Excitement builds for downtown businesses as Orlando prepares to host March Madness games
The buzz is starting to ramp up around the city after the announcement of the eight teams that are set to play during the first two rounds of March Madness – and while the sports community is excited, city leaders say this is a great economic opportunity.
Russian court rejects Brittney Griner appeal of her 9-year sentence
A Russian court has rejected an appeal by U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner of her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, a step that could move her closer to a possible high-stakes prisoner swap between Moscow and Washington.
Orlando Magic trade Evan Fournier to Boston Celtics for draft picks, AP reports
Evan Fournier hit six three-point shots in the Orlando Magic’s 106-83 win against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night. Evan Fournier is being traded by the Orlando Magic to the Boston Celtics for a pair of second-round draft picks, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Thursday. Orlando also struck a deal earlier Thursday with Chicago to send All-Star forward Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls. Fournier gives the Celtics added wing depth and another ballhandler. The Celtics started Thursday eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 21-23 record, well below their expectations coming into the season.
Florida State vs. Colorado: How to watch, stream, listen
Florida State defeated UNC-Greensboro 64-54. 4 seed Florida State Seminoles will play against the No. 5 seed Colorado Buffaloes at 7:45 p.m. on Monday in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State shot 69 percent from inside the arc in the win. The winner of the Florida State vs. Colorado game will play against the winner from the Michigan vs. LSU game in the Sweet Sixteen.
Florida vs. Virginia Tech: How to watch, stream, listen
[TRENDING: Fire destroys former US Rep’s home | FDLE: Principal rigged homecoming votes | Can employer make you get vaccine?] AdUF is the only SEC team to make every NCAA Tournament since 2017The Gators earned a No. In Florida’s last game, the Tennessee Volunteers defeated the Gators in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. In Virginia Tech’s last game, the North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Hokies in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. The winner of the Florida vs. Virginia Tech game will play against the winner of the Ohio State vs.
Dunk these: Miami Heat logo to be released on Oreo cookies
From dunkin’ on the hardcourt to dunkin’ into a glass of milk -- Oreo is celebrating the Miami Heat with a different kind of sweet victory. Starting March 29, the Miami Heat logo will be featured on milk’s favorite cookie. The limited-edition cookie comes with the announcement of Mondelez International’s four-year licensing and marketing partnership with the NBA. According to Forbes, the four-year deal is the company’s first partnership with a U.S. professional league since its 2015 agreement with Major League Soccer. The NBA Dynasty Oreo cookie will also be scannable on TasteGreatnessVIP.com, where fans will be able to watch iconic clips from each team’s dynasty and enter a sweepstake to win a trip to the NBA All-Star Game in 2022.
Central Florida native Anfernee Simons wins NBA’s Slam Dunk contest
Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates after winning the 2021 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk Contest. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox)Anfernee Simons, a guard for the Portland Trailblazers who grew up in Altamonte Springs and attended Edgewater High School, won the slam dunk contest at the NBA’s annual All-Star game on Sunday. In an abbreviated contest held at halftime of the game, the 21-year-old Simons was chosen the winner by three of the five judges who presided over the contest. On his final dunk, Simons pretended the kiss the rim as he threw down a one-handed dunk. Anfernee Simons almost kissed the rim on his final dunk on his way to winning the slam dunk contest 😯🎥: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/lp6jzC9yJ8 — USA TODAY NBA (@usatodaynba) March 8, 2021In September, Simons and his foundation helped provide laptops to area students.
NBA-leading Jazz rebound from loss to beat Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. – Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles filled in well again at point guard in place of Mike Conley to help the Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 124-109 on Saturday night. Utah bounced back from a loss a night earlier in Miami, improving to 6-1 following a defeat. The NBA-leading Jazz have lost consecutive games just once all season and not since Jan. 6 when they were 4-4. The Jazz led my 19 in the fourth quarter and improved to 25-0 when leading after three periods. Magic All-Star center Nikola Vucevic scored 34 points, but missed out on his 24th double-double by two rebounds.
Lillard scores 36 as Portland downs the Orlando Magic
PORTLAND, Ore. – Damian Lillard scored 36 points and the Portland Trail Blazers extended their winning streak over the Orlando Magic to eight games with a 106-97 victory on Tuesday night. The Magic were also without Michael Carter-Williams, who has a sprained foot, and Aaron Gordon because of a sprained left ankle. Aminu played for four years in Portland before signing with Orlando as a free agent in 2019. AdTrail Blazers: Portland was without Nassir Little because of a left knee sprain. Trail Blazers: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, the same time that the forecast calls for snow in the Portland area.
NBA team owner Mark Cuban stops playing national anthem at home games
Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) shoots as team owner Mark Cuban watches during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Tuesday he decided before this season began not to play the national anthem before the team's home games. Cuban didn't elaborate on his decision not to play the anthem, saying nobody had noticed. The Athletic first reported that Dallas had dropped the anthem. The pregame national anthem is a staple of American sports at both the professional and collegiate level, but is far less commonplace at pro sporting events in other countries.
LaVine scores 39 points to lift Bulls past Magic, 118-92
ORLANDO, Fla. – Zach LaVine bounced back from a poor performance a night earlier and scored 39 points Saturday as the Chicago Bulls routed the injury-plagued Orlando Magic 118-92. He scored 22 points in the first half and chipped in seven rebounds and four assists as the Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak. Orlando's Nikola Vucevic, who scored a career-best 43 points in Friday’s win, had 17 points and eight rebounds. The guard, who entered the night 10th in the NBA with 26.5 points per game, had another 12 points before exiting for good. Rookie Patrick Williams chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Coby White added 13 points.
24 powerful photos by which to remember Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks at the Staples Center on Nov. 17, 2019. Kobe Bryant reacts in the third quarter against the Utah Jazz at a game held April 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant warms up with daughter Gianna Bryant during the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Kobe Bryant celebrates after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game at Staples Center. Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 29, 2019.
Harden debuts with triple-double, Durant scores 42, Nets win
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)NEW YORK – James Harden and Kevin Durant needed a little while to remember how to play together again. Once they did, the Brooklyn Nets really got rolling — and they might still get to another gear when Kyrie Irving rejoins them. Harden also had nine turnovers and Durant had six, with some sloppiness while Harden got used to his new teammates. They were much more competitive than the others, including a 124-97 loss in Boston on Friday, but didn't have enough answers for Durant or Harden. Nets: Durant has scored 25 or points in nine straight games, setting a new franchise record.
Hardaway, Burke lead short-handed Mavs past Magic 112-98
DALLAS – Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 36 points, Trey Burke did the same with 29 and Luka Doncic had another triple-double as the short-handed Dallas Mavericks beat the Orlando Magic 112-98 on Saturday night. There were some times that it was just chaotic.”TIP-INSMagic: F Evan Fournier missed his fifth straight game with back spasms. ROLLER-COASTER QUARTERDoncic capped a roller-coaster third quarter by beating the buzzer with a long 3-pointer for an 85-75 lead. Mavericks: Dallas finishes a two-game homestand against New Orleans on Monday. The Mavericks swept the four-game season series in 2019-20, the first time they've done that in six years.
NBA G League, including Lakeland Magic, to play in ‘bubble’ at Disney
FILE - A sign marking the entrance to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., is seen in this Wednesday, June 3, 2020, file photo. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)ORLANDO, Fla. – The Lakeland Magic, along with several other NBA G League teams and G League Ignite, will play games in a “bubble” starting this February at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, officials announced Friday. Ignite, the recently launched team for elite NBA Draft-eligible players coached by former NBA player and head coach Brian Shaw, will play its first games against NBA G League competition in Orlando. Different from a traditional season, Ignite will be eligible to advance to the playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort due to the unique circumstances of this year. The 17 participating NBA G League teams are:
Magic guard Markelle Fultz out for the year with torn ACL
ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz is out for the year with a torn ACL. Fultz suffered the left knee injury in the first quarter of the Magic’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. The former first overall pick was traded by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Magic in February of 2019. @OrlandoMagic G @MarkelleF tore his left ACL and will miss the rest of the season — Jamie Seh (@jamieseh) January 7, 2021Fultz averaged 12 points a game and five assists a game last season. In seven games this year, Fultz was averaging 14 points a game and six assists a game.
Thunder dominate second half and beat Magic 108-99
ORLANDO, Fla. – Darius Bazley had a season-high 19 points, George Hill scored 13 of his 18 points in the third quarter and the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the second half of a 108-99 win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The Magic were routed 116-92 by Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve and lost on Saturday after making just 37% of their shots. That allowed the Thunder to outscore the Magic 24-17 over the final 12 minutes to break open a close game. Horford drilled a straight-on 3-pointer with 50 seconds to play, sending the Thunder on their way to the second road victory of the season. Magic: Orlando entered Saturday last in the league in 3-point attempts (26.8) and makes (8.8) per game.