Jrue Holiday undergoes surgery for orbital wall fracture

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that guard Jrue Holiday underwent successful surgery to repair an orbital wall fracture on his right eye. The timetable for his return is 6-8 weeks. Holiday is expected to make a full recovery prior to the 2016-17 season.

Holiday (6-4, 205) appeared in 65 games (23 starts) this season while averaging 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals. The UCLA product has appeared in 437 games (370 starts) and holds career averages of 14.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.5 steals.

NBA records set by the Warriors so far

NBA records set by the Warriors so far

The Golden State Warriors (now 72-9, with one game left to play) achieved several league milestones with Sunday’s road win against the Spurs, most notably matching the 1995-96 Bulls (72-10) for the most victories in an NBA regular season.

In addition, the Warriors set an NBA record for most road wins in a season (34). It is now guaranteed that they will become the first team in league history to go a full season without losing to the same team twice, and also guaranteed that they will become the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row.

The stage is now set for Wednesday, when the Warriors will try for an NBA-record 73rd victory in their regular-season finale against the Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. ESPN will televise the game at 10:30 p.m. ET, while Kobe Bryant’s final game in the league will air on ESPN2.

– NBA News

Big night in NBA West Playoff race

Big night in NBA West Playoff race

The Eastern Conference’s eight playoff teams are now known. In the Western Conference, two postseason spots remain up for grabs. The Mavericks can clinch one of those spots if they defeat the Jazz tonight in Utah (9 p.m. ET, NBA LEAGUE PASS) or if the Rockets lose to the Timberwolves in Minnesota (8 p.m., NBA LP). Utah can clinch a postseason spot if it beats the Mavericks and Houston loses to Minnesota. If the Jazz wins and the Rockets lose, Houston would be eliminated from playoff contention. Also tonight, the Cavaliers can clinch the best record in the East with a victory over the Hawks in Cleveland (7 p.m., NBA TV).

– NBA News

Boston Celtics sign guard John Holland

Celtics sign John Holland

The Boston Celtics signed guard John Holland today.

The 6’5” guard has appeared in 37 regular season contests for the NBA Development League Canton Charge this year and has averaged 16.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 30.2 minutes per game. He shot 52.0 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line during the regular season. During the 2015-16 D-League Playoffs, Holland has averaged 28.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and shot 62.5 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from the three-point line.

Holland, the 40th Gatorade D-League call-up this season, was named the America East Conference Player of the Year as a Boston University senior when he led the Terriers to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. He finished his collegiate career as just the second player in America East history with at least 2,000 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals.

A native of the Bronx, New York, Holland has played professionally in France, Spain and Turkey, and was in training camp with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

Paul Millsap, NBA Players of Week

Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 4 through Sunday, April 10.

Millsap helped the Hawks to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics. He averaged 19.0 points, led the league in both rebounds (15.7 rpg) and blocks (4.33 bpg), and posted point-rebound double-doubles in all three contests. On April 9, Millsap’s 31-point, 16-rebound, five-block performance lifted Atlanta to a 118-107 win over Boston and moved the Hawks one game ahead of the Celtics for the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Karl-Anthony Towns wins nba player of week

Towns led the Timberwolves to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 21.3 points (seventh in the Western Conference), 10.3 rebounds (tied-sixth) and 1.67 blocks (tied-sixth). On April 9, Towns made the game-winning shot with 1.8 seconds remaining during the Timberwolves’ 106-105 win over the Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford.

Warriors now have 72 wins

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors earned their 72nd win of the 2015-16 season with Sunday’s 92-86 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs, matching the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ NBA record for most wins in a single season.

With Sunday’s win, the Warriors finished the season with a 34-7 (.829) record on the road, establishing an NBA record for most road wins in a single season. At 72-9 (.889) on the season, Golden State has become the first team in NBA history to reach 63 games above the .500 mark. The Warriors snapped a 33-game regular-season road losing streak against the Spurs, earning their first regular-season win at San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. Golden State improved to 16-1 (.941) this season against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is in his second year at the helm, was a key reserve on the record-setting Bulls team.

Miami Heat sign Briante Weber

The Miami Heat have signed guard Briante Weber. He will wear jersey number 12.

Originally signed by the HEAT earlier this season on October 19 and then waived on October 24, Weber appeared in 28 regular season games (nine starts) this season with the HEAT’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.11 steals and 28.8 minutes while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from three-point range and 72.5 percent from the foul line.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, “Although he recently completed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Weber is playoff eligible because 10-day contracts do not count against the ban on playoff eligibility for players with other NBA teams after March 1.”

Among NBA D-League leaders, he finished third in defensive rating (99.5) and fourth in steals per game. He recently helped the Skyforce complete the 2-0 series sweep of the Westchester Knicks in the first round of the NBA D-League playoffs after scoring 21 points, grabbing five rebounds and recording five steals in a, 112-105, victory on April 8.

Earlier this season, he signed a 10-day contract with Memphis on March 11 and appeared in six games (four starts) with the Grizzlies averaging 4.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 27.7 minutes while shooting 34.2 percent from the field and 75 percent from the foul line. He scored in double-figures twice and led the team in steals and blocks once each.

Weber played all four seasons at Virginia Commonwealth finishing as VCU’s all-time career steals leader (374), shattering the previous 29-year old record by 117, capping his career third on the NCAA’s steals list, just 12 shy from becoming the all-time career leader before missing the final 10 games of his senior season due to injury.

Philadelphia 76ers Managing General Partner Josh Harris announced today that the team has named Bryan Colangelo as President of Basketball Operations.

As part of the transition, Jerry Colangelo will relinquish the role of Chairman of Basketball Operations and remains as a special advisor to Harris.

Colangelo most recently served as President and General Manager of the Toronto Raptors from 2006 to 2013. In his first full season at the helm of the Raptors (2006-07), the team saw a 20-win improvement from the previous year and tied a then franchise-high with 47 wins. Colangelo was named 2007 NBA Executive of the Year.

One of only three executives to win the award with two different franchises, Colangelo was also named NBA Executive of the Year in 2005 with the Phoenix Suns. After Colangelo’s offseason acquisition of point guard Steve Nash, who would go on to win back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player awards in 2005 and 2006, the Suns notched a 62-20 regular season record and an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.

During his tenure with Toronto, Colangelo drafted current Raptors DeMar DeRozan (ninth overall, 2009), Jonas Valanciunas (fifth overall, 2011) and Terrence Ross (eighth overall, 2012). During the 2012 offseason, Colangelo dealt for point guard Kyle Lowry, who would be named an NBA All-Star in 2015 and 2016.

Over the span of 15 years with the Suns organization, Colangelo drafted NBA All-Stars Michael Finley (21st overall, 1995), Steve Nash (15th overall, 1996), Shawn Marion (ninth overall, 1999) and Amar’e Stoudemire (ninth overall, 2002).

All told, his teams have appeared in the NBA Playoffs 11 times and have captured four division championships in his 18 seasons as a general manager.

Pelicans sign James Ennis for rest of season

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed forward James Ennis for the remainder of the 2015-16 season, which ends on Wednesday.

The 6-7, 201-pound player was initially signed by the Pelicans on March 30. In six games, Ennis has averaged 11.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per outing.

Prior to joining the Pelicans, Ennis most recently played for the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, appearing in 24 games this season, averaging 18.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals in 33.3 minutes per contest.

Brandon Knight has surgery for sports hernia

Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight had surgery yesterday to treat a sports hernia. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.

In his fifth NBA season and first full season with the Suns, Knight averaged a career-high 19.6 points in addition to 5.1 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 52 games, one of just 10 players in the NBA to post at least those averages in each of those categories.

Knight has already begun rehabilitation and will return to Phoenix next week.

The 2015-16 NBA regular season ends Wednesday. With a 21-58 record, the Suns were one of the biggest disappointments in the entire league this season and didn’t come close to qualifying for the playoffs.

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors earned their 70th win of the 2015-16 season with Thursday’s 112-101 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors join the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA-record 72 games, as the only teams in NBA history to win at least 70 games in a single season. Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is in his second year at the helm, was a key reserve on the record-setting Bulls team.

With Thursday’s win, the Warriors have clinched the best record in the NBA for the second consecutive season, becoming the seventh franchise in NBA history to own the league’s best record in back-to-back campaigns and the first to do so since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-09 and 2009-10. At 70-9 (.886) on the season, Golden State is tied with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best record in NBA history through 79 games. The Warriors are now 13-1 (.929) this season against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

Notes from around the NBA: April 7

The Mavericks are allowing an average of 86.0 points during their current five-game winning streak, which has given them a one-game lead over the Jazz for seventh place in the West.

Pistons center Andre Drummond has joined Isiah Thomas (1984-85) as the only Detroit players to lead the NBA in double-doubles for a season. Drummond has 66 double-doubles – 14 more than any other player this season.

The Trail Blazers, who clinched a playoff spot Wednesday, are a season-high six games above .500 (43-37).

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (27.1 ppg, 11.6 rpg) is on pace to become the first player to average at least 27 points and 11 rebounds since Shaquille O’Neal in 2002-03. Cousins, who is also averaging 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks, would be the first player to average 27 ppg/11 rpg/3 apg/1.5 spg/1 bpg since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1993-94.

Bulls center Pau Gasol is averaging 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.0 blocks. The last player to average 16 ppg/11 rpg/4 apg/2 bpg for a season was Kevin Garnett in 2003-04.

Suns guard Devin Booker has six 30-point games this season, the most by a rookie since Blake Griffin (14) in 2010-11 with the Clippers.

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas has been the team’s outright scoring leader in each of the last 17 games, the longest streak in the NBA this season.

Thunder center Enes Kanter scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds Wednesday, joining DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Dwight Howard as the only players with 30-and-20 games this season.

Raptors rookie guard Norman Powell, the 46th pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, averaged 14.5 points and shot 52.6 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from three-point range in a six-game stretch from March 25 to April 2.

Pacers forward Paul George has scored 1,826 points in 2015-16, the fourth most for a season in team history. Billy Knight is the all-time leader with 2,075 points in 1976-77, followed by Reggie Miller in 1989-90 (2,016) and 1990-91 (1,855).

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is shooting an NBA-best 70.1 percent from the field after hitting an NBA-best 71.0 percent last season. No NBA player has ever had multiple seasons of shooting at least 70.0 percent.

Magic center Nikola Vucevic has come off the bench to average 21.5 points (on 63.9 percent shooting) and 8.8 rebounds in 26.6 minutes over his last four games.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry needs 18 three-pointers to reach 400 for the season. With four more threes, he would have 100 more than in 2014-15, when he set the NBA single-season record with 286.

With his next appearance, Spurs big man Tim Duncan will pass Reggie Miller for sole possession of second place on the NBA’s all-time list of games played with one team. Duncan has played 1,389 games with San Antonio, the same number Miller played with Indiana. John Stockton appeared in 1,504 games with Utah.

– NBA News

Spurs set NBA record for home wins

The Spurs have set an NBA record with 39 consecutive home wins to start a season, leaving them two victories from the first perfect home regular-season record in league history. San Antonio’s final two home games are Sunday against the Warriors and Tuesday, April 12 against Oklahoma City (8 p.m. ET, TNT). Overall, the Spurs have won 48 straight home regular-season games, the second-longest streak in NBA history behind 54 games by the Warriors, whose run ended with a loss to Boston on April 1. The Spurs’ last regular-season home loss was March 12, 2015, a 128-125 overtime defeat to the Cavaliers in which Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving scored 57 points, an NBA high for the 2014-15 season.

Tonight marks the first meeting in NBA history between two teams that enter with at least 65 victories each. If the Warriors prevail, they would clinch the best record in the Western Conference (and in the NBA) and become the second team in NBA history to win 70 regular-season games. Golden State, coming off an overtime loss to Minnesota on Tuesday, has not lost two in a row all season. No team has ever gone an entire season without losing back-to-back games. (San Antonio, riding a four-game winning streak, also hasn’t lost consecutive games this season.)

The Warriors and Spurs have a combined winning percentage of .865. The highest combined winning percentage among the top two teams in one season is .829 in 1995-96. In that season, the Bulls finished an NBA-record 72-10 and the SuperSonics were 64-18; Chicago went on to defeat Seattle in The Finals. Golden State can surpass Chicago’s single-season record of 72 victories by winning its last four games – the two against the Spurs and two against the Grizzlies (Saturday in Memphis at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and Wednesday, April 13 in Golden State at 10:30 p.m.).

– NBA News

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed forward Christian Wood to a contract for the rest of the season, which for the league ends this coming Wednesday, April 13.

Wood, who went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft, signed with the 76ers last September 14. He has appeared in 16 career NBA games with the Sixers, averaging three points and two rebounds per game. Wood registered career-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds on November 13 at Oklahoma City.

Wood appeared in 32 games with the NBA Development League Delaware 87ers this season, averaging a team-high nine rebounds, as well as 17 points on 53% shooting in 29 minutes per game.

The Memphis Grizzlies today waived center Ryan Hollins, and signed guard Xavier Munford to a multi-year contract.

Hollins (7-0, 240) appeared in 32 games (nine starts) for the Grizzlies this season and averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.9 minutes. The 31-year-old has averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.8 minutes in 518 games (76 starts) over a 10-year NBA career with the Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies.

Munford (6-3, 180) has appeared in 10 games (zero starts) with the Grizzlies and has averaged 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 14.2 minutes after signing with the team to the first of two 10-day contracts on March 16. The 23-year-old played 41 games (37 starts) for the NBA Development League’s Bakersfield Jam, averaging 20.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 33.7 minutes, and was recognized as a 2016 D-League All-Star.

Undrafted in the 2014 Draft, Munford averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 35.5 minutes in 61 games (all starts) in his final two collegiate seasons at the University of Rhode Island. The New Jersey native led the Rams in scoring in each of his two years with the program.

Alec Burks should return soon for Jazz

The 39-39 Utah Jazz have gotten just 28 games of action from shooting guard Alec Burks this season, but he will reportedly soon make his return. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

Alec Burks should return soon for Jazz

More than three months after he went down with a broken left fibula that was only supposed to keep him out for a couple of months, Alec Burks will finally be returning to the Jazz lineup for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, according to sources in the Jazz organization.

The 6-foot-6 fifth-year guard out of Colorado is expected to play limited minutes Friday just as Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors did after sitting out for extended times earlier this season. The hope is that Burks can contribute to the Jazz playoff push over the next week and to the playoffs, which would start next weekend if the Jazz were to qualify in the Western Conference.

The Chicago Bulls were a banged-up disappointment this season and with a 39-39 record, they may miss the playoffs. Chemistry never fully developed. Key guys were always in and out of the lineup. For more, here’s ESPN.com:

Fred Hoiberg remains convinced that Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler can thrive together for the Chicago Bulls, but the first-year coach acknowledged Wednesday that — given the rash of injuries — “it’s been tough” getting the pair to play well together at the same time this season.

“We’ve had some really good moments with those guys on the floor together this year,” Hoiberg said Wednesday. “It’s been a tough dynamic.

“Derrick will miss three or four games and then put him back in and then just the style of play that you have is different. You have to integrate him back into the lineup. And then Jimmy misses a few games and then gets back in. So it’s been a tough dynamic, and I think you saw a little bit of that [Tuesday] night with Derrick coming back for the first time.

“As far as anything between the two of the them? No. And I think if you asked those two guys, they’d tell you the same thing.”

Here’s the Denver Post blog reporting on a key young member of the Nuggets:

Emmanuel Mudiay

The education of young Denver Nuggets point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will likely continue in Las Vegas this July as a member of the team’s summer league roster, head coach Michael Malone said.

And if that’s the case, it’s fine by Mudiay.

“I don’t have a preference,” Mudiay said. “Regardless, I’m just going to work on my game.”

The rookie had an up-and-down season, but did appear to improve over time. In March, Mudiay averaged 15.8 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and shot 39.1 percent from the field, including 38.9 percent from the 3-point line.

The New York Knicks are 31-47 this season, and led in scoring by Carmelo Anthony (22.0 ppg) followed by rookie Kristaps Porzingis (14.3 ppg). While Melo should see action as the season wraps up, the big rook may or may not return to action. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Unclear if Kristaps Porzingis will play again this season

And in the 78th game, he rested — for the first time all season. But Carmelo Anthony said he would return for the final four Knicks games.

Or at least three of them.

Though Anthony is expected to play Wednesday against Charlotte at the Garden, rookie teammate Kristaps Porzingis remained “doubtful” for the game as he rehabs a right shoulder sprain. Interim coach Kurt Rambis reiterated that Porzingis, on whose 7-foot-3 frame so much of the Knicks’ future resides, must be completely healthy before he even sees the floor again.

“He’s doubtful for [Wednesday],” Rambis said of Porzingis who did not practice Tuesday after missing the three previous games. “He is improving and that’s about where it’s at.”

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