NBA roundup: Griffin dominates Clippers in return to L.A.

UNTV News   •   January 14, 2019   •   1799

Jan 12, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (23) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin took advantage of the first opportunity to show his former fans what they’re missing, scoring 44 points on Saturday afternoon to lead the visiting Detroit Pistons to a 109-104 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009 and spent his first eight seasons with them, helping the team reach the playoffs in six straight years from 2012-17. He was traded to Detroit last January.

Detroit center Andre Drummond added 20 points and 21 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. Reggie Bullock, another former first-round pick of the Clippers, scored 17 points for the Pistons, who had lost nine of 11.

The starting lineup for the Clippers included two players who came to Los Angeles in the Griffin trade; forward Tobias Harris and guard Avery Bradley. Harris finished with 11 points, 10 below his scoring average, and 10 rebounds. Bradley finished with three points.

Magic 105, Celtics 103

Jayson Tatum’s tying attempt at the buzzer missed, helping Orlando hold on late over visiting Boston and snapping a four-game losing streak.

Aaron Gordon had 11 points in the fourth quarter and led all scorers with 28 points along with 12 rebounds. Terrence Ross added 25 points off the bench, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 13 rebounds. The Magic were coming off a disappointing road trip in which they went 1-5.

Kyrie Irving had 25 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Marcus Morris added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics. Boston has lost back-to-back games, including to Miami on Thursday to end a four-game winning streak.

Heat 112, Grizzlies 108

Justise Winslow produced a game-high 26 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists as Miami defeated visiting Memphis.

Winslow made 10 of 16 shots, including 4 of 4 3-pointers, as Miami improved to 10-4 in its past 14 games. The score was tied at 108 with 56 seconds left when Miami’s Bam Adebayo made 1 of 2 free throws. The Heat led the rest of the way.

Memphis was led by reserve JaMychal Green, who had a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes. The Grizzlies lost for the seventh time in eight games.

Timberwolves 110, Pelicans 106

Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 27 rebounds as host Minnesota held off New Orleans.

Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, Josh Okogie scored 17, Dario Saric and Tyus Jones had 14 each and Taj Gibson 10 for the Timberwolves.

Anthony Davis had 30 points and 14 rebounds, Jrue Holiday scored 25 points, Julius Randle added 22 points and 11 rebounds and Elfrid Payton had 10 points to lead the Pelicans, who saw a three-game winning streak end in the opener of a five-game road trip.

Thunder 122, Spurs 112

Dennis Schroder scored all 19 of his points in the second half as Oklahoma City picked up a come-from-behind victory over visiting San Antonio.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul George finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points off the bench to lead San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan added 18 while LaMarcus Aldridge, coming off a 56-point performance in Thursday’s 154-147 double-overtime win over the Thunder in San Antonio, scored 17 points.

Suns 102, Nuggets 93

Kelly Oubre Jr. and Richaun Holmes combined for 40 points off the bench as Phoenix’s reserves dominated their Denver counterparts in a home win over the Western Conference’s top team.

The Suns, who have the worst record in the West at 11-33, used a 10-0 flurry late in the first quarter to take a lead they never relinquished en route to their first win over the Nuggets in three tries this season.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which at 28-13 retained a half-game lead over Golden State atop the West.

Jazz 110, Bulls 102

Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 34 points, and Utah rallied for a win over visiting Chicago.

Rudy Gobert flirted with a triple-double for the Jazz with 15 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Kyle Korver (16) and Joe Ingles (16) also scored in double digits for Utah, which outscored Chicago 29-20 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Chicago lost its seventh game in a row. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 21 points, while Lauri Markkanen had 16 and three others had 11.

Kings 104, Hornets 97

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox added 21 each as Sacramento fended off visiting Charlotte.

Bogdanovic hit four 3-pointers and Hield five as the Kings went 14 of 37 on treys overall. They also got 12 points and 12 rebounds from Willie Cauley-Stein and 11 points from Marvin Bagley III.

Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 31 points, although he left in the final minute because of an abdominal injury. The Hornets also got 13 points from Nicolas Batum, 11 from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 10 from Malik Monk.

—Field Level Media

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Vince Carter retires after NBA record 22-season career

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday (June 25) after an NBA record 22-season career during which his high-flying dunks made him one of the game’s top players in his prime.

Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had previously said the 2019-20 NBA campaign would be his last but had not addressed his playing status since the NBA suspended its season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, told the “Winging It” podcast.

Carter, the first NBA player to feature in four different decades, signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last August.

However, their season is over as they did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team format for restarting action in late July at Disney World amid the novel coronavirus.

Carter played for eight teams during his career but will be most remembered for his time with the Toronto Raptors, where he put the Canadian city on the basketball map and earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his feats above the rim.

After his first season in Toronto, Carter was named the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1999. He was then named an All-Star for each of the following eight seasons.

In his second season, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend with a dazzling display that further increased his stardom and helped ignite basketball’s popularity in what had otherwise been an ice hockey-mad country.

Carter, who ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during a career that also included stops in New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He also helped USA Basketball win gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 FIBA Americas tournament. (Reuters)

(Production; David Grip)

League approves plan to resume NBA season in July at Disney World

UNTV News   •   June 5, 2020

REUTERS – The National Basketball Association (NBA) Board of Governors have approved a plan to restart the suspended season with a tentative July 31 start at Disney World, Florida amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the league said on Thursday (June 4).

The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.

The league said approval from its Board of Governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.

According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazes voting against the proposal.

All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is inside the Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas, and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March.

The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.

If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on Dec. 1.

The league also said it plans to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on Aug. 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.

The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for Oct. 15.

(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)

Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season sold for record $560,000

UNTV News   •   May 18, 2020

NBA great Michael Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched a record $560,000 (463,380 pounds) in an online auction, Sotheby’s said on Sunday (May 17).

The Air Jordan 1s, designed for Jordan in 1985 and the first ever signature sneakers, were expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 in the auction.

Known for selling multimillion-dollar art, Sotheby’s held its first auction dedicated entirely to sneakers last year and had then set a world record of $437,500 for a pair of 1972 Nike running shoes known as the “Moon Shoe.”

“We saw tremendous bidding up until the moment the sale closed, with the value more than doubling in the final hour alone,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of eCommerce development.

“That coupled with strong international bidding from six countries on four continents shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan… but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market.”

Like most of Jordan’s basketball shoes, they are a mismatched pair in a size 13 (left) and size 13.5 (right).

The auction coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan brand and the screening of the 10-part ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” about the Chicago Bulls and Jordan. The final two episodes of the show are set to air later on Sunday.

The shoes were sold by collector Jordan Geller, the founder of the sneaker museum Shoezeum in Las Vegas. (Reuters)

(Production: David Grip)

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