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Wolves halt Rockets’ 9-game winning run

Wolves halt Rockets’ 9-game winning run.....»»

Category: sportsSource: thestandard thestandardJan 12th, 2017

Heat win again, hold off Pelicans 120-112

em>By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press /em> MIAMI (AP)-- Goran Dragic played through a black eye and bloodied mouth to score 33 points, Hassan Whiteside had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and the Miami Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 120-112 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Wayne Ellington scored 19 for the Heat, who made 16 three-pointers and have won 18 consecutive games when connecting at least 10 times from beyond the arc. Dion Waiters added 14, and James Johnson and Tyler Johnson had 10 apiece for Miami. The Heat (33-35) won for the 22nd time in 27 games and are 14-1 in their last 15 at home. Anthony Davis scored 27 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 19 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore scored 18 off the bench on 8-for-12 shooting for New Orleans, which got 11 points apiece from Jrue Holiday and Dante Cunningham. Miami took the lead for good on a three-point flurry late — three straight, one from Josh Richardson and the last two from James Johnson. That quick 9-0 run put Miami on top 111-102, and the Heat didn’t trail again. The win, at least temporarily, moved Miami past Milwaukee and into the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference standings — a far cry from where the team was two months ago, when the Heat were trying to avoid having the worst record in the NBA. “Nothing’s guaranteed,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Everybody’s talking about how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished. We’re not in the playoffs yet. But at least we were given an opportunity to show persistence and develop that.” Miami led by 14 early, but most of that eroded during a 15-2 New Orleans run in the second quarter. And after never leading in the first half, the Pelicans started the third with a 9-0 spurt to go up 61-54 — finishing off what was a 21-point turnaround over about a nine-minute stretch. But Miami rallied, grabbed an 85-79 lead going into the fourth, and then went 7 for 9 from 3-point range in the final quarter to prevail. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em> Cousins got his 19th technical of the season, part of his eventful night. He left the court with 1:35 to play after getting hit in the midsection by Miami’s James Johnson. Cousins was called for a shooting foul on the drive; James Johnson was called for a technical. Davis was bloodied near his right elbow in the second quarter. em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Dragic — who missed Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game in Indiana because his right eye was swollen shut — was fouled on two more three-point tries, giving him 21 of those this season. He’s turned those resulting free throws into 53 points, which would work out to an equivalent three-point percentage of 84.1 percent. Whiteside has 14 consecutive games with at least 10 rebounds, a Heat franchise first. Miami improved to 11-2 on Wednesdays (Thursday, PHL time). strong>WINNING COMBO /strong> The Heat are 19-5 when Dragic, Waiters, Whiteside, Luke Babbitt and Rodney McGruder start a game. When using any other starting five this season — there have been 19 — the Heat are 14-30. strong>WELCOME TO MIAMI? /strong> Including his Sacramento days, Cousins has appeared in 12 games at Miami. His teams are 1-11. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pelicans: /strong> /em>Host the Houston Rockets on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), the start of a three-game homestand. em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Host the Timberwolves on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), looking to sweep Minnesota for the first time since 2012-13. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 16th, 2017

Lady Spikers halt Lady Bulldogs' win streak

Defending champion De La Salle University encountered a tight resistance in the opening set before putting a muzzle on the National University Lady Bullogs winning run with a bounce back 29-27, 25-16, 25-21, victory Sunday in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. The Lady Spikers got back on the winning track to erase a painful straight sets loss to league-leading and unbeaten University of the Philippines the last time out to improve to 3-1 tied with their victim and idle Ateneo de Manila. Season 78 Finals Most Valuable Player Kim Dy, Ernestine Tiamzon and Filipino-Nigerian Eduke Ogunsaya showed the way for the Taft-based squad. The Lady Bulldogs dropped its first match after a blistering three-game winning streak.       (to be updated)   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2017

Maroons overcome Tigers in five sets for share of second

Graduating players Alfred Valbuena and skipper Wendel Miguel stepped up when needed the most to tow University of the Philippines back in the win column Sunday in the 79th UAAP men’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan. The duo powered the Fighting Maroons back from a 1-2 match deficit to a thrilling, 25-23, 20-25, 20-25, 25-16, 15-8, decision over the University of Sto. Tomas Growling Tigers to move up to a share of the second to fourth spot. Valbuena uncorked 17 attacks with three kill blocks and a pair of aces to lead the Diliman-based squad with 22 points while Miguel scored all but one of his 21 markers off spikes to help UP rebound from a shocking straight sets loss to De La Salle University last Wednesday. The win put the Maroons, who survived its second 5-set match after beating Adamson in their season opener, beside Far Eastern University and National University at second to fourth spot with 3-1 win-loss mark behind unbeaten three-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila (4-0). John Millete coming off the bench added 17 points for UP, which rained down 67 attacks and held its defense at the net with 10 kill blocks. The Maroons will face Ateneo next Sunday. UST saw its two-game winning run come to a quick halt to drop to 2-2. Manuel Medina finished with 16 points while Jayve Sumagaysay had 11 for the Tigers. The Espana-based squad’s next assignment is on Saturday against winless Adamson.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2017

Shooting Star: An exclusive interview with Kevin Martin

p align="center">  During the early 2000’s, the NBA was dominated by dynamic scorers like Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and Allen Iverson just to name a few. So when the Sacramento Kings drafted 21 year old Kevin Martin as the 26 suth /su overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft, no one was really sure whether his high-scoring exploits at little known Western Carolina University would materialize in the pros. During his third year in the league, Martin suddenly burst onto the scene, starting all 80 regular season games for the Kings and leading them in scoring, averaging 20.2 PPG. Sacramento may have not made the playoffs that year but Martin developed a reputation as one of the game’s up-and-coming shooting guards. After six seasons with the Kings, Martin would go on to play for the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves before closing out his career with the San Antonio Spurs. It was a productive twelve year career that ended without much buzz. But, for Martin, he wouldn’t have had it any other way because according to him, he’s the type of person who likes to keep things “under the radar”. Martin is now 34 years old. He’s happily retired and is now focused on helping the NBA by traveling the world and being an ambassador for the game. As part of promoting the NBA All-Star Weekend, Martin is in the country for the very first time to connect with the Filipino basketball community. I was able to chat with “KMart23” yesterday at the Globe Iconic Store at Bonifacio High Street, Taguig. The first thing I asked him was why he retired so young. The 6’7” native of Zanesville, Ohio was wearing a blazer, jeans and shiny wingtips. He looks like he can still play the game at a high level. So, it was a bit strange to hear his response. “It was more mentally than it was physically. I maxed out. Everybody gets a different calling card at different points in life and right now, I’m living beyond playing the actual game.” Aside from the Philippines, Martin is looking to visit China, Africa and Europe as part of his journey to give back to the community. In relation to me still believing that Martin could play in the NBA, I asked him which team he would play for if ever he made a comeback. I was surprised by his choice. “I would play for the Golden State Warriors. It would be an easy ride. With all those great players, I would just sit there and enjoy the ride,” said the smiling Martin, in a very chill manner. Ron Artest and Brad Miller were the players Martin looked up to the most. They were his teammates in Sacramento and even though they would move on to different teams later on in their careers, Martin would still reach out to them for advice. One thing Martin did learn early in his career though, was never to talk trash to Kobe Bryant. He told me story about how the Black Mamba torched him for 45 points after he made the mistake of getting a little too cocky for his own good. “I made an unbelievable shot. I looked at Kobe and said something like, ‘I’m a great two-guard! I’m on my way!’. And he said, ‘You gotta work for this one, Young Fella!’.” Playing with Kings from 2004 to 2010 was an “unbelievable time to be a two-guard”, says Martin. “We were in the same division as the Lakers. So, I saw Kobe four times a year.” Besides Kobe, Martin also mentions T-Mac, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton and Jason Richardson as his toughest competitors. Honestly, I am still in disbelief that a player as talented as Martin has already closed the chapter of his playing career in the NBA. But, getting opportunity to sit down and talk to him made me realize that maybe he has a bigger purpose in life that goes beyond the hardcourt. In those 12 years in the NBA, Martin may have never won a Championship or made it to the All-Star game. Despite that, I still won’t forget the game-winning lay-up he made over Tim Duncan in the 2006 NBA Playoffs. Kevin Martin proved that could shine in a league of stars. We’re thankful to have a person of his caliber here to spread his wisdom and knowledge about the game we all love.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2017

Dragic leads Heat to 11th straight win, 115-113 over Wolves

em>By Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press /em> MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 33 points and hit a career-high seven three-pointers to lead the Miami Heat to their 11th straight victory, 115-113 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Hassan Whiteside had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and the Heat shot 53.6 percent (15-for-28) from three-point range. Miami made 10 more three’s than Minnesota and held on late after a furious comeback attempt by the Wolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost four straight games. Andrew Wiggins added 27 points, but missed two shots with chances to win the game in the final 8.5 seconds. The Heat led by as many as 14 points -- the ninth straight game they have led by double digits -- and now own the second-longest winning streak in the NBA this season. Golden State won 12 in a row in November. Miami carved up the Wolves' defense for most of the night, scored 48 points in the paint and made them pay for all the open looks from beyond the arc. Rodney McGruder went 3-of-4 from deep. Dragic hit eight of his first nine shots and his first seven three-pointers, including one that banked in just before halftime for a 14-point lead. After a listless start, Wiggins scored 13 points in the third quarter to cut the deficit to five points and Dragic finally missed a triple early in the fourth to give the Wolves a glimmer of hope. They trailed by four with 35 seconds to play, but Wiggins got a steal and converted a three-point play. He stole the ball a second straight time, but missed what would have been the go-ahead jumper with 8.5 seconds left. Whiteside made one free throw on the other end, and Wiggins missed a contested fallaway from the baseline as time expired. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Dragic has made at least one three-pointer in 15 straight games, the longest streak of his career. Miami scored 40 points in the first quarter. McGruder had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. James Johnson scored 11 points off the bench, including a huge corner triple with 3:40 to go. em> strong>Timberwolves: /strong> /em> PG Kris Dunn missed his third straight game with a bruised right hand. Ricky Rubio had 14 points and 13 assists. Gorgui Dieng had 13 points and seven rebounds. strong>PUTTING THE `D' IN DION /strong> Heat guard Dion Waiters didn't have quite the offensive game he has been having during the streak. He scored 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting in 33 minutes. But he delivered one of the highlights of the game on the other end when he ran down Shabazz Muhammad in transition and emphatically swatted a layup attempt. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Miami stays on the road for the second of a four-game trip that continues in Milwaukee on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). em> strong>Timberwolves: /strong> /em>Minnesota stays home to host Toronto on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), the third game of a six-game homestand. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2017

Wizards' Scott Brooks, Warriors' Steve Kerr named Coaches of the Month for January

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- The Washington Wizards’ Scott Brooks and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.  Brooks guided Washington to an Eastern Conference-best 12-4 record during January as the Wizards climbed into a tie for first place in the Southeast Division.  Washington went 7-0 at Verizon Center to extend its home winning streak to 15 games, tied for the second-longest run in franchise history. The Wizards closed the month on a five-game winning streak, which included victories over the current Atlantic Division leader, the Boston Celtics, and the Southeast co-leader, the Atlanta Hawks. Brooks’ team held opponents to 43.4 percent shooting from the field, the best mark in the NBA. Kerr led the Warriors to an NBA-best 12-2 record in January, with Golden State losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime and falling to the Miami Heat after Miami guard Dion Waiters made a tie-breaking three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left. The Warriors led the NBA in scoring (120.3 ppg), assists (30.6 apg), field goal percentage (50.9) and point differential (14.1) for the month, which included wins over the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets and the LA Clippers. On Jan. 23 (Jan. 24, PHL time), Kerr and his staff earned the honor to coach the Western Conference All-Stars in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game after clinching the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 5 (Monday, Feb. 6, PHL time).     Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer, Boston’s Brad Stevens, Indiana’s Nate McMillan, the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and Philadelphia’s Brett Brown. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2017

Dwane Casey, Mike D'Antoni named NBA Coaches of the Month

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- The Toronto Raptors’ Dwane Casey and the Houston Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in December, 2016.  Casey guided the Raptors to a 10-4 record in December, highlighted by two four-game winning streaks that started during the month. Toronto had identical 5-2 records at home and on the road, including a 101-94 victory at the Boston Celtics on Dec. 9 (Dec. 10, PHL time) and a 104-98 win at the Utah Jazz on Dec. 23 (Dec. 24, PHL time). The Raptors led the Eastern Conference in scoring (112.1 ppg) and point differential (11.1 per game).  In December, Toronto set franchise records for largest margin of victory (a 44-point win, 128-84, over the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 4, PHL time) and consecutive road wins (seven, with the first two victories coming in November). D’Antoni led the Rockets to an NBA-best 15-2 record in December as Houston tied a franchise record for wins in a month. Behind Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month James Harden, the Rockets paced the league in scoring (120.9 ppg) and point differential (12.9). They also made an NBA-high 16.4 three-pointers per game, hitting 111 more than their opponents for the month. Houston opened the month with a 132-127 double-overtime road victory over the league-leading Golden State Warriors on Dec. 1 (Dec. 2, PHL time).       Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Cleveland’s Tyronn Lue, Golden State’s Steve Kerr, Memphis’ David Fizdale, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, Utah’s Quin Snyder and Washington’s Scott Brooks. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

NBA: Rockets dim Suns

A night after their 10-game winning streak came to a halt with a two-point loss at home to San Antonio, the Houston Rockets looked ready to start a new run of victories......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2016

Ravena to wear title-winning '4 for Alab Pilipinas

Kiefer Ravena will be making his debut in the Asean Basketball League on Sunday in Singapore. He won’t be wearing the jersey number 15 we have all been accustomed to, however. Anthony Gavieres has that jersey number for Alab Pilipinas. Ravena’s next choice, jersey number 1 then happens to belong to this person you may know as two-time UAAP MVP Ray Parks Jr. And so, the 23-year-old will instead wear the jersey number 4 – the same one he donned for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League and, more importantly, the Gilas cadets in the 2016 SEABA. “Kapag national team kasi, number 4 ako,” he said. Perhaps it’s all for the best in his desire to bring back the ABL championship to the Philippines. “Naghahanap din ako ng number na mag-champion ako. Hopefully, ito na ulit yun kasi nag-champion na ito with (Gilas cadets).” In 2016, Ravena and the Gilas cadets came away the victors in SEABA which took place in Singapore. Now, Alab’s newest weapon is only hoping that there would be a case of déjà vu -  with his jersey number being 4 and the venue being Singapore. “It’s all about representing the country so I have to give it my all,” he said. The third-seed Filipinos take on the second-seed Slingers in the best-of-three semifinals tipping off at the OCBC Arenain Singapore on Sunday. Game 2 will then be played at the Olivarez College Gym in Paranaque on Friday. All of the action will be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23 as well as streamed LIVE on sports.abs-cbn.com. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News6 hr. 38 min. ago

Late free throws help Minnesota end skid at Indiana

em>By Michael Marot, Associated Press /em> INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Ricky Rubio made three free throws with 3.4 seconds left to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a 115-114 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Minnesota snapped a season-high six-game losing streak by taking its only lead of the quarter. Rubio had 21 points and 10 assists, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points and 12 rebounds. Rubio was fouled by Jeff Teague, though it appeared Rubio ran into his own teammate on the play. Indiana fans booed the officials as they left the court. Indiana's Monta Ellis got off a last-second three-point shot, but he was off the mark. Paul George scored 37 points to lead the Pacers, whose playoff chances took another hit. Teague had 20 points and 10 assists. Indiana still hasn't won back-to-back games since early February. The Pacers appeared to have control when they took a 104-95 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Instead, the young Timberwolves fought back and finished the game on a 9-2 run. Indiana started the day in a three-way tie for the No. 5 seed in the East, yet looked listless most of the night. Minnesota took a 26-25 lead by closing the first quarter on a 9-1 spurt. The Timberwolves then scored 10 straight points early in the second quarter to make it 36-29, and after the Pacers briefly grabbed a 55-54 lead late in the first half, Gorgui Dieng's triple with 1.9 seconds left put Minnesota up 59-57 at the half. In the third quarter, the Timberwolves knocked down back-to-back three’s to make it 82-73 and eventually 87-78. That's when the Pacers cranked up the energy, played with some urgency and finally turned the game by scoring 15 consecutive points to lead 92-87 early in the fourth. They continued to extend the lead until Minnesota's final charge. Rubio made all 13 of his free-throw attempts, and Towns was 10-for-10 at the line. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Timberwolves: /strong> /em> Ended a seven-game road losing streak by winning outside Minneapolis for the first time since beating Utah on March 1 (March 2, PHL time). Minnesota avoided a second straight season sweep by the Pacers. The Timberwolves won at Indianapolis for the first time since Jan. 23, 2015. Andrew Wiggins had 17 points and Dieng had 19. Coach Tom Thibodeau was called for a technical foul early in the fourth quarter. em> strong>Pacers: /strong> /em>George had 25 points, six rebounds and two steals in the first half while going 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-5 on three’s. He finished 12-of-21 from the field, didn't make another triple and had four steals. Indiana was 29-of-35 from the free-throw line compared with Minnesota's 32-of-37. After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, Indiana had only four in the second half. Ellis had 19 points, Myles Turner had 15 points and eight rebounds and Thaddeus Young finished with 14 points. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Timberwolves: /strong> /em> Begin a three-game homestand by hosting the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). em> strong>Pacers: /strong> /em>Will try to avoid a third straight season sweep when they visit Memphis on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News6 hr. 41 min. ago

Lady Maroons silence Lady Bulldogs

University of the Philippines connected its first back-to-back wins in the second round and boosted its chance to clinch a Final Four berth with a four-set 25-14, 25-27, 25-21, 25-12 win over National University in the 79 suth /su UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome Sunday. Playing with a sense of urgency, the Lady Maroons outdueled their first round tormentors and tied their victim at 7-5 win-loss slates. Sophomores Diana Carlos and Isa Molde led the way for the Diliman-based squad, who are now two wins away from formally joining early Final Four qualifiers Ateneo de Manila (10-2) and defending champion De La Salle University (9-2). UP’s last assignments are against University of Sto. Tomas on April 2 and Far Eastern University on April 5 – both Final Four contenders. The Lady Bulldogs saw its two-game winning streak snapped. NU played without head coach Roger Gorayeb, who skipped the match to attend the high school graduation of his son.        (To be updated)       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 26th, 2017

Q&A: NBA pioneer Wayne Embry

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com Wayne Embry is closing in on 60 years in the NBA in one capacity or another. And if you hear him tell it, he’s been half-a-Forrest Gump, working without a plan and landing wherever the basketball winds have taken him. But that does not do the man or his career justice. “You can say Wayne’s been persistent,” Oscar Robertson said about his friend, fellow Hall of Famer and former roommate with the Cincinnati Royals. “A lot of things were not that easy for him on his way to where he is today. There was not a plan for a lot of African-Americans in those days, to be honest. People think because they see him now, ‘Everything was so wonderful.’ But he persevered. And I’m happy for him for that.” Wayne Richard Embry, who turns 80 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), has been a player, a scout, a team executive and a pebble-grained consigliere for so long, Bill Russell only had one ring when he arrived. Embry reached the NBA in 1958, the 22nd pick in the same draft that yielded Elgin Baylor, Hal Greer and Guy Rodgers. A native of Springfield, Ohio, and the only black student at his Tecumseh High in New Carlisle, Embry played at Miami (Ohio) before becoming a five-time NBA All-Star. He averaged 14.1 points and 10.4 rebounds for Cincinnati and, at 6’8” and 240 pounds, earned his memorable nickname (“The Wall”) with bone-jarring picks and box-outs. Embry was traded in 1966 to Boston, where he spent two seasons as a backup to Russell, earning a championship ring in 1968. Then it was on to Milwaukee via the expansion draft, with the Bucks jacking the 31-year-old Embry’s minutes from 13.9 to 30.2 in the season before they landed Lew Alcindor, a.k.a. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Soon after Embry retired as a player, Bucks owner Wes Pavalon sought him out to be “assistant to the president,” Ray Patterson. When Patterson moved on to Houston in 1972, Pavalon promoted Embry, making him the first black general manager in major American professional sports. Embry helped convince Robertson to accept his trade to Milwaukee for the 1970-71 season, the trigger of the Bucks’ NBA championship that season. He helped rebuild the team, after Abdul-Jabbar demanded his exit from the gritty Midwestern city, into an under-appreciated contender into the 1980s. Then it was on to Cleveland, where Embry became the NBA’s first black team president. The Cavaliers thrived on his watch, only to be blocked by Detroit and Chicago much as Boston and Philadelphia had been the Bucks’ obstacles. At age 67, Embry accepted a role as senior basketball adviser with the Toronto Raptors, a job at which he continues to work nearly 13 years later. Toronto has averaged 50 victories over the past four seasons, with Embry helicoptering in six or seven times each season and otherwise catching their games on League Pass from his Scottsdale, Ariz., home, where he lives with Terri, his wife of 57 years. Robertson, by comparison, was only Embry’s roommate for six seasons during their travels with the Royals. “He was all right,” Robertson recalled Friday. “He slept a lot and I didn’t.” A politics junkie and a history buff, Embry exercises daily and mostly battles some sinus issues after shedding considerable weight recently. Soft-spoken but sharp as ever, he spoke at length with NBA.com on the same day that, coincidentally, former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause died at age 77. Here is an edited version of that conversation: strong>NBA.com: /strong> What do you remember about Jerry Krause? strong>Wayne Embry: /strong>He was a hard worker. Whether it be his work in the NBA or his work in baseball. Very much attended to detail, too. He was, I would think for his time, innovative in his approach, looking for things other people may not have thought to look for. Players’ extended family, that sort of thing. He was really dedicated to what he did. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Was it possible to have a good working relationship with him as a rival? strong>WE: /strong> He didn’t want to reveal any information to anybody. If there was a group of guys out on the road scouting, he would seem aloof sometimes. He didn’t want to give up any secrets or anything that he assumed the other guy didn’t know. He’d be very non-communicative. [chuckles] strong>NBA.com: /strong>Even Jerry West, “The Logo,” doesn’t have 60 years in the NBA. You got here a couple seasons before him or Oscar. strong>WE: /strong> I’ve been blessed to be involved in something like this that I have a great passion for. It’s been good for me, and to be able to still be involved at my age ... I just feel blessed. strong>NBA.com: /strong> You have to feel proud not only to be the first black GM in pro sports but to have achieved that way back in 1972. Did you have a sense of being a pioneer back then? strong>WE: /strong>At the time, it was a complete shock. I thought I’d be lucky to be assistant to Ray Patterson, who had done a tremendous job building the championship team. I came there in late ’70 and in August of ’72 I get a call from Wes Pavalon. He and two of his board members were in his office. He just looked at me and said, “You’re the new general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks.” It didn’t register. I was, what, 34, 35 at the time? There never had been any [black GMs]. I just told them I’d do the best I could in whatever capacity I was in. But to be named the man in charge came as a complete shock. strong>NBA.com: /strong> Pavalon was a pretty progressive guy, whose friends included tennis great Arthur Ashe and “Roots” author Alex Haley. Did he tell you later why he chose you for such a barrier-breaking role? strong>WE: /strong> No, not really. But I think that it had a lot to do with the fact I was with the inaugural team and was captain of that team. They drafted me at my age because they wanted leadership. And [coach] Larry Costello, whom I had gotten to know, respected my approach to the game and thought I’d be good for their young team. strong>NBA.com: /strong>You played only one season with the Bucks, retiring at 31. Couldn’t you have come back for another season as a mentor to Kareem? strong>WE: /strong> I probably could have. But my knees already were aching and my back got worse. It got very difficult to get up in the morning to go to practice. I only knew how to play the game one way, and that was all out. I said, “No, I can’t do it anymore.” strong>NBA.com: /strong> When Pavalon brought you back to Milwaukee – you briefly were a city recreation director in the Boston area – he was hoping to swing a deal for Oscar, right? strong>WE: /strong> Wes said “What d’ya think?” I said, “That would be an instant championship, if you got him with Kareem.” I think Oscar had a no-trade contract or approval, and [Pavalon] asked me if I’d pick up the phone and give him a call, and kind of push him our way. I told Oscar I was going back and it’d be great for him to win a championship after all these years. And of course I was interested in pushing it along, if I was going to go back there too. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Oscar understood the value of playing alongside Kareem. strong>WE: /strong> Well, yeah. All those great years he had in Cincinnati but he could never beat Russell and the Celtics. So for him to play with a center who was dominant – I wasn’t quite as dominant a center [laughs] – was a big step toward winning a championship. And it all worked out. strong>NBA.com: /strong> It worked out for you a year later, when Patterson left and Pavalon made you GM. strong>WE: /strong> At that point, I was trying to not screw it up. And I was always afraid that trading Greg Smith screwed it up because we were trying to get bigger at the power forward position. That’s when we brought Curtis Perry in. There were a couple years there where we got beat in the playoffs [by the Lakers and the Warriors], and then we got back to the Finals in ’74. We lost the final game in Milwaukee, which was a heartbreaker. strong>NBA.com: /strong> How cooperative were the league’s other GMs back then? Whether it was due to your race or the fact you were a recently retired player breaking into their ranks, was there any resistance to working with you? strong>WE: /strong> Not at all. They were very receptive and accommodating to me, as far as being a peer. A lot of great friendships evolved out of it. With Pete Newell and Bob Feerick, who was with Golden State at the time. Stu Inman and Jerry Colangelo. I think there was a lot of mutual respect. They helped me grow in the job. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Going about your job day to day, did you feel more eyes on you because you were breaking new ground? strong>WE: /strong>Actually, it didn’t dawn on me right away. I was asked at the time if it was significant, and I said only if it was significant to others. I just felt I had a job to do. I put pressure on myself to do the best I could, prepare myself for it and work harder than everybody else. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Did you like the job right off? strong>WE: /strong>I didn’t really know what it all entailed. It was difficult at first, because I had played with some of the guys I now was managing. As teammates, we had a different type of relationship. Then you had to change that. Instead of hanging out with you, there had to be separation. That was difficult. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Did you have to let Oscar know when he was nearing the end? strong>WE: /strong> That was one of the toughest assignments I had. It was the year of the [New Orleans] expansion draft, but he told us he wasn’t ready to make a decision. The organization certainly didn’t want to put him out in the expansion draft, just out of respect to him. We ended up protecting him. But time passed and ownership decided we had to move on. I had the responsibility of telling Oscar we were moving on, which was tough. strong>NBA.com: /strong> Did it impact your relationship with Oscar, at least temporarily? strong>WE: /strong>It may have. But we worked our way through it. We’re best friends now. strong>NBA.com: /strong>You also had the, er, fun job of dealing with Kareem when he wanted out of Milwaukee. strong>WE: /strong>I think it was the fall of ’74, I got a call that Sam Gilbert – representing Kareem – wanted a meeting. We had no idea what it was for. So Wes and I and Kareem and Sam met at the Sheraton out in Brookfield [western suburb of Milwaukee] and weren’t in the room five minutes when Sam said, “Kareem wants to be traded.” We didn’t want to trade Kareem, obviously, but we knew we were in for a long evening as we tried to hammer this thing out. The reason Kareem gave was, he wanted to go to New York or L.A., larger markets. Actually, Washington was his first choice. But there was that event at his house there...  strong>NBA.com: /strong>That’s right. In January 1973, a house that Abdul-Jabbar owned in D.C. was targeted in a home invasion. [Terrorists murdered several people in an attack on the player’s spiritual teacher Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, a rival of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. Abdul-Jabbar was not present at the time.] strong>WE: /strong>That took Washington out, so it got down to the Lakers or the Knicks. We did everything we could do to talk him out of wanting to be traded. But he said, “Nope. If you don’t, I’ll become a free agent or I’ll sign with the ABA.” Of course we didn’t want that to happen. So we decided to keep it quiet. “Let’s not go public until we have a deal.” strong>NBA.com: /strong> You wound up keeping it quiet for most of that ’74-75 season. strong>WE: /strong>New York made their pitch but there was nothing [acceptable] they could do – they wanted to give us aging players and money. Then I got a call from Pete Newell [of the Lakers] who said, “Can we meet in Denver?” We met in Denver and hammered out a trade. strong>NBA.com: /strong> Considering your hand was forced, were you satisfied with the return on that deal? strong>WE: /strong>Yeah, we felt we got a good nucleus. And I told the board that, once it was clear Kareem wanted to be traded, I said, “This may be good for the franchise. We’re going to hold out to get young players who can be part of a solid future.” We got [David] Meyers and Junior Bridgeman as draft picks, and Brian Winters and Elmore Smith as players. Of course there was cash involved – that wasn’t my area – but that was a pretty solid foundation. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Where did your satisfaction come from as a GM, compared to winning games and chasing titles as a player? strong>WE: /strong>Pretty much the same. Our jobs in the front office are to create an environment for the players to succeed. My philosophy was, let the coaches coach and the players play. I always felt it was a players’ game. So let’s do the best we can there. Very seldom did I interfere with a coach coaching. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Well, there was that one time in Cleveland when Lenny Wilkens noticed you coaching up Brad Daugherty... strong>WE: /strong>He said, “I’d appreciate if you’d let us coach the team. I saw you over there talking to Brad and giving him some instructions.” I said, “Well, Lenny, I played the position. I just thought I’d give him a little tip.” He said, “Just pass that on to us and we’ll do it.” I thought about that, and I said, “You know what? You’re absolutely right.” You have to hold your coaches accountable, and if you’re going to do their jobs, you can’t hold them accountable. strong>NBA.com: /strong> With those Milwaukee teams of Marques Johnson, Sidney Moncrief, Bridgeman, Winters and eventually Bob Lanier, do you ever second-guess any moves you made or didn’t make? strong>WE: /strong>No, I think we were the best we could be. I thought Don Nelson did a tremendous job in developing those teams to where we were contenders. I had a great deal of pleasure in watching those teams grow, because it came after I had to tell Larry Costello he no longer would be our coach. And when I told Don Nelson – my roommate in Boston – that he was going to take over, he said “I’m not ready to coach.” I told him, “Nellie, you’re the coach. So let’s go for it.” He grew with the team and became obviously a Hall of Fame coach. That’s the reward, when you make decisions like that and they turn out well. That’s the pleasure I get now in an advisory capacity with Toronto. I tell the team when I speak to them before the season, my greatest joy is seeing others succeed. strong>NBA.com: /strong> How much better prepared were you when, after a year consulting with Indiana, you went to Cleveland as vice president and GM in 1986? strong>WE: /strong> I had learned a lot by then, a lot of valuable experiences. Managing in the ‘70s wasn’t easy for any of us. That was an era of the post-civil rights, Vietnam War protests, and it affected the sports and the country in general. We had the drug culture in the NBA. It was all part of the post-Sixties era. We were confronted with situations we never thought we’d face. It was trying, to say the least. Young people were protesting a lot of issues. We all respected others’ First Amendment rights. But we also had to be protective of the brand. So it was more a matter of how we did it. We had to protect the image of the franchise, but at the same time, we realized, “This is the time we’re living in. How can we affect change?” We had to think about how we expressed ourselves, and dealt with adversity and the various attitudes that prevailed. And still prevail. Quite frankly, I a little concerned about today. strong>NBA.com: /strong> What’s your take now on the social and political issues that have crept – or been invited – into sports. strong>WE: /strong> We’ve got to count on the 80 percent. I use the 80/20 philosophy, and if 80 percent is good and 20 percent is bad, the 80 percent has got to influence what happens with the other 20 percent. I think we still do a lot of good in sports. We can’t let the 20 percent rule. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Was the NBA of its times or ahead of its time in race relations in the ‘60s and ‘70s? strong> WE: /strong> We come from different backgrounds, different points of views. But I think once you’re in the locker room, the whole concept of winning is built on respect. You built a mutual respect in the locker room, you work toward a common goal, and that’s to win. You saw how the Celtics got along internally. Now we’ve got a lot more African-American players ... and that’s a different challenge. Plus the NBA has become global, putting us at the forefront of bringing together different cultures, different ethnic backgrounds to work toward that common goal of winning championships. It’s great to see how we’ve been able to integrate Europeans, Asians, Africans all into the NBA. We’re a model for how it can bring about change and mutual respect, which I think we need more of in the world. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Your teams in Cleveland had players and coaches who had the misfortune of being born into the era of Jordan. strong>WE: /strong>Obviously, you want to win championships. But if you can get to the final four, you’re a real contender. We were able to do that on one occasion. But we had to play against greatness in those other years. We consistently won 50 games or more, but we couldn’t overcome Michael Jordan. I talked to somebody yesterday who brought up “The Shot” again. [Laughs.] I wish they’d let that go. They keep playing that damn thing on television. strong>NBA.com: /strong> How do you feel about one man serving both as chief basketball boss and head coach, like Stan Van Gundy in Detroit or Gregg Popovich in San Antonio? strong>WE: /strong> My philosophy is having two people. But I can’t take issue with what Pop does, because he relies heavily on R.C. [Buford]. As long as someone has a person to rely on, as a check-and-balance, it can work. But I’m really an advocate of [splitting the duties]. strong>NBA.com: /strong>Did you ever want to coach? strong>WE: /strong>No. I wanted to be as far away from the action as possible because I was too fierce a competitor. One of the most regrettable things in my career was when I came on the court in a game in Detroit – I was sitting about 10 rows up – and the Pistons were having their way with our players. That was the late ‘80s or early ‘90s when the Bad Boys were at their best – or worst. The referees weren’t calling it the way I saw it, there was something happening underneath the basket and suddenly I found myself out on the court. I got the call from Rod [Thorn, NBA VP] the next day, saying “We’ve got to fine you $10,000.” I said, “Fine me more.” strong>NBA.com: /strong>I want to ask about your thoughts on the league today, about the way the game is played and the current hot topic of resting players. strong>WE: /strong> I am fearful that the big men are becoming an endangered species because of the emphasis on 3-point shooting. And I was in the room when we adopted the 3-point shot. I voted for it, I agree with it. But I am concerned about the use of these 6-11, 7-footers who we’ve seen over the years – centers don’t dominate anymore. You don’t see the development of the bigs as we once did. They’re used primarily in high pick-and-roll situations and very little in low-post play. I think there’s very much a need for a big, but the push now is for stretch-fours and stretch-fives. I can understand the analytics of it all, because we all can do arithmetic. But playing the game, you take what the defense gives you. There’s got to be a place for bigs – they want to play the game too. strong>NBA.com: /strong>And as far as resting players? strong>WE: /strong> I think that’s contrary to what the game should be about. [Commissioner] Adam Silver and the owners are going to address it, which I commend them for, because they have to address it. strong>NBA.com: /strong> The broadcast partners have wound up with some lousy games because of it. And we’ve heard fans complain when they’ve spent hundreds of dollars, months in advance, and maybe driven for hours to see the stars around whom the NBA markets itself. Do you share those concerns? strong>WE: /strong>Just as important is the whole competitive notion of why we play the game. We can’t compromise competition. If your team is vying for playoff position to get homecourt advantage, you look at the schedule and you think “Cleveland should beat that team” or “Toronto should beat that team.” But when they go in there and their three best players don’t play, that compromises competition. You can talk about being tired, but part of competition is about fatigue. You have to manage off days and manage lifestyle, manage all the things that contribute to fatigue. Physically and mentally. There are a lot of ways they can address it. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 26th, 2017

Nagpi-peak na kami -- Kim Dy on DLSU's winning run

Defending champion De La Salle University is now peaking at the perfect time as the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament approaches the crucial stretch of the elimination round. The Lady Spikers secured a spot in the Final Four and are on the right track to clinch one of the two semis twice-to-beat advantages. All thanks to good distribution of points coming from the starters and those off the bench. Head coach Ramil De Jesus had a chance to test different rotations Saturday when the Taft-based squad whipped University of the East, 25-16, 25-15, 25-9, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan to tie archrival Ateneo de Manila on top of the standings with 9-2 win-loss records. DLSU’s fourth straight win in the second round after losing in four sets to the Lady Eagles to close the first round of action gave the Lady Spikers their ninth straight Final Four stint.            Top hitter Kim Kianna Dy only had eight points but was happy that her others teammates contributed, making DLSU’s offense more unpredictable.  “So now more distributed ‘yung points namin,” said the fourth year hitter. “That’s a good thing for the team kasi 'di lang isa babantayan, everyone na.” “Siguro ngayon na kami nagpi-peak,” she added. “So maganda talaga timing papunta na kami sa semifinals.” With three more games remaining, DLSU could end up at no. 1 spot but Dy said that the squad’s mindset is to focus first on their remaining assignments and from there see where it could take them. “Di namin masyado iniisip na no. 1 kami, na confident na kami masyado,” she said. “Iniisip lang namin na anything can happen so we have to give 100% every game.” The Lady Spikers’ next three games are against University of Sto. Tomas on Wednesday, Adamson on April 1 before the much-awaited rematch against Ateneo on April 8 at the close of the elims.  “Nandun na confidence namin pero andun pa rin goal to beat them one game at a time,” she said. “’Di namin iniisip na Finals agad kasi 2nd round pa lang kung sino kalaban namin paghahandaan naming.”         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2017

Harden drops 38 in Rockets' liftoff over Pelicans

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden scored 38 points, including eight down the stretch, and tied a career high with 17 assists to help the Houston Rockets pull away for a 117-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. The Pelicans had scored seven points in a row, capped by a 3-pointer from DeMarcus Cousins, to cut the lead to two with about two minutes left. Harden scored Houston's first points in almost 2 1/2 minutes after that on a driving layup to extend the lead. And after a bucket by Cousins on the other end, Harden made three free throws to leave the Rockets up 110-105 with about 90 seconds left. A 3-pointer by Harden soon after that put it out of reach, and gave the MVP candidate a standing ovation from the home crowd. Anthony Davis had 33 points and 16 rebounds and Cousins added 29 points for the Pelicans, whose three-game winning streak was snapped. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2017

Aldridge, Leonard lead Spurs to 97-90 win over Grizzlies

em>By Raul Dominguez, Associated Press /em> SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points, Kawhi Leonard added 19 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies 97-90 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in a possible first-round playoff preview. San Antonio opened a four-game homestand by moving two games behind idle Golden State for the league's best record. The Spurs (55-16) close the homestand against the Warriors (57-14) next Wednesday (next Thursday, PHL time). Memphis (40-32) is seventh in the Western Conference, which would result in a first-round matchup with San Antonio if the standings remain. Mike Conley had 22 points and six assists for Memphis, which lost its third straight to fall 1.5 games behind Oklahoma City for sixth place. Marc Gasol, who had 13 points, was the only other Grizzlies player in double figures. San Antonio lost the first two meetings between the teams, both in Memphis, by a combined 23 points but won at home behind its starting forwards. Aldridge reached 15,000 career points with his final basket, a 13-foot jumper that gave San Antonio a 90-81 lead with 2:10 remaining. The 11-year veteran had nine points in the first quarter on 4-for-8 shooting, including a three-pointer. Aldridge scored six straight points late in the opening period, including a 21-foot jumper off an inbounds steal after he hit a 13-footer. Leonard finished 7-for-15 from the field while battling the aggressive hands-on defense of Tony Allen and James Ennis III. Leonard would respond with his own defense to preserve the win. The 6’7” forward sprinted in front of Allen to tip away a pass and leapt out of bounds to save the ball to Aldridge. The play led to a three-point play by Patty Mills after he was fouled on a 3-on-1 layup for an 88-80 lead with 4 minutes remaining. Mills was 3-for-6 on three’s, finishing with 15 points. San Antonio finished 8-for-26 on three-pointers. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em>Allen had eight points and four rebounds in 29 minutes after being listed as questionable due to an injured left knee. Memphis has lost two straight following a four-game winning streak. The Grizzlies have lost four straight in San Antonio, last winning at the AT& T Center on Dec. 17, 2014, in triple overtime. Memphis is 19-18 on the road after finishing 16-25 away from home last season. The Grizzlies made 10 three-pointers, extending their franchise record for three’s in a season to 669. Memphis is making 9.3 3-pointers this season after averaging 4.3 in the previous six seasons combined. em> strong>Spurs: /strong> /em> San Antonio is 13-2 with Dewayne Dedmon in the starting lineup alongside Leonard, Aldridge, Danny Green and Tony Parker. Rookie PG Dejounte Murray missed his seventh straight game with a left groin injury. David Lee had six rebounds, giving him 7,266 for his career to surpass former Indiana standout Jermaine O'Neal (7,261) for 91st in league history. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul with 16.9 seconds left in the first half after berating Sean Wright near the baseline for failing to call a foul when Leonard lost the ball after being knocked down. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Grizzlies: /strong> /em> At Golden State on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). em> strong>Spurs: /strong> /em> Host New York on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

Barnes' late basket, steal put Mavs past Clippers, 97-95

DALLAS (AP) -- Harrison Barnes made the go-ahead basket, then stole the ball from Blake Griffin with 3.9 seconds left as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 97-95 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Barnes made a 14-foot jumper with 1:06 remaining for the game's 11th lead change, making it 96-95. After he stripped Griffin, Wesley Matthews made a free throw with 0.9 seconds to play before J.J. Redick missed a three-point attempt that would have won it at the buzzer. Griffin scored 21 points, including nine in a row in the fourth quarter, but the Clippers had their three-game winning streak snapped. Dallas, battling from behind for a playoff berth, had lost 4-of-6. Seth Curry led Dallas with 23 points. Barnes finished with 21 and Dirk Nowitzki had 14. DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Clippers. Chris Paul scored 15 points and Austin Rivers had 13. The Mavericks led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter. But after trailing 44-32, Los Angeles finished the first half on a 22-4 run for a 54-48 halftime lead. Redick and Paul each scored five points as the Clippers scored 13 unanswered points to gain a 49-46 advantage. Paul had 13 points in the first half, and Jordan already had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Nowitzki and Curry each had 10 points for the Mavericks. Dallas came back to start the third quarter with a 13-2 run to regain the lead at 61-56. Barnes scored 10 points and Curry had eight in the quarter, which ended with the Mavericks clinging to a 79-77 lead. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Clippers: /strong> /em>Redick's four-point play in the second quarter was the 31st of his career. The Clippers out-rebounded Dallas 25-15 in the first half. em> strong>Mavericks: /strong> /em> J.J. Barea -- listed at six-feet, 185 pounds was ejected with 5:29 to play in the third quarter after pushing the 6’10”, 251-pound Griffin to the floor. Dallas started a big lineup, with Nerlens Noel at center and point guard Yogi Ferrell on the bench, to try to counteract Jordan and Griffin inside. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Clippers: /strong> /em> Begin a three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon (Sunday, PHL time) against Utah. em> strong>Mavericks: /strong> /em> Play the third game of a four-game homestand vs. Toronto on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2017

BLOGTABLE: Will upcoming HOU vs OKC game decide MVP?

em>NBA.com blogtable /em> How much sway will Sunday’s Thunder-Rockets game have on the MVP race? strong>David Aldridge: /strong> Some, with some. To me it's one more piece of information, but even though Harden and Westbrook are both point guards and handle the ball for their teams, I'd anticipate some cros- matching by both teams (Pat Beverley will take Westbrook for Houston; Andre Roberson will take Harden for OKC) that will keep them from guarding each other most of the time. Both are having too special a season for one matchup to be determinate, though. Every day, I change my mind (and, yes, that includes Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James as well). strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong>Not a lot. No one game should get undue weight when it comes to a season-long award. If I truly were undecided between James Harden and Russell Westbrook and it was the final game of the regular season, mmm, maybe. But an MVP, especially, is way more nuanced than one head-to-head showdown can capture. I’ve got four guys who will fill, in some order, the top four spots on my ballot (Harden, Westbrook, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard). The OKC-Houston game will toss more evidence on the pile but it hardly will be determinant. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> Unless James Harden or Russell Westbrook -- or both? -- goes off for 80, I don’t think one more game is going to make a difference in most minds. It’s coming down to whether Westbrook finishes up averaging a triple-double and where the Thunder end up in the West playoff pecking order. And there’s also that Kawhi Leonard fella. Doesn’t defense still count? strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong>Maybe more than it should. If Harden has a big game or Westbrook has a big game, or both, someone may draw a season-long conclusion, especially if the two spend much time guarding each other. That would be a bad conclusion, of course. To have a decision like that come down to one game would be too near-sighted even among the world that lives 140 characters at a time. I can’t believe anyone will reach a bottom line with several weeks to go in the season when the MVP race is this tight. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>My answer is 'very little.' Even if Russell Westbrook or James Harden has a monster game, these performances have a seven-hour shelf life on talk radio and social media. Then the attention span shifts. If the other player goes nuts the following game, then that's another seven-hour life. It's a back-and-forth volley that won't end until the season's over and the voting begins. The race is that close in the minds of some (not mine; a triple-double or close enough should seal it for Russ no matter what Harden does). strong>John Schuhmann: /strong> One game should never have much influence on the MVP race, and I think a distinction between Harden and Westbrook is fairly easy to make. Harden is carrying a huge load for the league's second-ranked offense, while Westbrook is carrying a huge load for league's 17th-ranked offense. The last guy to average a triple-double? Oscar Robertson. The last guy to average 29 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists (Harden's numbers)? Oscar Robertson. Now, I just need these last three weeks to figure out if the MVP should be Harden or LeBron James. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>A triple-double from either one of or even both of these guys won't really move the needle. Something truly outlandish would have to happen to shake things up, since they're both at the top of most (reasonable) people's list of the league's most valuable players this season. That said, I love that we get this last debate (it was an election year) between what most of us believe to be the top two candidates. And for the record, averaging a triple-double for the season means more to me than Westbrook potentially catching Oscar Robertson for the NBA record for triple-doubles in a season (41). And I still don't know if that trumps what Harden has done for the Rockets all season behind his equally outlandish scoring and assists numbers that we haven't seen sine the days of Oscar. This race goes down to the wire! strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong> Little influence on me. The Rockets have come out of nowhere to earn the league's third-best record and it all revolves around Harden. Westbrook has been terrific, but Harden's team is achieving at a higher level. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong>Very little, at least in regard to my MVP vote. If one game were the deciding factor, it doesn't pay much tribute to the other 81, and for some of these guys, perhaps especially Russell Westbrook, it's the sustained and repeated effort over the entire schedule that is the most remarkable part of their candidacy. It'll be fun to watch them square off, but I'm not going to let one game make up my mind. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

Utah Jazz host 1997 Finals team for 20-year reunion

em>By Kareem Copeland, Associated Press /em> SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz hosted members of the 1997 Finals team Wednesday night for a 20-year reunion. Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan, Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, Bryon Russell, Greg Ostertag and others were in attendance. The game was scheduled against the New York Knicks so coach Jeff Hornacek, who was a member of the team, could participate. The Jazz have retired Hornacek's No. 14. Hall of Famer Karl Malone had a conflict and did not attend, but a video message featuring Malone played on the scoreboard. The festivities included a dinner Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), media sessions Wednesday afternoon and a halftime ceremony (Thursday, PHL time). The players received plaques at halftime. The Jazz advanced to the Finals off a game-winning three-pointer from Stockton to beat the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. They lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games in the NBA Finals. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

Westbrook posts triple-double '35, Thunder roll past 76ers

em>By Murray Evans, Associated Press /em> OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook recorded his 35th triple-double of the season with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists and the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to a 122-97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). The Thunder have won 16 straight games against Philadelphia, a run that stretches to the 2008-09 season, the franchise’s first in Oklahoma City. Westbrook, who made all six of his field-goal attempts and all six of his free throws, has recorded five triple-doubles against Philadelphia, his highest total against any NBA team. He needs six triple-doubles in Oklahoma City’s final 11 games to tie Oscar Robertson’s single-season record, set during the 1961-62 season. Nik Stauskas led the 76ers with 20 points, reaching the 20-point mark in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Oklahoma City dominated the 76ers on the boards, posting a 54-25 rebounding advantage. After 11 lead changes in the opening minutes, the Thunder seized control with a 14-3 run near the end of the first quarter that put them ahead 29-22. Oklahoma City pushed its lead to 14 at one point before settling for a 63-50 halftime lead. Philadelphia scored to start the third quarter, then the Thunder scored the next 15 points to build a 26-point lead and the triple-double watch intensified. Westbrook's 10th assist came when Taj Gibson rattled in a 15-foot jumper at the 9:10 mark and the 10th rebound came with 7:08 left in the quarter. It was the 13th time this season, and the 27th time in his career, Westbrook clinched a triple-double in the third quarter. He left the game with 2:39 left in the quarter and didn't return. Enes Kanter posted his 17th double-double of the season for the Thunder with 24 points and 11 rebounds. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>76ers: /strong> /em> The team confirmed before the game that center Joel Embiid would have surgery in the coming days to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, but offered no timetable for his return. Jahlil Okafor, who missed Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) game at Orlando with right knee soreness, started against the Thunder and played 17 minutes, scoring six points. Dario Saric scored 12 points, extending his double-figure scoring streak to 21 straight games, the longest by a rookie this season. Stauskas matched his season high with five three-pointers, going 5-of-5 from behind the arc in the first half. em> strong>Thunder: /strong> /em> With its 41st win of the season, Oklahoma City is assured of a .500 or better record for the eighth straight season. Only two other teams, the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, have as long a streak. Westbrook has 72 triple-doubles and needs six more to tie Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the NBA all-time list. Westbrook didn't attempt a three-pointer in a game for the first time since March 14, 2016. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>76ers: /strong> /em>Will continue a five-game road swing at Chicago on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). em> strong>Thunder: /strong> /em>Will have a three-day break before a road back-to-back at Houston on Sunday and Dallas on Monday (Monday and Tuesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017

BLOGTABLE: One thing you'll always remember about Jerry Krause?

em>NBA.com blogtable /em> Former Bulls GM Jerry Krause died this week at 77. What is the one thing you will always remember about Krause? strong>David Aldridge: /strong>The Orioles. Krause told me once (and, I'm sure, others), that the Baltimore Orioles of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, which won three World Series and six American League pennants, were the standard he was trying to reach in Chicago with the Bulls -- a team that was a contender for more than a decade, built by Harry Dalton and Frank Cashen, and maintained by their successor, Hank Peters. But Krause did better, building a dynasty that won six NBA titles in eight seasons -- and would have gone eight for eight in all likelihood had Michael Jordan not taken his baseball sabbatical. As Krause was, at his heart, a baseball scout, it was fitting. And it exemplified the remarkable career Krause had in pro sports -- he was a baseball scout, before and after his run in Chicago. As Jerry was short and fat and loathed media attention, he was an easy foil for his athletic and famous players, as well as Phil Jackson, who'd won championships as a player with the Knicks, and was more intellectual than Krause. But it was Krause that brought all those Alpha Males together, in support of the Ultimate Alpha -- Jordan, who was already there when Krause took over as GM for Rod Thorn. It's easy to say that Jordan could have won with anybody, but he didn't start winning big until Krause got there, trading for the rights to Scottie Pippen and drafting Horace Grant with the 10th pick in the first round in 1987, following that up by dealing Jordan's close friend Charles Oakley to the Knicks a year later for center Bill Cartwright, and promoting Jackson to coach in 1989. MJ moaned and complained about just about all of those moves, but Krause made the right calls on all of those moves -- and after Jordan's return to the NBA, built another championship team around him with Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Toni Kukoc and Steve Kerr. Jerry Krause wasn't as refined as some, but he knew how people worked, and the proof is in all those banners and retired jerseys in United Center. strong>Steve Aschburner: /strong>Krause’s appearance was iconic in its own way, and his gruff demeanor and unplanned role as the Bulls’ in-house antagonist during their championship run in the 1990s were unforgettable. But I’ll mostly remember my introduction to Krause in the early 1980s. He was heading up the scouting department for the Chicago White Sox, I was covering the Milwaukee Brewers (yeah, in another lifetime) and he was affable and relaxed in small talk. I was no threat to reveal any of his treasured inside info, mostly because he wasn’t offering any. Of course that meeting was of zero value a dozen years later when I was coming around as an NBA writer and the Bulls were doing their work around the league. Krause’s love of talent evaluation and his rare ability to do that across sports will stick with me. strong>Fran Blinebury: /strong> That he never fully got the credit for assembling those great Bulls teams and Michael Jordan cruelly disrespected him. strong>Scott Howard-Cooper: /strong>That he was one of the under-appreciated executives of his time, and maybe of any time. Michael Jordan, among others, liked to use the nickname 'Crumbs' because Krause was often disheveled and left food behind on his shirt while Phil Jackson would position his own front office as another opponent in an attempt to unify the locker room. Good luck winning a popularity contest in Chicago when the great player and the great coach use you as target practice. But make no mistake. Krause was a star among general managers and played a huge role in the Bulls becoming a basketball machine. He is not merely deserving of being elected to the Hall of Fame. He is the more deserving than anyone with an NBA or ABA background currently nominated. strong>Shaun Powell: /strong>He was a paranoid scout, always secretive with his peers (he'd check into hotels under an assumed name and seldom hung out with fellow GMs) and distrustful of the media and somewhat thin-skinned. Krause always worried about someone else scouting 'His Guy'. None of that should take away from his track record as a talent scout (Krause started in baseball before moving on to basketball). Getting Scottie Pippen and trading for Bill Cartwright helped Chicago win titles for Jordan, the only player Krause wasn't responsible for. strong>John Schuhmann: /strong>The legacy of a general manager are the decisions he makes, and Krause's legacy will be defined by his decision to swap picks with the Sonics and draft Scottie Pippen out of Central Arkansas in 1987. Krause drafted, signed and traded for other key contributors to the Bulls' six championships, but his ability as a talent evaluator can't be questioned when he aggressively went after and picked, out of the NAIA, a guy who would become one of the best players in NBA history. strong>Sekou Smith: /strong>Krause clearly had a keen eye for talent and a unique understanding of team-building that produced brilliant results (it always helps to start the building process with the all-time best materials -- MJ -- already in place). Krause's steadfast belief that it's organizations, and not necessarily players that win championships will always stick out to me. We'll never know for sure in the case of the Bulls, since Phil Jackson is the only member of that championship dynasty core to taste championship level success apart from the others. strong>Ian Thomsen: /strong> I happened to be covering the 1993 European Final Four in Athens when I saw Krause meeting in the hotel restaurant with Toni Kukoc, who would sign with the Bulls the following season. Krause was so angry with me for reporting on his secret rendezvous -- but then he apologized for his outburst the next day. He had a way of making things harder than they had to be -- don't we all? -- resulting in less respect for him than his results deserved. But if you were to ask anybody who benefited from Krause's management of the Bulls, including Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson, they would have to admit that Krause's eccentricities were a small price to pay for so much success. strong>Lang Whitaker: /strong> I'm not old enough to have been covering the league during Krause's heyday. But the one story that came to mind was from a 'Dream Team' story that I wrote a while back. Jordan and Pippen were tired of hearing about this prospect named Toni Kukoc that Krause had uncovered in Europe. By the time Team USA played Croatia, Jordan and Pippen were so ready to prove how the pecking order should go. 'You ever watch a lion or a leopard or a cheetah pouncing on their prey?' Karl Malone recalled. 'We had to get Michael and Scottie out of the locker room, because they was damn near pulling straws to see who guarded him. Kukoc had no idea.' They shut down Kukoc in that game, but Kukoc eventually arrived in Chicago and proved himself to be a key part of the Bulls dynasty. And I think history acquitted Krause's scouting acumen pretty well. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2017