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Washington Wizards end 10-year rot with win over San Antonio Spurs

John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards celebrates in front of Kyle Anderson #1 of the San Antonio Spurs after the Wizards defeated the Spurs 101-93 at Verizon Centre on January 13, 2015 in Washington

John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards celebrates in front of Kyle Anderson #1 of the San Antonio Spurs after the Wizards defeated the Spurs 101-93 at Verizon Centre on January 13, 2015 in Washington

The Washington Wizards ended nearly a decade of frustration on Tuesday with a 101-93 NBA triumph over San Antonio, their first win over the Spurs since 2005.

John Wall scored 25 points and handed out eight assists for the Wizards, who had lost 17 straight encounters against the Texas team.

Wall, drafted first overall in 2010, was a personal 0-7 against the Spurs. Washington’s last win over San Antonio came on November 12, 2005.

French big man Kevin Seraphin scored 11 of his season-high 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards.

Bradley Beal and Paul Pierce added 13 points apiece for the hosts, and Marcin Gortat pulled down 11 rebounds.

French point guard Tony Parker led the reigning NBA champion Spurs with 14 points. Tim Duncan added 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double since December.


A day after the Spurs received a warm welcome at the White House from US President Barack Obama, in honour of their fifth NBA title, the Wizards were less hospitable.

Wall got off to a hot start, netting 12 points on five shots in the first quarter. The Wizards hit five of six from three-point range to seize a 31-24 lead.

The Spurs trailed until Boris Diaw’s hook shot early in the fourth quarter gave them a 76-75 advantage, and it was a back-and-forth battle early in the final period.

Seraphin’s layup with 5:44 remaining put the Wizards ahead for good with the 10th lead change of the quarter.

January 15, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

Barack Obama toasts, teases NBA champion Spurs

San Antonio Spurs players Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and others pose with US President Barack Obama during an event in the East Room of the White house January 12, 2015 in Washington; DC

San Antonio Spurs players Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and others pose with US President Barack Obama during an event in the East Room of the White house January 12, 2015 in Washington; DC

US President Barack Obama welcomed NBA champions San Antonio to the White House on Monday, and said he’d be glad to offer advice as they pursue a title repeat.

“If you guys need any tips on winning back-to-back, you know where to find me,” quipped the second-term president, no doubt aware that the Spurs’ five NBA titles don’t include any in successive years.

As a passionate fan of the Chicago Bulls, who won all six of their NBA titles to date in the 1990s, Obama admitted it was bittersweet to yet again congratulate another team.

“It’s never easy celebrating a non-Bulls team in the White House,” he said. “That’s all I’ve been able to do — so far.”

Despite the demands of his Bulls fandom, however, the President admitted the Spurs were “hard to dislike.”

“First of all, they’re old,” he said of the squad led by 38-year-old Tim Duncan.

“For an old guy, it makes me feel good to see — where’s Tim? Tim’s got some gray. There’s a few others with a little sprinkles around here. There’s a reason why the uniform is black and silver.”


As a father of two daughters, one of whom plays basketball, Obama praised the Spurs as the first NBA team to hire a woman assistant coach, and welcomed the wealth of international talent the team has brought to the league.

“It’s the UN of basketball teams,” he said of a squad that features French players Tony Parker and Boris Diaw along with Argentina’s Manu Ginobili.

Italy, Brazil, Australia and Canada are also represented on their roster.

“They find folks who didn’t have a chance someplace else and suddenly they figure out a way to make them shine as part of a team. In that sense, they’re a great metaphor for what America should be all about,” said Obama, who was presented with a Spurs jersey with “POTUS” written over its number one.

The keen basketball fan also offered some serious analysis of the Spurs’ style and its influence on the league, and praise for their bounce back from a crushing NBA finals loss to Miami in 2013, to beat the Heat in 2014.

But he couldn’t resist poking some fun at notoriously taciturn coach Gregg Popovich.

“I want the coach to know that he is not contractually obligated to take questions after the first quarter of my remarks,” Obama said.

January 14, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

Hornets, Clippers cruise to comfortable wins

Hornets, Clippers cruise to comfortable wins

Blake Griffin

Hornets 110, Knicks 82

Kemba Walker scored 28 points in 28 minutes as Charlotte cruised past New York 110-82 at Madison Square Garden.

The third-year guard was 8-of-13 from the field but did not play in the fourth quarter when Charlotte led by as many as 40 points at 95-55.

The Knicks dropped their franchise-worst 15th straight game and have lost 25 of the last 26. Their last win was at Boston on December 12.

Clippers 120, Mavericks 100

Forward Blake Griffin had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Los Angeles used a strong second half to blow past Dallas at the Staples Center.

All five starters reached double figures for the Clippers in their fifth win in six games.

Pistons 98, Nets 93

Brandon Jennings scored 20 points, all in the second half, and had 11 assists to lead Detroit to a victory over a slumping Brooklyn.


Power forward Greg Monroe supplied 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, who have won eight of their last nine games. Center Andre Drummond added 14 points and nine rebounds.

Raptors 109, Celtics 96

Guard Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and dished out seven assists as Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Boston.


Reserve guard Lou Williams also scored 19 points for the Raptors, who avoided losing five in a row for the first time since December 2013.

Bulls 95, Bucks 87

Forward Pau Gasol scored a career-high 46 points and tallied 18 rebounds to lead the Chicago to victory against Milwaukee.

Guard Kirk Hinrich added 16 points for the Bulls, who improved to 7-4 without Derrick Rose, the guard sitting out because of a sore left knee.

76ers 93, Pacers 92

Point guard Michael Carter-Williams hit the go-ahead layup with 9.2 seconds left as Philadelphia 76ers topped Indiana.


Guard Tony Wroten had 20 points and nine assists to lead Philadelphia, who won back-to-back games for only the second time this season.

Spurs 108, Timberwolves 93

Forward Austin Daye scored a season-high 22 points as San Antonio Spurs handed Minnesota a 15th straight loss.

Fourteen of Daye’s points came in the first half, including 2-of-3 three-pointers. Six Spurs scored in double figures.

Rockets 97, Jazz 82

James Harden hit two fourth-quarter three-pointers to help lift the Houston Rockets to a victory over Utah.

Harden finished with a game-high 30 points, with his late-game bombs finally staving off the persistent Jazz.

January 13, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

Heroes’basketball tourney set for January 24

Heroes’basketball tourney set for January 24

Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) is planning to host the second edition of the Heroes basketball tournament from January 24 to February 1 at Amahoro stadium.

Confirming the development on Tuesday, Ferwaba secretary general Richard Mutabazi said that the federation has partnered with APR Basketball Club to revive competitive tournament.

Mutabazi said that, “We want to create a culture where clubs host tournaments and where they meet financial constraints, we can come on board and partner with them.

For example, the first edition of the Heroes tournament was hosted by APR so we encouraged them to host it again and make it an annual event.”

“Espoir hosts the annual Gisembe memorial tournament while CSK used to host the Kigali Challenge tournament and we want to encourage them to revive it once again and make it an annual event,” added Mutabazi.

Different local clubs have been invited for the two-weekend competition including 12 men’s teams and six women’s clubs.

The preliminary round will be played from January 23-25 and the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals will be played during the weekend of January 30-February 1.

January 8, 2015 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured Tags:
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Duncan, Green spark injury-hit Spurs

Danny Green and Tim Duncan

Danny Green and Tim Duncan

Danny Green scored 24 points while Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lift injury-hit reigning NBA champion San Antonio over visiting Houston 110-106 Sunday.

The game featured 20 lead changes and was deadlocked 13 times before the Spurs improved to 19-13, only seventh in the Western Conference, while the Rockets slipped to 21-8. Houston had won the prior six meetings between the clubs.

The Spurs, who had 15 points off the bench from Argentine guard Manu Ginobili, were playing without French star guard Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, both injured, and only welcomed back Australian guard Patty Mills for his first game of the season following shoulder surgery.

Mills, French forward Boris Diaw and New Zealand forward Aron Baynes each added eight points off the bench for the Spurs.

San Antonio hit 21-of-24 shots from the free-throw line while the Rockets sank only 18-of-31 from the line.

James Harden led Houston with 28 points while Dwight Howard scored 24 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds and Corey Brewer came off the bench to score 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range.


December 30, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

Raptors team up to defeat Knicks

Raptors team up to defeat Knicks

Kyle Lowry

Six players scored in double figures as the Toronto Raptors used a balanced attack to beat the New York Knicks 118-108 on Sunday.

Kyle Lowry and Lou Williams led the charge with 22 points each for Toronto who have won six-straight NBA contests.

Lowry also had nine assists and three steals, Greivis Vasquez and Terrence Ross tallied 21 and 18 points in front of a crowd of 19 800 at the Air Canada Centre arena.

Carmelo Anthony delivered 28 points for the Knicks, who have lost five straight games.

Jason Smith scored 16 points and Jose Calderon finished with 15 points and 10 assists in the loss.

December 23, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

All set for thriller as Warriors host Thunder

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

 The return to action of both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, after missing a considerable part of the early season with injuries, has taken the Oklahoma City Thunder back to the level they belong.

The Thunder’s current winning run of seven consecutive victories, however, will be put to the test when they visit the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.

Both teams are currently playing great basketball, and sharing more similarities than differences.

OKC (12-13) and Warriors have won nine of their last ten games.

Their star players – Durant and Westbrook for the Thunder, and Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – could become favourites for the 2015 All-Star Game.

With Westbrook averaging 27.8 points and Durant contributing 21.5 points per game, the OKC have surged up the standings in the Western Conference.

A month ago, in the first of the four meetings between two of the best Western Conference teams, the Warriors beat OKC 91-86 and went on to remain undefeated in five weeks, building a 16-game winning streak that was only snapped at Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

Draymond Green told reporters: “Streaks are made to be broken. We can’t expect to win 60 games in a row.”

The Warriors (21-3), the current No 1 team in the league, are favourites to come out with a win on Thursday, but judging by what they showed in the recent games, the OKC are capable of anything.

“They’re a great team and the No 1 team in the West right now. We have our work cut out for us. It should be a fun match-up,” Durant said.

“We’ve just been trying to get better every single day. Defensively we’ve been locking in.”



December 19, 2014 By : Category : Basketball Zone V English featured 0 Comment

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.


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.



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