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2019 NBA All-Star Diary: Day 1

5:20 A.M. – For some reason, I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm on my cellphone was scheduled to ring. Maybe it was jetlag. Maybe it was excitement. It didn’t matter, I had to get up from bed to prepare for the 2 hour and 30 minute drive from Durham to Charlotte. Me and my colleague, TJ Manotoc had taken a detour from our planned schedule to visit Duke University. Now, that we were done with that, it was time to revert back to our primary task of covering the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. During our drive back to Charlotte, I looked out the window to the sight of clear skies telling me that it was going to be a good day. 8:50 A.M. – The first task for journalists covering the NBA’s mid-season event is to secure a media pass. This is basically an ID that gives one clearance to all events that are happening throughout All-Star Weekend. After parking our rented car and walking to the designated hotel for the media credentials pick-up, we were ready to head to our first activity of the day. 9:35 A.M. – Hosting the best young players in the league was the Bojangles Coliseum where the first media availability session was about to take place. The Mountain Dew Rising Stars is first major event of All-Star weekend and we were given the opportunity to see the players from Team U.S. and Team World up-close to field in questions. Rookie sensation Luka Dončić drew the biggest crowd of reporters from all over the world. Because it would be tough for me to ask the Slovenian a question, I decided to go to another podium where this year’s number on overall pick, Deandre Ayton was sitting. “Deandre! Who’s the toughest center you’ve played against so far in your rookie season?” I asked. “Uuuhhh… nobody. Not yet. All the centers I’ve played against so far haven’t really went at me yet. I think they were just playing though the rhythm and not really going at me,” replied Deandre. I saw another player drawing a huge crowd and realized it was Ben Simmons, who is currently my second favorite NBA player behind Blake Griffin. After waiting for a little while, I pounced on the opportunity to field in a question. “Ben, with the current Sixers lineup, what do you think are the weaknesses that you guys need to improve on so that you can win the championship this year?” The 6’10” point guard from Australia looked right at me and said, “Offense. Defense.” Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed because I was expecting a more thorough answer but I guess that’s how it is sometimes. These athletes are asked a million questions and it might be a struggle for them to stay consistent with regards to being accommodating to people. Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and LA Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma were two other players I visited. With so many players on both rosters, it would be extremely difficult to get to converse with all. But, seeing them right in front of you and having an opportunity to talk to them was an amazing experience. 11:00 A.M. – All media had been requested by the organizers to clear the court so we could witness Team World practice for the night’s event. Even though I got a very short answer from Simmons, I still observed him. Watching him dribble the ball up the floor and make long strides to the basket for dunks was a sight to behold. He could even knock down three-pointers. 11:45 A.M. – It was now the turn of Team U.S. to take the floor for practice. Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum looked like they could be the best players on the squad but I was particularly looking at Young and his ability to shoot the ball and handle it exceptionally well. Kuzma was also taking every drill seriously. Just like he would the Rising Stars. 1:06 P.M. – After gathering content, TJ and I decided to have a late lunch at Denny’s. We looked at the schedule and realized that our next activity would not be happening until nine in the evening. More time to sleep, I thought. 2:23 P.M. – TJ dropped me and our luggage off at Springhill Suites, our hotel for the next three days. He left me there to check-in while he returned the rental car to the airport. But, as I went to the counter, I was told by the front desk that our room would not be available until 3:00 P.M.. That’s when I decided to look around. 2:45 P.M. – I went to the Hornets Fan Shop to look at the NBA All-Star merchandise and saw an interesting selection of hats, jerseys and all kinds of memorabilia. And then, I noticed a man carrying a box which contained a pair of Nike Adapt BBs, the shoes I tested last month in New York. I asked him where he got them and told me to check out the “Jordan pop-up shop” across the Spectrum Center. 2:55 P.M. – While walking on the street, I saw a long line outside a building. It turns out, this was where that man got his Nike Adapt BBs. It was a Foot Locker – House of Hoops pop-up shop which sold various sneakers that were scheduled to be released specifically during the NBA All-Star weekend. Because of my unforgettable experience in Manhattan, I decided to join the line for a chance to get my own pair of the most futuristic basketball shoes Nike has ever made. Thankfully, I was given a wristband with a number, allowing me to leave the line to check into the hotel. 3:15 P.M. – I checked into our hotel room and felt thankful that it had such a great location. Springhill Suites was right across the Spectrum Center, the venue of NBA All-Star weekend and of course, just down the block from the pop-up shop. As soon as TJ arrived, I left to resume my quest to buy the shoes. 4:46 P.M. – Finally, I was a proud owner of my very own Nike Adapt BB. I felt like my trip to the New York was given more meaning now. Also, I felt like this was one of the reasons my journey has taken me to Charlotte. But, there was still more work to be done. 8:30 P.M. – Less than an hour before tip-off of the Rising Stars game, TJ and I did a Facebook Live discussion right outside the Spectrum Center to update fans back at home about what has happened so far at the All-Star event and what we should look forward to. 8:55 P.M. – We couldn’t believe it. Our assigned seats were located high up in the bleachers. On the very last row. I was breathing heavily after making the climb up the arena. All of a sudden, the players looked more like ants compared to the giants that they were during our morning sessions with them. 10:54 P.M. – Team U.S. defeated Team World behind the 35 points and 6 rebounds of Kuzma, who was named MVP of the Rising Stars. Kuzma was also one of the easiest players to talk to among his peers. 11:05 P.M. – Just when I thought we were given a lot of access to the players, we were given more. There was another media session which commenced right after the game! 12:11 A.M. – Another thing the NBA is very generous with is food. TJ and I ended our long day at a restaurant and bar that the league booked for us international journalists. As we chomped down our food, we talked about how the NBA All-Star weekend would take a lot of our time from us, including our sleeping hours. TJ has been covering this annual event since 2011. He’s used to the grueling schedule. Me, I’m just soaking it all in. I have a few hours left before I have to get up and work again. As always, I’m going to try to have as much fun as possible. After all, it’s the NBA All-Star. It’s supposed to be fun......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports17 min. ago Related News

Curry breaks out of slump, helps Warriors beat Suns

By BOB BAUM,  AP Sports Writer PHOENIX (AP) — Stephen Curry shook off a poor shooting performance by scoring 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors finally broke open a tight game to beat the Phoenix Suns 117-107 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Klay Thompson scored 25 points for the Warriors, who beat the Suns for the 18th consecutive time. Kevin Durant added 21 points and DeMarcus Cousins 18. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 25 points and Deandre Ayton 23 for Phoenix, which was without scoring leader Devin Booker due to a tight right hamstring. Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson added 19 apiece for the Suns, who led 85-82 entering the final quarter. Golden State's Draymond Green was ejected after drawing his second technical between the third and fourth quarters. The matchup of the teams at the top and bottom of the Western Conference standings was a lot closer than anticipated — and in large part because it took Curry a while to find his stroke. Through three quarters, Curry was 2-of-12 shooting, including 1 of 8 on 3-pointers. But in the fourth quarter, he was 4 of 5, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. Down 94-88, Golden State took control with a 13-0 run — capped by Curry's 3-pointer that put the Warriors up 101-94 with 5:46 remaining. Richaun Holmes' tip-in cut the lead to 101-98 with 4:58 left. But Curry responded with another 3 and Golden State pulled away from there. Phoenix shot out to a 26-9 lead but the Warriors cut it to 31-26 after one quarter. Green's driving layup capped a 13-3 Golden State run that put the Warriors up 60-51 before Oubre's tip-in sliced the Warriors' lead to 60-53 at the break. Phoenix opened the second half with an 11-4 spurt to tie it at 64-64 and it stayed tight the rest of the third quarter. Oubre made one free throw with 4.9 seconds left, missed the second and grabbed the rebound for a dunk that put the Suns up 85-82 entering the final quarter. TIP-INS Warriors: Their 18-game win streak against Phoenix is the second-longest active streak against a single opponent behind only Oklahoma City's 21-game run against Philadelphia. ... Golden State drew three first-half technical: on Green, Cousins and Shaun Livingston. Suns: Booker missed his 15th game of the season. ... Phoenix also was without T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness) and De'Anthony Melton (right ankle sprain). ... Ayton's 818 points through 50 games are third-most in team history, behind Walter Davis (1,169) and Alvan Adams (935). UP NEXT Warriors: host Miami on Sunday night. Suns: at Sacramento on Sunday......»»

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

Rookie Ladder: Deadline deals create some intrigue

By Drew Packham, NBA.com The trade deadline has been interesting for several rookies. In Dallas, the Mavericks made a bold move for the future, landing Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, Dennis Smith Jr. and a pair of first-round picks. Dallas brought back Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke, but the core of the deal boils down to pairing Porzingis with Luka Doncic. Doncic has proven he’s a franchise-changing player. Porzingis, for his part, proved to be as well, winning over New York fans before suffering a torn ACL in his knee exactly one year ago Wednesday. Now, the two of them will pair up in what could be a dynamic duo that shapes the NBA for years. “Our goal is to keep these two together for the next 20 years,” Cuban said when introducing Porzingis to the Dallas media this week. Doncic and Porzingis already seem to have a bond, and even with Porzingis taking his time to return, it should work out well for Doncic’s future. The other rookie involved in a major trade was Philadelphia sharpshooter Landry Shamet, who has been no stranger to the Kia Rookie Ladder this season. Shamet has been in the Top 5 once and in the Top 10 in six of the 13 editions. Shamet, who had become a key contributor off the bench, was part of the Sixers’ package to bring in Tobias Harris from the Clippers. Shamet had become a key contributor for the Sixers and seemed to becoming more and more valuable as a spread-the-floor shooter as the season progressed. Now, he’ll move to the Clippers and play alongside another rookie, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Clippers, who are clearly looking toward the future. How he fits in with that roster and mindset will be interesting to watch. Will he continue to put up numbers like he has in Philly (8.3 ppg in 20.5 mpg) or will he see his role grow on a team that’s taking a different approach? * * * 1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks Last week: No. 1 Doncic played in just two games this week after missing last Thursday’s (last Friday, PHL time) loss to the Pistons with left ankle soreness. Still, Doncic was impressive in his two games to keep his top rung. He had 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the Mavericks’ 111-98 win against the Cavs. Then, Doncic tallied his third triple-double (first teenager ever with three in a season) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists as Dallas beat Charlotte 99-93 Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Doncic struggled from the field (5-for-20 FG, 2-for-10 3FG), but had several clutch plays to seal the win. 2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Last week: No. 2 Over three games this week, Young averaged 21.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.0 assists as the Hawks went 2-1 with road wins in Phoenix and Washington. Young was especially clutch in Phoenix, scoring 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to spark Atlanta to a 118-112 win. Young was also named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January (he averaged 18.7 points and 7.2 assists) and was named a participant in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend in New Orleans. 3. Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings Last week: No. 3 Another week, another run of double-doubles for Bagley, who is quickly gaining attention as a potential superstar. In three games, Bagley averaged 16 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks in 30.4 minutes per game. His most impressive performance came in a 127-112 win over the Spurs in which he scored a career-high 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had one of the most memorable dunks of his young career. ''It's been fun, man,'' he said. ''I'm a totally different person from Game 1. I just feel different. I'm seeing a lot of things differently out there. The game is slowing down.'' 4. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns Last week: No. 4 Ayton returned to the Suns this week, but it’s hard to bump him back up to his No. 2 rung as I’d hinted to previously when I bumped him down the Ladder. Don’t get me wrong, Ayton has been his usual self since returning from a sprained ankle, but the guys above him have been outstanding. In three games (all losses), Ayton averaged 16.0 points, 10.3 rebounds while shooting 48.9 percent from the floor. 5. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies Last week: No. 5 The Grizzlies appear headed toward trading Marc Gasol, which means more responsibility for "Triple J." The Grizzlies have strung together two wins (the only two games for Jackson this week), and Jackson Jr. was huge in both victories. Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in New York, Jackson put up 16 and seven and followed that up Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) by going for 23 points, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal to help Memphis edge Minnesota 108-106. He finished 4-for-7 from three-point land and his numbers should only increase if Gasol ends up elsewhere Thursday afternoon (early Friday, PHL time). Just missed the cut: Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks The Hawks’ sharpshooter has strung together four double-digits games and proving he’s a big piece to the Hawks’ future. Over that stretch, "Red Velvet" has averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, five assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 51.4 percent overall and 53.8 percent from 3-point range. Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns Bridges is establishing himself as the defensive leader of this rookie class. Over his last three games, he’s had eight steals (2.7 per game) and continues to lead all rookies on the season (1.5 spg). He's also averaged 12 ppg while shooting 53.8 percent (46.7 percent on 3s). Kenrich Williams, New Orleans Pelicans With Anthony Davis still in limbo (at least until the trade deadline), Williams continues to produce while seeing big minutes. In his last three games, the TCU product averaged 10.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists in 33.5 minutes per game. The 6'7" swingman is proving he can shoot from deep, too, going 11-for-26 (42.3 percent) on three-pointers. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks With the changes in New York, Knox has already seen a bump in playing time. In three games this week, Knox played 36.5 minutes, averaging 16.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. He struggled a bit from the field (35.3 percent, 31.8 on 3s), but he should have some big games down the stretch as he learns to play alongside Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan. * * * (All stats through Feb. 7, PHL time) The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

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

Mitchell, Jazz beat Suns 116-88

By John Coon, Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 21 points and Joe Ingles had a career-high 11 assists, leading the Utah Jazz to a 116-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Rudy Gobert added 16 points and 12 rebounds as Utah won for the fifth time in seven games. Ingles and reserve Royce O'Neale each finished with 15 points. Phoenix committed 22 turnovers in its 12th straight loss. Josh Jackson matched his season high with 27 points, and DeAndre Ayton had 20 points and nine rebounds. The Suns closed to 75-71 on a three-point play by Kelly Oubre Jr. with 57.1 seconds left in the third quarter. But the Jazz responded with a 9-0 run. O'Neale's three-pointer made it 84-71 with 10:58 left. The Jazz led by as many as 28 points in the fourth. TIP-INS Suns: G Devin Booker was sidelined by right hamstring tightness. ... Jackson scored at least 25 points for the third consecutive game. This is the first time Jackson has had three straight 25-point games in his NBA career. ... Phoenix went 3-of-17 from three-point range. Jazz: Raul Neto returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with a left groin strain. He finished with three points and two assists in 10 minutes. ... Ingles registered a double-double in points and assists for the first time this season. ... Utah finished with a 43-36 edge on rebounds. UP NEXT Suns: Host the Golden State Warriors on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Jazz: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

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

Harden scores 44 points, Rockets beat Suns 118-110

By Bob Baum, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — James Harden scored 44 points — his 20th 40-point game of the season — and the Houston Rockets beat Phoenix 118-110 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) to hand the Suns their season-worst 11th straight loss. Harden joined Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Rick Barry as the only players with 20 games of at least 40 points in the first 50 of a season. Harden, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, extended his streak of games with at least 30 points to 27, third-longest in NBA history. Chris Paul scored 18 and Kenneth Faried had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who were without two starters. Josh Jackson scored 25 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. 23 and Devin Booker 19 for the Suns. Deandre Ayton added 15 points and 11 boards. The Suns never led but stayed close through the first half before falling behind by as many as 20 in the third quarter. Phoenix cut it to single digits on several occasions in the fourth only to be thwarted by a basket from Harden or Paul. Harden scored 14 in the final quarter. Up by six at halftime, the Rockets opened a big lead in the third quarter. Harden sank a three-pointer from the corner and Faried dunked a rebound to cap a 13-4 run that put Houston up 84-68. The Rockets boosted the lead to 20 three times in the quarter, the last at 94-74 on Paul’s two free throws with 1:02 left. But Phoenix finished the period on a 6-0 spurt as Oubre’s three-pointer at the buzzer cut the Rockets’ advantage to 94-80 entering the fourth. The run reached 10-0 when Phoenix scored the first four of the final quarter, making it 94-84 on Oubre’s dunk with 10:57 to play. But Harden sank a pair of triples in an 8-0 run and Houston led 101-88 with 7:05 remaining. The Suns kept it close in the first half, despite Harden’s 22 points, five assists and five rebounds. Harden scored inside twice to ignite a 9-2 spurt that put Houston up 50-42 on Paul’s wide-open three with 6:03 left in the half. Austin Rivers’ three gave Houston its biggest lead of the half, 57-46, with 3:21 left. The Rockets led 63-57 at the break. TIP-INS Rockets: Through 50 games, Harden has 658 three-point attempts, seventh-most for an entire season in NBA history. ... Houston was without Eric Gordon (right knee soreness) and Clint Capela (right thumb injury). ... Five former Suns are on the Rockets’ roster: P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green, Marquese Chriss, Brandon Knight and Danuel House Jr. That’s not counting Rivers, waived by the Suns immediately after he and Oubre came over from Washington in a trade for Trevor Ariza. Suns: Phoenix again didn’t have T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness) and De’Anthony Melton (right ankle sprain). ... The Suns have lost 10 straight at home to Houston. They last beat the Rockets in Phoenix on April 15, 2013. UP NEXT Rockets: Play at Sacramento on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Suns: Play at Utah on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 5th, 2019Related News

Knicks trade Porzingis to Mavericks in multi-player deal

In a six-player trade, the New York Knicks traded Porzingis, along with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Mavs while receiving DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews. .....»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsFeb 1st, 2019Related News

Smith returns as starter, Mavericks hold off Clippers 106-98

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Dennis Smith Jr. had 17 points and eight rebounds in his return after a week away from the team amid trade talk, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-98 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Smith had two of his four assists on a layup and alley-oop dunk in the fourth quarter for DeAndre Jordan, who had 13 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks in his third game against the team with which the 6'11" center from Texas spent his first 10 seasons. Rookie sensation Luka Doncic, whose sudden emergence has clouded Smith's future in just his second season with the Mavericks, matched Smith with 17 points, including a key jumper with Dallas hanging on to a late lead in just its third win in 10 games. Patrick Beverley scored 16 points while Avery Bradley and Lou Williams had 15 apiece for the Clippers, who lost for the sixth time in seven games coming off a win in San Antonio that ended a season-long five-game losing streak. Harrison Barnes stopped a recent three-point shooting slump by making 3-of-5 from long range, including one for the biggest Dallas lead at nine points with less than a minute remaining. Barnes led Dallas with 20 points. The Clippers missed 16 straight shots in the second half, including their last 15 of the third quarter. But they still led 88-83 in the fourth before going 4-of-16 to finish the game. They shot 36 percent overall. Smith and Doncic shared the floor for the final 2:14, with Smith starting that stretch with a long pass to Jordan for the dunk. Soon after, Doncic worked methodically for a jumper for a 101-93 lead with 1:22 to go. The 21-year-old Smith had missed six straight games. The first three were listed as back tightness, but the last three were officially for illness as trade talk percolated. He missed a two-game road trip and was away from the team for its most recent home game last Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). The Clippers finished the third quarter shooting 17 percent (4-of-23). Despite the woeful shooting, they were tied at 73-all before Dirk Nowitzki hit a three-pointer and Devin Harris had a driving layup for a 78-73 Dallas lead going to the fourth. Nowitzki, in his record 21st season with the same franchise, made 2-of-4 from long range and finished with eight points. The 40-year-old played 10 minutes, right on his season average. TIP-INS Clippers: Williams returned after missing two games with a hamstring issue. He was 5-of-16 from the field, including 1-of-6 from three. ... Leading scorer Danilo Gallinari missed his second straight game with back spasms. Mavericks: G Wesley Matthews was 1-of-4 from three-point range and needs two more from long range to become the first undrafted player with 1,500 career three-pointers. ... Doncic and Smith struggled from long range, combining to go 1-of-14 with several shots that missed the rim. ... Doncic had seven rebounds and six assists. UP NEXT Clippers: At Miami on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), with LA trying to avoid getting swept in two-game season series for second straight year. Mavericks: Both of this season's meetings with the Pistons are in the coming week, Friday in Dallas and Jan. 31 in Detroit (Saturday and Feb. 1, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 23rd, 2019Related News

Towns, Timberwolves rout short-handed Suns 118-91

By Bob Baum, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Karl-Anthony-Towns had 25 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves took an early lead and rolled past the short-handed Phoenix Suns 118-91 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Josh Okogie added a career-high 21 points for the Timberwolves, who beat the Suns for the second time in a row, following a 116-114 win in Minneapolis on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), when Derrick Rose sank the game-winner on a drive at the buzzer. In both games, Phoenix was without centers Deandre Ayton (left ankle sprain) and Richaun Holmes (right foot sprain). Devin Booker scored 14 for Phoenix before he and Minnesota's Gorgui Deng were ejected with 5:24 left in the third quarter. Phoenix already trailed by 20 by then. Josh Jackson had a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix, which lost its fifth straight. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 13 and Dragan Bender, who started at center, had 12 points and 10 boards. Andrew Wiggins scored 17 and Jerryd Bayless 14 for Minnesota. It was a far cry from the tight game the teams played two days earlier. The Suns never led and were down by as many as 30 in the second half. Phoenix trailed only 44-42 after Bender's three-pointer midway through the second quarter but the Timberwolves outscored the Suns 20-7 the final 6:33 of the half to lead 64-49 at the break. Towns had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the first quarters. Minnesota stretched it to 80-60 on Bayless' fourth triple of the night with 6:52 left in the third quarter. The Timberwolves led 82-62 with 5:24 left in the third quarter when Booker and Dieng got into a brief altercation, with Booker getting knocked down and responded with a hand to Dieng's face. After a video review, both were ejected. Since Booker is averaging 24.5 points per game and Dieng 5.4, Minnesota got the obvious advantage of that one. TIP-INS Timberwolves: Jeff Teague missed the game with left foot soreness. ... Tyus Jones missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Timberwolves have another pair of consecutive games against the same opponent next week, against Utah on Friday and Sunday (Saturday and next Monday, PHL time). ... Minnesota has won 6-of-9 games. ... Timberwolves won the season series 2-1. Suns: Phoenix has had four stretches of at least five losses in a row this season. ... Booker drew a technical foul from the bench in the second quarter. ... Oubre snapped a string of seven straight games of at least 14 points, longest such stretch of his career. .... Booker is averaging 24 points and a career-high seven assists. James Harden and LeBron James are the only others to have done that so far this season. UP NEXT Timberwolves: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Suns: Host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 23rd, 2019Related News

Rose saves the day, Timberwolves beat Suns 116-114

By Andres Ybarra, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derrick Rose hit an 18-footer with 0.6 seconds left to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a 116-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night (Monday, PHL time). Rose scored 29 of his 31 points in the seconds to help Minnesota overcome an 11-point deficit. THE KID FROM CHICAGO COMES UP CLUTCH 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹@budweiserusa Legendary Moment pic.twitter.com/hGOYIaRG4u — Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 21, 2019 Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 of his 30 points in the first half for Minnesota. With Towns struggling against double-teams in the second, Rose kept the Wolves in the game on 11-for-18 shooting in the half. T.J. Warren led Phoenix with 21 points and Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre, Jr. each added 18. Warren's last-second corner three hit off the side of the backboard. The Suns lost all four on their trip to fall to 4-20 on the road this season. Taj Gibson dunked to pull Minnesota within one with less than a minute to play. Towns intercepted a bad pass from Booker, and Rose hit the second of two foul shots to tie it at 114 with 30.5 seconds to play. Gibson grabbed the loose ball after Booker lost it on Phoenix's next possession, setting up Rose's winning shot. With the shot clock off and the crowd on its feet, Rose calmly dribbled down the clock against Mikal Bridges before pulling up and hitting the final shot. TIP-INS Suns: C Deandre Ayton (ankle) and F Richaun Holmes (foot) were out after suffering injuries Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in Charlotte. C Dragan Bender made his first start of the season and had 12 points. ... Veteran guard Jamal Crawford, who played last season in Minnesota, was active and on the bench for his 1,300th career game. He missed the previous three games with a sore left knee. "His experience, his voice, his presence, the wisdom he's sharing in the locker room when the coaches are not around, it's priceless for the group and we're thrilled to have him," coach Igor Kokoskov said before the game. Timberwolves: F Robert Covington (bruised knee) and G Tyus Jones (ankle) remained out, missing their ninth and second games, respectively. UP NEXT The teams meet again Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) in Phoenix......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 21st, 2019Related News

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

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 20th, 2019Related News

Siakam scores winning basket, Raptors beat Suns 111-109

By Ian Harrison, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored the winning basket just before time expired and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 111-109 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Serge Ibaka put Toronto up 109-107 on a hook shot with 47 seconds left, but Mikal Bridges tied it with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining. Toronto gave the ball to Siakam, whose driving shot bounced off the backboard and fell through the rim as time ran out. The basket was confirmed following a video review. Pascal Siakam attacks and flips in the #TissotBuzzerBeater to win it for the @Raptors! #ThisIsYourTime #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/EyCOLXhBO2— NBA (@NBA) January 18, 2019 Siakam had 10 points and 12 rebounds, Ibaka scored 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who have won eight straight at home and 6-of-7 overall. Devin Booker scored 30 points, Deandre Ayton had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 18 for the Suns. Fred VanVleet had 15 points and C.J. Miles returned after missing three of the previous four games because of a sore right hip to score 13 as Toronto swept back-to-back season series against Phoenix for the first time. Kawhi Leonard (rest) sat as the Raptors played the second game of a back-to-back, Lowry was originally expected to rest, but told coach Nick Nurse he wanted to play as he works his way back into shape after missing time with a sore back. The Raptors are an NBA-best 8-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. This was their ninth of 12 such sets. Lowry finished with eight assists, giving him 5,002 for his career. He's one of 10 active players to reach the mark. Phoenix was up 78-77 to begin the fourth, but Toronto took the lead at 88-87 when the Suns' Josh Jackson fouled Toronto's Chris Boucher on a dunk with 7:50 to go. Jackson argued the call and was ejected after picking up his second technical foul. After video review, the foul on Boucher was ruled flagrant. Toronto made both its foul shots and got the ball back, with Lowry hitting a triple to put the Raptors up 95-87. The Raptors made 13-of-20 shots from the field in the first, including shooting 4-of-9 from three-point range, to lead 32-20 after one. Ayton scored seven points and Booker had six as the Suns closed the gap. Phoenix trailed 57-49 at halftime. TIP-INS Suns: Jackson scored seven points in 19 minutes before being ejected. ... G Jamal Crawford (left knee) missed his second straight game. ... Phoenix F Quincy Acy was a second round pick by Toronto in 2012. Raptors: F OG Anunoby missed his second straight game for personal reasons. ... This was the first of three straight home games against Western Conference opponents. Phoenix will be followed by Memphis and Sacramento. ... G Patrick McCaw made his Toronto debut, going scoreless in six minutes. He signed with the Raptors last Thursday (last Friday, PHL time). UP NEXT Suns: Visit Charlotte on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Raptors: Host Memphis on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2019Related News

Spurs rally from 19 down, beat Mavs 105-101

By Dave Jackson, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Davis Bertans hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:41 left, and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 19-point first-half deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-101 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). The Spurs blew a six-point lead in the final period, but Bertans made his third three-pointer of the quarter for a 99-96 lead and San Antonio led the rest of the way. Bertans finished with 12 points. Six Spurs scored at least 12 points, led by Marco Belinelli's 17. After Bertans' triple, LaMarcus Aldridge scored on a tip shot with 1:07 left to extend the lead to five. Wesley Matthews' three brought Dallas within two, but DeMar DeRozan hit a 20-footer at the other end and Belinelli sealed it with free throws. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 25 points, adding eight rebounds and eight assists. He became the first rookie since Stephen Curry in 2010 to score 25 or more points in five straight games. After trailing by 19 during the first half, San Antonio tied it at 80 on Belinelli's driving layup with 11:06 to play. DeRozan gave the Spurs their first lead 27 seconds later, setting up a three-minute stretch in which the lead changed hands seven times. DeRozan hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers for a 94-90 lead, and he fed Aldridge for a dunk that extended the Spurs' advantage to six. Doncic answered with two baskets and an alley-oop pass to DeAndre Jordan that tied it. Doncic's most impressive stretch came in the middle of the third quarter. Trailing by double digits from the opening minutes of the game, the Spurs opened the second half on a 12-6 run to get within 62-57. Doncic then almost single-handedly kept Dallas in the lead for the rest of the quarter, scoring or assisting on the Mavs' next 12 points to help Dallas maintain a five-point lead going into the fourth. Dallas has lost five of seven, and three of its last four at home after losing only three of its first 18 at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks are also 0-6 in games without J.J. Barea, who is out for the season after Achilles tendon surgery. The Mavericks led 23-4 early and made seven three-pointers in the first quarter. San Antonio closed within 56-45 at halftime by ending the half on a 17-9 run. SMITH OUT AGAIN Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed his fourth consecutive game amid trade rumors, this time with coach Rick Carlisle saying Smith was sick and away from the arena. Smith missed the previous three games with what was listed as back tightness. Told of a Twitter exchange between Smith and a couple in a restaurant at lunch earlier in the day, Carlisle said, "I don't have any knowledge of that. My trainer told me he was sick and he's going to be out tonight. I've told you what I'm going to tell you about it." TIP-INS Spurs: Rudy Gay returned to the starting lineup after missing the last five games with a sprained left wrist, scoring 14 points. Belinelli came back after missing one game with a left knee contusion. Mavericks: The team sold out its 700th consecutive regular-season game, dating to Dec. 15, 2001. ... Matthews became the sixth player in Mavericks history to make 600 three-pointers when he drained one at 9:06 of the first quarter. UP NEXT Spurs: At Minnesota on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). Mavericks: At Indiana on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 17th, 2019Related News

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

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 16th, 2019Related News

Antetokounmpo leads the way, Bucks win Budenholzer s return

By George Henry, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points, Eric Bledsoe added 24 points and 10 assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Hawks 133-114 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in Mike Budenholzer's return to Atlanta. Khris Middleton finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Bucks improve to 30-12, second-best in the NBA. Coming off a loss at Washington that Antetokounmpo missed with injuries, Milwaukee is 12-0 following a defeat and remained the league's only team not to drop consecutive games. Budenholzer, making his first appearance at State Farm Arena since leaving the Hawks after last season, said before the game that he wished his former team well as it rebuilds with youngsters John Collins, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman. The Bucks are soaring, thanks mostly to the 6'11", 242-pound Antetokounmpo, who scored 14 on free throws and had two dazzling assists early in the fourth. He first smothered Young to steal the ball and feed George Hill for a three-pointer that made it 104-90, before adding a no-look drop pass on D.J. Wilson's layup for a 16-point lead. He later hit a couple of jumpers to make it a 15-point advantage. Milwaukee has won 12-of-15 dating to Dec. 14 (Dec. 15, PHL time). The Bucks began the day outscoring opponents by an NBA-leading 9.1 points per game. Antetokounmpo showed no ill effects after sitting out Friday (Saturday, PHL time) with right quadriceps soreness and a left hip contusion. Young finished with 26 points, and DeAndre' Bembry added 18 for Atlanta, which dropped to 13-30. The Hawks have dropped 6-of-8. Their 24 turnovers led to 34 points for Milwaukee. TIP-INS Bucks: Antetokounmpo did a postgame jersey exchange with 41-year-old Hawks F Vince Carter. ... G Malcolm Brogdon scored 14 points and missed just his second free throw in 86 free-throw attempts this season. ... Middleton began the day averaging 20.4 points over his previous eight games. Hawks: F Taurean Prince, the team's third-leading scorer, returned after missing the last 18 games with a left ankle sprain. On a minutes restriction, Prince had seven points and five rebounds in 11 minutes. ... G Kent Bazemore, the team's second-leading scorer, has missed eight straight games with a right ankle injury. NO REGRETS Budenholzer said "change and moving is part of life" when asked before the game about leaving the Hawks. Calling it "a heck of a five years," Budenholzer wasn't looking back with animosity following a 24-58 finish last season. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in his second season, leading Atlanta to 60 wins and its first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. When principal owner Tony Ressler bought the team and Danny Ferry was out as general manager, Budenholzer added president of basketball operations to his title, but the Hawks made three bad moves that set the organization back and precipitated the rebuild. Al Horford and Paul Millsap, two model team leaders, left as free agents after the Hawks decided not to trade them. In between those gaffes, the team signed mercurial center Dwight Howard to a three-year, $70.5 million contract and was dealt away after one ill-fit season. Budenholzer said he loves his job with the Bucks and wishes the Hawks well. "A rebuild — it's a tough job to be the owner in a rebuild, to be a GM to be a coach. These are tough jobs, and so I don't know who the right coach is," he said. "And I think they feel great about where they are and that's important for them. They have their direction they know where they're going. I'm obviously very happy with our team, our front office and our roster. I'm very excited about where I am." UP NEXT Bucks: Host Miami on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Hawks: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 14th, 2019Related News

Kelly Oubre, Deandre Ayton lead Suns past West-leading Nuggets

PHOENIX --- Kelly Oubre Jr. matched his career high with 26 points for the second time in three games and the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets 102-93 on Saturday night, a victory for the team with the worst record in the Western Conference over the team with the best. Deandre Ayton added 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who have won two of three with Devin Booker sidelined with back spasms. Oubre also tied his career best with 11 rebounds. Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets. Malik Beasley scored 20 points. Denver fell to just a half-game ahead of Golden State for best record in the West. The Suns took the lead for good late in the ...Keep on reading: Kelly Oubre, Deandre Ayton lead Suns past West-leading Nuggets.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Jan 13th, 2019Related News

Rookie Ladder: Big performances abound at season s midway point

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

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

Bucks roll 144-112 in Budenholzer s 1st game vs Hawks

By CHARLES F GARDNER,  Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mike Budenholzer's first game against the team he coached for five seasons was no contest. Budenholzer's Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 33-point halftime lead and coasted to a 144-112 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) for their fifth straight victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists, and Khris Middleton scored 19 points while hitting all four of his 3-point attempts. Malcolm Brogdon also scored 19 and point guard Eric Bledsoe added 14 points and eight assists. Milwaukee (27-10) improved its NBA-best record and won for the ninth time in 10 games. The Bucks tied a season high for points in a game, equaling their total points against Sacramento on Nov. 4. Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Milwaukee starters did not play in the fourth quarter and got some rest before the Bucks' showdown with Toronto on Saturday night. The Bucks shot 55 percent from the field and were 14 of 40 from 3-point range. Budenholzer led the Hawks to the playoffs in four of his five seasons with the team and his 2014-15 squad won 60 games and reached the Eastern Conference finals. The rebuilding Hawks (11-27) were no match for the Bucks, who led by as many as 38 points in the first half and held a 43-14 lead after the first quarter. Milwaukee took a 76-43 halftime lead. Milwaukee extended the lead to 46 points in the fourth quarter. DeAndre Bembry led Atlanta with 19 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 14 while hitting 4 of 9 3-pointers. TIP-INS Hawks: Atlanta has two rookies making major contributions: fifth overall pick Trae Young, acquired in a draft-night deal with Dallas; and 19th overall pick Kevin Huerter. Young, the former Oklahoma star and 6-foot-2 guard, entered Friday averaging 15.4 points and 7.4 assists. He had only two points in the first three quarters but finished with 13 points in 31 minutes. Huerter, who played at Maryland, scored a personal-best 22 points at Indiana on Dec. 31 and had 12 points in 44 minutes against Washington on Wednesday. "We played him 40 minutes in Indiana and he gets a career high," Pierce said. "It was kind of a lesson to me. Play him more. Get him more shots and his shot attempts have gone up in every month, so we're finding more productivity with more opportunity. So, it's my job to get him more opportunity." Huerter scored 10 points Friday. ... Former Bucks forward Miles Plumlee (left knee pain) was unavailable for the Hawks after being ruled out following the team's morning shootaround. Bucks: Veteran forward Ersan Ilyasova returned to the lineup for the first time since breaking his nose in practice on Dec. 16. Second-year forward D.J. Wilson has played well in Ilyasova's absence, and Budenholzer said he wasn't sure how he would distribute playing time. "It's the hard part about our league," Budenholzer said. "When you have a roster with a lot of depth and a lot of good players, sometimes you have to make hard decisions. Sometimes you play a little bigger rotation. But we've certainly been happy with D.J., happy with Thon (Maker). Ersan is a veteran guy and we're happy to have him back. This league is amazing how opportunity is always right around the corner if someone isn't playing." Ilyasova drew a charge — his specialty — just 13 seconds after entering the game in the first quarter. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. UP NEXT Hawks: Host Miami on Sunday. Bucks: Host Toronto on Saturday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 5th, 2019Related News

Clippers beat up on Suns again, win 121-111

By JACK MAGRUDER,  Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Marcin Gortat figures he is the beneficiary of coach Doc Rivers' New Year's resolution. Gortat had not played in the fourth quarter in the first 36 games of the season until the calendar turned, and he responded with his first double-double of the season when the Clippers extended their dominance of the Phoenix Suns with a 121-111 victory Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). "You never know with Doc," Gortat said after getting 18 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes. "You just have to be ready. You earn your minutes. Obviously if you play well, you might earn a few more minutes. That's all I'm trying to do, help the team to win." Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams scored 21 points apiece and four other Clippers finished in double figures as they won their third straight against the Suns this season and their 11th straight in the series. Patrick Beverley scored 16 points for the Clippers, who led by 29 points in the second quarter. Beverley made four 3-pointers, Williams had three and Tobias Harris added two with his 16 points. Montrezl Harrell scored 15. "I loved how we started the game," Rivers said. "The way we can score, if we defend, it's hard for anyone to beat us." Devin Booker scored 23 points and T.J. Warren had 20 for the Suns, who lost their fifth straight. The Suns, down by 30 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter, used 22-5 run fueled by seven points from Jamal Crawford and six by Josh Jackson to close to 91-78 entering the fourth quarter. Mikal Bridges' slam on the first possession of the period brought the Suns within 11, but Williams made two 3-pointers and a three-point play as the Clippers again pulled away. "We understand (Phoenix) is a young team," Williams said. "They are putting pieces together, trying to figure out their identity. So we just come in and play hard." The Clippers shot 51 percent from the field and held a 43-25 rebounding edge. Los Angeles outrebounded the Suns by 42 in the three meetings this season. "We don't have stupid great rebounders on this team," Gortat said. "Everybody has to rebound. We have to box out, hit somebody. "Make sure we are the guys who are hitting first. Then go get the ball. We have to make them miss and get the ball. Not every game is going to look that way, but today it worked perfectly. Reserves Richaun Holmes and Crawford had 16 points apiece for the Suns. Suns center Deandre Ayton had four points, tying a season low set in the first game against the Clippers on Nov. 28. He had three field goal attempts, five rebounds, three assists and four turnovers. "You know (coach) Larry Brown used to say, 'You need the touches, you go get it,'" Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said. "(Three) touches? It's on all of us." The Suns fell behind early, a problem in their last several starts. Harris and Williams made two 3-pointers apiece in the first quarter, when the Clippers shot 71.4 percent and finished on a 23-6 run for a 38-19 edge. The Clippers led 63-34 on Gallinari's first 3-pointer with 4 minutes left in the half. It was 68-44 at halftime. Phoenix trailed Philadelphia by 22 points after 16 minutes of its 132-127 loss on Wednesday and was down by 17 at halftime of a 132-109 loss to Golden State on New Year's Eve. TIP-INS Clippers: The Clippers play six of their next seven games at home, only away for an over-night trip to Denver on Jan. 10. ... Boban Marjanovic, one of three Clippers to have a double-double against the Suns on Nov. 28, did not play. Suns: Ayton had double-doubles in nine of his previous 11 games, and he had nine rebounds in the other game in that stretch. ... The Suns are 5-16 at home. Only New York (4-12) has fewer home victories. ... Booker has seven 35-point games, tied for third in the league behind James Harden (15) and Stephen Curry (eight). BIG BENCH The Clippers' reserves had 61 points. They entered the game averaging a league-high 52.4 Williams and Harrell have not started a game this season, and Beverley flip-flopped with Avery Bradley on Nov. 20. All average at least 25 minutes a game, and Williams (18.2) and Harrell (15.7) are the Clippers' third- and fourth-leading scorers. "'Trez' could start, we know that. Lou could start," Rivers said. "The fact that they are OK coming off the bench is the first key. I do think it takes a special mindset for a guy to want to do that and then guys who accept to do that. We have that." UP NEXT Clippers: Host Orlando on Sunday. Suns: Host Charlotte on Sunday......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 5th, 2019Related News

Embiid scores 42 points, 76ers hold off Suns 132-127

By Bob Baum, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Joel Embiid, playing despite a sore left knee, matched his season high with 42 points, 30 in the first half, and grabbed 18 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers held off a strong second-half rally to beat the Phoenix Suns 132-127 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Ben Simmons added 29 points and J.J. Redick 27 for the 76ers, who were without Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler, both due to an upper respiratory infection. Devin Booker scored 37 points for the Suns. Deandre Ayton added 18 points and 11 boards and Josh Jackson scored 16 points. Philadelphia led by 23 at halftime and as many as 30 in the third quarter. The Suns cut it to three points before Redick finally sealed the victory with a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds to play. The 76ers shot out to a 13-3 lead and consecutive three-pointers by Simmons made it 21-8. The 76ers led 44-32 after one, matching the most point allowed by the Suns in any quarter this season. Embiid scored 10 points as Philadelphia opened the second quarter with a 13-2 run to lead 58-36 and the margin barely changed the rest of the one-sided half and the 76ers led 72-49 at the break. Phoenix finished the third quarter on a 13-2 run. Troy Daniels sank a pair of three's and Ellie Okobo added another after a Philadelphia turnover cut the lead to 104-87 after three. A 19-5 Suns run reduced the lead to 116-110 when Jackson scored on a lob pass from Booker with 3:24 to go. Furkan Korkmaz sank a three-pointer, Phoenix turned it over and Embiid's dunk boosted it to 121-110. Booker's three-pointer cut the lead to 129-125 with 14.3 seconds, Redick made one of two free throws and Booker scored on a put-back to make it 130-127. Redick put it out of reach with his two final shots from the line. TIP-INS 76ers: Embiid's career high is 46 set last season. He scored 42 against Charlotte on Nov. 9 (Nov. 10, PHL time). ... Philadelphia wrapped up a 3-2 trip. ... 76ers shot 77 percent in the first quarter (13-of-17), including 4-of-5 three's. ... Embiid was 17-of-19 from the line, 12-of-14 in the first half. Suns: Also allowed 44 points in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 24 (Oct. 25, PHL time). ... Phoenix's only lead was 2-0. ... Most points Suns have allowed in a half is 76, also in that game against the Lakers. ... The first 5,000 fans received Ayton bobbleheads. ... After winning 5-of-7, Phoenix has lost the first four of a seven-game homestand. UP NEXT 76ers: Host Dallas on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Suns: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 3rd, 2019Related News

Curry s 34 points help Warriors scorch Suns, 132-109

By Jose M. Romero, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 34 points and Kevin Durant added 25, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 132-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). The Warriors beat the Suns for the 17th straight time, including eight in a row in Phoenix. Golden State was 14-for-28 on three-pointers, with Curry going 5-of-9. Deandre Ayton had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost 5-of-6. T.J Warren added 24 points and Devin Booker 20. Golden State led for all but one minute, 17 seconds of the first quarter, and went ahead 39-31 on a three from Curry with 10 minutes to go in the second. Curry had 12 points in the second quarter and added a team-high nine rebounds for the game. The Suns scored the next eight points to tie it, and were even at 45 before the Warriors closed out the half on a 24-7 run. A triple from Andre Iguodala, a layup and free throw from Jonas Jerebko and Iguodala’s pair of free throws gave the Warriors a 69-52 lead at the break. Ayton’s hook shot with 6:19 left in the third quarter cut the Warriors’ lead to 82-72, but Golden State took control again. A three and two free throws from Durant gave the Warriors a 100-81 lead with 1:38 to play. Quinn Cook knocked down a triple just before the third-quarter buzzer for a 108-87 lead, and Curry’s two three's early in the fourth quarter helped Golden State go up by 27 points. DEFENDING DEANDRE The Warriors, in the absence of a true big man, used starters Kevon Looney and Draymond Green plus Jordan Bell off the bench to guard the 7'1" Ayton. No Golden State defender on Ayton was taller than 6'9". Bell was the most physical of the group and was rewarded with extended minutes. He blocked Ayton’s shot under the basket in the third quarter and forced Ayton to work at the other end by making all five shots he took for a season-high 10 points. TIP-INS Warriors: For the 10th time this season, the Warriors’ starting lineup was Durant, Green, Looney, Klay Thompson and Curry. They’re 6-4 with that group. ... Curry has scored 30 or more points in 13 games this season. ... The Warriors’ point total was the third-highest in a game this season. Suns: Backup C Richaun Holmes missed the game due to illness, the second game in which he’s not played this season. That opened up minutes for seldom-used Dragan Bender, who played for the first time since Dec. 17 (Dec. 18, PHL time) and scored for the first time since Dec. 11 (Dec. 12, PHL time), 10 games ago. ... F Josh Jackson fouled out late in the third quarter and played only 14 minutes, his lowest total since Nov. 21 (Nov. 22, PHL time). ... C Eric Moreland made his Suns debut when entered the game in the fourth quarter. Moreland signed with Phoenix on Dec. 10 (Dec. 11, PHL time). UP NEXT Warriors: Host Houston Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Suns: Host Philadelphia Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), the fourth game of a season-high seven straight at home.  .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 1st, 2019Related News