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AP source: Rockets acquire Timberwolves' Brewer (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:50:26 PST)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Houston Rockets made a move to bolster their depth on the perimeter on Friday, landing veteran swing man Corey Brewer from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Sources: Rockets acquire Corey Brewer from Timberwolves in three-team deal (Yahoo Sports)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:45:29 PST)
The Rockets are sending Troy Daniels to the Timberwolves in exchange for Corey Brewer.

Hawks-Rockets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:12:08 PST)
The Atlanta Hawks have proven nearly unbeatable over the last three weeks, and their most recent win may have been their most impressive to date.

Highlights of Thursday's NBA games
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:47:00 PST)
(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Basketball Association games: Bulls 103, Knicks 97 Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points and added seven assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a win against the New York Knicks. Chicago (16-9) played without guard Derrick Rose, who was sick, while the Knicks (5-23) were without forward Carmelo Anthony because of a sore left knee. Pau Gasol added 20 points for the Bulls while Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 23 points. ...

NBA-Highlights of Thursday's NBA games
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:41:28 PST)
Dec 18 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Basketball Association games: - - - - Bulls 103, Knicks 97 Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 35 points and added seven assists to lead the Chicago Bulls to a win against the New York Knicks. Chicago (16-9) played without guard Derrick Rose, who was sick, while the Knicks (5-23) were without forward Carmelo Anthony because of a sore left knee. Pau Gasol added 20 points for the Bulls while Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 23 points. ...

Davis scores 30, leads New Orleans over Houston (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:43:26 PST)
HOUSTON (AP) -- Anthony Davis knew he'd have to be aggressive with Tyreke Evans out with an injury to give New Orleans a chance against the Houston Rockets.

Anthony Davis's 30 leads Pelicans over Rockets (Automated Insights)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:23:06 PST)
Anthony Davis scored 30 points and added 14 rebounds to help the New Orleans Pelicans take down the Houston Rockets, 99-90. New Orleans (13-12) has now won back-to-back games after defeating Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

Clippers-Nuggets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:17:12 PST)
It's been a streaky season so far for the Denver Nuggets, whose current stretch is definitely not a good one.

Warriors' Bogut out indefinitely after PRP therapy (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:45:41 PST)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Just as they have the past two seasons, the Golden State Warriors will have to get by without center Andrew Bogut for an undetermined amount of time.

Evans out for Pelicans against Rockets (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:41:59 PST)
HOUSTON (AP) -- New Orleans guard Tyreke Evans will miss the Pelicans' game Thursday night at Houston because of a bruised right knee.

Sources: Celtics deal Rajon Rondo to Mavs (Yahoo Sports)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:15:37 PST)
The Boston Celtics traded All-Star Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks as part of a deal involving four other players and two draft picks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Pelicans-Rockets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:08:24 PST)
The New Orleans Pelicans are entering a difficult stretch that could teach them plenty about their prospects of reaching the postseason for the first time in four seasons.

Harden scores 41, Rockets beat Nuggets in OT (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:54:44 PST)
DENVER (AP) -- James Harden couldn't quite fight his way through traffic and just barely missed getting his hand in the face of Arron Afflalo as the Nuggets swingman knocked down a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end regulation.

James Harden scores 41 as Rockets squeak by Nuggets (Automated Insights)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 23:20:26 PST)
James Harden finished with 41 points and added 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a close victory over the Denver Nuggets, 115-111. Houston (19-5) has now won three in a row.

Sources: Mavericks emerge as suitor to trade for Rajon Rondo (Yahoo Sports)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:30:52 PST)
Boston has been engaged in serious discussions in recent days involving the point guard, who will be a free agent in July.

Shelvin Mack, Al Horford power Hawks over Cavaliers (Automated Insights)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:23:53 PST)
The Atlanta Hawks took quality shots, finishing 49-76 (64.5%) from the field, including 16-28 (57.1%) from beyond the arc, to crush the Cleveland Cavaliers, 127-98. This is the ninth win for Atlanta (18-7) in its last 10 games.

Kevin Durant swears that stars would love to play with Kobe Bryant (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:02:39 PST)
In the summer of 2013, Dwight Howard turned down a significant amount of guaranteed money and a chance to live in sunny Los Angeles for a gig with the Houston Rockets. In the summer of 2014, several prominent free agents chose to pass on the Lakers’ sizable salary cap space in order to play elsewhere. Pau Gasol turned down more money to work with the team he’d won two championships with in order to move to a cold climate and uncertain (if enticing) rotation in Chicago. Many wondered if the Lakers had to overpay just to keep incumbent big man Jordan Hill. The Lakers will have salary-cap space again this summer, but all signs point to top level free agents heading elsewhere. The underlying rumor here lists that players want nothing to do with playing with Kobe Bryant, for whatever reason. Lakers chairman Jeannie Buss calling those players “losers” certainly doesn’t help . Shots of Kobe’s typical effort in the Lakers practices he takes part in don’t paint the prettiest picture . Kevin Durant, a free agent to be in 2016, however, isn’t having any of that. From a talk with USA Today’s Sam Amick on Tuesday : "Excuse my language, but that's [expletive]," said Durant, who congratulated Bryant via text message after he surpassed Jordan on Sunday. "I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I'd want to play with a guy like that every day. ... [His style] may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think [the accusation] is BS." […] "Just his work ethic, just his demeanor man," Durant said when asked what he admired about Bryant. "He doesn't mind being an [expletive], and he comes to work man. He's intense. He demands a lot out of his teammates, and I've seen that just playing alongside him in the Olympics [in 2012]. He demands a lot out of everybody. He makes them better. Everybody out on the court. You've got to respect that. As a player, I study guys like that. We might not have the same personality, but I think we approach the game the same way and I've learned a lot from just watching him." Here’s where things get dicey. It’s very much possible that free agents would adore playing alongside Bryant. That his verbal lashings and ball domination are exactly what they’re after, and Los Angeles picture-perfect climate and scads of salary-cap space would only make any offer that much sweeter. If Kobe was the sort of sweetheart that in an ideal world Dwight Howard, Gasol, Kevin Love or Kevin Durant would want to play with, however, why doesn’t anyone want to come to or stay in Los Angeles? Take away the rumors about him being a jerk of a teammate, and you’re left with a guy whose game isn’t exactly screaming for a championship partner right now. Kobe might be somehow scoring more than 25 points per game at his advanced age, but he’s also shooting 38 percent from the floor and 27 percent from behind the arc. Anyone with a semblance of basketball knowledge would tell you that it is not ideal to take more than 22 shots a game when you’re working with a 38 percent mark from the field, or chuck five and a half three-pointers per game when you’re making just over a quarter of your threes. Every bit of research backs up the idea that Kobe Bryant is shooting the Lakers out of games, and there’s a reason why this offensive-minded roster is only 17th in offensive rating this year (the defense is another story, a historically deadening story). No, the Lakers were never going to make the playoffs if Bryant were playing ideal basketball on both ends, but they also wouldn’t be turning in games like this if he would kindly realize that his approach just isn’t kosher. Take Kobe out of the equation, and all the Lakers free-agent losses seem sensible. Let’s make every excuse we can for the guy. Dwight Howard left an aging Lakers team with a coach he didn’t like to work for a legendary big man in Kevin McHale, and alongside the NBA’s best shooting guard. If healthy, Pau Gasol’s Chicago Bulls could turn into the league’s deepest team, and a championship contender. Carmelo Anthony likes it in New York, where he’s able to make the absolute most guaranteed money. LeBron James is clearly going to choose Kyrie Irving and the potential for Kevin Love in Cleveland over going to Los Angeles. Kevin Love is not going to leave money on the table , along with Irving and LeBron, to move to his adopted hometown of Los Angeles for good . Kevin Durant? Durant is a free agent in 18 and a half months, and he’ll have his veritable pick of the litter should he deem that Oklahoma City’s title window has been locked shut. The problem with that stink is that Russell Westbrook, currently, is playing the best basketball of anyone in the NBA. There’s always that chance that things could fall apart for Westbrook and the Thunder between now and July 2016 (Russell is still the guy coming off of three knee surgeries), but Durant would have to leave money on the table and Westbrook in his prime to come to Los Angeles to make less money for a rebuilding team. A team that may or may not have Kobe Bryant, also a 2016 free agent, on it. Kobe doesn’t know if he’s playing past his current contract, but while his coach wants him to stick around in order to save his own job, the Lakers probably want him to call it a day. If he dawdles, his massive cap hold could get in the way of the Lakers opening up the entirety of their vault for Durant. And, again, that would mean Kevin Durant would be leaving Russell Westbrook and others in order to join an empty Los Angeles roster. Of course Kevin Durant can talk up how much he’d love to play with Kobe Bryant. He can do it because he’ll never have to play with Kobe Bryant. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

Anthony Davis's 31 sparks Pelicans by Jazz (Automated Insights)
(Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:20:54 PST)
Anthony Davis scored 31 points and added nine rebounds to help the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Utah Jazz, 119-111. The Pelicans had a strong shooting performance, finishing 47-79 (59.5%) from the field, including 8-16 (50.0%) from beyond the arc. New Orleans (12-12) gets one in the win column after losing to Golden State on Sunday.

Use It or Lose It (Rotoworld)
(Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:34:00 PST)
Mike Gallagher discusses scoring trends of Ben McLemore, Robert Covington, Derrick Rose, Kawhi Leonard and more.

Rockets-Nuggets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:58:30 PST)
Though the Houston Rockets were able to count on James Harden to remain among the Western Conference's top teams with Dwight Howard sidelined, they are more than happy to have their center back after a three-week absence.

The Sacramento Kings may have just done a really, really dumb thing (Ball Don't Lie)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:28:54 PST)
If you want to pile on, you can. This has all the hallmarks of an easy read. The Sacramento Kings surprised everyone this season by racing out to 9-5 record. The team then lost its out and out superstar, the ever-improving DeMarcus Cousins, to a debilitating bout of viral meningitis. The Kings lost their last game with DMC, and expectedly whiffed on seven of nine contests with Cousins recovering (mostly) away from the team. The Sacramento Kings also feature a new’ish owner that sometimes embarrasses the team’s fan base with his musings on how the sport should be played, and they boast a general manager and influential consultant that were hired after the team’s coach was hired – a rare NBA move. That coach was fired, late on Sunday, as first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski . Michael Malone was dumped after just 24 games this season, following the first year of a three-year deal with a team option for a fourth year. Clashes in basketball philosophy were cited as the reason for the dismissal. The NBA cognoscenti, as you’d expect, was gobsmacked. The quick take would mention something along the lines of a front office working under the whims of an unknowing owner. That the owner and front office needed to wait until the team had dipped under .500 with Cousins sidelined in order to make a move, hardly caring about the nearly two final years of pay it would have to throw Malone’s way. That the owner was foolish to hire a coach first, and front office second. The take would move on to speak to the idea to place Tyrone Corbin, a genuinely good dude and genuinely terrible NBA head coach, as interim head coach is an absolute joke. The take would then explain that expected the Kings’ flat-footed and poor-passing lineup to turn into some amalgamation of the 1970 New York Knicks and 2014 San Antonio Spurs is laughable. That this is just another incident of a new owner gone mad with expectation , and a general manager willingly following along so as just to keep his phony-baloney job. Toss this in … … and you’ve got a narrative, son. (Nik Stauskas has missed exactly two-thirds of the shots he’s taken this season, and over three-quarters of the three-pointers he’s tossed up. An unfair sample to rip on, I submit, but we’ve got a while to go on this guy.) What’s worth mentioning, though, is that Michael Malone presided over a 23rd-ranked defense last year, one that has only moved up to the 20th spot this season in spite of the Kings’ ascension to the ranks of the mediocre. He’s also watched helplessly as his team has wasted a 24 and then 26-point lead in losses to the Mavericks and Grizzlies this month. His team has fallen to the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dwight Howard-less Houston Rockets (twice), and the bleedin’ Los Angeles Lakers. Dude lost to the Pistons on Tuesday. Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro worked closely with George Karl in Denver, and it’s quite possible that Karl could work as the sort of go-between pitched in the middle of someone like Michael Malone, and more up-tempo sorts like Don Nelson – a coach team advisor Chris Mullin and team owner Vivek Ranadive adores. After all, Karl recently told SiriusXM that he still feels as if he has one more coaching stint left in him , taking on the Bob Hill role of tossing his name out in every open NBA coach candidacy out there, and he’s just 19 months removed from winning the NBA’s Coach of the Year award. Seriously, though. Come off it. DeMarcus Cousins was always going to be a star, once he figured this league out, but it’s hard to slough off Boogie’s accomplishments over the last two seasons without crediting Malone to some degree. Rudy Gay isn’t exactly a Houston Rocket-styled wet dream at this point, but he has at least modified his previously-untenable offensive game to an ideal that suits the modern NBA. The Kings dumped Isaiah Thomas at Cousins’ behest, reportedly, in order to bring in Darren Collison – and Collison is playing his best ball in years in spite of a role that probably doesn’t suit his strengths. Omri Casspi had to start a couple of games and even play huge minutes. Reggie Evans is the team’s supposed defensive force, and at times he makes Carlos Boozer look like Taj Gibson. RYAN HOLLINS IS ON THIS TEAM. Woj lists Karl and Vinny (seriously) Del (you’re joking, right?) Negro as possible long-term replacements, which apsatively boggles the mind. Karl is a fine coach, but his faux-zone trapping schemes and emphasis on position-less play seem ill-suited for this roster. Nearly as ill-suited as expecting a team literally centered on DeMarcus Cousins to turn into some flash and dash running outfit, as the Kings’ front office apparently expected. It should be noted that the longest-tenured coach in the NBA was a former front office executive that fired his head coach on the day that his team’s best player returned from a major injury. Gregg Popovich fired Bob Hill after San Antonio’s 3-15 start in 1996-97, a turn addled by David Robinson’s back injury. Robinson returned just in time for Popovich’s head coaching debut, and the team won three out of six games before The Admiral broke his foot, knocking him out for the remainder of a season that eventually netted the Spurs the chance to draft Tim Duncan. That’s how luck and timing goes in this league. Pete D’Alessandro’s mentor from Denver, the much-lauded Masai Ujiri, is currently kicking tail in Toronto while working with a roster and coaching staff primarily hired by the much-maligned and since-fired Bryan Colangelo. There are no easy answers in this gig. It’s more than possible that Michael Malone may not be the sort of coach to push a team over the top. He was thought to be the defensive mastermind in Golden State while working under Mark Jackson, and yet the Warriors shot up from 14th to fourth and then first in defensive efficiency in the seasons following Malone’s leave from the Bay Area (the actual basketball players involved may have also had something to do with that). George Karl could be in the wings. Tyrone Corbin may have been hamstrung by a mismatched Utah Jazz roster. The Kings could win the 59 or so games it will take to secure the seventh spot in the Western playoff bracket. We don’t know. What we are aware of is the fact that the Kings fired a very good basketball coach over the weekend, and that the owner has made some curious moves since taking over this team. It’s just fine to judge them from afar, and it’s up to the Sacramento front office to prove us all wrong. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

The doomed partnership of the Sacramento Kings and coach Michael Malone (Yahoo Sports)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 09:51:58 PST)
An experimental owner and an unsuccessful attempt at acquiring Josh Smith both factored in the coach's ouster.

NBA Power Rankings: Gold rush continues (Yahoo Sports)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:33:38 PST)
The Golden State Warriors have won 16 straight games to remain in the top spot.

Kings, Thunder trying to overcome injuries (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:51:15 PST)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- It looked as if everything was coming together for the Sacramento Kings.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs beat Nuggets, 99-91 (Automated Insights)
(Sun, 14 Dec 2014 22:20:44 PST)
Kawhi Leonard scored 18 and the San Antonio Spurs took down the Denver Nuggets, 99-91. San Antonio (17-7) has now won seven of their last 10 games.

Spurs bounce back for 99-91 win over Nuggets (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 14 Dec 2014 21:15:17 PST)
DENVER (AP) -- Kawhi Leonard returned to the San Antonio Spurs' lineup just in time to help make up for the absence of injured Tony Parker.

Spurs-Nuggets Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 22:03:11 PST)
Gregg Popovich called San Antonio's latest performance "pitiful," and visiting Denver may not be an ideal way for the Spurs to bounce back ahead of a daunting stretch.

NBA-Highlights of Saturday's NBA games
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 21:50:53 PST)
(Adds late games) Dec 13 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Saturday's National Basketball Association games. - - - Warriors 105, Mavericks 98 Stephen Curry recorded 29 points and eight assists as the Golden State Warriors beat Dallas 105-98 to pick up their 15th straight victory. Golden State (20-2) jumped all over Dallas to lead 39-18 after the first quarter. Monta Ellis had 27 points, five assists and three steals for the Mavericks (17-8), who also got 23 points from Dirk Nowitzki. ...

Howard, Harden lead Rockets over Nuggets, 108-96 (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 21:05:25 PST)
HOUSTON (AP) -- Dwight Howard isn't quite where he wants to be.

Dwight Howard returns to Rockets' lineup (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 13 Dec 2014 16:43:50 PST)
HOUSTON (AP) -- Dwight Howard returned to the Houston Rockets' lineup Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets after missing 11 games because of a strained right knee.

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