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NBA roundup: Love’s double-double leads Cavs

The Sports Xchange



NEW YORK — Cleveland forward Kevin Love recorded a team-best 29th double-double, leading the Cavaliers to a 101-83 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Love scored 16 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 16th win in their last 18 games to move their record to 35-22. He eclipsed the 5,000-rebound barrier early in the first quarter and has 5,014 for his career. Love is seventh in the league in double-doubles.

Forward LeBron James and point guard Kyrie Irving each scored 18 points in three quarters of work. James surpassed Allen Iverson for 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in the first quarter. He was four points shy of the former Philadelphia guard. James has accumulated 24,383 points in his career.

It was the first time James failed to score at least 25 points in the last 13 road games.

Shooting guard J.R. Smith scored 17 points in his first return to the Garden since being traded by the Knicks on Jan. 5. Fellow guard Iman Shumpert, who came over to Cleveland in that trade, registered seven of the Cavaliers’ 22 assists.

Pistons 106, Wizards 89

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope poured in 26 points, including 13 during the third quarter, and Detroit pulled away to a victory over Washington at The Palace.

Center Andre Drummond supplied 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons (23-33), who are 2-0 since the All-Star break. Point guard Reggie Jackson, acquired in a trade with Oklahoma City on Thursday, overcame a slow start in his Pistons debut to contribute 17 points and five assists.

Power forward Greg Monroe added 15 points and 15 rebounds and reserve forward Anthony Tolliver chipped in 13 points for Detroit.

Center Marcin Gortat’s 24 points and 10 rebounds led the Wizards (33-23), who have lost three straight, including a 38-point thumping by Cleveland in their first game after the All-Star break.

Hawks 97, Bucks 86

MILWAUKEE — Forward Paul Millsap scored 23 and shooting guard Kyle Krover got nine of his 12 in the final quarter as Atlanta snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over Milwaukee at the Bradley Center.

Korver had battled with his shot all night and was just 1-of-5 from the field and 1-of-4 on 3-point attempts heading into the final quarter, as Milwaukee had whittled a 15-point deficit down to two.

But Korver hit three 3-pointers in the first 2:30 of the quarter, as the Hawks used a 13-4 run to go back up by 11.

Atlanta only shot 40.2 percent for the game but scored 18 points off 24 Milwaukee turnovers and was dominant on the boards, getting 14 offensive rebounds which the Hawks converted into 19 points.

Thunder 119, Nuggets 94

OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 21 points and dished out a career-high 17 assists to lead Oklahoma City to a victory over Denver at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder played without forward Kevin Durant for the second consecutive game after he had surgery on his right foot earlier in the day. Despite that, they improved to 31-25 on the season have won eight of their last nine contests.

The Nuggets’ slide continued as they have now lost eight of their last nine games. At 20-35, they are still third in the Northwest Division.

Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka posted 20 points, eight rebounds and eight blocked shots. In his second game with the Thunder, Enes Kanter scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Guard Dion Waiters came off the bench to score 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Guard Ty Lawson led Denver with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Forward Danilo Gallinari added 16 points.

Pacers 104, Warriors 98

INDIANAPOLIS — Guard Rodney Stuckey, playing on a sprained left ankle, scored a season-best-tying 30 points Sunday night, leading Indiana to a victory over short-handed Golden State in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Golden State (43-10) got 39 points from guard Klay Thompson but played without its leading scorer, All-Star guard Stephen Curry, who has a sprained right ankle.

Indiana led 89-84 with 6:27 remaining, but six consecutive points from Thompson, including four free throws, gave Golden State a 90-89 lead with 4:05 left. Consecutive baskets from Stuckey and forward David West pushed the Pacers in front 93-90 with 3:11 to play.

Magic 103, 76ers 98

ORLANDO — Center Nikola Vucevic scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Orlando to a victory over lowly Philadelphia.

The Magic (19-39) won their third consecutive game, their longest winning streak since February of last season. They are 4-2 under interim coach James Borrego, who replaced Jacque Vaughn earlier this month. The Sixers (12-43) lost their third consecutive game.

Magic forward Channing Frye had 15 points and hit three of his seven 3-point attempts. Guard Victor Oladipo had 17 points. Point guard Elfrid Payton had 10 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. Reserve guard Willie Green had 16 points.

Mavericks 92, Hornets 81

DALLAS — Dallas hopes forward Amar’e Stoudemire is another piece in a potential championship puzzle. The fit looked pretty good Sunday night.

Stoudemire made his Dallas debut and scored 14 points off the bench in a victory over slumping Charlotte at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks (38-20) improved to 11-0 all-time in Dallas against the current Charlotte franchise. The Hornets (22-32) are still in the Eastern Conference playoff race in ninth place despite dropping their fifth game in a row.

Grizzlies 98, Trail Blazers 92

PORTLAND, Ore. — Center Marc Gasol scored 21 points, and Memphis came back from a 13-point deficit after three quarters to beat Portland at the Moda Center.

Guard Courtney Lee added 19 points, and point guard Mike Conley collected 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Grizzlies, who won for the 15th time in 18 games.

Guard Damian Lillard scored 18 points with seven assists and forward Nicolas Batum contributed 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Trail Blazers, who made four of 23 shots from the field and were outscored 34-15 in the fourth quarter.

Lakers 118, Celtics 111 (OT)

LOS ANGELES — Guard Jeremy Lin scored 25 points and forward Wesley Johnson had 22 as Los Angeles ended a seven-game skid with an overtime victory over Boston at Staples Center.

Guard Nick Young added 19 points for the Lakers (14-41).

Forward Jae Crowder had 22 points to lead the Celtics (20-33), who lost for the third time in four games. Boston guards Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley had 21 and 20 points, respectively.

Los Angeles held a 103-94 lead with 1:28 remaining in regulation after a fadeaway by Young, but failed to close the deal. Boston scored seven consecutive points to close to 103-101 on a 3-pointer by Bradley with 18.7 seconds remaining, but two free throws by Young with 12.4 seconds left gave Los Angeles a four-point cushion. Crowder’s layup cut the deficit to two again with 8.5 seconds left before Young missed one of two free throws with 8.2 seconds.

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.

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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.

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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.

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