Associated Press

Cousins fouls out of Warriors debut in win over Clippers

LOS ANGELES — Stephen Curry scored 28 points, DeMarcus Cousins added 14 before fouling out of his Warriors debut after being sidelined for nearly a year, and Golden State pulled away in the third quarter to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-94 on Friday night for its seventh straight victory and sixth in a row on the road.

The Warriors shot just 9 of 37 on 3-pointers on a night when Curry made only three from long range. Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson missed all four of his 3-point attempts.

Cousins went 5 for 11 from the floor and finished with six rebounds and three assists during his first game since Jan. 26, 2018, when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon playing for New Orleans. He missed the rest of last season, including nine playoff games for the Pelicans. The Warriors signed him last July.

With Cousins finally in the lineup, Golden State became the first team in 42 years to start five All-Stars from the previous season.

Kevin Durant had 24 points for the Warriors. Tobias Harris led the short-handed Clippers with 28 in their season-worst fifth consecutive loss.

NETS 117, MAGIC 115

ORLANDO, Fla. — D’Angelo Russell matched his career high with 40 points and Brooklyn overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Orlando.

Russell’s 3-pointer with 27.1 seconds left put the Nets up for the first time since they led 2-0. After missed free throws by both teams left Brooklyn with a two-point lead, Evan Fournier missed a shot in the lane that would have tied it for Orlando.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half for Brooklyn. The Nets won for the 16th time in 21 games, making 19 of 46 3-pointers. They also rallied Wednesday night in a 145-142 overtime victory at Houston.

Aaron Gordon scored 23 points for Orlando, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 17 rebounds.


MINNEAPOLIS — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points, Rudy Gay added 22 and San Antonio held on to beat Minnesota to give coach Gregg Popovich another milestone victory.

The win was the 520th on the road in Popovich’s career, tying him with Pat Riley for the most in NBA history. The Spurs have won 16 of the past 18 games between the teams.

San Antonio scoring leader DeMar DeRozan sat out because of left ankle soreness.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points for Minnesota, but was limited to 21 minutes because of foul trouble. Derrick Rose also had 23 points.


BOSTON — Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 38 points in the third quarter and Boston held off Memphis.

Irving also had 11 assists and seven rebounds to help Boston win ints second straight after dropping three in a row. Marcus Smart added 20 points and Al Horford had 18

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 26 points. They have lost 10 of 11 overall, and six in a row on the road.


PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard had 22 points and eight assists to lead Portland over New Orleans.

CJ McCollum and reserve forward Jake Layman scored 20 points each for the Trail Blazers. Layman got all his points in the second quarter.

Anthony Davis finished with 27 points and seven rebounds for the Pelicans. Jrue Holiday had 20 points and Julius Randle added 19.


SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points, Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Utah routed Cleveland for its sixth straight victory and eighth in nine games.

Royce O’Neale added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ante Zizic and Collin Sexton each scored 15 points, and Cameron Payne had 14 for the Cavaliers.


DETROIT — Blake Griffin had 32 points and 11 rebounds and Detroit Pistons overcame an early exit by injured Andre Drummond to beat Miami.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 points for the Heat, but missed

Gregg Popovich won’t commit to coaching Spurs next season

Gregg Popovich noncommittal about coaching future beyond 2018-2019 season

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports

January 17, 2019

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is typically obtuse with the media, so it can be often hard to interpret his true intentions. But with the legendary coach in the final year of his contract, his future with the franchise has come up.

Despite massive changes to the team’s typically steady roster, Popovich has the Spurs effectively tied for the No. 5 seed in the West after winning seven of their last 10 games.

The Spurs are eager to keep their head coach of 23 years around, as team president R.C. Buford told the New York Times’ Marc Stein: “He’ll coach as long as he wants to coach.” The question then becomes what Popovich’s plans for next season are.

“I don’t know the answer,” Popovich said after Wednesday’s 105-101 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

How much longer can Popovich coach?

No one doubts that Popovich will coach for the Spurs if he returns for the 2019-20 season, but with him turning 70 at the end of the month, there is a question about how much longer Popovich wants to remain on the bench.

Before Popovich, only Bill Bertka, Hubie Brown and Larry Brown coached into their 70s in the NBA, and none of them coached beyond 71. However, Popovich is by far the most accomplished of that group with five championships and a career .686 winning percentage. The only year his team hasn’t had a winning record was in his first season in 1996-97, when he took over midway after firing Bob Hill as head coach.

Although Popovich has not committed to returning to the Spurs, he has committed to coaching Team USA at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Those two summer jobs would not interfere with his ability to coach in the NBA, but they do show that he’s not done yet.

Popovich has shown the ability to adapt

Some had speculated that Popovich might retire alongside his longtime center Tim Duncan in 2016, but he’s kept chugging along. Manu Ginobili retired and Tony Parker departed for the Charlotte Hornets this offseason, but he’s still here.

Kawhi Leonard was supposed to be able to bridge the different eras after the franchise’s latest championship in 2014, but he asked out, and Popovich traded him to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan. And despite all this turnover, Pop has continually been able to remake his teams and keep the Spurs afloat.

While the rest of the league zigs to high-speed offenses heavy on three-pointers, the Spurs are zagging to mid-range jumpers. No team shoots a higher percentage of shots from inside the arc (72.2 percent), and San Antonio is still able to find success.

Time will tell whether Pop returns for a 24th season, but his advanced age doesn’t seem to be slowing him down. And as long as he’s coaching the Spurs, they seem like a safe bet to be in the playoff hunt.

Rick Welts: Teams ‘praying’ DeMarcus Cousins is crack in Warriors’ armor

By Ali Thanawalla January 18, 2019

Happy Boogie Day, Warriors fans.

It’s the day you’ve been looking forward tosince news broke on July 2 that DeMarcus Cousins had agreed to a deal with the Warriors.

But for the rest of the teams in the league, they are looking forward to Cousins’ Warriors debut because they hope it’s the beginning of the end for the Golden State dynasty.

Warriors COO Rick Welts was recently in the presence of executives from the other 29 teams and he relayed the vibe.

“How crazy is this, right? We had all 30 teams together in Miami 10 days ago, and as you can imagine, we’re not the most popular team with our peers,” Welts said on Thursday on KNBR 680. “The entire league is praying that this is the crack in the armor. I think they are going to be really, really disappointed.”

[RELATED: How Boogie will help in these areas]

The Warriors will be the first team since the 1975-76 Boston Celtics to have five All-Stars in their starting lineup, and the rest of the league is clearly hoping this will finally be too much to handle.

But, there were concerns when Kevin Durant joined the team, and the Warriors made it work to the tune of two NBA titles in two seasons.

So, while the road might be bumpy at the beginning, it’s a safe bet that the Warriors will indeed disappoint the rest of the league when it’s all said and done.

Boogie’s social media posts show he’s excited for his debut

Ali Thanawalla

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins’ warm-up Friday before his Warriors debut live on the MyTeams app at 5:50 p.m. PT, with analysis from Greg Papa, Garry St. Jean and Kelenna Azubuike. Download MyTeams on Google Play and the App Store.

Go DeMarcus! It’s your return day! We gonna party like it’s your birthday!

About 10 hours before he makes his long-awaited Warriors debut, DeMarcus Cousins posted an old viral video of a young buy named DeMarcus dancing.

The video in question was originally posted on YouTube in 2016 and has nearly 652,000 views.

It’s safe to say that Boogie is jacked up to play in his first game in almost a year. The four-time All-Star has been rehabbing from a a torn Achilles tendon.

Additionally, Showtime released another video chronicling Cousins’ rehab and titled it “The wait is over. @boogiecousins is back.”


Wizards beat Knicks in London on goaltending call

Associated Press

LONDON — Allonzo Trier goaltended on Thomas Bryant’s layup with 0.4 seconds remaining, giving the Washington Wizards a 101-100 victory over the New York Knicks at The O2 Arena on Thursday night.

Bradley Beal had 26 points and nine rebounds, and Otto Porter Jr. added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards. They outscored the Knicks 24-11 in the fourth quarter.

Emmanuel Mudiay scored 25 points and Luke Kornet added 16 points for the Knicks in their fifth straight loss. New York center Enes Kanter did not travel with the team for the game because of fears over his safety as an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Kyle Kuzma scored 32 points to help Los Angeles beat Oklahoma City in overtime without injured LeBron James.

The four-time MVP missed his 12th straight game with a left groin strain, but the Lakers still pulled off a solid road win. Ivica Zubac had a career-high 26 points and Lonzo Ball added 18 for the Lakers, who improved to 5-7 without their star.

Paul George scored 27 points and Terrance Ferguson added 21 for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook had 26 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds but shot just 7 of 30.

The Thunder lost despite making a franchise-record 21 3-pointers and leading by 17 in the first half. They have dropped five of six.

Westbrook missed two layups in the final minute but hit three free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it.


TORONTO — Pascal Siakam scored basket just before time expired to lift Toronto past Phoenix.

Siakam had 10 points and 12 rebounds, Ibaka scored 22 points and Kyle Lowry had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors. They have won eight straight at home and six of seven overall.

Devin Booker scored 30 points for Phoenix, and Deandre Ayton had 15 points and 17 rebounds.

76ERS 120, PACERS 96

INDIANAPOLIS — Joel Embiid had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead Philadelphia past Indiana for its seventh victory in nine games.

Jimmy Butler added 27 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Former 76ers player Thaddeus Young led Indiana with 27 points.


DENVER — Jamal Murray scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Nikola Jokic finished two rebounds shy of another triple-double and Denver routed Chicago.

Jokic had 18 points and 11 assists to help the Nuggets rebound from a 142-111 drubbing Tuesday night against Golden State. Lauri Markkanen scored 27 points for Chicago. The Bulls have lost nine a row.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kemba Walker scored 23 points, surpassing 11,000 for his career, and Charlotte beat Sacramento.

Miles Bridges and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 15 points and Willy Hernangomez added 11 points and 16 rebounds. Buddy Hield led the Kings with 24 points.

Kyrie called LeBron amid C’s slump to ‘apologize for being that young player’

Ryan Young January 16, 2019

It appears that Kyrie Irving is serious when he said the Boston Celtics are going to “run over everybody” this season following their 117-108 win against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, and it sounds like he’s ready to be a better leader to make that happen.

Irving is one of the oldest players on the Celtics — only Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, Brad Wanamaker and Marcus Morris are older. He’s also one of the most experienced, having played with and won a championship with LeBron James in Cleveland.

If the Celtics are going to succeed this year and make a deep postseason run, Irving is going to have to help lead them there.

That’s exactly why he called James after their loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday to apologize.

“I had to call ‘Bron and tell him like, ‘I apologize for being that young player that wanted everything at his finger tips,’” Irving said Wednesday. “I wanted everything to be at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to championships. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.

“The responsibility of being the best player in the world and leading a team is something that’s not meant for many people. ‘Bron was one of those guys that came to Cleveland and tried to really show us what it’s like tow in a championship — and it was hard for him. Sometimes getting the most out of the group, it’s not the easiest thing in the world.

The call came just after Irving made harsh criticisms of his younger teammates following the loss to Orlando, where he slammed their lack of experience and suggested that the younger players are not playing hard enough for the entire game.

Irving apologized for those comments on Wednesday, too, saying that he should have kept those criticisms in house.

It was that night, though, that made him realize he needed to call James. He finally understood what James was going through in Cleveland — and knows he can help point him in the right direction to lead the Celtics forward.

“What that brought me back to was like, alright how do I get the best out of this group with the success that they had last year, and then helping them realize what it takes to win a championship,” Irving said.

Read more…

Klay Thompson on Curry: ‘I’m witnessing greatness’

Scott Bair

OAKLAND — Stephen Curry came off a double screen inching closer to the 3-point line, but still well beyond it. The Warriors point guard still couldn’t find open space.

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis came bearing down, with a long arm aimed to disrupt his shooting motion.

That sure seemed like a low percentage shot. Not for Steph. Not during a torrid third quarter where he simply couldn’t miss.

If that was a heat check, it proved Curry was still scalding. Jaws dropped when that one went through, as part of a surge that lifted the Warriors to a 147-140 win over the Pelicans at Oracle Arena.

Curry had 41 points on the night, with 23 in a third quarter where he went 7-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Many of those were fantasy shots for most. They are practiced, often coreographed and at times perfected by the NBA’s finest distance shooter.

“Sometimes, when you get hot like that, you can’t see anything but the rim,” Curry said. “You just try to stay on balance and get to your spot, wherever that is. Again, these are shots I work on. I have confidence in them. I know my teammates do.”

Kevin Durant’s a rare talent in his own right, and even he has to stop and applaud.

“He’s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent, and his movements are so smooth that he makes it look so easy,” Durant said, after scoring 30 points of his own. “When he’s knocking down those shots, it’s just a joy to see.”

Curry was virtually unstoppable in the second half, securing his sixth 40-point game of the season by hitting 11-of-22 shots, including 9-of-17 from three-point range.

The Warriors matched a franchise record with 24 three-pointers made on a franchise record 49 attempts. They’ve ramped up their 3-point efforts lately, something opposing teams have done while trying to beat Golden State in a season that has featured more close games then usual for the defending champs.

[RELATED: Warriors, Pelicans break Golden State’s own 3-point record]

Head coach Steve Kerr cited No. 30 being healthy again for this 3-point surge.

“Steph just changes the whole equation,” Kerr said. “It really does come down to Steph being back, because the tempo goes back up. He shot 17 threes tonight. That’s the difference. He’s going to get a ton of them up.”

Some of them are standard, open shots taken close to the 3-point line. Others, however, would seem wacky taken by most everyone else.

Curry going on crazy runs is commonplace around these parts, but even other sharpshooters still marvel at his shots and their at-times shocking degree of difficulty.

“It’s incredible,” fellow guard Klay Thompson said. “Pull up off the dribble from 30-plus feet — it’s insane. I’m witnessing greatness.”

Stephen Curry makes history with three-game 3-point run

Nick Friedell ESPN Staff Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Currybecame the first player in NBA history to knock down eight or more 3-pointers in three straight games, hitting nine in Wednesday night’s 147-140 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

“When Mark Jackson said [Curry] was ruining the game, I know a lot of people took that personal,” Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant said. “But I kind of got it a little bit, because he’s the only person I’ve ever seen that can shoot those shots in rhythm like that and make them. And now everybody else think they can, and you can’t. And that’s why I shake my head, because once in a generation, once in a lifetime type of talent and movement. His movements out there are just so smooth, it makes it look so easy. So when he’s knocking down those shots it’s just a joy to see.”

Curry, who finished with 41 points, started slowly while picking up three early fouls, but he came to life in the third quarter, going off for 23 points and hitting seven of his eight 3-point attempts, many from far beyond the arc. When told of Curry’s accomplishment, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was surprised another MVP hadn’t done it first.

James Harden didn’t do that?” Kerr said. “He did everything else.”

Like everyone else around the league, Kerr marvels at the shots Curry is able to knock down each night.

“I can’t say that nothing he does surprises me anymore, because tonight, that might have been the most unbelievable stretch,” Kerr said. “In terms of the difficulty of the shots. I’ve seen him get hot obviously a million times. I’m looking forward to watching the tape, because it seemed like … it looked to me like they were all about six, eight feet beyond the 3-point line with a guy [who had] a hand in his face. It’s insane what he does.”

All of Curry’s attempts were contested Thursday night as he finished 9-of-17 from 3-point land, the most contested makes and attempts he has had all season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. His seven consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter tied for the most consecutive 3s he has made in a game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. It’s a feat he has accomplished two other times in his career.

While the rest of his teammates and coaches just shake their heads at Curry’s brilliance, the proud guard doesn’t seem surprised by his success, given how much work he puts in on a daily basis.

“Sometimes when you get hot like that, you really don’t see anything but the rim,” Curry said of his third-quarter performance. “And you just try to stay on balance and get to your spot wherever that is. These are shots I work on. I have confidence in them. I know my teammates do.”

Read more…


James Harden has 58 points in Rockets’ OT loss to Nets

  • Associated Press

HOUSTON — Spencer Dinwiddie scored 25 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter andovertime and the Brooklyn Nets spoiled James Harden‘s 58-point night with a 145-142 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Harden had his second straight season high after scoring 57 in a victory over Memphis on Monday night, but was only 5 of 19 from 3-point range. The Rockets shot an NBA-record 70 3s, making just 23.

Harden has scored at least 30 points in 18 straight games and has reached 40 in nine of the last 12. He was 16 of 34 overall from the field, made 21 of 23 free throws and had 10 rebounds and six assists.

Dinwiddie forced overtime, making three 3-pointers in the last 30 seconds of regulation. In the extra period, he hit the go-ahead basket with 28 seconds left.

Houston had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but Gerald Green‘s shot clanged off the rim. After Houston blew an 11-point lead, Harden’s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim to send it to overtime.

The Rockets broke their own record for 3-point attempts after shooting 61 against New Orleans on Dec. 16, 2016. Houston also holds the record for most 3-pointers made after hitting 26 in a win over Washington this season. Green, who did not attempt a 2-point basket, made 5 of 15.


OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry scored 41 points with nine 3-pointers to become the first player in NBA history to make eight or more 3s in three straight games, and the Warriors held off the Pelicans for their sixth straight win.

Pelicans star Anthony Davis went down hard beneath the Warriors basket with 2:22 left but was able to walk off after a few minutes and quickly returned. Davis had 30 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in nearly 41 minutes for New Orleans, coming off a 46-point and 16-rebound gem Monday night despite starting 0 for 5 with just four points in the first quarter. Nikola Mirotic scored 29 points, Jrue Holiday added 25 points and seven assists while Elfrid Payton dished out 12 assists.

The Pelicans and Warriors combined for an NBA-record 43 3s, breaking the mark by two that Sacramento and Golden State accomplished Jan. 5 at Golden 1 Center.


BOSTON — Kyrie Irving hit a foul-line fadeaway to give Boston the lead, then made a 31-foot 3-pointer to finish with 27 points and lead the Celtics past Toronto.

Returning after missing the last game with a bruised right leg, Irving had 10 points and six of his career-high 18 assist in the fourth quarter — including passes to set up Boston’s last three baskets in a game-ending 17-4 run. Al Horford scored 24 points to help Boston rebound from three straight road losses.

Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points, and Serge Ibaka had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors.


DALLAS — Davis Bertans hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:41 left and San Antonio overcame a 19-point first-half deficit to beat Dallas.

Bertans finished with 12 points. Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 17.

Luka Doncic led Dallas with 25 points, adding eight rebounds and eight assists. He’s the first rookie since Stephen Curry in 2010 to score 25 or more points in five straight games.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Milwaukee had a 19-0 third-quarter run to beat Memphis.

Eric Bledsoe added 16 points to help the Bucks to their third straight victory and 14th in 17 games. Omri Casspi led Memphis with 17 points. The Grizzlies have lost nine of 10 games.


DETROIT — Blake Griffin scored 30 points and Andre Drummondadded 14 points and 21 rebounds to help Detroit outlast Orlando in overtime.

The Pistons won for the third time in 11 games.

Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross each scored 24 points for Orlando.


PORTLAND, Ore. — Jusuf Nurkic had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double and Portland topped Cleveland.

Damian Lillard had 33 points to lead all scorers, and CJ McCollumhad 19 points as Portland snapped a two-game losing streak. Nurkic added five blocks and was treated to a standing ovation when he left the game with 2:13 left.

Jordan Clarkson had 22 points off the bench for the Cavaliers, who were coming off a 101-95 victory over the Lakers that snapped a 12-game losing streak. The game against the Blazers was the fourth of a six-game trip for the Cavs.

The teams combined for just seven turnovers, the fewest since turnovers were officially compiled starting in the 1970-71 season. Portland had a season-low four and Cleveland had three.


LOS ANGELES — Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points and Utah defeated Los Angeles for its first five-game winning streak of the season.

Jae Crowder added 23 points, Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 22 rebounds and Kyle Korver had 19 points for the Jazz, who had six players in double figures.

The Jazz made 30 of 37 free throws, while the Clippers were 9 of 14.

Lou Williams finished with 23 points off the bench to lead the Clippers, who have lost four straight for the second time this season. Tobias Harris added 17 points and Avery Bradley 15 points.

DeMarcus Cousins calls Warriors ‘the most hated team in sports’

By Dalton JohnsonJ

If the Warriors became the “Super Villains” when Kevin Durant joined them in 2016, we need a new name with DeMarcus Cousins on the squad. 

Before he makes his highly-anticipated Warriors debut — set for Friday against the Clippers in Los Angeles — Cousins is all in on the envy. 

“We’re the most hated team in sports,” Cousins said Wednesday to ESPN. “They hate Kevin, they hate me. They only guy they really like is Steph. They may hate him as well. They hate Draymond. I mean, it is what it is. I can’t worry about that.” 

Cousins tore his Achilles tendon as a member of the Pelicans on Jan. 26, 2018 while in the midst one of the best seasons of his career. Nearly one year later, the four-time All-Star is ready to prove he’s still one of the top players in the NBA. 

“I’m back and I’m not looking back,” Cousins said. “Looking forward, I’m leaving it out on the floor every night, and I plan on coming back for that top spot.” 

Coming off a 31-point thrashing of the Nuggets, the Warriors are ready to unleash Boogie, even if the news has to get in the way of Draymond’s naps.