012-13, Curry is the 46th GATORADE Call-Up from the D-League to the NBA this season.

The Suns host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (Phoenix time). The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona and carried on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15.

Byron Scott does not think Kobe Bryant will eventually become a coach

Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News reporting Lakers head coach Byron Scott’s views on Kobe Bryant’s eventual post-playing days:

coach kobe bryant?

Scott then quickly reiterated his doubts Bryant would ever coach.

“He would be like Earvin (Johnson),” said Scott, referring to Johnson’s brief Lakers coaching stint that entailed a 5-11 record in the 1993-94 season. “Kobe would be in the locker room like Earvin throwing stuff and going crazy. It’s a tough job. Those two guys, as competitive as they are and as much as they won back on their day, both of them would be beating up players.”

Scott conceded he threw “a tantrum or two” early in his coaching career that included stops with the former New Jersey Nets (2000-04), former New Orleans Hornets (2004-09) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-13).

Scott said he has since mellowed. How did that happen?

“Just the experience of knowing these guys don’t do it the way we did it,” said Scott.

Lakers officially eliminated from playoff contention

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting what was inevitable:

The Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday, marking their earliest elimination since the franchise moved to L.A. before the 1960-61 season.

The Lakers were officially knocked out when the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Brooklyn Nets.

They later beat the Detroit Pistons 93-85 to improve to 17-46.

Their elimination marks only the seventh time in franchise history that the Lakers will miss the postseason and only the second time that they’ve missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons (1974-75 and 1975-76).

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