National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • NBA notebook: Raptors coach fined for criticizing refs
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    The NBA fined Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse $15,000 on Tuesday in the wake of his public criticism of the officials following Sunday's loss to the Denver Nuggets.

    • Nurse said it was "ridiculous" that Raptors star Kawhi Leonard went to the free-throw line just four times in the 95-86 loss to the Nuggets.

      "Tonight was a very severe case of a guy who was playing great, taking it to the rim, and just absolutely getting held, grabbed, poked, slapped, hit and everything. And they refused to call any of it," Nurse said after the game. "It was unbelievable to me. You can't tell me one of the best players in the league takes a hundred hits in that game and shoots four free throws."

      Leonard tallied 29 points and 14 rebounds against the Nuggets, finishing 4-for-4 from the line.

      --The NBA fined Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore $10,000 for bouncing the ball into the stands during Sunday night's loss at Brooklyn.

      The incident occurred with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Hawks' 144-127 loss to the Nets at Barclays Center.

      After a layup by Brooklyn's Ed Davis, Bazemore collected the loose ball and slammed it to the floor in apparent frustration. It bounced into the seats behind the basket, and he was assessed a technical foul.

      --The Phoenix Suns waived guard Austin Rivers, one day after he was obtained in the trade that sent Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards.

      According to an ESPN report, the Suns will be responsible for paying about $8 million of what is owed Rivers if he clears waivers. His $12.65 million cap hit will give the team $33.5 million in dead money this season, which is tops in the NBA.

      Multiple reports said Rivers is expected to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, the other team in the original three-team trade involving Ariza and Rivers that fell apart after miscommunication over the other players to be involved.

      --The annual Forbes list of America's 10 wealthiest celebrities includes two men with NBA connections who need no introduction.

      Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is the highest-rated sports figure on the list at No. 4 with a net worth is $1.7 billion, up $300 million from 2017. According to Forbes, his wealth is primarily "derived from his sneaker fortune and a 90% stake in the increasingly valuable Charlotte Hornets. His stake in the basketball team is valued at an estimated $800 million."

      Just behind His Airness but at little more than half the net worth ($900 million) is rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z. Forbes says the former Brooklyn Nets minority owner and founder of Roc Nation Sports agency saw his net worth climb $90 million in the last 12 months. One of Roc Nation's high-profile clients is two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hawks G Bazemore fined for bouncing ball into stands
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    The NBA has fined Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore $10,000 for bouncing the ball into the stands during Sunday night's loss at Brooklyn.

    • The punishment was announced Tuesday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league's executive vice president of basketball operations.

      The incident occurred with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter of the Hawks' 144-127 loss to the Nets at Barclays Center.

      After a layup by Brooklyn's Ed Davis, Bazemore collected the loose ball and slammed it to the floor in apparent frustration. It bounced into the seats behind the basket, and he was assessed a technical foul.

      Bazemore is averaging 13.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for the Hawks this season, his seventh in the NBA.

      --Field Level Media

  • MJ tops trio of sports figures on Forbes' wealthiest celebs list
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    Forbes released its list of America's 10 wealthiest celebrities on Tuesday, and sprinkled in with the directors and media moguls are a trio of names sports fans will easily recognize.

    • Though his Charlotte Hornets are 29th in Forbes' list of NBA franchise values, owner Michael Jordan is the highest-rated sports figure on the list at No. 4. According to Forbes, MJ's net worth is $1.7 billion, up $300 million from 2017. According to Forbes, Jordan's worth is primarily "derived from his sneaker fortune and a 90% stake in the increasingly valuable Charlotte Hornets. His stake in the basketball team is valued at an estimated $800 million."

      Just behind His Airness but at little more than half the net worth ($900 million) is rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z. Forbes says the former Brooklyn Nets minority owner and founder of Roc Nation Sports agency saw his net worth climb $90 million in the last 12 months. Among Roc Nation's clients are Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley, two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant and Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.

      Just making the list at $800 million is golfer Tiger Woods. His net worth is up $50 million from 2017, according to Forbes. Woods enjoyed his best season in years, winning the Tour Championship for his first Tour win since 2013 and finishing second in the PGA Championship.

      Forbes' list of America's wealthiest celebrities 2018

      Top 10

      1. George Lucas

      Net worth: $5.4 billion

      2. Steven Spielberg

      $3.7 billion

      3. Oprah Winfrey

      $2.8 billion

      4. Michael Jordan

      $1.7 billion

      t-5. Kylie Jenner

      $900 million

      t-5. Jay-Z

      $900 million

      7. David Copperfield

      $875 million

      8. Diddy

      $825 million

      t-9. Tiger Woods

      $800 million

      t-9. James Patterson

      $800 million

      --Field Level Media

  • Suns waive Rivers, Wiz make G-League call-up following trade
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    The Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards finally got the Trevor Ariza trade done on Monday, but the two teams weren't done tinkering with their rosters.

    • The biggest reported move actually happened late Monday night, with multiple outlets reporting the Suns are waiving guard Austin Rivers. The Wizards sent Rivers and forward Kelly Oubre to Phoenix in exchange for guard/forward Trevor Ariza.

      Most analysts assumed Rivers would be used to fill a need at point guard despite the fact he does not fit the traditional point guard mold. Instead, he would be free to sign with any team other than the Wizards should he clear waivers.

      According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, the Suns will be responsible for paying about $8 million of what is owed Rivers if he clears waivers and that his $12.65 million cap hit will give the team $33.5 million in dead money this season, which is tops in the NBA.

      Multiple reports Tuesday said Rivers is expected to sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, the other team in a three-team trade involving Ariza and Rivers that fell apart after miscommunication over the other players to be involved.

      The Wizards announced Tuesday they have signed guard Chasson Randle from their G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go. Randle played in 26 games with Philadelphia and New York in the 2016-17 season but has not played in the NBA since.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA fines Raptors coach Nurse $15K for criticizing refs
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    The NBA fined Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse $15,000 on Tuesday in the wake of his public criticism of the officials following Sunday's loss to the Denver Nuggets.

    • Nurse said it was "ridiculous" that Raptors star Kawhi Leonard went to the free throw line just four times in the 95-86 loss to the Nuggets.

      "Tonight was a very severe case of a guy who was playing great, taking it to the rim, and just absolutely getting held, grabbed, poked, slapped, hit and everything. And they refused to call any of it," Nurse told reporters after the game. "It was unbelievable to me. You can't tell me one of the best players in the league takes a hundred hits in that game and shoots four free throws."

      Though the league didn't appreciate the comments, Leonard did.

      "When your coach is seeing the same things you are feeling, it's great," Leonard said.

      Leonard tallied 29 points and 14 rebounds against the Nuggets, finishing 4 for 4 from the free-throw line.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Harden drops 47 vs. Jazz
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    James Harden carried the load down the stretch once again as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to four games with a 102-97 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz on Monday.

    • Harden scored a game-high 47 points and contributed six rebounds, five assists and five steals as Houston (15-14) climbed above .500 for the first time since Nov. 23.

      After Utah pulled even at 94-94 on a Rudy Gobert tip-in with 1:59 remaining, Harden sank a 3-pointer when Ricky Rubio and Royce O'Neale dropped under a screen set by Chris Paul. After Harden added two free throws, Utah cut the deficit to 99-97 on three Donovan Mitchell free throws with 35 seconds to go.

      With 13.3 seconds left, Harden then buried another 3-pointer with Rubio defending, producing the final margin. Mitchell led the Jazz with 23 points.

      Bucks 107, Pistons 104

      Giannis Antetokounmpo powered for 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, and Milwaukee overcame a triple-double from Blake Griffin to win at Detroit.

      Khris Middleton had 22 points and six assists, and Eric Bledsoe contributed 17 points and nine assists for the Bucks, who won for the fourth time in five games.

      Griffin had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists but also committed 10 turnovers. Detroit's Reggie Bullock supplied 24 points and Stanley Johnson contributed 20 points and six rebounds off the bench. Andre Drummond chipped in 10 points with 14 rebounds for the Pistons, who had won their previous contest to snap a six-game skid.

      Suns 128, Knicks 110

      T.J. Warren scored 17 of his 26 points in a dominating third quarter, and Phoenix opened a season-high, five-game road trip by routing New York.

      Devin Booker led the Suns with 38 points in his second game back from a hamstring injury, but it was Warren who helped the Suns turn things around after halftime.

      DeAndre Ayton had a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Josh Jackson (14 points) and Richaun Holmes (13) also finished in double figures for Phoenix. Emmanuel Mudiay led the Knicks with 32 points.

      Timberwolves 132, Kings 105

      Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and eight other Minnesota players produced double-figure point totals as the Timberwolves soundly defeated Sacramento in Minneapolis.

      Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 17 points, and Derrick Rose, starting for the injured Jeff Teague, had 13 points and 11 assists.

      Minnesota led by as much as 36 in the first half and then had to weather a Sacramento comeback attempt in the third period. Buddy Hield paced the Kings with 21 points.

      Thunder 121, Bulls 96

      Paul George scored 24 points to lead Oklahoma City to a win over visiting Chicago.

      George scored 16 points in the final 4:47 of the second quarter as the Thunder closed the quarter on a 23-7 run to seize control of the game. It looked as if Oklahoma City had done that earlier, when a 21-3 run in the first quarter brought the Thunder from down five to up 13 before Chicago fought its way back in.

      Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists for his 111th career triple-double as the Thunder won for the second consecutive game. Steven Adams added 19 and Dennis Schroder 18. Lauri Markkanen had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Bulls, and Bobby Portis also scored 16 points.

      Spurs 123, 76ers 96

      Rudy Gay scored 21 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 10 rebounds as host San Antonio routed Philadelphia to win for the fifth time in six games.

      The Spurs led by 11 at halftime but broke open the game in the middle of the third quarter via a 15-0 run that expanded their advantage to 79-53. Gay had 11 points in a period that allowed San Antonio to build as much as a 29-point lead and take a 93-71 cushion into the final 12 minutes.

      DeMar DeRozan also scored 20 points for the Spurs. JJ Redick and Ben Simmons led Philadelphia with 16 points each, and Joel Embiid added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

      Warriors 110, Grizzlies 93

      Andre Iguodala returned from a three-game absence to hit two second-quarter 3-pointers, helping Golden State pull away from Memphis in Oakland, Calif.

      Kevin Durant had 23 points, Stephen Curry 20 and Klay Thompson and Jonas Jerebko 16 apiece for the Warriors, who won for the sixth time in their past seven games.

      Omri Casspi, a member of Golden State's championship team last season, had a team-high 20 points for the Grizzlies, who found out shortly before game time that star point guard Mike Conley would be unavailable due to a sore hamstring.

      Trail Blazers 131, Clippers 127

      Damian Lillard scored 22 of his 39 points in the third quarter, and backcourt mate CJ McCollum added 27 points as Portland held on to win at Los Angeles.

      Jusuf Nurkic contributed 20 points and seven assists for the Trail Blazers, who followed a victory over the NBA's top team, the Toronto Raptors, on Friday with the win over the high-scoring Clippers.

      Tobias Harris scored a career-high 39 points including 11 free throws for the Clippers, who lost for just the fourth time in 13 home games this season. However, Los Angeles has lost four consecutive games overall.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Dolan reportedly open to selling Knicks
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    James Dolan is selling the New York Liberty and the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers would listen if bidders wanted to make a run at his NBA and NHL franchises.

    • Dolan, 63, serves as chairman of Madison Square Garden and told ESPN of recent feelers from suitors for the Knicks' franchise exceeded $5 billion. However, he said no one has come through with what he described as "a bona-fide offer."

      Should that certified offer arrive, Dolan said he owes it to shareholders to vet the opportunity.

      "You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that's being open and transparent," Dolan said. "And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn't consider selling the Knicks."

      --Kelly Krauskopf was named assistant general manager of the Indiana Pacers.

      She is the first female assistant general manager in NBA history. Krauskopf spent the past 19 seasons as the top executive of the WNBA's Indiana Fever, which reached the playoffs 13 times during her tenure.

      "As the architect of one of the WNBA's most successful franchises, Kelly is a true pioneer in our sport," Pacers owner Herb Simon said. "I've worked with Kelly over the past two decades, so I know her tremendous basketball mind, strong work ethic and proven leadership skills will continue to be of great benefit to our organization."

      --Trevor Ariza is officially a member of the Washington Wizards after passing his team physical.

      An ill-fated, three-way trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns fell apart on Friday before the Wizards and Phoenix Suns engaged to pull off the deal involving Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers for Ariza. The 15-year veteran Ariza has 102 games of playoff experience and played for the Wizards from 2012-14.

      "Trevor has been one of the most effective, efficient and versatile players at his position for over a decade," said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. "We are obviously very familiar with the leadership and experience he brings as one of the league's most respected professionals and look forward to welcoming him back to the team."

      --The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up head coach Billy Donovan's option for the 2019-20 season, multiple outlets reported.

      Per ESPN, which first reported the news, the move was mostly a formality for general manager Sam Presti. The report adds the Thunder could pursue an extension with Donovan at some point depending on how they perform in the playoffs.

      Donovan is in the fourth year of a five-year contract with the Thunder, who he has led to an 18-10 record this season and a mark of 168-106 in three-plus seasons. Oklahoma City ranks six in regular-season wins over that span.

      --A day after he complimented Dallas Mavericks standout rookie Luka Doncic, Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger addressed the comments to clarify that he was not taking any shots at his own organization.

      The comments praising the 19-year-old raised some eyebrows as the Kings passed on Doncic with the second pick in the draft to take Duke standout Marvin Bagley III. Joerger has reportedly been at odds with the Kings' front office over the team's direction and philosophy.

      "There's no veiled shots at anybody," Joerger said to The Athletic in response to the reaction to his comments. "When we drafted Marvin at 2, we were high-fiving like crazy. We got the right guy for us. This isn't going to be a story in three days and it'll be definitely buried five years from now when we have the next Durant-Westbrook. That's how good they're gonna be."

      Joerger was referring to De'Aaron Fox in the Durant-Westbrook comparison.

      --Fans can vote for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game beginning Christmas Day.

      The NBA announced a partnership with Google designed to get more fans involved in balloting across multiple platforms.

      Voting ends on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans can vote by searching on Google, through the Google Assistant and via the NBA App and NBA.com. Fans account for 50 percent of the vote, with media and players accounting for 25 percent each.

      --Field Level Media

  • Kings coach Joerger: 'No veiled shots' at his own front office
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    A day after he complimented Dallas Mavericks standout rookie Luka Doncic, Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger on Monday addressed the comments to clarify that he was not taking any shots at his own organization.

    • Before the Kings' 120-113 road victory over the Mavs on Sunday, Joerger told the media that as good as Doncic is now, he has plenty of room for improvement.

      "He's got a lot of different skills, and I think he's going to become a heck of a shooter," Joerger said. "And when that happens, it's going to make him quicker. He's got good ballhandling and he knows how to play.

      "Perhaps there was an idea that there was a ceiling on him. I don't see it, unfortunately for us. But he's great for them and he's great for our league."

      The comments raised some eyebrows as 1) the Kings passed on Doncic with the second pick in the draft to take Duke standout Marvin Bagley III, and 2) Joerger has reportedly been at odds with the Kings' front office over the team's direction and philosophy.

      On Monday, The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski quoted Joerger as saying "There's no veiled shots at anybody," in response to the reaction to his comments. "When we drafted Marvin at 2, we were high-fiving like crazy. We got the right guy for us. This isn't going to be a story in three days and it'll be definitely buried five years from now when we have the next Durant-Westbrook. That's how good they're gonna be."

      The other half of that Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook comparison is second-year point guard De'Aaron Fox. After a disappointing rookie season, Fox is averaging 18.5 points, 7.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds for the Kings, who are 16-13 and are tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings entering Monday's play.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Thunder pick up Donovan's 2019-20 option
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up head coach Billy Donovan's option for the 2019-20 season, multiple outlets reported Monday.

    • Per ESPN, which first reported the news, the move was mostly a formality for general manager Sam Presti. The report adds the Thunder could pursue an extension with Donovan at some point depending on how they perform in the playoffs.

      Donovan is in the fourth year of a five-year contract with the Thunder, who he has led to an 18-10 record this season and a mark of 168-106 in three-plus seasons. Oklahoma City ranks six in regular-season wins over that span.

      The Thunder reached the Western Conference Finals in 2015-16, Donovan's first year at the helm, when they had Kevin Durant on the roster. But they've lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

      Oklahoma City entered Monday 1 1/2 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the best record in the Western Conference.

      Donovan, 53, had not coached in the NBA before joining Oklahoma City, having spent 26 seasons in the college ranks, including 21 as a head coach. He won two national championships during a 19-season stint at Florida.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA teams with Google for All-Star voting
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    Fans can vote for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game beginning Christmas Day.

    • The NBA announced a partnership with Google designed to get more fans involved in balloting across multiple platforms.

      Voting ends on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Fans can vote by searching on Google, through the Google Assistant and via the NBA App and NBA.com.

      The league is advertising five "2-for-1 Days," on which votes for players count twice -- Jan. 3, Jan. 4, Jan. 10, Jan. 11 and Jan. 21.

      Fans account for 50 percent of the vote, with media and players accounting for 25 percent each.

      TNT will reveal the NBA All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 24 during TNT NBA Tip-Off, and reserves are announced by the network one week later.

      The game's captains will participate in a draft of teams for the second consecutive year.

      The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pacers hire first female assistant GM Krauskopf
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    Kelly Krauskopf was named assistant general manager of the Indiana Pacers.

    • She is the first female assistant general manager in NBA history.

      "As the architect of one of the WNBA's most successful franchises, Kelly is a true pioneer in our sport," said Pacers owner Herb Simon. "I've worked with Kelly over the past two decades, so I know her tremendous basketball mind, strong work ethic and proven leadership skills will continue to be of great benefit to our organization."

      Krauskopf spent the past 19 seasons as the top executive of the WNBA's Indiana Fever. She oversaw the Pacers' NBA2k league team in 2018.

      Krauskopf will relinquish those duties when she starts her new position Jan. 1. Since joining the Fever in 1999, the franchise had 13 playoff appearances.

      "Kelly has played the game, worked in the WNBA league office, helped build and run the Fever franchise from its beginning and eventually built a championship team," said Pacers' President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. "She is very well respected in all basketball circles and she has great knowledge of our entire operation, so when we looked at this position, it made complete sense to just look in our own building. We think she will be a great asset to myself, General Manager Chad Buchanan and Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Peter Dinwiddie as we pursue our goal of building a winning team for our state and our city."

      In addition to working as Fever GM, Krauskopf served as adviser to the USA Basketball's women's national team with three gold-medal winning teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

      "First, I would like to thank Herb Simon, Kevin Pritchard and Rick Fuson for this amazing opportunity," said Krauskopf. "I have admired the work that Kevin and his staff have put forth so far and I am honored to be a part of an elite and historical franchise. The chance to work in an NBA front office for a first-class organization filled with great people I know and in a city that has become my home is extraordinary."

      --Field Level Media

  • With deal finally official, Ariza joins Wizards
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    Trevor Ariza is officially a member of the Washington Wizards.

    • An ill-fated, three-way trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns fell apart on Friday before the Wizards and Phoenix Suns engaged to pull off the deal involving Kelly Oubre and Ariza, who passed his team physical in Washington on Monday.

      "Trevor has been one of the most effective, efficient and versatile players at his position for over a decade," said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. "We are obviously very familiar with the leadership and experience he brings as one of the league's most respected professionals and look forward to welcoming him back to the team."

      Ariza has 102 games of playoff experience and is back with Washington for his second stint with the team (2012-14), which included a playoff run into the second round.

      The 15-year veteran is a career .353 shooter from 3-point range in 968 career games (667 starts), including stops with Phoenix, Houston, Washington, New Orleans, the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando and New York.

      Ariza averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 26 games (all starts) with the Suns this season.

      Oubre, 23, was the 15th overall pick in 2015 after one season at Kansas. He is averaging a career-high 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 29 games, including seven starts, this season.

      In addition, the Suns acquired Austin Rivers, 26. However, ESPN reported late Monday night that Phoenix will waive the point guard, allowing him to pursue a chance to catch on with a playoff contender.

      The well-traveled former 10th overall pick out of Duke has played for the Pelicans, Clippers and Wizards. Rivers, who is in his seventh NBA season, is averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29 games with the Wizards this season.

      A deal with the Grizzlies disintegrated Friday night over miscommunication about whether Dillon Brooks -- or MarShon Brooks -- would be involved in the trade. The Suns wanted Dillon Brooks, not MarShon Brooks, while the Grizzlies did not intend to part with Dillon Brooks.

      --Field Level Media

  • Knicks' owner Dolan willing to sell franchise
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    James Dolan is selling the New York Liberty and the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers would listen if bidders wanted to make a run at his NBA and NHL franchises.

    • Dolan, 63, serves as chairman of Madison Square Garden and told ESPN of recent feelers from suitors for the Knicks' franchise exceeded $5 billion.

      "No one has come through with a bona fide offer," Dolan said.

      Dolan has been chairman of MSG since 1999 but backed away from day-to-day operations of the Knicks when he hired Phil Jackson in 2014.

      "I think people have sent feelers out, but never any that were pursued. Yeah, [the feelers are] around that number [$5 billion], but those things, it's like a stock price. It's only important if you're going to buy or sell," Dolan said.

      Should that certified offer arrive, Dolan said he owes it to shareholders to vet the opportunity.

      "You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that's being open and transparent. And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn't consider selling the Knicks. Now, my family is not in that position, and they are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote. ... As a majority owner, I don't want to sell, either. As the head of the public company, you can't say you can't sell, because then you're telling your shareholders that your own personal feelings about your assets are more important than their money. And they won't invest with you if you do that."

      --Field Level Media

  • Lakers F Beasley, attending to ill mom, joins team on bench
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    Los Angeles Lakers forward Michael Beasley missed his fifth straight game on Sunday, but he surprised his teammates when he rejoined them on the bench early in the second half while attending the game with his ailing mother.

    • Beasley has been away from the Lakers since last playing on Dec. 7 to spend time with his mother, Fatima Smith.

      The Lakers were in the nation's capital on Sunday, playing the Washington Wizards. Beasley is a native of nearby Frederick, Md. A team spokesperson told the media Beasley attended the game at the request of his mother, who wanted to see the Lakers play in person.

      "I was surprised. I was really happy," rookie Moe Wagner said of seeing Beasley on the bench, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. "He's a really good guy, really good team guy. ... We are very close, so it's not the same without him."

      The team has said that Beasley, who has played in only 10 games this season, has been dealing with a "personal family health matter."

      After the game, LeBron James admitted he cannot relate to what Beasley is going through but did say he was happy to see Beasley around the team.

      "It's happy to have our brother back, see a smile on his face," James said of Beasley. "The game of basketball's done so much for him and for him to be able to get away from whatever situation he's in, I know it's a bright spot for him. I just try to give him respect. I'm ready for him when he came back, that's for sure, but it's all family time. He knows he got my support. I've been knowing Beas for a long time now."

      James and Beasley were also teammates on the Miami Heat.

      The Lakers lost to the Wizards 128-110 in the third game of a four-game road trip.

      The team signed Beasley to a reported one-year, $3.5 million contract this offseason.

      --Field Level Media

  • Kings coach Joerger on Doncic ceiling: 'I don't see it'
    By Field Level Media / Monday, December 17, 2018

    The Sacramento Kings may have gotten the win against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, but Kings coach Dave Joerger was singing the praises of an opposing player.

    • Specifically, Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic.

      Before the Kings' 120-113 road victory over the Mavs, Joerger told the media that as good as Doncic is now, he has plenty of room for improvement.

      "He's got a lot of different skills, and I think he's going to become a heck of a shooter," Joerger reportedly said before the game. "And when that happens, it's going to make him quicker. He's got good ballhandling and he knows how to play.

      "Perhaps there was an idea that there was a ceiling on him. I don't see it, unfortunately for us. But he's great for them and he's great for our league."

      The comments are particularly noteworthy for a couple of reasons.

      First, the Kings actually had a chance to draft Doncic, but took Duke standout Marvin Bagley III with the second pick, instead. Atlanta drafted Doncic with the very next pick, then traded him to Dallas for rookie Trae Young and a protected 2019 first-round pick.

      Second, Joerger has reportedly been at odds with the Kings' front office over the team's direction and philosophy. Nonetheless, the Kings are now 16-13 and occupy the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings.

      The Mavericks fell to 15-13 and sit a half-game behind Memphis, Portland and the Kings.

      Doncic entered the game averaging 17.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26 games, all starts. The 19-year-old is among the leading contenders for Rookie of the Year.

      Bagley averages 12.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.0 block over 26 games, all off the bench. He is expected to miss 10-14 days with a bone bruise in his left knee.

      He did not play Sunday.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Simmons' rare triple-double carries 76ers
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, December 16, 2018

    Ben Simmons had 22 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers past the Cleveland Cavaliers 128-105 on Sunday.

    • It was Simmons' third triple-double this season and the 15th of his career, and he completed it with more than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. He also had zero turnovers in his 32 minutes, becoming the fourth player in NBA history to post a triple-double with at least 22 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds and zero turnovers.

      Joel Embiid added 24 points and nine rebounds, while Jimmy Butler returned from a two-game absence because of a strained groin to score 19 points. Landry Shamet scored 16 points, JJ Redick added 14 and Wilson Chandler had 11 for the Sixers, who rebounded after a home loss to the Indiana Pacers two nights earlier.

      Cedi Osman and Jordan Clarkson each had 18 points for the Cavaliers, who fell to 5-12 at home. Rodney Hood and Matthew Dellavedova contributed 13 points each, and Collin Sexton had 12.

      Nuggets 95, Raptors 86

      Jamal Murray scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and host Denver beat Toronto in a matchup of conference leaders. Kawhi Leonard had a game-high 29 points and added 14 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 15 and Serge Ibaka had 14 points for short-handed Toronto.

      The Raptors played without four rotation players and only 10 available bodies. Guards Kyle Lowry (thigh bruise) and Fred VanVleet (low back soreness), forward Pascal Siakam (back stiffness) and center Jose Valanciunas (dislocated left thumb).

      The Nuggets were without forward Paul Millsap (broken toe), guard Gary Harris (hip) and guard Will Barton (core muscle surgery). Barton is expected back in the next two weeks.

      Wizards 128, Lakers 110

      John Wall scored a season-high 40 points and had 14 assists as Washington routed visiting Los Angeles to snap a four-game losing streak.

      Wall converted 16 of 27 field-goal attempts, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Bradley Beal had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, and Jeff Green and Sam Dekker scored 20 points each.

      Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 25 off the bench for the Lakers, who had won three of four, and Kyle Kuzma added 20. LeBron James had 13 points, his fewest ever against Washington, on 5-of-16 shooting in 32 minutes.

      Kings 120, Mavericks 113

      Sacramento's young backcourt of Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox combined for 56 points as the Kings snapped Dallas' home win streak at 11.

      The Mavericks, who entered the day tied for the league high with 13 home wins, could have tied the franchise record for longest home win streak. But Dallas, playing without starting guard Dennis Smith Jr. and bench spark plug J.J. Barea, couldn't slow down the Kings' emerging dynamic duo.

      Hield finished with a season-high-tying 28 points on 12-of-23 shooting, while Fox also poured in 28, hitting 11 of his 19 attempts. His pretty floater with 1:21 to go gave the Kings a 114-107 lead and all but sealed the victory.

      Heat 102, Pelicans 96

      Josh Richardson led a balanced attack with 22 points and Miami defeated host New Orleans as Dwyane Wade added 19.

      Hassan Whiteside tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds, Tyler Johnson scored 15 and Derrick Jones Jr. put in 11 for the Heat, who finished 4-2 on their road trip.

      Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Julius Randle had 17 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans before limping to the locker room with a sprained right ankle midway through the fourth quarter.

      Pacers 110, Knicks 99

      Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 26 points on a box score-stuffing night and surging Indiana pulled away from visiting New York in the fourth quarter.

      Oladipo also added eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals for the Pacers, who have won seven straight. It is Indiana's longest winning streak since a seven-game run from Jan. 26 through Feb. 6, 2017.

      Enes Kanter had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost six of seven. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 19 points while Emmanuel Mudiay and Kevin Knox added 18 points and 15 points, respectively.

      Nets 144, Hawks 127

      D'Angelo Russell scored 32 points and Brooklyn Nets won its fifth straight, hammering visiting Atlanta.

      Russell was 13 for 19 from the field and 5 for 9 on 3-pointers and added six rebounds and seven assists. He scored 18 in the first half. The Nets are in the middle of their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season, when they won six straight.

      Atlanta lost its third straight and has dropped seven of its last eight games. The Hawks were led by John Collins, who added 29 points and eight rebounds, but saw his streak of double-doubles end at six.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Pistons finally win, end Celts' streak
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, December 16, 2018

    Blake Griffin had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists and the host Detroit Pistons snapped a six-game losing streak while ending the Boston Celtics' eight-game winning streak with a 113-104 victory on Saturday.

    • Andre Drummond posted 19 points, 20 rebounds, five blocks and three steals for Detroit. Reggie Bullock, returning after a five-game absence due to an ankle sprain, supplied 15 points while Langston Galloway tossed in 14 off the bench and Reggie Jackson chipped in 12. Luke Kennard added 10 points and three assists.

      Kyrie Irving's 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals led the Celtics. Marcus Smart had 21 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals while Jayson Tatum contributed 17 points and eight rebounds.

      Boston led 66-63 early in the second half but the Pistons scored the next 13 points. Jackson got the outburst going with a putback. Drummond contributed a layup and a dunk, and Kennard hit a 3-pointer and assisted on another basket.

      Bulls 98, Spurs 93

      Kris Dunn scored 24 points, and Lauri Markkanen added 23 as Chicago recovered from a 21-point, second-quarter deficit to stun host San Antonio.

      Ryan Arcidiacono tallied 12 points for Chicago, which won for just the second time in the past 12 games. Robin Lopez added 10 points for the Bulls, who limited San Antonio to 31 second-half points.

      LaMarcus Aldridge recorded 29 points and 12 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points for the Spurs, who had a four-game winning streak halted. Marco Belinelli scored 17 points, and Rudy Gay added 12.

      The Bulls played without leading scorer Zach LaVine (23.8 average), who injured his left ankle in Thursday's game against the Orlando Magic.

      Lakers 128, Hornets 100

      LeBron James notched a triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists before sitting out the entire fourth quarter, and visiting Los Angeles rolled to an easy win over Charlotte.

      The Lakers led by as many as 16 in the first half, then turned the game into a rout with a 19-2 surge early in the third quarter. They led by as many as 36 in the second half.

      For James, it was the continuation of a personal domination over teams from Charlotte. James now has a record of 47-6 against the Hornets and Bobcats during his 16-year career with the Lakers, Cleveland and Miami. Lonzo Ball also enjoyed a triple-double for the Lakers with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

      Magic 96, Jazz 89

      Nikola Vucevic stuffed the stat sheet in powering Orlando past Utah in Mexico City.

      Vucevic had 15 points, 19 rebounds and five assists, and Evan Fournier added 24 points and seven rebounds for Orlando. The Magic won both games in Mexico City after losing three straight.

      Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 24 points, and Derrick Favors had 21 points and eight rebounds for Utah, which has lost three of its past four. Rudy Gobert leads the NBA in field-goal percentage but made just 2 of his 6 shot attempts. The Jazz shot only 31.5 percent from the floor as a team.

      Rockets 105, Grizzlies 97

      James Harden recorded his second consecutive triple-double while Gerald Green supplied heroics off the bench as visiting Houston earned its third consecutive win and climbed back to .500 with a victory over Memphis.

      Harden finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, sinking three free throws with 1:16 remaining to extend the Houston lead to 101-91 and halt the Grizzlies for good. Memphis had sliced a 21-point deficit to six points on two Mike Conley free throws but got no closer. Green scored 17 points with 4-for-4 shooting on 3-pointers.

      The Grizzlies have dropped four of five games, including back-to-back contests at home. Conley finished with 22 points and six assists, while Marc Gasol added 17 points and nine rebounds.

      Thunder 110, Clippers 104

      Paul George had yet another big game, scoring 33 points as Oklahoma City snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over visiting Los Angeles.

      George has scored 30 or more points in four of his last six games and is shooting 57 percent from the floor over the last four games after going 11 of 19 from the field against the Clippers.

      Los Angeles hit 13 3-pointers, including four by Danilo Gallinari, who led the Clippers with 28 points.

      Suns 107, Timberwolves 99

      Deandre Ayton scored five straight points during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run to spark Phoenix to a win over visiting Minnesota.

      Derrick Rose scored five straight to end the Minnesota drought and cut the Suns' lead to 96-89, but the Phoenix defense clamped down.

      Phoenix was happy to welcome back Devin Booker, who was averaging 23.5 points, 6.7 assists and 3.6 assists per game. Playing in his first game after missing the previous six with a hamstring injury, he led the Suns with 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field. He also recorded seven rebounds and seven assists.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Revised trade sends Ariza to Wizards, two to Suns
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, December 15, 2018

    The Phoenix Suns traded Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards on Saturday morning for Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers, according to multiple reports.

    • The deal capped a confusing series of events that unfolded Friday night when a proposed three-team trade fell apart over confusion about whether Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks would be included.

      The trade, as proposed originally, would have sent Ariza from the Suns to the Wizards, Oubre from the Wizards to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Rivers from the Wizards to the Suns. The Grizzlies would have sent Wayne Selden to the Suns.

      The Suns thought the Grizzlies would be sending them Dillon Brooks. Grizzlies officials thought it was MarShon Brooks they'd be trading. The mixup happened because the Suns and Grizzlies didn't talk to each other. The Wizards were the conduit of information and the identity of the proper Brooks got lost along the way, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

      --Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will miss at least two games with an injured left ankle, coach Jim Boylen said.

      LaVine has a sprained deltoid ligament and will undergo further testing, Boylen confirmed prior to the Bulls' game at the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls finish a three-game road trip Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

      LaVine, who is averaging a team-high 23.8 points per game, suffered the injury in Thursday's loss to the Orlando Magic in Mexico City.

      --Sacramento Kings rookie forward Marvin Bagley III will miss at least 10 days after suffering a bone bruise in his left knee during Friday night's loss to the Golden State Warriors.

      The Kings revealed after the contest that an MRI exam detected the injury. Bagley, who is averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 26 games off the bench, will be re-evaluated in 10 to 14 days.

      Bagley was injured in the second quarter after taking a hard fall to the floor. He initially stayed in the game before soon motioning to the bench that he needed to be replaced.

      --The NBA has fined Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner $15,000 for making an "inappropriate gesture" toward spectators during Friday night's 113-101 win at Philadelphia.

      The punishment was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league's executive vice president of basketball operations.

      The incident occurred with 3:21 remaining in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center, with video showing Turner flipping his middle finger at a group of 76ers fans as he headed to the bench.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pacers C Turner fined for obscene gesture
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, December 15, 2018

    The NBA has fined Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner $15,000 for making an "inappropriate gesture" toward spectators during Friday night's 113-101 win at Philadelphia.

    • The punishment was announced Saturday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league's executive vice president of basketball operations.

      The incident occurred with 3:21 remaining in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center, with video showing Turner flipping his middle finger at a group of 76ers fans as he heads to the bench.

      Turner, in his fourth season with the Pacers, finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and five fouls in 17 minutes. In 28 games this season, he has averaged 12.3 points, 6.6 boards and 2.8 blocks per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Kings F Bagley sidelined with knee injury
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, December 15, 2018

    Sacramento Kings rookie forward Marvin Bagley III will miss at least 10 days after suffering a bone bruise in his left knee during Friday night's loss to the Golden State Warriors.

    • The Kings revealed after the contest that an MRI exam detected the injury. Bagley will be re-evaluated in 10 to 14 days and the team will update his prognosis at that time.

      Bagley was injured in the second quarter after taking a hard fall to the floor. He initially stayed in the game before soon motioning to the bench that he needed to be subbed out.

      Bagley is averaging 12.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 26 games off the bench.

      The Duke product was the No. 2 overall pick in June's draft.

      --Field Level Media

  • Bulls G LaVine (ankle) to miss at least two games
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, December 15, 2018

    Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine will miss at least two games with an injured left ankle, coach Jim Boylen said Saturday.

    • LaVine has a sprained deltoid ligament and will undergo further testing, Boylen confirmed prior to the Bulls' game Saturday at the San Antonio Spurs.

      "Zach LaVine had a MRI last night and flew home this morning to consult with other specialists," Boylen told reporters. "We will create a plan of action. Hopeful for a good evaluation. He will not play tonight or Monday."

      The Bulls finish a three-game road trip Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

      LaVine, who is averaging a team-high 23.8 points per game, suffered the injury in Thursday's loss to the Orlando Magic in Mexico City.

      --Field Level Media

  • Suns send Ariza to Wizards for Oubre, Rivers
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, December 15, 2018

    The Phoenix Suns traded Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards on Saturday morning for Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers, according to multiple reports.

    • The deal capped a confusing series of events that unfolded Friday night when a proposed three-team trade fell apart over confusion about whether Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks would be included.

      The trade, as proposed originally, would have sent Ariza from the Suns to the Wizards, Oubre from the Wizards to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Rivers from the Wizards to the Suns. The Grizzlies would have sent Wayne Selden to the Suns.

      A player named Brooks also was to be involved, but that ended up as the hiccup to the deal. The Suns thought the Grizzlies would be sending them Dillon Brooks. Grizzlies officials thought it was MarShon Brooks they'd be trading.

      "What happened last night was unfathomable. I've never experienced this before," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace told reporters Saturday.

      When the confusion cleared, and all the sides had figured out the parts to the trade, Memphis wouldn't trade Dillon Brooks, and the Suns didn't want to acquire MarShon Brooks. The mixup happened because the Suns and Grizzlies didn't talk to each other. The Wizards were the conduit of information and the identity of the proper Brooks got lost along the way, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

      However, the Suns privately claim that they communicated with the Grizzlies directly and were clear about Dillon Brooks, a claim the Grizzlies flatly deny, Wojnarowski reported.

      "That forced me to do something I've never done in 30-plus years working in this league with seven teams, is to drag two players out of a locker room and tell them they've been traded and then eventually have to come back and tell them, 'Oh, no, you haven't been traded,'" Wallace said.

      The Suns signed Ariza, a 33-year-old swingman, to a one-year, $15 million deal over the summer, and with Phoenix at 5-24 and building for the future with youngsters, he became a trade chip.

      Earlier in the week, it was reported that the Lakers were trying to acquire Ariza to bring a veteran presence to the team, but Suns owner Robert Sarver nixed a trade to Los Angeles, according to multiple reports.

      This will be the second stop in Washington for Ariza, who entered the league in 2004 and also has played for New York, Orlando, the Lakers, Houston and New Orleans.

      For his career, he has appeared in 968 games and has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

      This season, he's averaging 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 16 games.

      The 26-year-old Rivers, a 6-foot-4 guard, is averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists over 29 games this season.

      Oubre, a 23-year-old forward, also played in 29 games for Washington, scoring 12.9 points and adding 4.4 rebounds per contest.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA roundup: Pacers muscle past 76ers for big road win
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, December 15, 2018

    Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 10 rebounds to carry the visiting Indiana Pacers past the Philadelphia 76ers 113-101 on Friday for their sixth straight win.

    • Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points and Victor Oladipo had 14 in just his second game back from a sore knee that sidelined him for 11 games. Domantas Sabonis contributed 14 points and 16 rebounds.

      Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 40 points and 21 rebounds, while JJ Redick scored 22 points and Ben Simmons had 18 points and nine rebounds.

      Sixers guard Jimmy Butler missed his second straight game with a strained groin and was replaced in the starting lineup by Furkan Korkmaz. The Sixers fell to 14-3 at home and dropped back-to-back home games for the first time all season.

      Warriors 130, Kings 125

      Golden State countered a 10-0 Sacramento run with a 17-2 game-ending flurry, allowing the two-time defending NBA champions to escape with a victory over the host Kings.

      Stephen Curry poured in a game-high 35 points, Kevin Durant had 33 and Klay Thompson 27, helping the Warriors bounce back from a 113-93 embarrassment at home against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night with a second consecutive narrow victory over their Northern California rival.

      Buddy Hield had 27 points, De'Aaron Fox 25 and Willie Cauley-Stein 22 for the Kings, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

      Knicks 126, Hornets 124 (OT)

      Emmanuel Mudiay scored a career-high 34 points, and visiting New York rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat Charlotte in overtime.

      Mudiay hit a layup for a 126-121 lead with 17 seconds remaining, and the Knicks held on from there although the Hornets had a chance to tie at the buzzer, when Kemba Walker missed a drive in traffic.

      It was a shocker after the Hornets led 72-53 at halftime and 93-78 going into the fourth quarter. It was payback, as well, after the Hornets rolled to a 119-107 victory in New York last Sunday.

      Nuggets 109, Thunder 98

      Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, Jamal Murray had 19 points and nine rebounds, and host Denver held off Oklahoma City.

      Juan Hernangomez had 16 points and Torrey Craig scored 15 for the Nuggets, who kept the top spot in the Western Conference with the win.

      Paul George scored a game-high 32 points, Steven Adams had 26 and Russell Westbrook finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City went only 17 of 29 from the foul line.

      Bucks 114, Cavaliers 102

      Giannis Antetokounmpo matched a career-high 44 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and had eight assists as visiting Milwaukee led wire-to-wire and beat Cleveland.

      Antetokounmpo was coming off his lowest-scoring game of the season -- 12 in a loss Wednesday to Indiana. On Friday, he went 14-for-19 from the field and made 16 of 21 free-throw attempts. Brook Lopez scored 19 and Eric Bledsoe added 16 points for the Bucks.

      Jordan Clarkson led the Cavaliers with 23 points off the bench. Rodney Hood added 19 for Cleveland.

      Trail Blazers 128, Raptors 122

      Damian Lillard scored 24 points as host Portland took care of Toronto with eight Trail Blazers scoring in double figures, including Zach Collins with 16 and Seth Curry with 13, both season highs and both coming off the bench.

      Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points and Fred VanVleet added a season-high 21 for the Raptors, who had won two in a row to begin their four-game road trip. Portland's bench totaled 58 points, its season high.

      Toronto was without center Jonas Valanciunas, who dislocated a thumb in Wednesday's victory at Golden State, and point guard Kyle Lowry, who had a thigh bruise.

      Heat 100, Grizzlies 97

      Josh Richardson and Kelly Olynyk scored 18 points each to lead Miami to a win over host Memphis as the Heat snapped a two-game losing streak.

      Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who missed the past four games due to the birth of his son, produced six points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes.

      Memphis, which has lost three of its past four games, was led by point guard Mike Conley, who scored a game-high 22 points and dished out eight assists.

      Celtics 129, Hawks 108

      Kyrie Irving scored 12 of his 24 points in a 42-point first quarter to spark Boston to its eighth straight win in defeating visiting Atlanta.

      Irving was 8-for-15 from the floor and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers, with five rebounds, five assists and four steals and has shown no lingering effects from the right shoulder soreness that caused him to miss the Dec. 10 game against New Orleans. In his last two games, Irving has scored 62 points.

      The Hawks got a career-high-matching 19 points from Kevin Huerter for his second straight outing. Forward John Collins posted his sixth consecutive double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 14 rebounds for Atlanta, which has dropped two straight and six of its last seven.

      Nets 125, Wizards 118

      Spencer Dinwiddie scored 27 points in 32 minutes off the bench and Brooklyn defeated visiting Washington for its season-high fourth straight win.

      Joe Harris scored 19 points and Rodions Kurucs and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 15 each for the Nets.

      Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 31 points on 13-for-22 shooting and added nine assists. John Wall had 17 points and a game-high 13 assists for Washington, which has lost four straight.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Cousins' debut likely to be delayed
    By Field Level Media / Friday, December 14, 2018

    DeMarcus Cousins began practicing with Golden State's G-League team in Santa Cruz this week, but his Warriors debut is likely to be delayed until February, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    • The newspaper cites Santa Cruz Warriors coach Aaron Miles, who said Cousins is "probably not moving as well as he wants to right now" after Wednesday's practice, his second with the team.

      Cousins joined the Warriors on a one-year, $5.3 million deal in free agency with the expectation he could return to the court early in 2019 after recovering from a ruptured Achilles suffered last January.

      Reports last week hinted Cousins could be ready to play on a minutes restriction as soon as Christmas, while others pointed to a return around New Year's Day.

      Warriors coach Steve Kerr weighed in on the challenges facing Cousins.

      "He needs to feel confident with the Achilles, his conditioning, his rhythm, his timing and everything else," said Kerr. "We're not going to rush him back. We're going to help him through that process. When it happens, it happens."

      Cousins has been participating in 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills with the Warriors, and Kerr hasn't suggested the team is ready to place a timeframe on his debut with the club.

      --Field Level Media

  • Team owner: 'Suns are not leaving Phoenix'
    By Field Level Media / Friday, December 14, 2018

    The Suns' 99-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks that snapped a 10-game losing streak wasn't the only good news Thursday for Phoenix fans.

    • A day after the Arizona Republic reported that team owner Robert Sarver threatened to relocate the club to Seattle or Las Vegas due to a contentious battle to renovate Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Arena, Sarver stated his intention of keeping the team in Arizona's capital city.

      "First and foremost, the Phoenix Suns are not leaving Phoenix," Sarver said in a video posted on the team's Twitter account. "I am 100 percent committed, and have been for the last four years, to find a solution keep them in downtown Phoenix where they belong. I am a strong proponent, as evidenced by the term sheet that I signed last week, that we should renovate the Talking Stick Resort Arena and once again restore it to a world-class facility.

      "In addition, it is important for the Phoenix Suns to build a first-class practice facility so the players of the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury can continue to develop. I am 100 percent all-in in keeping this team right here where we stand, and I want to make sure that message comes across crystal clear to every one of you."

      In 1992, the Suns signed a 40-year lease to play in Phoenix, but they can opt out in 2022.

      The city council had planned to vote on a $230 million renovation package Wednesday, but community backlash prompted the vote to be pushed back to Jan. 23. Mayor Thelda Williams would like to host two community meetings to gain feedback before the council makes a decision.

      The Suns have attempted to get the city council to consider a renovation in the past, but this is the first time the council has seriously considered a proposal. Phoenix would pay $150 million toward the renovations, and the Suns would pay $80 million.

      The Suns would build a new practice facility and commit to playing at the downtown arena through 2037 with an option to extend through 2042. The Suns would be fined $200 million if they departed Phoenix before 2037.

      Despite the win Thursday, Phoenix still owns the NBA's worst record at 5-24. The Suns have missed the playoffs each of the past eight seasons.

      --Field Level Media