Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

College Hoop Blog: Good 'N Plenty
Foxsports.com

VOLS GET ANOTHER ADDITION

After the lopsided loss to Texas, Bruce Pearl’s Tennessee team has managed to fly under the radar.

Maybe it’s the schedule (the Vols played N.C. A&T, Louisiana-Lafayette and Chattanooga) or maybe it’s the fact that people aren’t believers after D.J. Augustin dissected Tennessee on Nov. 24.

Pearl said his team looks better and part of it can be attributed to the added practice time lately – and part of it is a continuous adjustment to new personnel.

The Vols have started to get used to Iowa transfer Tyler Smith (he’s averaging 16.3 points and 8 rebounds in the last three games), but now they’ll have to do it again with the addition of Arizona transfer J.P. Prince, who will make his Vols debut on Saturday.

"We lost (Dane) Bradshaw, the captain of our all-glue team, and it’s still taken a while to get over his loss," Pearl said. "But 8-1 with the only loss coming to Texas isn’t so terrible. Adding J.P. is going to help us out, but it mixes up the chemistry."

Pearl said that the long and versatile Prince, a Memphis native, will step right in and be a factor. "He’ll be a part of the rotation immediately," he said.

Pearl wants to see what Prince can add to the team in a difficult four-game stretch that begins this weekend against Western Kentucky in Nashville and ends with a pair of road games at Xavier and Gonzaga.

"You’ve got to demonstrate to the committee that you’re willing to go on the road and willing to play good teams," Pearl said of his difficult non-conference slate. "If you can win enough of those games, they’ll reward you."

STAR-CROSSED

Scott Cross played at UT Arlington from 1995-98 and is in his second season as the head coach at his alma mater.

He can’t remember the Southland Conference being as stacked as it is right now.

You want proof. Sam Houston State is undefeated at 8-0 and knocked off Texas Tech. Stephen F. Austin beat Oklahoma and Cross’ Mavericks are a perfect 8-0.

"It’s certainly the best since I’ve been here," Cross said of the conference. "The only thing about is that we’ve got one of the best teams we’ve had, but you look on our side of the league and you’ve got Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin and both UTSA and Texas State are better."

Cross knew his team wasn’t going to win more than the 13 games that the 33-year-old coach was able to get in his rookie season. He returned nearly everyone from a year ago – including 6-foot-9 senior center Jermaine Griffin.

Cross moved sophomore Rog’er Guignard to the point, inserted junior guard Brandon Long into the starting lineup at the two and moved 6-foot-2 senior guard Rod Epps to the three-spot.

"We’ve got three little guards who can all shoot the ball," Cross said. "It opens up things on the inside."

Griffin has taken advantage, averaging 15.5 points and 8.9 rebounds in the first eight victories – which included a victory at Wichita State last weekend.

SALUKIS REBOUND

Southern Illinois finally snapped the losing streak.

Chris Lowery’s Salukis won for the first time in four games with a 71-56 win against No. 24 Saint Mary’s.

Bryan Mullins had a career night with 24 points and Southern Illinois held Gaels freshman guard Patrick Mills to 11 points.

RANDOM NOTES: Oregon State junior big man C.J. Giles, who transferred from Kansas, made his debut with the Beavers last night and fouled out in just six minutes of action. He scored two points and grabbed two rebounds. ... Michigan State signee Delvon Roe will miss about a month due to a knee injury. The 6-foot-8 1/2 Roe, who plays for St. Edward (Ohio) and is considered one of the top seniors in the country, injured the knee in a game last week.

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Trojans' Cunningham out for season with torn ACL in knee
ESPN.com

LOS ANGELES -- USC redshirt freshman forward Kasey Cunningham suffered an ACL and lateral meniscus tear in his left knee during practice on Wednesday and is expected to undergo season-ending surgery in the next few weeks.

Cunningham, who was averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in nine games (3 starts) this season, saw Dr. Thomas Vangsness Friday at USC Hospital and an MRI revealed the left knee damage. The recovery time after surgery for this type of injury is typically 6-9 months.

Cunningham redshirted during the 2006-07 USC season as he had torn the ACL of the same knee during his senior year at Cibola HS in Albuquerque, N.M.

Cunningham played in his first game as a Trojan on Nov. 10 vs. Mercer and scored two points and grabbed two rebounds. He scored six points and had a career-high 10 rebounds on Nov. 15 at the Citadel. His high game in points was seven in the win vs. Miami (OH) on Nov. 23 in the Anaheim Classic semi-finals.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Josh Chichester Joins U of L Basketball Team

6-8 U of L wide receiver was a two-sport star in high school

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Josh Chichester, a 6-8, 225-pound wide receiver on the University of Louisville football team, has joined the Cardinals men's basketball team and is available to participate immediately. He began practicing with the team on Wednesday, adding to a severely depleted U of L front line.

"We're real happy to have Josh on our team," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino. "It's been a difficult few weeks in practice. Josh has very good athleticism and will help us in practice. It will take him a few weeks to learn the system and then will possibly be able to help us in games. (Assistant coach) Walter McCarty has been able to become a coach again and Josh's arrival will relieve him of most of his playing duties in practice."

Chichester redshirted his freshman year with the Cardinal football team this fall after enrolling at U of L in the spring of 2006. He is expected to compete for a starting wide receiver position next season with the Cardinals.

Chichester was a two-sport star for Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. As a senior in basketball in 2005-06, he averaged 13.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots in helping his team to 19-4 record and district runner-up finish. The three-year starter was a first-team all-conference and all-city selection and finished as the school's career rebounding leader. He averaged 11 points and 7.9 rebounds as a junior.

On the football field, Chichester caught 36 passes for 723 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior for the 7-3 Firebirds. The three-year starter at wide receiver for Lakota West was ranked No. 14 in the nation among wide receivers by Scout.com and No. 36 by Rivals.com in his recruiting class, and was ranked 17th among all football recruits in the state of Ohio.

With the indefinite suspension of 6-9 sophomore forward Derrick Caracter on Monday, the Cardinals have five front line players on the sideline. Senior foward Juan Palacios tore cartilage in his right knee on the second day of practice and will hopefully return to action in the next two weeks. Senior center David Padgett suffered a broken kneecap on Nov. 18 and is out at least 10 weeks. Freshman forward George Goode did not meet freshmen eligibility requirements. Freshman center Clarence Holloway had season-ending open heart surgery on Sept. 22 and is awaiting word on his eligibility.

Only seven scholarship players are currently available for action on Louisville's depleted roster.

cstv.com

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Hoosiers' Gordon expected to play Saturday
December 13, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -Indiana freshman Eric Gordon is expected to play Saturday against Western Carolina after sitting out a game with a bruised tailbone.

Gordon, the Hoosiers' leading scorer at 24.3 points a game, missed Indiana's 70-51 win over Kentucky last week. He was injured in the previous game against Tennessee State.

``Eric has been good in practice this week. I fully expect him to play,'' coach Kelvin Sampson said Thursday.

Sampson also said guard Armon Bassett, who was suspended for an undisclosed disciplinary reason, would miss at least one more game.

``He has got some work to do,'' Sampson said. ``He won't play Saturday and we will just have to wait to see about the following Saturday.''

Sampson said guard A.J. Ratliff, academically ineligible the first semester, could make his season debut against Western Carolina.

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Tennessee forward Crews out indefinitely with medical condition
December 14th, 2007

Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Tennessee sophomore forward Duke Crews will be sidelined indefinitely because of a heart condition identified by the school's medical staff.

"Based on a screening echocardiogram issued to each student-athlete, a heart condition was identified for Duke Crews," said team physician Dr. Chris Klenck. "Further testing confirmed the result which will preclude Duke from competing at this time. He will continue to undergo treatment, monitoring and further testing. He will return to competition as soon as his condition allows."

Crews, a 6-foot-7, 233-pounder from Hampton, Va., has averaged 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season since returning from an early-season ankle injury. As a freshman, he posted averages of 8.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game and was a regular in the rotation as the Vols reached the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.

The University of Tennessee provides an echocardiogram to all its student- athletes, in partnership with Digirad Ultrascan Solutions.

"It is very fortunate that this condition was identified before a potentially life-changing problem occurred," said Bruce Pearl, head coach of the 12th- ranked Vols, who are 10-1 on the season. "That is the reason that we have all of our student-athletes undergo testing like this. Based on the tests so far, we are optimistic about his chance to return."

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Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-3 ATS) at (11) Pitt (9-0, 3-2 ATS)

Pitt puts its perfect record on the line when it welcomes Oklahoma State to the Petersen Events Center for a non-conference contest.

The Panthers have been idle since last Saturday’s controversial 75-74 victory over Washington. Pitt – which failed to cover as a 2½-point road chalk, snapping a 3-0 ATS run – survived when a last-second game-winning basket by Washington was nullified because the shot was made after the clock expired.

Oklahoma State comes into this contest on a three-game winning streak. Like Pitt, the Cowboys topped Washington 96-71 as a 3½-point home favorite back on Dec. 1, then followed that with consecutive non-lined home wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (60-46) on Dec. 5 and East Tennessee State (78-65) last Saturday.

These teams met 51 weeks ago on a neutral court in Oklahoma City, and the Cowboys prevailed 95-89 in overtime as a two-point chalk. Oklahoma State also topped Pitt in the Sweet 16 of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, winning 63-51 as a three-point favorite.

The Panthers have won all seven of their home games, but only three were against lined opponents, with Pitt going 2-1 ATS in those contests. Also, after last week’s non-cover against Washington, the Panthers are now just 1-7 ATS in their last eight Saturday contests. They’re also 0-4 ATS in their last four against the Big 12.

Oklahoma State is just 1-3 SU and ATS on the highway.

The under is 4-0 in Pitt’s last four lined contests.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(16) Oregon (8-1, 5-3-1 ATS) at Nebraska (7-2, 2-2 ATS)

The Ducks take a four-game winning streak to the heartland where they will battle a Nebraska squad that’s looking to remain unbeaten at home and avenge last year’s loss at Oregon.

Oregon has ripped off four straight wins since suffering its only loss of the season to St. Mary’s back on Nov. 20, most recently topping Sacramento State 93-66 on Tuesday. The Ducks failed to cash as a lofty 31-point favorite in that contest, snapping a 3-0 ATS run.

Nebraska has bounced back from a seven-point overtime loss at Western Kentucky with consecutive home wins over Rutgers (63-51 as an 11½-point chalk) and Savannah State (82-37 in a non-lined game).

Oregon toppled the Cornhuskers 68-56 a year ago, pushing as a 12-point home chalk.

The Ducks are on ATS runs of 13-5-1 overall, 7-0 on Saturdays, 5-0 against the Big 12 and 4-0 following a non-cover.

Nebraska is 7-0 at home (2-0 ATS). Going back to last season, the Huskers are on a 12-4 ATS roll in Lincoln. However, they’re just 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a SU victory.

Nebraska has stayed under the total in three straight lined games, and the under is 5-0 in Oregon’s last five games against Big 12 foes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OREGON and UNDER


Arkansas (8-1, 3-3 ATS) at Oklahoma (7-3, 5-3 ATS)

An interesting intersectional matchup is scheduled for Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., as the Sooners look to rebound from a stunning loss when they host streaking Arkansas.

Oklahoma faced Division II Stephen F. Austin in a non-lined game a week ago and fell 66-62 at the Noble Center. That snapped the Sooners’ two-game winning streak.

The Razorbacks are coming off Wednesday’s 67-42 home rout of Texas-San Antonio in a non-lined game. It was their sixth consecutive victory, the last five of which came at home.

Arkansas is 2-1 SU and ATS on the highway this year, but 2-5 ATS in their last seven road contests dating to last year. Also, while the Razorbacks are 13-4-1 ATS in their last 18 games on Saturday, they’re 3-13 ATS in their last 16 against the Big 12.

The Sooners’ loss to Stephen F. Austin dropped them to 5-1 at home. However, they’ve covered the number in all four of their lined home games, and they’re 4-1 ATS in their last five overall.

Oklahoma beat Arkansas four straight times from 1998-2001, covering the number in all four contests.

The under is on runs of 5-1 for Arkansas overall, 10-3 for Oklahoma in non-conference games, 12-5 for Oklahoma at home and 6-1 for Oklahoma against SEC foes.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OKLAHOMA and UNDER


(22) Louisville (5-2, 2-3 ATS) vs. Purdue (5-2, 2-3 ATS), at Indianapolis

Two teams with identical records and coming off losses clash at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, as Purdue battles Louisville.

The Cardinals last played a week ago, when they fell 70-65 to Dayton despite being a 12½-point home favorite. Rick Pitino’s squad has averaged just 58.7 points in its last three games.

Purdue also has been idle since last Saturday’s 73-63 loss to Missouri, coming up just short as a nine-point road underdog. The Boilermakers have failed to cover in three straight games, which comes on the heels of a 4-0 ATS run that dated to last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Louisville is 2-1 SU and ATS in road/neutral-site games, holding foes to just 48 points per game on 25 percent shooting in those contests. Dating to last season, the Cardinals are 8-1 ATS on the highway. They’re also on ATS runs of 14-6-1 overall and 10-4-2 on Saturdays. On the downside, Louisville is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven against the Big Ten.

In addition to their loss at Missouri, the Boilermakers lost at Clemson 61-58 in their other road contest, cashing as a 10-point underdog. Purdue is on ATS runs of 12-5 overall and 17-6 on Saturdays.

The under is 46-21-2 in Louisville’s last 69 road contests, including 2-1 away from home this season.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(17) Xavier (8-1, 4-2 ATS) at Arizona State (6-2, 3-2 ATS)

Xavier takes a seven-game winning streak to the desert where it will try to defeat the Sun Devils for the second consecutive year.

The Musketeers outlasted in-city rival Cincinnati on Wednesday, prevailing 64-59 but never threatening to cover as an 18½-point home favorite. It was just the second time all season that Xavier failed to score at least 78 points.

Three of Arizona State’s last four contests were against non-lined Division II schools, and the Sun Devils won all three, including a 60-43 rout of Coppin State in their most recent game a week ago. The last time ASU played a quality opponent was on Dec. 2, when it got crushed 62-47 at Nebraska as a two-point underdog.

Arizona State is 4-0 at home, covering the spread in its only lined home game, a 75-41 rout of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a 10½-point chalk. The Sun Devils are 6-0 ATS in their last six lined home contests and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 lined contests overall.

In their most recent game away from home, the Musketeers hammered Indiana 80-65 as a 2½-point underdog on a neutral floor, improving to 2-1 SU and ATS on the highway. The Musketeers are also on an 8-3 ATS roll against non-league foes.

Xavier pummeled the Sun Devils 76-58 last year, barely cashing as a 16½-point home favorite.

The under is 16-5 in Arizona State’s last 21 lined contests. However, the over is on runs of 7-3 for the Sun Devils in non-conference action, 7-3-1 for Xavier overall and 9-4-1 for Xavier on Saturday. Also, last year’s meeting in Ohio soared over the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Ohio (6-2, 6-0 ATS) vs. (3) Kansas (9-0, 4-2 ATS) at Kansas City, Mo.

Ohio will attempt to pull of its second consecutive upset victory when it battles undefeated and third-ranked Kansas on a neutral floor at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

The Bobcats stunned Maryland 61-55 as a 7½-point road underdog on Wednesday, their fourth consecutive win (3-0 ATS). Not only has Ohio covered in all six of its lined games this year, it is 10-3 ATS overall dating to last February.

Kansas took the week off after flattening DePaul 84-66 at Allen Fieldhouse on campus last Saturday. The Jayhawks led by as many as 30 points with a few minutes to play, but relaxed down the stretch and it cost them a spread-cover as a 22-point chalk, snapping a 3-0 ATS run.

Ohio is just 4-5 SU in its last nine games on the highway, but 5-2 ATS in lined contests (2-0 ATS this year).

Although this is technically a neutral-site contest, Kansas figures to have a distinct crowd advantage, so it’s interesting to note that the Jayhawks are 8-0 in designated home games (4-2 ATS).

For whatever reason, the Bobcats have been an outstanding bet on Saturdays in recent years, going 40-14 ATS in the last 54. Conversely, Kansas has failed to cash in its last four Saturday contests.

The over is on runs of 13-6 for Ohio in non-league action, 16-5 for Ohio on Saturday and 6-2-1 for Kansas on Saturday. However, most recently, Kansas is on a 5-1 “under” run and Ohio has stayed low in its last three.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OHIO


Florida State (9-2, 5-3 ATS) vs. (18) Butler (8-1, 6-3 ATS), at Indianapolis

Butler looks to rebound from its first loss of the season when it returns to action for a non-conference contest against Florida State at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Bulldogs opened Horizon League play last week. First, they beat Detroit 53-46 on Dec. 6 as a 10½-point road chalk, then went to Wright State last Saturday and lost 43-42 an 8½-point road favorite. Butler managed just 15 second-half points and shot just 32 percent from the field, compared with 47.4 percent for Wright State.

Butler had been on a 9-1 ATS roll prior to its last two contests.

Florida State is riding a five-game winning streak, but the Seminoles’ last three wins came at home against questionable competition. They beat Stetson (72-59) and Maine (95-55) in non-lined games, while besting Samford 61-45, but failing to cover as a 22-point home favorite.

These teams met in the 2006 NIT in Tallahassee, Fla., with Florida State pulling off a 67-63 victory. However, Butler covered as an eight-point road underdog.

The Bulldogs dropped to 8-1 as a visitor with the loss to Wright State (4-2 ATS). Meanwhile, Florida State is 2-2 SU and ATS away from home, most recently crushing two-time defending champion Florida 65-51 as a nine-point road underdog on Nov. 23.

Butler is 25-8 ATS in its last 33 non-conference affairs.

The Seminoles have stayed under the total in six straight lined games, while Butler has remained low in its last three. The under is also 9-3 in Florida State’s last 12 away from home and 9-4 in the Bulldogs’ last 13 overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BUTLER and UNDER

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NBA Gameday

The NBA’s Western Conference steals the spotlight on Saturday with three high-profile conference matchups, as Dallas takes on Houston, Phoenix visits New Orleans and Denver invades San Antonio.

Dallas at Houston

The Mavericks will be playing their third game in four nights when they take on Houston on Saturday. Dallas had a home game against New Orleans on Friday night and traveled to Toronto on Wednesday. Against the Raptors, the Mavericks were hammered 92-76 as a 4-point favorite. The 76 points scored in that game were by far the Mavericks’ lowest total of the season. Jason Terry led Dallas with 21 points in the loss, while Josh Howard delivered 19 points. Dirk Nowitzki had a slow night with only 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting. As a team Dallas shot only 38 percent from the floor.

The Rockets should be much fresher than Dallas with a two-day break before Saturday’s game. Houston last played on Wednesday when they clipped Detroit 80-77 as a 3-point favorite. Tracy McGrady led the Rockets with 29 points and Yao Ming had 21 points and 13 rebounds. Houston was lucky to come away with the win against Detroit considering they hit only 27 percent of their shots from the free-throw line.

This will be the third meeting of the season between Houston and Dallas. In both prior matchups Dallas defeated Houston and covered the spread.

Phoenix at New Orleans

The Phoenix Suns are coming off a 103-98 victory over Utah as a 7.5-point favorite on Wednesday. Steve Nash led the Suns with 29 points and 11 assists in the win, while Shawn Marion also recorded a double-double with 26 points and 15 rebounds.

The Hornets are in the same boat as the Mavericks, playing their third game in four nights. New Orleans played in Dallas on Friday night and made a stop in Denver on Wednesday where they lost to the Nuggets 105-99 as an 8-point favorite. Chris Paul scored 30 points to go along with 12 assists and David West added 25 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.

This is the first meeting of the season between Phoenix and New Orleans, but in three games last season Phoenix won all three contests while going 2-1 ATS.

Denver at San Antonio

The Nuggets haven’t taken to the court since Wednesday when they beat New Orleans 105-99 as an 8-point favorite to win their third game in a row. Carmelo Anthony had a hot hand for Denver with 32 points and 10 rebounds, while Allen Iverson netted 22 points and handed out 11 assists.

The Spurs dropped their second straight on Thursday after falling to the Lakers 102-97 as a 6.5-point underdog. San Antonio was severely shorthanded in that game with both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker sitting out with injuries. Without two of their leading scorers, Bruce Bowen led the Spurs with 22 points and Brent Barry had 17 points. Manu Ginobili, who leads the Spurs in scoring this season, was held to only 14 points.

This is the first time San Antonio and Denver have met up since the Spurs knocked off the Nuggets in the opening round of last year’s playoffs. Denver took Game 1 of the best-of-seven series only to have the Spurs storm back and win the next four.

[img]http://www.betjm.com/images/bjm_pick15_site.gif[/img]

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Clippers sign free-agent G Richie Frahm
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES  -- The Los Angeles Clippers signed Richie Frahm, a free-agent guard who was released by the Phoenix Suns during the preseason, on Friday.

Frahm, a 30-year-old 3-point specialist, has averaged 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 130 career games with Houston, Minnesota, Portland and Seattle. He played for Italy's Benetton Treviso in 2006-07 after averaging 3.4 points in 32 games for Minnesota and Houston the previous season.

Frahm, a 6-foot-5, 202-pounder, was undrafted after averaging 12.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in four seasons at Gonzaga. He was a college teammate of Clippers guard Dan Dickau during the 1999-2000 season.

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NBA Today - December 15
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Saturday, Dec. 15

Denver at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST). The Nuggets look to hand the Spurs their first home loss (12-0).

STARS Friday

-Dwight Howard, Magic, had 33 points and 18 rebounds and Orlando beat Charlotte 103-87.

-Paul Pierce, Celtics, scored a season-high 32 points to lead Boston to a 104-82 victory over Milwaukee.

-Vince Carter, Nets, matched a season high with 32 points in New Jersey's 105-97 win against Cleveland.

-Jason Kapono, Raptors, scored 17 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to help Toronto beat Indiana 104-93.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Boston Celtics overcame Ray Allen's absence to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-82 and match the franchise record with a 12-0 start at home. Boston also won its first 12 home games in 1984 en route to the '85 NBA finals.

KINGS OF THE ROAD

The Sacramento Kings became the final NBA team to win a road game with a 109-99 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night. The Kings, who entered the game with nine straight road losses to open a season, matched a team record set in 1987-88 and again in 1993-94.

MAGIC MAN

Dwight Howard had 33 points and 18 rebounds and Orlando beat the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats 103-87 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Howard, who had his NBA-leading 20th double-double, would have had an even bigger night if not for 11-for-20 shooting from the free-throw line.

TRIPLE-DOUBLE


Kirk Hinrich delivered the second triple-double of his career, and the Chicago Bulls hung on to beat the Knicks 101-96 on Friday, handing New York its fifth straight loss. Hinrich finished with 15 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. His only other triple-double was against Golden State on Feb. 28, 2004.

SNAPPED

The Golden State Warriors roared from behind in the final minutes to snap a nine-game losing streak to the Lakers with a 108-106 victory Friday night.

STREAKS

Portland won its sixth straight game with a 99-91 victory over Utah on Friday night. The Jazz lost their sixth straight and second to the Trail Blazers in a week.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

LeBron James had 29 points and eight assists in Cleveland's 105-97 loss to New Jersey on Friday night.

MAKING MOVES

The Charlotte Bobcats acquired center Nazr Mohammed from the Detroit Pistons on Friday in exchange for center Primoz Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann. Mohammed is averaging 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 games.

SPEAKING

''It feels great. You want to take about 40 shots. I kept yelling 'Hey, pass me the ball.' They say, 'You're standing 45 feet outside of the 3-point arc.' I'm saying 'Hey, pass me the ball, still.' It's just one of those rare times when you feel like every shot you take is a good shot.'' - Jason Kapono, who scored a career-high 29 points to lead Toronto to a 104-93 win over Indiana on Friday night. Kapono scored 25 points in the second half, including 17 in the fourth quarter

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Saturday's  NBA matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sacramento at Washington

The Wizards have won four straight over the Kings after losing 12 of the previous 14.

Charlotte at Atlanta

Charlotte will be looking to shake that slump against the Hawks (10-12), who are 4-9 all-time against the Bobcats, losing to them more than any other team in the league.

Memphis at Orlando

The Grizzlies have won eight of the last 10 between the teams, but lost eight of their last 11 in Orlando.

New Jersey at New York

The Nets have won 10 straight games against the Knicks and have won eight straight overall at Madison Square Garden.

Indiana at Miami

The Heat have won three straight at home against the Pacers.

Philadelphia at Cleveland


Cleveland went 3-1 against Philadelphia last season, and has won four of five against the 76ers after dropping 22 of 26 against them.

Phoenix at New Orleans

Phoenix has won six straight road games in this series and has won 11 of 12 overall against New Orleans. They have held the Hornets under triple digits in 11 games over that span.

Minnesota at Milwaukee

The Bucks have beaten the Wolves three straight times at home since losing their previous eight against them there.

Dallas at Houston

Houston has lost nine of its last 10 meetings against Dallas, including both this season.

Denver at San Antonio

The Nuggets averaged just 88.2 points in losing their first-round playoff series to the Spurs in five games last season. This is the teams' first meeting since that matchup.

Seattle at Utah

Utah has dropped five of eight against Seattle overall and four of six at home.

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Bobcats acquire Mohammed from Pistons
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  -- The Charlotte Bobcats' search for a big man ended Friday when they acquired center Nazr Mohammed from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for center Primoz Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann.

Mohammed, averaging 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 games for the Pistons, will provide the Bobcats depth they've been missing since Sean May underwent season-ending knee surgery during training camp.

''We see this deal as a major improvement for the team,'' Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. ''Not that we were down on Primoz and Walter, but we're trying to improve the Bobcats. We feel we've got a big guy that can come in and score in the post and help us with rebounding.''

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Saturday's NCAAB Top 25 matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Oklahoma State at No. 9 Pittsburgh

The Cowboys have won the last three games between he teams to take a 4-3 lead in the all-time series.

No. 16 Oregon at Nebraska

Nebraska limited Oregon to 40.0 percent shooting when these teams met last Dec. 9, but the Cornhuskers committed 18 turnovers and forced just nine in a 68-56 loss.

No. 13 Sacramento State at Marquette

This is the first meeting between these teams. The Hornets have committed 20 or more turnovers in six of their nine games, including 22 in each of the last two.

No. 20 Louisville at Purdue

The Cardinals and the Boilermakers have not met since an 86-84 Purdue victory in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis on Nov. 30, 2002. The Boilermakers are 10-5 all-time against Louisville.

No. 17 Xavier at Arizona State

Xavier is the highest-ranked non-conference opponent to visit Arizona State since Dec. 20, 1980, when the Sun Devils upset then-No. 7 Ohio State 71-58.

Ohio at No. 3 Kansas

Saturday is the second meeting between these teams. Kansas won 49-38 on March 14, 1985 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

IUPU - Ft. Wayne at No. 10 Michigan State


This is the third straight season the Spartans have played a home game against IPFW. Neitzel and forward Marquise Gray each had 13 points in an 80-43 win over the Mastodons last season, giving Michigan State a 3-0 lead in the all-time series.

Texas State at No. 5 Texas

The Longhorns look for their 19th straight win in the series. The Bobcats have lost 36 of 41 all-time meetings with Texas, including 18 in a row. Texas State hasn't beaten the Longhorns since a 33-31 victory in 1938.

Florida State at No. 19 Butler

Florida State has won two of three meetings with Butler, including a 67-63 victory in the NIT on March 17, 2006.

Middle Tennessee State at No. 2 Memphis

The Tigers extended their winning streak over the Blue Raiders to 11 games with an 86-46 rout last season.

Radford at No. 4 Georgetown


The Highlanders haven't faced a ranked team since losing 92-52 to then-No. 6 Wake Forest on Dec. 18, 2000.

Idaho State at No. 8 UCLA


The Bruins face Idaho State for the first time since winning 85-58 at home on Nov. 25, 1983. UCLA leads 2-1 in the all-time series with the Bengals.

Western Carolina at No. 14 Indiana

Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson is still uncertain how his team will perform Saturday in the school's first meeting with Western Carolina.

Pepperdine at No. 25 Brigham Young

BYU has not played Pepperdine since a 84-68 victory on Jan. 2, 2003. The Waves are 4-2 all-time against the Cougars.

Western Kentucky at No. 11 Tennessee

The Vols were outrebounded 38-27 in last season's 93-79 victory over the Hilltoppers, the first meeting between the schools.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Marbury misses third straight game, Quentin Richardson sits with strained tendon
December 14, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -Knicks guard Stephon Marbury missed his third straight game, and forward Quentin Richardson sat out New York's game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday night because of a strained tendon in his right knee.

Marbury played in the first two games following the funeral of his father Donald, who died Dec. 2, but left the team last Sunday.

Richardson sat out the second half of Wednesday's 117-110 loss to Seattle.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Saturday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

There are 15 schools from the AP Top 25 that are in action Saturday with all of them squaring off against unranked squads. Let’s touch on a few details for several of these games.

**Louisville vs. Purdue**

--Louisville and Purdue will square off in the John Wooden Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Most sports books are listing the Boilermakers as 1 ½-point favorites. Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened the game as a pick ‘em with a total of 130.

--Purdue (5-2 straight up, 2-3 against the spread) has beaten up on five cupcake squads and lost to both quality teams it has faced. The Boilermakers lost 61-58 at Clemson earlier this month. They are coming off a 73-63 setback at Missouri as 9 ½-point underdogs.

--Louisville (5-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) has been a disappointment to date, dropping a 70-65 decision to Dayton last Saturday as a 12 ½-point home ‘chalk.’ The Cardinals also lost to BYU 78-76 in a neutral-site game on Nov. 23. They have decent wins over Miami (OH.), Old Dominion and UNLV.

--Louisville coach Rick Pitino has suspended Derrick Caracter indefinitely following a curfew violation. Caracter is averaging 13.4 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. Making matters worse, senior center David Padgett (knee) is out until at least February and Juan Palacios (knee) is still recovering from a knee injury suffered during the team’s second practice of the season. Palacio is expected to return in the next week or two.

--The Cardinals are 8-1 versus the number in their last nine road games.

--These schools have met twice since 1997 with Purdue winning both SU and ATS both times.

--Tip-off is slated for 3:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

**Florida State at Butler**

--Butler (8-1 SU, 6-3 ATS) is a 3 ½-point favorite at most spots. The Bulldogs are coming off their first loss of the season, a 43-42 defeat at Wright State as 7 ½-point ‘chalk.’

--Florida State (9-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) has won six in a row, including a 75-61 home win over Minnesota and a 65-51 victory at Florida. Even more impressive, the Seminoles have won all six games by 14 points or more.

Butler forward Pete Campbell is “out” with a knee injury he suffered in a 65-46 win over Ohio State on Dec. 1. Campbell was averaging 14.1 PPG.

--Senior guard A.J. Graves is averaging a team-high 15.4 PPG for the Bulldogs.

--Dating back to last year, Butler is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games. The ‘under’ is 9-4 in its last 13 outings.

--Leonard Hamilton’s team has only been an underdog once this year, beating the Gators as nine-point road ‘dogs.

--The ‘under’ is 9-3 in FSU’s last 12 road games dating back to last season.

--This game will tip at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Middle Tennessee vs. Memphis**

--Most sports books have installed Memphis (7-0 SU, 2-4 ATS) as a 27-point favorite for this neutral-site game in Nashville. Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Memphis at 28 with a 150-point total.

--Middle Tennessee (3-5 SU, 1-4 ATS) snapped a two-game slide Wednesday by beating Belmont 86-80 in overtime.

--Memphis hasn’t played since Dec. 4 when it needed overtime to pull out a 62-58 win over Southern Cal. The Tigers emerged from Madison Square Garden victorious, but their backers lost wagers on the eight-point ‘chalk.’ John Calipari’s squad was paced by Robert Dozier, who had 13 points and eight rebounds. It was a sloppy performance by Memphis offensively, as the Tigers committed 22 turnovers and shot only 37 percent from the floor.

--Memphis is led in scoring by Chris Douglas-Roberrts, who averages 20.1 points per game. Freshman sensation Derrick Rose has been as advertised, scoring at a 15.9 PPG clip. Rose is a complete player, hitting the boards for 5.7 rebounds per game and dishing out 4.3 assists per game.

--This is the third consecutive season that these teams have met. Memphis has won and covered the number in both previous spots, winning by margins of 33 and 40. The ‘under’ cashed in both matchups also.

--Dating back to last year, the ‘over’ is on a 6-2 run for the Tigers.

--ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Tennessee sophomore Duke Crews is out with a heart ailment, the team announced Friday. Crews, who is averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds, led the Vols in blocked shots (32) as a freshman. His future playing status will not be determined until more testing is done, but he will definitely miss Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky. UT is a 10 ½-point ‘chalk’ at most books.

--Keep in mind that a bunch of games are on neutral courts today. Actually, homes away from home would probably be the better description of some venues. Here are a few: Tennessee-Western Kentucky (Nashville), Ohio-Kansas (KC), Oregon-Nebraska (Omaha) and Georgia Southern-Florida (Jacksonville). 

--Kentucky’s game against UAB is another example, as both teams will collide at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The Wildcats are seven-point ‘chalk’ at most spots. ESPN will provide television coverage at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

--Speaking of the Wildcats, they are now officially without Alex Legion, the freshman guard who has decided to transfer. According to HawgSports.com, Legion will choose between Arkansas, Michigan, Notre Dame and Illinois. Rivals.com ranked Legion the No. 44 player coming out of high school in 2007.   

--Ohio owns a 6-0 spread record. The Bobcats, who are 6-2 SU, already pulled an upset this week with its 61-55 win at Maryland as eight-point underdogs. Now they get a shot at the Jayhawks today. KU, which is favored by 19 at most spots, will have its hands full with a pair of big-time interior players for Ohio (Leon Williams and Jerome Tillman).

vegasinsider.com.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Campbell Injury Creates Chaos for Butler Backers
by Robert Ferringo

Who the hell is Pete Campbell?

That's what you may be asking yourself right now. Either that, or "How do I tell my kids that Santa blew the money for their Christmas presents on two Thai hookers and a kilo of sweet Bolivian bam-bam at that out-of-town conference last month?" But regardless, Pete Campbell is the embodiment of why betting on college basketball is a fickle proposition, and one fraught with terror.

Campbell was the second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for the Butler Bulldogs, one of the 12 best teams in the country and one of the four or five best bets in the country. Now, Mr. Campbell is on the shelf with a strained knee and any hope that the Bulldogs have of a deep NCAA Tournament run - as in Elite Eight or even Final Four deep - hangs in a balance.

But that's their problem. My problem is that without Campbell the Bulldogs are not the same steady, reliable, razor-sharp wager that they were with him in the lineup. The 6-foot-7 senior forward was lethal from three-point range and was one of the key weapons in Butler's flex offense. His ability to step out and knock down threes, bringing his big man away from the basket in the process, was the hidden key to this team's precision on the offensive end. And it's Butler's precise execution that has made them one of the best bets in the country over the past two years.

What, you don't believe me that this injury is as important as any in the country? Try this out: Butler was 6-1 ATS this season with Campbell in the lineup, 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games, and 28-11 ATS dating back to last year. That's a 72-percent bet that always covered in big games against marquee competition from the major conferences. Now they lost one of their best players and they are 0-2 ATS, with one straight-up loss, in their two games without him. And those two ATS losses came in conference games to teams that are not close to their level. Not good times.

Basketball is unique to any other sport in that an injury to a role player is much more critical than in, say, football or baseball. A starter on a basketball team constitutes 20 percent of the team that's on the floor at any given time. And losing a starter can have a devastating blow to the delicate fabric of a team's chemistry. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a team losing its first big man off the bench can have deep ramifications of how a coach substitutes, what type of defense a team plays, or how they matchup with a lesser opponent.

So we've determined that it sucks to blow your kids' Christmas money and it sucks to lose one of your starters on the basketball court. But conversely, adding a key piece to your hoops puzzle can also take an inconsistent, sloppy mess of a team and solidify it into a contender in the standings and at the window. Below I've listed a group of players that will be joining or re-joining their teams after the first semester ends at their respective school. Look for these players to make an immediate impact, and try to capitalize on each team's newfound mojo before the oddsmakers fully adjust to their presence:

Avery Jukes (Butler) - Jukes is a 6-foot-8 transfer from Alabama and is the type of athlete you don't usually see wandering around the Horizon League. The Georgia native played only seven minutes last year but apparently is comfortable using his face-up game. The question will be how long it takes Jukes to pick up Butler's intricate offense and if he can mesh with the guards. However, with Campbell out and the Bulldogs thin in the frontcourt his addition will be a huge lift for this team.

Jamal Boykin (California) - The former Duke transfer is a former California Player of the Year and will provide depth for the Golden Bears on the wing. He is eligible on Dec. 21 and, upon the return of Theo Robertson, will give Cal four skilled wing players between 6-5 and 6-8.

Ra'Sean Dickey (Georgia Tech) - The Yellowjackets have been a disaster to this point in the season and a big reason is that they've had no post presence. At 6-10, Dickey led last year's team in field goal percentage and in blocks. He is a senior and will give a huge lift to one of the worst rebounding teams in the South. He returns Dec. 18 against, gulp, Kansas.

Brook Lopez (Stanford) - The Cardinal were a club that I had high expectations for specifically because of the Twin Towers frontcourt of Brook and Robin Lopez. The 7-foot sophomore is clearly the more talented of the two and will be back on Dec. 19 to give Stanford the best frontcourt west of the Mississippi.

Michael Gerrity (Charlotte) - The 49ers have been part of the A-10 Renaissance this season and will get even better when Gerrity, the former WCC Freshman of the Year, becomes eligible on Dec. 15. Gerrity is a "hard-nosed" player and will likely work his way into the point guard spot next to Leemire Goldwire.

Justin Cerasoli (Loyola) - Loyola-Chicago has been a team to fade all season because they cannot put the ball in the basket. He is a two-time transfer, hailing from Seton Hall and Mississippi, but a high school star in the Chicago area. If his head is right he can provide enough spark to make Loyola a minor factor in an intense Horizon race.

Aaron Holmes (South Florida) - If this four-star freshman guard can match the hype he could be exactly the player that USF needs to put it in Big East contention. A former N.C. State signee and Florida State member, Holmes is a sharpshooter. The Bulls have been one of the best bets in the country to this point and if the 6-5 combo guard can play they could get even better.

Marques Johnson (N.C. State) - This former Tennessee Volunteer will be a welcome addition to the Wolfpack backcourt. Johnson is a 6-5 point guard that was eligible as of Dec. 12. With five starters posting a negative assist-to-turnover ratio (64 assists to 84 turnover) the Wolfpack are in desperate need of someone to steady their offense.

Channing Toney (UAB) - The loss of Paul Delany III has really crippled a team that I set as a C-USA sleeper this season. But the Dragons may be back in business if Channing Toney, a Georgia defector that will be eligible Jan. 1, can have the same type of impact that transfers Robert Vaden and Walter Sharpe have for the Dragons. Toney will add another shooter to a team that's knocking down nearly 40 percent of its 3-pointers.

Docsports.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Ranking College Basketball Conferences ATS
by T.O. Whenham

We are at a unique time in the college basketball season. Teams have played enough games that we have a sense of their relative strengths and weaknesses, but conference play hasn't started yet so we can't do head-to-head comparisons. Some teams look better now than they will in February because their schedule has played to their strengths better than the conference season will. Others, like Davidson for example, have had a very rough start to the year, but the experience of playing above their heads will put them in great position later on.

The same kinds of distinctions can be made for the major conferences. On one hand you have a conference like the Pac-10 that is looking very strong, while on the other hand the Big Ten has so far gotten off to a rocky start.

For college basketball betting, the ATS records of the conferences as a whole aren't particularly meaningful by themselves. In each conference there are teams that are extremely strong for bettors, and others that are truly disastrous. What you can learn from looking at the ATS records of the whole conference, though, is whether the reputation of a conference is deserved, and whether belonging to a certain conference is given too much credit or is discounted too much. Here, then, is the ranking of the six major conferences in terms of ATS success. As a brief aside, it is interesting that the teams in those six conferences have not been profitable overall while playing against a lot of lower level teams at the start of the year - they are a combined 232-220-9 ATS, which is obviously better than .500, but not good enough to make any money. That's not very impressive given the general level of games that these teams have played. Up to this point in the season, the major conference teams have been getting fat on lesser teams. Of the 73 major conference teams, only four - Iowa State, Cincinnati, DePaul and Michigan - have a losing straight up record as of Thursday.

1. Pac-10 (41-30-3 ATS) - There are a lot of teams getting buzz in the conference this year, and that is paying off at the betting window. The top-to-bottom strength of this league is impressive - only Washington, at 1-6 ATS, has not been profitable for bettors. It's no surprise that better than expected Washington State and overachieving Stanford have delivered payoffs, but it is impressive that the incredibly public Bruins and the popular Ducks have also paid off more than they have cost.

2. ACC (46-36 ATS) - Though this conference is doing well when all the teams are combined together, the profits have definitely not been earned equally by all teams. Four of the 12 teams in the conference have cost bettors money, capped by the truly pathetic 1-8 ATS mark by Maryland - the worst of any team in any major conference. On the other side of success, Miami and Clemson have been very kind to bettors, and both Duke and North Carolina have been able to overcome their gigantic public expectations to post a combined 11-4 ATS.

3. Big 12 (40-33 ATS)
- This is the last of the three conferences that would have been profitable if you had, for some reason, bet on every game played by every team. Kansas and Texas are, as expected, leading the way. They are a combined 18-0 straight up, and an almost as impressive 10-3 ATS. Texas A&M has also been playing very well, at 8-1, but they haven't done as well compared to the hopes of bettors - they are 3-3 ATS. The interesting team in this conference is Nebraska. Despite being a somewhat surprising 7-2, they have disappointed bettors by going just 1-3 ATS.

4. Big East (46-46-2 ATS) - It's not surprising that the biggest conference in the country, with 16 teams, has struggled against the spread. With so many teams there are inevitably going to be some stinkers that will pull down the rest of the conference. What is surprising, though, is that the Big East has so few betting stars. Just three teams - West Virginia (4-0 ATS), Marquette (4-1 ATS) and South Florida (7-2-1 ATS) - stand out from the crowd as having exceptional betting records. The conference's two undefeated teams, Pitt and Georgetown, are just 6-5 ATS.

5. SEC (29-32-1 ATS)
- If the Big East is short of betting stars then the SEC is a wasteland. Only four of the 12 teams in the conference are profitable against the spread. Vanderbilt (10-0, 6-3 ATS) and South Carolina (5-4, 5-2 ATS) are the only two teams that have offered reasonable returns. The incredible team in this conference is Florida. At 2-1 ATS they have returned a profit, and are covering at a rate that would be spectacular over the long run. It's very hard to believe that a 9-1 team has only had three games with lines, though. Even in those games they have been favored by at least nine each time. This is the definition of a pathetic early schedule.

6. Big Ten (30-43-3 ATS) - With so many new coaches bringing in new systems and heightened expectations it isn't surprising that this conference has struggled. It's just a bit of a shock how bad the group has been against the spread. Eight of the 11 teams have been money losers. The worst offender has been Michigan at 1-7 ATS, but even conference star Indiana has burned money. The only bright lights from a betting perspective in this conference have been the surprisingly strong start Minnesota has had under Tubby Smith (7-1, 3-2 ATS), and the virtually unwavering consistency of Tom Izzo and Michigan State (8-1, 4-1-2 ATS).

Docsports.com

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Wizards guard Antonio Daniels out 2-4 weeks with sprained knee
December 15, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -Antonio Daniels is expected to miss two to four weeks with a sprained knee, leaving the Washington Wizards without their top two point guards for at least seven games.

Daniels sprained his right MCL during the second quarter of Thursday night's win over Miami. He finished the game and had 11 points and five assists.

The Wizards are already missing Gilbert Arenas, who had knee surgery Nov. 21 and isn't expected to return until mid-February at the earliest.

The setback left the Wizards with nine healthy players as they prepared for Saturday night's game against the Sacramento Kings. Center Etan Thomas is out indefinitely after undergoing open heart surgery in October, and rookie forward Oleksiy Pecherov has been sidelined with a broken right ankle.

Either Roger Mason or rookie Nick Young was expected to start at point guard Saturday night. Mason had only three career starts since first playing in the league in 2002. Young, a first-round pick from Southern California, had yet to start an NBA game.

There were concerns that Arenas' injury would wreck the Wizards' season, but the 11th-year veteran Daniels filled in well. He scored in double figures in 13 of 14 games and was averaging 11 points and 6.6 assists in Arenas' absence. Washington went 9-5 without Arenas and has won three straight.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Dec 15th

Nuggets' Kenyon Martin suspended one game, will miss game against Spurs
ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- Denver forward Kenyon Martin was suspended Saturday by the NBA for one game without pay for a flagrant foul and will sit out the game against San Antonio.

Martin was assessed a flagrant foul against Melvin Ely, striking him in the head with an elbow in the second period of the Nuggets' 105-99 win Wednesday over New Orleans. Ely has a fractured left eye socket and missed the Hornets' 89-80 loss at Dallas on Friday night.

Martin, who is averaging 9.0 points and 5.9 rebounds, will miss the road game against the Spurs. He has started 20 of 22 games.

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