Basketball Zone V

Bryant passes Jordan on scoring list

Bryant passes Jordan on scoring list

Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant passed NBA icon Michael Jordan on Sunday for third on the league’s all-time scoring list – and lifted his Los Angeles Lakers to a victory.

Bryant, a five-time champion in his 19th season, came into the contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves needing nine points to surpass Jordan’s career total of 32 292

He tied and passed the Hall of Famer with a pair of free throws that gave the Lakers a 38-32 lead with 5:24 remaining in the second quarter.

He finished with 26 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer lofted over Andrew Wiggins with 1:02 to play as the Lakers triumphed 100-94.

“I’m just honoured to be here and still be playing,” said Bryant, who was limited to just six games by injury last season. “Careers don’t usually last this long.

“I really, really appreciate the opportunity to be out there playing and performing and doing what I do.”

Bryant, with 32 310 points, now sits behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38 387 and Karl Malone with 36 928 on the all-time list.

Bryant pulled within two points of Jordan with a three-pointer, then nearly passed him with a turnaround jump shot that rattled out of the basket.

“I thought that was the shot,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott, who played his final NBA season for the Lakers when Bryant was a teenage rookie with the club.

“I guess my second choice would be he gets fouled and goes to the free throw line.”

Bryant, known for his ice-cool performances under pressure, admitted he felt a flutter of nerves when he stepped to the line for the potentially history-making free throws.

“You get up there and the crowd’s really waiting to see you score nine points, so don’t ‘F’ this up and completely kill the moment,” Bryant said of his thoughts at the free throw line.

The moment sparked a mini-celebration, bringing cheering fans to their feet as Bryant, 36, was awarded a game ball and congratulated by teammates and opponents.

Kobe’s record passing free throw

Bryant said he was touched that the Timberwolves arranged the little ceremony.

“I wasn’t expecting the Timberwolves organisation to honour me like that,” said Bryant, adding that it was especially gratifying since he’s usually the “villain” on the road.

“That was awesome,” he said. “It felt great to have that.”

He acknowledged the accolades with a smile and a wave before delivering the ball to the sidelines, then patted his heart as he returned to the court to get back to the business of trying to win the game.

Bryant has long been compared to Jordan, but insisted as the milestone approached that he was more concerned with helping the Lakers win than breaking marks set by his idol.

But Bryant acknowledged he was proud of the achievement.

“It’s a huge honour,” he said. “It’s so much work to get to this point. It’s unbelievable. Time has flown by.”

Jordan, now owner of the Charlotte Hornets, congratulated Bryant in a statement, paying tribute to his work ethic and passion for the game.

“I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next,” said Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

Former Lakers great Magic Johnson also offered congratulations via Twitter, saying Bryant was among the top five players in NBA history.

“That’s the most important thing to me, playing for the respect of the greats and feeling like I’m part of that culture, part of that brotherhood,” Bryant said.

December 16, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured Tags:
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Leonard leads Spurs over 76ers

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 26 points and had a crucial three-point play in the final minute to help the San Antonio Spurs defeat the winless 76ers 109-103, extending Philadelphia’s club-worst losing streak to start the season to 0-17.

The Spurs (13-4) played without stars Tim Duncan (rest) and Tony Parker (shoulder). Even without the duo’s more than 31 points out of the line-up, San Antonio had little trouble dispatching Philadelphia. Aron Baynes scored 15 points and Manu Ginobili and Cory Joseph each added 14 for San Antonio, who won their eighth straight. Leonard also had 10 rebounds while tying a career-high in points.

Michael Carter-Williams had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Alexey Shved chipped in 19 points for Philadelphia.

Philadelphia became just the fourth team in league history to open a season with 17 losses, joining the 1998-99 Clippers (0-17), 1988-89 Heat (0-17) and the 2009-10 Nets (0-18). The 76ers can tie the Nets for the worst start in NBA history on Wednesday at Minnesota with a potential chance to break the record at home on Friday against Oklahoma City.

Denver’s Ty Lawson had 15 points and made a double-pump jumper to beat the shot clock with 29.6 seconds left to boost the Nuggets over the Utah Jazz 103-101.

The game heated up after Arron Afflalo was ejected and the Jazz stormed back from a 22-point deficit to tie the game in the final minutes.

Lawson, who also had 12 assists, made the game-winner from the left wing between two Jazz defenders.

Hayward scored 25 points, Burks had 22 and Burke chipped in 18, but Utah’s losing streak hit six games – the longest skid since March 10-19 last season.

At Washington, John Wall had 18 points and 13 assists as the Wizards made their first seven 3-pointers to beat the Miami Heat 107-86.

The Wizards held the Heat to 2 for 22 from beyond the arc for the game.

Rasual Butler scored 23, and Marcin Gortat added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who never trailed and led by 21 in the first half and 25 in the second.

Chris Bosh led Miami with 21 points, and Dwayne Wade had 20 in his second game back from an injured right hamstring.

The Los Angeles Clippers downed the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-101 in the most successful road trip in club history after Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick each scored 23 points before sitting out the fourth quarter.

DeAndre Jordan had 13 rebounds and 11 points for the Clippers, who won their fifth in a row following their 6-1 trip and beat Minnesota for the 10th straight time.

Shabazz Muhammad had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

AP

December 3, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

James, Griffin named NBA players of the week

LeBron James

LeBron James

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, November 24, through Sunday.

James led the Cavaliers to the East’s only perfect record on the week at 3-0. He averaged 25.7 points (second in the conference), 8.7 assists (tied-fourth in the conference), 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals (tied-third in the conference).

James, who shot .500 or better from the field in all three games, recorded two double-doubles, including a 29-point, 10-rebound effort to go with eight assists and three steals as Cleveland topped the Washington Wizards 113-87 on November 26.

Griffin helped the Clippers to a 4-0 week behind averages of 23.8 points (fourth in the conference), 9.8 rebounds (seventh in the conference), and 5.0 assists. All four of the Clippers’ wins came on the road. On November 24, the Clippers topped the Charlotte Hornets 113-92 as Griffin fell one assist shy of a triple double, having finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists.

Here is a recap of the week for James and Griffin:

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

November 24 v Orlando: Collected 29 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and three steals in a 106-74 win over the Magic.

November 26 v Washington: Tallied 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in a 113-87 win over the Wizards.

November 29 v Indiana: Posted 19 points and added seven assists in a 109-97 win over the Pacers.

Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers

November 24 @ Charlotte: Tallied 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists during a 113-92 win over the Hornets.

November 28 @ Houston: Posted his second double-double of the week with 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-85 win over the Rockets.

November 29 @ Utah: Collected 28 points, six rebounds and three assists during a 112-96 win over the Jazz.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Dallas’ Tyson Chandler, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Miami’s Chris Bosh and Portland’s Wesley.

AP

 

December 3, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

No Cavalier attitude as LeBron James faces toughest test

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free-throw during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Quicken Loans Arena

LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free-throw during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Quicken Loans Arena

Nearly a month into his homecoming season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA superstar LeBron James and his new teammates still struggle to discover roles and mesh into a title contender.

The Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 106-74 victory over Orlando, but at 6-7 on the season remain very much a work in progress.

“I knew it was going to be the biggest challenge of my career,” James said. “It’s something I was ready for. I accept the challenge.”

James left the Cavaliers in 2010 for Miami and won two NBA titles and lost twice more in the NBA Finals before making his return to his home region last July, joining Australian guard Kyrie Irving and adding star big man Kevin Love to create a new “Big Three” that figured to make Cleveland the team to beat in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

“We’re working on it,” Love said. “It will take time but things will open up. We’ve seen a lot of tough times. We know how to come back and play well.”

Love has found himself shooting twice as many 3-point shots as normal as Brazilian centre Anderson Varejao dominates inside and James and Irving often share the scoring load.

“I’m just trying to find myself in here,” Love said. “There are a lot of times I spot it up on the perimeter but that’s what’s being asked of me. I’ll be happy with it. They seem to go in for me and that’s going to help all of us.

“We need to keep the defense honest. When we do that we’re usually able to score more points.”

Dave Blatt, an American who coached Russia to 2012 Olympic bronze and Maccabi Tel Aviv to this year’s Euroleague crown, is the Cavaliers’ first year coach, stepping into the job before James decided to return.

He has handled slow-starting teams before and recalled James’ first Miami squad only started 9-8 before winning 21 of its next 22 starts.

“My teams have been slow starters. I don’t know if that translates to this situation,” he said. “It’s very much a work in progress. We’re in the first month. There are still a few bumps and glitches ahead.

“On a new team you are always going to have things — rotations, roles more clearly defined. You figure out a little better when the team is more mature. This is the NBA. You always need to win. For us it’s a day-to-day battle and we want to compete.”

James is averaging 25.0 points a game while Irving is netting 21.1. Each is playing about 38 minutes a game with Love at just under 36 minutes a game, all three among the NBA top 10 in playing time as the Cavaliers try to settle on a lineup.

IRVING CONFIDENT

“The most important thing is to keep our heads up and keep working, move on to the next game,” Irving said. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We’ve got to play better at both ends of the floor.

“I’m confident in this team and the people in this locker room. We play with our hearts. Right now we don’t have the luxury of taking plays off or possessions off or letting teams back into games. We have to come out with better fight.”

James’ scoring and shooting percentage are his worst since his 2003 rookie season and it’s the also the worst start for one of his teams since then.

“We’re a very fragile team,” James said. “Any little adversity hits us, we just shell up. That’s something that will come with experience.”

James has noticed downcast body language among his teammates when challenges arise in games.

“I see it. It’s not good. It’s something we have to work on, push forward. It’s something I have to work on too,” James said. “Losing doesn’t help. It zaps the energy from us.

“Being the leader of this team, if I start hanging my head low, it’s going to go to everyone else. They look to me to make a difference and I’ve got to stay positive.”

AFP

November 27, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

LeBron James scores 29 as Cavaliers snap four-game skid

 LeBron James scores 29 as Cavaliers snap four-game skid

LeBron James scored 29 points and added 11 assists while playing only three quarters Monday as the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak by routing Orlando 106-74.

The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, who called his team “fragile” only two nights earlier after a loss at Toronto, netted 22 points in the first half as the Cavaliers improved to 6-7 while visiting Orlando fell to 6-10.

James, who returned to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami that included two NBA titles and two NBA Finals losses, scored 16 points in the first quarter, five of them in a 9-0 run that put the Cavaliers ahead with 26-14.

With James connecting on 7-of-12 shots in the first half, Cleveland stretched the lead to 56-38 at half-time and boosted the margin as large as 26 points in the third quarter, after a dunk-filled 16-2 run, and 33 in the final period.

Anderson Varejao added 14 points and Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving each scored 12 for the Cavaliers, who had dropped three consecutive home games.

Victor Oladipo scored 22 points and Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Magic, who scored a season-low point total in losing their eighth meeting in a row to the Cavaliers.

“Your goal should be (allowing) 22 points or under a quarter and we did that,” Cavaliers coach David Blatt said. “We made some small adjustments but things were looking pretty good so we didn’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

The Cavaliers had not lost six in a row with James on the roster since a six-game skid in late 2007.

AFP

 

November 26, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

NBA, FIBA to host BWB global camp in NYC

NBA, FIBA to host BWB global camp in NYC

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today announced a new, annual Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp in conjunction with NBA All-Star.

The inaugural camp will be held February 13-15 at Baruch College in Manhattan as part of NBA All-Star 2015 in New York City, and Nike will be the official partner.

Basketball without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program, has reached more than 2 200 campers from 120 countries and territories, with 33 BWB campers drafted into the NBA.

The new camp will connect the top 40 players born in 1997 from Africa, the Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe with select NBA, WNBA and FIBA players and coaches.

The campers will work on positional skill drills, while engaging in shooting and skills competitions and 5-on-5 scrimmages. The campers will also attend the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge and participate in additional All-Star activities.

As part of the league’s season long NBA Cares All-Star community efforts to reach half a million youth throughout the five boroughs with fun, fitness-related basketball activities, BWB Global campers will take part in the NBA FIT Celebration and work side by side with NBA, WNBA and FIBA players and legends to host basketball and fitness clinics throughout the five boroughs.

The campers will also participate in a life skills seminar addressing essential health-related issues.

Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.

Since its inception in 2001, the NBA and FIBA have staged 39 BWB camps in 22 cities across 19 countries on five continents. More than 150 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined nearly 140 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB all over the world

November 22, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

No more recruitment of American players into Hoops team

No more recruitment of American players into Hoops team

Kenneth Gasana and Bradley Cameron will no longer be called to the Rwanda Basketball team

RWANDA BASKETBALL federation (Ferwaba) will have to embark on hunting for young local talents as they have taken a stern decision of ending their reliance on American born players.

The Ferwaba Secretary General Richard Mutabazi said recently that they took into account the fact that foreign players on the national team have not been performing well.

Since 2007, Rwanda recruited six American basketball players after they were naturalised in efforts at strengthening its base in major continental and sub-regional competitions.

Some of the Americans who were naturalized for include ManixAuriantal, Robert Thomson, Edouard Miller, Kenneth Gasana, Cameron Bradley, and Mathieu Miller.

Mutabazi said, “Despite this recruitment of high-level basketball players, the performance of the national team still leaves much to be desired,”

“Outside the detection of local young talents, this decision will help reduce the huge expenses in allowances and other costs paid to these American basketball players,” Mutabazi said.

This decision comes a few days after the newly appointed the Minister of Sports and Culture, Ambassador Joseph Habineza urged all local sports federations to promote the recruitment of young talents for a better sport generation to come in the East African nation.

October 15, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured Tags:,
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Espoir finds it tough in Mombasa

Day 3 results, Wednesday

Day 3 results, Wednesday

APR (Rwa) 64-51 Gha (Eth)

Bercostars (Bur) 68-49 UCU (Uga)

KPA (Ken) 53-49 KCCA (Uga)

Don Bosco (Tz) 49-73 USIU (Ken)

Men

Coop Bank (Ken) 54-62 Urunani (Bur)

KPA (Ken) 69-43 Espoir (Rwa)

City Oilers (Uga) 59-43 Etho Water Sport (Eth)

Tiger head Power (Uga) 92-42 I.L.S (Som) 42

RWANDAN CHAMPIONSEspoir basketball club suffered a major blow in their bid to win the Fiba Zone V championship as they lost their second game of the tournament on Wednesday at Makande Gymnasium, Mombasa in Kenya.

After losing the first game to Uganda’s City Oilers 58-64, Espoir hoped to recover by defeating KPA of Kenya in the second game on Wednesday. However, their wish was dimmed away by the Kenyan side who subjected them to a 43-69 (15-16, 14-19, 04-15, 06-19) loss with Buzangu’s brothers Mike and Bienvenu scoring 11 points each.

With the second loss for the Nyamirambo-based club, Espoir are behind KPA and City Oilers who have a clean sheet and are likely to emerge as the two best group winners that will proceed to the next round.

In the other Group A match, City Oilers defeated Etho Water Sport of Ethiopia 59-43.

In group B, defending champions Urunani from Burundi is determined on retaining the title as they winning two matches of their opening matches against Kenya’s Coop Bank and ILS of Somalia.

Urunani beat Co-op Bank 62-54 and ILS 93-33 respectively.

On Thursday,decisive games in all groups (A&B) were set to be played as KPA would battle against the Ugandan club City Oilers as they bid for table leaders while Espoir was expected to face Etho Water Sport of Ethiopia.

In group B later, Urunani was expected to face Tiger Head Power from Uganda which has not lost any game in the two matches played so far.

August 29, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

Title-holders Urunani snubs Zone 5 Hoops tournament

Urunani players going through shooting practice before last year’s final against Espoir in Bujumbura

Urunani players going through shooting practice before last year’s final against Espoir in Bujumbura

Defending champions Urunani of Burundi backed out of the year’s Fiba/Africa Zone V Club Championships which is underway in Mombasa, Kenya due to financial constraint.

The decision has also forced two other Burundian teams—Newstars (men) and Berco Stars (women) from taking part in the tournament.

According to reports in the Burundian media, the Burundian Ministry of Sports had promised to offer US$750 to each of the three clubs, yet each team needed at least US$900 to make the trip. Therefore, after failing to raise the money, they decided to pull out.

Urunani’s withdrawal, gives a big chance to two-time Rwandan champions Espoir because Burundian clubs have been their major threat in the competition in the last few years.

Last year, in Bujumbura, Urunani beat Espoir in the final 65-56, while Eagle Wings from Kenya retained the title after overcoming their Nairobi archrivals USIU 67-62 in the final game.

Espoir won Zone V title in 2012 after beating Urunani 90-39 in the final when the tournament was held in Kampala, Uganda. Apart from Espoir, Rwanda will also be represented by APR in the women category.

The withdrawal of the three Burundian teams brings down the number of teams participating in this year’s edition to 15—eight for men and seven for women.

The men’s teams include; Etho Water (Ethiopia), Coop Bank and KPA (Kenya), Espoir (Rwanda), I.L.S (Somalia) City Oliers, Tiger Head Power (Uganda) and JFK (Tanzania).

The women category has; Government House (Ethiopia), KPA and USIU (Kenya) APR (Rwanda), KCCA and UCU (Uganda) and Don Bosco (Tanzania).

August 26, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured inthespotlight 0 Comment

Spurs take stranglehold in NBA finals

Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) defends against Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during game 4

 Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh (right) defends against Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs during game 4

San Antonio followed up one of the greatest offensive halves in league history with a balanced attack in game four to blow out Miami and take a stranglehold on the NBA finals.

 

Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker combined for 39 points and all 13 players got involved in the scoring as the top seeded Spurs rolled over the Heat 107-86 Thursday to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

 

“They smashed us,” said Heat star and two-time reigning finals MVP LeBron James. “They are a high-oiled machine and they move the ball extremely well.”

 

GREAT PERFORMANCE

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t think it could get much better than the first half of game three when the Spurs shot a finals record 76 per cent en route to a 111-92 win.

 

But unlike game three – when they suffered a minor letdown in the third quarter – this time the Spurs kept their foot on their opponent’s throat for all four quarters.

 

“Game three was an anomaly. That’s never going to happen again,” Popovich said of the 76 per cent shooting from the floor. “I thought we did a better job tonight than we did in game three at the defensive end.”

 

Here is a look at how statistically dominating the Spurs have been in the last two games of the NBA finals.

 

With the Spurs leading by 19 points at halftime Thursday and 21 points at the half in game three, it marked the first time in NBA finals history a road team has led by at least 15 points at the half in two straight games.

 

The Spurs led by as many as 25 points in both games four and three.

 

It also marked the 11th time San Antonio has won by 15 or more points in the 2014 postseason.

 

Spurs star Tim Duncan also made history Thursday, as he recorded his 158th career playoff double double to surpass Magic Johnson (157) for the all-time playoff lead.

 

San Antonio can wrap up the series with a victory at home in game five on Sunday. Duncan said that won’t be an easy task.

 

“Great position for us,” he said. “Going back home with a closeout game.

 

“But they are a very good ballclub. They are the champions and they are going to come out and show a lot of fire.

 

“We are going to use our homecourt and we are going to come with the same focus that we did in these last two games and hopefully close it out at home.”

AFP

 

June 14, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V featured inthespotlight 0 Comment