National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
    Warriors open as Finals favorite
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Golden State Warriors are six-point favorites in Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The Cavaliers have only one loss on the road in the postseason, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Chicago, when Bulls guard Derrick Rose banked in a 3-pointer to win the game.

      The Warriors are 3-5 at home against the spread in the 2015 playoffs.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
    'Disappointed' Bulls fire Thibodeau
    By The Sports Xchange

    Tom Thibodeau was fired by the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, ending a mostly successful run as head coach with 255 wins in five seasons.

    • Thibodeau has $9 million remaining on his contract, and such moves are not in the history of Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

      "We were all really disappointed in the way the season ended," Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said, noting with injuries to the Cavaliers, the opportunity to make the NBA Finals was real. "You have to have a situation where you are all pulling in the same direction. Our goal now is to move forward. We probably wouldn't be sitting here if we won a championship."

      Thibodeau, who had never been a head coach before Reinsdorf hired him, had a .647 winning percentage in the regular season. That is second only to Phil Jackson in franchise history.

      However, friction between Thibodeau, Paxson -- who said Thursday 'relationships are difficult' -- and general manager Gar Forman spiked in the past two years and sparked the separation.

      "We feel like we're headed in the right direction," Forman said at Thursday's press conference. "Quite simply, we're looking for the right fit. Somebody who's a leader, who has great communication skills ... we'll begin that process here tonight and into the weekend. We think it's a very attractive job."

      Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is thought to be a leading candidate for the job. Forman said there is not timetable for the team to name a new coach.

      "... There must be free and open interdepartmental discussion and consideration of everyone's ideas and opinions. These internal discussions must not be considered an invasion of turf, and must remain private," Reinsdorf said. "Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization-staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together. Unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required. Days like today are difficult, but necessary for us to achieve our goals and fulfill our commitments to our fans."

      Speculation of a possible trade of Thibodeau to the New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando Magic reportedly fizzled when both suitors said they would be unwilling to part with first-round draft compensation Chicago was seeking in a coach swap.

      "We had our player meetings and our organizational meetings and we dug deep," Forman said. "Where this team is at and how to sustain success. ... I don't want to get into specifics. But as we came out of those meetings it was our decision a change was needed to continue to move forward."

      The Bulls' power structure became dysfunctional over the past two seasons over debates about player usage and minutes restrictions, practice structure and control of the coaching staff. With Joakim Noah hurting and Rose coming back from injury before the season, the team's medical staff advised a minutes limit.

      "We came up with the belief and the idea that we needed to get them into the season the right way physically," vice president John Paxson said Thursday. "The minutes restriction was something again, that was an organizational decision. ... It was to give our players the best chance to succeed this year. We did the right thing for our guys. Tom was part of all the discussions prior to the season."

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
    Mychal Thompson: Klay woozy, vomited after Game 5
    By The Sports Xchange

    Golden States Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is being monitored for a concussion and must clear head injury protocol to return to the court for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

    • Mychal Thompson said his son was woozy.

      "I had to drive him home, and he vomited a couple times," said Mychal Thompson via ESPN Radio.

      In-game concussion tests were not set in motion as in Game 4, when point guard Steph Curry tumbled over the back of Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and Curry landed on his head.

      The good news for Thompson and the Warriors for his potential return is the seven-day layoff before the Finals begin June 4 is the longest in league history.

      Whether the NBA will take repercussions for the handling of the injury is uncertain.

      Thompson received a cut in his left ear and sustained concussion symptoms when he was unintentionally kneed in the head by Ariza on Wednesday.

      Thompson received three stitches in his ear after being taken to the locker room following the foul early in the fourth quarter. He returned to the bench but not to the game. Thompson was re-examined after the game, which is when the concussion symptoms were discovered.

      The Warriors beat the Rockets 104-90 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals to advance to the NBA Finals to meet the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
    Warriors' Thompson diagnosed with concussion symptoms
    By The Sports Xchange

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden States Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson received a cut in his left ear and sustained concussion symptoms when he was kneed in the head by Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza on Wednesday.

    • Thompson received three stitches in his ear after being taken to the locker room following the foul early in the fourth quarter. He returned to the bench but not to the game. Thompson was re-examined after the game, which is when the concussion symptoms were discovered.

      The Warriors beat the Rockets 104-90 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals to advance to the NBA Finals, where they will meet the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State will continue to evaluate Thompson's condition ahead of the championship series, which begins June 4 in Oakland.

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015
    Hawks' Korver has surgery; Mack separates shoulder
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Kyle Korver underwent surgery on Wednesday night to repair the ligament damage in his right ankle suffered during the Western Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The Hawks also announced that guard Shelvin Mack sustained a separated right shoulder during the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's Game 4 against the Cavaliers in Cleveland that will require surgery next week.

      Dr. Martin O'Malley performed Korver's surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

      The team said in a statement that Korver's expected recovery time is about three months after a period of "rest, treatment and rehabilitation."

      Korver was injured in Game 2 against the Cavaliers when he collided with Cleveland guard Matthew Dellavedova late in the third quarter during a scramble for a loose ball.

      Korver averaged 12.1 points and shot 49.2 percent percent on 3-pointers during the regular season. In the playoffs, he was averaging 11.1 points and shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range before the injury.

      The Hawks' season ended Tuesday night when the Cavaliers completed a 4-0 sweep in the best-of-seven series.

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015
    2016 All-Star game logo pays tribute to Toronto's landmark
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NBA has unveiled the logo for the 2016 All-Star game in Toronto -- the league's first All-Star game to be held outside of the United States.

    • The logo design pays tribute to the iconic CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere as part of Toronto's skyline. The logo, designed in collaboration with the Raptors, integrates the CN Tower silhouette with the team's red, white and black colors.

      NBA Rookie of the Year and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins -- the first Canadian-born player to win the award -- was on hand for the announcement at the CN Tower on Wednesday.

      Others included Toronto deputy mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, Toronto Tourism executive vice president Andrew Weir, NBA Canada vice president Dan MacKenzie and CN Tower chief operating officer Jack Robinson.

      The 65th NBA All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, Feb. 14, at Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Raptors.

      NBA All-Star 2016 will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of basketball. Dr. James Naismith, a Canadian, invented the game in 1891. Toronto also hosted the first game in NBA history on Nov. 1, 1946, at Maple Leaf Gardens.

  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015
    Basketball Without Borders Europe camp set
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NBA and the International Basketball Federation announced the players and coaches from more than 25 European countries who will travel to the first Basketball Without Borders Europe camp next month.

    • Gerald Henderson (Charlotte Hornets, U.S.), Damjan Rudez (Indiana Pacers, Croatia), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets, U.S.), and NBA legends Jorge Garbajosa (Spain), Vladimir Radmanovic (Serbia) and Hanno Mottola (Finland), as well as WNBA legend Amaya Valdemoro (Spain) will lead the 50 campers at the event in Gran Canaria, Spain, from June 2-5.

      Dan Burke (Indiana Pacers), Bryan Gates (New Orleans Pelicans), Walter McCarty (Boston Celtics) and Jim Moran (Portland Trail Blazers) will serve as BWB Europe 2015 camp coaches. Marin Sedlacek (Philadelphia 76ers) will be the camp director and Jeff Tanaka (Chicago Bulls) will serve as the camp's athletic trainer.

      The 15th year of BWB -- the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program -- also includes a return to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the 12th time and a first-time camp in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

      BWB Africa will be held in Johannesburg from July 29-Aug. 1, and the best players from Latin America and the Caribbean will congregate in Santo Domingo from Aug. 13-16 for BWB Americas.

      Through BWB, the top players from around the world born in 1998 will have the unique opportunity to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best players from their continent.

      The inaugural BWB program was conducted in Treviso, Italy, in 2001 by bringing together 50 children from across the former Yugoslavia. The program has expanded and evolved to become the NBA and FIBA's signature global grassroots initiative.

      BWB has reached more than 2,300 campers from more than 120 countries and territories, with 33 campers drafted into the NBA. Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011) became the highest drafted BWB Africa camper ever when he was selected third overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. Twenty-two former BWB campers were on active NBA rosters during the 2014-15 regular season, including 2015 NBA All-Star Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies; Spain; BWB Europe 2003), 2014 NBA Champion Marco Belinelli (San Antonio Spurs; Italy; BWB Europe 2004), and Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls; Montenegro; BWB Europe 2008), who finished second in 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year Award voting.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    Cavs G Irving starting Game 4
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will be in the starting lineup for Tuesday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks after missing the last two games with knee tendinitis.

    • Irving, who is averaging 18.9 points in the playoffs, was considered a game-time decision and it became known shortly before Tuesday's tipoff that he would play.

      The team announced he would play no more than 25 minutes in Game 4. Matthew Dellavedova took Irving's place in the starting lineup in Game 3.

      The Cavaliers won both games Irving missed and hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    No suspension for Rockets' Howard
    By The Sports Xchange

    Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard avoided a suspension for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors after a hard foul in the previous game of the series.

    • The NBA upheld the flagrant-1 foul call from Monday night's game. NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said Howard was trying to get free from Warriors center Andrew Bogut when he "recklessly hit him in the face with an open hand."

      Thorn added that there was no reason to alter the flagrant-1 foul call made by the game officials early in the third quarter, finding that the contact was unnecessary but not excessive. Howard threw an elbow at Bogut's head after there was contact between the two.

      If the foul would have been changed to flagrant-2, Howard could have been suspended for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

      The Warriors lead 3-1 in the best-of-seven series after the Rockets avoided elimination with a win Monday night. Golden State will attempt to close out the series Wednesday in Oakland, Calif.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    NBA roundup: Warriors' Curry will play in Game 5
    By The Sports Xchange

    Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday.

    • Curry took part in practice Tuesday morning after saying he didn't care to replay Tuesday's game, particularly the action he missed while undergoing evaluation for a head injury.

      Curry left Game 4 with 5:52 remaining in the second quarter after a chilling fall over the back of Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, who was attempting a layup near Houston's basket, and returned to the game with 5:58 left in the third quarter.

      "It was strictly going to be, 'Are the doctors going to let him play? Is he OK to play?' " Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He got the OK, so we put him in."

      -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is expected to suit up and is likely to play in Tuesday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks, Yahoo! Sports reported.

      He missed the past two games because of left knee tendinitis, and was considered a game-time decision for Game 4.

      --Scott Skiles is expected to be named head coach of the Orlando Magic this week.

      According to reports, Skiles emerged as the best available option with NBA head-coaching experience when Orlando decided it would not part with first-round draft compensation to pry Tom Thibodeau from the Chicago Bulls.

      -- Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver will undergo ankle surgery as a result of an injury suffered during Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

      The Hawks' All-Star 3-point specialist was injured when he crashed into Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova late in the third quarter during a scramble for a loose ball.

      --Milwaukee city officials and Bucks team president Peter Feigin emerged from a closed-door meeting with Gov. Scott Walker optimistic a financing deal to pay for the team's proposed $500 million downtown stadium could be completed this week.

      The threat of losing the team to relocation at the hands of the NBA was looming for the Bucks' franchise. The league announced it would buy back the team with the intent of moving it, possibly to Seattle, without a new stadium by 2017.

      --Veteran center Nazr Mohammed plans to return for what would be his 18th season in the NBA in 2015-16.

      Mohammed becomes a free agent this summer after spending the past three seasons with the Chicago Bulls. If the Bulls choose not to re-sign the Chicago native and former Kentucky player, he hopes to catch on with another NBA team in need of an experienced big man to provide minutes off the bench.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    Hawks' Korver faces ankle surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver will undergo ankle surgery on Wednesday after he was injured during Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The Hawks' All-Star 3-point specialist was injured when he crashed into Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova late in the third quarter during a scramble for a loose ball.

      Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed before Tuesday night's Game 4 in the best-of-seven series that Korver would need surgery. The decision was made after seeking a second opinion in New York.

      The team has not specified the diagnosis on the ankle or a projected date when Korver would be able to return.

      Korver averaged 12.1 points and shot 49.2 percent percent on 3-pointers during the regular season. In the playoffs, he was averaging 11.1 points and shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range before the injury.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    C Mohammed hopes to play next season
    By The Sports Xchange

    Veteran center Nazr Mohammed plans to return for what would be his 18th season in the NBA in 2015-16.

    • Mohammed becomes a free agent this summer after spending the past three seasons with the Chicago Bulls. If the Bulls choose not to re-sign the Chicago native and former Kentucky player, he hopes to catch on with another NBA team in need of an experienced big man to provide minutes off the bench.

      The Bulls appear well stocked in the frontcourt with Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic, but there is a chance that Mohammed could return.

      The 37-year-old Mohammed was one of the oldest players in the NBA this year. In 23 regular-season games for the Bulls, he averaged 1.2 points and 1.7 rebounds.

      After entering the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1998, Mohammed also has played for the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 1,000 career regular-season games, he has averages of 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    Skiles to be Magic coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    Scott Skiles is expected to be named head coach of the Orlando Magic this week.

    • According to reports, Skiles emerged as the best available option with NBA head-coaching experience when Orlando decided it would not part with first-round draft compensation to pry Tom Thibodeau from the Chicago Bulls.

      Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has discussed the opening with several candidates, but Skiles separated himself in the process, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

      According to the report, the 51-year-old Skiles has been the preferred choice of Orlando ownership, which has been fond of him since his playing days with the Magic from 1989 to 1994.

      The Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn in February and finished the season 25-57 under interim coach James Borrego. Borrego is expected to remain on the coaching staff as one of Skiles' assistants.

      Skiles, who still lives in the Orlando area, holds a 443-433 record (18-24 in the playoffs) in 13 seasons coaching the Phoenix Suns, Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.

      Skiles is known for his ability to help turn teams around. He took the Bulls from 19 wins in 2004 to 47 in 2005, his first of two seasons there.

      After he took over the Bucks, the team went from 34 wins to 46 from 2009 to 2010.

      He is also known for a grating personality and highly demanding coaching style cited upon his exit from previous jobs and notably in Chicago, where he was let go on Christmas Eve.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    Milwaukee, Bucks' officials expect stadium deal
    By The Sports Xchange

    Milwaukee city officials and Bucks team president Peter Feigin emerged from a closed-door meeting with Gov. Scott Walker optimistic a financing deal to pay for the team's proposed $500 million downtown stadium could be completed this week.

    • The threat of losing the team to relocation at the hands of the NBA was looming for the Bucks' franchise. The league announced it would buy back the team with the intent of moving it, possibly to Seattle, without a new stadium by 2017.

      Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said Tuesday there is optimism on all sides that an agreement is near. However, he cautioned that work was still to be done before the city could celebrate the end of months-old discussions in the statehouse.

      The Bucks have been the talk of cities hungry to add their own NBA franchise since now-retired commissioner David Stern put the new ownership of the team on the clock.

      The lease extension signed in 2013 for BMO Harris Bradley Center expires in September 2017 and was termed as a "bridge to a new facility."

      Senator Herb Kohl, who purchased the NBA team in 1985 for $18 million, sold the Bucks for $550 million in April 2014. The Bradley Center opened in 1988.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    Curry a go for Warriors in Game 5
    By The Sports Xchange

    HOUSTON -- Steph Curry will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday, but the Golden State Warriors might not see the MVP version of their point guard.

    • Curry took part in practice Tuesday morning after saying he didn't care to replay Tuesday's game, particularly the action he missed while undergoing evaluation for a head injury.

      Curry left Game 4 with 5:52 remaining in the second quarter after a chilling fall over the back of Rockets forward Trevor Ariza, who was attempting a layup near Houston's basket, and returned to the game with 5:58 left in the third quarter.

      "It was strictly going to be, 'Are the doctors going to let him play? Is he OK to play?' " Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He got the OK, so we put him in."

      Kerr said he intentionally stayed "10 feet" from the decision of doctors, who officially announced the injury as a head contusion. Curry landed on his back and head with his weight coming down on his left wrist and forearm. He returned to the court only after running supervised sprints in the tunnel at Toyota Center.

      At that point, Warriors forward Harrison Barnes said teammates "could breathe" again

      "You're in the air for a long time and not knowing how you're going to hit the floor," Curry said. "You know that it's going to happen -- it's inevitable -- but you're up there and just trying to brace yourself."

      Curry airballed his first attempt and was off on his second when he returned to the game but looked to find his groove before the end of the Rockets' first win in the series. With the Warriors' mood changed, and in light of MVP runner-up James Harden's 45 points, the Rockets are in the same position they were before taking down the Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semifinals (3-1 in the best-of-seven).

      The Warriors trust backup point guard Shaun Livingston but with matchups so essential to the series, Golden State could be concerned that concussion symptoms might surface for Curry this week.

      "He was going through a series of tests (at halftime Monday)," Kerr said. "We wanted to make sure he was OK. But our doctors cleared him, and he's doing fine."

      NOTES: The NBA will review the flagrant-1 foul called on Rockets C Dwight Howard, who retaliated to a shove from Warriors C Andrew Bogut with a wild back-handed swing that caught Bogut in the face. If the NBA determines a flagrant-2 should have been called, Howard would be suspended for Game 5 on Wednesday. "My reaction was just to get away from him, and I was glad I didn't hit him. You don't want to see anybody get hurt," Howard said.

  • Monday, May 25, 2015
    Warriors' Curry returns from head injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    HOUSTON -- Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry left Monday's Game 4 of the Western Conference finals when he sustained a head contusion in the second quarter, but he returned to action in the third quarter.

    • Curry, the NBA's Most Valuable Player this season, was hurt when he flipped over the back of Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza with 5:52 remaining in the first half.

      Curry was attempting to challenge Ariza, who had a clear path to the basket in transition, when Ariza stopped his dribble as Curry jumped. Curry landed on his upper back, slamming his head to the court behind the baseline. He stayed down for several minutes as Warriors medical personnel attended to him before he slowly sat up and ultimately rose to his feet. Curry was then escorted to the visiting locker room.

      Ariza was fouled on the play and sank both free throws to give the Rockets a 57-36 lead. Warriors guard Klay Thompson then led a 21-9 run by scoring 12 points on four 3-pointers. Houston led 69-59 at halftime after leading by as many as 25 points.

  • Monday, May 25, 2015
    NBA notebook: James defends Cavs' teammate Dellavedova
    By The Sports Xchange

    LeBron James went on the offensive to defend teammate Matthew Dellavedova being called a dirty player after the exhausted and injured star player carried the Cleveland Cavaliers within one victory of the NBA Finals.

    • More than an hour after the game, James shared the podium with Dellavedova to face reporters, and strongly disputed suggestions that the Cavaliers point guard is a dirty player.

      "I'm a little bit off about it because this is my guy, this is my teammate and this is a guy that goes out and works his tail off every single night and people are trying to give him a bad rap," James said. "He doesn't deserve it and I don't like it."

      Typically mild-mannered Hawks center Al Horford was assessed a flagrant-2 foul and ejected in the final minute of the first half with the Cavaliers leading 48-47, after getting tangled up with Dellavedova.

      Dellavedova and Horford were fighting for rebounding position when Dellavedova stumbled over Atlanta forward DeMarre Carroll and fell into Horford's right leg.

      "He went after my legs," Horford said of Dellavedova after the game. "If it was on purpose, we don't know. Maybe it wasn't on purpose. But with just his track record, I just felt like it was and, again, on my part, very poor for doing that."

      Following a referee review, Horford was ejected and Dellavedova received a technical foul.

      --Horford will not receive any additional penalties as a result of being ejected from Sunday's Game 3 against the Cleveland Cavaliers for committing a flagrant 2 foul, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

      The Hawks feared Horford might be suspended for a game after he was ejected for giving Dellavedova an elbow to the shoulder area after the two got tangled up while pursuing a loose ball.

      --Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving participated in practice on Monday, but it remains unclear whether he will play in Wednesday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks.

      Irving sat out Games 2 and 3 because of a knee injury, and Cavaliers coach David Blatt said it will be a game-time decision on whether he plays in Game 4.

  • Monday, May 25, 2015
    Cavs' Irving will be game-time decision
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving participated in practice on Monday, but it remains unclear whether he will play in Wednesday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks.

    • Irving sat out Games 2 and 3 because of a knee injury, and Cavaliers coach David Blatt said it will be a game-time decision on whether he plays in Game 4.

      Blatt said the team's medical staff would like to see Irving have several consecutive productive days of practice before having him play in a game.

      Cleveland won both games that Irving missed, with Matthew Dellavedova starting in his place. The Cavaliers lead the best-of-seven series 3-0.

      Irving averaged 21.7 points and 5.2 assists during the regular season and is averaging 18.9 points and 3.5 assists in the playoffs.

  • Monday, May 25, 2015
    Report: Hawks F Horford won't be suspended
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford will not receive any additional penalties as a result of being ejected from Sunday's Game 3 against the Cleveland Cavaliers for committing a flagrant 2 foul, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.

    • The Hawks feared Horford might be suspended for a game after he was ejected for giving Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova an elbow to the shoulder area after the two got tangled up while pursuing a loose ball.

      Dellavedova received a technical foul, and Horford received the flagrant 2 foul, which means automatic ejection. Horford's actions seemed to be retaliation after Dellavedova crashed into Horford's legs during the scramble.

      Horford will be available for Game 4 on Tuesday. The Cavaliers lead the best-of-seven series 3-0.

  • Monday, May 25, 2015
    LeBron says Dellavedova undeserving of 'bad rap'
    By The Sports Xchange

    LeBron James went on the offensive to defend teammate Matthew Dellavedova being called a dirty player after the exhausted and injured star player carried the Cleveland Cavaliers within one victory of the NBA Finals.

    • James shook off the worst playoff start in his career -- missing his first 10 shots -- to score 37 points, grab 18 rebounds and pass for 13 assists in the Cavaliers' 114-111 overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night, giving Cleveland a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

      James, who registered his 12th career playoff triple-double, scored Cleveland's final five points in overtime, including a go-ahead 3-pointer, and altered guard Jeff Teague's potential go-ahead shot with 31 seconds left in overtime.

      More than an hour after the game, James shared the podium with Dellavedova to face reporters, and strongly refuted suggestions that the Cavaliers point guard is a dirty player.

      "I'm a little bit off about it because this is my guy, this is my teammate and this is a guy that goes out and works his tail off every single night and people are trying to give him a bad rap," James said. "He doesn't deserve it and I don't like it."

      Typically mild-mannered Hawks center Al Horford was assessed a flagrant-2 foul and ejected in the final minute of the first half with the Cavaliers leading 48-47, after getting tangled up with Dellavedova.

      Dellavedova and Horford were fighting for rebounding position when Dellavedova stumbled over Atlanta forward DeMarre Carroll and fell into Horford's right leg.

      "He went after my legs," Horford said of Dellavedova after the game. "If it was on purpose, we don't know. Maybe it wasn't on purpose. But with just his track record, I just felt like it was and, again, on my part, very poor for doing that."

      Following a referee review, Horford was ejected and Dellavedova received a technical foul.

      Referee Ken Mauer, the crew chief for the game, told a pool reporter that Horford received a flagrant-2 foul because "he made contact above the shoulders, to the shoulder and head area, of Dellavedova."

      As for Dellavedova's technical, Mauer said: "We felt that he made contact with his head and shoulders into the knee area of Horford. So we ruled that a live-ball physical taunt technical foul."

      In Game 2, Dellavedova collided with Hawks guard Kyle Korver while pursuing a loose ball in the third quarter of Cleveland's 94-82 win. Korver will miss the rest of the postseason because of a high right ankle sprain suffered on the play.

      "I saw the ball (on the play with Korver). I dived on the floor," Dellavedova told reporters after Game 3. "If I stay on my belly, it's going to be a jump ball. So I protect the ball and kick it out to a teammate."

      James, who played with cramps and other pain during the game, believed Dellavedova was in the right on both plays.

      "Well, you just play the game the right way," James said. "At this point, you try to do whatever it takes to win. You don't want to hurt nobody. No one, I think, in our league goes around trying to hurt people. But you don't take the aggressive nature out of the game.

      "I think in the case of (Dellavedova), ever since you were a kid, the ball on the floor, the first man to the floor usually gets the ball. There's no difference to what Delly did to Kyle Korver last game and 18 guys diving on the floor late in the game tonight. It was like six or seven guys diving on the floor for that loose ball. Delly was on the floor, J.J. (James Jones) was on the floor, Mike Scott was on the floor, Shump (Iman Shumpert) was on the floor, J.R. (Smith) was on the floor. Just no one got hurt.

      "And there's no difference between me boxing out, or Al Horford boxing me out and Delly boxing someone out. That is a fundamental box out. That's all it is. And we all know that. We don't never want to play with the integrity of the game and try to get people hurt. That's not what it's about. Because we all want brotherhood at the end of the day, an NBA family. But you play to win the game and you play aggressively. That's what it's about."

      The Cavaliers will go for the sweep at home Tuesday night.

  • Sunday, May 24, 2015
    Hawks G Bazemore replaces Korver in lineup
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore is confident starting Sunday night in place of the injured Kyle Korver in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The Hawks trail the Cavaliers 2-0 in the best-of-seven series with the next two games at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

      Following the 94-82 Game 2 loss Friday night, Bazemore told reporters he believes the Hawks are the better team and he still feels that way.

      "I've been believing all season," Bazemore said after the team's Sunday morning shootaround. "I'm a very optimistic person at the end of the day, and I believe in my teammates. I'm a realist at the end of the day as well, but I still think we haven't played our best basketball. So we're going to try to come out tonight and do just that."

      Korver will miss the rest of the postseason because of a right ankle injury sustained in the third quarter of Friday's game.

  • Saturday, May 23, 2015
    NBA notebook: Cavs' Irving questionable for Game 3
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving tested his ailing left knee with a brace during practice and was listed as questionable for Sunday's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks.

    • Irving sat out the Cavs' 94-82 victory over the Hawks in Game 2 on Friday night after tendinitis flared up in the knee. Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and could close out Atlanta at home.

      During a workout on Saturday in Cleveland, Irving made cuts and drove to the basket while testing the knee. Trainers worked with him to adjust a brace.

      Cavaliers coach David Blatt said the decision to play Irving on Sunday will be based on his medical condition. Irving went to Florida on Friday to consult renowned surgery Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the tendinitis diagnosis but offered other ideas on how to treat the injury.

      "If he's able to play, then he'll play," Blatt said. "He's a big part of the team, and this series is not finished. But if he's not able to play, he won't. That's the determining factor."

      ---Hawks guard Kyle Korver will miss the rest of the postseason because of a right ankle injury sustained in Friday night's game.

      X-rays performed at Philips Arena in Atlanta after the game were negative, but a follow-up MRI exam on Saturday morning at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high right ankle sprain.

      Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment.

      ---Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was listed as probable on the injury report for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

      Howard, who suffered a Grade 1 sprain of his left knee in the first quarter in the series opener, said Saturday that the throbbing pain has subsided.

      "I feel a lot better, really happy about that," Howard said after Saturday morning's shootaround. "I didn't want it to continue to linger throughout the whole playoffs. So it's good some of the pain has gone away."

      Howard was questionable for Game 2 on Thursday night. He played 40 minutes, scoring 19 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in the 99-98 loss as the Warriors took a 2-0 best-of-series lead.

      ---Toronto Raptors forward-guard Terrence Ross underwent surgery to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his left ankle.

      The procedure was performed Friday by Dr. Richard Ferkel at the Southern California Orthopaedic Institute in Van Nuys, Calif.

      The team said Ross will conduct his rehabilitation in Toronto. No timetable has been set for a return to basketball activities.

      ---Scott Skiles is the frontrunner to become the next head coach of the Orlando Magic, Yahoo Sports reported.

      Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has discussed the opening with several candidates, but Skiles has separated himself in the process, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

      According to the report, the 51-year-old Skiles has been the preferred choice of Orlando ownership, which has been fond of him since his playing days with the Magic from 1989 to 1994.

      The Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn in February and finished the season 25-57 under interim coach James Borrego.

      ---Jeff Van Gundy, who hasn't coached since 2007, reportedly is a candidate for the New Orleans Pelicans' head coaching job.

      Sources told ESPN.com that the ESPN analyst has expressed interest in the opening and is under consideration for the job to replace Monty Williams, who was fired on May 12.

      Van Gundy is the third candidate after Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and Golden State Warriors associate head coach Alvin Gentry, according to the report.

      Warriors head coach Steve Kerr confirmed before Golden State's Western Conference finals game Thursday night that the Pelicans met with Gentry earlier in the week.

      Sources told ESPN that the uncertainty surrounding Thibodeau's contractual situation with the Bulls has prevented the Pelicans and Orlando Magic from formally requesting to interview him.

      ESPN reported that former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks has so far declined to interview for the Pelicans' job. Yahoo Sports reported that Brooks is considering sitting out a year to focus on family and perhaps sample TV work, despite interest from all three teams with openings: New Orleans, Orlando and Denver.

  • Saturday, May 23, 2015
    Irving's return for Game 3 a question mark for Cavs
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving tested his ailing left knee with a brace during practice and was listed as questionable for Sunday's Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks.

    • Irving sat out the Cavs' 94-82 victory over the Hawks in Game 2 on Friday night after tendinitis flared up in the knee. Cleveland took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and could close out Atlanta at home.

      During a workout on Saturday in Cleveland, Irving made cuts and drove to the basket while testing the knee. Trainers worked with him to adjust a brace.

      Cavaliers coach David Blatt said the decision to play Irving on Sunday will be based on his medical condition. Irving went to Florida on Friday to consult renowned surgery Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the tendinitis diagnosis but offered other ideas on how to treat the injury.

      "If he's able to play, then he'll play," Blatt said. "He's a big part of the team, and this series is not finished. But if he's not able to play, he won't. That's the determining factor."

      Guard Matthew Dellavedova replaced Irving in Game 2 and finished with 11 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

      Irving is averaging 18.9 points and 3.5 assists per game in the playoffs.

  • Saturday, May 23, 2015
    Hawks' Korver (ankle) will miss rest of playoffs
    By The Sports Xchange

    Guard Kyle Korver of the Atlanta Hawks will miss the rest of the postseason because of a right ankle injury sustained in Friday night's Eastern Conference finals playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • X-rays performed at Philips Arena in Atlanta after the game were negative, but a follow-up MRI exam on Saturday morning at the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed a severe high right ankle sprain.

      Korver will see a foot and ankle specialist to determine the best course of treatment.

      He left the game with 1:01 left in the third quarter and did not return.

  • Saturday, May 23, 2015
    Report: Skiles is frontrunner to become Magic's next head coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    Scott Skiles is the frontrunner to become the next head coach of the Orlando Magic, Yahoo Sports reported Saturday.

    • Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has discussed the opening with several candidates, but Skiles has separated himself in the process, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

      According to the report, the 51-year-old Skiles has been the preferred choice of Orlando ownership, which has been fond of him since his playing days with the Magic from 1989 to 1994.

      The Magic fired head coach Jacque Vaughn in February and finished the season 25-57 under interim coach James Borrego.

      Skiles, who still lives in the Orlando area, holds a 443-433 record (18-24 in the playoffs) in 13 seasons coaching the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks.

      Skiles is known for his ability to help turn teams around. He took the Bulls from 19 wins in 2004 to 47 in 2005, his first of two seasons there.

      After he took over the Bucks, the team went from 34 wins to 46 from 2009 to 2010.