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Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

LOS ANGELES — Clippers forward Blake Griffin suffered a left knee injury and had to leave in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s 120-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers did not have an update on Griffin’s condition but said Griffin’s spirits were down after the game. He said Griffin will be further evaluated Tuesday and that the Clippers were hoping for the best.

“It didn’t look good,” Rivers said. “But we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Griffin became tangled with Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and Clippers guard Austin Rivers beneath the Lakers’ basket as the scrum dived for a loose ball with 4:43 remaining in regulation. The collision didn’t result in a foul call. Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. picked up the loose ball and scored on a layup while getting fouled by Austin Rivers.

“You could see right when it happened,” Doc Rivers said. “Lonzo was just trying to make a play, but he went in. Usually when you go in like that, that hard … they call it.”

Griffin remained in the game on the ensuing Clippers possession, during which he missed a 10-foot hook shot. He ultimately checked out of the game and retreated to the Clippers’ locker room following a layup by Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and a Clippers timeout.

Griffin left the locker room without speaking to reporters.

“I knew immediately, I thought,” Doc Rivers said. “But then Blake said he was OK. I just saw his leg go in, and then when they switched on back-to-back plays, he couldn’t move so we had to get him out of the game.”

The Clippers have been ravaged by injuries in recent weeks. They lost their starting point guard, Milos Teodosic, to a left foot injury during the third game of the season. His counterpart in the backcourt, Patrick Beverley, was lost for the season last week after undergoing microfracture surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Forward Danilo Gallinari missed his 10th consecutive game with a strained left gluteus maximus.

Griffin, who signed a new five-year, $173 million contract during the offseason, has been beset by injuries during his eight seasons in the NBA. Over the previous three seasons, he has played in 67, 35 and 61 games, respectively. Most recently, he was forced out of the Clippers’ first-round playoff series when he hurt the plantar of his big right toe in Game 3 after missing 18 games during the regular season following arthroscopic surgery to his right knee.

Before he played his first regular-season game as a professional, Griffin broke his left kneecap during the 2009 preseason. In the summer of 2012 while training with Team USA, he tore his medial meniscus in the same knee.

The Clippers, 8-11 after winning their third consecutive game, next play on Thursday against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. If Griffin doesn’t take the floor, center DeAndre Jordan will be the only remaining member of the team’s opening night starting lineup.

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Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are facing a tough showdown—not on the basketball court, but in a U.S. district court, where a judge has ordered the team to trial over its smartphone app, which allegedly recorded fans’ conversations.

The Warriors’ app bills itself as a way for fans to keep track of scores and stats. But while fans were watching the game, the app was watching them, fan LaTisha Satchell claims in a lawsuit. One of the app’s promotional tools allegedly turns a user’s phone microphone on and keeps it on, recording everything within earshot and relaying data back to the Warriors and a tech company, possibly in violation of wiretap laws.

“[The Warriors] gained access to tens of thousands of microphones belonging to consumers who downloaded the Warriors App and turned their mobile devices into bugged listening devices,” the suit alleges.

The unlikely snooping program started as an effort to sell merchandise and ticket upgrades, the suit contends. The Warriors wanted to know when fans were on Warrior-owned property, and how long they stayed there. The app tracked this through audio “beacons” that played through special transmitters in their arena and stores, the suit alleges. The app listened for those beacons and sent customized advertisements to a user’s phone.

An app user sitting in the nosebleed seats at a Warriors game might get a notification suggesting they upgrade to tickets with a better view. A fan in the gift shop might get an alert about a special promotion on merchandise.

The Warriors’ technology partners said fans were fine with the notifications.

“You’re not going to get mad at the Golden State Warriors and go to some other arena instead,” the CEO of the company that installed the beacons told Bloomberg earlier this year.

Cheap Dallas Mavericks Jersey Wholesale From Free Shipping

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks

When the Dallas Mavericks are lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy in late June, we’ll look back on Saturday night’s net scorching ceremony with the Milwaukee Bucks as the turning point.

Or, you know, maybe not.

There’s no denying that these games against Milwaukee and Boston were fun to watch. And maybe it was some kind of glimpse into Dallas’ potential. But taking a breath, and remembering the deficiencies this group carries, we know this is still a lottery team.

So very slowly, semi-quietly, we look ahead. One of the very few exciting aspects of being a team headed to the front of the lottery line is daydreaming about the future young stars the Mavericks can pick up. Yes, it’s a new-ish concept for this Dallas front office. But the idea that you can find the future of your franchise, not in free agency, but on draft night with young prospects exploding with potential, should ignite excitement through the hallways of the AAC.

We know plenty of the names. We’ve caught glimpses of them online in mixtapes and highlight reels, mostly as big fish in small ponds. But outside of one budding international star, what these players look like against other big fish is a bit of a mystery.

So here at Mavs Moneyball we invite you to learn with us. Every week we’re going to highlight a handful of games happening that week, featuring projected lottery picks. These are players we think fit best with our idea of a Dallas Mavericks Draft Big Board (coming soon); talent that fits the need and culture in Dallas.

It’s early in the college basketball season, and with the holiday week upon us, we have a slate of exciting mini-tournaments and invitationals. So the schedule below will look a bit different than future weeks. But if you find yourself wanting an escape from Mavs’ struggles, and want to daydream about the future, here are some games that might meet your needs:
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND

Arizona vs NC State (6 P.M. CT, ESPN3)

DeAndre Ayton leads a couple of NBA prospects and the Arizona Wildcats to face Dennis Smith Jr.’s alma mater, N.C. State, in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. If you haven’t seen any of Ayton, you’ll be shocked to learn that someone can be 19 years old and an actual Monstar. He’s just so full grown.

Though the N.C. State matchup might not be terribly exciting, it’s an ACC team. And we mention it here because of the potential meetings later in the tournament; if Arizona and others advance, they could be seeing SMU and possible future first rounder Shake Milton, then Mikal Bridges and his fifth ranked Villanova Wildcats (on the 23rd and 24th respectively). All in all, there could be a lot of draft talent playing in the Bahamas this week.
NOVEMBER 23RD-26TH

The PK-80 Invitational (Various times, ESPN Network)

If you had your fill on food, the NFL, or the NBA same ol’ same ol’, this would be the time to flip over to the inaugral PK-80 Invitational. In celebration of Nike Co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday, this tourney in Portland will bring in a slew of college teams to compete in a two bracket tournament. This is the sort of fun and chaos that college basketball brings.

And lucky for us, the bracket is packed with elite teams and lottery talent:

Duke: Marvin Bagley III, Gary Trent Jr, Trevon Duval, Wendell Carter
Michigan State: Jalen Jones Jr. and Miles Bridges
Texas: Mohamed Bamba
Oregon: Troy Brown

Plus the potential of these teams matching up with other quality squads: North Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, Gonzaga. Games will be happening all day long over Thanksgiving weekend. It’s worth tuning in to this lottery filled tournament.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26TH

Robert Williams and A&M match up with the 10th ranked USC Trojans Sunday night at 8 P.M. CT, on the PAC12 Network. Southern Cal has some quality NBA prospects, and it should be one of the better head-to-heads of the weekend, with Williams matching up against Chimezie Metu.

Robert Williams made a surprise return to A&M to play his sophomore year. He was seen as a late lottery prospect in last summer’s draft, and many scouts expected him to pursue that option. Now, after being suspended the first two games of the Aggies’ season for violation of team rules, he rejoined the team this week.

Additionally, the highly touted Michael Porter Jr. has essentially been out the entire first week of play with an injury. With the hype of being a possible number one pick in the draft, it’s worth monitoring whether he’s able to suit up this week. Missouri is playing in the Advocare Invitational, and released a statement Monday saying Porter Jr. would be visiting a specialist. So it may be a while.

Check back next week for a new slate of games – the next Maverick is somewhere out there!

Cheap Charlotte Hornets Jersey From China For Sale

The Charlotte Hornets’ top draft pick was benched in favor of Michael Carter-Williams after the team lost six straight games.

Steve Clifford chose to bench his star rookie because he needed more defense. After losing six straight games, he chose not to play Malik Monk a single minute against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Charlotte Hornets‘ head coach said that “It’s not Malik’s fault, it’s just his position; [Michael Carter-Williams is] a difference-maker defensively.” (CharlotteObserver.com)

This was the first time this year that the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft didn’t play in a game for Charlotte. He saw at least nine minutes in the Hornets’ first 14 games of the season. In a surprising turn of events, Monk has fallen out of the team’s rotation while second-round pick Dwayne Bacon is still getting important minutes off of the bench.

The Kentucky product saw 19.8 minutes per game was averaging 8.8 points, 1.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds. He’s been struggling to find his shot shooting only 34.6% from the field and 33.3% from the three-point line. His lack of offensive production hasn’t been enough to overshadow his poor defensive play.

Monk’s defense was a big question mark coming out of college. His size is making him a bit of a liability on that end of the floor. To try and cover up his defensive woes, Coach Clifford was playing Malik at point guard so that he wouldn’t be forced to cover bigger shooting guards. That worked while Michael Carter-Williams was out rehabbing from offseason knee procedures but now that MCW is back, it looks like the rookie has fallen out of the rotation.

Even though the 19-year old is struggling, it isn’t out of the norm for a rookie to have a rough start at the professional level. Even Lonzo Ball, who was the second overall pick, is having his fair share of problems in the NBA. It takes time for most first-year players to adjust to the speed and style of the league.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues going forward. If the hamstring injury that Jeremy Lamb suffered against the Clippers keeps him sidelined, it could mean a return to the rotation for Monk. At some point, you’d have to think that Malik will earn his minutes back.

It’s far too early to completely give up on such a promising rookie but for the time being, the Hornets need win games and Steve Clifford is electing to go with defense over offense. So until Malik improves his play on that end of the court or Charlotte’s defense as a whole gets better, it’s unlikely that he will see significant minutes anytime soon.

Cheap Atlanta Hawks Jersey Wholesale From China For Outlet

ATLANTA — The Sacramento Kings may be just the opponent that the Atlanta Hawks need to get their first home victory of the season.

The Kings take a seven-game road losing streak into Wednesday night’s game at Philips Arena and have lost 10 straight in Atlanta.

Sacramento’s 3-10 record this season is slightly less dismal than Atlanta’s 2-12, but the Kings’ futility in Atlanta at least gives the Hawks a historical edge.

The Kings are 5-25 at Atlanta since moving to Sacramento for the 1985-86 season and their last victory came on March 3, 2006.

Of course, the Hawks have had much more overall success during most of that stretch, going to the playoffs the past 10 seasons and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals three years ago after a 60-win season.

Both the Hawks and Kings are in rebuilds this season and victories have been as hard to come by as expected.

The Hawks won their opener at Dallas and have just one win since, a 117-115 shocker against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Nov. 8 that ended an eight-game losing streak.

Four consecutive losses have followed and the Hawks are the only NBA team without a home victory, although they have played just four times at Philips Arena. Six of the next seven games are at home.

The Hawks, who have at least kept most games close, made 39 3-pointers during a three-game road trip that concluded Monday in New Orleans and still have nothing to show for it.

Four of the Hawks’ 17 3-pointers in the 106-105 loss to the Pelicans came from 6-foot-9 rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh, signed earlier this month to a two-way contract that will have him playing mainly with Erie of the G-League.

“It’s one of those good stories,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said after Cavanaugh’s 16-point game. “Certainly, frustrated that we weren’t able to find a way to get the win. … We’ve got to find those spots sometimes when you’re frustrated or having a tough night — and Tyler was certainly one of those guys tonight.”

The Kings haven’t won away from Sacramento since their road opener at Dallas and have lost by 27 and 18 points in the first two games of their current three-game swing.

At least veteran guard George Hill regained his shooting touch in Monday’s 110-92 loss at Washington, scoring 16 points while making all three of his shots from behind the 3-point arc.

Hill, who averaged 16.9 points for Utah last season, is scoring just 8.2 per game with the Kings and had struggled with his shot since the opening week.

The advice that Hill has been getting apparently paid off.

“‘Look to score first, try to make passes second,’” Hill said of the message after the game. “That’s what I was trying to do.”

Veteran Vince Carter has missed the Kings’ past four games because of kidney stones.

The Hawks signed Cavanaugh because they have been without frontcourt players Ersan Ilyasova (knee), Mike Muscala (ankle) and Miles Plumlee (quad).

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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors

BOSTON — Al Horford had 24 points in his return from a two-game absence because of a concussion and the Boston Celtics hung on to beat the Toronto Raptors 95-94 on Sunday for their 12th straight victory.

Boston (12-2) was playing without Kyrie Irving after he took an inadvertent elbow to the face from teammate Aron Baynes on Friday night against Charlotte. Irving has a minor facial fracture but has not been diagnosed with a concussion as initially feared.

Jaylen Brown added 18 points, and Terry Rozier helped fill in for Irving with 16 points off the bench. Boston shot just 40.2 per cent from the field.

DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, and Kyle Lowry had 19 points and seven rebounds for Toronto. The Raptors dropped to 7-5 after winning two straight.

Jayson Tatum’s acrobatic layup with 1:26 remaining in the fourth quarter put the Celtics up 95-90.

DeRozan missed a potential go-ahead stepback jumper with 19 seconds remaining. Tatum got the rebound, but elbowed Fred VanVleet in the face for an offensive foul that was confirmed by video review.

DeRozan had another look to give Toronto the win, but missed a turnaround jumper with two seconds left. Serge Ibaka scooped up the rebound, but lost the ball as time expired.

The Celtics took a 77-76 lead into the fourth after fighting back from nine down.

DeRozan and Lowry scored 21 of the Raptors’ 24 first-quarter points, but combined for just five in the second as Toronto led by five at halftime.
MASKED KYRIE

Irving visited a facial specialist Sunday and was fitted for a mask after being injured Friday. The last time Irving played in a mask was on Dec. 15, 2012, when he scored a then-career-high 41 points versus New York with Cleveland.
TIP-INS

Raptors: Lowry’s 3-pointer with 5:32 left in the first quarter moved him past Andrea Bargnani (6,581 points) into fourth place on Toronto’s all-time scoring list. … DeRozan had 20 or more points for the seventh straight regular season game in Boston and is averaging 22 points in that stretch. … Norman Powell left the game with a right hip pointer.

Celtics: Boston’s 12-game winning streak is tied for its third-longest in the last 30 years. The Celtics also won 12 straight from Jan. 11-Feb. 3, 2009. … Rozier scored at least 10 points in a career-best three straight games.

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Another Western Conference playoff hopeful. Another game that came down to the wire.

The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Memphis Grizzlies, 98-97, Tuesday night at the Moda Center in yet another game that came down to crunch time.

But unlike last-second wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Blazers couldn’t conjure up any late game magic against the Grizzlies.

CJ McCollum scored 14 of his game-high 36 points in the final quarter, but he needed one more bucket to cap a dazzling late game performance. He carried the Blazers for most of the night, keeping Portland in range while Damian Lillard (4-for-16) and Jusuf Nurkic (3-for-9) never got untracked.

The Blazers struggled to slow Memphis forward Tyreke Evans (21 points on 15 shots) and committed a crucial turnover in final minute. And yet still had a chance to pull the game out in the waning seconds.

After McCollum hit a three-pointer to trim Memphis’ lead to one with 12.6 seconds left and then Shabazz Napier forced a turnover, giving the Blazers a final possession.

McCollum missed a pull-up mid-range jumper short and then failed to get a second shot off after he chased down his own miss.

McCollum scored 35 points on 14-for-26 shooting, including 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. Evan Turner added 16 points off the bench and Napier had his best game of the season, scoring 12 points and coming away with the crucial defensive play late when he pressured Mike Conley on an inbounds pass in the final seconds.

Conley scored all 20 of his points in the second half, Mark Gasol added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists and Evans finished with 21 points, getting into the lane at will all night.

THEY SAID IT

“If we can get a shot like that for CJ to win the game, I’ll take it every time,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “It was a great look.”

TURNING POINT

Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks reached in for a steal on Ed Davis, poking the ball away with 39 seconds left and triggering a fast break. Brooks finished in transition on the other end, drawing a foul and adding a free throw to put the Grizzlies up 96-91.

HOMECOMING

Brooks, the former University of Oregon standout, played his first professional game in Portland with his former coach in attendance. Oregon Ducks coach Dana Altman sat courtside across from the Grizzlies bench to watch Brooks make his third consecutive start. Brooks, the No. 45 pick in the June draft, finished with seven points and eight rebounds in 38 minutes.

Brooks was a part of Memphis’ two biggest plays of the game. His steal with 39 seconds left put the Blazers into scramble mode late. Then on the game’s final possession he defended McCollum’s initial jumper then chased the Blazers’ star down in the corner, preventing a second attempt before the buzzer.    NEXT UP

The Blazers host the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Allen Crabbe’s first game back at the Moda Center since he was traded in the offseason.

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic

Frank Vogel employed an unusual starting lineup Sunday night to combat the Boston Celtics’ lethal pick-and-roll combination of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.

With Elfrid Payton still out with a hamstring injury, Vogel started Jonathon Simmons at point guard instead of Shelvin Mack.

Simmons is a natural swingman, so he’s not ideally suited to run an offense. That said, Simmons is the Magic’s best perimeter defender. At 6-feet-6, Simmons was the Magic’s best bet to slow down Irving and disrupt the pick-and-roll combination of Irving and Horford.

Circumstances foiled Vogel’s plan and contributed to the Magic’s 104-88 loss.

Simmons picked up two fouls within the game’s first 4 minutes, 25 seconds. That foul trouble forced Vogel to sub out Simmons for Mack. On the ensuing play, Irving scored on a driving layup with Mack defending.

Simmons played just 21 minutes because of his foul trouble. In that time, he scored 14 points with one assist.

“When you’re shorthanded at one position and you have a plan to your guy, Simms, at [point guard] for pretty big minutes and he’s in foul trouble the whole night, obviously it changes things a lot,” Vogel said.

Vogel made no other changes to the starting lineup, which included Terrence Ross, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic.

Payton returned to full-contact practice on Saturday, but he still missed his eighth consecutive game Sunday.

Team officials want Payton to heal fully before he plays again.

The schedule should help the Magic, who won’t play again until they host the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

“Elfrid Payton looked really good in practice [Saturday],” Vogel said. “The hamstring was still a little tight afterwards — enough to give us some concern not to push through it just yet. We’ve got a tough stretch coming up where we’ve got eight of 10 on the road and we have two days behind this game to make sure it’s fully behind him. So we’re going to give him one more game.”

D.J. Augustin missed his second consecutive game because of a strained left hamstring.

Irving finished with just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting and five assists.
Happy for Mack

Mack knows Celtics coach Brad Stevens well.

Stevens coached Mack at Butler University. Together, their Bulldogs finished as the NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2010 and again in 2011.

“Shelvin’s a special guy to me, obviously,” Stevens said. “He’s a guy [for whom] it wasn’t easy early in the league. He’s not a guy that you would’ve said was a for-sure NBA player coming out of high school. In fact, you probably would’ve said, ‘I’d be surprised [if he reaches the NBA].’ But the amount of work that he put in and how committed he is to the game is why he’s where he’s at, and he’s really transformed himself into a point [guard]. When he was playing for us [at Butler], he was playing mostly off the ball and [was] scoring because we needed him to score. But he’s a great competitor. He’s a really good guy. And I’m happy for him that he’s here.”

Layups

• A moment of silence was held before the national anthem to honor the victims of Sunday morning’s mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

• Gordon led the Magic in points (18) and rebounds (12).

• Vucevic finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high seven assists. The double-double was the 200th of Vucevic’s career.