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Boston strangle

The assignment for Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris in his first start this postseason was easy to explain but nearly impossible to execute......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarMay 14th, 2018

 Ice glazes over swath of US as wind chills fall below zero

        BOSTON - Bitter cold is setting in after a major winter storm blanketed a wide swath of the country in snow, sleet and rain this weekend, creating dangerously icy conditions that promise to complicate cleanup efforts and make travel challenging on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Some of the coldest temperatures felt so far this season started to set in across the Midwest and Northeast Sunday and are expected to plunge further overnight. Wind chills will bring temperatures into teens in the New York City area and down to minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 40 degrees Celsius) in upstate New York, the National Weather Service predicted. I...Keep on reading:  Ice glazes over swath of US as wind chills fall below zero.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 21st, 2019

Kyrie Irving, Celtics rally past Hawks | Inquirer Sports

ATLANTA --- Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics found a way. Not bad for the second part of back-to-back games. Irving scored 32 points and the Celtics rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-105 on Sat.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 20th, 2019

Wade helps Heat beat Bulls 117-103

By JOHN JACKSON,  Associated Press CHICAGO (AP) — Dwyane Wade had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in his final game in his hometown, helping the Miami Heat beat the skidding Chicago Bulls 117-103 on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Wade, who turned 37 on Thursday, plans to retire at the end of his 16th NBA season. He got a warm reception in his return, hearing several loud ovations throughout the night. Josh Richardson had 26 points for Miami, and Dion Waiters finished with 21. The Heat had dropped two in a row. Chicago lost its 10th straight game. Zach LaVine scored 22 points for the Bulls, and Bobby Portis had 21. Lauri Markkanen finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. Wade played for the Bulls during the 2016-17 season, and the team honored him with a video tribute during the game's first timeout in the first quarter. The sellout crowd gave Wade a standing ovation and he responded by waving to the fans. Wade got another loud ovation when he entered the game. He shot an air ball on his first attempt, but then nailed a 3-pointer on his second shot. He had nine first-half points, but the Heat trailed 57-55 at the break. Richardson had 11 points on 4-for-6 shooting and Wade added five in the third quarter as Miami took an 83-76 lead into the fourth. With Miami leading 91-86 early in the final quarter, the Heat went on a 14-2 run to put the game away. Wade received another loud ovation when he exited with two minutes to play. TIP-INS Heat: Wade entered with 997 career points against Chicago. He now has scored 1,000 points against eight NBA teams. Bulls: Rookie C Wendell Carter Jr. is going to have surgery on his left thumb, but no date has been set for the procedure. He is expected to be sidelined for eight to 12 weeks. "He's meeting with his family and his representation and our medical staff," coach Jim Boylen said. "Our heart's broken for him. You know, 44 games in, he's done everything that we've asked him to do from a competitive standpoint and a developmental standpoint." CHICAGO G.O.A.T. Wade was asked if he was the greatest Chicago-area basketball player of all-time. "I have no idea," he said. "When people have asked me who I think the best player who was born and raised in Chicago, I always go with Isiah Thomas." Thomas averaged 19.2 points and 9.3 assists in 13 NBA seasons. He also won two NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons. Thomas tweeted during the game he thought Wade was the best player to come out of Chicago. "I will be second to him any day!" Thomas posted. Wade entered Saturday's game with career averages of 22.2 points, 5.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds. He has three NBA titles. UP NEXT Heat: At Boston Celtics on Monday night to conclude a four-game road trip. Bulls: At Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2019

Irving has 32 as Celtics rally in 4th quarter, top Hawks

By CHARLES ODUM,  AP Sports Writer ATLANTA (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 32 points and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-105 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) for their third straight win. After trailing for most of the game, Boston took the lead with a 9-0 fourth-quarter run, including a go-ahead 3-pointer by Jaylen Brown, who had 14 points. A drive by Irving gave Boston the lead for good at 101-100. Al Horford made four free throws and a layup to help the Celtics increase their advantage to 109-100 with 1:11 left. Kevin Huerter led Atlanta with 18 points, and fellow rookie Trae Young had 16. Minutes after he was called for his first technical following his fourth foul about three minutes into the third quarter, Boston's Marcus Smart was ejected following an altercation with Atlanta's DeAndre Bembry. Smart and Bembry had to be separated after an exchange of words as players lined up for a jump ball. After being restrained by teammates and coaches, Smart broke free and charged toward Bembry before being restrained again. Bembry also was called for a technical foul following a video review. One night after scoring 38 points in a 122-116 home win over Memphis, Irving continued his high-scoring streak by going 5 for 8 from 3-point range. He pulled the Celtics back from a 50-34 deficit by scoring 15 of Boston's final 19 points of the half. The Hawks led 67-60 at the break. Atlanta answered Irving's one-man scoring show with a more balanced attack that stood up until the final quarter. Huerter continued to shine in his fill-in starting role while Kent Bazemore recovers from a sprained right ankle. Huerter has made 45.5 percent of his 3-point attempts to lead all NBA qualifying rookies. He made 4 of 10 3s against Boston. Another rookie, Omari Spellman, added two 3s in the first half. Boston's Jayson Tatum opened the game with a three-point play. The Hawks scored the next 10 points and kept the lead until Brown's 3-pointer with 9:07 remaining gave Boston a 95-93 edge. Tatum had 19 points and Horford had 13. TIP-INS Celtics: Due to expected bad weather in the Boston area on Saturday night, there were tentative plans for a return flight on Sunday. Travel concerns also led to F Gordon Hayward remaining in Boston, where his wife is expecting the couple's third child. "With pending weather, there was no reason to make this trip," coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward. Hawks: John Collins and Alex Len each had 15 points. ... Collins (bronchitis-like symptoms) and Young (flu-like symptoms) started after being upgraded before the game. ... C Dewayne Dedmon (left ankle sprain) had six points in 24 minutes in his return after missing two games. UP NEXT Celtics: Host Miami on Tuesday night. Hawks: Host Magic on Monday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2019

Irving s 38 points propel Celtics past Grizzlies

LOS ANGELES, USA – Kyrie Irving led by example Friday, January 18, scoring 20 of his 38 points in the third quarter as his Boston Celtics defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 122-116. Irving, coming off a 27-point, 18-assist performance in a win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, added 11 assists and ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

Irving scores 38 points, Celtics beat Grizzlies 122-116

By DOUG ALDEN,  Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 38 points in the third quarter and the Boston Celtics held off the Memphis Grizzlies 122-116 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Marcus Smart had 20 points and Al Horford finished with 18 for the Celtics, who have won two straight since a three-game losing streak. Irving also had 11 assists and seven rebounds for Boston, which beat the Grizzlies for the seventh consecutive time but had to hang on down the stretch. Memphis trailed only 111-108 with 3:13 left, but the Celtics responded with a 10-2 run. A few late 3-pointers by the Grizzlies came too late. Memphis has lost 10 of 11 overall, and six in a row on the road. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 26 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 23, and Marc Gasol had 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Boston led 96-91 after three, but the pesky Grizzlies would not go away. Conley's three-point play with 4:53 remaining pulled Memphis to 106-104. Irving finally sealed it when he hit a 3 with 1:22 left to put the Celtics up 118-110. Jaylen Brown had 12 points and Terry Rozier scored 10 for Boston. Rozier hit a 3 to start an 11-0 run that put the Celtics up 35-24 after the first quarter. Then he made another from beyond the arc while drawing a foul and converted the four-point play. The Grizzlies rallied late in the period, tying it 52-all on a layup by JaMychal Green and taking a 62-58 halftime lead on Conley's layup just before the buzzer. TIP-INS Grizzlies: Justin Holiday had 14 points, his highest-scoring game since arriving in a trade with Chicago on Jan. 3. ... Shelvin Mack scored 15 points. Green and Omri Casspi had 12 apiece. . Shot 59 percent (13 for 22) in the second quarter while outscoring Boston 38-23. . Had five turnovers in the first quarter. Celtics: Aron Baynes had 12 rebounds in his second game back since missing a month with a broken bone in his left hand. . Turned the ball over seven times in the second period. . Irving was called for a technical with 3:27 left in the third quarter after getting tangled up in front of the Memphis bench with Mack, who also got a technical. UP NEXT Grizzlies: At the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. Celtics: Visit the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

'KicksStalker: Jayson Tatum debuts self-lacing sneakers in Celtics’ win

MANILA, Philippines---As the game of basketball further evolves, so too does the shoe that comes with it. Boston's Jayson Tatum debuted the first self-lacing sneaker on an NBA game when the Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 117-108 Thursday (Manila time) at TD Garden. Tatum wore the Nike Adapt BB to the tune of 16 points and 10 rebounds in a landmark moment in sneaker history. Dallas's rookie sensation Luka Doncic also wore the sneakers in the Mavericks' 105-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. READ: #KicksStalker: Nike unveils next-generation self-lacing basketball shoes Doncic finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists wearing the new self-lacing sneaker...Keep on reading: #KicksStalker: Jayson Tatum debuts self-lacing sneakers in Celtics’ win.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Antetokounmpo leads streaking Bucks past Grizzlies 111-101

By Clay Bailey, Associated Press MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 11 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks used a third-quarter outburst to capture their third straight win, 111-101 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Eric Bledsoe added 16 points and D.J. Wilson scored 13 for the Bucks, who won for the 14th time in 17 games. Omri Casspi led the Grizzlies with 17 points. Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and JaMychal Green scored 14 points apiece for Memphis, which lost its ninth in the last 10. The Grizzlies took their only lead of the game at 59-58 early in the second half on a three-pointer by Gasol. The Bucks made sure any Memphis excitement was short-lived. Milwaukee ran off 19 straight points to extend its lead to 18. By that point, the Grizzlies returned to uninspired play as the Bucks outscored Memphis 41-28 in the quarter. Memphis committed eight turnovers in the third, leading to 20 points. The Bucks took an early lead thanks to anemic shooting by Memphis. The Grizzlies starters seemed lackadaisical and not up to the task of challenging one of the better teams in the NBA as Milwaukee stretched its lead to as many as 14 points. The Memphis reserves brought more energy and steadily chipped away at the Bucks advantage. Casspi and Green led the rally. But the Bucks used 15 points from Antetokounmpo to hold on for a 50-45 lead at the break. The third-quarter rally led to Milwaukee building the advantage to as many as 31 points in the fourth. TIP-INS Bucks: Milwaukee leads the series 23-22. . The Bucks lead the league in scoring differential at 10 points per game and have 23 double-digit victories this season. . Antetokounmpo recorded his 30th double-double of the season. . Memphis defeated the Bucks 116-113 on Nov. 14 (Nov. 15, PHL time). Milwaukee is now 5-0 facing teams that it lost to in its previous meeting. Grizzlies: Memphis played its only home game in a five-game stretch. .F/G Justin Holiday, obtained from the Chicago Bulls in a Jan. 4 (Jan. 5, PHL time) trade, started his first game for Memphis. . Memphis missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the game, part of the Grizzlies shooting 26 percent in the opening quarter. . The Bucks' 41 points in the third quarter was the most given up by Memphis in any period this season. UP NEXT Bucks: At Orlando to face the Magic on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Grizzlies: Face the Celtics in Boston on Friday (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Irving s 27 points, 18 assists leads Celtics past Raptors

By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving hit a foul-line fadeaway to give Boston the lead, then hit a 31-foot three-pointer to finish with 27 points and lead the Celtics past the NBA-leading Toronto Raptors 117-108 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Returning after missing the last game with a bruised right leg, Irving had 10 points and six of his career-high 18 assist in the fourth quarter — including passes to set up Boston's last three baskets in a game-ending 17-4 run. Al Horford scored 24 and Jayson Tatum had 16 points with 10 rebounds for Boston, which returned home after losing three straight on the road. Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and Serge Ibaka had 22 with 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who had won five in a row heading into the matchup of two teams that consider themselves the heir to LeBron James' Cavaliers as the best team in the East. Toronto (33-13) fell percentage points behind Milwaukee (32-12) for the best records in the NBA. Toronto led 104-100 after Leonard's three-point play with 4:22 left before Boston scored 17 of the next 19 points. Tatum had a three-point play and then a three-pointer to give Boston a 106-104 lead, before Toronto tied it. Irving then hit consecutive baskets, popping his jersey for the adoring crowd after connecting on the second from just a step or two inside the center tipoff circle. He then went to the pass, assisting on Boston's last three baskets of the game before Toronto's last bucket ended it. After adding Leonard in the offseason, the Raptors have zoomed to the top of the conference standings. But despite getting Irving and Gordon Hayward back from injuries that kept them out of last year's playoffs, when the team went to the conference finals, the Celtics have stumbled their way to the fifth-best record in the East. Leonard scored nine in the first quarter, when the Raptors opened an 18-7 lead in the first five minutes. Boston cut it to six at the end of the first and then went on a 12-2 run early in the second to take the lead. It was 46-44 with just over four minutes left in the half when the Celtics scored 11 of the next 13 points to open a double-digit lead. In all, Toronto scored just 17 points in the second, missing all nine 3-point attempts. The Celtics made just one of their first 11 shots in the fourth, giving up nine straight points to trail 92-89 midway through the quarter. But Aron Baynes, who had made 12 three-pointers all season, hit one from the top of key to stop the run and tie it. TRAINER'S ROOM Kyle Lowry, who finished with 10 points and seven assists, was poked in the left eye by teammate Pascal Siakam while the two were trying to defend Marcus Smart in the lane. Lowry went down under the basket for the rest of the possession but stayed in the game after a timeout. Baynes, who missed a month with a broken bone in his left hand, returned and played 14 minutes, scoring nine points with five rebounds. Irving and Smart also returned after missing Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) game in Brooklyn. UP NEXT Raptors: Return home for the second half of a back-to-back against the Phoenix Suns. Celtics: Host Memphis on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Young wins point guard battle, Hawks top Thunder 142-126

By Charles Odum, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young had 24 points and 11 assists to win the showdown of past and former Atlanta point guards, leading the Hawks over the Oklahoma City Thunder 142-126 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Former Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder scored 21 points in his return to Atlanta. Schroder struggled early but had 14 points in the third period when the Thunder outscored the Hawks 41-27 to reclaim the lead. Atlanta was similarly dominant in the second period, outscoring Oklahoma City 45-30 to match its high mark for any quarter this season. After holding a big lead of 15 points, the last time at 70-55, the Hawks led 70-59 at halftime. Led by Schroder and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City answered strong in the third period. A jumper by Westbrook tied the game at 87-all. Schroder scored the Thunder's final 11 points of the third period, the last six on free throws, for a 100-97 lead. John Collins made 12-of-14 shots from the field and led Atlanta with 26 points. Alex Len had 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks were 18-of-37 on three-pointers. Westbrook led the Thunder with 31 points and 11 assists. Paul George had 24 points and Jerami Grant added 21. Young, Atlanta's rookie starter, opened the final period with a tying three-pointer. Young added a three-point play and another basket as the Hawks regained momentum. A jam by Omari Spellman pushed Atlanta's lead to 117-107, and another dunk by Spellman pushed the advantage to 121-109. George sank a three-pointer with about 90 seconds remaining to cut Atlanta's lead to 132-123, but the Hawks quickly pushed the advantage back to double figures. A steal and reverse jam by DeAndre Bembry iced the win. The Hawks had a "welcome back" video tribute for Schroder during a first-quarter timeout. Schroder raised his arm to acknowledge the fans. The Hawks wore new powder blue uniforms with red trim and numbers for the first time. The uniforms were introduced as part of the Hawks' 50-year celebration in Atlanta. TIP-INS Thunder: F Nerlens Noel (concussion protocol) "is doing a little more each day," coach Billy Donovan said before the game. ... G Alex Abrines (personal reasons) missed his eighth straight game. Hawks: G Jeremy Lin (flu-like symptoms) was not with the team. F Taurean Prince was limited in his second game back while recovering from similar symptoms. ... G Kent Bazemore (right ankle sprain) and F Dewayne Dedmon (left ankle sprain) did not play. Dedmon may return Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) against Boston. UP NEXT Thunder: Host Lakers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). Hawks: Host Celtics on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2019

Nike launches the most scientific basketball shoe ever made

Say goodbye to the common shoelace. On January 16, 2019 at the Nike Headquarters in New York City, the world’s most iconic sportswear brand presented a new platform called Nike Adapt which aims to deliver digitally powered adjustable footwear across both performance and lifestyle categories. Michael Donaghu, VP of Nike Innovation “Our vision for the future is called ‘Powered Athlete’ - A world in which products are intelligent. I’m pleased to say that the first chapter of intelligent Nike products and experiences begins today,” said Michael Donaghu, VP of Nike Innovation. Imagine a shoe that delivers the precise fit you need, when you need it with a push of a button or the swipe of a phone. That’s the kind of revolutionary technology that Nike Adapt presents to athletes and consumers. The first chapter in this innovation of Nike Adapt will feature the game of basketball. “We chose basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes. During a normal basketball game, the athlete’s foot changes, and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience,” explained Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director. Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director During the process of creating the shoe, the Nike Adapt BB underwent various tests including using the underfoot lacing to lift 32 pounds of force. It’s as strong as that of a standard parachute cord. “This was the most tested shoe in the history of Nike Basketball,” revealed Ross Klein, Senior Designer of Basketball Footwear Innovation. Ross Klein, Senior Designer of Nike Basketball Footwear Innovation Owners of the Nike Adapt BB will have the ability to customize the fit of the shoe and select not just one setting, but different situations be it warming-up or engaging in the heat of the game via an app which controls the FitAdapt tech embedded in the sole of the shoe. “The app makes the shoe that much easier to use and allows you to evolve and update your shoe over time,” explained Michael Martin, VP of Nike Direct Product. “But, that’s just the beginning of an incredibly rich robust roadmap of additional improvements.” Michael Martin, VP of Nike Direct Product Aside from the power-lacing feature, the app also allows you to change the color of the two lights at the base of the shoe to fit your mood. There are 14 colors to choose from. Now, of course, part of the meticulous process of releasing the Nike Adapt BB to the world was getting elite athletes to test it out. That is exactly what Nike did when they brought the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Luka Doncic, De’Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum to the Nike World Headquarters in Oregon to take the Nike Adapt BB for a spin. It was one intense workout that Tatum, the sophomore star of the Boston Celtics thoroughly enjoyed. “We might have played 5 or 6 games and everybody was going hard. At first, everybody was just going up and down and breaking a sweat, but then, things started to get serious and we’re all competitors, so, we went at it,” said Tatum. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics Tatum will be the first NBA player to wear the Nike Adapt BB in an actual NBA game when the Boston Celtics play the Toronto Raptors in their upcoming match-up. The twenty year old forward has been known for wearing Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant signature sneakers but he already considers the Nike Adapt BB as his new favorite pair. “They’re now my favorite basketball shoe of all-time,” said Tatum with a smile. The Nike Adapt BB will be available in the Philippines in February at Nike Park Fort, Titan BGC and titan22.com at Php 17,495.00.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2019

Nets hand Celtics 3rd straight loss

MANILA, Philippines – The Brooklyn Nets returned to the winning track and dealt the Boston Celtics their third straight loss, 109-102, at the Barclays Center on Monday, January 14, (Tuesday, January 15, Philippine time).  D'Angelo Russell fired 34 points with 7 assists and 5 rebounds as the Nets added to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 15th, 2019

Magic edge Celtics for 2nd time

ORLANDO, Fla. --- Aaron Gordon had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic held off a late rally to beat the Boston Celtics 105-103 on Saturday night. Jayson Tatum missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have tied it for the Celtics, who charged back from a nine-point deficit in the final 1:43 before losing to the Magic for the second time this season. Kyrie Irving scored 25 points for the Celtics, 10 of them from the foul line in the final 4:31 as Boston made its late charge. He appeared frustrated afterward with Gordon Hayward, who inbounded the ball on Boston's final possession. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando, which broke a four-game lo...Keep on reading: Magic edge Celtics for 2nd time.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

MVP Ladder: Giannis bolsters case with key win in Houston

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t think he’s quite “there yet” when it comes to the Kia MVP chase. With all due respect, Mr. “Greek Freak,” the basketball world begs to differ. You are definitely there, sir, based on your performance through the midpoint of this NBA season. In fact, if there were hardware to hand out from Kia Race to the MVP Ladder HQ at this point, Antetokounmpo would be the recipient (edging out a crowded field that includes the reigning MVP, James Harden). By the grace of the scheduling gods, the two leading candidates just happened to hook up on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), the official halfway point of 2018-19. And they put on a show worthy of MVP mention, with Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks knocking off Harden’s Houson Rockets at Toyota Center. Harden continued his torrid scoring streak, collecting his league-leading 14th 40-point game of the season. In doing so, he tied Tracy McGrady for the second-longest 30-point streak since the ABA/NBA merger at 14. (Kobe Bryant has the record at 16 straight.) But Harden didn’t have his most efficient outing (shooting 13-for-30 overall with nine turnovers) as the Bucks took control late. All Antentokounmpo did was shred the Rockets for 27 points on 8-for-16 shooting to go along with a career-high 21 rebounds, five assists and yet another showcase performance for his MVP resume. (The Bucks pounded the Rockets to the tune of a 70-24 advantage in points in the paint and outscored them 19-2 in fast break points.) The Bucks have won seven of their past eight games heading into today’s game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. They’ve stormed the top of the Eastern Conference standings and own a 10-5 record over Western Conference opponents with Antetokounmpo as their undisputed leader and, yes, MVP. Not there yet, huh? Yeah, right. * * * The top five this week in the 2018-19 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Last week: No. 2 Season stats: 26.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.3 steals Antetokounmpo seems to be the only person on the planet who isn’t moved by his consistent brilliance this season. If he doesn’t think he’s "there yet," then the rest of the league should brace themselves for whatever comes next. He’s been an unstoppable force on both ends of the floor, but particularly as an offensive catalyst on one of the most improved teams in the league. Doing it without the aid of a reliable long-distance shot is what has made watching Antetokounmpo crush the competition so intriguing. If there was any skepticism about the Bucks being both a legitimate threat in the East and a title contender, that should be vanishing as the second half of the season begins. As long as Antetokounmpo stays focused and healthy (he’s probable Saturday, PHL time, with right quadriceps soreness and a left hip bruise), the possibilities are endless. 2. James Harden, Houston Rockets Last week: No. 1 Season stats: 33.9 points, 8.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals Harden has moved into hallowed ground with his current scoring barrage, as his 14 straight games of 30-plus points ties Hall of Famer (and fellow Rockets legend) Tracy McGrady for the second-longest streak since the ABA/NBA merger. Those debates about whether or not Harden is the best offensive player ever aren’t out of line, not when you consider the way he generates offense for himself and his teammates. Harden has a chance to obliterate the record with the Rockets’ friendly upcoming schedule (they play seven of their next 10 games at Toyota Center). The only glitch for Harden as he's hit this nuclear level is the one key flaw in his game is rising, too. He’s averaging 5.7 turnovers this season, which ties his career-high from 2016-17. He's up to 7.3 tpg in his last five games, which he, of course, would point out is world-class nit-picking of a guy playing as well as he is. 3. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Last week: No. 3 Season stats: 28.9 points, 5.5 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals Curry shot a rather un-Splash Brother-ish 5-for-19 in Tuesday’s (Wednesday, PHL time) home win against the New York Knicks, which includes an ugly 3-for-12 showing from three-point range. That was a huge come down from his 42-point outburst (including 10 made three-pointers) Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in a road win against the Sacramento Kings. But as often happens with a rare rough shooting night for the two-time former MVP, Curry displayed a brilliant floor game against the Knicks. He finished with 14 assists (and just one turnover) while grabbing seven rebounds as Klay Thompson went off for 43 points and Kevin Durant dropped 24. Curry’s had just three hiccups since returning from his 11-game, groin-injury induced absence on Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time). Over his last 18 games, Curry has failed to score at least 20 points only once. What should worry the Chicago Bulls, who visit Oracle today, is what Curry has done in those other two games after he struggled (averaged 32.0 points). 4. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors Last week: No. 4 Season stats: 27.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.9 steals MVP voters must decide if the work Leonard did while he was playing outweighs how good the Raptors were all season whether he was in or out of the lineup. As convenient as it might be to try to diminish what Leonard has done by knocking him for the games he missed, you’d be wise to pay attention to just how good he's been when he plays. The Milwaukee Bucks can certainly attest to his impact after what Leonard did to them Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). He logged 30 points and a season-high five steals, playing his trademark lockdown defense, as the Raptors won the battle between the NBA’s top two teams (in the standings). Leonard has such tight control over his own game that he continues to play as efficiently as anyone on this list. He has notched eight games this season where he’s scored 30 or more points while shooting better than 50 percent, including his last two games (30 on 50 percent shooting in the win against the Bucks and 31 points on 61.1 percent shooting in their recent win against the Hawks). 5. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets Last week: No. 7 Season stats: 19.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.5 steals Jokic continues to deliver for the Nuggets in every category, doing his crafty best to help keep coach Michael Malone’s team at the top of the Western Conference. He notched his 21st career triple-double (18 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and two blocks) in Thursday’s (Friday, PHL time) win over the LA Clippers. It was his second straight triple-double, coming two days after lighting up the Heat in Miami for 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. In doing so, he tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second-most career triple-doubles by a center and can now chase Wilt Chamberlain’s big man record of 78. Jokic will probably dig into that deficit considerably the season if he keeps playing the way he has to kick off 2019 (27.2 points on .523 shooting, 12.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.4 steals in his last five games). Jokic and the rest of the Nuggets are focused on team goals first, of course. After missing out on the playoffs on the season's final night in 2017-18, they’re making sure to avoid any such drama this time. * * * The next five 6. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder 7. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers 8. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers 9. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors 10. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans And five more: DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs; Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers;Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2019

Irving says team meeting helped Celtics clear air, find rhythm

NBA.com staff report The Boston Celtics are perhaps starting to show the kind of teamwork they've been looking for all season. Star guard Kyrie Irving said Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) that a team meeting held after a Dec. 21 (Dec. 22, PHL time) home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks helped players to clear the air about several topics. "We could pinpoint a lot of turning points," Irving told reporters after yesterday's win vs. Indiana, per ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "We just want to build that chemistry first. Just getting with one another, really put everything out there and then move on from that point. "At that point, playing against Milwaukee, we weren't at rock bottom, but we needed to address some [expletive] in this locker room. It's just good to get stuff out in the air. As grown men and guys that have expectations for themselves, it was good to hear guys talk about what they wanted for themselves and what they wanted for this team." The Celtics dismantled the Indiana Pacers 135-108 to notch their fourth straight win, with the victory coming largely because of Boston's willingness to share the ball. The victory marked their fifth straight game with at least 30 assists (after failing to reach that mark in nine of their previous 10 games). Since Dec. 23 (Dec. 24, PHL time), the Celtics rank No. 2 in assist percentage (70.2) and are among the league leaders in offensive rating, net rating, true shooting percentage and more during that span. The Celtics had 32 assists last night and put together their highest scoring game this season. Boston (25-15) also ended a three-game skid against the Pacers, who entered the night third in the Eastern Conference having won seven of eight. Additionally, Boston led 68-53 at halftime after shooting 56.5 percent (26-for-46) in the first half. That Dec. 23 (Dec. 24, PHL time) date is an important one, since it was Boston's next game after the Bucks loss that capped off a three-game losing streak. After that loss to the Bucks, the Celtics were mired in the lower-half of the Eastern Conference standings and had their team meeting. The Celtics have seen a slight uptick in pace (they rank 18th in that category overall) since Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time), and are getting more comfortable in terms of team chemistry. Overall, Boston has won seven of its last nine games to stay within striking distance of the upper crust in the East. ''We're all understanding that we're trying to play faster and the ball movement has been working for us,'' said Al Horford, who led Boston last night with eight assists. ''It keeps the defense on their toes, really makes the other team work. It's kind of contagious.'' “Well, you see the type of connection that we have out there in terms of our pick-and-roll and what we do and how we talk is pretty seamless,” Irving said, per Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. “We came in the same time and have this understanding of where our journeys have started and where it is now and an appreciation of where we are. So we just want to take full advantage of it for this year.” Since Thanksgiving, the Celtics are No. 1 in offensive rating, have a net rating of 11.2 (tops in the NBA) and are 16-6 (the best record in the league). In short, Boston is finding its way -- at least over the last few weeks -- and developing chemistry with a roster filled with talent. “It was hard to find good clips at the start of the year,” coach Brad Stevens said, per the Boston Herald. “And I think some of that was because we were pressing; some of that was because we missed shots when the ball was moving.  All looks a little bit better when it finishes with a make, but that’s who we have to be." Information from The Associated Press was used in this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Rookie Ladder: Big performances abound at season s midway point

By Drew Packham, NBA.com Due to a much-needed holiday break on my part, it’s been two weeks since we last checked in on this impressive rookie class, and they didn’t disappoint since then. There have been some monster games in the past 14 days including the following: - Luka Doncic scored a career-high 34 points on Dec. 29 (PHL time) in New Orleans, going 7-for-10 from beyond the arc (10-for-16 overall) in a 114-112 loss to the Pelicans.       - Deandre Ayton scored a career-high 33 points with 14 rebounds (10 offensive) and four steals (also a career high) on Dec. 30 (PHL time) in a 122-118 loss to the Nuggets. Ayton was 16-for-20 from the field.       - Landry Shamet scored a career-high 29 points to lead the Sixers to a 132-115 win over the Wizards on Jan. 9 (PHL time). Shamet was 8-for-14 from three-point land in what was easily his biggest night of his career.       - Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter scored a career-high 22 points on Jan. 1 (PHl time) in a 116-108 loss to the Pacers. Huerter was 8-for-15 from the field, going 6-for-8 from beyond the arc.       - Pelicans rookie Frank Jackson scored a career-high 17 points Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) in 17 minutes in a 114-95 win over the Grizzlies, then topped that two nights later with 19 points -- hitting all four three-point attempts -- in 19 minutes in a 140-124 win over the Cavs.   We’ve just hit the midway point of the season, and big games should start becoming more common as teams falling further out of the playoff race give their youngsters more opportunities. * * * 1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks Last week: No. 1 Doncic dominated his third matchup with No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, notching 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. It was Doncic’s fourth 30-point game of the season, while no other rookie has more than one. It was also his seventh game with 20-5-5. All other rookies have combined for five such games. Over the past two weeks, the Slovenian has averaged 22.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 40 percent from 3-point land. 2. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns Last week: No. 2 While Ayton has had some monster games over the past two weeks -- averaging 16.2 points and 9.7 rebounds over nine games -- he’s also had some clunkers in the New Year. In a 121-111 loss to the LA Clippers, Ayton finished with four points and five rebounds with four turnovers, then struggled mightily in Wednesday’s (Thursday, PHL time) loss to the Mavs. In 20 minutes, the big man had six points and five rebounds while hitting just 1-of-7 shots. "For the first time, I think I ever, went scoreless in the first half and stuff like that just started to get to me a little bit," said Ayton. "It was just me being the bad egg today. I'm going to apologize to them about this, but yeah, it was a bad game for me." 3. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Last week: Not ranked Young has shot more consistently over the last two weeks, shooting 44.7 percent overall and 47.4 percent on three-pointers. I’ve hammered Young repeatedly for his poor shooting numbers, so I have to give him props for his turnaround. Over his last nine games, he’s averaged 15.9 points and 7.6 assists and has generally looked more in control and selective with his shots. Young continues to lead rookies in assists at 7.3 per game, which puts him ninth among all players. 4. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks Last week: No. 3 Knox was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December after averaging 17.1 points and six rebounds. The 6'9" forward out of Kentucky is certainly on the rise, but also admitted he may not even be done growing. “Doctors said I have a half-inch or an inch left in the tank,” Knox told the New York Post recently. “You never know -- hopefully I have an inch [left]. Maybe 6-10, 6-10.5. If not, I’m perfectly fine with where I’m at.” For his part, coach David Fizdale is letting his young prospect grow with more minutes and responsibility. “Right now, he’s gained momentum, and [I want to] keep him rolling. It’s starting to become I need him on the court. That’s pretty good to say about a 19-year-old. We need him out there.” 5. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies Last week: Not ranked Jackson has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 games, but his rebounding and foul troubles are areas of concern. Jackson is first (or worst, depending on how you look at it) among all players in fouls per game (3.9) and is just sixth in rebounds per game among rookies. "Because of how long, tall and narrow he is, when guys lock him up he has a hard time escaping or staying on balance," Bickerstaff told The Commercial Appeal last week. "To be honest, with him, with his length and athleticism, he needs to be trying to escape people more and not let them get their hands or body on him where they can wedge him out." These are all things the 19-year-old will figure out, as Bickerstaff says. “The way he works, the way he studies, he's going to figure it out.” * * * Just missed the cut: Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn Nets Kurucs falls out of the top five, but it was a close call thanks to an impressive night in Boston. Kurucs tied a career high with 24 points. He finished 8-for-15 from the field, hitting a career-high five triples on eight attempts. Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Carter has scored in double-digits in five of his last seven games, with a pair of double-doubles to close out 2018. Most notably, he had a 17-point, 13-rebound, three-block showing in a win over the Wizards on Dec. 28 (Dec. 29, PHL time). Landry Shamet, Philadelphia 76ers Shamet not only scored a career-high 29 on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), but he also set personal bests by making eight three's (one shy of Dana Barros’ team record set in ‘95) on 14 attempts. He scored 15 of his points in the third quarter when he was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. “It just happens,” Shamet said afterward. “That might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it’s just simple, and it just comes in the flow of everything.” Frank Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans This could be an anomaly and Jackson won’t stick around these parts, but he deserves some love for his work off the bench. With E’Twaun Moore nursing a quad injury, Jackson has stepped up, scoring 17 points in a win on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), followed by 19 in Wednesday’s (Thursday, PHL time) win over the Cavs. Jackson was 11-for 15 overall in the two games, going 7-for-12 from three-point land (7-for-7 from the FT line). Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers Sexton has scored in double figures in his last six games, but the Cavs are mired in an 11-game skid and the rookie is dealing with his own shooting woes. During the slide, Sexton is shooting 32.4 percent from the field, 35.5 percent on three-pointers. * * * (All stats through Jan. 10, PHL time).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum push Celtics to rout of weary Pacers | Inquirer Sports

BOSTON Theres no secret to the Boston Celtics recent roll. The Celtics continued to share the offensive load, and the results showed again in a 135-113 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night f.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Kyrie Irving, Nick Kyrgios collab for sneaker crossover

Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving and Australian tennis pro Nick Kyrgios are pouring their shared Aussie roots into an ambitious sneaker crossover. Both born in Australia, Irving and Kyrgios share a love for their heritage and a high esteem for one another. The mutual respect inspired a collaborative project that will have Kyrgios wearing a Kyrie 5-inspired Vapor X shoe in the Aussie Open in Melbourne. Irving already rocked his Vapor-inspired sneakers last Monday in the Celtics' 116-95 win over the Nets. Kyrgios' low-cut tennis version features the Kyrie 5's iconic Flytrap-inspired upper for a lockdown fit and a Vapor X outsole. The Nike Vapor X 'Kyrie 5' releases January 14......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2019

Celtics top sloppy Nets on Irving s return

Kyrie Irving returned after missing two games with an eye injury and scored 17 points to lead eight players in double figures as the Boston Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets, 116-95......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 8th, 2019

Kevin Spacey due in court on charge of groping young man

NANTUCKET, Massachusetts --- Kevin Spacey is due in court Monday to answer accusations that he groped a young man in a bar on the resort island of Nantucket in 2016. The two-time Oscar winner has said he will plead not guilty to a charge of felony indecent assault and battery. The court appearance by Spacey comes more than a year after former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh accused the former "House of Cards" star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teen worked as a busboy. Spacey's lawyer, Alan Jackson, has sought to poke holes in the case, noting that the teenager didn't immediately report the allegations. If convicted, ...Keep on reading: Kevin Spacey due in court on charge of groping young man.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 7th, 2019