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  • NBA roundup: Pacers end six-game skid
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, February 25, 2017

    INDIANAPOLIS-- C.J. Miles scored 17 points, Monta Ellis added 16 and Indiana snapped a six-game losing streak with a 102-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

    • For Indiana (30-28), it was its first victory since beating Oklahoma City 93-90 on Feb. 6. Indiana's Paul George made only 3 of 12 shots from the floor, finished with nine points and nine rebounds and left the game in the fourth quarter with right-leg cramps.

      But the second unit, led by Ellis, Lavoy Allen, Rodney Stuckey, Glenn Robinson III and Rakeem Christmas, helped Indiana pull away, combining for 44 points.

      Memphis (34-25), which received 13 points from Troy Daniels, lost its second in a row. The Grizzlies had beaten the Pacers five consecutive times before Friday night.

      Timberwolves 97, Mavericks 84

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 18 rebounds and Minnesota pulled away from Dallas.

      After hearing his name in trade rumors before Thursday's deadline, Ricky Rubio had 13 points, 14 assists, five rebounds and three steals for Minnesota. The Timberwolves (23-35), who bypassed any trade deadline deals, posted their third win in four games since the All-Star break and pulled ahead of Dallas (22-35) in the Western Conference.

      Seth Curry scored a career-high 31 points for the Mavericks, who were without new acquisition Nerlens Noel on Friday. Noel is expected to make his Dallas debut at home on Saturday against New Orleans. Harrison Barnes added 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost three in a row.

      76ers 120, Wizards 112

      PHILADELPHIA -- Robert Covington had 25 points and 11 rebounds as Philadelphia beat Washington.

      Dario Saric and Gerald Henderson added 20 points apiece for the 76ers, who won for the fourth time in five games.

      Bradley Beal poured in 40 points and John Wall collected 29 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds for Washington, which cut a 22-point deficit to four with 22.9 seconds left. Philadelphia's Nik Stauskas made two free throws with 21.9 left and Henderson added two with 7.7 seconds to play.

      Raptors 107, Celtics 97

      TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan made big shots down the stretch and finished with 43 points as Toronto defeated Boston.

      DeRozan's jumper in the final minute gave Toronto a five-point lead and his two free throws with 33.6 seconds left made it a seven-point advantage. DeRozan made two more free throws with 27.5 seconds left to seal the win.

      Serge Ibaka had 15 points and seven rebounds in his debut with the Raptors (34-24). Isaiah Thomas led Boston (37-21) with 20 points and Marcus Smart added 19 off the bench. Crowder also had 19 points and Jaylen Brown 13 for the Celtics.

      Buls 128, Suns 121, OT

      CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler had 22 and Chicago put five scorers in double figures against Phoenix.

      Nikola Mirotic scored 20 points off the bench and Robin Lopez added 19 for the Bulls (29-29), who also got 15 points from rookie Denzel Valentine.

      Devin Booker led the Suns (18-40) with 27 points. Eric Bledsoe, Marquese Chriss and TJ Warren each scored 17. Alan Williams also had 16 points for Phoenix, which blew an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

      Jazz 109, Bucks 92

      MILWAUKEE -- Gordon Hayward scored 29 points and led an offense that dominated the paint as Utah cruised past Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

      The Jazz (36-22) won their second straight after a three-game skid.

      Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 33 points and added 12 rebounds. The Bucks (25-31) had won its last three games before the All-Star break.

      Thunder 110, Lakers 93

      OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook collected his 28th triple-double of the season to lead Oklahoma City over Los Angeles at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

      Westbrook scored 17 points on 4-of-17 shooting from the field to go with 17 assists and 19 rebounds. Alex Abrines and Andre Roberson each had 19 points and combined to hit eight 3-pointers. Steven Adams collected 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder (33-25).

      D'Angelo Russell paced the Lakers (19-41) with 29 points. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 14 points and Julius Randle added 13.

      Heat 108, Hawks 90

      ATLANTA -- Tyler Johnson came off the bench to score 23 points, including three of Miami's season-high 17 3-point baskets, in a win at Philips Arena.

      Miami made 17 of 37 of its 3-point tries. Luke Babbitt made four, with Johnson and Wayne Ellington each hitting three. The Heat (26-32) have won two straight games and 15 of their last 17.

      Atlanta (32-25) has lost two straight and five of its last 10. The Hawks were led by forward Paul Millsap, who scored 21 points but had only two in the second half.

  • Raptors G Lowry misses game with wrist injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    TORONTO -- All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry was scratched from the Toronto Raptors game against the Boston Celtics Friday night with an injury to his right wrist.

    • Lowry suffered the injury in the win over the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 15 but was still able to participate in the All-Star Game this past weekend.

      The injury will be evaluated during the weekend.

      The game Friday was the first for Toronto sine the game against Charlotte.

  • NBA notebook: 76ers F Simmons ruled out for season
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Philadelphia 76ers officially ruled out forward Ben Simmons for the remainder of his rookie season after tests revealed his broken right foot was not fully healed.

    • The No. 1 overall draft pick out of LSU is "heartbroken" over the news, Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo told reporters in making the announcement Friday morning.

      The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Simmons fractured his foot on Sept. 30, the final day of training camp. He underwent surgery in October to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. The Sixers said his latest scan taken Thursday showed the injury was not healing as expected.

      The 20-year-old Simmons did not appear in a regular-season game. He played a single season at LSU, where he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

      --The Atlanta Hawks suspended guard Dennis Schroder for one game without pay for failure to report to the team on time after the All-Star break.

      Schroder will serve his one-game suspension Friday night when the Hawks host the Miami Heat.

      Schroder, 23, said Thursday a visa problem delayed his return to the United States from Germany, his native country. The Hawks' starting point guard missed Wednesday's practice, the team's first workout.

      In 56 games this season, Schroder is averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds.

      --All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins lashed out at Sacramento Kings management, terming Sunday's trade to the New Orleans Pelicans as "a coward move."

      Cousins' sentiments were published by The Undefeated on Friday, one night after the Pelicans were routed 129-99 in his New Orleans debut.

      Cousins was asked if he would like to speak to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive or general manager Vlade Divac to hear why the team's guarantee not to trade him didn't hold up.

      "Nah. For what? It was a coward move, so I'm pretty sure I will get a coward response," Cousins said. "For what? And I've seen this happen before. I've been there through all same types ... I was there with (coach) Mike Malone's (firing in 2014). I've seen how they operate. I know what kind of answer I will get anyway. So, what is the point?"

      --The New Orleans Pelicans signed free agent guard Jarrett Jack to a 10-day contract to help shore up a depleted backcourt.

      The 11-year veteran hasn't played for an NBA team since tearing the ACL in his right knee shortly before the midway point of the 2015-16 season with the Brooklyn Nets. Jack impressed the Pelicans during a workout on Thursday and the team feels the veteran can be a positive in the locker room with mercurial All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins recently added to the mix.

      Jack has career averages of 11.1 points and 4.5 assists in 803 career games with seven teams. The Pelicans had a need in the backcourt after guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway were traded to Sacramento in the deal for Cousins.

      --The Los Angeles Clippers are in discussions with Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke about moving the team to a new arena in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

      Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has engaged in multiple discussions with Kroenke about having the Clippers play in the facility that would be built on the premises of where the new NFL stadium will open in 2019.

      The football stadium will host the Rams and recently moved Chargers once it opens. The arena would be part of the complex and parking would be shared.

      The Clippers have played at the Staples Center since 1999. They share that facility with the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings.

  • Clippers in talks over moving to new arena
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Los Angeles Clippers are in discussions with Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke about moving the team to a new arena in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

    • Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has engaged in multiple discussions with Kroenke about having the Clippers play in the facility that would be built on the premises of where the new NFL stadium will open in 2019.

      The football stadium will host the Rams and recently moved Chargers once it opens. The arena would be part of the complex and parking would be shared.

      The Clippers have played at the Staples Center since 1999. They share that facility with the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings.

      The Clippers' lease at Staples Center runs through 2024 but Ballmer has previously been searching for a solution in which the franchise could have an arena of its own.

  • Pelicans sign G Jack to 10-day deal to bulk up depleted backcourt
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The New Orleans Pelicans signed free agent guard Jarrett Jack to a 10-day contract on Friday to help shore up a depleted backcourt.

    • The 11-year veteran hasn't played for an NBA team since tearing the ACL in his right knee shortly before the midway point of the 2015-16 season with the Brooklyn Nets.

      Jack impressed the Pelicans during a workout on Thursday and the team feels the veteran can be a positive in the locker room with mercurial All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins recently added to the mix.

      "I think, No. 1, he's just a natural leader," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. "He plays with toughness, he always has in the league. He finds a way to get things done. We just felt like that he'd be a good addition to the team."

      Jack has career averages of 11.1 points and 4.5 assists in 803 career games with seven teams. He previously played two seasons with New Orleans from 2010-12.

      "It was my first time in the playoffs and getting to team up with (former Hornets guard Chris Paul)," Jack said of his previous stint. "A friend I've had since I was young. My family tree, the majority of it, is from down here in Louisiana, so getting an opportunity to come back to a place I'm familiar with is pretty cool."

      The Pelicans had a need in the backcourt after guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway were traded to Sacramento in the deal for Cousins.

  • Cousins rips Kings, calls trade 'coward move'
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins lashed out at Sacramento Kings management, terming Sunday's trade to the New Orleans Pelicans as "a coward move."

    • Cousins' sentiments were published by The Undefeated on Friday, one night after the Pelicans were routed 129-99 in his New Orleans debut.

      Cousins was asked if he would like to speak to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive or general manager Vlade Divac to hear why the team's guarantee not to trade him didn't hold up.

      "Nah. For what? It was a coward move, so I'm pretty sure I will get a coward response," Cousins said. "For what? And I've seen this happen before. I've been there through all same types ...

      "I was there with (coach) Mike Malone's (firing in 2014). I've seen how they operate. I know what kind of answer I will get anyway. So, what is the point?"

      Cousins feels betrayed by Divac, who recently stopped by Cousins' house and told him he wouldn't be traded and discussed ways to improve the team.

      "The sick part about it is that Vlade came in my house with my agent (Jarinn Akana)," Cousins said. "We sat in my theater and just talked. That was maybe three weeks ago. We sat there and (he) told me what moves he wanted to make. All of that. I just didn't understand.

      "I got a text from the owner right before I went to All-Star (Game). He was asking me about a player, how I felt about him and making a move. The owner! When it happened, I was just in shock. I didn't understand."

      Cousins heard rumors before the start of the All-Star Game that he might be headed to New Orleans. Then as he was about to meet with the media after the contest, Kings media relations director Chris Clark whispered in his ear that "there is serious talk about you possibly being moved."

      Cousins learned about the deal being official later that night but he didn't hear the news from Ranadive or Divac. He said it should've been handled differently.

      "Like a man. Like a professional. The more those guys talk, the more things come out," Cousins said. "It's just crazy. This ain't something that happened in a few days. It has been discussed with more than one team. I just don't understand."

      In January, the rumors were that the Kings planned to offer Cousins a five-year, $207 million contract extension. Before February ended, his Sacramento tenure was over.

      Cousins had 27 points and 14 rebounds in his first game with New Orleans but the Pelicans were run out of the building. His new All-Star sidekick, Anthony Davis, tallied 29 points.

      "For some reason, I guess people expected a championship," said Cousins, who is averaging 27.8 points and 10.7 rebounds. "I know the reality of it. We've had one practice and a shootaround. This isn't something that is just going to happen overnight. Do we look good on paper? Yes. But being good on paper doesn't win games."

      Cousins contract runs out after the 2017-18 season and he says he will consider signing a long-term contract with his new franchise.

      "I'm not here to B.S. or waste time. I'm here to win," Cousins said. "Whatever the system is, I'm dialed in. I'm all in. I'm not here to waste time. I'm not."

  • Hawks PG Schroder suspended for one game
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Atlanta Hawks suspended guard Dennis Schroder for one game without pay for failure to report to the team on time after the All-Star break.

    • Schroder will serve his one-game suspension Friday night when the Hawks host the Miami Heat.

      "Dennis has played an important role for our team and been a significant contributor to our success this season," president of basketball operations and head coach Mike Budenholzer said in a statement Friday. "We are disappointed that he did not return to the team on time and we have discussed this with him. We look forward to him rejoining the team in Orlando tomorrow night."

      Schroder, 23, said Thursday a visa problem delayed his return to the United States from Germany, his native country. The Hawks' starting point guard missed Wednesday's practice, the team's first workout.

      In 56 games this season, Schroder is averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds.

      The Hawks also announced the signings of forward Ryan Kelly and guard/forward Lamar Patterson to multi-year contracts.

      Kelly played in nine games earlier this season with the Hawks after signing on Oct. 31, 2016. He averaged 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds.

      Patterson was signed to consecutive 10-day contracts on Jan. 29 and Feb. 8. He appeared in four games and averaged 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds.

  • 76ers' Simmons officially ruled out for rookie season
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 24, 2017

    The Philadelphia 76ers officially ruled out forward Ben Simmons for the remainder of his rookie season after tests revealed his broken right foot was not fully healed.

    • The No. 1 overall draft pick out of LSU is "heartbroken" over the news, Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo told reporters in making the announcement Friday morning.

      "I have always known that there was a desire to get him back on the court when healthy," Colangelo said. "We've always anticipated there would be an opportunity for him to play, hopefully this season.

      "But there was always the outside chance that it didn't happen because there wasn't complete and full healing. And we weren't going to put Ben Simmons in a place where he was (susceptible) to a re-fracture. There are genetic things that change the healing patterns of people. So if everybody had done their research and saw that most Jones fractures took 3 to 4 months, great. But it's not 3 to 4 months in every case, it's 3 to 4 months in most cases.

      "He's heartbroken. He wants to play. He wants to be out there. It's eating him alive, I'm sure."

      The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Simmons fractured his foot on Sept. 30, the final day of training camp. He underwent surgery in October to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot.

      The Sixers said his latest scan taken Thursday showed the injury was not healing as expected.

      The 20-year-old Simmons did not appear in a regular-season game. He played a single season at LSU, where he averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

      The 76ers are 21-35 and have 26 games remaining this season.

      Head coach Brett Brown said Thursday that he expected Simmons to play this season.

      "I personally would like to see him play this season. I don't backpedal from that," Brown said. "I think my comments are really very much influenced by his reciprocal desire to play this year, which we all respect. Everybody's got clandestine conspiracy theories on why he might not want to play. I know in my heart and speaking to him, he wants to get on a court and play basketball again.

      "I hope he can do that, too. If for some reason he can't, we'll deal with it. But I think it would help him to play NBA basketball and get his competitive juices going again if the doctors point us in that direction."

  • NBA roundup: Williams, Rockets sink Pelicans
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    NEW ORLEANS -- Newly acquired guard Lou Williams scored a team-high 27 points to lead six players in double figures, and the Houston Rockets forced 20 turnovers to spoil the Twin Towers debut of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins with a 129-99 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.

    • The Rockets led by as many as 35 points in the third quarter and coasted to the victory by making 20 of 51 from behind the arc. Other Rockets in double figures were Eric Gordon (19), Ryan Anderson (17), Clint Capela (13), James Harden (13) with 14 assists and Montrezl Harrell (10).

      Davis led the Pelicans with 29 points, and Cousins, acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Sacramento Kings last Sunday, scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in his New Orleans debut.

      Cavaliers 119, Knicks 104

      CLEVELAND -- LeBron James notched his sixth triple-double of the season, and Cleveland beat New York for the 10th consecutive time.

      James finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists, the 48th regular-season triple-double of his career. Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 23 points, while Kyle Korver scored 20 points off the bench and connected on six 3-pointers.

      The Knicks were led by 25 points from Courtney Lee and 20 from Carmelo Anthony. Derrick Rose scored 13. Rumors swirled for weeks that either Anthony or Rose could be traded; neither was by dealt by the NBA's Thursday deadline.

      New York's Kristaps Porzingis did not return for the second half because of a sprained right ankle. He finished with eight points in 16 minutes.

      Trail Blazers 112, Magic 103

      ORLANDO, Fla. -- Damian Lillard scored 33 points, including 17 in a fourth-quarter comeback, to lead Portland to a victory over Orlando.

      The Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak despite trailing for most of the game. The Magic lost for the sixth time in seven games.

      CJ McCollum scored 22 points and added six assists for the Blazers. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Evan Fournier had 20 points and five rebounds.

      Pistons 114, Hornets 108 (OT)

      AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope poured in 33 points, including 27 after halftime, and Detroit rallied from an 18-point, second-half deficit to down Charlotte in overtime.

      Tobias Harris fired in 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Pistons, who handed the Hornets their fifth straight loss overall and 12th straight on the road. Ish Smith tied his career high with 16 assists and Marcus Morris added 16 points and eight rebounds for Detroit.

      Kemba Walker's 34 points, seven rebounds and six assists led the Hornets. Nicolas Batum had 18 points and six rebounds, Frank Kamisky scored 17 points, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tossed in 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Charlotte.

      Warriors 123, Clippers 113

      OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry contributed five 3-pointers to a 50-point, third-quarter explosion that propelled Golden State over Los Angeles.

      Curry had 20 points and Kevin Durant 15 in the third period, which began with the Warriors trailing their Pacific Division rival 61-49.

      The win completed a second consecutive 4-0 season-series sweep for the Warriors over the Clippers, who once again were without standout guard Chris Paul.

      Kings 116, Nuggets 100

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere combined for 41 points, and Sacramento opened a new era without DeMarcus Cousins by blasting Denver at the Golden 1 Center.

      Cauley-Stein, in his second season out of Kentucky, scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench, while Labissiere, a rookie, scored a career-best 12 points in 14 minutes, and the Kings won for the fifth time in six games overall and for the fourth consecutive time at home.

      Gary Harris scored 23 points to lead the Nuggets, and Wilson Chandler scored 18 off the bench. Nikola Jokic, who finished second in the NBA's Skills Competition during All-Star weekend, pulled 10 rebounds but scored just four points, and Denver shot just 44 percent from the field.

  • Knicks' Porzingis sustains ankle injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis left Thursday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a sprained right ankle.

    • The All-Star did not return.

      Porzingis, who won the Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend, scored eight points before sustaining the injury. He is averaging 20.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in 50 games.

  • Raptors set to unveil F Ibaka against Celtics
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    TORONTO -- Serge Ibaka will make his Toronto Raptors debut Friday night against the Boston Celtics at the Air Canada Centre.

    • The power forward was obtained from the Orlando Magic in a trade on Feb. 14 but it was decided that he would not play the next night when the Raptors narrowly defeated the Charlotte Hornets in their final game before the All-Star Game break.

      Ibaka is not the newest Raptor, however. The Raptors acquired forward P.J. Tucker at the trade deadline Thursday from the Phoenix Suns for forward Jared Sullinger and two second-round draft choices. It is a return for Tucker, in a way, since the Raptors selected him in the second round of the 2006 draft.

      Both acquisitions improve the Raptors defensively, which is an area of need since they headed into the All-Star break tied for 10th in points allowed (104.3) and 19th in defensive rating (109)

      The Celtics, who are second in the Eastern Conference, did not make a deal.

      "When you're in position where you're playing at a pretty good level, you don't anticipate much change," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said as the deadline approached.

      The Celtics have won 11 of the past 13 games.

      The Raptors, who were second in the Eastern Conference, have lost 11 of their past 16 games and it became apparent changes were needed.

      Ibaka had his first practice with the Raptors on Wednesday as the team prepared for the final 25-game stretch of the regular season that starts against Boston.

      "We have to learn each other." Ibaka said.

      During the break, Ibaka has studied a video of the Raptors' offensive playbook.

      "It's like home work," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "But it's different when you get here on the court, timing, having to understand it, speed and quickness, reading situations. But again, he was a quick learner. We tried to put him in comfortable situations. I went back and studied film when he was in Oklahoma City, Orlando to get a feel for where he likes the basketball, the things he did defensively and what we can incorporate.?

      It was not certain when Tucker would be available to join the Raptors. He came into his own as a player in Phoenix. After being told about the trade, he said: "I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a tough day for me."

      Toronto expects forward Patrick Patterson to return Friday from a bruised left knee.

      Celtics president Danny Ainge talked Thursday about balancing the present and the future, especially since the team may get the top overall pick in this year's draft as part of the 2013 trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets, who own the league's worst record.

      "We're trying to upgrade our team," Ainge said. "But it is a delicate balance of short-term goals and long-term goals. Obviously both are very important. But like I said, we're very excited about where we are on a long-term basis."

      Ainge also said he likes the current Celtics team: "I am excited, actually," he said. "I was watching practice today and I was very excited by what I saw. I'm not disappointed. Not at all. I can't wait to get back out on the road and start scouting and getting ready for the draft and continue to watch the NBA and get ready for the playoffs. I'm very optimistic and very excited about the rest of the year."

      Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley, who has been out with a strained Achilles tendon, is not expected to play Friday. He has missed 16 straight games and 20 of the last 21.

      "Avery practiced about a third of the practice today, which was about what our medical staff determined was the appropriate progression," Stevens said. "(Bradley) told me afterwards he felt really good."

      Boston rookie forward Jaylen Brown, who has missed the past three games with a right hip strain, will be ready to play in Toronto.

      Toronto has won two of three games between the teams this season.

      Kyle Lowry scored 34 points in Toronto's 101-94 win in Boston on Dec. 9, DeMar DeRozan scored 41 in Toronto's 114-106 home win on Jan. 10 and Isaiah Thomas scored 44 in Boston's 109-104 home win on Feb. 1.

  • NBA notebook: Thunder acquire F Gibson from Bulls
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Seeking frontcourt help, the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired veteran forward Taj Gibson from the Chicago Bulls just before the end of Thursday's trading deadline.

    • Along with Gibson, the Thunder will reportedly obtain small forward Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick from Chicago. The Bulls are expected to receive reserve guards Cameron Payne and Anthony Morrow along forward Joffrey Lauvergne.

      Gibson was Chicago's first-round pick in 2009 and averaged 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 562 regular-season games. This season, he is averaging 11.6 points and seven rebounds in 55 games while shooting 52.1 percent.

      Gibson will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and the Bulls appeared to be motivated to move him instead of losing him for nothing in free agency like with Pau Gasol after last season.

      --After obtaining forward Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic before the All-Star break, the Toronto Raptors added some veteran frontcourt help by obtaining forward P.J. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns.

      The Raptors obtained Ibaka just before the All-Star break and were not content with standing pat in the frontcourt, especially since Patrick Patterson has dealt with various knee issues this season.

      They struck again by sending Jared Sullinger and second-round picks in 2017 and 2018 picks to the Suns.

      --The Dallas Mavericks acquired forward Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers for center Andrew Bogut, swingman Justin Anderson and a conditional first-round pick, according to multiple reports.

      Noel, who was the sixth overall pick of the 2013 draft, is averaging 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 29 games this season with the 76ers. The 22-year-old Noel will be a restricted free agent this summer.

      The trade with Noel likely means Philadelphia will retain Jahlil Okafor to play alongside Joel Embiid.

      --The Phoenix Suns acquired forward Mike Scott from the Atlanta Hawks for cash and a heavily-protected second-round pick.

      Scott was the 43rd overall pick in 2012 draft by the Hawks and his role has varied throughout his career.

      He has career averages of 7.1 points and three rebounds while shooting 46 percent in 281 regular season games for the Hawks. This season, he was limited to 18 games and averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds while also spending some time in the D-League.

      --In a pair of moves designed to free salary cap room to potentially added a bought out player, the Houston Rockets made two minor trades, sending K.J. McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets and Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

      The Nets sent cash considerations for McDaniels, who will save the Rockets approximately $3.3 million.

      The Rockets also acquired Marcelo Huertas from Los Angeles and are expected to waive him.

      --Three weeks after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, veteran center Roy Hibbert was acquired by the Denver Nuggets.

      Hibbert never appeared in a game for Milwaukee, which obtained him from the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 2 along with Spencer Hawes for Miles Plumlee. The Bucks obtained a 2019 second-round pick from Denver.

      The move was designed to add frontcourt depth and inch closer to the salary cap floor. Shortly before the All-Star break, the Nuggets obtained Mason Plumlee from the Portland Trail Blazers and before getting the 30-year-old Hibbert, the Nuggets were $7.14 million below the salary cap floor.

      --The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the first trade of the Magic Johnson era by trading reserve guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for an unprotected 2017 first-round draft pick and forward Corey Brewer.

      Multiple reports surfaced Tuesday night that Williams was being traded by the Lakers but the deal was announced approximately 90 minutes after the 3 p.m. EST deadline.

      --Nearly two weeks after briefly being banned from Madison Square Garden, former New York Knicks power forward Charles Oakley will attend the team's nationally televised game Thursday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to multiple media reports.

      Oakley confirmed his intentions via text message to the New York Daily News. On Thursday morning, he tweeted: "On my (way) to Land!!"

      According to ESPN, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert invited Oakley to sit two rows behind him for the game.

      Oakley was ejected from Madison Square Garden during the first quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 8 for fighting with security. He was later charged with three counts of misdemeanor third-degree assault and one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass.

      --Less than 24 hours after acquiring him, the Brooklyn Nets announced they waived veteran guard Marcus Thornton.

      The Nets obtained Thornton and Andrew Nicholson along with a protected first-round pick from the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough.

      Thornton, who signed a one-year with the Wizards, can sign with a contending team by March 1 to be eligible for the postseason.

      --New Orleans waived power forward Terrence Jones minutes after the NBA trade deadline passed.

      According to multiple reports, the decision to let go of the 25-year-old Jones was "mutual."

      The acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins earlier in the week signaled a decrease in playing time for Jones. The Pelicans tried to trade him at the deadline, but couldn't find the right deal or trade partner and decided to waive him instead, the Advocate (Baton Rouge) reported.

      Jones appeared in 51 games -- and started 12 for New Orleans this season. He was averaging 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in just under 25 minutes per game. He shot 47.2 percent from the field.

      --The Dallas Mavericks were unable to find a trade for Deron Williams. Instead, the Mavericks waived the veteran point guard.

      The Mavericks held Williams out of practices Wednesday and Thursday in the event a trade was made. According to multiple media reports, the Utah Jazz were interested in reacquiring Williams, whom they drafted in 2005 and traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2011.

      Williams, 32, averaged 13.1 points and 6.9 assists this season but injuries limited the three-time All-Star to 40 games. He joined the Mavericks in 2015, suiting up for his hometown team after the Nets bought out the final two seasons of his contract for $27 million.

      --The Memphis Grizzlies announced that they signed veteran guard Toney Douglas to a two-year contract.

      The deal contains a team option for the 2017-18 season.

      Douglas' second 10-day contract expired during the All-Star break. In 13 games with the Grizzlies this season, he is averaging 5.3 points and 2.2 assists in 16.8 minutes.

  • NBA trade roundup: Thunder acquire Gibson, McDermott from Bulls
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Seeking frontcourt help, the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired veteran forward Taj Gibson from the Chicago Bulls just before the end of Thursday's NBA trading deadline.

    • The Thunder will also obtained small forward Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick from Chicago. The Bulls received reserve guards Cameron Payne and Anthony Morrow along forward Joffrey Lauvergne.

      Gibson is averaging 11.6 points and seven rebounds in 55 games while shooting 52.1 percent. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

      --The Dallas Mavericks acquired forward Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers for center Andrew Bogut, swingman Justin Anderson and a conditional first-round pick, according to multiple reports.

      Noel, who was the sixth overall pick of the 2013 draft, is averaging 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 29 games this season with the 76ers. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.

      Bogut, who was the first overall pick of the 2005 draft, was shuffled to the bench last month after a failed experiment of playing next to fellow veteran Dirk Nowitzki. He likely will be bought out if the Sixers do not find a team to trade him to. Anderson is averaging 6.5 points and 2.9.

      --The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the first trade of the Magic Johnson era with the trade of reserve guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for an unprotected 2017 first-round draft pick and forward Corey Brewer.

      Williams, 30, led the Lakers with an average of 18.6 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game this season despite coming off the bench.

      Brewer, 30, is averaging 4.2 points, two rebounds and 1.1 assists this season in 58 games (eight starts).

      --After obtaining forward Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic before the All-Star break, the Toronto Raptors added some veteran frontcourt help by obtaining forward P.J. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns.

      The Raptors sent Jared Sullinger and second round picks in 2017 and 2018 picks to the Suns, according to the Vertical.

      Tucker averaged seven points and six rebounds in 57 games this season while averaging 28.5 minutes. Sullinger was signed away from the Boston Celtics last summer but a foot injury limited him to 11 games.

      --The Phoenix Suns acquired forward Mike Scott from the Atlanta Hawks for cash and a heavily-protected second-round pick.

      Scott was the 43rd overall pick in 2012 draft by the Hawks and his role has varied throughout his career. He has career averages of 7.1 points and three rebounds while shooting 46 percent in 281 regular season games for the Hawks.

      --The Houston Rockets made two minor trades, sending guard K.J. McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets and guard Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

      The Nets sent cash considerations for McDaniels, who will save the Rockets approximately $3.3 million. The Rockets acquired Marcelo Huertas from Los Angeles and are expected to waive him.

      --Three weeks after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, veteran center Roy Hibbert was acquired by the Denver Nuggets.

      Hibbert never appeared in a game for Milwaukee, which obtained him from the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 2 along with Spencer Hawes for Miles Plumlee. The Bucks obtained a 2019 second-round pick from Denver.

  • Mavericks waive veteran guard Deron Williams
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Dallas Mavericks were unable to find a trade for three-time All-Star Deron Williams Thursday. Instead, the Mavericks waived the veteran point guard.

    • The Mavericks held Williams out of practices Wednesday and Thursday in the event a trade was made. According to multiple media reports, the Utah Jazz were interested in reacquiring Williams, whom they drafted in 2005 and traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2011.

      "It was great having Deron and his family back home in Dallas for the better part of 2 seasons," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle tweeted early Thursday evening. "Giving Deron the freedom to choose his next team is the right thing to do. Deron still plays at a high level and I believe he will be a difference maker for a contending team."

      Williams is expected to draw interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been seeking a veteran backup point guard since star LeBron James brought it up in January. He and James played together on the 2008 and 2012 United States Olympic teams.

      Williams, 32, averaged 13.1 points and 6.9 assists this season but injuries limited the three-time All-Star to 40 games. He joined the Mavericks in 2015, suiting up for his hometown team after the Nets bought out the final two seasons of his contract for $27 million.

      According to ESPN, Williams is expected to receive approximately $2.5 million from a buyout.

      In 821 career regular-season games for the Jazz, Nets and Mavericks, Williams has averages of 16.6 points and 8.2 assists per game.

  • Pelicans waive F Jones
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    New Orleans waived power forward Terrence Jones on Thursday minutes after the NBA trade deadline passed.

    • According to multiple reports, the decision to let go of the 25-year-old Jones was "mutual."

      The acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins earlier in the week signaled a decrease in playing time for Jones. The Pelicans tried to trade him at the deadline, but couldn't find the right deal or trade partner and decided to waive him instead, the Advocate (Baton Rouge) reported.

      Jones appeared in 51 games -- and started 12 for New Orleans this season. He was averaging 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in just under 25 minutes per game. He shot 47.2 percent from the field.

      New Orleans, in January, signed 7-footer Donatas Motiejunas to a minimum contract for the remainder of the season. With the release of Jones, the Pelicans are expected to add depth to their backcourt.

      Jones signed with the Pelicans in July for a veteran's minimum contract.

  • Raptors obtain F Tucker from Suns
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    After obtaining forward Serge Ibaka from the Orlando Magic before the All-Star break, the Toronto Raptors added some veteran frontcourt help by obtaining forward P.J. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns.

    • The Raptors obtained Ibaka just before the All-Star break and were not content with standing pat in the frontcourt, especially since Patrick Patterson has dealt with various knee issues this season.

      They struck again by sending Jared Sullinger and second round picks in 2017 and 2018 picks to the Suns, according to the Vertical.

      Tucker was a second-round pick by Toronto in 2006 but only played 17 games for the Raptors. He was waived by the team in March 2007 and spent five seasons in international leagues before returning to the NBA in 2012.

      This season with the Suns, Tucker averaged seven points and six rebounds in 57 games while playing 28.5 minutes. He averaged eight points and 5.9 rebounds while starting 286 of his 377 regular-season games for the Suns.

      "We thank P.J. for his contributions to our franchise over the past five seasons," Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough said in a statement. "He was well respected by his teammates as someone who pushed them every day in practice, laid his heart on the line on the court and was a leader in the locker room. P.J. was also loved by the fans here in Phoenix for his relentless approach on the court and his work in our community. We appreciate all that he did for the Suns organization and wish him the best as he joins the Raptors."

      Like Ibaka, Tucker is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.

      Sullinger was signed away from the Boston Celtics last summer by Toronto but a foot injury limited him to 11 games. The fourth-year forward was Boston's first-round pick in 2012 and has averages of 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 269 regular-season games.

  • Grizzlies lock up veteran G Douglas for 2 years
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Memphis Grizzlies announced Thursday that they have signed veteran guard Toney Douglas to a two-year contract.

    • The deal contains a team option for the 2017-18 season.

      Douglas' second 10-day contract expired during the All-Star break. In 13 games with the Grizzlies this season, he is averaging 5.3 points and 2.2 assists in 16.8 minutes.

      Douglas, who turns 31 in three weeks, originally entered the NBA as a second-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009. He made his debut with New York and in 384 regular-season games with the Knicks, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Memphis, Douglas has averaged 7.7 points and 2.3 assists per game.

  • Magic's first Lakers' trade now official
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced the first trade of the Magic Johnson era Thursday by trading reserve guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for an unprotected 2017 first-round draft pick and forward Corey Brewer.

    • Multiple reports surfaced Tuesday night that Williams was being traded by the Lakers but the deal was announced approximately 90 minutes after the 3 p.m. EST deadline.

      "This trade allows us to continue on the path of building something special, while maintaining future flexibility within the organization," Johnson said in a statement released by the team. "Additionally, Corey is a proven veteran that will make a positive impact on our team right away."

      Johnson took over as the Lakers' top basketball executive Tuesday when the team also announced the firing of longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss.

      Williams, 30, led the Lakers with an average of 18.6 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game this season despite coming off the bench. The scoring average is the highest in his 12-year career. The Rockets hope he will continue to be an offensive sparkplug off the bench.

      A second-round draft pick by the 76ers in 2005, Williams played in Philadelphia through the 2011-12 season. He then spent two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks before playing for the Lakers the past season and a half.

      In 759 career games (90 starts), Williams has averages of 12.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds.

      Brewer, 30, is averaging 4.2 points, two rebounds and 1.1 assists this season in 58 games (eight starts). Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round of the 2007 draft, Brewer also has played for the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.

      Besides officially trading Williams for Brewer, the teams reportedly made another trade Thursday. The Lakers reportedly acquired guard Tyler Ennis for guard Marcelo Huertas, who is expected to be waived by Houston.

  • Nets release G Thornton
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Less than 24 hours after acquiring him, the Brooklyn Nets announced they waived veteran guard Marcus Thornton on Thursday.

    • The Nets obtained Thornton and Andrew Nicholson along with a protected first-round pick from the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough.

      Thornton, who signed a one-year with the Wizards, can sign with a contending team by March 1 to be eligible for the postseason.

      Thornton has averaged 11.9 points in 483 regular-season games with the New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Washington.

      In his eighth season, Thornton averaged 6.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Wizards. He averaged a career-best 18.7 points with the Kings in 2011-12.

      Three years ago, the Nets obtained Thornton at the deadline from the Kings for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. He appeared in 26 regular-season games and 10 postseason contests before being sent to Cleveland in a three-way trade in July 2014.

  • Nuggets land C Hibbert from Bucks
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Three weeks after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, veteran center Roy Hibbert was acquired by the Denver Nuggets Thursday.

    • Hibbert never appeared in a game for Milwaukee, which obtained him from the Charlotte Hornets on Feb. 2 along with Spencer Hawes for Miles Plumlee. The Bucks obtained a 2019 second-round pick from Denver.

      The move was designed to add frontcourt depth and inch closer to the salary cap floor. Shortly before the All-Star break, the Nuggets obtained Mason Plumlee from the Portland Trail Blazers and before getting the 30-year-old Hibbert, the Nuggets were $7.14 million below the salary cap floor.

      Hibbert signed a one-year $5 million deal with Charlotte last July and averaged career lows of 5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 42 games. He spent his first seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers and averaged 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds in 533 games while helping the Pacers reach the playoffs in four straight seasons from 2011 to 2014.

      Last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Hibbert averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds while starting all 81 games he appeared in.

      Hibbert's acquisition occurred after ESPN reported the Nuggets presented a "monster offer" to the Pacers for Paul George but talks did not progress.

  • Rockets make two minor trades
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    In a pair of moves designed to free salary cap room to potentially added a bought out player, the Houston Rockets made two small trades Thursday, sending K.J. McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets and Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

    • The Vertical reported the Nets will likely send a future protected second-round pick (31 to 55) for McDaniels, who will save the Rockets approximately $3.3 million.

      The Vertical also reported the Rockets will acquire Marcelo Huertas from Los Angeles and will waive him.

      These moves will save the Rockets a combined total of roughly $5 million, which can be used on a player who gets bought out. Teams have until March 1 to sign a player in order for him to be eligible for postseason.

      McDaniels was a second-round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014 and joined the Rockets at the 2015 trade deadline for Isaiah Canaan and a 2015 second-round pick. This season with the Rockets, McDaniels averaged 2.8 points in 29 games and has not played 10 minutes in a game since Nov. 12.

      Ennis was obtained from the Milwaukee Bucks on Sept. 22 for forward Michael Beasley. He averaged 1.9 points in 31 games for the Rockets this season.

      It was the second time in his three-year career that Ennis was dealt at the deadline. Two years ago, he was sent to Milwaukee as part of a three-team with the Philadelphia 76ers.

      Huertas was undrafted by the Lakers out of Brazil and appeared in 76 games over two seasons with the team. This year, he averaged 2.7 points in 10.3 minutes in 23 games.

  • Hawks ship F Scott to Suns
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Phoenix Suns acquired forward Mike Scott from the Atlanta Hawks for cash, a heavily-protected 2017 second-round pick and the draft rights to Cenk Akyol Thursday.

    • Scott was the 43rd overall pick in 2012 draft by the Hawks and his role has varied throughout his career.

      He has career averages of 7.1 points and three rebounds while shooting 46 percent in 281 regular season games for the Hawks. This season, he was limited to 18 games and averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds while also spending some time in the D-League.

      "On behalf of the Atlanta Hawks, I want to thank Mike for his contributions over the last five years," Hawks President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said in a statement released by the team. "He will be missed by his teammates, coaches and the entire Hawks organization. We wish him the best in the future."

      This was the second trade for both teams ahead of the trade deadline.

      Phoenix sent P.J. Tucker to the Toronto Raptors for Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks while Atlanta obtained Ersan Ilyasova from and a second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

      Scott will be a free agent after this season.

      Akyol was selected by the Hawks with 59th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft. Although he has yet to appear in an NBA game, Akyol's draft rights have been traded five times.

      The 6-6 guard from Turkey currently plays for Acibadem Universitesi Istanbul of the Turkish Basketball First League and has appeared in 12 games this season, averaging 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 20.7 minutes.

  • Thunder acquire Gibson, McDermott from Bulls
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Seeking frontcourt help, the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired veteran forward Taj Gibson from the Chicago Bulls just before the end of Thursday's trading deadline.

    • Along with Gibson, the Thunder obtained small forward Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick from Chicago. The Bulls eceived reserve guards Cameron Payne and Anthony Morrow along forward Joffrey Lauvergne.

      Gibson was Chicago's first-round pick in 2009 and averaged 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 562 regular-season games. This season, he is averaging 11.6 points and seven rebounds in 55 games while shooting 52.1 percent.

      Gibson will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and the Bulls appeared to be motivated to move him instead of losing him for nothing in free agency like with Pau Gasol after last season.

      Gibson's acquisition occurred a day after forward Enes Kanter returned to practice for the first time since breaking his arm hitting a chair on Jan. 26.

      In his third season after being a star at Creighton, McDermott is averaging 10.2 points and shooting 37.3 percent from 3-point range in 44 games. He has averaged 8.2 points and shot 39.8 percent from 3-point range in 161 regular-season games.

      In the final three games before the All-Star break, McDermott scored 47 total points.

      Payne averaged 5.3 points in 20 games for the Thunder. He missed the first two-plus months of the season following right foot surgery.

      Morrow was in his third season with the Thunder and averaged 5.8 points and set career lows by shooting 38.7 percent and 29.4 percent from 3-point range. In 555 regular-season games for the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City, Morrow has averaged 9.5 points while shooting 44.7 percent and 41.7 percent from 3-point range.

      Lauvergne was obtained from the Denver Nuggets in August for a pair of second-round picks in this year's draft. In 50 games for the Thunder, he averaged 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds and 14.8 minutes per game.

  • Oakley to attend Knicks' game in Cleveland
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Nearly two weeks after briefly being banned from Madison Square Garden, former New York Knicks power forward Charles Oakley will attend the team's nationally televised game Thursday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to multiple media reports.

    • Oakley confirmed his intentions via text message to the New York Daily News. On Thursday morning, he tweeted: "On my (way) to Land!!"

      According to ESPN, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert invited Oakley to sit two rows behind him for the game.

      Oakley was ejected from Madison Square Garden during the first quarter of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 8 for fighting with security. He was later charged with three counts of misdemeanor third-degree assault and one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass.

      The incident touched off a firestorm between fans and many current players with team owner Jim Dolan. Dolan went on ESPN radio in New York two days later to suggest Oakley had a drinking problem.

      In an attempt to patch things up with the fan favorite, Dolan lifted the ban a few days later after meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.

      Oakley, however, said he was not ready to return to the building.

      According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, LeBron James said he called Oakley to check on him and he followed it up by saying "Charles Oakley for president."

      A Cleveland native, Oakley averaged 16.1 points and 15.5 rebounds in 727 regular-season games with the Knicks from 1988 to 1998. He also spent time with the Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets during his 18-year career.

  • Mavericks acquire C Noel from 76ers
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, February 23, 2017

    The Dallas Mavericks acquired center Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday for center Andrew Bogut, guard Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick.

    • The Mavericks announced the move on their twitter feed and website hours after the NBA trade deadline.

      Noel, who was the sixth overall pick of the 2013 draft, is averaging 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 29 games this season with the 76ers (21-35).

      The 22-year-old Noel has scored in double figures in each of his last four games. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.

      Noel wrote a message to Philadelphia fans on Twitter: "To have such an amazing city embrace a kid from Boston coming out of Kentucky the way y'all did, is something I'll truly never forget. And even through the ups and downs I never doubted the love here and that won't change."

      Veteran Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki gave Noel an endorsement.

      "He's an athletic big, he's young, he's got a lot of potential," Nowitzki said, according to the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram. "He's a rim protector and he's long and he can finish around the rim."

      Noel's arrival means Nowitzki can move back from center to his more familiar role as a power forward.

      The trade with Noel means Philadelphia will retain Jahlil Okafor to play alongside Joel Embiid.

      Bogut, who was the first overall pick of the 2005 draft, was shuffled to the bench last month after a failed experiment of playing next to fellow veteran Dirk Nowitzki.

      The 12-year veteran, who is averaging 3.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 26 games, returned from a strained right hamstring to score four points and grab eight rebounds in a 98-91 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

      Anderson is averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest this season for the Mavericks (22-34).

      Also Thursday, Dallas waived veteran guard Deron Williams.