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  • Cavs' Thomas asks Celtics to nix video tribute
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    The Boston Celtics had planned to honor former player Isaiah Thomas with a video tribute on Feb. 11 before taking the floor in a game against the point guard's new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • Just one problem: That is the night the Celtics are retiring Paul Pierce's jersey, and the Boston icon wasn't happy sharing the stage.

      "I'm not saying Isaiah shouldn't get a tribute video ... but on Feb. 11, the night I get my jersey retired, I'm not sure I want to look up at the Jumbotron and see Isaiah highlights," Pierce said on ESPN's "The Jump" in early January.

      So Tuesday, Thomas tweeted out that he would rather the Celtics focus on Pierce.

      Thomas wrote on his Twitter account, "I'd like to thank the Celtics for their gracious offer to play a video tribute on Feb 11th celebrating my 3yrs in Boston. But since it appears this has caused some controversy w/ Paul Pierce's night I'd ask the Celtics instead to focus all of their attention on #34's career.

      "I look forward to coming back and playing in Boston on Feb 11th and see all of the great fans whom I will always remember for their love and incredible support the past few years."

      The Celtics previously planned to have a tribute when the teams played on Jan. 3, but Thomas asked them to hold off since he wasn't able to play in that game due to a hip injury.

      Thomas was a two-time All-Star in Boston before being traded to the Cavaliers in the offseason. He has played in just five games this season, averaging 13.6 points as he tries to find his place in the Cleveland offense.

      Pierce averaged 21.8 points over 15 seasons in Boston, making 10 All-Star teams along the way. He also was named NBA Finals MVP when the Celtics won the title in 2008.

      --Field Level Media

  • Celtics legend Jo Jo White dies at 71
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Former Boston Celtics star Jo Jo White died Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

    • White, a seven-time All-Star guard and MVP of the 1976 NBA Finals, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

      "We are terribly saddened by the passing of the great Jo Jo White," the Celtics said in a statement. "He was a champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it. Jo Jo was a key member of two championship teams, an NBA Finals MVP, a gold medal-winning Olympian, and a Hall of Famer.

      "His contributions to the team's championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community. The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family."

      The Celtics retired White's No. 10 in 1982, one year after his retirement. White averaged 17.2 points in 837 games over 12 NBA seasons. He entered the NBA in 1969 and spent his first 9 1/2 seasons with the Celtics until he was traded to the Golden State Warriors midway during the 1978-79 season.

      He played 1 1/2 seasons with the Warriors and his final one with the Kansas City Kings.

      White averaged 21.7 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds during the 1976 NBA Finals in a memorable series in which the Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games. White recorded 33 points, nine assists and six rebounds while playing 60 minutes in the triple-overtime Game 5 won by Boston that is considered one of the greatest games in NBA history.

      White averaged 21.5 points in 80 career playoff games.

      He averaged a career-high 23.1 points for the Celtics during the 1971-72 season.

      White was the ninth overall pick of the 1969 NBA draft after starring in college for Kansas. His No. 15 jersey was retired by the school in 2003.

      White was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic gold-medal winning team in Mexico City.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sixers' Redick out at least 10 days with left leg injury
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard JJ Redick suffered a left leg injury in Monday's win over the Toronto Raptors and will be sidelined for 10-14 days before he is re-evaluated.

    • Redick, who is in his first season with the 76ers, suffered the injury when he made contact with an opponent with 4:37 remaining in the game.

      He underwent an X-ray after the game, which was negative, but an MRI on Tuesday afternoon found bone edema and a small cortical crack in the fibular head of his left leg, according to a team statement.

      Philadelphia coach Brett Brown weighed in after the game.

      "We knew we had to dig in a little bit without JJ. I don't like not having JJ. When he (goes) out you're always hoping that he didn't," Brown told NJ.com.

      Jerryd Bayless figures to replace Redick in the lineup. Bayless started all four games Redick had missed earlier this season -- with the 76ers (20-20) going 2-2 in those games.

      A career 12.2 points per game scorer, Redick has averaged 17.3 this season for the 76ers. Before the game against Toronto, he had scored at least 20 in four straight games.

      Redick signed with 76ers on a one-year, $23 million deal. He had spent the previous four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.

      --Field Level Media

  • Utah's Sefolosha to have knee surgery
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Utah Jazz swingman Thabo Sefolosha elected to undergo right knee surgery to repair a torn medial collateral ligament, the team announced Tuesday.

    • The procedure is set to take place in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. The team didn't offer a timetable for Sefolosha's return, but multiple reports last week indicated the 33-year-old will miss at least six months, thus ending his season.

      Sefolosha sustained the injury against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. He did some work on the sideline before being ruled out with what the team called a right knee sprain.

      Sefolosha is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 38 appearances in his 12th NBA season, his first in Utah. He previously played for the Chicago Bulls (2006-07 to 2008-09), the Oklahoma City Thunder (2008-09 to 2013-14) and the Atlanta Hawks (2014-15 to 2016-17).

      In 778 career games (473 starts), he owns averages of 6.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Curry again leading jersey sales
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is No. 1 in jersey sales roughly midway through the season, the NBA announced Tuesday. Curry has finished first the past two seasons as well, and his Warriors remain in the top spot in team merchandise sales.

    • Following Curry in jersey sales is the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Curry's teammate Kevin Durant, respectively. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is fourth, the highest ranking ever after the "Greek Freak" finished last season at No. 9, while the New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis comes in fifth.

      Joel Embiid (No. 6) and Ben Simmons (No. 8) of the Philadelphia 76ers debut on the list, as well as Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball (No. 11).

      Kyrie Irving's stock has taken the biggest hit of the top 15, as he's down to No. 12 in his first season with the Boston Celtics after finishing fifth as a member of the Cavs last year.

      --Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was fined $15,000 by the NBA for criticizing the officials after his team's 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

      "It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8," DeRozan said postgame. "Some of those calls were terrible, period."

      DeRozan and the Raptors were on the wrong end of several controversial calls and non-calls down the stretch against the Warriors. The 28-year-old was particularly incensed when a loose ball that went out of bounds next to the Warriors bench led to a video review that awarded Golden State possession with three seconds remaining.

      --The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil a statue honoring Elgin Baylor during an outdoor ceremony prior to their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 6, the team announced.

      Baylor will join Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Shaquille O'Neal as the only former Lakers' players to receive a statue outside of the Staples Center. Baylor averaged 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists across his 14-year NBA career (1958-72), all spent with the Lakers. He was an 11-time All-Star and was named first-team All-NBA 10 times. Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, and the team retired his No. 22 in 1983.

      "I am thrilled that 60 years after the Minneapolis Lakers drafted Elgin, we are able to celebrate and honor him with a statue," Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. "Not only is Elgin a part of the Lakers family, his contributions to the game of basketball earned him a place in the Hall of Fame. His list of accomplishments are unparalleled and I can't wait to see his statue at Star Plaza alongside the other Lakers legends."

      --Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford returned to practice, ending a medical leave of absence from the team that included missing 21 games.

      Clifford was sidelined because of headaches caused by sleep deprivation. He told reporters that the intense headaches he began getting in early December worried him to the point that he decided to step away. Tests revealed nothing wrong internally, but doctors advised the 56-year-old change his lifestyle and focus on getting more sleep.

      Clifford said he feels rested now and intends to delegate more of his responsibilities to his assistant coaches moving forward. He is expected to coach against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lakers to honor Baylor with statue
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    The Los Angeles Lakers will unveil a statue honoring Elgin Baylor during an outdoor ceremony prior to their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 6, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Baylor will join Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Shaquille O'Neal as the only former Lakers' players to receive a statue outside of the Staples Center.

      "I am thrilled that 60 years after the Minneapolis Lakers drafted Elgin, we are able to celebrate and honor him with a statue," Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. "Not only is Elgin a part of the Lakers family, his contributions to the game of basketball earned him a place in the Hall of Fame. His list of accomplishments are unparalleled and I can't wait to see his statue at Star Plaza alongside the other Lakers legends."

      Baylor averaged 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists across his 14-year NBA career (1958-72), all spent with the Lakers. He was an 11-time All-Star and was named first-team All-NBA 10 times. Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, and the team retired his No. 22 in 1983.

      "It's something people have been talking to me about for some time," Baylor told the Southern California News Group. "I don't know how I'm going to react or anything once I see it because nothing like that has ever happened before. But I'm sure that I will enjoy it."

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA jersey sales: Curry still No. 1, Greek Freak 4th
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Fans can't get enough of Stephen Curry.

    • The Golden State Warriors star is No. 1 in jersey sales roughly midway through the season, the NBA announced Tuesday. Curry has finished first the past two seasons as well, and his Warriors remain in the top spot in team merchandise sales.

      Following Curry in jersey sales is the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Curry's teammate Kevin Durant, respectively. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is fourth, the highest ranking ever after the "Greek Freak" finished last season at No. 9, while the New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis comes in fifth.

      Joel Embiid (No. 6) and Ben Simmons (No. 8) of the Philadelphia 76ers debut on the list, as well as Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball (No. 11).

      Kyrie Irving's stock has taken the biggest hit of the top 15, as he's down to No. 12 in his first season with the Boston Celtics after finishing fifth as a member of the Cavs last year.

      The 76ers place No. 3 on the team merchandise list for the first time since the 2003-04 season, behind the Warriors and the Cavaliers. The Lakers and Knicks round out the top five.

      Results are based on NBAStore.com sales from October 2017 through December 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • Raptors' DeRozan fined $15K for criticizing officials
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for criticizing the officials after his team's 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

    • "It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8," DeRozan said postgame. "Some of those calls were terrible, period."

      DeRozan and the Raptors were on the wrong end of several controversial calls and non-calls down the stretch against the Warriors. The 28-year-old was particularly incensed when a loose ball that went out of bounds next to the Warriors bench led to a video review that awarded Golden State possession with three seconds remaining.

      DeRozan scored 42 points in the contest and is averaging 25.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds this season.

      DeRozan was fined $25,000 last week for a verbal altercation that took place shortly after the Raptors' 90-89 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday concluded.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hornets' Clifford returns to practice
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford returned to practice Tuesday, ending a medical leave of absence from the team that included missing 21 games.

    • Clifford was sidelined because of headaches caused by sleep deprivation. He told reporters Tuesday that the intense headaches he began getting in early December worried him to the point that he decided to step away. Tests revealed nothing wrong internally, but doctors advised the 56-year-old change his lifestyle and focus on getting more sleep.

      Clifford said he feels rested now and intends to delegate more of his responsibilities to his assistant coaches moving forward.

      The Hornets announced Thursday that Clifford had been cleared to return to the sideline. He is expected to coach against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

      During Clifford's absence, the Hornets went 9-12 under associate head coach Stephen Silas. Overall, Charlotte is 17-25 this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Paul, Rockets storm Clippers locker room after loss
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    With the Los Angeles Clippers celebrating a win over former teammate Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets on Monday night, the mood changed swiftly in the locker room when Rockets Trevor Ariza, James Harden, Gerald Green and Paul entered through a back corridor at Staples Center seeking to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin.

    • ESPN reported tempers were high and Rockets players were looking for Rivers in particular after Los Angeles won a fifth consecutive game, 113-102.

      "We were where we were supposed to be," Griffin said. "We were in our locker room. So whatever happens over there, I mean, we can't control what anybody else does. We control what we did. Everybody was in our seats. That's it. You should ask them."

      The game went from chippy to full contact with fuses lit on both sides. Paul, who spent six seasons with the Clippers and was honored with a video montage before the game, lost his cool in the fourth quarter and the Rockets indicated Rivers, who did not play, was the key instigator. According to Houston players interviewed by ESPN, Rivers was shouting expletives and challenging the Rockets while wearing a suit on the bench.

      Paul would not share what he shouted at the Clippers' bench, but it didn't appear to be pleasant.

      "I don't know. You probably got it. With all the cameras in there, you can probably tell me what I said," Paul said. "Whatever it was, I'm sure my momma will let me know."

      In addition to Rivers, DeAndre Jordan was out for the Clippers. Harden also did not play as he recovers from a hamstring injury suffered Dec. 31.

      With under four minutes remaining in the game, Griffin scored and was fouled by Paul.

      D'Antoni went ballistic, as did Paul, and both received technical fouls.

      Two minutes later, Griffin sparked another fracas when he spiked the ball with full force off the back of Eric Gordon to save it from going out of bounds.

      The play led to technical fouls on Ariza and Rivers, both of whom were ejected.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Warriors dominate second half to down Cavs
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    The defending champion Golden State Warriors tightened the screws defensively in the second half Monday night, rallying from a halftime deficit to a 118-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA's marquee matchup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Cleveland.

    • The Warriors' 13th consecutive road victory in a rematch of last June's NBA Finals allowed them to sweep the season series from the Cavaliers for the second time in the last three seasons.

      The Warriors had beaten the Cavaliers, 99-92, at home on Christmas Day.

      After giving up 64 points over the game's first 24 minutes, the Warriors held the Cavaliers to 44 in the second half, including 17 in the decisive fourth quarter.

      Kevin Durant had 32 points, Stephen Curry 23 and Klay Thompson 17 for the Warriors. They combined for 11 3-pointers as Golden State outscored the Cavaliers 36-21 from beyond the arc.

      Bucks 104, Wizards 95

      Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points with a career-high 20 rebounds and Milwaukee snapped a two-game skid with a 104-95 victory over Washington at Capital One Arena.

      Eric Bledsoe scored 23 for the Bucks, who went 8-of-16 from beyond the arc. Khris Middleton added 19 points for Milwaukee.

      Thunder 95, Kings 88

      Russell Westbrook produced a double-double while Carmelo Anthony scored 15 of his 20 points in a turnaround third quarter to carry Oklahoma City to a 95-88 victory over Sacramento at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

      Westbrook finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds and was the linchpin of an 13-4 run the Thunder used to close the second period and slice into a 15-point deficit. The Kings led 48-33 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half before Westbrook scored six consecutive points for the Thunder. He later added a driving layup to pull Oklahoma City to within 50-46.

      Westbrook lost his composure after he picked up consecutive technical fouls and was ejected by referee Matt Boland with 2:51 remaining in the game. He recorded 10 turnovers along with nine assists in 33 minutes.

      Pacers 109, Jazz 94

      Victor Oladipo scored 28 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists to lead a balanced offensive effort that sparked Indiana to a 109-94 win over Utah.

      Five players scored in double figures for the Pacers and Al Jefferson added a team-high 10 rebounds off the bench. Indiana won for the fifth time in the last six games. The Pacers made it rain from outside, going 14-of-26 from the perimeter.

      Grizzlies 123, Lakers 114

      Rookie Dillon Brooks led eight players in double figures with 19 points, helping Memphis outlast Los Angeles 123-114 in Memphis.

      Tyreke Evans recorded a 15-point, 12-assist double-double for the Grizzlies, who beat the Lakers for the second time in three meetings this season and for the seventh straight time at home.

      Playing without standout rookies Lonzo Ball (sprained knee) and Brandon Ingram (sprained ankle), the Lakers saw a season-high four-game winning streak come to an end.

      Hawks 102, Spurs 99

      Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, including two big buckets in the final 40 seconds, as Atlanta picked up a rare win over San Antonio in a matinee at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

      Schroder hit a pull-up jumper and then followed it with a difficult, high-arching left-handed layup to help the Hawks beat the Spurs for only the second time in the last 15 meetings. After Schroder hit a pair of free throws to put the Hawks up three with seven seconds left, Spurs guard Danny Green missed a contested, potential tying 3-pointer as time expired.

      Kawhi Leonard sat out for the fifth time in seven games to rest recent shoulder and quad injuries, while the Spurs lost Manu Ginobili to a thigh contusion in the first quarter.

      76ers 117, Raptors 111

      Joel Embiid scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, T.J. McConnell added a career-high 18 points to go along with eight assists and Philadelphia held on for the victory over Toronto at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

      It was the seventh career game for Embiid with at least 30 points, and just the second win for the 76ers in the last 20 meetings between the two teams.

      J.J. Redick contributed 15 before leaving in the fourth with a reported leg contusion. Ben Simmons added 12 before being ejected in the final minute along with Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, who returned after missing the last three games with a bruised tailbone.

      Knicks 119, Nets 104

      Kristaps Porzingis scored 26 points as New York dominated the fourth quarter en route to a 119-104 win over Brooklyn at Barclays Center.

      Michael Beasley added 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Knicks, who opened a seven-game road trip by outscoring the Nets 36-23 in the final 12 minutes.

      Beasley, whose minutes were reduced the previous two games because of Tim Hardaway Jr's return from a leg injury, shot 10-of-18 as the Knicks rested Hardaway. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

      Bulls 119, Heat 111

      Justin Holiday scored 25 points and Zach LaVine added 18 as Chicago topped red-hot Miami 119-111 at the United Center in Chicago.

      Goran Dragic had 22 points and nine assists in a loss that snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Heat, who won at the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

      Participating in only his second game of the season, LaVine is the latest player to add life to a Bulls squad that began the season 3-20 but has won 14 of its last 21. Limited to 20 minutes, he made 7 of 12 shots and added five rebounds and five assists.

      Hornets 118, Pistons 107

      Dwight Howard racked up 21 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks as Charlotte topped Detroit 118-107 in a matinee at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

      Marvin Williams also scored 21 points while Kemba Walker supplied 20 points and nine assists for the Hornets. Nicolas Batum contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

      Charlotte shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from long distance to Detroit's 51.7 percent (15-of-29), but the Pistons allowed 68 second-half points while losing for the fifth time in seven games.

      --Field Level Media

  • LaMelo & LiAngelo Ball combine for 60 points in third pro game
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    What a difference a game makes.

    • After being held scoreless in their second professional game in Lithuania, LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball combined for 60 in their third pro game on Monday.

      Playing in an exhibition against Lietuvos-Rytas-2, LaMelo dropped a game-high 31 points while his older brother scored 29 as their Prienu Vytautas squad won with ease, 130-93. It should be noted, however, that the game Monday was part of the Big Baller Brand Challenge, a series of five exhibition games against lesser competition set up by Ball patriarch LaVar Ball.

      On Saturday, the brothers went a combined 0-for-7 from the field in limited playing time during a 95-86 loss to league foe BC Lietkabelis.

      According to reports, LaMelo set the tone early with 13 points and eight assists in the first half. That included a series of highlight-reel plays and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the half.

      They are the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. LiAngelo was a freshman at UCLA when he and a pair of teammates were detained in China for allegedly shoplifting in November. Upon their return to the U.S., they were suspended by UCLA.

      LaMelo is supposed to be a junior in high school but was pulled out of school because LaVar was reportedly upset with the school's choice for new basketball coach.

      Shortly after LiAngelo was suspended by UCLA, LaVar instead got both sons professional contracts in Lithuania.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Pelicans win in OT after Knicks collapse
    By Field Level Media / Monday, January 15, 2018

    Anthony Davis poured in a season-high 48 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans erased a 19-point deficit to beat the New York Knicks 123-118 in overtime Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

    • The Pelicans trailed 96-77 with 1:22 left in the third quarter, but stormed back behind Davis to stun the fading Knicks. Davis hit a layup with three seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime at 109-109.

      Jrue Holiday had nine of his 31 points in overtime, including a pair of clinching free throws with seven seconds to play to finish off the Knicks.

      Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points, and Jarrett Jack added 22 points for New York, which has lost 10 of 12.

      Heat 97, Bucks 79

      Point guard Goran Dragic scored a game-high 25 points as Miami won its seventh straight game, defeating Milwaukee 97-79 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

      Heat center Hassan Whiteside added 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as Miami now has the longest active win streak in the NBA, tied with the Boston Celtics.

      Pacers 120, Suns 97

      Indiana guard Darren Collison scored 19 points to lead seven Indiana players in double figures in a 120-97 rout of Phoenix at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.

      Victor Oladipo had 17 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 14 for the Pacers (23-20), who overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Cleveland on Friday but were never in danger against the slumping Suns.

      Timberwolves 120, Trail Blazers 103

      Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 66 points as Minnesota breezed to a 120-103 victory over Portland at the Target Center.

      Butler scored 24 points, Teague 22 and Towns 20. Butler had five rebounds and four assists, Towns grabbed 11 rebounds and Teague dished out eight assists for the Timberwolves, who shot .544 on the way to their fifth straight win.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Rockets G Harden close to return
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Houston Rockets star guard James Harden could return from a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring sometime this week.

    • Coach Mike D'Antoni said Sunday that Harden could potentially be back in time for home games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

      Harden, 28, suffered the injury on Dec. 31, when he drove for a layup late in the fourth quarter of a double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 40 points before leaving with the injury when he came up limping with 54 seconds remaining in regulation.

      Harden will miss his seventh consecutive game when he sits out Monday night at the Los Angeles Clippers. Harden leads the league in scoring with 32.3 points per game and ranks fourth in assists (9.1) in 35 games this season.

      --Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball woke up with a sore left knee Sunday and is undergoing a "precautionary" MRI exam in Memphis as a result, team reporter Mike Trudell tweeted.

      Ball has played in five games since missing six with a shoulder injury suffered in late December. He's been playing some of his best basketball of late, averaging 11.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.6 steals this month in helping the Lakers to a season-high four-game winning streak.

      Overall, the No. 2 pick is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 36 games this season. The Lakers (15-27) will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

      --Philadelphia 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz has appeared to be nearing his return from a right shoulder injury for the last month. However, his issues might be beyond his health.

      Videos of Fultz practicing Sunday were posted on Twitter by Philly Voice reporter Kyle Neubeck. In the videos, Fultz is sporting a less-than-stellar shooting motion that has reignited the conversation that his shot is broken.

      The Sixers said Fultz had been cleared to begin the final stage of his return-to-play program on Jan. 2, but coach Brett Brown said Sunday that the 19-year-old is still experiencing discomfort in his shoulder. Fultz averaged 6.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in Philly's first four games but shot a woeful 33.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line before being shut down.

      --Former NBA star Dennis Rodman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in southern California on Saturday night.

      The Newport Beach Police Department told USA Today on Sunday that Rodman, 56, was pulled over because of unspecified vehicle code violations. A subsequent investigation led to his arrest for DUI.

      According to police, Rodman was cooperative and agreed to take a breathalyzer test at the scene. He was then arrested, booked at the Newport Beach Jail and released about seven hours later. Rodman also was arrested for DUI in 1999 and 2003.

      --The New York Knicks signed guard Trey Burke from their G League team ahead of Sunday's home game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

      Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The move reunites Burke with Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., former backcourt teammates at the University of Michigan.

      The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Burke, the No. 9 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, was called up from the Westchester Knicks of the G League, where he ranked second in scoring this season with 26.6 points per game while averaging 5.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals. Burke, 25, holds career NBA averages of 10.6 points, 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds over 267 games (111 starts) across four seasons (2013-17) with Utah and Washington.

      --Field Level Media

  • MRI shows Lakers' Ball has minor left knee sprain
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has a minor left knee strain and is questionable for Monday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He woke up with a sore left knee Sunday and underwent a "precautionary" MRI in Memphis as a result.

    • The Lakers sent an update with the result of the scan on Sunday night.

      Ball has played in five games since missing six with a shoulder injury suffered in late December. He's been playing some of his best basketball of late, averaging 11.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.6 steals this month in helping the Lakers to a season-high four-game winning streak.

      Overall, the No. 2 pick is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 36 games this season.

      The Lakers (15-27) will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

      --Field Level Media

  • Sixers' Brown on Fultz's shot: 'Not where it used to be'
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Philadelphia 76ers rookie Markelle Fultz has appeared to be nearing his return from a right shoulder injury for the last month. However, his issues might be beyond his health.

    • Videos of Fultz practicing Sunday were posted on Twitter by Philly Voice reporter Kyle Neubeck. In the videos, Fultz is sporting a less-than-stellar shooting motion that has reignited the conversation that his shot is broken.

      Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked what he thought of Fultz's shot after the practice, and he didn't mince words.

      "How would I assess where his shot is currently at? It's not where it used to be," Brown told reporters. "It's not where it used to be. His free throw I think is, but some of the longer shots and the rise-ups are not, and that's just part of him getting through this progressive adjustment, trying to figure out the injury going forward."

      The 76ers announced that Fultz would be shut down for at least three games on Oct. 25. He was later examined by surgeon Ben Kibler at the Shoulder Center of Kentucky in Lexington and was eventually diagnosed with a scapular muscle imbalance in his right shoulder.

      Since then, he's missed the team's last 35 games.

      The Sixers said Fultz had been cleared to begin the final stage of his return-to-play program on Jan. 2, but Brown said Sunday that the 19-year-old is still experiencing discomfort in his shoulder.

      "I don't know if we could say it's 100 percent, the doctors could say that better than me, but it certainly is getting better, enough where they've allowed him to practice and shoot 3s and pretty much do everything that the team does," Brown said. "I believe there is still discomfort, but I don't know the percentage of recovery on the shoulder."

      Asked if Fultz needed to be 100 percent in order to return to game action, Brown once again brought up the rookie's shot.

      "I think what he needs to be is able to shoot a basketball. I don't know what percent we're going to apply that comment, but he needs to feel he can go and shoot a basketball," said Brown. "To just render it that the free throw is pretty good, and it is, and to only go that far without talking about some of the other pieces, is not what we are looking at, and I know he isn't looking at that."

      Fultz's shooting motion was noticeably altered at the start of the season, leading to speculation about whether the change in his motion was due to the injury or whether the change led to the injury.

      "There was never a concerted effort on the part of the organization to change his shot," Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo said in October.

      Fultz averaged 6.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in Philly's first four games but shot a woeful 33.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rockets' Harden could return this week
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Houston Rockets star guard James Harden could return from a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring sometime this week.

    • Coach Mike D'Antoni said Sunday that Harden could potentially be back in time for home games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

      "It could be Thursday or Saturday, I don't know," D'Antoni said before the Rockets' practice Sunday at UCLA. "He's got to get better. We'll see. Whenever he's ready."

      Harden, 28, suffered the injury on Dec. 31, when he drove for a layup late in the fourth quarter of a double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He scored 40 points before leaving with the injury when he came up limping with 54 seconds remaining in regulation.

      Harden will miss his seventh consecutive game when he sits out Monday night at the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets (30-11) have gone 4-2 without him.

      The Rockets originally announced that Harden would be re-evaluated in two weeks.

      Harden leads the league in scoring with 32.3 points per game and ranks fourth in assists (9.1) in 35 games this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rodman arrested on suspicion of DUI in California
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California on Saturday night.

    • The Newport Beach Police Department told USA Today on Sunday that Rodman, 56, was pulled over because of unspecified vehicle code violations. A subsequent investigation led to his arrest for DUI.

      According to police, Rodman was cooperative and agreed to take a breathalyzer test at the scene. He was then arrested, booked at the Newport Beach Jail and released about seven hours later.

      Rodman also was arrested for DUI in 1999 and 2003.

      "It's no secret Dennis has been struggling on and off with alcoholism the past 17 years," Rodman's agent, Darren Prince, told USA Today in a statement. "He's been dealing with some very personal issues the past month and we're going to get him the help he needs now.

      "I've been his agent for 20 plus years and we're more like brothers. He's an amazing guy sober and deserves to find that happy place in his life with all he did to make his millions of fans happy during his NBA career. This is his chance to rebound in life so we ask for prayers and support from everyone."

      Rodman played 14 seasons in the NBA from 1986 through 2000, averaging 7.3 points and 13.1 rebounds in 911 career games. He won five NBA championships, including three with the Chicago Bulls while playing alongside Michael Jordan.

      --Field Level Media

  • Knicks sign G Burke from G League
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    The New York Knicks signed guard Trey Burke from their G League team ahead of Sunday's home game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The move reunites Burke with Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., former backcourt teammates at the University of Michigan.

      The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Burke, the No. 9 pick in the 2013 NBA draft, was called up from the Westchester Knicks of the G League, where he ranked second in scoring this season with 26.6 points per game while averaging 5.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals.

      Burke, 25, was named the NBA G League Player of the Month for games played in December.

      Burke holds career NBA averages of 10.6 points, 3.6 assists and 2.1 rebounds over 24.8 minutes in 267 games (111 starts) across four seasons (2013-17) with Utah and Washington. He was originally selected by Minnesota before having his draft rights traded to Utah.

      Burke turned professional after two seasons at Michigan, where he and Hardaway helped lead the Wolverines to the 2013 NCAA National Championship Game.

      The Knicks waived point guard Ramon Sessions on Saturday to make room for Burke.

      Sessions averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 assists in 13 games for the Knicks this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Lakers beat Mavs in OT for 4th straight win
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, January 14, 2018

    Julius Randle recorded 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Jordan Clarkson scored five of his 19 points in overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers stretched their season-best winning streak to four games with a 107-101 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

    • Kyle Kuzma scored 18 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tallied 17 for the Lakers. Kuzma also collected 10 rebounds as Los Angeles held a 59-39 edge on the boards.

      Dennis Smith Jr. scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half for Dallas. Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews added 17 points apiece, and Dwight Powell scored 13 on 6-of-7 shooting for the Mavericks, who had a modest two-game winning streak snapped.

      Clarkson drained a 3-pointer for the first points of overtime. He later added a jumper to make it 104-99 with two minutes left, and Dallas managed only two free throws the rest of the way.

      Warriors 127, Raptors 125

      Kevin Durant hit a 19-foot jumper with 21.3 seconds remaining, allowing visiting Golden State to hold off Toronto after nearly blowing all of a 27-point halftime lead.

      Durant finished with 25 points, Klay Thompson a team-high 26 and Stephen Curry 24 for the Warriors, who ran their road winning streak to 12 ahead of a second NBA Finals rematch with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.

      DeMar DeRozan had 17 of his game-high 42 points in the second-half comeback for the Raptors, who lost for the second time in three games.

      Spurs 112, Nuggets 80

      Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds as San Antonio built a big early lead and rolled past visiting Denver.

      Leonard was not in the lineup in the Spurs' previous three games because of a small tear in a muscle in his left shoulder. He also missed the first 27 contests of the season with a quad injury. Davis Bertans added 18 points (15 of those in the first half) and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points for the Spurs.

      Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and Gary Harris added 18 points. Denver scored just 11 points in the fourth quarter.

      Clippers 126, Kings 105

      Lou Williams continued his torrid scoring spree with a game-high 26 points, helping Los Angeles complete a home-and-home sweep over Sacramento.

      The Clippers' fourth straight win was accomplished without All-Star center DeAndre Jordan, who sprained his left ankle Thursday. The absence due to an injury was the first of Jordan's 10-year career.

      Williams followed up his 50-point explosion Wednesday against Golden State and a 30-point performance Thursday against the Kings with a 7-for-17 shooting effort that included four 3-pointers. Willie Cauley-Stein led Sacramento with 23 points.

      Wizards 119, Nets 113 (OT)

      John Wall had 23 points and tied a season high with 16 assists as host Washington won back-to-back homes games by outlasting Brooklyn.

      Bradley Beal scored 24 points, while center Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards.

      Washington escaped Orlando 125-119 after almost blowing a late double-digit lead on Friday night. This time, the Wizards squandered a 23-point margin before holding on for the victory. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 22 points for the Nets.

      Thunder 101, Hornets 91

      Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as Oklahoma City took control in the fourth quarter and beat Charlotte.

      Westbrook posted his 31st double-double of the season, and the Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak by outscoring the Hornets 28-15 in the fourth quarter.

      Paul George added 17 and eight rebounds as the Thunder won despite shooting 40.2 percent (39-of-97) from the floor and getting seven points from Carmelo Anthony, who missed 11 of 14 shots. Steven Adams posted his 12th double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Charlotte's Kemba Walker had 19 points.

      Bulls 107, Pistons 105

      Rookie Lauri Markkanen hit the go-ahead jumper with 68 seconds remaining as Chicago edged visiting Detroit.

      Markkanen led the Bulls with 19 points. Reserves Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis added 16 and 15, respectively, while Zach LaVine contributed 14 in his Chicago debut after missing 11 months recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee sustained while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

      Avery Bradley led Detroit with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting, hitting six 3-pointers.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Lakers' Buss, Johnson back Walton
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss and team president Magic Johnson showed their support for Luke Walton for the first time since LaVar Ball's critical comments a week ago regarding the head coach.

    • On Saturday, Buss posted a photo of herself, general manager Rob Pelinka and Walton sitting together at a restaurant table while tweeting that she was on her way to Memphis for this weekend's Martin Luther King Jr. events surrounding the Lakers-Grizzlies game on Monday.

      "On my way to #Memphis for #Lakers game. Dinner with Rob and Luke tomorrow night. Barbecue!! @Lakers #InLukeWeTrust," Buss tweeted.

      A few hours later, Johnson tweeted: "So proud of my @Lakers players and Coach Walton for winning their 4th game in a row against the Mavericks," and then: "Coach Luke Walton has the @Lakers playing some of their best basketball of the season right now."

      Sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that Buss became concerned that the situation was escalating after rumors connecting the team to former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale surfaced Friday. Buss wants to reassure Walton of the team's commitment to him as coach now and in the future, according to ESPN.

      LaVar Ball, the father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, told ESPN last Saturday that the players "don't want to play for" Walton. Since LaVar Ball's comments, the Lakers (15-27) have now stretched their season-best winning streak to four games after a 107-101 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

      --Utah Jazz swingman Thabo Sefolosha is expected to undergo surgery to repair his MCL and miss at least six months after leaving Friday night's game in Charlotte with a right knee injury, according to multiple reports.

      Sefolosha did some work on the sidelines Friday night before being ruled out with what the team called a right knee sprain.

      The 33-year-old is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 38 appearances in his 12th NBA season, his first in Utah.

      --The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Kyle Collinsworth to a 10-day contract, the team announced.

      Collinsworth signed a two-way contract with Dallas on Dec. 19, but the 6-foot-6, 210-pound native of Provo, Utah was waived by the team on Jan. 10. He has appeared in four games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 1.0 points and 0.5 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game.

      Collinsworth went undrafted out of BYU in 2016, and has spent the past two seasons with the Mavericks' G League affiliate, the Texas Legends. He has averaged 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 35.8 minutes in 18 games this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Utah F Sefolosha facing season-ending surgery
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    Utah Jazz swingman Thabo Sefolosha is expected undergo MCL surgery and miss at least six months after leaving Friday night's game in Charlotte with a right knee injury, according to multiple reports.

    • Sefolosha did some work on the sidelines Friday night before being ruled out with what the team called a right knee sprain.

      The 33-year-old is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 38 appearances in his 12th NBA season, his first in Utah.

      The Jazz have lost 10 of their last 13 games and 14 of their last 18, with center Rudy Gobert (knee) sitting out since Dec. 15.

      --Field Level Media

  • Lakers' Buss, Johnson support Walton
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss and team president Magic Johnson showed their support for Luke Walton for the first time since LaVar Ball's critical comments a week ago regarding the head coach.

    • On Saturday, Buss posted a photo of herself, general manager Rob Pelinka and Walton sitting together at a restaurant table while tweeting that she was on her way to Memphis for this weekend's Martin Luther King Jr. events surrounding the Lakers-Grizzlies game on Monday.

      "On my way to #Memphis for #Lakers game. Dinner with Rob and Luke tomorrow night. Barbecue!! @Lakers #InLukeWeTrust," Buss tweeted.

      A few hours later, Johnson tweeted: "So proud of my @Lakers players and Coach Walton for winning their 4th game in a row against the Mavericks," and then: "Coach Luke Walton has the @Lakers playing some of their best basketball of the season right now."

      Sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that Buss became concerned that the situation was escalating after rumors connecting the team to former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale surfaced Friday. Buss wanted to reassure Walton of the team's commitment to him as coach now and in the future, according to ESPN.

      LaVar Ball, the father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, told ESPN on Jan. 6 that the players "don't want to play for" Walton.

      LaVar Ball, who was with youngest sons LiAngelo and LaMelo while they play with Lithuanian team Prienu Vytautas, told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that the 37-year-old Walton has lost the team.

      "You can see they're not playing for Luke no more," Ball told ESPN. "Luke doesn't have control of the team no more. They don't want to play for him."

      Both Walton and Lonzo Ball responded last Sunday, saying the Lakers' head coach had not lost the locker room during what at the time was a nine-game losing streak.

      Since LaVar Ball's comments, the Lakers (15-27) have now stretched their season-best winning streak to four games after a 107-101 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

      Walton was hired as the Lakers' head coach after a successful two-year stint as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors under head coach Steve Kerr. When Kerr went on an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons in 2015, Walton took over head-coaching duties and guided the Warriors to 24-0 start to the season and a 39-4 record by the time Kerr returned.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ball bros. held scoreless in 2nd Lithuanian game
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    After combining for 29 points against lesser competition in their Lithuanian debut Tuesday, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball each failed to score in Vytautas' 95-86 loss to Lietkabelis on Saturday.

    • The game was their first Lithuanian league contest, which counts in the standings. LiAngelo went 0-for-3 from the field, while LaMelo was 0-for-4, as both brothers spent the majority of the game on the bench. LiAngelo, 19, played nine minutes, and LaMelo, 16, played five.

      LiAngelo started and scored 19 points while LaMelo had 10 points and nine assists Tuesday in the first game of the Big Baller Brand Challenge -- a series of five "friendly" games against second-tier teams. In that contest, Vytautas beat Zalgiris 90-80 in front of a crowd of about 1,500 people, including the boys' father, LaVar Ball, and his wife, Tina.

      Vytautas entered Saturday's game in last place in the Lithuanian league standings with a 4-13 record. Lietkabelis is in fourth place at 12-6.

      Vytautas' next game is part of the Big Baller Brand Challenge on Monday and will be played at home against Lietuvos Rytas' second team.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mavs sign Collinsworth to 10-day contract
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, January 13, 2018

    The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Kyle Collinsworth to a 10-day contract, the team announced on Saturday.

    • Collinsworth signed a two-way contract with Dallas on Dec. 19, but the 6-foot-6, 210-pound native of Provo, Utah was waived by the team on Jan. 10. He has appeared in four games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 1.0 points and 0.5 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game.

      Collinsworth went undrafted out of BYU in 2016, and played for Dallas' 2016 NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas. He then spent the following preseason with the Mavericks before being waived on Oct. 22.

      He has spent the past two seasons with the Mavericks' G-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. He has averaged 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 35.8 minutes in 18 games this season.

      --Field Level Media