Westbrook a notable omission in voting for All-Star Game

admin   •   January 20, 2017   •   4999

January 16, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) moves the ball up court against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is averaging a league-best 30.6 points per game this season but was a conspicuous absentee from the starting lineups announced by the NBA on Thursday for next month’s All-Star Game.

Instead of Westbrook, Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and James Harden of the Houston Rockets were selected as the starting guards for the Western Conference in voting by fans, current players and the media.

Curry, the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 and 2016, will make his fourth All-Star appearance while Harden, averaging 28.9 points this season, gets the nod for a fifth time.

The other Western Conference starters were Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis.

Durant, a seven-time All-Star, is averaging 26.2 points and a career-high 8.6 rebounds this season while Leonard, Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016, is averaging a career-best 24.8 points for the Spurs.

The Eastern Conference starters are LeBron James of the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, dynamic 22-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James, who led the Cavaliers to a comeback win from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals, is averaging 25.6 points this season, and will be making his 13th All-Star appearance.

The All-Star Game will be played in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center on Feb. 19.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

NBA roundup: Knicks rally, dump Bucks in overtime

UNTV News   •   December 3, 2018

Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay (1) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (6) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Mudiay scored 16 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the New York Knicks came back to defeat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 136-134 on Saturday.

The Bucks led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter before the Knicks stormed back to force overtime.

Kevin Knox added a career-best 26 points for the Knicks. Damyean Dotson and Tim Hardaway Jr. each added 21 points, and Noah Vonleh added 15 before fouling out in overtime.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists. Eric Bledsoe added 27 points for Milwaukee, Malcolm Brogdon had 22 points, Brook Lopez 13, and Khris Middleton and Tony Snell 10 apiece.

Celtics 118, Timberwolves 109

Gordon Hayward enjoyed his best game of the season, finishing with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to lead Boston past host Minnesota.

The Celtics extended their modest win streak to three games, getting the last two on consecutive nights. The T-wolves saw their season-best win streak snapped at four games.

The Celtics also got big performances from Jayson Tatum, who scored 19 points and added nine rebounds. Kyrie Irving also chipped in with 21 points and nine assists. The Timberwolves were led by Karl-Anthony Towns, who posted 20 points and nine rebounds.

Pistons 111, Warriors 102

Andre Drummond tipped in misses on consecutive possessions in the third quarter to stall a Golden State comeback, and host Detroit eased away in the fourth period over the two-time defending champions in Stephen Curry’s return to action.

The former two-time NBA Most Valuable Player had 27 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes after having missed 11 consecutive games with a strained groin. He shot 10-for-21 from the field, including 3-for-9 on 3-pointers, and committed seven turnovers.

Blake Griffin led Detroit with 26 points, while Drummond gathered a game-high 19 rebounds to go with 16 points. The Pistons led 54-46 at halftime and by as many as 14 in the third period before the Warriors rallied within 78-76 on a 3-pointer by Andre Iguodala with 2:06 left in the period.

Rockets 121, Bulls 105

James Harden scored 30-plus points for the sixth time in eight games, Clint Capela recorded his eighth double-double in nine games, and Houston parlayed a balanced scoring attack into its win over visiting Chicago.

Harden led seven Rockets in double figures with 30 points, doing so on 9-for-16 shooting. He finished 6-for-11 on 3-pointers, adding six rebounds and seven assists to his ledger. The win pulled the Rockets, who led the NBA with 65 wins last season, back to .500.

The Bulls dropped their sixth consecutive game and sixth in succession in the overall series with the Rockets. Zach LaVine paced Chicago with 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting while forward Jabari Parker added 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Raptors 106, Cavaliers 95

Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points and former Cavalier Danny Green added 15 points and seven rebounds to lead Toronto past host Cleveland.

Leonard connected on 11 of 21 field-goal attempts and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line and grabbed nine rebounds for the Raptors, who boast the league’s best record at 20-4 and now have won eight straight games. All five Raptors starters scored in double figures.

Cleveland, which lost by 33 points on Friday to Boston, was led by Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson, who each scored 18. Clarkson’s points came off the bench. Thompson also had 19 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season and his sixth in the past seven games.

Kings 111, Pacers 110

Willie Cauley-Stein followed a De’Aaron Fox miss with a dunk with 16.1 seconds remaining to give host Sacramento a one-point lead and the win over Indiana.

A 3-pointer by Darren Collison had given Indiana a 110-107 advantage with 1:12 to go before Cauley-Stein stole the ball and Fox made a layup with 35.1 left to get the Kings within one.

Bogdan Bogdanovic had a team-high 20 points and Cauley-Stein recorded a double-double with 17 points to go with his game-high 13 rebounds for the Kings, who had lost three in a row. Bojan Bogdanovic led all scorers with 27 points for the Pacers.

Wizards 102, Nets 88

John Wall scored a game-high 30 points while Bradley Beal got 22, and Markieff Morris added 20 off the bench as host Washington defeated Brooklyn.

Both teams were coming off of tough losses Friday. The 76ers handed Washington a 123-98 loss in Philadelphia, while the Nets suffered a 131-125 defeat against Memphis — in double overtime — at home. Brooklyn has dropped six consecutive games, while the Wizards snapped a two-game losing streak.

Wall also finished with nine assists and five rebounds. Beal and Morris complemented him as the Washington offense scored 60 points in the second half. Allen Crabbe led Brooklyn with 14 points.

—Field Level Media

Magic topple Lakers again

UNTV News   •   November 26, 2018

FILE PHOTO: LeBron James (REUTERS / USA-Today)

Nikola Vucevic scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Sunday as the visiting Orlando Magic upended the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in eight days, earning a 108-104 victory.

The Lakers tied the game at 104 with 2:24 remaining on a pair of free throws by LeBron James, but Los Angeles missed four 3-point attempts down the stretch.

Terrence Ross made a cutting layup with 34 seconds remaining to give the Magic a 106-104 lead, and Aaron Gordon sealed the victory on a dunk with 10 seconds remaining.

Gordon finished with 17 points, while Ross had 16 as Orlando ended a two-game slide. The Magic now have four victories in their past six games.

James scored 24 points for the Lakers, who have seven victories in their last nine games, but both of those defeats came to the Magic.

After losing 130-117 at Orlando, the Lakers made a commitment to defense, holding their next three opponents to an average of 95 points per game. That defensive focus was evident early in the Sunday game as the Lakers held Orlando to 19 points in the first quarter.

The Magic, though, turned things around, starting with a 12-2 run with just under three minutes to play in the first half. Orlando held its first lead of the game at 51-49 with less than a minute to play in the second quarter before a James 3-pointer put the Lakers up 52-51 at the half.

The Magic’s surge continued in the third quarter as they opened on a 15-7 run, forcing the Lakers into eight consecutive missed shots during the stretch. Orlando held an 86-71 lead after three quarters, having limited the Lakers to 19 points in the period.

Vucevic’s 31-point performance came after he scored a season-high 36 points the first time the teams met. Two of his three games with at least 30 points this season have come against the Lakers.

D.J. Augustin scored 12 points and had nine assists for the Magic, while Jonathon Simmons added 10 points.

Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points for the Lakers, while Brandon Ingram added 17. Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball scored nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

—Field Level Media

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Lakers boast .500 record after win over Kings

UNTV News   •   November 12, 2018

The Lakers’ LeBron James speaks during a news conference on Monday in El Segundo, California. | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS

The Los Angeles Lakers have a .500 record for the first time this season after a 101-86 win against the host Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

LeBron James scored 25 points for Los Angeles, which has won four of five and six of nine. The Lakers have another winnable game Sunday against the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

Brandon Ingram had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma scored 11 apiece for the Lakers. Tyson Chandler had a team-high 12 rebounds off the bench in his second game since joining the Lakers.

De’Aaron Fox scored 21 points to lead Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III had 13 points off the bench and Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who had won six of eight coming in.

Kuzma made a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half to extend the lead to 53-44. Los Angeles missed its next seven shots, including three open 3-point attempts on one possession, which would have extended the lead back to double digits.

At the same time, the Kings went on a 7-0 run to get within 53-51 and they pulled as close as one point on two occasions before Lakers backup point guard Rajon Rondo capped a 10-0 run by hitting a wide-open 3-pointer for a 67-56 lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter.

The Lakers took a 76-65 lead into the fourth and Lance Stephenson sank a 3-pointer off a loose ball on the first possession, extending the lead back to 14. They soon went up by 20 on Josh Hart’s 3 with 8:01 left and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

The Lakers led by 16 midway through the second quarter before taking a 50-44 lead into the half.

James led the way with 15 points in the first half for the Lakers.

—Field Level Media

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