BREAKING: Kristaps Porzingis traded to Dallas Mavericks from New York Knicks

ESPN

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a trade with the New York Knicks for All-Star forward Kristaps Porzingis, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday.

The trade also includes the Knicks sending Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Mavericks in return for Wesley MatthewsDennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan, league sources told Wojnarowski. The deal may also include draft assets, sources said.

Earlier Thursday, Porzingis met with Knicks meeting and left franchise officials with the impression that he wanted to be traded, league sources told ESPN.

Porzingis can be a restricted free agent this summer.

There’s been a strong disconnect between Porzingis and Knicks management in recent years, and it culminated in Thursday’s meeting. He expressed concerns on the state of the franchise and his future with the organization, sources said.

The Knicks (10-40) have struggled without the 23-year-old Porzingis, who has been sidelined for nearly a year with an ACL injury. He was evaluated in January by the team’s medical staff, which confirmed his knee is healing well.

He recently worked out with a coach on the court for roughly 45 minutes. The workout included Porzingis shooting pull-up 3-pointers and dunking.

Porzingis was averaging a career-best 22.7 points per game before he was lost with a left knee injury during a breakout All-Star season in 2017-18. He also was averaging 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.

Porzingis and his brother Janis, who is his agent, met with Knicks management on Thursday morning and discussed his frustration with the franchise’s losing, its past dysfunction and his own uncertainty over creating sustainable organizational success, sources said.

Porzingis, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, has wanted to play for a winner with the Knicks, but he has been searching for clarity on his future role with the team and the franchise’s direction.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25894335/dallas-mavericks-agree-trade-new-york-knicks-kristaps-porzingis

NBA GAMEDAY POST JANUARY 31st 2019

USA Today Today

With LeBron back, Lakers outlast Clippers in OT 123-120

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James had 24 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a 17-game injury absence, and the Los Angeles Lakersbeat the Clippers 123-120 in overtime Thursday night after blowing a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead.

James came up one assist shy of a triple-double. He made 5 of 7 free throws and had no fouls in 40 minutes of his first game since Christmas at Golden State when he strained his left groin. The Lakers were 6-11 during the longest absence of his 16-year career.

Tied 118-all, James scored the go-ahead basket in overtime. Lance Stephenson drove for a flailing layup, hitting Boban Marjanovic in the nose with his left elbow while getting fouled. He completed the three-point play that kept the Lakers ahead 123-118.

Avery Bradley and Lou Williams missed on the same possession, and Williams missed a free throw when Stephenson got called for a technical in a tussle with Bradley.

76ERS 113, WARRIORS 104

OAKLAND, Calif. — Joel Embiid had 26 points and 20 rebounds to spoil DeMarcus Cousins‘ home debut with the Warriors, and Philadelphia snapped Golden State’s NBA-best 11-game winning streak.

Philadelphia hadn’t won a game in the series in nearly six years. Ben Simmons also scored 26 points and JJ Redick added 15 points for the Sixers, who grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to give them 10 or more in five straight games and 11 of 15.

Stephen Curry scored 41 points with 10 3-pointers to go with six assists, and Cousins contributed seven points, six rebounds and six assists.

Kevin Durant hit a 3-pointer with 4:52 remaining to trim the deficit to 102-96, but Draymond Green fouled moments later and received a technical for arguing.

BUCKS 105, RAPTORS 92

TORONTO — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 19 points, Khris Middleton had 18 and Milwaukee beat ended Toronto’s season-best home winning streak at 10 games.

D.J. Wilson scored a career-high 16 points, Eric Bledsoe had 14 and Milwaukee (37-13) wrapped up the season series with its third victory in four meetings with Toronto. The NBA-leading Bucks have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Raptors (37-16) in the Eastern Conference.

The victory ensures Milwaukee will have the best winning percentage in the East through Feb. 3, meaning Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer will represent the conference at next month’s NBA All-Star Game.

Pascal Siakam scored 28 points and Kawhi Leonard had 16 for the Raptors. They had not lost at home since Dec. 9 to the Bucks.

PISTONS 93, MAVERICKS 89

DETROIT — Andre Drummond had 24 points and 20 rebounds and Detroit rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat short-handed Dallas.

Before the game, the Mavericks traded Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews to the New York Knicks in a seven-player deal. Dallas acquired Kristaps Porzingis, but for this game the Mavericks were significantly undermanned. In addition to the players they dealt, they also were without star rookie Luka Doncic, who sat out with left ankle soreness.

Blake Griffin had 24 points for Detroit.

SPURS 117, NETS 114

SAN ANTONIO — Derrick White scored a career-high 26 points and San Antonio rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Brooklyn for its 16th straight home victory over the Nets.

Fresh off his seventh All-Star selection, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points, including a critical three-point play in the final minute, and 13 rebounds for the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan added 15 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a three-game absence because of a sore left knee.

Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll had 18 points each for the Nets.b

MAGIC 107, PACERS 100

ORLANDO, Fla. — Terrence Ross scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Orlando beat Indiana, handing the Pacers their fourth straight.

Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Orlando after being selected to the All-Star team for the first time. D.J. Augustinhad 20 points, including nine free throws in the final 1:26.

Orlando broke a four-game losing streak and snapped an eight-game skid against Indiana.

Myles Turner had 27 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers.

Reggie Miller admits Kevin Durant was right leaving Thunder for Warriors

By Ali Thanawalla • NBCSports

By now, Kevin Durant has proven the haters wrong.

When Durant announced he was leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors on July 4, 2016, he got crushed. Former NBA players ripped him, Hall of Famers criticized him.

But after two NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVPs, it’s clear Durant made the right choice.

One of those Hall of Famers that chastized Durant was Reggie Miller. Nearly three years later, the former Pacers sharpshooter has admitted he was wrong and Durant was right.

“I piled on Kevin Durant when he first made that move” Miller said on The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday. “I thought it was a sucker move, but I understand it and I understand why he did it. He’s right. I don’t think they would have ever won a championship, him and [Russell] Westbrook, in OKC. He made a business decision, and it is a business, people.”

Miller made the comments while answering a question about Pelicans All-Star center Anthony Davis wanting out of New Orleans.

Miller never won a title in 18 years with Indiana. He never left the Pacers to join up with another superstar in order to win a title. Now that his playing days are over, Miller understands why current players want a ring so badly. It defines their legacy.

“He is one of those players that is a legacy player,” Miller said. “When we think of Kevin Durant when his career is done, he is a legacy player. LeBron, legacy player. Right now, [Durant] is building a heck of a resume and I get it.”

Original article: https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/warriors/reggie-miller-admits-kevin-durant-was-right-leaving-thunder-warriors

Shaq claims that Kobe is being disrespected in the LeBron vs. Jordan debate

Andrew Joseph • USA Today Sports

It doesn’t matter who you ask — every basketball fan, player or coach has an opinion on the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate. Instead of living in the moment and appreciating a historic basketball career, many fans feel the obligation to compare players across generations in a never-ending debate about who is the GOAT.

The debate seemingly comes up multiple times a year with LeBron and Jordan being the consensus top 2 players.

Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t even agree with that.

In a recent feature from Bleacher Report, Shaq stood up for his former Lakers teammate and said that it’s a sign of disrespect for LeBron to jump Kobe Bryant in the GOAT conversation.

Shaq said via Bleacher Report

“I find it quite disrespectful that they don’t bring Kobe’s name up,” he says of his onetime teammate and rival. “That kind of pisses me off how they just skip over him and say, ‘LeBron.’ I don’t understand that. Because I was there with him, and he was a bad mother(expletive), too.”

Here we go again.

Shaq ultimately said that he’d rank Michael Jordan as the GOAT. On the other hand, Kobe said he would have picked LeBron over Shaq for the 2005 All-Star captain. So, there’s that.

You can read the full story here.

NBA GAMEDAY POST JANUARY 30th 2019

USA Today Sports

Celtics overcome Kyrie Irving’s absence to rout Hornets

BOSTON — Jaylen Brown had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Jayson Tatum scored 20 points and the Boston Celtics rolled over the Charlotte Hornets 126-94 on Wednesday night despite Kyrie Irving‘s absence.

Terry Rozier had 17 points and tied a career high with 10 assists in place of Irving, the star guard who missed his second straight game with a left hip strain.

Marcus Morris scored 15 points, Al Horford had 14 and Gordon Hayward 12 to help Celtics win for the seventh time in eight games. Kemba Walker had 21 points for Charlotte.

NUGGETS 105, PELICANS 99

NEW ORLEANS — Nikola Jokic had 20 points, 13 rebound and 10 assists for his eighth triple-double of the season and Denver beat undermanned New Orleans,

Malik Beasley scored 22 points, and Monte Morris added 20 to help the Northwest Division-leading Nuggets win their fourth straight. Kenrich Williams hit five of nine 3-point shots and scored a career-high 21 for the scrappy Pelicans. For the second night in a row, they played without four usual starters and a top reserve. Their only available starter, Jrue Holiday, had 22 points.

TIMBERWOLVES 99, GRIZZLIES 97, OT

MINNEAPOLIS — Karl-Anthony Towns hit a buzzer-beating desperation shot in overtime to lift Minnesota past Memphis.

Memphis led twice during overtime, but Towns helped Minnesota closed it out. On the final possession, Andrew Wiggins ran the clock down to six seconds before shooting a pull-up 3. The rebound fell to the right side, where Towns grabbed it, dribbled once and floated up a shot as he faded toward the corner.

Towns scored all 16 of his points after halftime. Jerryd Bayless had 19 points and a career-high 12 assists for the Timberwolves on a frigid night with an announced crowd of 13,615 in Minnesota.

Mike Conley had 26 points and eight assists for Memphis.

MAVERICKS 114, KNICKS 90

NEW YORK — Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 14 points in what might have been his final appearance at Madison Square Garden, Luka Doncic warmed up after an airball on his first shot in the arena to score 16 points, and Dallas routed New York.

Dennis Smith Jr. had his second career triple-double with 13 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks with 19 points. Kevin Knox scored 17 points for the Knicks.

WIZARDS 107, PACERS 89

WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal scored 25 points, Jeff Green added 23 to lead another productive night from Washington’s bench, and the Wizards beat Indiana.

Green had 16 points in the first half to help spell Beal, who came in second in the NBA in minutes at 37.2 per game, and the Wizards’ reserves scored 58 points. Washington’s second unit also led a fourth-quarter rally that just fell short against Cleveland a night earlier.

Thaddeus Young scored 13 points for the Pacers. They are 0-3 since a victory over Toronto in which leading scorer Victor Oladipo suffered a season-ending knee injury.

BULLS 105, HEAT 89

MIAMI — Bobby Portis scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half, Wayne Selden added 20 and Chicago ran away in the second half to beat Miami.

The Bulls, who finished January with a 2-13 record — the franchise’s second-worst mark ever in that month. Tyler Johnson scored 15 points for Miami.

KINGS 135, HAWKS 113

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Harry Giles came off the bench and scored 12 of his season-high 20 points in the third quarter, Marvin Bagley IIIadded 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Sacramento romped past Atlanta behind its two prized rookies.

Bogdan Bogdanovic had 16 points and seven assists for the Kings, who pulled away in the third thanks to Giles. Buddy Hield scored 18 and Nemanja Bjelica added 12 points and eight rebounds.

Trae Young had 23 points with eight assists for the Hawks, who have lost four of six.

TRAIL BLAZERS 132, JAZZ 105

PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard had 36 points and 11 assists to lead the Trail Blazers to a win over the Jazz.

Lillard’s backcourt mate CJ McCollum was excellent as well, scoring 30 points in the win.

Donovan Mitchell had 22 points to lead Utah.

McCollum, only one game removed from his first career triple-double, stayed red hot. The Blazers guard made all nine of his shots in the first quarter and had 20 by the end of the period.

J. Cole and Meek Mill to headline NBA All-Star Game

AP

NEW YORK — Rapper J. Cole will headline the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game.

The seven-time Grammy Award nominee will return to his home state to perform a medley of hits at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 17. He released his latest single, “Middle Child,” on Jan. 23.

The National Basketball Association also announced on Wednesday that Meek Mill will open the game and perform an introduction of the All-Star teams.

Charlotte-born Anthony Hamilton will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Grammy winner Carly Rae Jepsen will perform the Canadian national anthem.

The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be broadcast on TNT.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story?id=25884279&src=desktop

Pelicans’ Anthony Davis fined $50K for public trade demand

ESPN

New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after his agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday that his client “wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits players or their agents from publicly requesting trades.

Paul, of Klutch Sports, told ESPN on Monday that he had informed the Pelicans that Davis won’t sign an extension this summer and wants a trade. Multiple league sources expect the agent and star to soon deliver word throughout the league that Davis’ preferred destination is the Los Angeles Lakers, and he’ll become a rental player until 2020 with a trade anywhere else.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN on Monday night that the league had commenced an investigation earlier that morning upon reading the reports regarding Davis.

The NBA’s statement announcing the fine cited the comments made by Paul as “an intentional effort to undermine the contractual relationship between Davis and the Pelicans.”

The $50,000 represents the most Davis can be fined without the player filing a grievance. He is making $25,434,263 this season.

Davis has been sidelined since he suffered a volar plate avulsion 

More: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/25879816/anthony-davis-new-orleans-pelicans-fined-50000-public-trade-demand-agent

NBA GAMEDAY POST JANUARY 29th 2019

USA Today Sports

Associated Press

Bucks top Pistons 115-105, improve to 13-0 after a loss

DETROIT — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 115-105 Tuesday night, keeping the distinction of being the league’s only team without two straight losses.

The NBA-leading Bucks improved to 13-0 after losing a game.

Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez scored 12 of his 14 points in the first quarter when Antetokounmpo was limited to three points because he sat about half the quarter with two fouls.

Eric Bledsoe had 20 points, reserve Pat Connaughton scored 16 points, Khris Middleton had 15 points and Tony Snell added 11 points for the Bucks, who have won seven of eight.

Reggie Jackson matched a season high with 25 points, Andre Drummond had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Blake Griffin had 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost four of five.

PELICANS 121, ROCKETS 116

HOUSTON — Jahlil Okafor scored 27 points and short-handed New Orleans overcame a big early deficit to beat the Houston in its first game since Anthony Davis‘ agent said the five-time All-Star wanted to be traded.

James Harden scored 37 points for Houston to extend his streak of 30-point games to 24, but he had a tough shooting night, making 11 of 32 overall and going 6 for 18 from 3-point range. He had 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Jrue Holiday had 19 points, eight assists, six rebounds and a career-high six blocks for New Orleans. Davis sat out his fifth straight game with sprained left index finger.

The Pelicans snapped a three-game skid amid the Davis drama.

SPURS 126, SUNS 124

SAN ANTONIO — Rudy Gay hit a 21-foot jumper at the buzzer and San Antonio overcame Devin Booker‘s 38 points to escape with a 126-124 victory, extending Phoenix’s losing streak to nine games.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, which is 2-0 on a four-game homestand despite playing without injured DeMar DeRozan. Gay finished with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.

The Suns lost their 11th straight in San Antonio.

After losing its previous four games by an average of 23 points, Phoenix tied this one with 19.6 seconds remaining.

With time winding down, Gay was isolated and hit a jumper as the clock expired to help San Antonio avoid an upset.

THUNDER 126, MAGIC 117

ORLANDO, Fla. — Paul George had 37 points, Russell Westbrookposted another triple-double, and Dennis Schroder scored 18 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to rally Oklahoma City past Orlando for its sixth straight victory.

Westbrook had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists in his fourth consecutive triple-double.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Evan Fournier scored 17 and Aaron Gordon and Terrence Ross added 16 apiece for the Magic, who lost their fourth in a row and seventh in eight games.

76ERS 121, LAKERS 105

LOS ANGELES — Joel Embiid scored 28 points, Jimmy Butler added 20 and Philadelphia cruised past Los Angeles.

Brandon Ingram had a career-high 36 points for the short-handed Lakers, who were missing Kyle Kuzma (hip) along with LeBron James and Lonzo Ball.

Embiid, who also grabbed 11 rebounds, had his NBA-leading 34th game with at least 20 points and 10 boards. He appeared to hurt his back early in the fourth quarter when he fell on an alley-oop attempt but returned later in the game.

Butler was back after missing three games due to a sprained wrist. Ben Simmons scored 19 points and Mike Muscala had 17 for the Sixers, who ran off 12 straight points to take control early.

NETS 122, BULLS 117

NEW YORK — D’Angelo Russell scored 30 points, Shabazz Napier had 24 off the bench and Brooklyn beat Chicago for its ninth straight win at home.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 18 points and Joe Harris had 17 for the Nets, who have won 13 of their last 14 at Barclays Center and seven of eight overall.

Zach Levine had 26 points and Jabari Parker added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who have lost four straight and 10 of 11.

Lauri Markkanen had 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.

CAVALIERS 116, WIZARDS 113

CLEVELAND — Jordan Clarkson scored 28 points, Cedi Osman had 26 and Cleveland held off Washington’s fourth-quarter comeback.

Cleveland matched a season high with 15 3-pointers and built a 25-point lead in the fourth before Washington’s reserves roared back. Jordan McRae‘s two foul shots with 18 seconds remaining cut the margin to three.

Ante Zizic had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Nance added 13 points with 11 rebounds.

The Cavaliers won back-to-back games for the second time this season.

Bradley Beal scored 31 but Washington lost in Cleveland for the second time this season.