Basketball News And Notes 2/9

Basketball News And Notes 2/9

NBA Today - February 9
Fri, Feb 9, 2007
By Associated Press

Houston at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EST). The Mavericks have won a franchise record 16 straight home games.

STARS Thursday

-David West, Hornets, scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds in New Orleans' 109-101 win over Milwaukee.

-Kevin Martin, Kings, scored 29 points to lead Sacramento to an 86-77 victory over Chicago.

THREE'S COMPANY

The NBA announced the entire six-player field for the 3-point contest on Thursday, giving Gilbert Arenas another shot at Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki's teammate Jason Terry is back after failing to advance to the final last year. Rounding out the field are Miami's Jason Kapono, Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies; and Damon Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

STREAKING

Detroit defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 93-78 on Thursday night for its fifth straight victory.

ACRO WOES

Sacramento beat Chicago 86-77 on Thursday night. The Bulls have dropped eight straight games at Arco Arena, dating back to Nov. 23, 1997.

CLEANING THE GLASS

Tyson Chandler had a career-high 22 rebounds to help New Orleans to a 109-101 double overtime victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night. David West added a career-high 19 rebounds as the Hornets outrebounded the Bucks 71-49.

OUT

Mavericks reserve center DJ Mbenga will miss the rest of the season because of a torn knee ligament. He is scheduled for surgery in two weeks. Mbenga was hurt in the fourth quarter Wednesday against Memphis. He played in 21 games this season, averaging nearly four minutes, 0.8 points and 0.5 rebounds.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Ruben Patterson scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds but Milwaukee lost to New Orleans 109-101 on Thursday night.

SPEAKING

''We've got some toughness. ''We're young, but we've got some toughness. We've got some heart.'' - New Orleans coach Byron Scott after a 109-101 double overtime victory over Milwaukee on Thursday night. The Hornets won their second straight overtime game and are now 4-0 in overtime games this season.

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Suns to shoulder load if Nash is out
Thu, Feb 8, 2007
By Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Steve Nash might sit out Friday's game against Atlanta because of a sore right shoulder, although he and Suns coach Mike D'Antoni believe the injury poses no long-term problems.

The league's two-time defending MVP did not practice Thursday and was noncommittal on whether he would go against the Hawks.

''I think we'd probably want to err on the side of caution at this point,'' Nash said. ''I've already missed a game and a half. I'd rather miss another one rather than injuring it further and missing more games, so we've got to be careful when we asses it tomorrow night and make sure we're comfortable with it.''

The near-constant spasms that he had experienced in recent days have subsided, he said.

''I'm just trying to treat my shoulder and get the inflammation down,'' Nash said. ''It's a little swollen on the joint. It shouldn't be too long I'm sure.''

Nash first experienced pain in the shoulder when he got out of bed last Thursday. He played through it that night against San Antonio and Saturday against Utah. But the spasms worsened and he sat out the second half of the Blazers' victory at Denver on Monday. He then watched in street clothes as the Suns won at Portland in overtime Tuesday.

''It's just the wear and tear,'' he said.

Nash, who turned 33 Wednesday, has had chronic back problems for years. He is averaging career highs in points (19.3) and assists (11.8) while averaging 35.3 minutes, third most on the team behind Shawn Marion and Raja Bell.

The Hawks are 18-30, but D'Antoni said that has no bearing on whether Nash plays.

''We wouldn't risk him no matter who we play,'' he said. ''We'll work him tomorrow and if he feels no pain, he'll play and if he doesn't he'll wait until Sunday.''

The Suns are home against Chicago on Sunday.

Leandro Barbosa would start in Nash's place. He had 25 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in overtime, against Portland.

Suns reserve forward Kurt Thomas could begin practicing next week and could be ready to play shortly after the All-Star break, D'Antoni said. Thomas has been out since Jan. 15 with an injured left elbow.

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Hobbled Iverson skips Nuggets trip
Thu, Feb 8, 2007
By Associated Press

DENVER -- Allen Iverson's swollen right ankle doesn't have any structural damage, but he still stayed home while the Denver Nuggets left for a two-game trip to the Midwest.

Iverson aggravated his sprained ankle during overtime in the Nuggets' loss to New Orleans on Wednesday night. He had 22 points, nine assists and four rebounds in his return from a four-game absence but wasn't his usual self as he had to settle for jumpers. An MRI on Thursday didn't show any structural damage.

''I think it is one of those things where I just came back too soon,'' Iverson said. ''I couldn't be me on the basketball court. I am more effective being aggressive and going to the basket and making things happen.''

Asked if he felt he was hurting his team rather than helping, Iverson said: ''I feel like I'm hurting me, first. That's my main concern. ... Obviously, I am worried about my team, but if I am out there and I can't be me, then I don't think I am helping them.''

Iverson realized he shouldn't have rushed back to help his struggling team, which has lost seven of eight.

''This is a game I love to play, but even more than that, I want to be there to help, given that we are struggling the way we are,'' Iverson said. ''I wanted to go out and give us a lift, but the way my ankle was in the second half, I can't help that way.''

Iverson will miss the Nuggets' games at Indiana on Friday night and Milwaukee on Saturday night but hopes to play again Monday night against Golden State.

He acknowledged, however, that he might be sidelined through the All-Star game Feb. 18 in Las Vegas.

''This (team) means more to me than the All-Star game. I have been there and done that in my career. If I have to (skip it), if that's the right thing for me to do, then that is exactly what I will do,'' Iverson said. ''That is something that I haven't thought about because I don't care about that right now. I care about this team right here.''

If Iverson backs out of his eighth All-Star appearance, that would give teammate Carmelo Anthony another crack at making his first All-Star team as one of commissioner David Stern's injury replacement picks. Stern has said he won't hold Anthony's 15-game suspension for fighting against him when choosing replacements.

Coach George Karl, who has spent the last two months juggling his lineup because of trades, injuries and suspensions, kept up a brave front in the face of his latest setback regarding Iverson.

''We are good enough to win without him,'' Karl said, ''and it will be special if we can get everyone on the court.''

Center Marcus Camby (groin), who hasn't played in a week, will be a game-time decision Saturday night.

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Mavs' Mbenga out for season
Thu, Feb 8, 2007
By Associated Press

DALLAS -- Mavericks reserve center DJ Mbenga will miss the rest of the season because of a torn knee ligament.

He is scheduled for surgery in two weeks, and there is no timetable for his return, the team said Thursday.

Mbenga was hurt in the fourth quarter Wednesday against Memphis. The early diagnosis was a strained right knee, but an MRI on Thursday revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

He played in 21 games this season, averaging nearly four minutes, 0.8 points and 0.5 rebounds.

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Friday's key NBA injuries
Fri, Feb 9, 2007

Denver Nuggets – Allen Iverson remained in Denver while the Nuggets left for a two-game trip through the Midwest.

Houston Rockets – Bonzi Wells is a game-time decision for tonight’s game against the Mavs after suffering a back injury last Saturday.

Dallas Mavericks – Erick Dampier missed the Mavericks' last game with a sore knee. His status is uncertain for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets.

Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash is questionable for Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks with a shoulder injury.

Boston Celtics – Wally Szczerbiak is listed as day-to-day after re-aggravating his right ankle on Wednesday.

Indiana Pacers – Jermaine O’Neal missed Thursday’s game with a knee after being listed as doubtful. He expects to return to action on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 2/9

Warriors Baron Davis has been downgraded to questionable (leg) for tonight.

Clippers Corey Maggette has been struggling lately, and is questionable for Friday's game with the flu.



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