Booker scores 24 points, depleted Suns rout Hornets 133-99
Suns Hornets Basketball Phoenix Suns forward Jalen Smith dunks over Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (Chris Carlson)CHARLOTTE, N.C. — (AP) — Devin Booker scored 24 points, Jalen Smith tied a career high with 19 points and 12 rebounds and the short-handed Phoenix Suns hammered the Charlotte Hornets 133-99 on Sunday night. The Suns made 17 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and outrebounded the Hornets 52-35. Despite missing more than 48 combined points per game from players who were out, the Suns bolted to a 73-47 halftime lead behind 20 points from Booker and 10-of-22 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. TIP INSSuns: Abdel Nader also is out because of health and safety protocols. Hornets: Miles Bridges had 10 points in his first game back from health and safety protocols.wftv.com
Report: Orlando Magic trade Nikola Vučević to Chicago
Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) keeps the ball away from Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Magic have traded Nikola Vučević to the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN. The news was first reported Thursday morning by ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski. Orlando is trading Nikola Vucevic Al-Farouq Aminu to Chicago, sources tell ESPN. Here's the deal: The Bulls land Nikola Vucevic and Al Farouq Aminu for Otto Porter, Wendell Carter Jr., and two first-round picks. They get one with All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, who's been a pillar with Orlando.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic makes All-Star team
Phoenix’s Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time, and Brooklyn’s James Harden is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reserves include Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic from the Eastern Conference, along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Portland’s Damian Lillard from the Western Conference. Williamson is 20, and only Kobe Bryant, James and Magic Johnson were younger in their All-Star debuts. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself. AdCOACHESUtah’s Quin Snyder will coach Team LeBron, and Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers will coach Team Durant.
Nikola Vucevic scores 37 points, Magic beat Pistons 105-96
ORLANDO, Fla. – Nikola Vucevic had 37 points and 11 rebounds, Evan Fournier added a season-high 29 points and the Orlando Magic beat the Detroit Pistons 105-96 on Sunday night. Vucevic had his seventh 30-point game of the season, two days after his third career triple-double. Fournier, who scored 28 points in Orlando’s victory over Golden State on Friday night, had 16 first-half points. Jerami Grant bounced back from his poorest shooting game of the season in Memphis on Friday by scoring 24 points for the Pistons. AdHEROES HONOREDThe Magic honored 500 frontline workers from AdventHealth and the Orlando community on Sunday as part of their “Healthcare Heroes Night.”
With Davis out, Lakers fall to Pistons 107-92
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks to shoot as Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (24) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)DETROIT – LeBron James made his first seven shots from the field and looked plenty capable of leading the Lakers to a victory with Anthony Davis sidelined. James scored just two points after halftime, and the Detroit Pistons handed Los Angeles its second straight loss, 107-92 on Thursday night. "We just didn’t have a great rhythm that second half in any way.”Wayne Ellington added 20 points for the Pistons. Pistons: Detroit made all 13 of its free throws.
Tatum lifts Celtics past Pistons for weekend split
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, right, drives against Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)Jayson Tatum hit a fallaway as Blake Griffin stumbled with 2.9 seconds left, then tied up the Detroit veteran on the other end to help the Boston Celtics beat the Pistons 122-120 on Sunday for a weekend split. Mykhailiuk scored eight straight Detroit points, and the Pistons took a 118-117 lead on Mason Plumlee’s free throws with 42.2 seconds left. Grant scored 22 points for the Pistons, netting at least that mark for a career-best fifth straight game. … Griffin returned for the Pistons after missing a game in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
Harrell wins Sixth Man Award to keep it with Clippers
Harrell ended the two-year run of teammate Lou Williams who finished third and gave the Clippers four winners in the last five years. Harrell and Williams helped the Clippers have the leagues highest-scoring bench for the second straight season. Harrell received 58 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sports writers and broadcasters, earning 397 points. Dennis Schroder of Oklahoma City was second with 35 first-place votes and 328 points, while Williams got the other seven first-place votes and 127 points. Harrell didn't play during that after leaving the team because of his grandmother's death, but returned to help the Clippers into the second round of the playoffs.
Kuzma's 3-pointer lifts Lakers to 124-121 win over Nuggets
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Kyle Kuzma hit a 3-pointer with .4 seconds left and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 124-121 Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Dozier had a chance to put the Nuggets up by one with 4.4 seconds left but missed the second of two free throws. Kuzma rebounded and the Lakers called timeout to set up the winning play. James had given the Lakers a 121-119 lead by converting a 3-point play with 45.7 seconds to go. Lakers: Play the Sacramento Kings on Thursday in their final bubble game.