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JMarkJohns
01-04-2005, 01:50 PM
From InsideHoops.com

Baller of the Day for Monday's games is Paul Pierce, who messed around and had a triple-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a Celtics win over the Hornets. He also blocked two shots.

The Beacon Journal reports: The Dan Gilbert Era is about to begin. The Detroit multimillionaire, who amassed his fortune in the mortgage business and through other shrewd investments over the past 20 years, announced Monday that he's signed a contract to purchase the Cavaliers and the Gund Arena Co. from principal owner Gordon Gund. The deal is subject to approval from the NBA and its board of governors, but should be completed over the next four to six weeks. Although the base price has been reported as $375 million, Gilbert is assuming millions in debt and, as part of the deal, Gund will retain a 10 percent stake of the team. Those factors are believed to drop the payout closer to the $300 million range. Because he doesn't yet have official ownership, Gilbert has been barred by the league from discussing any personnel issues or changes. He said Monday that he hasn't had talks with anyone in that area. But Gilbert and his small group of investors immediately announced they have no intention of moving the franchise from Cleveland.

The AP reports: Perfection lasted nearly a month for the Miami Heat. Then, the Seattle SuperSonics came to town. Ray Allen scored 35 points and Rashard Lewis added 17 points and 13 rebounds as the SuperSonics snapped the Heat's franchise-record 14-game winning streak Monday night with a 98-96 victory. Seattle improved the NBA's second-best road record to 12-3. Only Phoenix (12-2) has had more success away from home.

Transactions: The Golden State Warriors traded two future second round draft picks to the Phoenix Suns for Zarko Cabarkapa.

The Warriors put Ed Najera on the injured list.

Sacramento's Bobby Jackson had wrist surgery and is basically done for the season.

The Clippers waived Kirk Penney.

Other: LeBron James, in a Cavs win over the Bobcats had 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists. This was LeBron's first game where he had to wear a mask since meeting one of Dikembe's stupid elbows. The good news for the world is, LeBron showed no problem adjusting to the mask, which he could be wearing for a full month or two.


MONDAY'S RESULTS
The home team is in caps:

TORONTO 105, Orlando 94 - Ticker reports: Chris Bosh was not about to be upstaged again. After being outplayed by 19-year-old rookie Dwight Howard in the last meeting between the teams, Bosh matched a career high with 25 points as the Toronto Raptors posted a 105-94 triumph over the slumping Orlando Magic. Orlando, which has lost a season-high four straight and six in a row on the road, pasted Toronto, 119-108, on December 1. In that contest, Howard, the top overall pick in the draft, went for 15 points and a season-high 20 rebounds, with most of the damage coming against Bosh. This time, Bosh had arguably his best game of the season, making 9-of-19 shots and grabbing 12 rebounds. He helped Toronto to a 46-38 edge on the glass, a key factor after the Raptors were outrebounded, 62-32, in the previous meeting. Howard had just five points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. Toronto's Morris Peterson scored a season-high 21 points and reserves Jalen Rose and Matt Bonner chipped in 11 apiece. Bonner made 5-of-9 shots and is shooting 56% this season. Steve Francis led Orlando with 19 points and 10 assists but made just 4-of-14 shots. Toronto used a 19-8 run late in the first quarter to seize control and led, 58-45, at halftime. Orlando opened the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run to draw within 87-80 with 8:19 to go. The teams traded baskets until a three-point play by Bosh with 3:08 remaining pushed the lead to 102-87. The Magic never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way. Toronto has won a season-high four straight home games and its 9-4 record at the Air Canada Centre matches its best home mark through 13 games. Orlando guard Cuttino Mobley was ejected following double technicals for arguing with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter. Francis was hit with a technical 30 seconds earlier.

BOSTON 108, New Orleans 90 - Ticker reports: Gary Payton doesn't miss many games. He missed a good one by teammates Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis. Pierce collected his fourth-career triple-double and Davis scored 23 points off the bench as the Celtics overcame 16 first-half turnovers for a 108-90 victory over the hapless New Orleans Hornets. Payton sat out with a strained left hamstring, marking just the fourth game in his 15-year career that he missed because of injury. It snapped a streak of 305 games played for the future Hall of Famer. Without Payton, the Celtics struggled to control the ball in the first half. However, in the third quarter, Pierce stabilized the team with two 3-pointers in a 39-second span to along two assists in a 14-4 run to give the Celtics a 62-52 advantage with 6:56 left. The All-Star, whose last triple-double came against Milwaukee on November 25, 2003, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Davis sparked another spurt, scoring seven points as Boston closed the quarter on a 15-2 run and took an 82-65 lead into the final quarter. The Hornets got no closer than 15 points thereafter which drew the ire of their coach. Raef LaFrentz chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who have four straight home games after splitting their first 10 contests at the FleetCenter. Baron Davis and Lee Nailon scored 18 points apiece for New Orleans, which has lost eight straight games, allowing at least 100 points in the last seven.

Seattle 98, MIAMI 96 - Ticker reports: Ray Allen and the Seattle SuperSonics showed the Miami Heat they had their own impressive winning streak. Allen scored 11 of his 35 points in a frenetic fourth quarter as the SuperSonics ended the Heat's league season-high 14-game winning streak with a 98-96 victory. The Heat had not lost since December 4 at Denver, setting a franchise record and climbing to the top of the Eastern Conference behind Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade. Seven of those wins came on the road. However, the SuperSonics had their own road roll going. They had won their last five road games, including the first two on their five-game trip. They arrived in South Beach with an 11-3 road mark, the second-best mark in the NBA. Led by Allen, Seattle took a 71-69 lead into the fourth quarter and never trailed again. Miami forged four ties in the final 4 1/2 minutes but Seattle responded each time. Two free throws by Allen gave the Sonics a 95-93 lead with 46 seconds left before a drive by Wade - who scored 12 of his 28 points in the final period - tied it for the last time 10 seconds later. Allen penetrated and set up Danny Fortson, who made 1-of-2 free throws with 13 seconds to go. Damon Jones missed a 3-pointer and Christian Laettner missed a jumper before Vladimir Radmanovic grabbed the rebound, drew a foul and made both shots for a 98-95 lead with 1.6 seconds to play. The Heat had one last chance when Eddie Jones was fouled by Rashard Lewis while shooting a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining. But he missed the first free throw and hit only backboard on the third, handing the ball - and the win - to the Sonics. Lewis had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Fortson added 15 and 10 and Radmanovic scored 12 points for Seattle, which made 9-of-20 3-pointers. O'Neal had 25 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks for Miami. The Sonics have two games on the road before meeting Miami at home on Sunday. The Heat are hoping to even the score.

MEMPHIS 92, Utah 82 - Ticker reports: Pau Gasol continues to be at the forefront of the Memphis Grizzlies' resurgence. Gasol collected 25 points and 10 rebounds while Shane Battier added 18 points as the Grizzlies extended their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 92-82 triumph over the struggling Utah Jazz, who have lost 16 of 19. After winning a franchise-best 50 games and making its first playoff appearance last season, Memphis stumbled out of the gate and had to deal with the resignation of coach Hubie Brown. But the team has turned it around under new coach Mike Fratello, going 7-2 in its last nine contests with Gasol as the catalyst. Named Western Conference Player of the Week earlier Monday, the Spaniard is averaging 24 points in the last four games. Gasol made his statement in the third quarter when he connected on all six of his shots en route to 17 points in the period, when the Grizzlies outscored the Jazz, 31-20, to take a 68-58 lead. After being in Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's doghouse for several weeks, Carlos Arroyo came off the bench to score 13 of his 15 points in the final period, including a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 88-82 with just over a minute remaining. Utah's Carlos Boozer collected 20 points and 15 rebounds but failed on an opportunity to cut the lead to four with 36 seconds left by missing a layup.

Detroit 87, CHICAGO 80 - Ticker reports: Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons have made the United Center their home away from home. Hamilton scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half as the Pistons defeated the Chicago Bulls, 87-80, for their ninth straight win at the United Center. Hamilton scored Detroit's final 10 points and keyed a 14-4 run that put the Pistons up for good, 83-74, with 1:44 remaining. Detroit managed just 14 first-quarter points but went on a 15-2 spurt in the second period, opening a 29-26 lead on a 3-pointer by Rasheed Wallace. Rookie Ben Gordon turned things around with 17 of his 27 points in the second quarter, including a high-arching layup off the glass just before the half that gave Chicago a 44-39 edge. Hamilton, who outscored Gordon in a battle of former University of Connecticut stars, admitted he wasn't thinking about the head-to-head matchup. Gordon was held scoreless in the third quarter. Detroit increased the defensive intensity when necessary in the second half, holding Chicago to one basket in the final five minutes of the third quarter and one in the final 5:45 of the fourth. Tayshaun Prince scored 15 points and Ben Wallace grabbed 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won five of six. Prince's defense caught the eye of Brown, who credited him with slowing down Gordon. Kirk Hinrich scored 19 points and Tyson Chandler swept 14 rebounds for the Bulls. Chicago played without center Eddy Curry, who had the flu.

LA Clippers 102, DENVER 98 - Ticker reports: Rick Brunson did not let a poor shooting game affect his confidence. Brunson buried a pivotal 3-pointer with 21 seconds to go and registered seven of his season-high 18 points in the waning seconds as the Los Angeles Clippers posted a 102-98 triumph over the Denver Nuggets. Brunson, who has been filling in for the injured Marko Jaric, entered the contest averaging just 5.3 points. He was 4-of-11 from the field when he found himself open in the left corner and the game in the balance. He calmly drained the 3-pointer for a 96-92 lead. The journeyman added four free throws in the final 10 seconds as the Clippers (15-15) snapped a four-game road losing streak. An eight-year veteran, Brunson fell one shy of his career high set against the Los Angeles Lakers while with Portland on February 4, 1998. Los Angeles' Corey Maggette, who added two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining, finished with 33 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and Nene added 20 for the Nuggets, who fell to 4-12 against Western Conference opponents this season. Denver (14-17) played without starters Marcus Camby and Greg Buckner. The Nuggets, who have lost eight of nine, trailed by as many as 18 in the first half, before rallying.

Philadelphia 112, GOLDEN STATE 104 - Ticker reports: Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers wore down the Golden State Warriors, who were shorthanded to begin with. Allen Iverson scored 29 points and Kenny Thomas and rookie Andre Iguodala added 19 apiece as the 76ers used an efficient offensive approach to post a 112-104 triumph over the Golden State Warriors. Iverson carried the team early, scoring 21 of his points in the opening half and Thomas and Iguodala hit big free throws late. Philadelphia shot 50 percent (40-of-80) from the field, including 6-of-14 from 3-point range. The 76ers sealed the win from the line, making all but five of their 31 attempts, including 13-of-14 over the final 12 minutes. Philadelphia evened its record at 14-14 by winning for just the third time in eight road games against the Western Conference. Troy Murphy led Golden State (11-20) with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Former Sixer Speedy Claxton added 21 for the Warriors, who were without star guard Jason Richardson, swingman Mickael Pietrus and newly acquired Zarko Cabarkapa. With forward-center Dale Davis not getting off the bench, Golden State had just eight players in its rotation.


TUESDAY SCHEDULE

All times Eastern. Local and national television info to right of each game:

New Jersey @ Washington 7:00pm CSN / YES
Milwaukee @ Indiana 7:00pm FSMW / FSNN
Sacramento @ New York 7:30pm MSG / CSN-SAC
Phoenix @ Minnesota 8:00pm FSNN / UPN 45
L.A. Lakers @ San Antonio 8:30pm KENS / KCAL NBATV


TODAY IN NBA HISTORY

January 4, 1975: The New Orleans Jazz set a then NBA record (for games played with the use of the 24-second shot clock) by scoring only 20 points in the first half of a 111-89 loss at Seattle. The record stood for nearly 25 years before the Los Angeles Clippers scored 19 points in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 14, 1999.

January 4, 1984: Adrian Dantley tied Wilt Chamberlain’s record for most free throws made in one game by converting 28 free throws (in 29 attempts) in Utah’s 116-111 victory over Houston at Las Vegas.

January 4, 1985: The Boston Celtics honored Team President Red Auerbach by retiring uniform #2 in ceremonies prior to a game against New York.

January 4, 1992: Boston’s Robert Parish became the fifth player in NBA history (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mark Eaton, Wayne Rollins and George Johnson) to register 2,000 career blocks during the Celtics’ 100-96 road loss at Minnesota.

January 4, 2001: Fayetteville, North Carolina was named as the first city to be granted a franchise in the National Basketball Development League, the NBA’s new minor league. The NBA announced the NBDL would begin play in November 2001.

January 4, 2001: Michael Jordan of the Washington Wizards, by hoisting the second of two free throws with 5:28 remaining in the second quarter of an 89-83 victory against Chicago, became the fourth player in NBA history to score 30,000 career points.

Zona Dave
01-04-2005, 07:12 PM
Hre's this weeks Power Rankings-


1 (4) Heat 25-7 Heat will love hearing this: The NBA's last four teams to go 14-1 in December all reached the Finals, and three of those four won it all (2000 Lakers, '81 Celtics and '72 Lakers).
2 (3) Spurs 25-7 Pummeling Phoenix should have been good enough for the top spot. But then Spurs lost in Sacto . . . and Heat is too hot to ignore.
3 (1) Suns 26-4 Amare's 50-pointer was a handy rebound from the SA rout. Suns were safely among the four teams playing .750-or-better ball as of Jan. 1, only the second time in NBA history we've seen that.
4 (2) SuperSonics 22-6 The other leading surprise package, along with Phoenix, just completed a restful stretch of one game game in nine days between Dec. 18-26. January will be a lot busier (and tougher).
5 (8) Kings 19-9 Kings earn another shot at No. 5 by clamping down on Spurs without B-Jax. Quite a big win considering they've already lost four home games, after losing just seven at Arco last season.
6 (7) Pistons 16-13 Pistons will hate hearing this: NBA has only seen two defending champs with worse records entering the New Year than Detroit at 15-13. That's '03 Lakers (13-19) and '77 Celtics (17-15).
7 (10) Mavericks 20-10 Don't forget Dirk, who's right up there with Amare on the list of starry West big man who (regrettably) have no shot at an All-Star start because of the Duncan-Garnett crossfire.
8 (6) Timberwolves 16-12 It's not quite as bad as Kevin McHale claims -- ''We're probably the most underachieving team in the league,'' he says -- but Wolves' struggles haven't helped our search for a worthy No. 5.
9 (16) Pacers 16-13 With O'Neal's suspension officially reduced and S-Jax coming back in just over three weeks, the committee has a feeling that Indy will be filling the troublesome No. 5 slot very soon.
10 (9) Cavaliers 17-12 The birthday bash, courtesy of Mutombo, threatens a drop, but LeBron also became just the third teenager in history to score 40 in a game, joining 'Melo and (the other) Cliff Robinson.
11 (15) Lakers 16-12 Lakers won only one of the first seven games in which Kobe went for 40. Since Christmas, they've won two in a row when he did.
12 (18) Rockets 16-15 With two new guards (J. Barry and Wesley), perhaps now Houston can work on another problem. Like, say, its 6-8 record vs. the East ... compared to 9-7 against the West.
13 (22) Grizzlies 15-17 At 10-6 since taking over, and with wins over Detroit and now Minnesota, Czar Fratello has quickly hauled Grizz back into the West's playoff chase. Not even Marv could rip that.
14 (11) Wizards 16-13 While encouraged by their 7-8 road record, compared to 8-33 last season, Wiz are quite happy to be home now until Jan. 14.
15 (17) Knicks 16-14 This is the only Atlantic Division representative to make it to 2005 with a better-than-.500 record. One big reason: Knicks are actually 5-1 at home against West opposition.
16 (5) Magic 15-13 Thank you, Magic, for teasing the committee with that Spurs win ... and then shaming us vs. Knicks, Bucks and Bulls after we gambled on your promotion. Another No. 5 bites the dust.
17 (14) Nuggets 14-16 Coop-a-Loop is the first to go from WNBA head coach to NBA head coach ... after Frank Layden, Ron Rothstein, Richie Adubato, Darrell Walker and Brian Winters switched the other way.
18 (12) Celtics 13-17 The hate e-mail piled up when we said Boston's stingy defense early wouldn't last. To wit, our Atlantic favorites have allowed at least 100 points in 11 straight games.
19 (13) Trail Blazers 14-15 The speculation about Cheeks' job security is inevitable, but we suspect it's the constant (and unsettling) trade speculation in Portland that contributes to the mediocrity.
20 (19) Nets 11-18 Because we like to focus on the positive (but really because we still love the Buffalo Braves so much): Vince's 23 points in his debut tied former Brave Bird Averitt for the No. 2 bow in Nets history.
21 (21) Clippers 14-15 Beating Philly took the teetering Clips to 8-3 against the East. Of course, with only 19 games left against Eastern opposition, it's a stretch to suggest they've steadied much.
22 (23) 76ers 13-16 AI-Kobe comparisons are in circulation for a reason: Iverson led the league, entering the weekend, by attempting 27.4 percent of his team's shots. Kobe is second at 27.1 percent.
23 (20) Bulls 10-17 Even after two disappointing losses to close the calendar year, Bulls posted an 8-7 mark in December. The committee continues to be guarded, but even we can applaud those numbers.
24 (27) Warriors 10-19 The improvement is tangible; Warriors are 8-7 over the past 15 games. But they were so disappointing early that Warrior Nation, if there is such a thing, should expect a slow climb.
25 (25) Raptors 10-21 You were warned, Raps fans, that rushing into a Vince trade because THIS season was slipping away made no sense. Agree now?
26 (29) Bucks 9-18 At least Bucks haven't lost another point guard. In case you missed our recent discussion on NBA Fastbreak, Milwaukee rebuffed Houston's attempts to trade for James.
27 (26) Jazz 11-20 As Utah's freefall continues, perhaps we have to rewind to last season and give AK-47 more of the credit Sloan got for getting that Jazz to 42-40. The Jazz, still sans Kirilenko, just get worse and worse.
28 (24) Bobcats 7-20 The numbers are nice for Okafor and even Brevin Knight, but here's a better compliment: Bobs haven't won a game for two weeks . . . and that surprised us when we counted it up.
29 (28) Hawks 5-24 When we said no one can fill Philips Arena, of course we meant no one on the Atlanta roster. Just wanted to clarify, since LeBron, for example, has proven he can do it.
30 (30) Hornets 2-26 Can you blame poor Jim Jax? Not only is a trade to Hornets unsettling, but they would be the 11th team he's played for -- one short of tying the Chucky Brown-Tony Massenburg record.

JMarkJohns
01-04-2005, 07:29 PM
Interesting fact, so far Phoenix has been the only ESPN ranked #1 team to not lose the following week after the rankings name them #1...

Miami, newly named, just lost to Seattle.

I think they should be

San Antonio
Phoenix
Seattle
Miami
Sacramento

until one plays there way up or down or out or someone plays themselves in.

Even in Miami's 14-game streak they didn't beat top-notch West teams, as they are only 6-6 vs. the West this year, while 19-2 vs. the East.
__________________

EDIT: And Kerr happens to agree with me...Kerr's high 5

THE HIGH FIVE

San Antonio 1. San Antonio Spurs (25-7) – I know, I know. Phoenix has three fewer losses than the Spurs. But Tim Duncan and Co.'s manhandling of the Suns last week in San Antonio was too much to ignore.

Phoenix 2. Phoenix Suns (26-4) – Amare Stoudemire is flat-out scary. Fifty points against Portland on Sunday night! Road games this week against Minnesota and Houston will be a good test for him and his team.

Seattle 3. Seattle SuperSonics (23-6) – The Sonics started their week by beating the Heat and face two more of the East's elite on the road – Orlando and Washington.

Miami 4. Miami Heat (25-8) – Shaquille O'Neal is the MVP of the East so far, but Dwyane Wade is dominated the fourth quarters of the Heat's 14-game win streak. He is Miami's Eric Gagne – its closer.

Sacramento 5. Sacramento Kings (19-9) – The Kings enjoyed their best win of the season Sunday night in beating San Antonio. Chris Webber is quietly putting together an excellent season.