Kurt Helin

Utah’s Rodney Hood hyperextends knee, to be re-evaluated Sunday (VIDEO)

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That looks scary. Hopefully, it’s not serious.

It was late in the fourth quarter or Utah’s eventual win over Orlando Sunday night when Rudy Gobert rejected a Nikola Vucevic shot with enough authority to start a fast break the other way. Rodney Hood was leading the way, attacked the rim, stepped on the foot of Jodie Meeks, and he went down awkwardly.

He hyperextended his knee. Here is the latest, via Jody Genessey of the Deseret News.

Hood starts at the two for Utah and has averaged 14 points a game for the Jazz this season. The team is 7.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court. If he is out for any length of time, it will mean more run for Koe Ingles and Alec Burks.

Devin Booker has 39 points, Suns beat Spurs in Mexico City

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Devin Booker scored a career-high 39 points for the second straight game in Mexico City and the Phoenix Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs 108-105 on Saturday in the fifth regular-season game in the country.

Booker was 12 of 22 from the field, and Eric Bledsoe added 17 points and 10 assists. Coming off a loss to Dallas in their Mexican opener Thursday night, the Suns overcame an 11-point deficit to snap a two-game losing streak.

Kawhi Leonard had 38 points for the Spurs (31-9).

Booker made two baskets to give the Suns the lead in the last minute, including a dunk off a break with Bledsoe to put them ahead 106-103. Leonard made two free throws to get San Antonio within one. P.J. Tucker made two free throws, and the Spurs’ Danny Green missed an open 3-pointer to seal the win for Phoenix.

Phoenix is the first team to play two regular-season games in the same season south of the border.

 

Jordan tops Clippers’ hot shooting in 113-97 win over Lakers

Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan, center, dunks as Los Angeles Lakers' Brandon Ingram, background left, and Tarik Black watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — DeAndre Jordan scored 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting, and the Los Angeles Clippers shot 52 percent to cruise past the Lakers 113-97 on Saturday and improve to 6-0 in 2017.

Jordan had 21 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 20 points and 13 assists for the Clippers, off to their best start since going 7-0 to begin 1974 when the franchise was located in Buffalo. Their streak is the longest active one in the NBA.

The Clippers shot 52 percent and are 15-0 when they do so. Led by Jordan, they had a season-high 56 points in the paint.

Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points for the Lakers, who never led in losing their third in a row and seventh in 10 games.

Jordan’s shooting was nearly perfect; he tipped in his own miss with 4:41 remaining in the game for his lone miss.

The big man put on a dunk clinic with eight, including a two-handed jam on the game’s opening possession.

The Lakers, who shot 44 percent, never made a run in the fourth.

The Lakers cut their deficit from 19 points to 10 in the third. After an unsportsmanlike technical for hanging on the rim, Timofey Mozgov dunked to launch a 9-2 run that included consecutive 3-pointers by Brandon Ingram and Nick Young and got the Lakers to 69-59.

The Clippers closed with a 15-9 spurt that sent them into the fourth leading 84-68. Jordan had two more dunks, both one-handers in the quarter.

TIP-INS

Lakers: Starting F Luol Deng sat out to rest after playing 19 minutes in Thursday’s loss to the Spurs, well under his 27-minute average. He missed his first game of the season on Jan. 5 at Portland. … G Lou Williams, the team’s leading scorer, made his first start of the season. It was the Lakers’ 14th different starting lineup. … They were averaging 10.1 turnovers (71 total) over the previous seven games and had 15 against the Clippers.

Clippers: They had eight turnovers, one off their season low. … They lost to the host Lakers on Christmas, snapping their 11-game winning streak in the series. … The Clippers have won nine in a row at home against the Lakers.

CHANGING THINGS UP

For just the third time in the 17-year history of Staples Center, all three tenants were playing at home on the same day. The Kings were set to host the Jets in the evening. It takes a 45-person crew nearly two hours to convert the arena from basketball to hockey. The three teams previously played on the same day in 2006 and 2008.

 

NBA franchise in Mexico City? Adam Silver: “It’s something that we’re going to look at.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  NBA commissioner, Adam Silver speaks during a press conference prior to the NBA match between Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets at the O2 Arena on January 12, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
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Every season when the NBA plays games in Europe (regular season or exhibition), the question of an NBA team on that continent comes up. And each time it runs into one major obstacle: Travel. It would be difficult even to get an All-Star Game in overseas due to the logistics.

But what about Mexico City?

The NBA packed the house twice this week, once for the Mavericks to beat the Suns on Thursday, then for Spurs vs. Suns on Saturday. There is growing demand for the sport in Mexico, and the travel time issue goes away — it takes less time to fly to Mexico City out of Los Angeles than Chicago, and from New York it’s no worse than any other cross-country flight.

Adam Silver was asked about an All-Star Game in Mexico City at a press conference Saturday and — as is his way — said he was open to the idea.

“And as for an All-Star Game, again, that’s something we’ll look at as well. Again, we need to take a fresh look at the entire format and see what makes the most sense for a midseason break,” Silver said.

What about a franchise in Mexico City? Maybe just don’t expect it soon.

“The next step before we start talking about a franchise in Mexico City is to bring more games here, and we have this two regular-season games and whether we bring additional regular-season games next season or do some sort of tournament with several teams playing each other, that is something that we are looking at…

“… In terms of a franchise in Mexico, most likely Mexico City, it’s something that we’re going to look at,” Silver said. “This is an incredible market, well over 20 million people, the largest market in North America. While we have no immediate plans to expand in the NBA, one of the things that we look at is whether expanding would be additive to the league as a whole. Clearly coming to Mexico City, not just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America, could potentially be very important to the league.”

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was down with a franchise in Mexico City, as he told ESPN.

“I would love a team down here. I think it would really help the sport,” Cuban said. “I would like to come back with the Mavericks, and every time that the NBA asks, we would love to be here.”

There have been issues with arenas in Mexico City in the past, but a new state-of-the-art Arena Ciudad de Mexico should change that.

We’re a long way off from a team in Mexico City. First, expansion does not appear on the horizon for the NBA (sorry Seattle), and no teams are close to moving. If a team does eventually relocate or the NBA expands, a host of domestic cities will be in line.

However, this could happen down the line. The NBA realizes it is the premiere basketball league in the world and it wants to grow that brand and rake in money from other countries. Think of it this way: Soccer fans in the USA will watch MLS games and have teams they love, but they also all have their favorite English Premier League team such as Chelsea or Machester United (or, in my case, a Championship level team in Newcastle that will be back up in the big show next season). Those leagues know they can make money off the fans here, the NBA is going to do the same.

Expect an All-Star Game before a team, but even that is going to be into the next decade (maybe well into it) before it becomes a reality.

DeAndre Jordan drops 24 points, 21 boards to lead Clippers past Lakers

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This wasn’t a battle for Los Angeles (come on, we all know L.A. is Chargers’ country now, especially with that logo). Frankly, it wasn’t much of a battle at all.

The Clippers got out to an early lead, were able to do what they wanted with impunity, and ultimately beat the Lakers 113-97 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score suggests. DeAndre Jordan was at the heart of it all — he had 24 points and 21 rebounds. The Lakers had no answer. Jordan was dunking like the play above all game.

The Lakers also couldn’t stop Chris Paul, who was just out there making plays.

Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 21 points. Make no mistake, the Lakers were terrible.