Reno B. - Bakersfield J. 109-114 The Reno Bighorns (2-3) fell to the Bakersfield Jam (5-3) in a thriller Monday night, 114-109. Utah Jazz assignee Kevin Murphy missed a three-pointer to tie the game with 8.6 seconds left in the game. The Bighorns and Jam played close all night, with 11 lead changes in the game. The Jam took 16 more free throws than the Bighorns, making 87.5 percent of them. Darnell Jackson (6'8''-F-85, college: Kansas) led the Bighorns with 22 points and seven rebounds. Murphy (18), Anthony Richardson (16), Garrett Temple (14) and Antoine Wright (14) all recorded double-digit points for the Horns. The Jam were led by Stephen Dennis (6'6''-G-87, college: Kutztown), who had 24 points and 6 rebounds. Atlanta Hawks' assignee had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Bakersfield. Damion James (6'7''-F-87, agency: Priority Sports, college: Texas) added 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Bighorns will now hit the road for the first time this season, as they take on the affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles D-Fenders this Thursday and Saturday. Reno will return home on January 4th against the Sioux Falls SkyForce. Courtesy of: kolotv.com
Maine RC - Canton C. 103-90 Seven players scored nine points or more. The point guard recorded 10 assists. It is not a coincidence. Maine Red Claws point guard Shelvin Mack (6'3''-G-90, college: Butler) played one of his finer games in what he hopes is a short NBA D-League career, leading Maine to a 103-90 win Sunday over the Canton Charge. Mack scored 18 points, including three of four 3-pointers, to go with his 10 assists and five rebounds. An NBA backup last season, the 6-foot-2 Mack continues to demonstrate why the Red Claws drafted him in the first round (fourth overall) in the D-League draft. He kept Maine's offense humming against the Charge. "He's our the floor general," said 6-7 forward Kris Joseph (6'7''-F-88, college: Syracuse), who led all scorers with 21 points. " (Mack) does a great job of getting guys involved, especially guys he feels should be more aggressive. He gets the guys in good situations to score." Joseph, one of two Boston Celtics on the Red Claws, has experienced the Portland-Boston I-95 shuttle often this season. Just this past week, he was recalled by the Celtics on Tuesday, and then sent back to Maine Friday. "It's nice to go (to Boston) and hang out with the guys," Joseph said. "But I also like being here and playing and getting my reps in." Maine's other Celtic, 7-foot center Fab Melo, missed his second straight game because of a strained quadriceps. With the win, Maine's third straight, the Red Claws improved to 5-2 and continue to lead the D-League's East. Sunday's performance was thorough as Maine never trailed after the first quarter and stretched its lead by as much as 25 over Canton (2-5). "Really pleased with the effort," Red Claws Coach Mike Taylor said. "To get three wins in four days is fantastic. Right now the team is in a very good place." On defense, Maine held Canton's three starting guards to 3-for-21 shooting. Mack and Xavier Silas applied much of the pressure in the back court. "We're just playing hard," Silas said. "When I come in, I just pick up (on defense) full court and trying to disrupt their offense. We just had a good effort all around on defense." Besides Joseph and Mack, Maine was led by newly-acquired forward DaJuan Summers (6'8''-F-88, college: Georgetown) (15 points), center Chris Ayer (6'10''-C-83, college: Loyola Mary) (14) and guards Micah Downs (13) and Silas (11). Chris Wright (6'1''-PG-89, college: Georgetown) grabbed eight rebounds and scored nine points (while going 1 for 5 at the foul line). "Six guys in double figures. Could have been seven if Chris Wright could make a free throw," Taylor said with a smile. Canton was without 6-8 forward Kevin Jones, who was recalled by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jones had been leading the team with a 23.6-point average. The Cavs did send down 6-10 forward Jon Leuer, a second-year NBA player. Leuer notched a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Courtesy of: pressherald.com
Iowa E. - Erie Bay H. 104-92 On the heels of the worst home loss in franchise history, Iowa Energy coach Kevin Young and point guard Chris Wright found a way to keep their team on its toes. Young made Justin Hurtt (6'5''-G-88, college: Tulsa) and Nick Murphy (6'4''-G/F-88, college: Jacksonville St.) his starting wings Sunday, surrounding Wright with a junkyard dog and a cool cat. Together, they propelled Iowa to a 104-92 victory over the Erie Bayhawks before an announced crowd of 2,906 at Wells Fargo Arena. Wright had a game-high 31 points and nine assists while playing all 48 minutes. He got to the basket with ease, then hit long-range jump shots, and finally found his way to the free-throw line 10 times, answering every adjustment Erie made. 'In shootaround, and (Saturday) in the film, the coaches were adamant about, Attack, attack, attack. Put pressure on their bigs and see what comes up,' ' Wright said. 'Something positive came up, and I just stayed with it. Then they started sagging off and I started pulling up, and the rest is history.' Iowa (2-3) was demolished in its building 111-74 by Texas on Friday. Less than 48 hours later, with a five-game road trip looming, the Energy returned in full desperation mode. Wright kept things steady in the first half, which ended with Erie (2-4) leading 44-42. Murphy, Wright's fellow team captain, provided the intensity. And then Hurtt arrived in the third quarter, scoring 18 points in that decisive frame after going scoreless in the first half. The team's first-round draft pick finished with 30 points. Hurtt hit his initial 3-pointer in the second half, then passed on a shot from the arc the next trip downcourt, dribbling inside and losing the ball out of bounds. Young admonished him to shoot the ball. The message took hold. 'I'm still trying to figure him out. He's a guy where it's all confidence with him,' Young said. 'Part of basketball is a psychology thing. You've got to get in these guys' heads and figure them out. That's part of the reason I started him tonight. Maybe it didn't click until the second half. Maybe tonight will be a real sign to him that he can play in this league.' Murphy, one of two holdovers from last year's Energy team, received some motivation from his coach as well. Young let him know that, statistically, he had the worst defensive rebounding percentage on the team, goading him into getting back to the no-holds-barred dynamo he was at times last year. Murphy responded with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. 'I think Nick was MVP today,' Wright said. 'He's just a workhorse. He's one of those players who doesn't need plays called for him to be into the game. He has a knack for being around the ball.' The only negative for Iowa was guard Mustapha Farrakhan being limited to 5 minutes after pulling a hamstring. Young didn't have a prognosis for him yet. But he did have a healthy appreciation for what Wright, Hurtt and Murphy provided his team. 'I don't know if you can have a must-win five games in, but tonight was basically a must-win,' Young said. 'I didn't tell them that. I told them all but that. But they knew. 'I was so embarrassed of that performance (Friday). And I felt like how we were going to respond to that embarrassment that we put on the floor was going to be critical.' Courtesy of: desmoinesregister.com
Tulsa 66ers - Rio Grande VV 85-81 Jeremy Lamb (6'5''-G/F-92, college: Connecticut) scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Tulsa 66ers defeat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 85-81 at the Spirit Bank Event Center. It was Tulsa's second win over Rio Grande Valley in as many days. 66ers Center Daniel Orton (6'10''-F-90, college: Kentucky), an Oklahoma City native, posted a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) which overshadows a poor night of shooting from the floor; knocking down just 3 of 11 field goal attempts. Despite trailing after two quarters, Tulsa's 28 points in the third would be enough to take a 4-point lead. It continued through the entire fourth quarter with Tulsa leading by as much as 8 points. The 66ers now travel to Bakersfield, California for two games against the Jam. The first game is scheduled for Friday evening followed by a second game on the following night. Courtesy of: ktul.com
D-Fenders Acquire Player Rights to Juwan Staten - 16 hours ago
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The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired the returning player rights to Juwan Staten (6'1''-PG-92, college: W.Virginia) from the Delaware 87ers in exchange for forward Roscoe Smith(6'9''-F-91, college: UNLV), it was announced today by General Manager Nick Mazzella. The deal is pending the successful completion of physicals. Staten currently plays for the Salon Vilpas Vikings in Finland, where he is averaging 12.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists through 19 games. A 6-foot-1 point guard... [read more]
The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired the returning player rights to Juwan Staten (6'1''-PG-92, college: W.Virginia) from the Delaware 87ers in exchange for forward Roscoe Smith (6'9''-F-91, college: UNLV), it was announced today by General Manager Nick Mazzella. The deal is pending the successful completion of physicals. Staten currently plays for the Salon Vilpas Vikings in Finland, where he is averaging 12.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists through 19 games. A 6-foot-1 point guard, Staten has career averages of 7.8 points, 3.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 28 NBA D-League games with the Santa Cruz Warriors and Delaware 87ers. The former Dayton and West Virginia standout has also played internationally in Belgium. Smith averaged 16.0 points and 9.1 rebounds in 67 career games with the D-Fenders. He leaves Los Angeles as the franchise's second-leading rebounder, totaling 609 in two seasons. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Warriors bring in the big guns, shoot down Stars - 1 day ago
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The Santa Cruz Warriors at times struggled with Patrick McCaw (6'7''-G-95, college: UNLV), Kevon Looney (6'9''-F-96, college: UCLA) and Damian Jones (7'0''-C-95, college: Vanderbilt) in their starting lineup Friday night against the visiting Salt Lake City Stars. It appeared they might need to call upon the efforts of Draymond Green, who sat courtside to watch his three Golden State teammates at Kaiser Permanente Arena. But another fourth-quarter comeback - and another massive, off-the-be... [read more]
The Santa Cruz Warriors at times struggled with Patrick McCaw (6'7''-G-95, college: UNLV), Kevon Looney (6'9''-F-96, college: UCLA) and Damian Jones (7'0''-C-95, college: Vanderbilt) in their starting lineup Friday night against the visiting Salt Lake City Stars. It appeared they might need to call upon the efforts of Draymond Green, who sat courtside to watch his three Golden State teammates at Kaiser Permanente Arena. But another fourth-quarter comeback - and another massive, off-the-bench individual performance for Santa Cruz - ensured the Warriors' hot play of late continued. Reserve forward James Southerland looked like another one of Green's Golden State teammates when he caught fire from behind the arc Friday to lead the Warriors in their fourth-quarter comeback, dropping the Stars 113-104 in front of a sell-out crowd. Looney was solid, to be sure, finishing with 18 points and a Santa Cruz season-high 20 rebounds in just 23 minutes of work. But Southerland stole the show - and perhaps the win from Salt Lake City's grasp - when he deposited 17 of his game-high 29 points in the final stanza. 'To see James get hot, it was a lot of fun,' Looney said. 'It's something I'm used to (seeing at Golden State), and it was good to see him play well.' Southerland was 6 of 12 from 3-point range. And with a fourth-quarter offense geared around him hoisting improbable shots from beyond the arc, the 6-foot-8 forward made all four attempts and drew a shooting foul on another. The spark was all Santa Cruz needed. It led to a 20-8 run to start the fourth quarter and, eventually, the Warriors' seventh win in their last 10 games. 'James is an interesting guy. It doesn't matter what the situation is, he's just gonna shoot it,' said Warriors coach Casey Hill , who was feeling nostalgic after the game by sporting a Dakota Wizards hoodie. 'Tonight, he got hot and we were able to find him - both in screening situations and with him spacing the floor.' Phil Pressey (5'11''-PG-91, college: Missouri) finished with 20 points to go along with seven assists, while Alex Hamilton (6'4''-G-93, college: Louisiana Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) provided nine points and a game-high 11 assists off the bench. Many of those dishes were to Looney, who also dominated on offense in the fourth quarter. Though his game was seemingly forgotten at times by Salt Lake City, Looney was the beneficiary of multiple put-back dunks and lack of help defense by the Stars, who were outscored 38-24 in the fourth quarter. Rebounding is where the 6-9 big earned his pay Friday, surpassing the season-high rebounding mark for the team through the first three quarters. Looney surpassed Dennis Clifford (7'1''-C-92, college: Boston Coll.)'s mark of 17 boards set on Dec. 9 with 18 rebounds in his first 18 minutes of play. 'I feel like I got stronger. I feel better, more in shape and more confident in slides and basketball movements,' Looney said of his development. Hill agreed with the sentiment. 'I think a lot of the stuff you saw tonight was a lot of the stuff you were seeing last year, but with him in way better shape, a good summer under his belt and a little bit more confidence,' Hill said of Looney, who played in 12 games for Santa Cruz last season while on assignment. 'He's got the same nose for the basketball.' Hill said he felt no added pressure to win Friday's game, despite the beefed-up roster. Not since February 2014 has Santa Cruz played with as many as three players on assignment from Golden State. In fact, Friday's tilt was just the third game since the team relocated to Santa Cruz for the 2012-13 season that the NBA parent club had assigned three players simultaneously to Surf City. Santa Cruz is now 3-0 with three assignment players in the rotation. 'Winning is a bonus, but the most important thing is getting these guys what they need,' Hill said. 'It's been good so far,' he added. 'I thought all three of them did a good job of seamlessly rolling into what we were doing. We had a couple of nasty possessions here and there, but that happens when you have new faces in the lineup. 'We got through it and I thought we finished the game strong.' McCaw struggled to find his shot in the first half. Though it appeared the 6-foot-7 rookie out of UNLV would catch fire - he had several shots rim in-and-out - McCaw finished with just five first-half points on 2-of-8 shooting, 1 of 5 from behind the arc. He had 10 for the game on 3-of-9 shooting to go along with five assists, while Jones finished with six points and seven rebounds. Hill said he liked McCaw's effort and energy. 'Offensively, he hasn't made shots down here. But he hasn't been afraid to shoot them either, which is a good sign,' Hill said of McCaw, who was playing for the second time in Santa Cruz this season. 'We need to continue to show that trend and he'll start making shots down here.' Looney was a different story. The second-year big man, playing for the first time this season in Santa Cruz, asserted himself in the paint, either fighting through traffic or muscling for rebounds. He pulled down 10 boards by the break. Salt Lake City took a 59-57 lead at the midway point, taking advantage of Santa Cruz's out-of-sorts play early on to lead by as many as 11 points in the first half. The Stars had a 20-4 run in the first quarter and a 12-0 run in the second quarter, so it was small victory for the Warriors to be trailing by just two at the break. Southerland's play off the bench kept it close, though. The 6-8 forward, who caught fire in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's win, carried over his deep-range game with 12 first-half points. He didn't score again until the fourth quarter, which began with Santa Cruz trailing 80-75. 'I would much rather have a 38-point third quarter,' Hill said of the recent come-from-behind efforts. 'But I'll take what I can get.' Courtesy of: santacruzsentinel.com
After being waived by the Atlanta Hawks then clearing waivers last week, Ryan Kelly (6'11''-PF-91, college: Duke) has joined the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. Kelly was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round (No. 48 overall) in 2013. He spent three seasons with the Lakers before joining the Hawks as a free agent in October. Kelly carries NBA career averages of 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. He averaged just 1.1 points with the Hawks this season, as playing time... [read more]
After being waived by the Atlanta Hawks then clearing waivers last week, Ryan Kelly (6'11''-PF-91, college: Duke) has joined the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. Kelly was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round (No. 48 overall) in 2013. He spent three seasons with the Lakers before joining the Hawks as a free agent in October. Kelly carries NBA career averages of 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. He averaged just 1.1 points with the Hawks this season, as playing time was scarce.
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