NBA Today - November 7

NBA Today - November 7

NBA Today - November 7
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Miami at San Antonio (8 p.m. EST). The winless Heat face the Spurs in a matchup of the last two NBA champions.

STARS Tuesday

-Cuttino Mobley, Clippers, scored 33 points to lead Los Angeles to a 97-91 win over Chicago.

-Zach Randolph, Knicks, had 22 points and 17 rebounds in a 119-112 victory over Denver.

-Dwight Howard, Magic, scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in Orlando's 111-103 victory over Minnesota.

-Yao Ming, Rockets, had 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in Houston's 89-81 win over San Antonio.

-Peja Stojakovic and Chris Paul, Hornets. Stojakovic made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers and finished with 36 points, and Paul had 19 points and a team-record 21 assists in New Orleans' 118-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

- LeBron James, Cavaliers, had 24 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in Cleveland's 108-104 victory over Golden State.

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE

Zach Randolph had 22 points and 17 rebounds, three other players scored more than 20 points, and New York erased a series of double-digit deficits to win 119-112 Tuesday night in the Denver Nuggets' first trip to Madison Square Garden since last year's brawl. Randolph is the first Knicks player to open a season with three straight double-doubles in points and rebounds since Patrick Ewing 15 years ago.

MAGIC MEN

Dwight Howard had 28 points and 16 rebounds, and Rashard Lewis scored nine of his 27 points in the fourth quarter in Orlando's 111-103 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night.

FOR THE RECORDS

Peja Stojakovic made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers, and Chris Paul established another Hornets team mark with 21 assists Tuesday night in New Orleans' 118-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.Stojakovic missed just three of 13 shots from behind the arc and finished with 36 points. Paul had 19 points.

SUN-BURNED

Leandro Barbosa, Raja Bell and Shawn Marion led eight players in double figures with 16 points apiece Tuesday night in the Phoenix's 115-83 win over Charlotte. The loss dropped the Bobcats to 0-7 all-time against the Suns.

STRUGGLING BULLS

The Los Angeles Clippers beat Chicago 97-91 on Tuesday night, dropping the Bulls to 0-4 for the first time since 2004-05.

SIDELINED

Phoenix center Amare Stoudemire decided to sit out his second straight game Tuesday against Charlotte due to pain in his right knee. Stoudemire made the decision about an hour before the game the Suns's 115-83 win over Charlotte. ... Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson was scratched from Tuesday's against Minnesota after sustaining what the team called a ''slight concussion'' in practice. The third-year pro is listed as day to day. The Magic defeated Minnesota 111-103. ... Cleveland guard Larry Hughes sat out the Cavaliers' 108-104 win over Golden State on Tuesday with a bruised left knee.

INJURED

Charlotte point guard Raymond Felton suffered a left knee injury late in the third quarter of Tuesday night's 115-83 loss to Phoenix. Felton, drove into the lane and made a spin move on Suns guard Steve Nash, who fell down in front of him. Felton tripped over him and landed awkwardly on his left leg. Initial X-rays were negative, but Felton was taken to the hospital for further tests, which also were negative. Felton is listed as a game-time decision for Wednesday's game against the 76ers.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Allen Iverson scored 32 points in Denver's 119-112 loss to New York on Tuesday night. ... Al Jefferson had 25 points and 10 rebounds but Minnesota lost to Orlando 111-103. ... Wally Szczerbiak scored 32 points in Seattle's 104-98 loss to Sacramento. ... Baron Davis scored 29 points and had 10 assists in Golden State's 108-104 loss to Cleveland.

SNAPPED

Houston snapped a four-game, home-court losing streak to San Antonio with a 89-81 win over the Spurs on Tuesday night.

SPEAKING


''I told the referees the first game, I've told y'all, I'll tell everyone I'm going back to my first five years. I'm just going back to my old aggressive self. I'm only 32.'' - Cuttino Mobley, on his 33 points in the Clippers' 97-91 win over Chicago.

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Re: NBA Today - November 7

Magic's Jameer Nelson out with concussion
November 6, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson was scratched from the game against Minnesota on Tuesday night after sustaining what the team called a ``slight concussion'' in practice.

Nelson was hit in the head by an errant elbow during practice on Monday in Washington, and still had some headaches on Tuesday, so coach Stan Van Gundy decided to give him the night off. The third-year pro is averaging 11.3 points and 5.0 assists this season and is listed as day to day.

Carlos Arroyo started in Nelson's place.

The Magic were also without guard J.J. Redick, who missed the game because of back spasms.

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Re: NBA Today - November 7

Suns' Amare sits out 2nd straight game
November 6, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Phoenix Suns center Amare Stoudemire decided to sit out his second straight game Tuesday against Charlotte due to pain in his right knee.

Stoudemire, who also missed Sunday's win over Cleveland, made the decision about an hour before the game after working out in the weight room.

``I feel better and that's definitely a plus,'' Stoudemire said. ``But I think I need at least one more day to make sure I feel better consistently.''

Stoudemire targeted Wednesday's game in Atlanta as a possible return date.

``I think I should give it one more day to see how it feels and try it again tomorrow,'' Stoudemire said.

Stoudemire, who had arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 2, experienced swelling in the knee over the weekend. Stoudemire missed all but three games of the 2005-06 season after undergoing microfracture surgery in his left knee.

Boris Diaw started his second straight game in Stoudemire's place.

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Re: NBA Today - November 7

Cavs G Larry Hughes sits out with bruised knee
November 6, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Cleveland guard Larry Hughes sat out the Cavaliers' game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night with a bruised left knee.

Hughes was hurt in a collision with Phoenix's Leandro Barbosa on Sunday night in the opener of the Cavaliers' six-game road trip. The former Warriors guard was replaced in the Cavs' starting lineup by Sasha Pavlovic.

The defending Eastern Conference champions deactivated forward Donyell Marshall before facing Phoenix because of a sprained right wrist, and veteran guard Eric Snow is out with a sprained left knee.

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Bobcats' Felton leaves game with knee injury
November 6, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Charlotte Bobcats point guard Raymond Felton suffered a left knee injury late in the third quarter of Tuesday night's game against Phoenix.

Felton, still in the game with Charlotte trailing by 33 points, drove into the lane and made a spin move on Suns guard Steve Nash, who fell down in front of him. Felton tripped over him and landed awkwardly on his left leg.

A foul was called on Nash, and Felton attempted both free throws. But after missing the second, he crumpled to the floor and stayed there during the Suns' possession.

Felton was attended to for several minutes before getting to his feet. He was then helped into the locker room without putting any pressure on his left leg.

A team official said Felton would undergo an X-ray at the arena and be sent to the hospital for an MRI.

Felton was replaced by Jeff McInnis, the only other true point guard on the roster.

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Wednesday's Tip Sheet
VegasInsider.com

Wednesday’s pro hoops slate features nine games on the hardwood, including a non-conference doubleheader on ESPN. San Antonio faces another winless opponent in Miami in the first tilt at 8:00 p.m. EST, while Utah hosts Cleveland from Salt Lake City at 10:30 p.m. EST.

**Miami at San Antonio**

Miami (0-3 straight up, 1-2 against the spread) is still searching for its first win of the season and it doesn’t look like it will happen tonight against the defending champs. The Heat have started the season with offensive woes, averaging a league-worst 84.3 points pear game. The ‘under’ has cashed in all three of their meetings 

Ricky Davis (16 PPG) leads the team in scoring, while big man Shaquille O’Neal (11.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG) is averaging just 29.1 minutes per game. Fortunately, All Star Dwyane Wade (knee/shoulder) returned to practice this week but isn’t expected to return for another week. His status is ‘doubtful’ for Wednesday.

Miami doesn’t get to the free throw line often, which is probably a good thing considering the club is shooting just 61 percent, worst in the league. Outside shooting has been hit or miss this year too, with the club looking to fill holes left by Jason Kapono, James Posey and Antoine Walker in the offseason.

The schedule gets tougher for the Heat, with a home battle against Phoenix on Friday before two straight on the road against younger, athletic teams in Charlotte and New York.

San Antonio (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) will be playing its second game in two nights after facing Houston on the road Tuesday. The Spurs are 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS at home this year, but the victories came against Portland (0-3) and Sacramento (0-3), who are a combined 0-6.

The Spurs continue to play great team basketball, evidenced by five players scoring in double-figures. The three-headed monster of Tim Duncan (18.7 PPG, 10.7 RPG), Manu Ginobili (18.7 PPG, 6 APG) and Tony Parker (17 PPG) are a tough match for any opponent.

Last year, the two clubs split the season series with the home team winning and covering by double-digits. The total went 1-1.

Despite a split last year, San Antonio has owned Miami in recent history – especially at home. The Spurs have won nine straight and 12 of its last 13 meetings against Miami in Texas, plus the team has gone 10-3 ATS during this run to boot.

The ‘under’ has gone 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the two clubs.

San Antonio could see veterans Robert Horry (personal) and Jacque Vaughn (calf) return to the lineup this week.

**Cleveland at Utah**

Wednesday’s game for Cleveland (1-2 SU, 0-3 ATS) will be its second in two nights and third in the last four days. The Cavaliers will be losing an hour of sleep as well, heading from Golden State to Utah in this battle.

Cleveland’s offense has been inconsistent this year and that’s putting it subtle. The Cavs are averaging 92 PPG and shooting 42.7%, both ranked 22nd in the league.

LeBron James (27.3 PPG, continues to be a one-man show for the Cavs but his field goal percentage (40%) after three games is his lowest since his rookie season.

This contest for Cleveland is the third game of a six-game road trip against the Western Conference. Last year, the Cavs went 19-11 against the West during the regular season, yet it was swept by San Antonio in the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers depth is hurting this year, and both Larry Hughes (leg) and Donyell Marshall (wrist) are listed as “questionable” for Wednesday.

Utah (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) is still searching for its win of the season against a team other than Golden State. The Jazz have dropped the Warriors by 21 and 23 points, but fell to the Rockets (106-95) and Lakers (119-109) in double-digit fashion.

Head coach Jerry Sloan has loosened up the reigns on the offense, watching the Jazz average 113.5 PPG. Unfortunately, the team has give up 107.8 PPG – ranked fourth worst in the league. The ‘over’ has cashed in all four games.

If the Jazz can get past Cleveland on Wednesday, the schedule sets up nicely for a run with upcoming matchups against Seattle (0-3), Memphis (0-2) and Sacramento (0-3) on tap.

Cleveland has gotten the better against Utah of late, going 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings. Last year’s season series saw the home team win both but the Cavs covered the pair of contests.

CD’s Bonus Hits:

Toronto beat Orlando in all four of the regular season meetings both SU and ATS last year, plus the Raptors have covered seven straight against the Magic.

Phoenix and Atlanta have seen their last four meetings soar ‘over’ the closing total.

The Clippers and Pacers meet Wednesday and even though both clubs have been lighting up the scoreboard, the ‘under’ has gone 6-0 in the last six encounters.

An up-tempo battle is expected in Boston on Wednesday, with the Celtics and Nuggets taking the floor. The ‘over’ is 4-0 in the last four between the two teams, including a combined 221 and 233 points in last year’s pair.

Not including Tuesday’s games, home underdogs have gone 8-3 (72%) versus the number this season.

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Rivers rejoins team, will return to Chicago for father's funeral
November 7, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers has rejoined the team after flying to Chicago to be with family following the death of his father.

Rivers said he planned to coach the Celtics in Wednesday night's home game against the Denver Nuggets and Friday's game against the Atlanta Hawks. He then planned to return to Chicago.

Funeral services for Grady Alexander Rivers Sr. are scheduled for Saturday at Second Baptist Church in Mayfield, Ill. The retired Chicago police officer died last weekend at the age of 76.

Doc Rivers said he has chartered a plane to take him to New Jersey, where the Celtics play the Nets on Saturday night. But he said his emotional state after the funeral may determine whether he makes the trip.

``Obviously, it's tough for me,'' he said. ``I have to get through it. It's good to have family around, and the team is great to be around.''

Rivers left the Celtics before Sunday's 98-95 overtime win in Toronto.

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Pacers' Diogu out with torn calf
November 7th, 2007

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Indiana Pacers forward Ike Diogu will be out four-to-six weeks with a torn left calf muscle, the team announced on Wednesday.

Diogu, who was acquired in an eight-player deal with the Golden State Warriors in January, suffered the injury in practice Tuesday.

The ninth overall pick of the 2005 draft has averaged 13.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in his first three games, helping the Pacers to a 3-0 start.

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Thursday night preview
VegasInsider.com 

Time flies in every aspect of life and the Association of professional basketball is not an exception to this cardinal rule.

Explained last week, Thursdays will continue the tradition of a double-header in hoops, with TNT providing a full night of coverage. Beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT, Detroit will play its first game of the week against a struggling Chicago squad looking to flip its winless record around.

The Bulls (0-4 straight up, 0-4 against the spread) continue to look for answers on the reasoning behind such a slow start to the season. Defensively, Chicago has been allowing opponents to rack up an average of 95.8 points per game, but there’s more to this story then a transition on ‘D’.

A team that holds the second to worst field goal percentage in the league (37.3%), is ranked fourth worst in three-point percentage (29%) and has been hampered in the rebounding department (42.5 RPG) is destined to struggle until improvements are made ASAP. And the Bulls are also starring down the barrel of a handicapping -8 point difference.

Individually, Chicago’s Ben Gordon (20.5 PPG) and Luol Deng (15.5 PPG) have been the brightest part in a relatively dark period for the organization. While we can’t say that it’s a move of desperation, rookie Joakim Noah was inserted into the lineup on Tuesday for his first appearance in an NBA contest. Noah played 19 minutes, snatched up four rebounds and made two-out-of-two free throws.

Last year, the Bulls went on to tally up a 36-16 SU conference record and where 12-4 SU in divisional play. In there last 10 meetings against Detroit, Chicago has gone 5-5 SU and ATS, while the ‘over’ is 6-4.

Talking about the Pistons (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS), who are 2-0 on the road, three marquee players have been tearing down the rim. Beginning with Richard Hamilton (21 PPG), followed by Tayshan Prince (19.7 PPG) and ending with Chauncey Billups (19.7 PPG), the trio has worked to produce 61% of the team’s total offensive scoring numbers (99.7 PPG).

With a 2-0 record on the road, even Jarvis Hayes (10.5 PPG, three SPG – numbers on the road) and Ronald Murray (10.5 PPG, 3.5 APG) have answered the call to arms. Away from home, the Pistons are shooting an effective .484 field goal average and have swatted the ball away for six blocks per game.

Detroit is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 Thursday games, and have seen the ‘under’ cash in heavy with a 38-13-1 resume in the last 52 Thursday games.

Last season the Pistons where not a solid team when faced with team’s in their own division. Their 9-7 SU division record was offset with a solid 36-16 conference performance.

**Dallas at Golden State**

Beaming into your home at 10:30 p.m. EDT, TNT will finish the evening with a tip-off between the Mavericks and Warriors. While Dallas (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) is heading down a road paved with wins, Golden State (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS) just wants to break the ice for their first victory of the season.

Taking down division rival Houston to on Monday (107-98), the Mavericks have a quick two-game road stint before traveling back home next Tuesday for a week of play at home.

The biggest news heading into San Francisco is whether or not Josh Howard (24 PPG) will be able to hit the court after suffering a badly turned ankle on Monday. He’s been listed as 'day-to-day' but with the funky rules of team’s listing their available players just before game time, be wary of Howard’s condition.

Mavs’ point guard Devin Harris has also been afflicted with the injury bug early on, bruising his left thigh to begin the new season. Harris saw limited action in a loss to Atlanta (101-94) on Nov. 2, and Jose Juan Barea (9.7 PPG, 2.3 APG) has stepped in to replace Harris.

Dallas’ finished up the 2006-07 season with the best road record in the Association with a 31-10 performance. Their 14-2 testimony in the division and 40-12 record in the conference where also tops in the league.

Going 0-2 at home and 0-4 on this year, the Warriors just want to return to form. Scoring 106 PPG is evidence of a high paced offensive team running through the motions but giving up 119.5 PPG just won’t cut the mustard (especially against the speedy West Coast).

Baron Davis is still up to his old tricks, laying the rock in the hoop for 21.8 PPG and dishing the ball for a high 9.8 APG, but (as indicated) the ‘D’ is where the problem lies. With a point difference of -13.5 (worst in the league), grabbing a league low 36.5 rebounds per game and tallying up 15.3 turnovers per game are indications pointing in the wrong direction.

The ‘under’ has gone 5-2 in the Warriors last seven versus the Southwest division, while the ‘under’ has also hit a 4-0 record when playing head-to-head in Golden State.

Odds and/or logical thinking are pointing to a running win for Dallas, but crazier things have happened and that’s what makes the beginning of the season a very volatile time to profit.

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Warriors F Matt Barnes' dislocated finger adds to Golden State's injury woes
November 7, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Golden State forward Matt Barnes has a sprained finger on his shooting hand, adding another injury to the winless Warriors' early woes.

Barnes, a key part of the Warriors' postseason run last spring, was injured in the Warriors' loss to Cleveland on Tuesday night, coach Don Nelson said.

Barnes, who missed Wednesday's practice, dislocated the knuckle on the ring finger of his right hand. The injury could sideline him when Golden State hosts Dallas on Thursday night in a rematch of last season's playoff shocker, when the Warriors became the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed.

``I don't know how he could possibly catch a ball,'' Nelson said. ``He played through it, but it's all swollen and discolored now.''

Barnes missed practice Wednesday along with guard Monta Ellis, who felt lightheaded when he reported to the Warriors' training complex.

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