NBA TV TOP TEN PLAYS - DECEMBER 27TH
MONDAY'S GAME RECAPS
Howard’s double-double leads Magic over Nets - Dwight Howard had 17 of his 19 points and 10 of his 13 rebounds after the break, and the Magic won their third straight with a 88-104 victory Monday night. Orlando hit a dozen 3-pointers and shot 49 percent from the field despite having the team show up less than 90 minutes before the game because one of its buses got stuck in a snow drift a couple of blocks from the team hotel in Hoboken... Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points as the Magic had six players in double figures in beating the Nets for the third time in three meetings this season. Devin Harris had 24 points to lead New Jersey, which lost its second straight and for the eighth time in 11 games. Brook Lopez added 20.
Bobcats hold off Pistons 105-100 in Silas’ debut - D.J. Augustin scored 27 points, Stephen Jackson added 23 and the new-look, uptempo Bobcats held on to beat the Detroit Pistons 105-100 on Monday night in their first game since Larry Brown was fired... Charlie Villanueva scored 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Pistons, who lost their second straight. It was a disjointed effort that included getting outrebounded 46-32 and never fully recovering from Charlotte’s 24-2 run to start the second quarter. Ben Wallace had just two rebounds in 16 minutes. Tracy McGrady had two points in 11 minutes, then declined to speak to reporters.
Grizzlies beat Raptors after slow start - After a stagnant quarter and a half, Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies finally woke up—just as he said they would. Randolph scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half as Memphis overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 96-85 on Monday night. Rudy Gay added 18 for Memphis, which won its second straight. Tony Allen had 14 points and a season-high six steals, part of 15 Memphis steals on the night. Allen also had eight rebounds, also a season high... Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo had 12 points apiece. Linas Kleiza led the Raptors with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting. DeMar DeRozan finished with 18 points. Jose Calderon had 13 and Leandro Barbosa scored 11.
Beasley leads Wolves to win over stumbling Hornets - Michael Beasley had 30 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists to lead the Timberwolves to a 113-98 over the Hornets on Monday night. Wes Johnson added a career-high 24 points and made six 3-pointers for the Timberwolves, who have won back-to-back games for just the second time this season. “That’s the type of team game overall, offensively and defensively, that we’re really pushing our guys to get to,” coach Kurt Rambis said. Chris Paul had 22 points and 13 assists for the Hornets, who lost their seventh straight road game and are 7-12 since their terrific start. David West added 23 points, but New Orleans allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 53 percent from the field and 11 for 23 from 3-point range while losing to a team that entered with just seven victories on the season.
Horford’s big night ends Hawks’ road woes - Al Horford and the Hawks opened a huge early lead by knocking down shot after shot. The Bucks tried to rally, but Atlanta responded each time. Back in Milwaukee, the Hawks were impressive again. Horford had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Joe Johnson added 15 points and Atlanta beat Milwaukee 80-95 on Monday night to snap a five-game road losing streak... John Salmons scored 18 for the Bucks, who strled in their first home game after a successful Western Conference trip. Milwaukee (12-17) put together an 8-1 run in the second half to close to 61-53, but Josh Smith, who finished with 13 points, responded with a jumper that restored Atlanta’s double-digit lead.
Mavs lose Nowitzki to injury, but beat Thunder - Caron Butler scored 21 points and the Mavericks shook off the loss of Nowitzki in the second quarter to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-103 on Monday night for their 17th victory in 18 games. Nowitzki scored 13 points before leaving with 9:10 left in the second with what the Mavericks said was a sore right knee. Shawn Marion scored 20 points off the bench to help replace him... Casey said he didn’t believe Nowitzki’s injury was serious. Kevin Durant scored 28 points, one game after a season-high 44 points on Christmas against Denver. James Harden had 18 for the Thunder, who dropped their second in a row to the Mavericks this season.
Martin scores 20 in Rockets’ win over Wizards - Kevin Martin scored 20 points, Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks each added 15 and the Rockets got back to .500 with a 100-93 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday. Luis Scola had 14 points and Jordan Hill added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets (15-15), who’ve won five in a row and eight straight home games heading into Wednesday’s showdown against Miami. Houston started the season 3-10 and lost Yao Ming and Brooks to serious ankle injuries along the way. Coach Rick Adelman had started talking about getting the record back to even, and building from there... Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points and Andray Blatche had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who dropped to 0-15 on the road this season. Washington has lost 10 of 11 overall.
Trail Blazers handle Jazz 91-96 - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, former Utah guard Wesley Matthews had 14, and the Portland Trail Blazers halted a four-game road losing streak with a 91-96 victory over the Jazz on Monday night. Deron Williams had 31 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that pulled the Jazz within 94-91 with 7.7 seconds left. But Andre Miller made a pair of free throws to seal the win for Portland.
Gordon hits 6 3s, Clippers win again, top Kings - Eric Gordon tied a career high with six 3-pointers and scored 31 points as the Clippers escaped with a 99-100 victory Monday night over the strling Sacramento Kings, who missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer. It wasn’t a thing of beauty for the Clippers, who committed 22 turnovers and squandered a nine-point lead late in the game. But they came away with another win, their second straight and fifth in six games. So no one was too upset afterward by the mistakes, the type that cost the Clippers when they opened the season by losing 13 of 14 games... Blake Griffin had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won three straight on the road after opening the season 0-11. Baron Davis had 11 points and nine assists, and Al-Farouq Aminu also had 11 points... Omri Casspi had 16 points, Beno Udrih 14, Carl Landry 13 and Francisco Garcia 12 for the Kings.
Warriors beat 76ers for third straight win - Monta Ellis’ right ankle was hurting and his shot wasn’t falling. That’s normally trouble for Golden State. Instead of collapsing, Ellis’ teammates picked up the scoring slack for one of the few times this season while the reigning Western Conference player of the week perfected his passing. Ellis had 22 points and a season-high 12 assists, David Lee added 21 points and 16 rebounds and Golden State won its third straight, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 110-95 on Monday night... The Warriors made a season-high 15 3-pointers against the 76ers, getting five from Wright and four from Curry. Curry finished with 17 points, including seven straight during a decisive run in the fourth quarter when Golden State (12-18) pulled away... Jrue Holiday had 23 points and 11 assists for Philadelphia (12-19) while Elton Brand had his eighth double-double in 13 games with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Toronto Raptors: Andrea Bargnani isn’t expected to play Monday or Tuesday for the Toronto Raptors and the team said he could end up missing the whole week with a strained calf he picked up last week. The Raptors are in Dallas Tuesday and in Houston on Friday. Bargnani averages nearly 20 points a night.
RUMOR: Houston Rockets shopping Yao Ming
NBA TV TOP 10 PLAYS OF THE DAY: DECEMBER 27TH
SUNDAY'S GAME NOTES
Griffin, Gordon lead Clippers over Suns - Squirming on the Clippers’ bench for the final 2:52 while the Phoenix Suns sliced a 10-point deficit to one was a gut-wrenching experience for rookie Blake Griffin, who wasn’t able to exhale until Eric Gordon made a game-saving steal in the final minute. Griffin had 28 points and 12 rebounds for his 18th straight double-double before fouling out for the second time this season, and the Clippers nearly blew an 18-point advantage before beating Phoenix 108-103 on Sunday to end a streak of nine straight losses to the Suns... Gordon scored 24 points and Baron Davis added 15 points and nine assists to complement Griffin’s 24th double-double of the season. Newly acquired Mickael Pietrus scored a season-high 25 points for Phoenix. Steve Nash finished with 21 points and 15 assists on “Boxing Day,” which is a national holiday in his native Canada. Grant Hill had 19 points and seven rebounds while guarding Griffin, and even got under his skin on more than one occasion.
Beasley’s basket gives Timberwolves 97-98 win - Michael Beasley was happy with his winning shot. He was happier with his game-saving defensive play. Beasley scored on a driving layup with 5.9 seconds left to give Minnesota a 97-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, snapping the Timberwolves’ losing streak at seven... “It was extra sweet to do it on the defensive end,” said Beasley, who had 28 points. “I forced him into a bad shot and we got the win.” Jamison, who led Cleveland with 24 points, thought he was fouled and said Beasley told him after the play that he had indeed fouled him... Luke Ridnour scored 23 points to help Minnesota improve to 7-24. Love added 16, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and had 18 rebounds for his NBA-leading 26th double-double. Anthony Parker had 21 and Mo Williams added 17 for the Cavaliers. Trailing 62-57 midway through the third quarter, the Cavaliers pulled ahead on a 31-12 run to take an 88-74 lead with 8:07 to play. Jawad Williams hit three 3-pointers and J.J. Hickson scored five points during the run.
Boozer leads Bulls past Pistons in overtime -The Chicago Bulls almost gave away a game Sunday night. In the end, though, the two best players on the floor made the difference. Carlos Boozer had 31 points and 11 rebounds, Derrick Rose added 23 points and 12 rebounds and the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 92-95 in overtime... Tayshaun Prince led a balanced Detroit attack with 17 points. Tracy McGrady and Hamilton both finished with 15 as Kuester chose to go with them over starters Villanueva and Ben Gordon for most of the fourth quarter and overtime.
Gay scores 30 points in Grizzlies’ win over Pacers - The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Indiana Pacers inside and outside. Rudy Gay scored 30 points, Zach Randolph had 18 points and 16 rebounds and the Grizzlies snapped a three-game losing streak with a 90-104 victory over the Pacers Sunday night... O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol added 17 points each for Memphis. The Grizzlies improved to 5-11 on the road and 13-17 overall... Danny Granger led the Pacers with 29 points and five rebounds. Roy Hibbert had 14 points and Mike Dunleavy added 10 for Indiana (13-15), which missed an opportunity to climb back to .500 and was denied its fourth set of back-to-back victories. The Pacers were coming off a 94-93 home victory over New Orleans on Monday night.
Paul leads Hornets past Hawks - Chris Paul had just four points as the New Orleans Hornets fell behind the Atlanta Hawks by nine points at halftime... Paul proceeded to score 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter and New Orleans outscored Atlanta 28-16 on its way to a 93-86 victory Sunday night. Paul was 10 of 17 from the field and also had eight assists. “That was just Chris Paul being Chris Paul,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. Hornets forward David West scored 18 points, Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 15 rebounds, Trevor Ariza added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Jack had 10 points. Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 23 points, Marvin Williams had 18, Josh Smith added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Parker, Spurs beat short-handed Wizards - Tony Parker and the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs pushed aside the short-handed Washington Wizards before turning their attention to the Los Angeles Lakers. Parker had 20 points, 14 assists and six rebounds to help the Spurs beat the Wizards 94-80 on Sunday night... Manu Ginobili had 21 points and George Hill added 11 to help the Spurs improve to 24-6 and rebound from a 123-101 loss to Orlando on Thursday night that snapped their winning streak at 11. The league leaders in 3-point percentage, San Antonio shot 10 of 24 from long range... Rashard Lewis, acquired last week from Orlando, had 21 points and 12 rebounds for Washington, playing without suspended forwards Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. They were suspended for one game for conduct detrimental to the team.
Holiday, Young rally 76ers past Nets, 89-95 - The Denver Nets are making a strong argument to keep Carmelo Anthony. Jrue Holiday had 22 points, Thaddeus Young added 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Anthony-less Denver Nets 89-95 on Sunday night. Elton Brand had 16 points and 17 rebounds and Jodie Meeks scored 17 points for the 76ers... The Nets led by 12 after the first quarter but the 76ers shot 50 percent in the second quarter to close the gap. They pulled within one twice and trailed 46-43 at halftime. Billups had 24 points and Afflalo and Ty Lawson added 14 each for the Nets. Chris Andersen and J.R. Smith also each had 11 rebounds for Denver.
Portland Trail Blazers: Brandon Roy’s knee issue is becoming a major problem. Roy won’t join the team on its upcoming road trip marking six consecutive games that he has sat out.
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will not be on the bench when his club visits Oklahoma City following minor knee surgery. Dwane Casey will take care of practice and act as head coach for the game. The Mavs have won four straight after dropping a game to the Bucks earlier this month.
Memphis Grizzlies: changes may be on the way for the Memphis Grizzlies. The club’s coach Lionel Hollins isn’t happy with his team’s versatility and speculation is that the Grizzlies are looking to make some moves and then dip into the free agent market heavily in the offseason. The Grizzlies have lost three straight heading into Monday’s game against Indiana.
TOP TEN NBA DUNKS OF THE WEEK
SATURDAY'S GAME RECAPS
LeBron has triple-double, Heat rout Lakers - LeBron James and Kobe Bryant ran their mouths while they jogged downcourt, not quite making eye contact during an unpleasant conversation in the closing minutes. “Just asked him what he got for Christmas,” James said. Although the two superstars wouldn’t reveal what angry words they exchanged, it wasn’t tough to pick out a few statements Saturday. While Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers got a disturbing first look at the Miami Heat, LeBron got the last word at Staples Center yet again. James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists while hitting a season-high five 3-pointers, and the Heat thrived on the holiday stage in a 80-96 victory... Chris Bosh had 24 points and 13 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 18 points on a sore knee and the Heat won for the 14th time in 15 games while flustering the two-time defending champions into a terrible offensive performance, starting with Los Angeles’ 14-point first quarter.
Christmas surprise: Knicks win one with defense, beat Bulls - Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton each scored 20 points, and the Knicks limited the Chicago Bulls to two baskets in the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, pulling away for a 103-95 victory Saturday. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari added 15 apiece for the Knicks, the NBA’s highest-scoring team but 28th in defense. Yet it’s been hard to tell lately they strle on that end, as they held Oklahoma City to 98 points on Wednesday and followed by blocking 10 shots and coming up with 12 steals in this one. Stoudemire anchored the defensive effort, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking six shots. Rookie Landry Fields finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who improved to 21-25 on Christmas. Felton had 12 assists and Chandler also grabbed 10 boards... Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 19 rebounds for the Bulls, who lost for just the second time in 11 games... Derrick Rose had 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Bulls, but also committed seven turnovers.
Magic top Boston to snap Celtics’ streak - Brandon Bass scored 21 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 15 and the Orlando Magic ended the Boston Celtics’ winning streak at 14 games with an 86-78 victory Saturday for back-to-back wins against the NBA’s best. A Magic team that had dropped eight of nine games and orchestrated two blockbuster trades suddenly looks awfully scary in the Eastern Conference after a pair of victories over Boston and San Antonio... Jameer Nelson (12 points) and J.J. Redick (10 points) each made a jumper in the final minutes to help Orlando rally from 12 points down in the second half to cap another big come back. The Magic also ended San Antonio’s winning streak at 10 games Thursday night. Kevin Garnett had 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 18, but injuries finally caught up with the Celtics against the team they beat last season in the East finals. Boston hadn’t lost since Nov. 21 at Toronto.
Durant scores 44 points, Thunder beat Nets - Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring leader, had a season-high 44 points, including 21 in the third quarter, and the Thunder beat the Denver Nets 114-106 on Saturday night in the first Christmas Day game in the Thunder’s three-season tenure in Oklahoma City. Durant raised his average to 28.1 points and topped his previous season high of 34, blow past the latter by the five-minute mark of the third quarter en route to his first 40-point game of the season—after having eight of them last season. He finished 14 of 20 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range... Denver played for the second straight game without star Carmelo Anthony following his sister’s death Wednesday. Chauncey Billups led the Nets—who shot 52.9 percent from the field—with 30 points, and Nene had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Billups, who missed three games earlier this month because of a partially torn ligament in his right wrist, left the locker room Saturday night with ice on the wrist.
Ellis leads Warriors past Blazers 109-102 - Monta Ellis scored 39 points and the Golden State Warriors scored 11 straight points to erase a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-102 on Saturday night in their first Christmas home game. David Lee added 21 points, and Dorell Wright scored five of his 16 during the decisive spurt to help the Warriors win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.
Key stat: 0 – Times in NBA history that teams that have played on Christmas Day have met in a rematch in the NBA Finals in June. A Dec. 25 game has been an NBA tradition dating back to the 1940s, and oddly enough this trend holds true all the way over the course of seven decades. So those dreaming of a Lakers-Heat championship round? Keep dreaming.
Quote of the night: "It was just a basketball play, where things are going to get physical. He's a big man, that's what he's supposed to do. It's just basketball. I'd get tired if I kept on driving to the hole too, if that was someone else." – Bulls guard Derrick Rose on getting knocked to the ground several times by Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire.
CHICAGO BULLS' DERRICK ROSE TOP TEN PLAYS OF 2010
NBA: Mic'ed Up Around The League, December 23rd
EUROLEAGUE, 10TH ROUND MVP: Keith Langford
EUROLEAGUE, 10TH ROUND: Top 10 Plays
NBA TV TOP FIVE: December 23rd
THURSDAY'S GAME RECAPS
Gilbert Arenas helps Magic beat Spurs 123-101 - Gilbert Arenas had 14 points and nine assists off the bench, and Orlando cruised past San Antonio 123-101 to snap the Spurs’ 10-game winning streak and give some promise to a remolded Magic team that had been desperately searching for a spark... Arenas added six rebounds while backing up a sick Jameer Nelson, fellow newcomer Jason Richardson had 15 points and the Magic snapped a skid of eight losses in nine games to win for the first time since they orchestrated two blockbuster trades. Dwight Howard also had 29 points and 14 rebounds in another dominant performance for Orlando, which shot 59 percent from the floor and had a season-high 30 fast-break points... Tony Parker scored 16 points, Tim Duncan had 12 and the NBA-best Spurs (25-4) dropped their first game in almost a month. San Antonio looked very much like a tired team after beating Denver a night earlier and nothing like the one that has dominated the first third of the season.
Boykins scores 19, Bucks rally past Kings 79-84 - Earl Boykins was the smallest player on the court but he played the biggest role in helping the Milwaukee Bucks rally to beat Sacramento. The 5-foot-5 Boykins scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee took control late for an 79-84 victory over the skidding Kings on Thursday night. The win was the second straight for the Bucks without starting point guard Brandon Jennings, who underwent foot surgery Monday and will miss four to six weeks... Sacramento committed 25 turnovers and shot 36 percent in dropping to an NBA-worst 3-13 at home. Andrew Bogut and Larry Sanders each blocked four shots and the Bucks had nine total... Bogut had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Keyon Dooling added 14 points and John Salmons had 12 for the Bucks. Beno Udrih had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Kings. Samuel Dalembert fouled out late in the fourth quarter with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
James, Bosh lead Heat to 83-95 win over Suns - LeBron James and Chris Bosh carried Miami with fellow star Dwyane Wade in street clothes, and the Heat ran over the Phoenix Suns 83-95 on Thursday night to set up a Christmas Day showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers... James finished with 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had four assists to go with three steals... Phoenix debuted most of its refurbished lineup, missing only Vince Carter due to a sore left knee. Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus had little impact— six combined points—and the Suns had no answer for two-thirds of Miami’s star trio in losing for the sixth time in eight games. Jared Dudley scored 33 points and Steve Nash had 18 assists but took just four shots and scored four points against multiple double teams for the Suns, who will be on the road Christmas night to get ready for a game Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers have played 36 times on Christmas Day, second most in the NBA behind the New York Knicks (45). Phil Jackson has coached 17 times on Christmas (10 with his current team). Los Angeles lost to Miami three straight years on Dec.25 from 2004 to 2006. Both teams are a lot different now, but those memories can't be good ones for the Lakers. "It’s a big game in terms of excitement and anticipation and the marquee matchup in terms of the star power," noted guard Derek Fisher. "That's what makes it a big game. I don't know if it's about using it as a measuring stick. It may be different in their locker room, but in my opinion, for us, no."
Injury list update: Rajon Rondo attended Celtics' practice on Tuesday, still in a boot, and dribbled on the side. "I know he's walking and running pretty well and moving a lot better," said head coach Doc Rivers. "So I know he's getting pretty close." Rondo almost certainly won't play against Orlando on Christmas, but this still sounds encouraging. Jermaine O'Neal (left knee) has been out since Nov. 7, but he is expected to return on Christmas. He is listed as questionable.
Rumor of the day: L.A. Clippers veteran PG Baron Davis to Charlotte Bobcats for D.J. Augustin?
NBA TOP TEN PLAYS OF THE DAY: DECEMBER 22ND
WEDNESDAY'S GAME RECAPS
Boozer scores 30 points in Bulls’ victory - The Chicago Bulls are 9-3 since Carlos Boozer returned after missing the first 15 games with a broken hand. He showed why Wednesday night—at the Washington Wizards’ expense. Boozer had 30 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, played the final 7 minutes with five fouls and scored the clinching points in the Bulls’ 87-80 victory over the Wizards... Boozer and Derrick Rose, who finished with 25 points, had sparked the Bulls on a run to take the lead in the third quarter. The duo combined to score 23 of the Bulls’ 27 points in the quarter and Chicago moved into the lead midway through the period with a 13-0 run, holding Washington scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes.
Hamilton scores 35 points, Pistons rout Raptors - This time, the Detroit Pistons weren’t going to let a big lead slip away. Richard Hamilton scored a season-high 35 points, Rodney Stuckey had 21 and the Pistons beat Toronto 115-93 on Wednesday night, snapping a five-game losing streak against the Raptors. Charlie Villanueva had 18 points and former Raptors star Tracy McGrady scored a season-high 17 to help the Pistons win for the third time in four games since blowing a 25-point lead to Toronto... The Pistons fell one point shy of matching a season high and ended an eight-game road skid, winning away from home for the first time since Nov. 14 at Sacramento... Leandro Barbosa scored 21 points, Linas Kleiza had 19 and Andrea Bargnani 16 for Toronto. DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis each scored 10 points and Jose Calderon had 13 assists for Toronto, the third straight time he’s reached double digits. The Raptors had a season-high 24 turnovers, eclipsing the 21 they had in a Nov. 5 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Healthy Johnson, Hawks beat Cavaliers 98-84 - Joe Johnson’s first game with 20 points in almost a month helped the Atlanta Hawks recover from a slish start against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Johnson scored 23 points in his best game since his return from surgery on his right elbow to lead the Hawks past Antawn Jamison and the Cavaliers, 98-84 on Wednesday night. Johnson missed nine games after the surgery and then strled to regain his form in his first three games back in action. He returned to the form of the All-Star who has averaged more than 20 points in each of his first five seasons in Atlanta... Al Horford had 18 points, Marvin Williams added 17 and Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks. Mo Williams had 18 points and Daniel Gibson added 12 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers have lost 12 straight on the road and 12 of 13 overall.
Celtics beat 76ers 84-80 for 14th straight win - Point guard Rajon Rondo, after getting off to the best start of his career, has missed six of the 14 wins. Backup Delonte West missed the last 12. Shaquille O’Neal sat out four. Jermaine O’Neal hasn’t played since the winning streak began. And Kendrick Perkins, the starting center on last season’s Eastern Conference champions, hasn’t gotten on the floor all season. “Usually, when you’re on a winning streak, everybody’s healthy, everybody’s playing well and you’re rolling,” Rivers said Wednesday night after the Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 84-80 for their 14th win in a row. “You could make the case it’s the opposite with us.” Ray Allen scored 22 points, and Paul Pierce recovered after missing his first seven shots to score 11 with four key baskets in the second half. Shaquille O’Neal had 13 points and nine rebounds, but he missed two free throws with 1:02 left and Boston nursing a two-point lead.
Knicks run past Thunder to snap 3-game skid - Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points, Wilson Chandler added 21, and the Knicks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-98 on Wednesday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Rookie Landry Fields had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who took advantage of an Oklahoma City team that appeared to leave its legs in Charlotte. New York got its transition game going late in the first half, never really slowed down in the second, and beat the Thunder for the first time in four meetings... In a game featuring the NBA’s top two scorers, Stoudemire nearly matched league leader Kevin Durant, who finished with 26. But Stoudemire had far more help, with the Knicks putting six players in double figures. Raymond Felton added 12 points and 10 assists.
Sloan moves to 3rd place on wins list, Jazz beat Timberwolves - No deficit is too big for the Utah Jazz to overcome and no lead is too great for the Minnesota Timberwolves to squander. That much has been clear all season, especially Wednesday night. Al Jefferson had 23 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks against his former team and Jerry Sloan moved into sole possession of third place on the career victories list in the Jazz’s 112-107 victory over the Timberwolves. Jefferson scored 21 points in the second half and Deron Williams added 25 points, seven assists and seven rebounds for the Jazz, who came back from 12 points down at the start of the fourth quarter... Kevin Love had 25 points and 19 rebounds and Michael Beasley added 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves. They have lost seven straight games and 15 of their last 17 to take their usual place in the Northwest Division cellar... Paul Millsap had 23 points and 11 rebounds and converted two three-point plays in the final 2 minutes to help the Jazz rally.
Okafor leads Hornets past Nets, 105-91 - The New Orleans Hornets built a lead that was too big to blow in the final seconds this time. Emeka Okafor and Chris Paul made sure of that. Okafor had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Paul added 12 points and 14 assists, and the Hornets beat New Jersey 105-91 on Wednesday night to snap a demoralizing two-game skid in which leads at Detroit and Indiana vanished in the final seconds... David West and Marcus Thornton each scored 18 points and Marco Belinelli added 14 for the Hornets, who led by as much as 22 points, at 100-78 on Okafor’s running hook with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. New Orleans also outrebounded New Jersey 48-30, and Williams said Okafor had “a lot to do with our rebound margin.” ... Devin Harris had 21 points and eight assists for New Jersey, which led briefly in the first half but by no more than a point. Harris scored on an array of jump shots and slashing drives that wrong-footed Hornets defenders on several occasions. He just didn’t have enough help. Brook Lopez had 16 points, while Sasha Vujacic added 12 and Derrick Favors 10 for the Nets, who shot 45.7 percent (37 of 81).
NBA-best Spurs beat Anthony-less Nets - Manu Ginobili scored 22 points and buried the go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth, and the San Antonio Spurs beat Denver—playing without All-Star Carmelo Anthony following the death of his sister—109-103 on Wednesday night for their 10th victory in a row... Gary Neal also had 22 points for the Spurs, who outscored the Nets 29-14 in the fourth quarter as Denver made just two field goals in the final 5 minutes... Ty Lawson and J.R. Smith led the Nets with 22 points apiece, and Kenyon Martin played 17 minutes in his season debut after missing the first 26 games while recovering from knee surgery... Richard Jefferson scored 16 points and rookie Tiago Splitter had 12 points and nine rebounds in his most meaningful game yet with the Spurs.
Rockets beat Clips for 4th straight win - Kevin Martin didn’t have time to talk after leading the Rockets to a sloppy victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. He was already out the door and down the hallway, heading to a red-eye flight home with the team looking forward to a four-day Christmas break. Martin made his statement on the court by scoring 28 points, including four free throws in the final 16 seconds, and the Rockets held off the stubborn Clippers 97-92 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory after nearly blowing an 18-point lead in the second half... Luis Scola added 22 points and Battier had 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Rockets, who never trailed and recorded their third wire-to-wire victory—one more than they had all of last season... Rookie Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 24 points and tied a season high with 18 rebounds—his 17th straight double-double and 23rd overall.
THURSDAY'S GAME NOTES
Miami Heat - update: Mike Miller participated in the Miami Heat’s entire practice on Wednesday, but the club is going to continue to monitor his minutes for the next while. Miller says his hand feels fine, now it’s just a matter of getting him back into game shape.
INJURY LIST - UPDATE
Rajon Rondo (ankle): isn’t likely to play on Christmas, but is getting closer
Jermaine O’Neal (knee): was supposed to return last night but had a bout with the flu
Carmelo Anthony (personal): missed last night due to a death in the family, expected back after Christmas
Jason Maxiell (finger): dislocated a finger last night and is listed day-to-day
Brian Cook (ankle): out three more weeks
Chris Kaman (ankle): out of his walking boot, still out indefinitely
George Hill (toe): didn’t travel with the team to tonight’s game in Orlando
Amir Johnson (back): left last night’s game with back spasms, day-to-day
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL CONDUCTS THE BOSTON POPS: The One and Only - Shaquille O'Neal, in Black Tie and Tails, Makes His Conducting Debut Leading the Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in "Sleigh Ride", as Part of a Holiday Pops Concert, Monday, December 20, 8P.M., at Boston's Symphony Hall.
FIBA EUROCUP: LUPA PROMOTION vs SONY ATHINAIKOS
Ženski Košarkaški Klub Lupa Promotion u Subotu, 17.12. u 10 sati posjetit će podružnicu Nazorove za školsku djecu u A.G. Matoš, Selska 132 kako bi odnijeli poklone djeci i razveselili ih povodom Božića.
Košarkašice Lupe su odlučile tradiciju u kojoj si svaki Božić kupuju poklone i podijele ih na treningu nakon Božića malo promijeniti i ono što ih inače povezuje učvrstiti na način da pomognu onima kojima je to potrebnije.
Djeca u Domu nažalost još uvijek nemaju uvjete igrati košarku, čeka se odobrenje sredstava od strane Ministarstva kako bi dobili koševe a Lupa promotion će im kao poklon odnijeti košarkaške lopte za koje se nadamo da će biti poticaj Ministarstvu da i djeca u domu uskoro zaigraju košarku.
Lupa Promotion također poziva djecu Nazorove ali i sve ostale na utakmicu 12.kola IWBL lige protiv Voždovca koja će se igrati u nedjelju 18.12. u KC Dražen Petrović s početkom u 17 sati, ULAZ JE BESPLATAN.
Djeca Nazorove će uz lopte i poklone sponzora kluba također dobiti besplatne karte za svaku utakmicu Lupe, počevši s onom 8.1.2011. protiv Partizana. Košarkašice Lupa promotion ovom skromnom gestom žele razveseliti djecu, približiti ih košarci i nadaju se da će Ministarstvo reagirati i da će uskoro, kada se vrate u A.G.Matoš moći zaigrati s djecom košarku na novim koševima.
Osim darivanja djece Nazorove, svoju socijalnu osviještenost svaka igračica i stručni stožer kluba će pokazati uplatom određenog iznosa na račune obitelji Dragosavac iz Gračaca i Manueli Banko, samohranoj majki iz Požege a Vladimir Ivanković će u ime same Lupa Promotion uplatiti posebno objema obiteljima.
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Total of 18 Croatian players were selected
on NBA Draft throughout the last 30 years
1972 Kresimir Cosic C Portland 10 144
1973 Kresimir Cosic C L.A. Lakers 5 84
1986 Drazen Petrovic SG Portland 3 60
1987 Franjo Arapovic C Atlanta 7 159
1989 Dino Radja PF Boston 2 40
1990 Toni Kukoc F Chicago 2 29
1991 Zan Tabak C Houston 2 51
1998 Bruno Sundov C Dallas 2 35
1999 Gordan Giricek SG Dallas 2 40
2000 Dalibor Bagaric C Chicago 1 24
2000 Josip Sesar SG Seattle 2 47
2002 Mario Kasun C L.A. Clippers 2 41
2003 Zoran Planinic PG New Jersey 1 22
2005 Roko Ukic PG Toronto 2 41
2006 Damir Markota PF Milwaukee 2 59
2007 Stanko Barac C Indiana 2 39
2008 Ante Tomic PF Utah 2 44
2011 Bojan Bogdanovic G/F New Jersey 2 31
2012 Tomislav Zubcic F Toronto 2 56
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