National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Grizzlies lose C Gasol to broken foot
    By The Sports Xchange

    Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is out indefinitely with a broken right foot, the team said Tuesday.

    • "This morning at Campbell Clinic, Marc underwent a thorough evaluation by team physicians. During the course of this evaluation, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a fracture in his right foot," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said.

      "Marc is a cornerstone of our franchise, and we are focused on getting him healthy. Marc will be out indefinitely and a further update will be provided after the All-Star break."

      The 7-foot-1 Gasol was averaging 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.35 blocks in 52 games this season. He had started every game for Memphis.

      The fracture is in the mid-foot area and it's possible he could be out for the season.

      It's uncertain when the injury occurred. He played 11 minutes in Monday night's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers before leaving the game for good late in the first quarter. Gasol said the foot was bothering him during the weekend.

      "It's certainly not great for Marc and his family. I know he's disappointed," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger told The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. "It's bad for our team. This is a tight bunch of dudes. They care about each other. It hurts everybody. Marc is a guy who lays it out there for his teammates and the fans."

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Clippers suspend Griffin for four games
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA suspended forward Blake Griffin for four games and he will lose an additional game paycheck after his altercation with a team employee last month.

    • Griffin fractured his right hand on Jan. 23 when he punched assistant equipment manager Mathias Testi during an argument at a Toronto restaurant.

      Griffin hit Testi with multiple punches during the disagreement, but no police was filed. The broken hand has required two medical procedures to aid recovery.

      The suspension is expected to begin sometime in March after Griffin is able to return from the injury.

      "We have made it clear that this conduct has no place in the Clippers organization," a joint statement from Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said. "Blake is remorseful and has apologized for his actions. He is a valued member of our Clippers family and we support him as he rejoins the team.

      "He understands his actions have consequences, and is eager to get back to work with his teammates, the organization and Clipper Nation, which starts immediately with rehab, appearances and attendance at games.

      "For our team and organization, it is time to move forward, which begins today and ultimately concludes when we have Blake back on the court."

      Griffin was recovering from a partial tear in his left quadriceps that had sidelined him since Dec. 26 when the incident in Toronto took place.

      The five-time NBA All-Star is averaging 23.2 points, 8.9 rebounds and 5-1 assists this season.

      The Clippers have survived without Griffin, winning 18 of their last 22 games.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    TNT keeps Marv Albert in fold
    By The Sports Xchange

    Turner Sports on Tuesday agreed to a long-term contract extension with play-by-play broadcaster Marv Albert, who will continue to lend his iconic voice to the NBA on TNT.

    • Albert, who has announced games for 18 years on TNT, will continue to work the network's signature NBA events including regular season games, NBA All-Star coverage and the NBA Playoffs.

      This week's NBA All-Star Game in Toronto will mark his 21st year working the event.

      "Marv has been the voice of the NBA for generations of sports fans and I can’t recall a play-by-play announcer as closely identifiable with their respective league on a national level as he is," president of Turner, David Levy, said.

      Albert has won five national Sports Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2015.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Gasol replacing Butler in All-Star Game
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol on Tuesday was selected by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace Jimmy Butler in Sunday's All-Star Game in Toronto.

    • Butler suffered a strained left knee in Friday's game against Denver and will miss about three weeks.

      This marks the sixth NBA All-Star Game selection for Gasol, who is averaging 17.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 blocks for the Bulls.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Karl still coaching Kings -- for now
    By The Sports Xchange

    A few days ago, it appeared that George Karl was on his way out with the Sacramento Kings, but the coach met with team officials and ironed out their differences -- at least for now.

    • In a statement issued Tuesday, Kings general manager Vlade Divac confirmed that Karl is still the coach and "we're collectively working through our issues."

      The major issue is a four-game losing streak and eight losses in the last 10 games for the Kings (21-31). The latest setback with a 120-100 loss in Cleveland to the Cavaliers on Monday night.

      Reports from the past few days indicated that Karl would be fired by the NBA All-Star Game break this weekend. Divac, who reportedly was given the power to determine Karl's fate by owner Vivek Ranadive, put that speculation to rest for the short term with Tuesday's statement.

      Among the issues apparently are Karl's defensive schemes and practice agenda. He agreed to modify both after meeting with Divac, ESPN reported. Karl also had a much-publicized dispute with center DeMarcus Cousins earlier in the season.

      The Kings owe Karl approximately $10 million in guaranteed money on his four-year, $15 million contract.

      Going into Tuesday night's games, the Kings trailed the Utah Jazz by five games for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Sacramento visits Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Wednesday night.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Bulls' Butler out for at least three weeks
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler will miss the next three to four weeks with a strained left knee.

    • Butler suffered the injury in the second quarter of Friday night's game at Denver.

      Butler will miss at least seven to 10 more games.

      The team said Butler "has begun rehabbing his injury and he will be allowed to engage in all activities as tolerated with the primary goal of maintaining his conditioning over the ensuing weeks."

      Butler will miss All-Star activities in Toronto this weekend. Teammate Pau Gasol is expected to get the nod to replace Butler.

      Butler is averaging 22.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Grizzlies recall F Martin
    By The Sports Xchange

    Memphis on Tuesday recalled forward Jarell Martin from the Iowa Energy, the Grizzlies' Development League affiliate.

    • Martin was averaging 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30.6 minutes in seven games with the Energy.

      Martin, who has been sidelined with foot injuries, was a first-round pick out of LSU. He has scored two points in two appearances with the Grizzlies.

  • Monday, February 8, 2016
    NBA roundup: Nets win on last-second 3-pointer
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Forward Joe Johnson hit the game-winning 3-pointer with one-tenth of a second remaining and the Brooklyn Nets squandered a 16-point lead before pulling out a dramatic 105-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets Monday night.

    • Johnson had been burned on a defensive switch when Denver forward Kenneth Faried put the Nuggets up 104-102 on a running jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining but atoned for it on the final possession.

      After Brooklyn used two timeouts, guard Markel Brown inbounded the ball to Johnson. Johnson took one step after breaking free from forward Danilo Gallinari and released a 27-foot 3-pointer that banked in just before the horn.

      Johnson's shot triggered a wild celebration on the court while owner Mikhail Prokhorov rose from his seat in a suite and raised his arms in triumph.

      Trail Blazers 112, Grizzlies 106 (OT)

      MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Portland point guard Damian Lillard scored a game-high 33 points as the Trail Blazers defeated Memphis in overtime at FedExForum.

      Lillard made 10 of Portland's 14 successful free throws on the night, including two late in overtime. The Trail Blazers outscored Memphis 10-4 in overtime. CJ McCollum finished with 21 points, six assists and three steals, and he scored six points in the overtime period.

      Portland trailed 102-100 with 7.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter and got off three shots -- the last a successful tip-in by forward Allen Crabbe (13 points) with one-10th of a second left to tie the score and send the game into overtime.

      Pelicans 116, Timberwolves 102

      MINNEAPOLIS -- New Orleans started its Mardi Gras celebration a few hours early, snapping a four-game losing streak by blitzing Minnesota.

      Anthony Davis led the way with 27 points on 13-of-22 shooting as the Pelicans blew open a close game in the second quarter and never looked back. Guard Jrue Holiday came off the bench to add another 27 for the Pelicans. And forward Ryan Anderson scored 15 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter for New Orleans.

      Minnesota, which had won two in a row, got 19 points from forward Karl-Anthony Towns, but struggled defensively, falling to 16-37. Andrew Wiggins added 15 for the Timberwolves, who also got 14 points from reserve Shabazz Muhammad.

      Clippers 98, 76ers 92 (OT)

      PHILADELPHIA -- Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick scored 23 points each, and DeAndre Jordan had four of his 12 in overtime as Los Angeles rallied to beat Philadelphia.

      Chris Paul added 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Clippers, who trailed by 19 points in the first half and eight with six minutes left in regulation. They closed regulation on a 12-4 run, then scored the first eight points of the extra period. Jordan also had 21 rebounds and three blocked shots.

      Redick forced overtime by drilling a 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left in regulation.

      Pacers 89, Lakers 87

      INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored seven of his 21 points during the final 1:11 and Indiana overcame a four-point deficit to defeat Los Angeles in Kobe Bryant's final appearance in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

      The Lakers trailed 75-68 before a Bryant-led rally gave Los Angeles an 84-80 lead with 1:26 remaining. George, whose boyhood idol was Bryant, scored the next six points on three free throws and a three-point play to salvage a victory.

      George Hill added 15 for Indiana, Myles Turner had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Ian Mahinmi finished with 11 on a night when the Pacers shot 39.7 percent, including 4 of 27 from 3-point range. Bryant led the Lakers with 19 points, including 11 during a one-minute and 43 second stretch of the final quarter when Los Angeles took a brief four-point lead.

      Cavaliers 120, Kings 100

      CLEVELAND -- LeBron James recorded his first triple-double of the season and Kyrie Irving matched his season high with 32 points in Cleveland's victory against reeling Sacramento.

      James, a forward, had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 40th career triple-double, while Irving matched a career high with 12 assists.

      The stumbling Kings have lost their last four games and eight of their last nine. They conclude the first half of the season Wednesday at Philadelphia, and coach George Karl reportedly could be fired between now and the break.

      Hornets 108, Bulls 91

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With Chicago guard Derrick Rose a surprise late scratch from the lineup with "soreness all over," Charlotte leapt to a fast start and cruised to a victory over the Bulls behind Kemba Walker's 30 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

      Nicolas Batum added 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 20 points and seven rebounds as Charlotte climbed to .500 for the first time since Jan. 4, when a seven-game losing streak plunged them to a losing record.

      Pau Gasol led Chicago with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

      Magic 117, Hawks 110 (OT)

      ATLANTA -- Beaten on a shot at the buzzer by Nikola Vucevic in Orlando on Sunday, the Hawks suffered an even more disheartening loss to the Magic in the rematch at Atlanta on Monday night.

      Orlando, down by 20 points in the first quarter, forced overtime with a 13-point fourth-quarter comeback and defeated Atlanta behind 28 points and 12 rebounds from Vucevic.

      All except three of Vucevic's points came after halftime and he made 11 of 16 shots while tying his second high for points. He also had six assists.

      The Magic never trailed in overtime and forward Evan Fournier put the victory away on a 3-pointer with 31.8 seconds left after the Hawks drew to within two points.

      Raptors 103, Pistons 89

      AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Kyle Lowry had 25 points and seven assists and streaking Toronto pulled away to a victory over Detroit at The Palace.

      Terrence Ross scored 18 points off the bench for Toronto, which has won 14 of its last 15 to take over the second spot in the Eastern Conference. Lowry's backcourt partner, DeMar DeRozan, added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

      Reserve Cory Joseph supplied 15 points, four rebounds and three assists and Jonas Valanciunas contributed 15 points and eight rebounds for Toronto.

      Thunder 122, Suns 106

      PHOENIX -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Oklahoma City used a 15-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to begin to pull away for a victory over Phoenix.

      Russell Westbrook added 29 for the Thunder, who were tied at halftime and trailed 85-80 with 1:19 left in the third quarter. They ended the period with a 9-0 run and scored the first six of the fourth quarter get some distance from the reeling Suns.

      Phoenix pulled within three points one more time at 99-96 on a P.J. Tucker put-back with 5:43 left. Westbrook and Durant each hit two free throws before Dion Waiters capped another 7-1 run with a 3-pointer to make it 106-97 with 4:42 left. The Thunder ended the game on a 23-10 run.

  • Monday, February 8, 2016
    Grizzlies' Gasol exits with foot injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Grizzlies center Marc Gasol left Memphis' game against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first half Monday night with a mid-right foot injury, and he did not return.

    • He scored 11 points with three rebounds and two assists.

      Gasol, 30, started for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game last season but was not selected to this season's West squad. He entered the game averaging 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

  • Monday, February 8, 2016
    NBA notebook: Knicks fire Fisher
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Knicks fired coach Derek Fisher on Monday after a 23-31 start to his second season.

    • Knicks team president Phil Jackson also named associate head coach Kurt Rambis as the interim head coach.

      "It's time for us to make a change, turn this team around and move forward," Jackson said Monday afternoon.

      New York lost to the Denver Nuggets 101-96 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks' season-high fifth straight loss and their ninth in the last 10 games.

      The current losing skid contributed to the timing of the move, but the team was already convinced Fisher, 41, was not transitioning from the role of player to coach effectively, sources told ESPN.

      The Knicks went 17-65 in Fisher's first season after he was hired by Jackson.

      --Golden State Warriors backup center Festus Ezeli underwent surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage and will be sidelined indefinitely.

      Ezeli has missed the last five games due to soreness in the knee.

      Ezeli is averaging 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds.

      --Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas and San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 7, the NBA announced on Monday.

      Thomas led Boston to four straight victories and averaged 20.3 points and seven assists.

      Aldridge averaged 26 points and 7.3 rebounds as the Spurs notched four straight victories.

  • Monday, February 8, 2016
    Warriors C Ezeli undergoes knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Golden State Warriors backup center Festus Ezeli underwent surgery on his left knee to repair cartilage damage on Monday and will be sidelined indefinitely.

    • Ezeli has missed the last five games due to soreness in the knee.

      "It's a big loss. Hopefully, he'll be back before too long," Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Monday's practice. "Festus is a huge part of our rotation. He's really had a good year."

      Ezeli is averaging 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds.

  • Monday, February 8, 2016
    Thomas, Aldridge earn player of week honors
    By The Sports Xchange

    Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas and San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 7, the NBA announced on Monday.

    • Thomas led Boston to four straight victories and averaged 20.3 points and seven assists. The first-time All-Star selection had 22 points and nine assists in a victory over Sacramento, one of his former clubs.

      Aldridge averaged 26 points and 7.3 rebounds as the Spurs notched four straight victories. The All-Star had a season-high 36-point effort against New Orleans and also posted scoring performances of 28 and 26 points.

  • Monday, February 8, 2016
    Knicks fire coach Fisher
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Knicks fired coach Derek Fisher on Monday after a 23-31 start to his second season.

    • Knicks team president Phil Jackson also named associate head coach Kurt Rambis as the interim head coach.

      "It's time for us to make a change, turn this team around and move forward," Jackson said Monday afternoon.

      New York lost to the Denver Nuggets 101-96 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks' season-high fifth straight loss and their ninth in the last 10 games.

      The current losing skid contributed to the timing of the move, but the team was already convinced Fisher, 41, was not transitioning from the role of player to coach effectively, sources told ESPN.

      "Some of the onus is on the players," Jackson said. "It's a lot easier to fire a coach than 15 players. Unfortunately, it's not always the coach.

      "There's a way for them to play better that we should see. ... We want this team competitive day in and day out."

      The Knicks went 17-65 in Fisher's first season after he was hired by Jackson to turn around the struggling franchise, which hasn't won a title since the 1972-73 season.

      When Jackson coached the Los Angeles Lakers, Fisher was a five-time NBA champion as a point guard.

      Fisher, who was originally hired in June 2014, finishes his Knicks coaching career with an overall record of 40-96 (.294).

      "I want to express my deepest gratitude to (owner) James Dolan, Phil Jackson, (general manager) Steve Mills and the entire New York Knicks organization for giving me this incredible opportunity," Fisher said in a statement. "I also want to thank my staff, players and the fans for their passion and support. This is a very talented team with strong character and I am confident they will succeed. Obviously, I'm disappointed, but have learned an immense amount from this experience and hope to grow from it."

      Rambis, 57, becomes the 27th head coach in franchise history. Originally hired as the team's associate head coach on July 7, 2014, the 18-year NBA coaching veteran starts his second-stint as a head coach, after leading the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons from 2009-10 through 2010-11 (56-145). He was a member of eight NBA championship teams, all as a member of the Lakers (four as a player and four as a coach or executive).

      "I have big confidence in his ability to coach this team," Jackson said of Rambis.

      Rambis later held a meeting with the players.

      "We've got to figure out a way to right this ship so we can make a push for the playoffs," Rambis said.

      Two other former Jackson players, Brian Shaw and Luke Walton, are candidates to the full-time job, sources told ESPN. Shaw coached parts of two seasons in Denver, while Walton led the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a record start this season, filling in for head coach Steve Kerr, who was dealing with complications from back surgeries.

  • Sunday, February 7, 2016
    NBA roundup: Clippers survive poor shooting effort in win
    By The Sports Xchange

    MIAMI -- The Los Angeles Clippers, the second-best road team in the NBA this season, survived poor shooting early to defeat the Miami Heat 100-93 on Sunday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena.

    • Chris Paul, who missed his first nine shots, rallied to score a game-high 22 points. Jamal Crawford had 20 points, and DeAndre Jordan added nine points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. He made just 3 of 14 from the foul line.

      Three Heat players scored 17 points -- Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic. Luol Deng added 15 points, and Hassan Whiteside had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

      Celtics 128, Kings 119

      BOSTON -- Boston took advantage of the defense-less team that may be in the process of getting coach George Karl fired, running over Sacramento.

      Isaiah Thomas finished with 22 points and four rebounds, Avery Bradley scored 25 points, Jared Sullinger matched his season high with 21 and Tyler Zeller came off the bench and posted a season-high 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots for the Celtics.

      DeMarcus Cousins scored 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and had seven rebounds and six assists for the Kings while Rajon Rondo had 14 points, five assists and six steals. Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison both had 16 points and rookie center Willie Cauley-Stein 15 in the loss.

      Magic 96, Hawks 94

      ORLANDO -- Nikola Vucevic scored 22 points, including a game-winning fallaway jumper from 15 feet as time expired, to lead Orlando over Atlanta.

      Evan Fournier scored 21 points and Victor Oladipo had 19 points to help the Magic snap a three-game losing streak.

      The Hawks were led by Jeff Teague with 24 points and five assists. Kent Bazemore, who tied the game at 94 with 48 seconds remaining, had 23 points and eight rebounds. Paul Millsap had 14 points and nine rebounds and Al Horford had 11 points, six rebounds and six assists.

      Nuggets 101, Knicks 96

      NEW YORK -- Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton scored 19 points apiece to provide Denver with a win over New York at Madison Square Garden.

      Barton added 11 rebounds for the Nuggets and rookie Emmanuel Mudiay scored 15 points, including nine key points in the fourth quarter.

      Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis poured in 21 points each in New York's season-high five straight loss.

  • Sunday, February 7, 2016
    Clippers G Rivers out with broken hand
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers suffered a broken left hand, the team announced Sunday.

    • Rivers suffered a left hand fracture in the second quarter of the Clippers' loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. Rivers did not play in Friday night's game in Orlando and underwent an MRI Saturday in Miami that revealed the fracture.

      Rivers will be re-evaluated in Los Angeles on Monday and a timetable for his return will be established at that time, but ESPN reported he likely will be out four to six weeks.

      Rivers has appeared in 46 games (five starts) this season, averaging a career-high 8.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 21.6 minutes per game.

  • Sunday, February 7, 2016
    Heat recall F/C Stokes
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Miami Heat recalled forward/center Jarnell Stokes from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League on Sunday.

    • Stokes has appeared in 16 games (all starts) in five different stints with the Skyforce this season, helping them to a 14-2 record over that span while averaging 20.6 points and 10.2 rebounds, and shooting 67.3 percent from the field.

  • Sunday, February 7, 2016
    NBA roundup: Warriors beat Thunder, stay unbeaten at home
    By The Sports Xchange

    OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors withstood a late charge by the Oklahoma City Thunder and remained unbeaten at home with a 116-108 victory on Saturday night.

    • Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 26 points and 10 assists despite missing seven of eight 3-pointers. Thompson finished with 18 and did not hit a 3-pointer until giving Golden State a 110-104 lead as part of a game-ending 12-4 run, which propelled them to their 41st straight regular-season home victory.

      Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 40 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game at 107 with 1:59 remaining. Russell Westbrook had a double-double of 27 and 12 assists for the Thunder.

      Before Thompson's dramatic shot, the Warriors rallied from an early nine-point deficit, took a 20-point lead in the second quarter and a 73-59 lead at half.

      Cavaliers 99, Pelicans 84

      CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and LeBron James added 27 as Cleveland bounced back from a tough loss and knocked off New Orleans.

      J.R. Smith made six 3-pointers 24 hours after his foul in the final seconds allowed the Cavs to be stunned by a last-second shot against the Boston Celtics. On Saturday, the NBA ruled it was an incorrect call against Smith.

      Norris Cole scored a career-high 26 points on the same day Cleveland State retired his No. 30 jersey. Forward Anthony Davis scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but it was not enough as the Pelicans dropped their fourth straight.

      Cleveland nearly squandered a 15-point lead for the second time in as many nights. After the Pelicans were within four early in the fourth, they managed one field goal over the next five minutes.

      Spurs 106, Lakers 102

      SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker hit two clutch baskets down the stretch as the Spurs held off the Lakers and remained unbeaten at home.

      Parker finished with 14 points but snapped a 99-99 deadlock by hitting a 17-footer with 1:59 remaining before adding a layup with 1:02 remaining.

      LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 28 points as the Spurs improved to 28-0 at home. San Antonio also won its 37th straight regular-season home game dating back to last March's overtime loss to Cleveland.

      Kobe Bryant made his final appearance in San Antonio and scored 16 of his 25 points in the third quarter after missing eight of his first 10 shots before halftime.

      Trail Blazers 96, Rockets 79

      HOUSTON -- Damian Lillard collected 21 points and 10 assists and the Trail Blazers continued their surge by routing the Rockets.

      C.J. McCollum added 16 points and seven rebounds as Portland (25-27) won for the sixth time in seven games and improved to 10-3 since Jan. 10. The Trail Blazers are within one game of the Rockets (27-26) in the loss column in the Western Conference playoff race.

      James Harden led all scorers with 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds but also committed 10 of Houston's 23 turnovers. Dwight Howard added 17 and 14 rebounds for Houston, which trailed by as many 32 and missed 29 of 36 3-pointers.

      Hornets 108, Wizards 104

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nicolas Batum just missed a triple-double and helped the Hornets rally past the Wizards.

      Batum finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the Hornets overcame a 19-point deficit and won for the third time in four games. Kemba Walker added 23 points as Charlotte posted its ninth comeback victory of the season.

      John Wall led Washington with 23 points on 7-for-17 shooting, and fellow guard Bradley Beal had 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

      Pacers 112, Pistons 104

      INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored 17 of his 30 points when the Pacers dominated the first half of their victory over the Pistons.

      George was 6 of 7 from the field in the opening 24 minutes when the Pacers made 12 of their first 14 field attempts and shot 68.4 before halftime. He made 7 of 13 shots and knocked down 14 of 15 free throws.

      George Hill finished with 17 points for Indiana, rookie center Myles Turner added 16 and forward Jordan Hill finished with 12, 10 during the second half.

      Reggie Jackson had 26 points for Detroit, and Anthony Tolliver had 17 for the Pistons, including five 3-pointers.

      Timberwolves 112, Bulls 105

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points, including a clutch jumper with 19.5 seconds remaining and the Timberwolves scored the final 12 points of their victory over the Bulls.

      The Timberwolves (16-36) won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 18-20 by getting the key hoop from Wiggins for a 110-105 lead, moments after Pau Gasol missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer.

      Rookie Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng, combined for 50 points and 30 rebounds while each playing 41 minutes. Towns led all Timberwolves in scoring with 26 points, while Dieng finished three assists shy of a triple-double.

      Pau Gasol scored a team-high 25 points and point guard Derrick Rose added 18 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, who dropped their second road game in as many nights and were without leading scorer Jimmy Butler (knee). Butler was injured in Friday's loss at Denver and his status for next weekend's All-Star game is unknown.

      Mavericks 114, Grizzlies 110 (OT)

      MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Chandler Parsons scored 26 points and the Mavericks blew an eight-point lead in the final 3:30 of regulation before knocking off the Grizzlies in overtime.

      Parsons shot 10 of 15 from the floor and 5 of 8 from 3-point range after scoring a combined 18 points in his previous two games. Deron Williams added 22 points as Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.

      Marc Gasol scored 22 points for the Grizzlies, who had a five-game losing streak stopped. Zach Randolph totaled 20 and 14 rebounds for Memphis.

      76ers 103, Nets 98

      PHILADELPHIA -- Rookie Jahlil Okafor collected 22 points and a season-high 17 rebounds as the 76ers held the Nets without a field goal for the final 4:24 in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's two worst teams.

      Rookie T.J, McConnell matched his season high with 17 points and Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak while improving the NBA's worst record to 8-43. Forward Nerlens Noel added 18 for the 76ers, who closed the game with a 10-2 run.

      Thaddeus Young scored all of his 22 points after halftime and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Nets. Brook Lopez added 17 while Markel Brown had 15 for Brooklyn, which fell to 13-39, lost for the sixth time in seven games and 16th time in its last 18 contests.

      Jazz 98, Suns 89

      PHOENIX -- Rodney Hood scored 25 points and the Jazz continued their surge by defeating the Suns.

      Gordon Hayward added 14 of his 22 points in the opening quarter as the Jazz won their sixth straight game. Raul Neto and Rudy Gobert contributed 13 points apiece for Utah (24-24), which reached the .500 mark for the first time in nearly two months.

      Devin Booker scored 18 points and forward Markieff Morris had 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Suns (14-38), who have lost 22 of their past 24 games overall.

  • Saturday, February 6, 2016
    Kings considering firing Karl
    By The Sports Xchange

    The struggling Sacramento Kings appear to be considering firing head coach George Karl after just one year, according to multiple reports Saturday.

    • Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has made it known that he expects the team to push for a playoff berth this season and end the postseason drought dating to 2006.

      Yahoo Sports first reported Saturday that the Kings (21-29) are "strongly weighing" Karl's firing.

      The 64-year-old Karl's job appeared in jeopardy in early November, but he survived. A year ago, the Kings hired Karl away from ESPN on a four-year, $15 million deal.

      Last season, the Kings fired Mike Malone after an 11-13 start and replaced him with interim head coach Tyrone Corbin, who went 7-21 before Karl was hired.

      The Kings are increasingly concerned about their floundering play under Karl, but entered the weekend hoping to delay any decision about the coach's future until the All-Star break, league sources told ESPN.

      However, the nature of the 128-119 loss Friday night to the Brooklyn Nets -- Sacramento's sixth loss in seven games -- and the fallout it generated have the Kings contemplating an immediate coaching change, according to ESPN.

      A five-game winning streak in mid-January improved the Kings' record to 20-23 and lifted them into the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. But the Kings are now 3 1/2 games behind the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot.

      The Kings have three road games remaining before the All-Star break -- Sunday in Boston, Monday in Cleveland and Wednesday in Philadelphia.

      ESPN's sources said Saturday that it is unlikely Kings assistant coach Nancy Lieberman would take over on an interim basis. One possibility, sources said, is elevating assistant coach and former Kings forward Corliss Williamson to interim coach.

      USA TODAY Sports reported Saturday that the significant guaranteed money still owed on Karl's contract could factor into Sacramento's decision-making.

      All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins voiced another round of frustrations with the Kings' play after the loss to the 13-38 Nets.

      "I'm not going to keep blaming these guys in the locker room," Cousins told reporters Friday night. "Energy and effort is a huge part of the game, but I'm not going to keep blaming it on that. We've got a bigger issue, and we need to figure it out as a team.

      "I'd rather keep (problems) in house, but we definitely have a bigger issue than just energy and effort. That can't be the excuse every night. ... We're going to work it out as a team, and hopefully we can fix this."

  • Saturday, February 6, 2016
    NBA roundup: Celtics surprise Cavaliers
    By The Sports Xchange

    CLEVELAND -- Avery Bradley's 3-pointer from the corner gave the Boston Celtics a stunning 104-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night when they rallied from five points down in the final 20 seconds.

    • The Cavaliers seemed to have the victory sealed when guard J.R. Smith grabbed an offensive rebound off forward LeBron James' missed 3-pointer with 22 seconds left. Guard Kyrie Irving made a pair of 3-pointers to give the Cavaliers a 101-96 lead, but Smith fouled swingman Evan Turner on a drive to the basket with four seconds left.

      The Celtics trailed 103-99 when Smith fouled Turner on a drive to the basket. Turner missed the free throw, but the ball went out of bounds on the Cavaliers, leaving the Celtics with possession and one final shot to win it.

      Nuggets 115, Bulls 110

      DENVER -- Danilo Gallinari scored 33 points, including a go-ahead jumper in the final minute, and Denver rallied from 18 down to beat Chicago.

      Nuggets' Emmanuel Mudiay scored 22, and forward Kenneth Faried had a key put-back among his 11 points and 11 rebounds.

      Derrick Rose had 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but the Bulls couldn't overcome the loss of Jimmy Butler to a left knee sprain.

      Grizzlies 91, Knicks 85

      NEW YORK -- Jeff Green came off the bench to lead Memphis in scoring for the fifth consecutive game.

      The Grizzlies forward deposited 16 points to give Memphis its fifth win in a row and ninth victory in 10 games. Memphis reserve forward Matt Barnes added 12 points.

      The Knicks dropped their fourth consecutive game and the eighth in nine games.

      Hawks 101, Pacers 96

      ATLANTA -- Atlanta needed a spark. Al Horford provided it with back-to-back momentum-shifting dunks late in the third quarter.

      All-Star Paul Millsap had 24 points, and Horford finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists. He scored seven in the fourth quarter, but it was his pair of dunks late in the third quarter that sparked the Hawks.

      Paul George led the Pacers with 31 points.

      Heat 98, Hornets 95

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Chris Bosh's driving layup with 23.5 seconds left lifted Miami past Charolotte.

      The forward's basket and ensuing free throw put the finishing touch on a Heat performance that was powered by Hassan Whiteside's triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks, and Dwyane Wade's 22 points on 11-of-20 shooting.

      Whiteside had seven points, four blocks and four rebounds in the fourth quarter to help the Heat outscore the Hornets 31-23.

      Spurs 116, Mavs 90

      DALLAS -- San Antonio handed Dallas one of its more humiliating home defeats in franchise history in front a stunned sellout crowd at American Airlines Center.

      The Spurs put on a clinic from the start, reeling off a quick 16-4 run that snowballed into an embarrassing evening for the Mavs, who lost for a third consecutive game. San Antonio led 27-12 after the first quarter and 62-26 at halftime behind the power of a 53-18 run.

      Kawhi Leonard, who will be a starter in his first All-Star Game next weekend, scored 16 of his game-high 23 points in the first half while all five of Dallas' starters combined for 16 points in the first 24 minutes.

      Clippers 107, Magic 103

      ORLANDO -- Los Angeles is doing just fine without All-Star Blake Griffin in the lineup. Everyone else is stepping up.

      Chris Paul scored 21 points while Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick each had 20, leading the Clippers to an easy win.

      The Clippers (33-17) led from start to finish, upping their record to 16-4 since Griffin left the lineup, first with strained quadricep tendon and then with a broken right hand. He may be one of the NBA's best, but Griffin's absence has hardly been felt. They were 17-13 with him playing this season.

      Wizards 106, Sixers 94

      WASHINGTON -- Wizards All-Star John Wall registered his fourth career triple-double with 18 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and Washington snapped a three-game losing streak.

      Washington's Bradley Beal scored 22 points in his first start since Dec. 9.

      Ish Smith had 22 points for the 76ers, and guard Isaiah Canaan scored 18 points.

      Nets 128, Kings 119

      NEW YORK -- Joe Johnson scored a season-high 27 points and had a season-high 11 assists and Brooklyn pulled away in the second half.

      Brook Lopez added 26 and 12 rebounds as the Nets snapped a six-game losing streak and won for the third time in their last 19 home games.

      Reserve Bojan Bogdanovic contributed 20 points for the Nets, who shot a season-high 55.8 percent (48-of-86) and made a season-best 18 3 pointers.

      Jazz 84, Bucks 81

      SALT LAKE CITY -- Rodney Hood scored 23 points Derrick Favors had another big game, and Utah extended its winning streak to five straight.

      Hood, the second-year Jazz player, continued his strong 2016 by hitting nine of 18 shots to help Utah improve to 24-25 and finish off the longest homestand of the season with a 5-1 mark.

      Khris Middleton topped the Bucks scorers with 18 points, guard Jerryd Bayles had five first-half 3-pointers for 15 points, and center Greg Monroe and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo each contributed 14 points.

  • Saturday, February 6, 2016
    Bulls' Butler leaves game with knee injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    DENVER -- Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler left Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets with a left knee sprain.

    • Butler was hurt with 1:05 left in the second quarter when he was fouled by Nuggets center Joffrey Lauvergne on a drive to the basket. He landed awkwardly and lay on the floor while be attended to by the Nuggets team doctor.

      Butler initially refused to be put in the wheelchair that was brought out for him so he could shoot his free throws. He made 1 of 2 and then teammate Aaron Brooks helped him get into the wheelchair.

      Butler, who was a game-time decision because of left knee tendinitis, had 19 points, five assists in two rebounds before leaving the game.

  • Friday, February 5, 2016
    Clippers' Griffin undergoes 2nd procedure on injured hand
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who broke his right hand punching a team employee last month, underwent a second procedure on the hand this week, ESPN reported Friday.

    • According to the report, the latest procedure was connected to the initial hand surgery Griffin underwent, and it won't affect the timetable for the five-time All-Star's potential return, expected to be late February or early March.

      Griffin fractured the fourth metacarpal in his right hand while punching one of the team's equipment managers outside of a Toronto restaurant on Jan. 23. At the time, Griffin was close to returning to action after being sidelined due to a torn quadriceps.

      The NBA is investigating the restaurant incident, for which Griffin apologized on Twitter.

      Without Griffin in the lineup, the Clippers were 15-4 heading into their Friday night game at Orlando. Griffin last played Christmas Day in a 94-84 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • Friday, February 5, 2016
    Kings' Gay leaves with ankle injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    NEW YORK -- Kings forward Rudy Gay exited Sacramento's game against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday with a left ankle injury.

    • Gay was initially injured on a play around the basket with 9:18 remaining in the first quarter and the Kings holding a 7-4 lead. He went back to the locker room after the initial play but was declared out for the rest of the game after briefly appearing in the second quarter.

      Gay is averaging 18.2 points and 6.9 rebounds and has missed six games this season while starting each time he has played. He missed two games Jan 21-23 with a left heel contusion and two more Jan 26-28 with a corneal abrasion in his left eye.

  • Friday, February 5, 2016
    NBA notebook: Sixers pay tribute to Dawkins
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Philadelphia 76ers will honor the late NBA legend Darryl Dawkins with a special tribute night on Saturday when the Sixers host the Brooklyn Nets.

    • The 6-foot-11 Dawkins, known as "Chocolate Thunder" because of his powerful dunks, died of a heart attack on Aug. 27 at age 58.

      "Darryl Dawkins Tribute Night" will be highlighted by a special halftime ceremony featuring live interviews with former Sixers teammates Bobby Jones and World B. Free.

      Dawkins' legend swelled in 1979 when he twice shattered backboards with his rim-rattling dunks. He appeared in 726 games (232 starts) for Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit and Utah and averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game. His 57.2 career field-goal percentage ranks eighth in NBA history.

      ---The Phoenix Suns signed NBA Developmental League all-star guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract on Friday.

      Johnson has spent this season with Austin in the D-League and averaged 15.2 points in 28 games. He was named to the all-star team on Jan. 29. The two-year NBA veteran played for the Indiana Pacers in 2012-13 and the Sacramento Kings in 2013-14. In 96 NBA games, Johnson has averaged 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds, with a career high of 15 points for the Pacers in a 2013 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

      Johnson also spent last season with Austin, averaging 17.4 points in 43 games, and previously played professionally in Spain and the Philippines.

      ---A Jan. 23 game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards that was postponed because of heavy snow last month has been rescheduled for Feb. 18.

      The rescheduled date will be the first game for both teams after the NBA All-Star Game break.

  • Friday, February 5, 2016
    Suns add G Johnson to roster
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Phoenix Suns signed NBA Developmental League all-star guard Orlando Johnson to a 10-day contract on Friday.

    • Johnson has spent this season with Austin in the D-League and averaged 15.2 points in 28 games. He was named to the all-star team on Jan. 29.

      The two-year NBA veteran played for the Indiana Pacers in 2012-13 and the Sacramento Kings in 2013-14. In 96 NBA games, Johnson has averaged 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds, with a career high of 15 points for the Pacers in a 2013 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

      Johnson also spent last season with Austin, averaging 17.4 points in 43 games, and previously played professionally in Spain and the Philippines.

      The former UC Santa Barbara standout was the 36th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Kings before he was traded to the Pacers.

  • Friday, February 5, 2016
    Jazz-Wizards game rescheduled for Feb. 18
    By The Sports Xchange

    A game between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards that was postponed due to heavy snow last month has been rescheduled for Feb. 18.

    • The contest was originally scheduled on Jan. 23. But a major winter storm hit the Washington D.C. area and the area received more than two feet of snow, prompting the postponement.

      The rescheduled date will be the first game for both teams following the All-Star break.