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  • Warriors' Bell leaves on wheelchair with ankle injury
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Golden State Warriors rookie forward Jordan Bell badly sprained his left ankle and exited the court on a wheelchair in the first quarter of Wednesday's game against the Chicago Bulls.

    • Bell, 23, landed awkwardly on his left leg after Bulls center Robin Lopez dunked on him in the game's first minute. As he writhed in pain beneath the basket, he clutched the arm of teammate Stephen Curry. He could not put any weight on his left leg and was wheeled off the court by the team's training staff.

      The Warriors said X-rays on Bell's ankle were negative. Bell is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the sprain.

      Bell's youth and athleticism has buoyed the Warriors this season. The second-round pick out of Oregon entered Wednesday averaging 5.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 37 games (10 starts).

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Spurs star Leonard out indefinitely
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will sit out an indefinite period of time to continue his rehab from right quadriceps tendinopathy, the team announced Wednesday.

    • While the timetable for Leonard's return is uncertain, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dismissed the notion that Leonard would miss the remainder of the season, according to ESPN. Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season while recovering from the injury, and then returned from a three-game absence last week after sustaining a small muscle tear in his left shoulder. In nine games this season, he is averaging 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

      "Kawhi has made significant progress and continues to move forward in his rehabilitation," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said. "This is the best approach for the next steps in his return to play."

      San Antonio was missing Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis) and Manu Ginobili (thigh contusion) for its road game against the Brooklyn Nets. Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News that Gay remains "a couple weeks" away from getting back in the lineup.

      --The NBA suspended the Rockets' Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green two games each for aggressively entering the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room following Houston's Monday night loss at Staples Center.

      The punishments were announced by NBA executive vice president Kiki VanDeWeghe, who did not issue any discipline to Los Angeles' Blake Griffin and Houston's Chris Paul and James Harden. ESPN previously reported that Ariza was the instigator of the fracas, with Paul and Harden trying to calm him.

      The suspension will cost Ariza $83,852 and Green $15,609. Ariza and Green won't be available for games against two of the Western Conference's best teams. The Rockets host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

      Harden is expected to return Thursday after a seven-game absence due to a hamstring strain, barring any setbacks.

      --Golden State Warriors forwards Draymond Green (right shoulder soreness) and Andre Iguodala (bruised left calf) have been ruled out for Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls.

      Green played 38 minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, tallying 11 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in the win. Iguodala played 25 minutes, recording nine points and six rebounds. Green sat out five games in a six-game stretch in December with soreness in the same shoulder, while Iguodala has missed six games this season with a variety of minor issues.

      The Warriors have lost just one game this season that either Green or Iguodala missed: a 122-121 defeat to the Houston Rockets to open the season on Oct. 17.

      --Cleveland Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose told reporters that he hopes to return from a nagging ankle injury Thursday against the Orlando Magic.

      "I just want to hoop," Rose said. "It's not about stats or anything like that. I just want to go on the floor and show people what I still have in the tank and help this team in any way I can."

      Rose averaged 14.3 points in seven games as the Cavaliers' starting point guard before his most recent injury, which has sidelined him since Nov. 7 and forced him to re-evaluate his future in the NBA. He will return to Cleveland with an uncertain role as Isaiah Thomas made his season debut earlier this month and is earning more minutes as he continues to put his hip injury behind him.

      --Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California on Saturday night.

      Rodman's longtime agent, Darren Prince, told The Associated Press that Rodman checked into Turning Point Rehabilitation Center in Patterson, N.J., on Wednesday to seek assistance in his struggle with alcoholism. Rodman spent three weeks at Turning Point in 2014 upon his return from a trip to North Korea.

      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. Rodman also was arrested for DUI in 1999 and 2003.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cavs' Rose hopes for Thursday return
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Cleveland Cavaliers guard Derrick Rose told reporters after Wednesday's practice that he hopes to return from a nagging ankle injury Thursday against the Orlando Magic.

    • A final call will be made based on how Rose's ankle responds to Wednesday's work.

      "I just want to hoop," Rose said. "It's not about stats or anything like that. I just want to go on the floor and show people what I still have in the tank and help this team in any way I can."

      Rose was the Cavaliers' starting point guard before his most recent injury, which has sidelined him since Nov. 7 and forced him to re-evaluate his future in the NBA. He will return to Cleveland with an uncertain role as Isaiah Thomas made his season debut earlier this month and is earning more minutes as he continues to put his hip injury behind him.

      Jose Calderon played well in Rose's absence to earn his fair share of minutes, and Dwyane Wade is the team's primary guard option off the bench.

      Fellow guard Iman Shumpert also practiced Wednesday, leaving coach Tyronn Lue to remain vague when asked his plan to get everyone on the court.

      "When they come back, we'll figure it out," Lue said.

      Rose has averaged 14.3 points and 26.9 minutes in seven games with the Cavs this season. Cleveland has been in a funk of late, losing nine of its last 12 games -- including four straight entering Thursday's matchup with the Magic.

      --Field Level Media

  • Agent: Rodman entering rehab after DUI arrest
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California on Saturday night.

    • Rodman's longtime agent, Darren Prince, told The Associated Press that Rodman checked into Turning Point Rehabilitation Center in Patterson, N.J., on Wednesday to seek assistance in his struggle with alcoholism.

      Rodman spent three weeks at Turning Point in 2014 upon his return from a trip to North Korea.

      "It's no secret Dennis has been struggling on and off with alcoholism the past 17 years," Prince told USA Today in a statement after Rodman was arrested. "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."

      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.

      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

  • Rockets' Ariza, Green suspended 2 games for locker-room incident
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    The NBA suspended the Rockets' Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green two games each for aggressively entering the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room following Houston's Monday night loss at Staples Center.

    • The punishments were announced by NBA executive vice president KikiVanDeWeghe, who did not issue any discipline to Los Angeles' Blake Griffin and Houston's Chris Paul and James Harden.

      ESPN previously reported that Ariza was the instigator of the fracas, with Paul and Harden trying to calm him.

      The suspension will cost Ariza $102,357 and Green $19,054, according to ESPN.

      Executives, coaches, players and security personnel talked with NBA officials Tuesday and Wednesday as the league investigated the incident.

      With the Clippers celebrating a 113-102 win over former teammate Paul and the Rockets, the mood changed swiftly in the locker room when Ariza, Harden, Paul and Green entered through a back corridor at Staples Center, apparently seeking to confront Los Angeles' Austin Rivers and Griffin. ESPN reported tempers were high and Rockets players were looking for Rivers in particular.

      "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 had been chippy and physical throughout, with several technical fouls assessed and Ariza and Rivers -- who did not suit up for the game -- both ejected.

      Ariza and Green won't be available for games against two of the Western Conference's best teams. The Rockets host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

      Harden is expected to return Thursday after a seven-game absence due to a hamstring strain, barring any setbacks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Green (shoulder) and Iguodala (calf) ruled out vs. Bulls
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Golden State Warriors forwards Draymond Green (right shoulder soreness) and Andre Iguodala (bruised left calf) have been ruled out for Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls.

    • Green played 38 minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, tallying 11 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in the win. Iguodala played 25 minutes, recording nine points and six rebounds. Green sat out five games in a six-game stretch in December with soreness in the same shoulder, while Iguodala has missed six games this season with a variety of minor issues.

      The Warriors have lost just one game this season that either Green or Iguodala missed: a 122-121 defeat to the Houston Rockets to open the season on Oct. 17. The Bulls have won three straight.

      Meanwhile, head coach Steve Kerr said rookie Jordan Bell will make his 11th career start, and his second against the team that drafted him in June. Bell blocked six shots on Nov. 24 against the Bulls in his first career start.

      The Bulls took Bell with the 38th pick in the draft before trading him to the Warriors for cash considerations.

      --Field Level Media

  • Spurs shut down Leonard indefinitely
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will sit out an indefinite period of time to continue his rehab from right quadriceps tendinopathy, the team announced Wednesday.

    • While the timetable for Leonard's return is uncertain, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dismissed the notion that Leonard would miss the remainder of the season, according to ESPN.

      Leonard missed the first 27 games of the season while recovering from the injury, and then returned from a three-game absence last week after sustaining a small muscle tear in his left shoulder. In nine games this season, he is averaging 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

      "Kawhi has made significant progress and continues to move forward in his rehabilitation," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said. "This is the best approach for the next steps in his return to play."

      Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News, "It hasn't responded the way we wanted it to. He's given it a shot. He's frustrated as hell. He wants to play badly. But if we're going to err, we're going to do it on the side of health and being wise. ...

      "I'm probably more conservative than most, but the trainers, the rehab people, the doctors, the coaches, we all talked about this for a long time."

      San Antonio was missing Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis) and Manu Ginobili (thigh contusion) for its Wednesday night road game against the Brooklyn Nets. Popovich told the Express-News that Gay remains "a couple weeks" away from getting back in the lineup.

      The Spurs (29-16) began the night in third place in the Western Conference, seven games behind the Golden State Warriors and 2 1/2 games back of the Houston Rockets.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rockets' Harden expected to return Thursday
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Houston Rockets star guard James Harden is expected to return from a hamstring strain and be in the lineup for Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    • The Rockets plan for Harden to play, barring any setbacks during Wednesday's practice, league sources told ESPN. He is officially listed as questionable for Thursday's home game.

      Harden, 28, has missed the past seven games since suffering a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring 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.

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

      The Rockets (30-12) have gone 4-3 without Harden, including a 113-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night when tempers flared during and after the game.

      Harden is awaiting a disciplinary ruling from the NBA office after sources told ESPN that he was one of four Rockets who entered the Clippers' locker room through a back door after Monday's loss at Staples Center.

      Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Rockets forward Trevor Ariza was the primary aggressor, with All-Star guards Chris Paul and Harden described as attempting to cool off Ariza inside the Clippers' locker room.

      With the Clippers celebrating a win over former teammate Paul and the Rockets, the mood changed swiftly in the locker room when Ariza, Harden, Paul and Gerald Green entered, apparently seeking to confront Los Angeles' Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin.

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

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Pelicans power past Celtics in OT
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Anthony Davis torched the Celtics for 45 points and 16 rebounds as the New Orleans Pelicans snapped the Celtics' seven-game winning streak with a 116-113 overtime victory Tuesday in Boston.

    • Davis' monster night followed up his 48-point, 17-rebound performance in New York on Sunday. The four-time All-Star has scored at least 36 in three consecutive games.

      Jrue Holiday had 23 points, DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Ian Clark scored 15 to help the Pelicans win for the fifth time in seven games since the calendar turned.

      Kyrie Irving paced the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics with 27 points. Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown each chipped in 16 and Al Horford totaled 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Boston.

      Magic 108, Timberwolves 102

      Evan Fournier scored a career-high 32 points as Orlando stunned visiting Minnesota.

      Fournier hit six 3-pointers and D.J. Augustin had 11 points in the fourth quarter as Orlando snapped a seven-game losing streak and won for only the second time in its last 18 games.

      Jimmy Butler scored 28 points for Minnesota, which saw a five-game winning streak snapped. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.

      Nuggets 105, Mavericks 102

      Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Denver to a gritty victory over visiting Dallas.

      The Nuggets led by as many as 23 points but were extended to the final minutes by the stubborn Mavericks. Gary Harris and Will Barton added 25 and 22 points, respectively, for Denver, which has now won two of its past three games after losing three straight outings.

      Dennis Smith Jr. led Dallas with 25 points. Harrison Barnes added 17 points, Devin Harris hit for 16 off the bench.

      Trail Blazers 118, Suns 111

      Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 58 points as Portland outgunned Devin Booker and visiting Phoenix.

      Lillard finished with 31 points on just 19 shot attempts and also dished out seven assists while McCollum contributed 27 points. The duo combined to sink 10 of 17 3-point tries as Portland finished 17 of 35 from behind the arc.

      Booker starred in defeat, gunning in a game-high 43 points on 14-of-29 shooting from the field. Booker, who made all of his 10 free throws, also chipped in six rebounds and eight assists.

      --Field Level Media

  • Celtics won't salute Thomas on Pierce's night
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    Paul Pierce won't have to share the spotlight with Isaiah Thomas after all.

    • The Boston Celtics 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 the jersey of Pierce, a team legend, and Pierce wasn't happy sharing the stage.

      Pierce spoke out earlier this month against the Celtics showing a Thomas video on Feb. 11, and he told ESPN on Tuesday that he talked with Boston general manager Danny Ainge to request the team cancel plans to honor Thomas that night.

      On Tuesday, Thomas tweeted 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 Thomas tribute when the Cavaliers visited Boston 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. That development didn't please Pierce.

      "(Thomas) had a shot to be honored," Pierce told ESPN on Tuesday. "You came to Boston. Whether you are playing or not, you should have had your tribute then. I just don't see how, if someone is having a jersey retirement, they're going to be running other tributes for other players.

      "Danny tried to sell me on it, but I told him, 'He had a shot, Danny, and he punked you on it. He pretty much dictated everything.' They let it happen because they felt sorry how (the trade to Cleveland) went down. It's guilt. That's what it is."

      Ainge told ESPN that Thomas always planned to decline a Feb. 11 tribute after Pierce objected.

      "I wanted to make it clear that it was never my intention or Isaiah's intention to take away from the special day for Paul Pierce," Ainge told ESPN. "And no one was ever comparing IT to Paul Pierce. We all owe Paul a lot. Everyone in the organization."

      Ainge added that the Celtics intended only to have a pregame video for Thomas during player introductions.

      "During the rest of the game, it was going to be all Paul Pierce," Ainge told ESPN. "But, after listening to Paul's perspective, I understood it and shared it with Isaiah and he understood it, too."

      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

  • Report: NBA investigating Rockets-Clippers postgame fracas
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, January 16, 2018

    The NBA is investigating a postgame incident Monday night in which several Houston Rockets players went into the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room at Staples Center, ESPN reported Tuesday.

    • The instigator reportedly was Houston's Trevor Ariza, with teammates Chris Paul and James Harden trying to calm him, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

      Executives, coaches, players and security personnel talked with NBA officials Tuesday, and the investigation was to continue Wednesday, Wojnarowski reported.

      With the Clippers celebrating a win over former teammate Paul and the Rockets, the mood changed swiftly in the locker room when Ariza, Harden, Paul and Gerald Green entered through a back corridor at Staples Center, apparently seeking to confront Los Angeles' 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 sustained Dec. 31.

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

      Houston coach Mike 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 Rockets guard 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