Connect with us

NBA News Wire

James scores 61 points in Heat win

The Sports Xchange



MIAMI – The only person who had a legitimate shot at stopping Miami Heat forward LeBron James Monday night was his coach, Erik Spoelstra.

And when Spoelstra resisted his impulse to remove James from the game after he had scored 49 points in three quarters, the Charlotte Bobcats were at James’ mercy.

James finished with a franchise-record 61 points in 41 minutes of action as the Heat extended their winning streak to eight games, defeating the Bobcats 124-107 at American Airlines Arena.

“I just had it going,” said James, who broke the Heat scoring record of 56 points, which was set by forward Glen Rice 19 years ago. “When you get in a zone … I threw one in from 30 feet. Once you get going, it’s like shooting a golf ball into the ocean.”

James made 22-of-33 shots from the floor, including 8-of-10 on 3-pointers, and added seven rebounds and five assists.

He entered the night making 36.4 percent of his 3-pointers. His perimeter shooting Monday was just about the only thing that was even a little bit surprising, given James’ immense talents.

“If LeBron is going to shoot like that from that range,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said, “there’s nobody who is going to beat (the Heat).”

James entered the night third in the league in scoring at 26.9 per game, but that figure actually represents him being unselfish, his coach said.

“He could lead the league in scoring every year if he chose to be that aggressive and looking at the rim for his opportunities,” Spoelstra said. “We all know he is as much a facilitator as he is an attacker for himself.

“Tonight was a little uncharacteristic. Once he got it going and the rim looked like an ocean, he was looking at his options first, second and third. That was a special performance.

“And, yeah, I almost took him out at the end of the third to give him some rest. But he was in a great groove obviously.”

James, who also broke his previous career high of 56 points, set the new Heat record on a spin move to his left, banking the shot in with 5:30 left in the game.

He exited the game with 1:24 remaining, but not before he also tied his career high for made 3-pointers.

The Bobcats also gave up 62 points to New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, which is the only higher scoring game in the NBA this season.

James overshadowed Bobcats center Al Jefferson, who was outstanding with 38 points and 19 rebounds. Jefferson had 26 of those points in the first half.

“He played great,” Clifford said. “We did some good things.”

Jefferson said he felt his team played well, other than the James factor.

“LeBron is more dangerous when he is attacking the basket,” Jefferson said. “He made shots we wanted him to take. Even though he has improved his outside shot, I would have never thought he would take 10 3-pointers.”

The Heat won without shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who rested his aching knees.

Spoelstra said Wade suffered no setbacks, and the guard is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday when Miami travels to play the Houston Rockets.

The Heat (43-14) are 24-4 at home and trail the Indiana Pacers by two games in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Charlotte (27-33) lost its third straight game and fell into a virtual tie for seventh place in the East with the Atlanta Hawks.

Miami already completed a pair of 4-0 season sweeps against Southeast Division rivals Charlotte and Orlando. Elsewhere in the division, the Heat are 2-1 against Atlanta and 1-1 vs. Washington.

On Monday, the Bobcats were hot early, making seven of their first eight shots and building a nine-point lead. But the Heat rallied to finish the first quarter on top 29-26.

Miami extended its lead to 60-54 at halftime and 98-70 after three quarters.

James had 11 points in the first quarter, 13 in the second, 25 in the third and 12 in the fourth.

“The ‘Man Above’ has given me some unbelievable abilities to play this game of basketball,” James said. “I have the trust of my teammates and my coaches to allow me to do it, and I just try to let it go.”

NOTES: With Heat G Dwyane Wade (knee) missing a game for the 16th time this season, G Toney Douglas started in his place. It was Douglas’ ninth game with the Heat, his third start. … Bobcats G Gerald Henderson (calf) sat out a game for the first time this season. He is averaging 14.6 points, his third straight season scoring at least 14 per game. … G Gary Neal, whom the Bobcats acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 20 in a four-player trade, started in place of Henderson. It was Neal’s 28th career start and his first for the Bobcats. “He has a very high basketball IQ,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said of Neal. “I think he can be a good asset for our team.” … If the regular season ended Monday morning, the Heat and Bobcats would have played in the first round of the playoffs. … Up next, the Heat face a challenging three-game road trip: Houston, San Antonio and Chicago. … The Bobcats have a two-game homestand next, playing the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday

and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.


NBA News Wire

Rockets spoil Griffin’s return in testy affair

The Sports Xchange



If James Harden needed any extra motivation against the Los Angeles Clippers, he found it in the first half.

Harden scored 34 points, and the Rockets held on for a 100-98 victory over the Clippers in a sometimes testy affair on Sunday at Staples Center.

Point guard Chris Paul, who finished with 23 points, missed a contested shot at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.

“It was very important for us just to go out there and play well,” said Harden, who hit seven of 16 shots from the floor, three of five from 3-point range and 17 of 18 free throws. “The last two games we kind of struggled a little bit, but we got our pop back a little bit today, and it was a good win for us.”

Harden provided much of that pop, particularly in the second quarter after Clippers forward Matt Barnes was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul after pushing Harden to the court at 6:02. Harden scored 15 of his 18 points in the period after that, leading the Rockets to a 58-50 halftime lead.

Did the flagrant foul add more fuel for the Rockets’ All-Star guard and MVP candidate?

“Yeah. Things like that are fun,” said Harden, who had 24 points in the first half. “We have fun, we got boosted off of that.”

The win ended a two-game skid for the Rockets (44-22). Houston forward Trevor Ariza scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while forward Terrence Jones added 16 points and 12 boards.

“This was a win that we needed, especially on the road,” Ariza said. “Going into the home stretch, these are the types of games we have to win.”

Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin returned after missing 15 games due to surgery on his right elbow. Griffin had 11 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, but committed five turnovers in 41 minutes.

“I didn’t think I played well,” said Griffin, who managed 4-of-10 shooting. “I was out of rhythm. Way too many turnovers, obviously.”

Barnes scored 19 points and guard J.J. Redick had 15 for the Clippers (42-24), who fell into a tie for the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference standings with the Dallas Mavericks.

Paul lamented a host of turnovers in the defeat, including a critical one involving center DeAndre Jordan.

“I had some bad turnovers,” said Paul, who committed three of the Clippers’ 20 miscues compared to 13 for the Rockets. “On one, I drove it off DeAndre’s foot, the other one I lost towards the end of the half. We have to take better care of the ball. We still had an opportunity to win, but we just didn’t do it.”

The Clippers came back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit. Paul scored seven straight points, capping it with a 3-point basket to tie the score at 96 with 3:05 left in the game. Houston got a 3-pointer by Jones, but Barnes countered with a basket to keep Los Angeles within 99-98 with 1:35 left. Los Angeles, though, never scored again.

Griffin got a steal as Ariza attempted a pass to Harden, but Ariza drew a charging foul as Griffin bolted to the bucket with 12 seconds remaining. Griffin remained unhappy about the call after the game.

“If I speak on that, I’ll get fined,” Griffin said.

Harden hit one of two foul shots with 8.9 seconds left, capping the scoring before Paul failed to connect on a jumper in the lane with Ariza defending.

The Rockets outscored Los Angeles 36-20 in the second quarter despite making just 38.5 percent of their shots compared to 44.4 percent for the Clippers. Overall, the Clippers hit 43.9 percent to 37.2 percent for the Rockets. They also held an edge in 3-point shooting, converting 12 of 26 attempts to seven of 30 for Houston. The Rockets, though were 29 of 36 from the foul line to 14 of 24 for Los Angeles.

Jordan finished with 20 rebounds and four blocks.

NOTES: F Blake Griffin’s return benefits PG Chris Paul as much as any Clipper. “Teams have been able to trap (Paul) far more than they can when Blake is on the floor because of (Griffin’s) ability to pass,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I’m sure CP is the happiest of all to have him back.” … Rivers isn’t sure if injured G Jamal Crawford would return before the playoffs. Crawford has missed six games with a right calf contusion. … Rockets C Dwight Howard sat out his 18th game with a right knee edema. “He’s doing everything he can, he’s trying to get better, but until you’re on the floor, it’s impossible to say,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said regarding Howard’s return. … Both clubs resume play Tuesday. Houston hosts the Orlando Magic, while Los Angeles plays the Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center.

Continue Reading

NBA News Wire

Spurs’ Ginobili sprains ankle

The Sports Xchange



SAN ANTONIO — Guard Manu Ginobili was helped off the floor late in the third quarter of the San Antonio Spurs’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday due to a sprained right ankle.

Ginobili went down with 43 seconds left in the quarter and with the Spurs leading the Timberwolves by 30 points. He was immediately was led to the locker room, and he did not put any weight on his right leg as he was carried off the court. He did not return to the game.

In 19 minutes during the Spurs’ 123-97 win over the Timberwolves, Ginobili scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. He battled a stomach illness last week, forcing him to miss a game against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday and leading him to play limited minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.

Continue Reading

NBA News Wire

NBA notebook: Clippers’ Griffin cleared to return

The Sports Xchange



Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin, out the last 15 games with an elbow injury, was cleared to return Sunday against the Houston Rockets.

Griffin had surgery five weeks ago to remove a staph infection in his right elbow.

“He said, ‘I’m ready,'” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before Sunday’s game. “Yesterday the trainers called me and said, ‘If he can go, he can go. He’s been cleared.'”

Rivers said timing likely will be an adjustment for Griffin.

“Timing is timing,” Rivers said. “You lose it when you don’t play in an NBA game. Sometimes you come back and you play great the first game and then you lose your timing. Sometimes it doesn’t. As far as the way we play, it won’t be hard for him at all.”

In 51 games this season, Griffin is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists.

–Spurs guard Manu Ginobili had to be helped off the floor late in the third quarter against Minnesota on Sunday. Ginobili went down with 43 seconds left in the quarter and with the Spurs leading the Timberwolves by 30 points.

He was helped off the floor and immediately was led to the locker room. He did not put any weight on his right leg as he was carried off the court.

Up to that point, Ginobili had scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 19 minutes. He battled a stomach illness last week, forcing him to miss a game against Toronto and play limited minutes against Cleveland on March 12.

–Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr sent emails to three fans who were disappointed that he rested several prominent players, including All-Star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, in Friday’s loss to the Nuggets in Denver.

“There’s two really good sides to the story,” Kerr said, according to the Associated Press report. “Nobody’s wrong here. … I can’t argue with them.”

Kerr received an email from a family that drove from South Dakota to Denver to see Curry, Thompson and the entertaining Warriors play. But Curry, Thompson, center Andrew Bogut and reserve guard Andre Iguodala did not play so they could be rested, and the Warriors lost 114-103.

“I heard from some fans. I received a few emails, stories about driving in from a long distance off and spending a lot of money on tickets,” Kerr said. “I have great sympathy for those people. I really do. It’s a tricky one. It’s something that I think Adam Silver is trying to address through the scheduling shuffling that he’s talking about.

–The Dallas Mavericks recalled center/forward Dwight Powell from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League on Sunday.

The 6-foot-11, 240-pound Powell played in one game during his most recent assignment to the D-League and finished with 28 points, five rebounds and two assists to lead the Legends in a 115-89 win over the Austin Spurs on Saturday night.

Powell has appeared in 19 games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per game.

–The Atlanta Hawks signed forward Austin Daye to a 10-day contract Sunday.

Daye appeared in 26 games (four starts) earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes.

In 10 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Daye has averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 28.5 minutes.

–The Miami Heat recalled guard Zoran Dragic from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League on Sunday.

Zoran appeared in four games (one start) and averaged 16.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.50 steals, helping the Skyforce to a 3-1 record over that span.

Continue Reading

ZigZagSport - Best Online Sportsbook & Casino

American Casino Guide
NJ Casino
NJ Casino

NBA Team Salaries



Insiders On Twitter

NBA On Twitter

Trending Now