Kurt Helin

Utah Jazz's Derrick Favors (15) dunks the ball as Houston Rockets Dwight Howard, left, Trevor Ariza (1) and Patrick Beverley look on in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 23, 2016, in Houston. The Jazz won 89-87. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Associated Press

Derrick Favors’ dunk lifts Jazz over Rockets 89-87

1 Comment

HOUSTON (AP) — The Utah Jazz didn’t take much time to celebrate overtaking the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff standings.

They know there’s still a lot of work to do.

“It feels good to know we’re still in it,” Derrick Favors said. “But we’re not in there yet so we’ve got to continue to work hard, play hard and keep winning games.”

Favors’ dunk with 1.6 seconds left lifted the Jazz to an 89-87 victory over the Rockets on Wednesday night and a half-game lead in the standings.

“I think this whole process right now is good,” coach Quin Snyder said. “Just being in an environment like this one on the road or being in a hunt competitively puts your team in a situation that’s new for us … and I think it’s a good opportunity for us to get better.”

Gordon Hayward had 22 points on his birthday to lead Utah.

Data curated by PointAfter

The Jazz trailed by as many as 18 in the second half before rallying for their first lead of the game with about 4 minutes left. The teams exchanged leads several times after that before Dwight Howard tied it on a dunk with 22.3 seconds remaining.

Rodney Hood then found Favors, who finished with 17 points, under the basket and he finished with the slam to put Utah on top. Houston had a chance to win it after that, but James Harden‘s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.

“I think we played with a little desperation there in the second half,” Hayward said. “We talked about them letting us get back into it and we stepped up and hit some shots.”

Harden had 26 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and a career-high eight steals, but the Rockets dropped their third straight.

“The season’s not over,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We’re in a position where, we take care of business we can still get into the playoffs. But we’ve got to take care of business. There’s no more excuses.”

Harden made a pair of free throws to give Houston the lead with less than 2 minutes to play. The Rockets forced a shot clock violation on the other end and Patrick Beverley made a floating jump shot just before Houston’s shot clock reached zero to make it 85-82.

Shelvin Mack tied it back up with a 3-pointer and Hayward grabbed a steal and made two free throws to put Utah up 87-85 with 24 seconds left.

Houston opened a 71-62 lead early in the fourth. It was all Jazz for the next couple of minutes as they scored the next eight points, powered by 3s from Hayward and Mack, to get within one.

The Jazz finally went ahead for the first time by scoring six straight points, capped by four free throws by Hayward, to make it 79-78.

Donatas Motiejunas opened the second half with a free throw for Houston to push the lead to 50-34. The Jazz scored the next 11 points, with five points from Mack, to get within 50-45 with eight minutes left in the third.

Houston scored six straight points after that to push the lead to 56-45.

Howard had a season-high six blocks, including one on a layup by Rudy Gobert where he sent the ball into the stands in the first quarter.

Houston led 49-34 at halftime.


Jazz: Mack finished with 16 points. … Favors had 15 rebounds.

Rockets: The 34 points Utah scored in the first half were the fewest Houston had allowed in a first half this season. … Harden is the first Rocket to have at least 20 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and seven steals since Clyde Drexler did it on Nov. 1, 1996.


The Jazz won in Houston for the first time since April 11, 2012, snapping a six-game skid. Hayward knew it had been a long time but Favors didn’t realize they’d had such a tough time in Houston.

“I didn’t even know that. Wow,” he said. “It feels good. It was a big win for us.”


Emmanuel Mudiay hits ridiculous leaning, 36-foot game winner (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

That may be the wildest game winner of the NBA season.

Emmanuel Mudiay gets the inbound pass out near midcourt with 3.1 seconds left, and starts trying to weave his way through the Sixers. Then he looses control of the ball, leaving him no options — pick up the ball and just launch it.

Nothing but nylon.

Denver gets the win, and Mudiay finishes with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He’s developing nicely this season and the Nuggets could have themselves a quality point guard for a long time.

Hawks get ‘revenge’ by beating Wizards 122-101

Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh off the pain of losing by 15 at home to the Washington Wizards, the Atlanta Hawks couldn’t afford another disappointment. With every other team in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture winning, the Hawks were plenty motivated to bounce back.

Behind 23 points from reserve guard Dennis Schroder and a season-high 17 3-pointers, Atlanta did just that in beating Wizards 122-101 on Wednesday night in the second half of the teams’ home-and-home series. The Hawks were all too happy to snap the Wizards’ winning streak at five after the way Monday’s game went.

“It was a pride thing,” said Thabo Sefolosha, who helped hold John Wall to 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting. “We didn’t like the way we played, obviously. We let them play well. They played well in Atlanta. It was definitely good to come out tonight, win this game and kind of get a little bit of revenge.”

Revenge was best served with a potent inside-out attack. Schroder was 7 of 9 from the floor as he drove to the basket and opened up shots, and Kyle Korver scored 15 points, all on 3s.

Atlanta (42-30) attempted a season-high 42 3-pointers because so many of them were open looks. A 25-5 second-half run capped by a 3-pointer by Korver with 10:03 left busted open the game.

Data curated by PointAfter

“It’s a little bit of a yin and a yang between making shots and getting to the paint, getting to the paint and us opening up shots,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “I think it starts with getting to the basket. … If they start collapsing and take away that, then there’s opportunities.”

There were opportunities aplenty for Paul Millsap, who scored 17 points after being held to 13 Monday, and for Al Horford, who added 13. It all started with Schroder, who tweaked his left ankle two nights earlier but didn’t miss a step as he carved up the Wizards’ defense.

“What a performance tonight,” Sefolosha said. “He carried the team basically in the second half. Even coming in in the first half he did a great job. But second half he really had it going, kept it going and it was great for us.”

Wall and backcourt mate Bradley Beal never got it going for the Wizards (35-36), who failed in their attempt to get above .500 for the first time since Nov. 24, when they were 6-5. Wall had just two points in the second half, and Beal shot 2 of 8.

“We did a great job on (Wall) and on Bradley Beal, I think, and that’s the key right there,” Schroder said.

Coupled with the Detroit Pistons’ fourth consecutive victory, Washington fell 2 1/2 points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with 11 games to go. Turnovers were the Wizards’ undoing as they committed 13 in the second half.

“You can’t get outscored by 21 points off turnovers,” coach Randy Wittman said. “Everything we focused on and did in Atlanta, 50/50 balls they beat us to. They had more offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone than they did in the entire game in Atlanta. That was really the difference.”

Marcus Thornton led the Wizards with 23 points, including five 3s. But it was no match for Atlanta’s barrage from the outside.


Traded from the Wizards to the Suns in the Markieff Morris deal and then waived by Phoenix, Kris Humphries scored nine points in his return to Washington. That included two emphatic dunks.

“We’re very happy to add him to our group,” Budenholzer said. “His rebounding, his physicality – he’s fit in well.”


Hawks: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 14 points off the bench… A 22-point first quarter snapped Atlanta’s streak of reaching at least 30 in five consecutive games.

Wizards: Jared Dudley‘s 3 with 10:16 left in the second quarter was his first since March 8, eight games ago. Dudley is seventh in the league in 3-point shooting percentage. … Alan Anderson missed his fourth game out of the last five with a left ankle injury. Wittman said he has “no idea” how long Anderson will be out.


Ex-Clippers owner Sterling’s NBA antitrust lawsuit dismissed

Donald Sterling
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a $600 million antitrust lawsuit filed by former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling against the NBA and his wife Shelly Sterling.

U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin wrote he’s skeptical Sterling suffered any injury at all by the sale of the team for $2 billion to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and called other parts of the lawsuit implausible.

Sterling had claimed in the lawsuit filed last year that he could have gotten more than that for the team but the circumstances of the sale reduced the price.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league for life in 2014 over recorded racist remarks that he made to a friend.

Sterling’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/

LeBron James was dunking on Bucks in first half (VIDEO)

1 Comment

The first half between the Cavaliers and the Bucks was not exactly a defensive clinic — the Cavs led 63-61.

But it was entertaining — and LeBron James was dunking all over the place. And making some impressive passes.

Above are a few highlights from the first 24 minutes alone. Enjoy.