Kurt Helin

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, left, drives forward as Orlando Magic's Nikola Vucevic defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, at the O2 arena in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.  Raptors won the game 106-103. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Associated Press

Lowry helps Raptors beat Magic 106-103 in OT in London

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LONDON (AP) — Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, Cory Joseph added 19 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 106-103 in overtime Thursday night at O2 Arena.

DeMar DeRozan had 13 points and 11 rebounds to help the Raptors win their fourth straight game.

Victor Oladipo scored 27 points, and Evan Fournier had 21 for Orlando. The Magic lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Lowry made two free throws to put Toronto up 105-100 with 43 seconds left in overtime, but Oladipo answered with a 3-pointer. After Lowry missed a shot, he stole the ball from Oladipo and was fouled by Tobias Harris. Lowry made one of two, making it a three-point game.

Nikola Vucevic‘s last-second shot from near halfcourt bounced off the rim.

Vucevic had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic, and Harris had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Down 88-77 with 7:34 left, the Magic tied it at 96 on Oladipo’s jumper with 32.9 seconds left.

After a miss by Lowry, Oladipo had a chance to win it, but missed a 21-foot jumper with less than a second to go. A replay review gave possession to Orlando, but Jason Smith bounced a shot off the rim as the buzzer sounded, sending it to overtime.

Orlando’s Elfrid Payton came off the bench, returning after sitting out the past four games with a bruised left ankle. Forward Aaron Gordon played despite rolling his right ankle during practice Wednesday.

Before the game, and after the playing of “O Canada,” “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and “God Save the Queen,” Lowry and Vucevic stood at center court and briefly spoke to the crowd, thanking the fans for their support.


Raptors: The last time the Raptors visited London, back in March 2011, they lost in triple overtime to the Nets, a game where DeRozan and former Raptors center Andrea Bargnani both missed last-second shots.

Magic: Orlando came in 8-0 against Atlantic Division opponents. … G Shabazz Napier (illness) was not available.

Ronnie Price latest Suns’ guard to have surgery, miss time

Phoenix Suns' Ronnie Price, left, and  Brandon Knight, endure the closing moments of the Suns' 142-119 loss to the Sacramento Kings in an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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The Phoenix Suns have already lost starting point guard Eric Bledsoe for the season. They are hoping his replacement Ronnie Price is not in the same boat.

Price had missed the last two games due to what had been called a sprained big toe. Apparently it was more than that. Price is going to miss some time due to surgery, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Price had been playing 20 minutes a game in his last 10, averaging 6.6 points per game on just 37 percent shooting. The Suns have lost 11 of their last 12.

Expect a lot of Brandon Knight, Devon Booker, Lorenzo Brown, and Sonny Weems. Which is not exactly going to lift the Spurs into the playoffs.

Adam Silver: “We are not looking at franchises in Europe”

Commissioner of the NBA Adam Silver speaks to the media ahead of a regular season basketball game between Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors at the O2 arena in London, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Associated Press

Thank you, Commissioner Silver.

For years , every time the NBA played a regular season or exhibition game overseas — or during press conferences during All-Star weekend or the NBA Finals — an international journalist would ask about NBA teams based in Europe. First David Stern, then Adam Silver, would give an answer about how they hope to do it in a decade, it was just figuring out the logistics and arenas.

That was always fantasy sold to keep the European market with hope. The reality was much more stark.

In London Thursday — where the Raptors and Magic played an overtime thriller — Silver admitted a European team in the NBA is just not likely.

“We are not actively taking steps to bring a franchise to Europe or expand to Europe. It’s something we’ve looked at over the years. It just doesn’t feel like the time is ripe right now, especially given what is going on, in the prior question, with the Euroleague and FIBA (those two entities are at war over dates of qualification for FIBA events and more). We think the best place for the NBA right now is to showcase an NBA game here in London, to play our preseason games here, and to work on a grassroots level to develop the game. But at the current time, we are not looking at franchises in Europe.”

The logistics of NBA teams in Europe are daunting. Even if you recruited and turned existing powerhouse clubs (Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, etc.) to form a new NBA division of five teams, the travel for stateside teams going to Europe to play those teams, and those teams coming to the USA for extended road trips, would be hard on a fair competitive balance. There’s just no good way to make it work without inventing a transporter ala Star Trek.

Much like Barclays Premiere League teams build fan bases in the USA with preseason tours and fantastic broadcast/streaming for regular season games; the NBA can do the same thing in reverse. Maybe throw in a couple of games in London and other major European cities. But a regular season team has never been realistic.

Nike releases Air Jordan XXX


The first Air Jordan hit the market on April 1, 1985. It was no fool’s day joke — in the ensuing 30  plus years Air Jordan has gone on to dominate the basketball shoe market like no other.

Thursday the latest iteration hit the market — the Air Jordan XXX.

They look sweet.


More than looking good, they are the latest in shoe technology. From the press release, speaking with long-time design collaborator for the Jordan brand Tinker Hatfield.

(Hatfield) also recalls that Jordan’s singular demand was to “make it look fast,” a request augmented by the “XXX” graphic that wraps the heel and extends through the forefoot…

The FlightSpeed architecture of the Air Jordan XX9, Hatfield explains, is “probably the best performing Jordan chassis we’d ever done.” Still, Hatfield and Smith didn’t just serve up a new herringbone pattern on the Air Jordan XXX. Instead, they drew a new traction system inspired by the Jordan quote: “Excellence is never second place,” which has been rendered in 3D to serve the needs of pinnacle athletes, like Russell Westbrook.


The shoe has an “exclusive mix of woven, knit and printed materials” and maintains the smooth toe that Jordan wants on his shoes.

I know you want a pair. The Air Jordan XXX will be available on February 12, 2016, at a store near you, as well as Jordan.com.

PBT Podcast: San Antonio Spurs talk with Jabari Young

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 24: Tony Parker #9 Manu Ginobili #20 and Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs before the game against the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at the AT&T Center on April 24, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photos by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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While the Golden State Warriors and their sexy streak and flashy style have garnered the headlines, the San Antonio Spurs have quietly put together a 34-6 record, 22-0 at home, and they have a record net rating (point differential per 100 possessions). The Spurs have a real shot of sending Tim Duncan out with one more ring.

In this latest PBT Podcast, Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News and myself discuss how the Spurs’ style will counter the Warriors, why the Thunder could be a problem, Kawhi Leonard‘s growth, and, of course, some Boban Marjanović (starting about the 35 minute mark).

You can listen to the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunesdownload it directly here, or you can check out our new PBT Podcast homepage, which has the most recent episodes available. If you have the Stitcher app, you can listen there as well.