Advertisements


Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports14 hr. 32 min. ago Related News

No tampering, says NBA

LOS ANGELES — The National Basketball Association said Tuesday it had found no evidence of tampering following an investigation into remarks involving Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson. The league announced on Monday it was probing reports of possible contact between Simmons and Johnson. Simmons had reportedly requested talks […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsFeb 14th, 2019Related News

‘I’m an idiot,’ says Embiid after Sixers’ loss to Celtics

    LOS ANGELES, USA – Gordon Hayward delivered 26 points from the bench to spark the Boston Celtics to a 112-109 victory over the  Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA on Tuesday, February 12 (Wednesday, February 13, Manila time).  Hayward, who has made a successful return from a horrific leg injury in 2017 ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 13th, 2019Related News

Warriors take the Heat as Embiid leads 76ers over Lakers

LOS ANGELES: Kevin Durant scored a game-high 39 points as the NBA champion Golden State Warriors rallied from an early 19-point deficit to edge the Miami Heat 120-118 on Sunday…READ The post Warriors take the Heat as Embiid leads 76ers over Lakers appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Source: Manilatimes_net Manilatimes_netCategory: NewsFeb 12th, 2019Related News

Old School Power Rankings 2018-19: Weeks 15-16

By Scott Wraight, NBA.com It almost happened. The King almost surrendered the throne and his crown. But thanks to an impressive performance, the kingdom avoids disarray -- for now. Over the past month or so, it's becoming clear that we have a slight separation of powers, with the Big Three putting some distance between themselves and the field. But that could change depending on how a certain big man responds to his new surroundings in Toronto. And now that he's back and healthy, that gritty guard in Houston could quickly ascend the ranks. - NOTE: Statistics are through games of Feb. 8 (PHL time) - Any player who turns 32 during regular season can be added to rankings. - Check out previous rankings. 1. LeBron James (34), Los Angeles Lakers Previous rank: 1 Latest stats: 3 games, 23.3 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 10.0 apg Season stats: 27.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 7.4 apg James must have sensed he was about to lose his spot at the top of the mountain, as he quickly responded with an impressive triple-double against the Celtics (we'll overlook the 1-for-5 from the free-throw line). The King hasn't shown much rust since returning from a long-term groin injury, but others have elevated their game. 2. LaMarcus Aldridge (33), San Antonio Spurs Previous rank: 2 Latest stats: 7 games, 24.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 2.6 apg Season stats: 21.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.5 apg If not for James' triple-double on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), Aldridge would've claimed the throne. That's what happens when you grab double-doubles in five of the last seven, and go for 30-9 and 22-9 in the other two. In fact, over his last 10 games, he's only had one subpar performance (13 points and five rebounds on Jan. 24, PHL time). 3. Lou Williams (32), LA Clippers Previous rank: 3 Latest stats: 8 games, 23.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.9 apg Season stats: 19.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.2 apg We didn't forget. Williams started the stint with his first career triple-double. If that wasn't enough, he poured in a career-high 39 four games later. If that wasn't enough, he added 31 two games after that. Despite closing out the period with a relative stinker (10 points in 17 minutes), Williams is averaging 24.5 in February after 20.4 in January. 4. Marc Gasol (34), Toronto Raptors Previous rank: 5 Latest stats: 6 games, 18.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.7 apg Season stats: 15.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 4.7 apg It was another mixed bag for Gasol, who managed two games of 24 or more, two games of 18-19 points and two games between 8-11 points. We fully expect Gasol to step up now that he's playing on a team in the Raptors with serious title aspirations, as he should be able to integrate nicely with both the offense and defense. 5. Rudy Gay (32), San Antonio Spurs Previous rank: 8 Latest stats: 8 games, 16.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.1 apg Season stats: 14.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.5 apg Shooting 50.5 from the field and 52.2 from beyond the arc, Gay turned in six games of 15 or more points. He's now managed to score in double figures in 12 straight while shooting better than 50 percent in eight of those contests. No wonder he's shooting a career-best 52.2 percent from the field. 6. J.J. Redick (34), Philadelphia 76ers Previous rank: 4 Latest stats: 3 games, 16.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.7 apg Season stats: 18.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.8 apg A small sample size is the reason for Redick's slip, as he failed to make any big impressions in his three games. He did, however, shoot 42.3 from deep (11-for-26) while scoring 13 or more in all three. But he'll need to pocket more 20-point games if he hopes to climb back to where he was. 7. Kyle Lowry (32), Toronto Raptors Previous rank: 6 Latest stats: 5 games, 14.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.4 apg Season stats: 14.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 9.3 apg In three wins, Lowry averaged 17.3 points and 9.3 assists. In two losses, he averaged 9.5 points and 7.0 assists. But the shooting remains a big issue. Lowry's 40.6 FG% is his lowest since 2012-13 (40.1) and his 32.5 3PT% is his lowest since '09-10 (27.2). On a positive, Lowry's 9.3 assists per game easily rise to a career-best mark. 8. Jeff Green (32), Washington Wizards Previous rank: Just missed Latest stats: 7 games, 19.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.1 apg Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 apg Shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 42.3 from three-point range, Green went for 20 or more points in five of seven games, including four straight -- his longest such stretch all season. Green's stellar run has been boosted by increased playing time; he's averaging 35.7 minutes in three February games after averaging 30.5 minutes in 14 January games. 9. Chris Paul (33), Houston Rockets Previous rank: NA Latest stats: 5 games, 15.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 7.2 apg Season stats: 15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 7.9 apg Paul finally returned to action Jan. 27 (Jan. 28, PHl time) after missing 17 games with a hamstring injury. He's managed to turn in five straight double-figure scoring games to go along with six or more assists in four of the games. There's a little rust, but we like what we see, especially the 2.4 steals and 47.2 FG% during the span. 10.  Al Horford (32), Boston Celtics Previous rank: 10 Latest stats: 7 games, 14.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 5.1 apg Season stats: 12.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.8 apg Horford started the stint on fire, turning in back-to-back double-doubles for the first time this season. Yes, you read that right. In addition to the double-doubles, he shot 60.3 percent from the field and 2.3 blocks, including a season-best six blocks in last Monday's win over the Nets. Just missed the cut: Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Trevor Ariza, Marco Belinelli The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 10th, 2019Related News

Tobias Harris shines in Sixers debut vs Nuggets

    LOS ANGELES, USA – Philadelphia's JJ Redick scored a season-high 34 points and Jimmy Butler added 22 as the new-look 76ers beat ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 9th, 2019Related News

Redick scores 34 points, 76ers beat Nuggets 117-110

By ROB MAADDI,  AP Sports Writer PHILADELPHIA (AP) — JJ Redick scored a season-high 34 points, Jimmy Butler had 22 and the new-look Philadelphia 76ers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-110 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Tobias Harris had 14 points and eight rebounds in his first game for Philadelphia and Joel Embiid scored 15 and grabbed 12 boards despite playing with a stomach flu. Nikola Jokic led Denver with 27 points and Jamal Murray had 23. The Nuggets, who have the second-best record (37-18) in the Western Conference behind Golden State, were missing two of their top five scorers: Gary Harris and Paul Millsap. The Sixers made a flurry of moves before Thursday's trade deadline, acquiring Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott from the Clippers, James Ennis from Houston and Jonathon Simmons from Orlando. Harris hit a jumper to give the Sixers a 105-103 lead with under four minutes left and then grabbed a rebound to set up Embiid's layup. Butler stole the ball, got fouled and hit a pair of three throws to extend the lead to 109-103. Ben Simmons' driving, left-handed dunk over Mason Plumlee thrilled the crowd and deflated the Nuggets. Sixers legend Allen Iverson jumped from his courtside seat and smacked hands with fans after Simmons' thunderous slam. Philadelphia (35-20) is ted with Boston for the fourth spot in the East. The Sixers took a 50-34 lead when Simmons lobbed an alley-oop pass to Butler for a one-handed jam and Ennis hit a 3 off a cross-court pass from Harris. But Denver answered with a 22-6 run to tie it at 56 at halftime. Philly led 83-82 after three quarters. Harris helped ignite an early 10-0 run. He hit a 3-pointer, 8-footer and dished to Redick for an open 3 to cap the burst. Marjanovic got a loud ovation when he entered the game midway through the first and another one after he scored on a driving layup. KEEP THE CORE Sixers GM Elton Brand said the team plans to retain Butler and Harris, who are both playing the final years of their contracts. "I've gotten all assurances from the managing partners that we can bring them back and sign them for whatever it takes to sign them. We want to keep this core long term," Brand said. TIP-INS Nuggets: Harris missed his fifth consecutive game with a strained right groin. Millsap missed his third straight with right ankle soreness. ... Beat the Sixers 126-110 at home on Jan. 26. 76ers: The Sixers retired Hall of Famer Moses Malone's No. 2 in a halftime ceremony. Malone helped lead Philadelphia to its last championship 36 years ago. ... Members of the 1983 NBA championship team, including "Dr. J" Julius Erving, rang the team's ceremonial bell at midcourt before the game. ... Ennis had six points and Marjanovic had four. Both played 15 minutes. ... Butler made all 14 of his free throws. UP NEXT Nuggets: Host the Miami Heat on Monday night. 76ers: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 9th, 2019Related News

Markkanen leads Bulls to 125-106 rout of Nets

By DENIS P. GORMAN,  ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 125-106 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Markkanen scored at least 30 points in his third straight game, while Chicago scored more than 100 points for the 17th straight game. Zach Levine added 23 points, Otto Porter Jr. had 18 in his first game with the Bulls, Robin Lopez and Kris Dunn each had 12, and Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 11. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Bulls. Chicago has still lost three of five, seven of nine, and 16 of 19 dating to Dec. 30. D'Angelo Russell, named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team earlier in the week, led the Nets with 23 points but Brooklyn dropped to 29-28 with its third loss in five games. Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris each finished with 19 points. At first glance, the game seemed liked a mismatch. The Nets have been one of the NBA's surprise stories as they find themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while the Bulls are in a heated race with Atlanta, Cleveland, Phoenix and the New York Knicks to be in the best position to win the NBA draft lottery and potentially select Duke power forward Zion Williamson. But, the Bulls led 55-48 at halftime. Chicago's biggest lead in the first half was 10 at 40-30, but the Nets used 17-6 run spanning 6:28 to go up by 1 at 47-46, before the Bulls ended the first half by outscoring Brooklyn 9-1. Chicago made 21 of 44 shots from the field in the first half, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range, while the Nets struggled at 16 for 43 overall, and 5 of 17 from beyond the arc. Chicago extended its lead to as many as 14 in the third quarter, and had a 93-80 advantage going into the fourth. Among the keys to the Bulls strong third quarter was the play of their starting front court of Robin Lopez, Markkanen and Porter, who combined for 25 of the Bulls' 38 third-quarter points. The lead grew to 18 in the fourth after Timothe Luwauw-Cabarrot made two free throws with 8:09 left. TIP-INS: BULLS: The win snapped Chicago's six-game losing streak to Brooklyn, and its four-game losing streak at Barclays Center. The Bulls had lost the three previous meetings this season. NETS: About 45 minutes before the opening tip-off, Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks spoke to reporters about the state of the team. While he spoke cautiously, Marks was unquestionably proud of how his team has played through the first 56 games. "I give our players a heck of a lot of credit for how they've handled this first, you know, over half of the season," he said. "It's really been led by them. They took the reins of this thing and they've been pushing and believing." COMEBACK CARIS Third-year guard Caris LeVert played for the first time since suffering a subtalar dislocation of the right foot in the Nets' 120-113 loss to the Timberwolves in Minnesota on November 12. He had missed 42 games. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson announced after Thursday's practice LeVert would play, and the third year guard finished with 11 points in 14:56. LeVert checked in for the first time 1:21 into the second quarter and received a nice ovation from the 15,267 in attendance, and he scored his first basket on a floater with 5:15 left before halftime, which prompted chants of "Welcome back!" from the crowd. BULLS CALLED ON PORTER: The Nets weren't the only team welcoming a fresh body. Friday's game was Chicago's first since trading Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 protected second round pick to Washington for Porter on Wednesday. Porter started at small forward. "I think we'll have a limited package when he's in there," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said before the game. "We're not going to add anything for him. I met with him last night (when) we got in and met with him at our walkthrough. We'll try to get him up to speed as fast as we can." UP NEXT: Bulls: Host Washington on Saturday night. Nets: Visits Toronto on Monday night......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 9th, 2019Related News

Kings come back from 11 down in fourth to beat Heat 102-96

By MICHAEL WAGAMAN,  Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Buddy Hield scored 23 points and made a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left, and the Sacramento Kings rallied from 11 down in the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Heat 102-96 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points and Harrison Barnes scored 12 in his Kings debut after being acquired from Dallas as part of a three-team trade earlier in the week. Josh Richardson scored 21 points and Dwyane Wade had 15 for Miami, all coming after the 12-time All-Star was involved in a scary fall with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. Wade landed awkwardly while going for a rebound and his head bounced off the floor. He immediately grabbed the back of his head, and then rolled onto his stomach, where he lay while being checked by a team trainer. Wade was eventually helped to his feet and walked off the court. He was examined by a team trainer and was checked for a possible concussion before returning with 4:35 remaining in the first half. Hassan Whiteside added 17 points and 19 rebounds, while Dion Waiters scored 12 points for Miami. The Kings closed the game on a 9-0 run over the final 2 minutes to extend their winning streak to four over the Heat. Sacramento trailed 96-93 following Richardson's layup with 2:05 left. After Willie Cauley-Stein's dunk, Bogdanovic and Hield both made free throws. Hield then scored off an offensive rebound before he and Cauley-Stein combined for three free throws to end the run. Before that, much of the attention was focused on Wade's final game in Sacramento that nearly ended early when Wade appeared to get hurt. After returning, Wade made a trio of 3-pointers then drove around Sacramento's 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein for a layup that gave the Heat a 59-50 lead. Wade struggled down the stretch when Miami was trying to hold onto its lead. He committed a turnover while trying to lob a pass to Whiteside, then missed a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left. Richardson also missed a layup and had a pass go through his hands for a turnover in the final seconds. TIP-INS Heat: Ryan Anderson, acquired in a trade from Phoenix at the deadline, did not play. Kings: Before the game Corey Brewer signed a 10-day contract. The seventh overall pick in 2007, Brewer played in seven games with Philadelphia this season before being released by the 76ers earlier this week. UP NEXT Heat: At Golden State on Sunday. Kings: Host Phoenix on Sunday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 9th, 2019Related News

Raptors, Bucks, 76ers boost stock in East; Davis still in wait list

Toronto, Milwaukee and Philadelphia made their moves. Anthony Davis will have to wait until the summer for his......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 9th, 2019Related News

Report: Rockets deal Ennis to the 76ers

Report: Rockets deal Ennis to the 76ers.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

Julius Randle takes charge as Pelicans beat Bulls without Davis

CHICAGO --- Anthony Davis watched near the end of the bench, looking sharp in a maroon sport coat as he waited to see if the New Orleans Pelicans would grant his wish. The All-Star forward wants to be traded. The Pelicans didn't need him to beat the struggling Chicago Bulls. Julius Randle scored 31 points to lead New Orleans to a 125-120 victory on Wednesday night. Davis was healthy enough to return from a sprained left index finger that has sidelined him since Jan. 18. But the Pelicans opted to hold him out with Thursday's trade deadline approaching. The six-time All-Star has made it known he wants out of New Orleans. He was even fined $50,000 by the NBA after his agent ...Keep on reading: Julius Randle takes charge as Pelicans beat Bulls without Davis.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 7th, 2019Related News

Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe pace Bucks past Wizards

By Charles F. Gardner, Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 43 points, Eric Bledsoe had 22 points and 11 assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Washington Wizards 148-129 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) for their fifth consecutive victory. The Bucks shot 60 percent (56-for-93) from the field and placed six players in double figures while becoming the first NBA team with 40 victories. Malcolm Brogdon had 18 points, and Khris Middleton finished with 16. Washington trailed by as many as 25 in the first half, but closed to 120-113 on Chasson Randle layup with 10:22 left. Bledsoe helped finish off the Wizards with 10 points in a quick scoring flurry, including a dunk off a missed free throw by Antetokounmpo. He made a three-pointer with 7:07 remaining to make it 138-118. Bradley Beal led Washington with 30 points, and Thomas Bryant had 26. Jeff Green finished with 22 points for his fourth straight game with 20 or more. The Wizards (22-32) played without Otto Porter Jr. after he was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. A person familiar with the situation confirmed the move on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. Antetokounmpo went 17-for-21 from the field in Milwaukee's highest scoring game of the season. He also had six rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Bucks (40-13) rolled to 50 points in the first quarter on 20-for-27 shooting. They led 85-65 at the break. It was the highest scoring quarter of the season for Milwaukee. The halftime total was two shy of the franchise record for points in a half set on March 14, 1979, versus the New Orleans Jazz. TIP-INS Wizards: Porter was with his teammates preparing for the game when he was informed of the trade less than an hour before tip-off. He was averaging 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Wizards this season. ... Former University of Wisconsin star Sam Dekker had 12 points in 21 minutes. Bucks: C Thon Maker was traded to Detroit for 6'7" wing Stanley Johnson. A person confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced publicly. The 7'1" Maker was the 10th pick in 2016. He started 34 games as a rookie in 2016-17 but has mostly come off the bench since then. UP NEXT Wizards: Host Cleveland on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Bucks: At Dallas on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

Report: Markieff Morris dealt to the Pelicans

NBA.com staff report The Washington Wizards, who already are reportedly sending forward Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls, are continuing to maneuver. Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Markieff Morris is headed to the New Orleans Pelicans in a deal that could hold significant financial ramifications for the Wizards' cap sheet moving forward. The Wizards are trading Markieff Morris to the Pelicans, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2019 The Athletic's David Aldridge followed with additional detail: Wizards will send their own 2023 second-rounder to Pelicans along with Morris for Johnson. Washington officially now under the tax threshold for 2019-20 and thus won’t be subject to repeater taxes. — David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) February 7, 2019 Wizards just got a 2023 second-rounder tonight from Chicago in the Otto Porter deal, so they were comfortable sending their own ’23 pick to NO to help facilitate this deal. — David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) February 7, 2019.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

Wizards, Bulls complete Otto Porter Jr. trade

Chicago Bulls press release The Chicago Bulls have acquired forward Otto Porter Jr. from the Washington Wizards in exchange for forwards Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, and a protected 2023 second-round draft pick. Otto Porter Jr. (6-8, 198) was selected third overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2013 NBA Draft. Over his six seasons in the league, he has put up career averages of 10.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.18 steals in 384 games (271 starts) while shooting .483 from the field, .399 from three (17th among active players) and .786 from the free throw line. He has played in 31 career postseason games and put up averages of 10.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.26 steals per game while shooting .490 from the field, .333 from three and .719 from the free throw line. In both 2016-17 and 2017-18, he averaged over 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting above .400 from three. If Porter were to hit those benchmarks again in a season, he would be the fifth NBA player ever to post such numbers in at least three seasons. Porter’s true shooting numbers over those two years were .628 and .602, respectively. The .628 mark in 2016-17 ranked seventh in the NBA. This season, Porter is averaging 12.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and a career-high 1.56 steals (tied-14th) in 41 games (28 starts). Over his last 15 games, he has posted 14.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.80 steals on .418 shooting from the field, .372 from three and .750 from the free throw line. Porter’s steal-to-turnover ratio of 1.60 ranks fourth in the NBA. The Wizards’ offensive rating improved by 2.9 points per 100 possessions when he was on rather than off the court. “We are excited to add Otto Porter to our team. During his time in the NBA, Otto has proven to be a terrific three-point shooter., while also being very efficient. While in his sixth pro season, he is only 25 years old and is someone who will be a good fit for our team moving forward,” said Gar Forman, General Manager of the Chicago Bulls. Parker (6-8, 250) signed with the Bulls as a free agent on July 14, 2018. He is averaging 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game this season and is shooting .474 from the field, .325 from three-point range and .731 from the free-throw line. Portis (6-11, 250) was drafted by Chicago in the first round (22nd selection) of the 2015 NBA Draft. He is averaging 14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.1 minutes per game this season and is shooting .450 from the field, .375 from three-point range and .780 from the free-throw line. In 221 career games (27 starts) with the Bulls, Portis held averages of 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.3 minutes and shot .461 from the field, .350 from long range and .743 from the foul line. He appeared in six playoff games for Chicago and averaged 6.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.50 steals in 20.1 minutes per game and shot .515 from the field and .462 from three-point range. +++ Washington Wizards press release WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Wizards announced today that they have acquired forwards Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker as well as a 2023 second round pick from the Bulls in exchange for Otto Porter Jr. “We are bringing in two former first round picks who will give us frontcourt depth with their ability to play multiple positions,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “The trade also provides us with an opportunity to continue to develop two promising young players while giving us future flexibility.” Portis (6-11, 250) has averaged career highs of 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting a career-high .375 from three-point range and .780 from the free throw line in 22 games (six starts) with the Bulls this season. Over 221 career games with the Bulls, he has averaged 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting .461 from the field over four seasons. He is coming off one of his best weeks as a pro, putting up a season-high 33 points on Feb. 2 at Charlotte, scoring 26 points on Jan. 30 at Miami and posting 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds on Jan. 25 at the L.A. Clippers. Originally selected with the 22nd overall pick by the Bulls in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Arkansas, Portis averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a sophomore to earn SEC Player of the Year honors. Parker (6-8, 245) has averaged 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds (tying his career high) and 2.2 assists in 39 games with the Bulls this season, posting five double-doubles while recording 20+ points nine times. He has put up 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting .487 from the field in 222 career games (167 starts) over five total seasons with Milwaukee and Chicago. Parker’s best season as a pro came in 2016-17 with the Bucks when he had career-high averages in points (20.1), rebounds (6.2) and assists (2.8) while shooting .490 from the field and .365 from three-point range over 51 games. He was originally selected with the second overall pick by the Bucks in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Duke, where he played one season with the Blue Devils and averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds to earn First Team All-America, First Team All-ACC and ACC Rookie of the Year honors. Porter Jr. was originally selected by the Wizards with the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He averaged 10.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 384 games (271 starts) over his career with the team. “Otto was always a team-first player and a positive presence for us both on and off the court,” said Grunfeld. “He worked to develop into a very good player during his time here and we wish him the best in this new chapter in his career.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

Lebron suffers worst defeat

Kyle Lowry had 20 points amid reports that Toronto has offered him in a trade, and the Raptors held off the Philadelphia 76ers 119-107 on Tuesday night in a matchup between two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 7th, 2019Related News

76ers get Tobias Harris from Clippers in 6-player deal

PHILADELPHIA --- The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to acquire Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris as the centerpiece of a six-player, four-draft pick trade they hope can put them over the top in the East. A person familiar with the trade told The Associated Press the Sixers also acquired center Boban Marjanovic and forward Mike Scott as part of the deal. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the trade had not yet been announced. Harris is ready for the move --- he tweeted early Wednesday a GIF from the opening credits of the 1990s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" showing Will Smith's character playing basketball. The Clippers restocked the ...Keep on reading: 76ers get Tobias Harris from Clippers in 6-player deal.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 6th, 2019Related News

Report: Clippers trade Harris, Marjanovic for 76ers Wilson Chandler, draft picks

The Los Angeles Clippers have traded Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovic to the Philadelphia 76ers......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsFeb 6th, 2019Related News

Embiid s 37 not enough as Raptors tear down Sixers

    LOS ANGELES, USA – The Toronto Raptors, chasing the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference, overcame Joel Embiid and the 76ers, 119-107, in Philadelphia in the NBA on Tuesday, February 5 (Wednesday, February 6, Manila time).. Embiid scored 14 of his game-high 37 points in the 4th quarter to ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsFeb 6th, 2019Related News

Lowry has big half amid trade rumors, Raptors hold off 76ers

By Dave Zeitlin, Associated Press PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Lowry had a big first half amid reports that Toronto has offered him in a trade, Kawhi Leonard finished with 24 points, and the Raptors held off the Philadelphia 76ers 119-107 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) in a matchup between two of the Eastern Conference's top teams. Lowry and Serge Ibaka each had 20 points to overcome the Joel Embiid-led Sixers. Embiid had 37 points and 13 rebounds for his league-leading 44th double-double, Ben Simmons scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler had 18. With the Sixers trailing by 18 early in the fourth quarter, Embiid ripped off 12 points in a three-minute stretch to slice Toronto's lead to 108-101 with 6:59 left and get the home crowd on its feet for the first time all night. But the Raptors (39-16) never let the Sixers (34-20) get closer than seven. After erupting for 40 points in the first quarter behind 11-for-11 shooting from the free-throw line, the Raptors built a 21-point advantage midway through the second quarter. Lowry, who missed Toronto's last game due to back soreness, fueled the run with three three-pointers in a two-minute stretch. Lowry seemed unfazed by a report from Sports Illustrated that Toronto had offered him to Memphis as part of a trade package for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. He added another triple, which bounced all around the rim before dropping in, four minutes before halftime to help Toronto take a 72-55 lead into the break — the Raptors' best offensive first half of the season. The Philadelphia native and Villanova alum had 17 first-half points. The Sixers were without two starters as Wilson Chandler (quad) missed his second straight game while JJ Redick was a late scratch due to nausea. TIP-INS Raptors: Toronto is now 17-11 on the road this season, the third best mark in the league. The Raptors' next two games will also be away from home. ... Toronto won the season series with Philadelphia, 3-1, with the Sixers' only win coming on Dec. 22 (Dec. 23, PHL time) when the Raptors were missing Leonard and Ibaka, their top two scorers. 76ers: Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) game marked the start of a four-game homestand after a 2-2 road swing out West. ... Some of the biggest cheers of the night came in the pregame when Sixers great Allen Iverson rang the team's ceremonial bell at midcourt. UP NEXT Raptors: At the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). 76ers: Host the Denver Nuggets on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 6th, 2019Related News