NBA

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers
Mar 20, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

The Milwaukee Bucks played without All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo for a second consecutive game Wednesday night as he continues to nurse a sprained right ankle.

Antetokounmpo, a candidate for MVP, did not play in the Bucks’ road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. He also missed Tuesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were without their own superstar, LeBron James (sore left groin).

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo before Wednesday’s game, “He’s making progress, he just can’t go tonight. It’s us hopefully being smart and being somewhat cautious, but it’s more than that. He can’t play. We’ll see how the next 24-48 hours go, and I’m hopeful he’ll be in a good place as we move forward.”

The NBA-best Bucks (53-19) fell 107-102 to the Cavaliers, who own the third-worst record in the league at 19-53. Milwaukee returns home Friday for a game against the Miami Heat.

–Bucks power forward Nikola Mirotic will miss two-to-four weeks with a “slight fracture” of his left thumb, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported.

The Bucks acquired Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans at the trade deadline to provide depth off the bench. The team confirmed the injury but did not update his status.

Since the trade, Mirotic has played in 14 games (three starts), averaging 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 22.9 minutes per game. Mirotic sustained the injury in the Bucks’ 115-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The injury likely will keep him out the rest of the regular season.

–The NBA Summer League will have an international flavor in 2019, as the Chinese and Croatian national teams will join all 30 NBA teams in participating in the league, which will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas, the NBA announced.

Team China played in Las Vegas at the 2007 NBA Summer League, but Team Croatia is making its debut at the event, marking the first time the league will have two international teams.

Each of the 32 teams will play four preliminary games, with the top eight teams seeded into a tournament to determine the champion. Those that don’t make the championship bracket will play a consolation game.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks
Mar 18, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the arena during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

The NBA Summer League will have an international flavor in 2019.

The Chinese and Croatian national teams will join all 30 NBA teams in participating in the league, which will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas, the NBA announced Wednesday.

Team China played in Las Vegas at the 2007 NBA Summer League, but Team Croatia is making its debut at the event, marking the first time the league will have two international teams.

Each of the 32 teams will play four preliminary games, with the top eight teams seeded into a tournament to determine the champion. Those that don’t make the championship bracket will play a consolation game.

Every NBA team will participate in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year. The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2018 title.

China will host and participate in the 32-team FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 31. Croatia did not make the field.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

An awesome fails compilation video of the Los Angeles Lakers has gone viral on Twitter.

Twitter user “Rob Perez” shared the incredible video of lowlights from the past season for LeBron James and his teammates set to One Shining Moment music.

If you’re a fan of basketball, then it’ll be laugh-out-loud funny for you. Give it a watch below:

It is truly spectacular how bad the Lakers turned out to be this season. LeBron set the sports world on fire when he signed there, and it just turned the team into a massive circus.

You have the three-time NBA champion being ignored by teammates, bouncing balls into TV sets, not playing defense and walking off the floor before games are over(RELATED: LeBron James Appears To Bounce Ball Into TV Broadcast On Purpose)

It’s a comedy of errors in Los Angeles.

I have no idea how the Lakers are going to get this sinking ship turned around, but they better figure it out fast. They simply can’t afford to have another season like the one they just experienced. The fans and the league won’t tolerate it.

They need to get LeBron some help, and King James needs to start motiving his guys better. He needs to lead by example, which hasn’t exactly been happening lately.

If they don’t get this circus fixed, then I suppose we’ll just keep laughing in unison. I’m sure LeBron would really love that.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Hornets
Mar 19, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) argues a foul call in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

(Reuters) – The Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons displayed a message of support for an Australian teenager who smashed an egg on a right-wing lawmaker’s head, wearing shoes with the words “Egg Boy” written on them during Tuesday’s game against Charlotte.

Senator Fraser Anning was approached from behind at a political event on Saturday before the 17-year-old cracked the egg on the back of his head.

The teenager was dubbed “Egg Boy” on social media and Australian Simmons showed his support by writing the nickname on his bright yellow shoes.

Anning had received widespread condemnation following his comments that the cause of last week’s shootings at two New Zealand mosques that left 50 dead was letting “Muslim fanatics” migrate to the country.

Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Sacramento Kings
Mar 19, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell (1) defends Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) during the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored the winning layup with 0.8 seconds remaining as the Brooklyn Nets overcame a 25-point, fourth-quarter deficit to post a stunning 123-121 victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

D’Angelo Russell scored 27 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets outscored the Kings 45-18 to improve to 1-3 on a seven-game road trip.

Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and drove through the lane to convert the winning basket. Jarrett Allen scored 13 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 for Brooklyn.

Marvin Bagley III scored 28 points, and De’Aaron Fox had 27 points and nine assists for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, Nemanja Bjelica had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 10 points for the Kings.

Rockets 121, Hawks 105

Clint Capela posted his sixth straight double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds, and visiting Houston topped Atlanta to extend its winning streak to three games.

James Harden added 31 points, sinking 11 of 12 from the line, and had 10 assists and eight rebounds. Danuel House Jr. came off the bench to score 19, including six 3-pointers. Chris Paul scored 13 and had 11 assists.

Atlanta got 21 points and 12 assists from Trae Young, plus 20 points and 10 rebounds from John Collins. Taurean Prince added 16 points, and Vince Carter hit five 3-pointers and scored 15.

Warriors 117, Timberwolves 107

Stephen Curry scored 22 of his 36 points in the third quarter, and Klay Thompson added 28 points to lead Golden State past Minnesota at Minneapolis.

Minnesota trailed 59-47 entering the third quarter before going on a 14-2 run, tying the game at 61-all. That’s when Curry took over, scoring eight points in a 94-second span as the Warriors wrested control of the game.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who saw their six-game home win streak end.

Bucks 115, Lakers 101

Khris Middleton matched his season high with 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Milwaukee padded its lead atop the Eastern Conference with a win over visiting Los Angeles.

Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (foot), the Bucks extended their lead over the second-place Toronto Raptors to three games with 11 left for both teams. Brook Lopez matched his season high with 28 points, and Nikola Mirotic scored 23 while starting in place of Brogdon.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 8-for-14 from 3-point range and scored a season-high 35 points off the bench for Los Angeles. The Lakers, who played without leading scorer LeBron James (groin), lost their fourth straight game and ninth in the past 10.

76ers 118, Hornets 114

Ben Simmons scored 28 points, and JJ Redick had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Philadelphia earned its fifth straight victory, beating host Charlotte.

Tobias Harris hit three free throws in the final 8.2 seconds, and the Hornets missed a chance to tie the game when Jeremy Lamb was off target on a drive in the lane with two seconds remaining.

Jimmy Butler added 23 points for the Sixers, who completed a four-game season sweep of the Hornets. Their five-game winning streak is a season high. Charlotte has lost nine of its past 12.

Clippers 115, Pacers 109

Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, and Montrezl Harrell added 20 as host Los Angeles improved its playoff prospects with a win over Indiana.

Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 17 points as the Clippers moved into a tie with the Utah Jazz for seventh place in the Western Conference. The Clippers and Jazz are just 2 1/2 games out of third place in a crowded Western Conference field.

After scoring just two points in the first half, Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 19 as the Pacers lost their third consecutive game, keeping their playoff-clinching celebration on hold. Tyreke Evans also scored 19.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

Social media influencer Jordyn Woods is getting some good publicity following the very public cheating scandal with Khloe Kardashian’s NBA ex-boyfriend Tristan Thompson.

Woods is about to sign some big business deals, according to Paper. Woods’ biggest deal is supposedly a new line of designer false eyelashes with Eylure.

She has been receiving tons of positive feedback following her interview with Jada Pinkett Smith on “Red Table Talk” where she came clean about what actually happened between her and Thompson. (RELATED: Jordyn Woods Opens Up About Cheating Scandal On Red Table Talk)

The social media influencer gained more than 1 million followers on Instagram after her appearance and beauty brands are definitely noticing. Woods and her mom, who doubles as her manager, will be flying to London later this month to finalize some new business contracts, according to Paper.

I’m glad Woods was able to pull herself out of this mess with a little bit of dignity. I would never excuse what she did, though. She put herself in a situation that could have ruined her career and did ruin her friendship with Kylie Jenner.

However, everyone deserves a second chance and I’m glad Woods is getting hers. I’m definitely looking for a reunion between the two friends, hopefully sometime soon.

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics
Mar 18, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives between Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton (5) and center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and the Denver Nuggets beat the host Boston Celtics 114-105 on Monday night to clinch a playoff berth.

Will Barton had 20 points, Gary Harris added 16 and Paul Millsap had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013.

The Nuggets (47-22) swept the season series from Boston and surpassed their win total from last season with 13 games to go. Denver needs just 10 wins to match the franchise record for a season set in 2012-13.

Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with a game-high 30 points, and Al Horford scored 20. Boston played without Gordon Hayward, who left the Saturday game against the Atlanta Hawks with a neck strain.

Spurs 111, Warriors 105

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio beat visiting Golden State for its ninth win in a row.

The victory was the Spurs’ 11th straight at home and guaranteed San Antonio (42-29) its NBA-record 22nd consecutive winning season.

Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points, and Kevin Durant tallied 24 in his return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.

Pelicans 129, Mavericks 124 (OT)

Dirk Nowitzki reached a milestone, but his Dallas teammates failed to make it a celebratory evening, blowing a four-point lead in the final 19.1 seconds of regulation as visiting New Orleans pulled out the overtime victory.

Nowitzki made his first two shots, both trademark jumpers, in the opening four minutes to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer.

Julius Randle finished with a game-high 30 points for New Orleans, and Elfrid Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double with 19 points (11 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime), 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Luka Doncic notched a triple-double for the Mavericks with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Heat 116, Thunder 107

Goran Dragic hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points off the bench to lead visiting Miami, and Dwyane Wade scored 25 in his final game at Oklahoma City.

James Johnson also added 14 points as Miami’s reserves outscored Oklahoma City’s 67-10. Dragic had 11 assists. Kelly Olynyk contributed 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Heat win for the seventh time in nine games.

Oklahoma City was playing without Russell Westbrook, who was suspended after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season in a Saturday loss to the Golden State Warriors. Paul George led the Thunder with 31 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds.

Jazz 116, Wizards 95

Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and visiting Utah beat Washington. Gobert, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was 6 of 6 from the field and made 2 of 3 free throws.

Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and Jae Crowder added 18 for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio had 10 assists.

Jabari Parker led Washington with 19 points, and Bradley Beal, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, added 15 on 4-of-12 shooting.

Raptors 128, Knicks 92

Jeremy Lin scored 20 points off the bench, Pascal Siakam added 19 points and eight rebounds, and Toronto hammered visiting New York.

Kyle Lowry added 15 points and eight assists for the Raptors before leaving the game with an ankle injury during the third quarter. He did not return to action. Fred VanVleet scored 13 points and handed out 12 assists for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Knicks so far this season.

Allonzo Trier scored 22 points for the Knicks while Kevin Knox added 12 points and Damyean Dotson added 11. New York lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Cavaliers 126, Pistons 119

Rookie Collin Sexton poured in 27 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than two minutes left, and Cleveland beat visiting Detroit. Cedi Osman supplied 21 points and six assists for the Cavaliers, who had seven players score in double figures.

Brandon Knight contributed 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Nik Stauskas led the Cleveland bench with 17 points. Marquese Chriss added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne Ellington scored 25 points to lead the Pistons, while Andre Drummond had 21 points and 21 rebounds. Pistons All-Star Blake Griffin sat out for just the third time this season.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Today, Monday, marks a wonderful day in March Madness history, and it was when the world got introduced to Steve Nash.

On March 18, 1993, Santa Clara and Nash upset two-seed Arizona, despite the fact the Wildcats were favored by 20. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

The future NBA superstar dropped 10 points, dished out four assists and grabbed seven rebounds in what is widely-considered one of the greatest upsets in March Madness history, as the Broncos won 63-60.

What happened next is history. Nash went to the NBA, dominated and will be headed to the Hall of Fame. His first introduction to the nation was as the skinny point guard of the 15-seed Santa Clara basketball team. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

It really doesn’t get much crazier than that, and that’s why we love March Madness so much.

I think I speak for everybody when I say that we all cheer for upsets in the tournament. As long as it doesn’t happen to our team, then we’re all-in on watching the big dogs go down.

This is America. We love a great underdog story, and Santa Clara slaying the mighty Wildcats on this day 20 years ago was an epic day in the world of basketball.

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks
Mar 17, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Joel Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.

It was Embiid’s 52nd double-double and the 25th time he has scored at least 30 points and swept 10 rebounds in a game. He scored 18 points alone in the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Butler had 27 and JJ Redick 19 for the Sixers, who won their fourth in a row and officially clinched a playoff spot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific for the Bucks with a career-high 52 points to go along with 16 rebounds and seven assists. Khris Middleton added 19 points.

Rockets 117, Timberwolves 102

Chris Paul, Clint Capela and James Harden recorded double-doubles, and host Houston turned a blistering third-quarter shooting display into a victory over Minnesota.

Paul paired 25 points with 10 assists and matched his single-game high of six 3-pointers, while Capela recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds in grappling with Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns (22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists).

Rookie forward Josh Okogie scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have dropped 7 of 10. Taj Gibson chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota. Houston improved to 11-2 since the All-Star break.

Clippers 119, Nets 116

Reserve Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer as host Los Angeles pulled out a dramatic win over Brooklyn for its seven win in its last eight games.

Williams, whose game winner was the first of his career, scored 11 of his team-high 25 points in a fourth quarter that featured wild runs by both teams. The Clippers (41-30) won for the seventh time in eight games and moved into a virtual tie with Utah for seventh in the West and a half-game behind sixth-place San Antonio.

Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell added 20 points apiece for the Clippers. D’Angelo Russell scored a game-high 32 points, but the Nets (36-36) fell 1 1/2 games behind sixth-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference and lead eighth-place Miami by just 1 1/2 games.

Pistons 110, Raptors 107

Blake Griffin scored 25 points to lead host Detroit past Toronto to sweep their three-game regular-season series.

Trailing 110-107 with 2.4 seconds left, Toronto had a glimmer of hope after Griffin missed two free throws. Griffin intentionally fouled Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard on the rebound with 1.4 seconds remaining, but Leonard missed the first throw. After Leonard intentionally missed the second, Pistons center Andre Drummond gathered the rebound and the clock ran out.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points for the Pistons, and Drummond added 15 points and 17 rebounds. Leonard put up a game-high 33 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Fred VanVleet scored 17 points and Marc Gasol grabbed 11 rebounds.

Knicks 124, Lakers 123

Emmanuel Mudiay highlighted his 28-point performance with a pair of late free throws as NBA-worst New York erased an 11-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to knock off visiting Los Angeles.

Damyean Dotson scored 25 points and Kevin Knox chipped in 19 for the Knicks, who benefited from a season-high 41-point first quarter to post their first win since a 108-103 victory against Orlando on Feb. 26.

LeBron James scored 33 points after sitting out Friday’s 111-97 setback versus Detroit for what the team called “load management” connected to the groin injury that sidelined him for 17 games earlier this season.

Magic 101, Hawks 91

Nikola Vucevic scored 17 of his 27 points in the first quarter, and host Orlando remained in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by beating Atlanta.

The Magic (33-38) trail Miami (33-36) by one game for the eighth spot in the playoffs. They meet one last time this season in Miami on March 26.

Orlando also got 22 points and eight rebounds from Aaron Gordon and 14 points and seven rebounds from reserve Wes Iwundu. Trae Young led Atlanta with 20 points and five assists.

Kings 129, Bulls 102

Buddy Hield made his only 3-pointers of the game in a 14-point, second-quarter flurry that allowed host Sacramento to beat Chicago and end a three-game losing streak.

The Kings (34-35) retained a slim hope of reaching the Western Conference playoffs this season. Sacramento sits in ninth place in the West, six games behind the Jazz and Clippers, who are tied for seventh.

In just his third game back from a knee injury, Marvin Bagley III shot 9 of 14 and led Sacramento with 21 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Zach LaVine (18 points) was the top scorer for the Bulls.

Heat 93, Hornets 75

Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic came off the bench to combine for 22 points in the fourth quarter to boost host Miami to a win over Charlotte.

Dragic finished with a team-high 19 points and Wade added 17. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Dion Waiters added 12 points for the Heat, who have won eight of their past 10 against Charlotte.

Jeremy Lamb scored a game-best 21, Frank Kaminsky had 13, Nicolas Batum added 12 and Tony Parker chipped in 11, while leading scorer Kemba Walker had just 10 for Charlotte, which is 2-5 in its last seven games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Philadelphia 76ers’ forward Mike Scott knows how to stay fresh during a game.

During the first quarter of the 76ers’ critical Eastern Conference game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Scott dove for a ball in the stands, and then decided to hydrate. (RELATED: NBA Trade Deadline Heats Up As 76ers Make Blockbuster Trade)

Watch Scott sip on a cold one during the 76ers’ biggest game of the regular season:

I wonder what he was drinking. Given that the game was in Milwaukee, I’m going to guess it was a Miller Lite, the beer of champions. (RELATED: 76ers Star Joel Embiid Cusses Out Refs During Press Conference)

The 76ers are currently battling for home court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs which start next month, but Scott appears to be enjoying the ride. It’s because of this, that I am now picking the 76ers to win the Eastern Conference. They not only have the most talent in the East, but also the type of swag necessary to maintain a deep playoff run.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

LeBron James’ teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t seem too interested in spending time with him Sunday against the Knicks.

A video has gone viral on Twitter of the three-time NBA champion sitting at the end of the bench alone as nobody talks to him or really pays him any attention.

I think it’d be more than fair to say it’s a bit humiliating for the basketball legend. Give the video a watch below and decide for yourself. (RELATED: LeBron James Appears To Bounce Ball Into TV Broadcast On Purpose)

What a disaster of a year for LeBron James and the Lakers. His teammates are now just openly ignoring him, and that comes after there was a report the team actually considered trading their star.

He also recently walked off the court before a game was over and bounced a ball into a TV broadcast. The Lakers have turned into a legit circus.

I have no idea how Los Angeles will turn this all around, but it’s a disaster right now. I’m honestly not sure how much worse it could get.

Shoutout to LeBron! He’s turned one of the most storied franchises in all of sports into a joke!

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Basketball legend Bill Walton recently had a great line about the Statue of Liberty.

Walton, who is known for making entertaining comments, said during a PAC-12 college basketball broadcast, “I stopped by the Statue of Liberty today, thinking about freedom, and the ability to go for it all.”

As pointed out by Aaron Torres early Saturday morning, there’s just one problem. Walton was in Las Vegas when he made the comment, which means he didn’t stop by the real one.

The former NBA and college star visited the fake Statue if Liberty at the New York, New York Casino.

Once again, Walton is out here dropping eggs of knowledge all over people. If you haven’t seen him go off during broadcasts on random tangents, then you’re absolutely missing out.

I remember a Badgers game a few years ago when he all of a sudden started talking about the Vietnam War. You can’t make this kind of stuff up.

You literally have no idea what is going to come out of his mouth, including a bizarre epitome involving a fake Statue of Liberty. (RELATED: Duke Star Zion Williamson Suffers Sprained Knee In Loss To North Carolina)

Never change, Bill! Never change.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs
Mar 16, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum (3) drives for the basket between San Antonio Spurs power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and DeMar DeRozan (right) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

DeMar DeRozan’s 21 points led seven San Antonio players in double figures as the Spurs made all the big plays in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 108-103 on Saturday for their eighth straight victory.

The sixth-place Spurs are a season-best 12 games over .500 and within a game and a half of Portland for fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

Rudy Gay and Derrick White added 13 points each for San Antonio, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills scoring 12 points each. DeRozan and Aldridge had eight rebounds apiece, Gay had seven, and Jakob Poeltl blocked five shots.

Portland’s Damian Lillard led all scorers with 34 points, and Jusuf Nurkic added 24 points and 16 rebounds. CJ McCollum, who finished with 10 points, left in the third quarter with an apparent left knee injury during a drive to the basket.

Warriors 110, Thunder 88

Stephen Curry scored 33 points and Klay Thompson added 23 as Golden State scored 40 points in the first quarter in defeating host Oklahoma City.

DeMarcus Cousins added 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Warriors, who also got eight rebounds and six assists from Draymond Green.

Paul George led Oklahoma City with 29 points but hit only 9 of 25 shots overall. Dennis Schroder added 15 points off the bench, and Russell Westbrook shot only 2 of 16 in finishing with seven points.

Nuggets 102, Pacers 100

Paul Millsap hit a running layup with seven seconds left as host Denver edged Indiana to stay a game behind Golden State for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Millsap finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Jokic scored 26 points before being ejected for arguing a foul call on a loose ball play. Jamal Murray and Will Barton scored 17 points each for Denver.

Thaddeus Young had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Darren Collison scored 17 points and Domantas Sabonis and Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 16 each for the Pacers.

Jazz 114, Nets 98

Rudy Gobert totaled 23 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Utah took control by early in the second quarter to defeat Brooklyn in Salt Lake City.

Gobert recorded his 55th double-double. He shot 9 of 12 from the floor and had six more dunks, increasing his league-leading total to 249. Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 24 points and added six rebounds and four assists.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 22 points off the bench, but the Nets dropped to 0-2 to start a season-high, seven-game road trip. D’Angelo Russell added 20 points but shot 8 of 25 for Brooklyn.

Celtics 129, Hawks 120

Kyrie Irving scored 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 23, with two key baskets in a fourth-quarter stretch, as host Boston held off Atlanta to win for the fifth time in its past six games.

Irving fell just short of his second straight triple-double with 11 rebounds and nine assists. Boston also got 19 points — four in the crucial fourth-quarter run — and 11 rebounds from Marcus Morris while Jayson Tatum had 18 points and eight rebounds. Marcus Smart scored 16 points.

Atlanta was led by Trae Young, who had 26 points, including 5-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers, and John Collins, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Wizards 135, Grizzlies 128

Bradley Beal led six players in double figures with 40 points — his second straight night reaching 40 — as host Washington defeated Memphis.

Jabari Parker had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Bobby Portis scored 18 points as Washington, 11th in the Eastern Conference, moved to within three games of eighth-place Miami.

Mike Conley had 28 points and 12 assists for Memphis. Jonas Valanciunas amassed 22 points, and Avery Bradley scored 21.

Mavericks 121, Cavaliers 116

Tim Hardaway Jr. led seven players in double figures with 22 points as host Dallas ran off to a big lead before holding on to beat Cleveland and end a seven-game losing streak.

Maxi Kleber finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, and Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell added 16 points apiece. Dirk Nowitzki contributed 14 points and six rebounds.

Rookie Collin Sexton scored a game-high 28 points, and Kevin Love and Cedi Osman added 22 apiece. Love also had 12 rebounds and four assists.

Suns 138, Pelicans 136 (OT)

Phoenix scored five points in the final 2.2 seconds of overtime, helped along when host New Orleans drew a technical foul for calling a timeout when it had none remaining. Devin Booker led the Suns with 40 points and 13 assists, and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 32 points.

The Pelicans lost their sixth straight despite getting a New Orleans-record fourth consecutive triple-double from Elfrid Payton. The former Suns point guard finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists, tying the assist mark he set one night earlier against Portland.

Three of his teammates had double-doubles. Julius Randle finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Anthony Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Cheick Diallo came off the bench to add 10 points and 10 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers
Mar 1, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (14) dribbles the ball as Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (6) defends during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram had surgery on his right arm Saturday and is expected to be ready by the start of the 2019-20 season, the team announced.

Ingram underwent thoracic outlet decompression surgery, performed by Dr. Hugh Gelabert at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Earlier this month, Ingram, 21, was diagnosed with deep venous thrombosis, which involved a blood clot that caused shoulder pain. After the diagnosis, the Lakers announced he would be out the rest of the season.

Ingram, in his third NBA season, averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33.8 minutes per game in 52 contests.

–Golden State star Kevin Durant was held out of the lineup at Oklahoma City, missing his second straight game with an injured right ankle.

Coach Steve Kerr told ESPN that Durant “most likely” would return for Monday’s game at San Antonio.

Durant, 30, played nine seasons for Seattle/Oklahoma City before signing with the Warriors as a free agent in 2016. He is averaging 27.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game this season.

–The top-seeded United States squad will open its defense of its FIBA World Cup championship this summer against the Czech Republic.

The draw for the 32-team tournament was held in Shenzhen, China. The United States will also face Turkey and Japan in Group E.

The FIBA World Cup will be held Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, with play in eight cities across China. The United States, coached this year by Gregg Popovich, is the two-time defending champion.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant draws teams for FIBA World Cup in Shenzhen
Basketball – FIBA World Cup Draw – Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China – Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant draws teams. March 16. 2019 REUTERS/Stringer

March 16, 2019

The United States will open its defense of its FIBA World Cup championship this summer against the Czech Republic.

The draw for the 32-team tournament was held Saturday in Shenzhen, China.

The United States – the tournament’s top seed – also will face Turkey and Japan in Group E.

The FIBA World Cup will be held Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, with play in eight cities across China. The United States is the two-time defending champion.

The American squad will be coached by Gregg Popovich. He is taking over for Mike Krzyzewski, who led Team USA to three Olympic gold medals. The team has not been selected, but 15 NBA All-Stars are in the player pool.

The second-ranked team, Spain, headlines Group C, and will play Puerto Rico, Iran and Tunisia in pool play. Spain won the World Cup in 2006.

France, the third-ranked team, was placed in Group G with the Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan.

The United States will play all of its group games in Shanghai. The championship game will be played in Beijing.

Seven nations will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics based on their World Cup finish. Host Japan has an automatic berth, and the four other teams that will compete in the Olympics will earn their way to Tokyo through qualifying tournaments.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Duke phenom Zion Williamson looked 100 percent healthy in a 74-73 win over North Carolina Friday night in the ACC tournament.

Williamson soared through the sky for another monster dunk, and it’s just the latest sign that his knee is perfectly fine. (RELATED: Duke Star Zion Williamson Suffers Sprained Knee In Loss To North Carolina)

Watch the incredible display of athleticism below.

How? How is that type of athleticism humanly possible? Humans aren’t supposed to be able to jump like that at all. It’s not normal.

Yet, Zion does it with virtually no effort. I can’t put into words how impressive he is. I’m not sure there are more than four or five guys in the NBA capable of doing what he can from a strictly athleticism standpoint. (RELATED: Duke Star Zion Williamson Throws Down Massive Dunk In Win Over Syracuse)

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With Zion back and healthy, I might have to be all in on the Blue Devils for my bracket in March Madness.

Without him, I wasn’t going to risk a penny on them. With him back, they look dominant once again.

This is why we love March!

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat
Mar 15, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) and Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson (0) both reach for a rebound during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 23-point first-quarter deficit to rally past the host Miami Heat 113-98 on Friday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, giving him his 49th double-double. Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe had 21 and 17 points, respectively, for the Bucks, who top the NBA with 52 wins, including 25 on the road.

The Bucks outscored the Heat 71-36 in the second half to seize control of the game, and Milwaukee won its league-best 16th game when trailing by more than 10 points in a game this season. The Bucks won for the first time ever in 78 tries when trailing by at least 20 points at the half.

Justise Winslow scored 20 — all in the first half — and Hassan Whiteside had 14. Josh Richardson scored 11, while Dwyane Wade, Bam Adebayo, Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk each had 10 for the Heat, who have won six of their past nine.

Rockets 108, Suns 102

James Harden recorded a double-double, with his final assist resulting in a critical basket that helped cement Houston’s win over visiting Phoenix.

Harden posted 41 points and 11 assists and finished a rebound shy of a triple-double. He added six steals, but his final assist, a pass that resulted in a Danuel House Jr. 3-pointer with just under a minute left, provided the Rockets a 105-100 lead and sealed their 10th win in 11 games.

House, seeing his first action since Jan. 14 after a contract dispute punched his ticket back to the G-League, scored 18 points and finished 4 of 8 from behind the arc.

Spurs 109, Knicks 83

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in three quarters to lead a balanced scoring attack as San Antonio throttled visiting New York to capture its seventh straight victory.

The Spurs (40-29) have used their winning streak to fly up in the Western Conference standings and to move 11 games above .500, their best mark of the season.

San Antonio posted its ninth consecutive victory at home and dominated the hapless Knicks, who have the NBA’s worst record at 13-56 and have lost eight games in a row.

76ers 123, Kings 114

All five starters scored 18 or more points, propelling Philadelphia over visiting Sacramento.

Joel Embiid had 21 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, while teammate Jimmy Butler collected seven assists to complement a game-high 22 points as the 76ers (44-25) moved back into a tie with idle Indiana (44-25) for the No. 3 playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Sacramento (33-35) lost a third straight contest, including its second in two nights. The Kings were beaten 126-120 at Boston on Thursday.

Trail Blazers 122, Pelicans 110

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 47 points as visiting Portland held off short-handed New Orleans.

Lillard scored 24 points and passed current Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge for second place on Portland’s all-time scoring list. Clyde Drexler is the Blazers’ all-time leading scorer.

McCollum finished with 23 points, Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood added 17 points each, Zach Collins scored 12, and Jusuf Nurkic had 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 8-3 since the All-Star break.

Clippers 128, Bulls 121

Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points, and Los Angeles continued to better its playoff chances with a win over visiting Chicago.

Montrezl Harrell scored 26 points off the bench, and Lou Williams had 21 in a reserve role for the Clippers, who remain tied for eighth in the Western Conference with the Utah Jazz. Los Angeles also moved six games ahead of the ninth-place Kings for the final playoff spot.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and fellow point guard Patrick Beverley finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Los Angeles, which has won six of seven.

Lakers 111, Pistons 97

Langston Galloway scored 23 points off the bench, one shy of his season high, and host Detroit downed depleted Los Angeles.

The Pistons snapped a two-game losing streak, while the Lakers lost for the seventh time in eight games. Reggie Jackson had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Andre Drummond powered for 19 points and 23 rebounds for the Pistons.

The Lakers rested superstar forward LeBron James after he scored 29 points in a loss to Toronto on Thursday. Tyson Chandler (neck), Josh Hart (knee) and Lance Stephenson (toe) also sat out.

Hornets 116, Wizards 110

Kemba Walker scored 28 points, Jeremy Lamb added 18 and visiting Charlotte defeated Washington.

Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker had 16 points each for the Hornets in a game between two of the teams chasing the Miami Heat for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Walker was coming off a 40-point effort in a loss to the Rockets.

Bradley Beal, who had 15 points in a loss at Charlotte last Friday, had 23 by halftime Friday night and finished with 40 points on 15-of-29 shooting.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

William Davis | Contributor

This time, Nike made sure there were no problems with Duke basketball superstar Zion Williamson’s shoes.

During Thursday’s win over Syracuse, Zion wore Kyrie 4’s, a modified model of Boston Celtics star guard Kyrie Irving’s brand. Zion had missed the previous three weeks after one of his Paul George Nike shoes appeared to explode thirty seconds into the Blue Devils rivalry game against North Carolina.

The shoe apparel company sent some of their top people to China to personally oversee the making of Zion’s new Kyrie 4’s, according to Coach K. (RELATED: John Calipari And Mike Krzyzewski Are The Highest Paid College Basketball Coaches)

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 20: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after falling as his shoe breaks against Luke Maye #32 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 20, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils … (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

“They came back within a week with different alternatives to make sure that it was done right,” Coach K said. “So their immediate, great response was appreciated and it was something that we have grown to expect from our relationship with them.”

Nike also had a team fly up to Durham to measure the shoes, according to ESPN:

Good for Nike. While it’s not fair to blame them for the initial accident that sidelined the future NBA number one pick, it’s good to see them looking out for one of their (likely) future clients. (RELATED: WATCH: Zion Williamson Throws Down Incredible Dunk)

I’m already looking forward to the first commercial Nike runs for Zion. It’s going to be epic.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Zion Williamson threw down a massive dunk Thursday night during Duke’s big 84-72 win over Syracuse in the ACC tournament.

The freshman phenom missed several weeks with a sprained knee, and some wondered if he’d ever play another second of college basketball. Well, for those wondering how healthy he was, you don’t need to wonder anymore. (RELATED: Duke Star Zion Williamson Suffers Sprained Knee In Loss To North Carolina)

Williamson threw down a monster dunk against Jim Boeheim’s club, and immediately erased any questions about his knee. Watch his huge slam below.

Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say he’s just fine. You can’t pull off a play like that if you have a bum knee.

You just can’t. This also wasn’t the only big dunk of the night for the likely first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

He threw down a lob that also shook the crowd.

I know that I said people should be extremely hesitant to take Duke in the tournament if they didn’t have Zion.

Well, he’s back and looking great. If they burn through the ACC tournament, then it might be time to give them a hell of a look in the big dance. (RELATED: Lawrence, Kansas Named Best College Basketball City In America)

Welcome back, Zion. We all missed your highlights.

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics
Mar 14, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) takes a free throw during the second half against the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

March 15, 2019

Kyrie Irving scored six of his team-high 31 points during a fourth-quarter spurt that allowed the Boston Celtics to build a lead they were able to retain en route to a 126-120 victory over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

After trailing for much of the first three quarters, the Celtics led just 104-103 following a Willie Cauley-Stein dunk for Sacramento with 6:20 to go. Irving countered immediately with a floater and, after a three-point play by Marcus Morris, added two jumpers in a 9-0 flurry that opened a 113-103 advantage with 4:33 remaining.

Irving wound up with his second career triple-double, complementing his 31 points with 10 rebounds and a game-high 12 assists. His only previous triple-double came for Cleveland against Utah in February 2014.

Sacramento’s Buddy Hield led all scorers with 34 points, connecting on 6 of 10 3-point attempts. His Kings teammates, however, made just 5 of 24 3-point shots.

Raptors 111, Lakers 98

Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds and added four assists as Toronto defeated visiting Los Angeles.

Norman Powell added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who have won their past nine games against the Lakers dating to 2015. Pascal Siakam scored 16 points, and Marc Gasol contributed 15 points for Toronto.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 29 points. Alex Caruso added 16 points, Rajon Rondo had 13 points and eight assists and JaVale McGee contributed nine points and nine rebounds.

Pacers 108, Thunder 106

Wesley Matthews’ tip-in with 1.8 seconds left lifted Indiana over host Oklahoma City.

Indiana ended the game on a 23-10 run to finish off a big comeback. Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 26 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 23.

Russell Westbrook had a chance to win the game for the Thunder in the last second, but his 3-pointer from the top of the key hit the front of the rim and bounced away. Westbrook finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his second consecutive triple-double, and Paul George finished with a game-high 36 points.

Magic 120, Cavaliers 91

Aaron Gordon had 21 points as Orlando got a much-needed blowout against visiting Cleveland.

Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and seven assists for the Magic. The win came at an important time for Orlando, which had dropped four of its last five games.

Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 23 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 15 points off the bench.

Jazz 120, Timberwolves 100

Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and dished out six assists to lead Utah past Minnesota at Salt Lake City.

Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors each finished with double-doubles for the Jazz. Favors had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Gobert tallied 10 points and 13 boards. Jae Crowder added 18 points off the bench.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and collected 12 rebounds before fouling out with 4:13 left. Andrew Wiggins added 14 points. Tyus Jones chipped in 12 points and nine assists.

Nuggets 100, Mavericks 99

Nikola Jokic drained a 9-foot leaner as time expired, and host Denver rallied to beat Dallas.

Jokic one-upped Dallas rookie Luka Doncic, whose dunk with 5.8 seconds left gave Dallas a one-point lead. But Denver called timeout, then got the ball to Jokic, and he hit a floater around Dwight Powell.

Jokic finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, and Paul Millsap had a season-high 33 points for Denver. Doncic had 24 points and Jalen Brunson scored 20 for the tired Mavericks, who didn’t arrive in Denver until 9 a.m. Thursday because of the blizzard slamming much of the middle of the country.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
FILE PHOTO: Feb 2, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) dribbles the ball during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice

March 14, 2019

By Jahmal Corner

ORLANDO (Reuters) – With less than a month remaining in the NBA’s regular season, the Orlando Magic’s contests have become something they have rarely been in the month of March – important.

The Magic are fighting to end one of the NBA’s longest playoff droughts and trail the final post-season spot in the Eastern Conference by one game. It is a welcome change for a franchise that has missed the playoffs for the past six seasons.

“It’s a huge difference (this year). The last few years this time of year we’d already be planning our vacation,” Orlando’s Serbian center Nikola Vucevic told Reuters following his team’s win over Dallas on Friday.”That’s no fun, you want to be competing at the highest stage and playing for something. This is it for us.”After the Magic beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-106 on Friday, several players checked their phones and shared results on their nearest competition.

Not since the Magic traded face of the franchise Dwight Howard, fired coach Stan Van Gundy, and parted ways with their general manager during the frenzied 2012 offseason has the team been a legitimate threat to the league.That upheaval set off a rebuilding process that has been a slow burn. The Magic acquired Vucevic via the Howard trade in 2012, forward Aaron Gordon and Frenchman Evan Fournier arrived in 2014, and the team traded for Terrence Ross in 2017 to cement the group’s core.  The growing cohesion of the lineup, Vucevic’s rise to All-Star status while averaging 20.7 points and 12 rebounds, and the hiring of first-year coach Steve Clifford can all be credited with this year’s resurgence. The added jolt of excitement has come with added pressure, though, and Ross is one of the few core players with meaningful playoff experience.”They don’t know what to expect so there’s only so much you can tell someone before they start learning for themselves. That’s the best teacher,” said Ross, of his team’s current post-season race.”At this point every possession counts. It’s going to get intense. The heat is going to turn up and the pressure is going to start to come on.”  The Magic will also face challenges this off-season when Ross and Vucevic will each become unrestricted free agents.Vucevic, in particular, has become a critical asset. If he joins a new team next season he will become the latest passing Orlando attraction, like former Magic big men Shaquille O’Neal and Howard.           

For now, the Magic, having lost three of their last four games, are focused only on trying pass the eighth-placed Miami Heat, and fend off playoff hopefuls Charlotte and Washington.

“There’s always a concern about everything,” said Clifford. “We have to have a defensive mentality (to make the playoffs).”Vucevic says it is time for them to show their mettle.

“We just have to be more consistent,” he said. “We have to show that we’re made for this and we can do it.”

(Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Charles Barkley really hates some of the ideas he’s hearing on how to pay college athletes.

The NBA legend said the following in a video posted Wednesday by Jeff Eisenband when explaining how he wants players to get money but doesn’t like the ideas he’s hearing:

I’ve heard these idiots say, ‘why don’t we let them sell their likeness?’ That’s great if you’re a star. Let me tell you something If I’m a big fat offensive lineman and the QB is selling his jersey and he’s getting commercials, and the RB, and I’m actually doing all the work, how do you think that’s gonna go over in the locker room?

You can watch his full comments below:

This is why we love Charles Barkley so much. Everybody is trying to have a nuanced conversation about potentially paying athletes, and he’s out here being as blunt as he possibly can be. (RELATED: Charles Barkley Has Some Wise Words About The Stupidity Of Social Media)

That’s the honesty that has made him a star around the globe. You want athletes to profit off their likeness? Well, then Barkley thinks you’re an idiot!

To be honest, I’ve never thought about it this way. To be clear, I think letting players sign autographs and sell their likeness is probably fine.

However, he has a point about animosity potentially growing in the locker room if only some players are cashing big checks, and the linemen think they’re not getting respected.

I guess we’re back to the drawing board now because that was pretty much my only idea. Sound off in the comments if you think athletes should be paid.

I think most of you will want them to not go broke.

Source: The Daily Caller

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox
Mar 13, 2019; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Brian Navarreto (79) celebrates with left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) and first baseman C.J. Cron (24) after a three run home run during the sixth inning at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

By Rory Carroll

(Reuters) – Major League Baseball’s first-ever game in London featuring world champion Boston Red Sox and rival New York Yankees is the best-selling game of the 2019 regular season, ticket seller StubHub said on Thursday.

Following matchups in Mexico and Japan in recent years, the league is making its first foray into Europe with hopes of expanding its international reach with the help of its two most-storied franchises.

“The appeal of MLB to a global audience continues to grow, and the overwhelming response for the rivalry match-up between the Yankees and Red Sox in London certainly proves that the sport has fans worldwide,” said Jill Krimmel, a general manager at StubHub.

“So far, fans from 44 different states in the U.S. and 27 different countries have already purchased tickets for the MLB London series, demonstrating that baseball has tremendous potential overseas much like the NFL and NBA have seen.”

The Yankees are driving demand stateside, outselling the Red Sox, who defeated the Brox Bomber in the Divisional Series last season, by 18 percent.

The Philadelphia Phillies have seen a surge in ticket sales following the acquisition of slugger Bryce Harper, who signed a record 13-year $330 million contract in the off-season.

Phillies’ ticket sales are up 93 percent from the same time last year and up 157 percent over the last three seasons, the highest three-year growth out of all the teams in the league.

MLB’s opening day is March 28.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Source: OANN

Shadow of of Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is seen on the logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic games during the Olympic and Paralympic flag-raising ceremony at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A shadow of of Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike is seen on the logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic games during the Olympic and Paralympic flag-raising ceremony at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 14, 2019

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has won the broadcast rights in India and the subcontinent for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Thursday.

SPN, owned by Sony Corp, was awarded the rights across all media platforms and will also broadcast the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne next year.

The Pyeongchang Winter Games were not broadcast on television channels in India and were only available on the IOC’s own Olympic channel and digital platforms.

India’s huge market is a major draw for sponsors and advertisers.

“As a dynamic sports and media market, India and the subcontinent is an important strategic region for Olympic broadcasting,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.

“The IOC is pleased to be working with Sony Pictures Networks India to collaborate together to bring the best coverage of Tokyo 2020 and the Youth Olympic Games to fans across the region…”

The IOC and SPN will also work together to create a permanent Olympic channel on Sony’s digital platform SonyLIV.

Besides broadcasting the NBA in India, SPN also had the rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

They broadcast the Champions League, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A while also owning cricket rights including Australia, England and South Africa.

“The Olympic Games is the largest and most prestigious international sports competition in the world with over 200 countries participating,” SPN Chief Executive N.P. Singh said.

“The addition of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 broadcast and digital rights complements our portfolio of International sports events and properties.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
Mar 13, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) attempts to steal the ball from Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins (0) during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

DeMarcus Cousins served as a facilitator before thriving as a battering ram, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 106-104 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Cousins posted season-highs in points (27) and assists (seven) to help the Warriors avert a four-game, season-series sweep by the Rockets.

The Warriors, 4-6 over their previous 10 games, snapped the Rockets’ season-best, nine-game winning streak by striking an effective inside-out balance. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 54 points on 20-of-43 shooting, with Thompson tallying 30 and five 3-pointers.

James Harden paired 29 points with 10 assists but continued his recent struggles from deep, missing 10 of 12 3-point attempts. Clint Capela posted 13 points and 13 rebounds but struggled to defend Cousins on the block. Eric Gordon added 17 points for the Rockets.

Thunder 108, Nets 96

Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as Oklahoma City beat visiting Brooklyn after trailing by as much as 17 early in the second quarter and 10 early in the second half.

It was the second time this season the Thunder came from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Nets and the 14th game this season that Oklahoma City won after trailing by at least 10.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since Feb. 28. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 25 points.

Wizards 100, Magic 90

Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Thomas Bryant added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington defeated visiting Orlando.

Jabari Parker added 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which is 2-0 on a crucial five-game homestand. Wizards reserves, led by Bryant, Parker and Chasson Randle (13 points), scored 59 points.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, and Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac had 13 each for the Magic, who have lost four of five.

Heat 108, Pistons 74

Justise Winslow led a balanced attack with 16 points, and host Miami scored the first 21 points of the second half to roll past Detroit.

The Heat outscored the Pistons 33-8 in the third quarter. It was Detroit’s lowest-scoring quarter since Nov. 21, 2012, when the Pistons had an eight-point quarter against Orlando.

Dion Waiters had 14 points, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson scored 13 apiece, and Dwyane Wade tossed in 11 points off the bench for Miami. Blake Griffin led Detroit with 13 points. Former Heat guard Wayne Ellington added 11 points.

Jazz 114, Suns 97

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to help Utah beat host Phoenix. The Jazz have defeated the Suns by an average of 23 points while winning each of the past five meetings.

Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Jazz, who outscored Phoenix 36-22 during the fourth quarter. Derrick Favors added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Devin Booker scored 27 points for the Suns, who lost for just the third time in eight games. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 points.

Hawks 132, Grizzlies 111

Atlanta continued its hot play on offense, with John Collins, Trae Young and Alex Len combining for 69 points in a win over visiting Memphis. The Hawks entered the game as the NBA’s top offensive team since the All-Star Game, averaging 122.5 points.

Collins finished with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Young scored 22 points and had eight rebounds. Len came off the bench to add 20 points and eight rebounds.

CJ Miles sank eight 3-pointers and scored 33 points for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley added 20 points and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Oklahoma City Thunder
Mar 13, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) speaks with Oklaho Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) and Thunder forward Paul George (13) during a stoppage in play in the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 108-96 on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma City trailed by as much as 17 early in the second quarter and 10 early in the second half. It was the second time this season the Thunder came from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Nets and the 14th game this season that Oklahoma City won after trailing by at least 10.

The comeback wasn’t as dramatic as Dec. 5 in Brooklyn, when the Thunder outscored the Nets by 20 in the fourth quarter to win by two. This time, the comeback happened in the third quarter, when George snapped out of his recent slump with 12 points.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since Feb. 28. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 25 points.

Wizards 100, Magic 90

Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Thomas Bryant added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington defeated visiting Orlando.

Jabari Parker added 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which is 2-0 on a crucial five-game homestand. Wizards reserves, led by Bryant, Parker and Chasson Randle (13 points), scored 59 points.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, and Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac had 13 each for the Magic, who have lost four of five.

Heat 108, Pistons 74

Justise Winslow led a balanced attack with 16 points, and host Miami scored the first 21 points of the second half to roll past Detroit.

The Heat outscored the Pistons 33-8 in the third quarter. It was Detroit’s lowest-scoring quarter since Nov. 21, 2012, when the Pistons had an eight-point quarter against Orlando.

Dion Waiters had 14 points, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson scored 13 apiece, and Dwyane Wade tossed in 11 points off the bench for Miami. Blake Griffin led Detroit with 13 points. Former Heat guard Wayne Ellington added 11 points.

Hawks 132, Grizzlies 111

Atlanta continued its hot play on offense, with John Collins, Trae Young and Alex Len combining for 69 points in a win over visiting Memphis. The Hawks entered the game as the NBA’s top offensive team since the All-Star Game, averaging 122.5 points.

Collins finished with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Young scored 22 points and had eight rebounds. Len came off the bench to add 20 points and eight rebounds.

CJ Miles sank eight 3-pointers and scored 33 points for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley added 20 points and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NBA: Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks
FILE PHOTO: Feb 13, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis sits on the bench during the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports – 12158620

March 13, 2019

Kristaps Porzingis participated in his first full practice with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

“I felt good on the court. I felt comfortable, I felt fluid,” Porzingis said of graduating from 3-on-3 workouts. “It feels good to do something physically.”

Porzingis landed with the Mavericks in February when the New York Knicks unloaded the 7-foot-3 All-Star, who hasn’t played this season while recovering from a torn ACL, as the centerpiece of a seven-player swap.

Head coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks are following a plan with Porzingis, who will not play this season.

“No issues,” Carlisle said after the workout Wednesday. “He’s made tremendous progress with his rehab, with his conditioning, his strength. This was the next logical progression. He played 3-on-3 yesterday morning with some of the other guys and did extremely well there. This went really well.”

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he engaged Porzingis about a long-term deal in February. Cuban said his goal is make sure Porzinigis is a member of the franchise for “the next 20 years.”

Porzingis can choose to play next season on a $4.5 million qualifying offer instead of accepting an offer that could be worth as much as $158 million over five years.

New York decided not to sign Porzingis to a rookie extension before the 2018-19 season — allowing him to become a restricted free agent after this season — in part to preserve an extra $10 million in cap space to go after free agents this summer.

Before the trade, the Knicks were projected to have slightly more than $30 million available under the salary cap, enough to lure a max-value contract in free agency.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Benjamin Fox | Contributor

Temetrius Jamel “Ja” Morant defeated Belmont 77-65 in the championship game of the Ohio Valley Tournament, ensuring his team a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Notice I said Morant defeated Belmont — not Murray State. For anyone who has watched them play, it is clear the offense has one goal: get the ball to Morant. (RELATED: Lipscomb Takes Shot At Indiana On Twitter Prior To March Madness)

Morant is truly something special. In fact, he is the first player in NCAA history to average 20 points and 10 assists in the same season. Although he is still being projected as the second-best prospect in the NBA draft, behind Duke’s Zion Williamson.

To me, this guy has to get more recognition than he’s getting, especially with the injury to Williamson. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Zion, but if Morant continues to play the way he has played and leads his team to a deep run in the tournament, I think you have to seriously consider taking him with the first overall pick. (RELATED: Saint Mary’s Upsets Top-Ranked Gonzaga In WCC Tournament Championship)

This March Madness looks to be one of the more exciting in recent memory. Could you imagine how exciting it will be if when Zion and Ja matchup in the round of 32?

Follow Benjamin Fox on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

William Davis | Contributor

Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant finally had his high school jersey returned, two years after it was stolen, according to a report from ESPN.

The framed jersey was stolen from a display case at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, in February 2019, and was recently returned from a Kobe superfan in China named Liu Zhe.

Liu reportedly paid $2,000 for the jersey, which he later realized was stolen. Liu reportedly has a Kobe jersey collection, including both the No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys that Kobe donned throughout his career, as well as Kobe’s No. 10 Olympics jersey. (RELATED: NBA Legend Makes Absurd Comment When Comparing LeBron, Kobe, Jordan)

This is obviously an incredible story. I’m no statistician, but I have to believe the chances of a jersey being stolen, making it halfway around the world, and then being returned to its owner within a two-year span is quite low. (RELATED: Masked Burglars Steal Kobe Bryant Memorabilia From His High School’s Display Case)

You have to give Liu a lot of credit. He’s obviously a massive Kobe fan, and paid a lot of money for this jersey, but in the end did the right thing. In a world where people often place their own self-interest over those of others, Liu set an example for all of us.

Hopefully, Kobe will send a signed jersey his way.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The NBA went pretty easy on Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook after a recent verbal altercation with a fan.

Westbrook got into an intense verbal altercation with a fan a couple days ago during a game against the Jazz, and threatened to “f**k” up the man and his wife. (RELATED: Russell Westbrook Tells Fan He Will ‘F**k’ Him And His Wife Up)

According to Bleacher Report, the NBA star has been fined only $25,000 and the fan has been banned from future games.

This is a bad look for the NBA. They should have gone much harder on Westbrook. Only $25,000? Are you kidding me? He’s not even going to notice that money is missing. (RELATED: Michael Jordan Has Great Quote About His Six Rings When Discussing James Harden And Russell Westbrook)

He’s making $35 million this season. You think he gives a damn about $25,000? Hell no.

Westbrook claimed the altercation started over a racist comment, and the fan denied that was the case. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Banning a guy for life over a comment nobody is sure about seems like a massive overreaction.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star just has to learn to be the bigger man. He’s the one getting paid millions, and he’s the one representing a global brand.

Short of a fan threatening violence, there’s no reason to ever threaten them. I don’t care what they say. I really don’t.

If you have a problem, then go get security. That’s the only option on the table. By fining Westbrook such a little amount, the league is pretty much doing nothing.

That’s unacceptable.

He should have been suspended for several games, and he should have lost at least $100,000. The league really dropped the ball on this one.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago Bulls
Mar 12, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dunks the ball against the Chicago Bulls in the second half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

March 13, 2019

LeBron James had 36 points and 10 rebounds, and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers overcame their lowest-scoring first quarter of the season to end a five-game losing streak with a 123-107 win against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points off the bench, Kyle Kuzma scored 21, Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 10 assists, and JaVale McGee finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.

Robin Lopez scored 20 points, Otto Porter Jr. had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Kris Dunn finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and nine assists for Chicago. Ryan Arcidiacono started in place of leading scorer Zach LaVine (knee) and had 14 points and six assists.

The Lakers scored 16 points in the first quarter, and the Bulls closed with an 11-1 run to take an 18-point lead into the second quarter. Los Angeles went ahead for the first time since making the first basket of the game when Kuzma put in a layup for a 66-64 lead with 8:48 left in the third quarter.

Spurs 112, Mavericks 105

DeMar DeRozan scored 16 of his team-high 33 points in the first quarter and LaMarcus Aldridge had 10 of his 28 in the third to lead visiting San Antonio past Dallas.

Derrick White added 23 points and seven assists, and Davis Bertans dropped three 3-pointers, including two big ones in the fourth quarter. San Antonio ran its win streak to a season-best six games.

Dallas lost for a sixth consecutive game as rookie Luka Doncic, playing with a sore right knee, was limited to 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting. He was 1 of 7 from deep, a frustrating 1 of 9 from the free-throw line and committed nine of the Mavericks’ 14 turnovers. Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 34 points for Dallas.

Bucks 130, Pelicans 113

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 points to lead six Milwaukee scorers in double figures in a win at New Orleans.

Khris Middleton added 23 points, Malcolm Brogdon scored 18, Eric Bledsoe and former Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic had 14 each and Brook Lopez 13.

Elfrid Payton had his second consecutive triple-double for the Pelicans, who lost their fourth straight, finishing with 14 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and 11 assists. He is the first New Orleans player to have a triple-double in consecutive games since Chris Paul did it in 2008.

76ers 106, Cavaliers 99

Ben Simmons had 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to lead host Philadelphia past Cleveland.

Joel Embiid added 17 points and 19 rebounds for his 50th double-double of the season. Embiid also blocked four shots. JJ Redick scored 17 points for the Sixers, who were without Jimmy Butler as he was held out for a planned rest day.

Collin Sexton paced the Cavaliers with 26 points while Cedi Osman added 18 and Jordan Clarkson had 13.

Pacers 103, Knicks 98

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points as Indiana continued its home dominance of New York.

The Pacers rebounded from a pair of nationally televised double-digit defeats at Milwaukee and Philadelphia by beating the Knicks for the 13th time in their last 14 meetings in Indianapolis and completing their third season sweep of New York in the past five seasons.

The Knicks’ latest losing streak is at seven games. New York, which got 21 points from Emmanuel Mudiay, scored fewer than 100 points for the fourth straight game.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers
Mar 11, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Marquese Chriss (3) and Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) throw punches in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Both players were ejected. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2019

The NBA suspended Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka three games and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Marquese Chriss one game for their fight in Monday night’s game.

Both suspensions, announced Tuesday, are without pay.

The incident occurred with one second left in the third quarter of the Cavaliers’ 126-101 home win over the Raptors.

Ibaka and Chriss collided while going for a full-court pass near the Raptors’ basket. Chriss appeared to say something as Ibaka got up. Ibaka grabbed Chriss by the throat and punches were thrown by both players.

Ibaka’s longer suspension was based on his instigation of the altercation, throwing a punch at Chriss and his history of fighting during NBA games. The suspension of Chriss was based on throwing a punch at Ibaka.

Chriss will serve his suspension Tuesday, when the Cavaliers visit the Philadelphia 76ers. Ibaka’s suspension begins Thursday, when the Raptors host the Los Angeles Lakers.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka might be in some serious trouble with the league after a game Monday night against Cleveland.

Ibaka got tossed during the loss to the Cavaliers after he threw a punch at Marquese Chriss for really no apparent reason at all. (RELATED: Duke Basketball Star Zion Williamson Throws Down 360 Dunk Against Clemson)

Not only did he throw a punch, Ibaka was even choking him at one point. Watch the wild fight below, which also resulted in Chriss getting thrown out.

What the hell was Ibaka thinking? As far as I can tell, Chriss didn’t do anything that bad. Was there something said while the Raptors forward was on the ground?

I didn’t see any physical contact at all to justify Ibaka’s reaction. It doesn’t make sense to me at all.

Also, I’m not sure why Chriss got tossed. He’s the one who got attacked for no obvious reason. Is he not allowed to defend himself? (RELATED: Cavaliers Forward Marquese Chriss Dunks On Nets Center Jarrett Allen)

Should he just have stood there and taken a punch? What grown man is going to stand there and take that?

The answer is zero.

There’s probably a suspension coming down from the NBA for Ibaka. You can bet on that. As for Chriss, I honestly don’t understand what he did wrong at all. As far as the tape shows, he’s the victim here.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook got into a heated exchange with a fan Monday night during a game against the Jazz.

“I’ll f**k you up. You and your wife. I’ll f**k you up,” Westbrook can be seen and heard saying in an intense video of the exchange. It appears that there are multiple security agents standing nearby. You can watch a video of the incident below. (RELATED: Michael Jordan Has Great Quote About His Six Rings When Discussing James Harden And Russell Westbrook)

After the game the NBA star said the altercation started because he was told to “get down” on his knees like “you’re used to.”

However, the fan involved told a very different version of events, and claimed Westbrook went off after simply being told to sit down and ice his knees.

Obviously, there are two very different version of events here, but what I do know for sure is that this a bad look all the way around. The last thing the NBA wants is a video of one of the league’s star players threatening to beat up fans.

Even if the fan did make an incredibly inappropriate comment, Westbrook just has to be the bigger man. He just has to be. He’s the one getting paid millions, and he has everything to lose by snapping.

I’m not saying it’s right or that’s the way it should be. I’m simply saying that’s the way it is. It’s one thing to go get security because of a problem with a fan, but it’s a whole different situation once you get into a verbal exchange.

Again, we don’t even know with 100 percent certainty what caused this, but we know it’s an ugly look.

Hopefully, the league gets to the bottom of it, but Westbrook just has to learn to walk away. He’s got way too much on the line to risk losing any of it.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Utah Jazz
FILE PHOTO: Mar 11, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) hands his shoes to an Oklahoma City Thunder fan after the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Oklahoma City Thunder won 114-104. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2019

(Reuters) – Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had a heated confrontation with a male fan and his wife during his team’s away win in Utah on Monday.

Westbrook was caught on video standing near his team’s bench and directing an expletive-laden tirade at a fan off camera.

Westbrook addressed the incident following OKC’s 96-89 win and said it began when the fan and his wife told the All Star player to “get down on your knees like you’re used to”.

“To me that’s just completely disrespectful,” Westbrook told reporters. “I think there are a lot of great fans around the world that like to come to the game and enjoy the game.

“Then there are people that come to the game to say mean, disrespectful things about me, my family.

“And if I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time. I expect anybody else to do the same.”

Westbrook had another testy interaction with Jazz fans in last year’s playoffs when he slapped a fan’s cell phone as he walked off the court.

Last month, a young kid sitting courtside in Denver nudged Westbrook after he stepped out of bounds. In that instance, Westbrook stopped and had a calm conversation with the fan and his dad.

“We are continuing to investigate the unfortunate exchange at tonight’s game between Russell Westbrook and fans,” Jazz were quoted as saying by local media in a statement.

“Multiple warning cards were issued by arena security. Players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment.

“If it is determined that any fans violated the NBA Code of Conduct, appropriate action will be taken.”

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Source: OANN

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets
Mar 11, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) attempts to shoot the ball over Charlotte Hornets center Willy Hernangomez (41) during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2019

Lou Williams scored 34 points to become the most prolific bench scorer in NBA history as the Los Angeles Clippers blew out the visiting Boston Celtics 140-115 on Monday.

Danilo Gallinari scored 13 of his 25 points in the opening quarter, and Montrezl Harrell added 20 points as the Clippers won their fifth consecutive game and improved to 9-3 since their roster was restructured at the trade deadline.

Williams, who leads the NBA in points off the bench this season, passed Dell Curry as the highest scoring player off the bench of all time and now has 11,154 as a reserve in his career. Curry had 11,148 points as a reserve. It was Williams’ eighth game of the season with at least 30 points, all since Dec. 28.

Terry Rozier scored 26 points for the Celtics, who saw their three-game winning streak end. Boston went 3-1 on a four-game road trip, all against California teams. Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, and Kyrie Irving added 18 and 11 assists for the Celtics.

Rockets 118, Hornets 106

Clint Capela dominated the paint as Houston stretched its winning streak to nine games with a victory over visiting Charlotte.

Capela paired 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 15 rebounds and controlled the interior as the Rockets produced a 55-39 rebounding advantage. James Harden led the Rockets with 28 points and 10 assists. Eric Gordon chipped in 22 points, and Chris Paul contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Hornets star Kemba Walker finished with a game-high 40 points on 14-of-20 shooting. He shot a combined 11 of 11 in the second and third periods, pouring in 31 points during that stretch.

Thunder 98, Jazz 89

Dennis Schroder scored 24 points, and Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City beat Utah in Salt Lake City.

The win was just the third in nine games for the Thunder, who beat the Jazz for the fourth time this season to sweep the season series. Paul George struggled offensively yet again for Oklahoma City, though he finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Utah, which got a game-high 25 points from Donovan Mitchell, lost for the third time in the past four games.

Cavaliers 126, Raptors 101

Collin Sexton scored 28 points as Cleveland cruised past visiting Toronto.

Kevin Love, with 16 points and 18 rebounds, recorded his ninth double-double in 14 games for the Cavaliers this season. Love also was a force on the defensive end, drawing four offensive fouls. Cleveland’s Cedi Osman added 19 points.

Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 25 points and nine rebounds. Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss were ejected following a fight near the end of the third quarter.

Nets 103, Pistons 75

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 points as Brooklyn seized control late in the first half and claimed a lopsided win over Detroit in New York.

In the final game before a season-long seven-game road trip that starts Wednesday in Oklahoma City, the Nets won their fourth straight. Allen Crabbe added 14 points for Brooklyn.

Andre Drummond collected 13 points and 20 rebounds for Detroit, which had its five-game winning streak stopped. Blake Griffin finished with 10 points on 1-of-10 shooting.

Wizards 121, Kings 115

Bradley Beal scored 27 points, Bobby Portis added 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Washington defeated visiting Sacramento.

Jabari Parker scored 18 points and Tomas Satoransky had 17 as the Wizards started a crucial five-game homestand by ending a two-game losing skid. Beal added nine rebounds, nine assists and four steals.

De’Aaron Fox led seven Kings in double figures with 23 points. Nemanja Bjelica had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Greg Oden got honored by Ohio State Sunday.

The infamous NBA draft bust was among the players honored on senior day before the Buckeyes lost an overtime thriller to Wisconsin. He left Ohio State after one dominating season in 2007, was the first pick in the NBA draft and proceeded to do absolutely nothing. (RELATED: Wisconsin Beats Ohio State 73-67 In Overtime Thriller)

Now, he will graduate in May more than a decade after leaving.

Oden will forever be remembered as arguably the greatest draft bust in NBA history. He came out of the OSU with an insane amount of hype.

He was unstoppable in college, and it wasn’t hard to see why during his playing days. Oden was a massive human being, and pretty much nobody could match up with him.

However, his NBA career went down the drain fast after being the first overall pick by the Portland Trailblazers. He just couldn’t stay healthy and didn’t make any noise.

I’m glad to see he went back to school to get his degree. Good for him for not just going away. He’s still finding ways to advance his life in a positive fashion.

The NBA didn’t work for him, but maybe he’ll have a successful coaching career. Either way, at least he’s continuing to move forward.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

New York Knicks owner James Dolan banned a fan Saturday for telling him to sell the team.

Dolan was walking off the court during a game against the Sacramento Kings when a fan shouted out that he should sell the team. The Knicks owner didn’t take kindly to that, and informed the young man that he’d be watching the games on TV from now on.

According to TMZ, he was held by the police for “questioning” before getting tossed.

How embarrassing is this for Dolan? How thin is this dude’s skin? He’s a pro sports team owner and he’s out here getting offended by fans.

Give me a break. I can’t imagine being rich enough to own an NBA team and sticking the police on a dude for telling me to sell the team.

It’s not like he was planning a terrorist attack from his seats. He was chirping the owner of one of the worst teams in all of pro sports. He should get mocked. If you don’t want people telling you to sell the team, then don’t suck so much. (RELATED: Duke Basketball Star Zion Williamson Throws Down 360 Dunk Against Clemson)

Of course, this shouldn’t surprise anybody. As Darren Rovell pointed out on Twitter, Dolan has a history of banning people for petty reasons, including a disabled man.

I almost feel bad for Dolan. Life can’t be easy when you get offended by simple heckling. It’s so incredibly embarrassing.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
Mar 10, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) controls the ball between Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

Devin Booker’s jumper with 5:01 remaining gave Phoenix the lead for good Sunday night as the Suns snapped an 18-game losing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 115-111 victory in Oakland, Calif.

Playing the second night of a back-to-back, the Suns found the energy to outlast the Warriors after having trailed by as many as 16 points.

The Suns hadn’t beaten the Warriors since November 2014, and hadn’t won in Oakland since February 2011. The loss was the Warriors’ second in six days, sandwiching a 122-105 home win over Denver on Friday.

Booker finished with a game-high 37 points, including 13 consecutive Suns points during a stretch of the fourth quarter in which Phoenix took charge of the game. Klay Thompson had 28 points and Kevin Durant 25 for the Warriors.

76ers 106, Pacers 89

Joel Embiid returned from an eight-game absence to score 33 points and grab 12 rebounds as host Philadelphia defeated Indiana.

Embiid had been out with a sore left knee but came back to post his league-best 49th double-double of the season as the Sixers snapped a two-game losing streak.

With the win, the Sixers moved into third place in the Eastern Conference, holding a tiebreaker over the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pacers with 18 points while Darren Collison added 14.

Spurs 121, Bucks 114

LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 28 points as host San Antonio turned back Milwaukee for its fifth straight win.

The Spurs trailed the entire first half but took the lead in the third quarter and led by four points heading to the fourth. Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills hit for 16 points each for the Spurs, while Bryn Forbes added 12.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe scored 21 points, Khris Middleton tallied 15, Pat Connaughton hit for 14 points, Brook Lopez added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic contributed 10 points.

Rockets 94, Mavericks 93

Eric Gordon scored a game-high 26 points as Houston extended its winning streak to a season-best eight games by edging host Dallas.

James Harden, who picked up his fifth foul in the opening seconds of the third quarter, missed 18 of his 25 shots and took just three free throws in finishing with 20 points. Center Clint Capela added 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Luka Doncic, who was hobbling late in the game, led the Mavericks with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. He didn’t have a good shooting game, going 5 of 16 overall and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. Rookie Jalen Brunson scored 18 points with seven rebounds.

Magic 105, Grizzlies 97

Mike Conley brought host Memphis from behind to steal a win from Orlando, giving the Grizzlies their fourth win in their last five games.

Memphis trailed 95-88 with 3:06 remaining but closed out the game on a 17-2 run. Conley had 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Avery Bradley added 21 points for the Grizzlies.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrence Ross added 15 points off the bench. The Magic have lost three of their last four games, though they sit just one game out of the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Hawks 128, Pelicans 116

John Collins had his second straight double-double and Kevin Huerter scored 27 points to help host Atlanta break its three-game losing streak by knocking off New Orleans.

Collins followed Saturday’s performance of 33 points and 20 rebounds against Brooklyn by getting 23 points and 10 rebounds for his 27th double-double. He also had four blocks, two of them in the final quarter when the Pelicans were trying to mount a comeback.

New Orleans center Anthony Davis returned after a missing a game with back spasms and finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Davis played only 21 minutes. The Pelicans were led by Frank Jackson and Julius Randle, who each scored 23 points.

Timberwolves 103, Knicks 92

Taj Gibson scored a season-high 25 points and filled in nicely for injured center Karl-Anthony Towns, as Minnesota ran its home winning streak to six games at the expense of New York in Minneapolis.

Towns (right knee inflammation) missed the third game of his career after injuring his knee with eight seconds left in Saturday’s overtime win over Washington. The injury appeared significantly worse when Towns limped off the floor but and was held out of Sunday’s game as a precaution after participating in pregame warmups.

Jeff Teague collected 20 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double as the Wolves shot 44.7 percent while playing without Andrew Wiggins (right quad) for the second straight game. Damyean Dotson scored 26 points for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games.

Raptors 125, Heat 104

Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, making six 3-pointers, and added 10 assists and seven rebounds as Toronto defeated host Miami.

Kawhi Leonard did not play Sunday because of “load management” for the Raptors, who ended the Heat’s four-game winning streak. Pascal Siakam added 20 points for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Heat this season.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points with six rebounds and five assists for the Heat, Dwyane Wade and Dion Waiters each added 15 points, Rodney McGruder had 13 points, Goran Dragic had 11 and Justise Winslow scored 10.

Pistons 131, Bulls 108

Blake Griffin racked up 28 points, six rebounds and five assists and streaking Detroit defeated Chicago for the second time in three days and completed a four-game sweep for the season.

Reggie Jackson and Langston Galloway had 21 points apiece and Andre Drummond supplied 16 points and 15 rebounds for his 18th double-double for the host Pistons, who won their fifth straight and 12th in their last 14.

Wayne Selden scored 18 points off the bench to lead the Bulls. Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen added 17 points apiece, while Shaquille Harrison tossed in 11.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

New York Knicks owner Dolan speaks during a news conference announcing the team's new head coach in New York
New York Knicks owner James Dolan speaks during a news conference at Madison Square Garden in New York, March 14, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

March 10, 2019

New York Knicks owner James Dolan confronted a fan who yelled at him to “Sell the team!” in the waning minutes of Saturday’s 102-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

A TMZ video shows Dolan exiting toward the tunnel when he hears the fan and stops to call him closer.

“You think I should sell the team?” Dolan begins. “You wanna not come to any more games?”

“Why?” the fan responds.

“Because that’s rude,” Dolan answers.

“It’s an opinion,” the fan counters.

“No, it’s not an opinion and, you know what, enjoy watching them on TV,” Dolan responds, before signaling to hold the man for security.

Witnesses reported to TMZ that the man was held by police until security arrived to establish his identity and ask him to leave the building.

“Our policy is and will continue to be that if you are disrespectful to anyone in our venues, we will ask you not to return,” said a spokesperson from Madison Square Garden in a statement.

It’s unclear whether the fan is permanently banned from the arena.

The Knicks are 13-53 this season — worst in the NBA.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: Duke at North Carolina
Mar 9, 2019; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Coby White (2) reacts in the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

Freshman guard Coby White ignited a second-half surge and finished with 21 points as third-ranked North Carolina defeated fourth-ranked Duke 79-70 Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C., to claim a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

North Carolina will be the second seed, and Duke will be the No. 3 seed for the ACC Tournament in Charlotte. There could be a semifinals rematch Friday night.

Senior guard Kenny Williams scored 18 points in his last home game; Cameron Johnson, another senior, netted 14 points, and Garrison Brooks tallied 10 points. Nassir Little scored all nine of his points in the first half for the Tar Heels.

RJ Barrett pumped in 26 points and Cam Reddish scored 17 of his 23 in the first half for Duke.

No. 2 Virginia 73, Louisville 68

The Cavaliers clinched a share of the ACC regular-season title with their win over the Cardinals in Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers wrapped up their fourth regular-season conference title in the last six seasons ahead of next week’s ACC Tournament in Charlotte, where they are the defending champions. No. 3 North Carolina beat No. 4 Duke later Saturday to claim the other share of the regular-season championship.

Junior guard Ty Jerome led all scorers with 24 points and added six assists and four rebounds. Louisville (19-12, 10-8) gave the Cavaliers all they wanted as the Cardinals put four players in double figures led by Jordan Nwora, who scored 19 points.

Auburn 84, No. 5 Tennessee 80

Chuma Okeke scored 22 points and notched four steals to help the host Tigers upset the Volunteers in their Southeastern Conference matchup.

Jared Harper had 16 points and eight assists, and senior guard Bryce Brown also scored 16 points for the Tigers (22-9, 11-7).

Grant Williams had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Volunteers (27-4, 15-3).

No. 6 Kentucky 66, Florida 57

The Wildcats pulled away in the second half against the Gators in Lexington, Ky., as Tyler Herro scored 16 points.

With Tennessee losing to Auburn earlier Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats (26-5, 15-3 SEC) looked to claim a three-way share of the league title. But LSU beat Vanderbilt later Saturday night to spoil Kentucky’s hopes.

Sophomore forward PJ Washington added 15 points and nine rebounds for Kentucky. Freshman guards Keldon Johnson and Ashton Hagans each had 14 points. Senior center Kevarrius Hayes led the Gators (17-14, 9-9) with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

No. 9 Michigan State 75, No. 7 Michigan 63

Cassius Winston overcame a poor shooting night to score 23 points and lead the host Spartans over the Wolverines in East Lansing, Mich.

Michigan State (25-6, 16-4 Big Ten) clinched a share of the Big Ten championship with Purdue while locking up the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament. Michigan (26-5, 15-5) finished a game out of first place and will be the third seed in the conference tournament.

Winston also handed out seven assists for the Spartans while Xavier Tillman scored 17 and Kenny Goins had nine points and 16 rebounds. Ignas Brazdeikis scored 20 for the Wolverines, but he fouled out with 5:10 left in the game. Jordan Poole added 15 points.

No. 8 Texas Tech 80, Iowa State 73

Improved shooting fueled a timely run and led the Red Raiders past the Cyclones to earn a share of the Big 12 Conference championship for the first time in league history.

Brandone Francis drained a clutch 3-pointer with 3:37 to snap a 65-65 tie and Jarrett Culver followed with a basket for two of his game-high 31 points to supply enough breathing room to hold on for the win.

Davide Moretti continued to quietly operate as one of the Big 12’s off-the-radar standouts with 20 points and joined Culver with four 3-pointers as the Raiders finished 11 for 26 from outside the arc. Matt Mooney scored 13 and led Tech with five assists, while Tariq Owens snared 14 rebounds.

No. 10 LSU 80, Vanderbilt 59

Playing without suspended head coach Will Wade and two of its top four scorers, the Tigers routed the Commodores in Baton Rouge, La.

Tremont Waters scored 14 points and had eight assists as LSU (26-5, 16-2) captured its first outright regular-season SEC title since 2009. Vanderbilt was paced by Saben Lee with 16 points.

With the sellout crowd waving “Free Will Wade” signs, LSU easily dispatched Vanderbilt (9-22, 0-18), which lost its last 19 games of the season and was the first team since Georgia Tech in 1953-54 to go winless in SEC play.

No. 13 Kansas 78, Baylor 70

Dedric Lawson recorded his 20th double-double, posting 23 points and 14 rebounds as the Jayhawks got past the Bears in Lawrence, Kan.

Although the Jayhawks (23-8, 12-6 Big 12) were eliminated from the Big 12 title chase earlier in the week, they finished undefeated at home for the 21st time.

Freshman guard Devon Dotson and freshman center David McCormack added 15 and 12 points, respectively. Jared Butler led Baylor (19-12, 10-8) with 31 points.

No. 14 Florida State 65, Wake Forest 57

The Seminoles won their 12th game in 13 tries by closing out the regular-season schedule with a win over the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Guard Trent Forrest had 11 points and five assists for the Seminoles (25-6, 13-5 ACC). Senior forward Phil Cofer added nine points in the victory, which set a school record for conference wins since the Seminoles joined the ACC in 1992.

Wake Forest fell to 11-19 overall and 4-14 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons were paced by guard Brandon Childress, who scored a game-high 13 points. Wake Forest guard Chaundee Brown added 11 points.

Georgetown 86, No. 16 Marquette 84

James Akinjo racked up 25 points, five rebounds and five assists as the Hoyas denied the Golden Eagles a share of the Big East title.

The 16th-ranked Eagles (23-8, 12-6) could have pulled even with Villanova after the Wildcats lost to Seton Hall earlier in the afternoon. But they instead dropped their fourth straight heading into the conference tournament.

Mac McClung supplied 23 points for the Hoyas (19-12, 9-9), while Jessie Govan and Jamorko Pickett had 10 points apiece. Markus Howard’s 28 points led Marquette. Joey Hauser had 16 points, Sacar Anim added 12 and Brendan Bailey tossed in 11.

No. 17 Nevada 81, San Diego State 53

Caleb Martin recorded 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds and the Wolf Pack earned the top seed in next week’s Mountain West Conference tournament by blowing out the Aztecs in Reno, Nev.

Jordan Caroline added 16 points and 12 rebounds to extend his Mountain West double-double record to 45. Cody Martin scored 14 points and senior power forward Trey Porter added 13 for the Wolf Pack (28-3, 15-3). Senior guard Jeremy Hemsley scored 16 points for San Diego State (19-12, 11-7).

Nevada tied with Utah State for first place in the conference. The two teams split their regular-season matchups, but the Wolf Pack win the tiebreaker because they swept third-place Fresno State while the Aggies split with the Bulldogs.

No. 18 Kansas State 68, Oklahoma 53

The Wildcats got a combined 45 points from its three seniors to knock off the Sooners on Senior Day in Manhattan, Kan.

The victory gave the Wildcats a share of their first Big 12 regular-season title since they shared the 2013 title with Kansas. Texas Tech defeated Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, earlier to claim a share.

The Wildcats, who will be the No. 1 seed at next week’s Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, were led by Kamau Stokes with 19 points. Barry Brown added 15 and Dean Wade added 11. Kristian Doolittle led Oklahoma (19-12, 7-11) with 14 points, and Jamal Bieniemy added 12.

No. 22 Wofford 99, Virginia Military Institute 72

Six Terriers players scored in double figures as they opened Southern Conference Tournament play by trouncing the Keydets in the quarterfinals in Asheville, N.C.

Nathan Hoover led Wofford (27-4, 18-0) with 17 points, while Chevez Goodwin notched 14 and Keve Aluma added 12. The Terriers will play East Tennessee State in Sunday’s semifinals.

Bubba Parham, the conference’s leading scorer, notched 14 of his 22 points in the first half for VMI (11-21, 4-14).

Seton Hall 79, No. 23 Villanova 75

Myles Powell scored 20 points and Sandro Mamukelashvili added 12 points and 18 rebounds as the host Pirates toppled the Wildcats in Newark, N.J.

Seton Hall (18-12, 9-9 Big East) remained on the NCAA Tournament bubble while preventing Villanova (22-9, 13-5) from earning the outright conference regular-season title, but only until Marquette lost to Georgetown later in the day.

Myles Cale scored 19 points, Jared Rhoden had 15 and Michael Nzei delivered 10 for Seton Hall. Collin Gillespie led Villanova with 22 points, while Phil Booth scored 16, Saddiq Bey had 13 and Jermaine Samuels had 10.

Temple 67, No. 25 UCF 62

Guard Quinton Rose scored nine of his 11 points over the last nine minutes of the game to spark the Owls’ upset of the Knights in their American Athletic Conference game in Philadelphia.

Guard Shizz Alston Jr. scored 21 points to lead the Owls (23-8, 13-5), who moved into a tie for third place with the Knights (23-7, 13-5) and kept alive their hopes for a No. 3 seed in next week’s league tournament in Memphis.

Rose’s late heroics and Alston’s steady play overcame a huge game from UCF junior guard Aubrey Dawkins, the son of Knights coach Johnny Dawkins, who was a game-time decision to play after hurting his back two nights earlier. Dawkins scored a career-high 36 points.

Murray State 77, Belmont 65

The Racers punched the first ticket to this year’s NCAA Tournament by rallying to beat the Bruins in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game in Evansville, Ind.

Prized NBA prospect Ja Morant scored 36 points to help Murray State advance. The Racers trailed 31-26 at halftime but outscored Belmont 51-34 in the second half.

Murray State (27-4, 16-2) closed the game with 11 straight points against Belmont (26-5, 16-2).

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks
Mar 9, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) grabs a rebound against Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the second half at Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Brook Lopez scored 25 points, and the host Milwaukee Bucks beat the Charlotte Hornets 131-114 on Saturday night.

The Bucks trailed by as many as 14 in the second quarter but exploded for 39 third-quarter points to take the lead before increasing their advantage to as many as 18 in the fourth quarter.

The Bucks became the first team in the league to reach the 50-win plateau. They are now 27-5 at home. They have won two straight and nine of their past 11.

Kemba Walker scored 25 points to lead the Hornets, who remain in 10th place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Frank Kaminsky scored 16, Miles Bridges had 15, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lamb finished with 14 apiece, and Cody Zeller scored 10.

Timberwolves 135, Wizards 130 (OT)

Karl-Anthony Towns collected 40 points and 16 rebounds before exiting with a right knee injury, and host Minnesota outlasted Washington.

Towns, who left in the final minute of regulation and did not play in overtime, reached the 40-point plateau for the third time in five games. The two-time All-Star fell just shy of his season high of 42 points. He will undergo further testing on his knee, but coach Ryan Saunders said he has not heard reason for serious concern.

Derrick Rose scored 16 of his 29 points after the third quarter for the Timberwolves, who have won two of three. Taj Gibson had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Celtics 120, Lakers 107

Kyrie Irving scored 30 points, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris added 16 each, and visiting Boston extending its winning streak to three with a win over Los Angeles.

Gordon Hayward added 15 points as the Celtics avenged a defeat to the Lakers at home in February when former Boston point guard Rajon Rondo hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer.

LeBron James finished with a triple-double (30 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds) for the Lakers, who were playing without a number of key contributors because of injuries. Los Angeles lost its fifth consecutive game and fell for the seventh time in its last eight games.

Nets 114, Hawks 112

D’Angelo Russell hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:39 remaining, and Brooklyn held off host Atlanta to complete a season-series sweep despite a triple-double performance by rookie Trae Young.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 23 points and Jarrett Allen finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who had beaten the Hawks twice in Brooklyn earlier in the three-game season series.

Young’s triple-double consisted of 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. John Collins had 33 points and 20 rebounds for Atlanta, which dropped its second straight.

Kings 102, Knicks 94

De’Aaron Fox scored a game-high 30 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 5:03 to play as visiting Sacramento beat New York.

The Kings overcame a 15-point first quarter deficit and survived squandering an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter to win the opener of a pivotal four-game Eastern Conference road trip. Sacramento, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, entered Saturday four games behind the San Antonio Spurs in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Buddy Hield scored 19 points, and Nemanja Bjelica had a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) for the Kings.

Blazers 127, Suns 120

CJ McCollum scored 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting as Portland pulled out a victory over visiting Phoenix.

Seth Curry came off the bench to match his season high with 22 points for the Trail Blazers, who ended their two-game losing streak. Damian Lillard added 18 points and nine assists, and Jusuf Nurkic contributed 14 points and nine rebounds for Portland.

Devin Booker scored 23 points and DeAndre Ayton collected 21 points and eight boards for the Suns, who had won three in a row. Kelly Oubre had 17 points and seven rebounds for Phoenix.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets
FILE PHOTO: Mar 8, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) elevates for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

Houston Rockets guard James Harden will play Sunday at the Dallas Mavericks, after precautionary X-rays came back negative on his right wrist and he was cleared to practice on Saturday.

Harden, the NBA’s scoring leader (36.6 points per game), aggravated the wrist injury Friday night when he fell in the first half of a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He left briefly but returned and finished with 31 points in 32 minutes.

Harden, who is left-handed, first hurt the wrist on March 3 against the Boston Celtics. He has missed just four games to injury this year, and only one since Nov. 2.

The Rockets, who are finally healthy elsewhere on the roster, have won seven straight games to move into third place in the Western Conference. They sit three games back of Denver for the second spot and five games back of first-place Golden State.

–Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram is expected to miss the rest of the regular season after the team’s medical staff revealed a deep venous thrombosis in his right arm, the team announced.

The third-year wing had missed the last two games due to shoulder soreness before further testing revealed the new diagnosis.

Meanwhile, multiple reports indicate second-year Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has also been shut down for the remainder of the season after having his injured left ankle re-evaluated. Ball has missed the team’s last 18 games as a result of the injury.

–The NBA fined Oklahoma City star Paul George $25,000 for his criticism of the officiating following the Thunder’s 118-110 loss to the Clippers on Friday night in Los Angeles.

George and teammates Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams all fouled out over the final four minutes of the game, and George called it “bad officiating” and said the Thunder “don’t get a fair whistle. We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year.”

The Clippers took 46 free-throw attempts in the game, with Lou Williams and Danilo Gallinari each going to the foul line 15 times. The Thunder had 26 free-throw attempts as a team.

–The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Cameron Reynolds to a second 10-day contract that will keep the forward with the team at least through the middle of March.

Reynolds, who went undrafted out of Tulane in 2018, was signed to his first 10-day contract Feb. 27 after he averaged 16.0 points with 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists with the Stockton Kings of the NBA G League. He has scored four points in seven minutes of two games with Minnesota.

In four games with the USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team, Reynolds shot 45.9 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3-point range. In a Feb. 22 victory over Panama, he had 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and made 6 of 11 shots from 3-point range.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
Mar 7, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) takes a shot during shoot around before Oklahoma plays Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

The NBA fined Oklahoma City star Paul George $25,000 on Saturday for his criticism of the officiating following the Thunder’s 118-110 loss to the Clippers on Friday night in Los Angeles.

The fine was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league’s vice president of basketball operations.

George and teammates Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams all fouled out over the final four minutes of the game.

“It’s just bad officiating,” George said. “I’m sorry, just bad officiating. We don’t get a fair whistle. We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year.

“Somebody’s got to look into this. It’s getting out of hand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line. And there’s nobody that gets more contact. If I don’t speak for myself, I speak for Russ. There’s nobody that gets more contact than Russ going to the basket. And it’s just crazy. I don’t understand it. It’s a piece of (expletive) being on that floor.”

The Clippers took 46 free-throw attempts in the game, with slashing guard Lou Williams Danilo Gallianri each going to the foul line 15 times. The Thunder had 26 free-throw attempts as a team.

“We’re giving everything we got,” George continued. “We’re playing hard. We’re getting grabbed. We’re getting scratched, clawed, held, shoved. And there’s nothing for it. The officials just get to walk out, and there’s nothing that penalizes them for not officiating the game the right way.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
Mar 7, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) takes a shot during shoot around before Oklahoma plays Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George did not hold back on his opinion of the referees in Friday night’s 118-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, shortly after he fouled out of the game, along with Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams over the final four minutes of the game.

“It’s just bad officiating,” George said. “I’m sorry, just bad officiating. We don’t get a fair whistle. We haven’t gotten a fair whistle all year.

“Somebody’s got to look into this. It’s getting out of hand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line. And there’s nobody that gets more contact. If I don’t speak for myself, I speak for Russ. There’s nobody that gets more contact than Russ going to the basket. And it’s just crazy. I don’t understand it. It’s a piece of (expletive) being on that floor.”

The Clippers took 46 free-throw attempts in the game, with slashing guard Lou Williams going to the foul line 24 times alone. The Thunder had 26 free-throw attempts as a team.

“We’re giving everything we got,” George continued. “We’re playing hard. We’re getting grabbed. We’re getting scratched, clawed, held, shoved. And there’s nothing for it. The officials just get to walk out, and there’s nothing that penalizes them for not officiating the game the right way.”

The Clippers are first in the league with 28.8 trips to the free-throw line a game, while the Thunder are third in the league at 25.9. The Thunder are called for 22.8 personal fouls per game, fourth most in the NBA.

“Too much fouling,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “Our guys are playing hard and competing, but like there is no reason for Lou Williams to get to the free throw line 20 times. We’ve got to know that. And like our guys are playing really hard and are really competing, but we are fouling too much away from the ball when we don’t have to.”

According to ESPN, Friday’s game was just the second in 10 years where three starters from the same team fouled out in regulation time of a game. The last was Feb. 12, 2014 when it happened to the Washington Wizards. In the last 20 seasons, just three teams have seen two All-Stars foul out in a single game.

George fouled out with 3:49 to play, Westbrook had to leave with 54.2 seconds remaining and Adams took a seat with 9.2 seconds remaining.

“To play without fouling is tough sometimes,” Westbrook told reporters. “A lot of those guys like play to get fouled. That is how the game is nowadays. It’s not really basketball. You’re just playing to get fouled to see what happens.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t sound like a huge fan of social media.

The impact of social media on NBA players has been in the news a lot ever since commissioner Adam Silver talked about how it is making guys unhappy. It sounds like Nowitzki thinks similarly. (RELATED: Adam Silver Rips Social Media, Says Lots Of NBA Players Are ‘Genuinely Unhappy’)

The Dallas Mavericks legend told The Athletic the following, according to Bleacher Report:

I don’t know if it’s about winning as much anymore as it is looking good on Instagram, Twitter, having followers and having clicks and likes. I do agree 20 years ago people weren’t on their phones as much … But I’m not going to blame everything on social media. We’re all competitors. I usually based my happiness on winning and losing. When we won it was fun. We would play music after games. When we lost we were pissed. That’s what I based my happiness on. Guys would sit around the locker room waiting for the coach to talk and during that wait there would be conversations taking place. Now it is 15 guys on their phones. There’s not much time being spent together.

I couldn’t agree more with Nowitzki. He absolutely hit the nail on the head with this one. You can go through a lot of different social media accounts for players, and it’ll have you wondering if they’re focused on being ball players or celebrities.

Hell, I’ll even take it a step further. Go to Colin Kaepernick’s Instagram feed and tell me how many of his recent posts are of him practicing or focused on football. The answer is none.

The NBA legend is 100 percent correct. Way too many players are focused on how they’re viewed off of the court than just winning games.

Of course, that’s not to say that social media is just 100 percent bad. There are positive sides to it as well. It allows people to get potentially important messages out, stay connected with fans and things of that nature.

However, if you care more about your Insta than winning, you’re going to have a big problem on your hands.

The same applies to guys who rush off to their phones after a game.

Major props to Nowitzki for calling out this insanity. It really has to change. There’s no point in players being so obsessed with their images. Just focus on winning.

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets
Mar 8, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) elevates for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

James Harden scored 31 points, Eric Gordon chipped in 17 with five 3-pointers, and the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to a season-best seven games with their 107-91 victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

Harden added 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals for the Rockets, who seized control with a 14-2 spurt midway through the first quarter. Philadelphia played its eighth consecutive game without All-Star center Joel Embiid (left knee), falling to 4-4 in that stretch.

A combination of lethargic defense and errant shooting did the 76ers in, particularly early. While Houston rolled to a 37-point opening period on 56.5 percent shooting, Philadelphia missed all four of its 3-point attempts in the first quarter while shooting 10 of 24 (41.7 percent) overall.

The 76ers’ shooting did not improve throughout the course of the game, with Philadelphia finishing 3 of 26 from behind the arc while shooting 36.8 percent from the floor. Tobias Harris paced the 76ers with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Raptors 127, Pelicans 104

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and visiting Toronto pulled away from short-handed New Orleans in the second half of a blowout victory.

Leonard scored 24 first-half points and finished 14 of 20 from the floor. Kyle Lowry added a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds while Pascal Siakam scored 19 points.

The Pelicans played without three starters. Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad contusion) were ruled out for at least a week to 10 days, and Anthony Davis was a last-minute scratch because of back spasms. Frank Johnson led New Orleans with 20 points.

Hornets 112, Wizards 111

Marvin Williams erupted for a season-high 30 points and career-high seven 3-pointers as Charlotte held on in the closing seconds for a victory over visiting Washington.

The Hornets won when Washington’s Bradley Beal missed a drive in heavy traffic with three seconds remaining. Jeremy Lamb had given the Hornets a 112-111 lead on a 3-pointer with 51.5 seconds remaining. The Hornets had lost nine of their previous 12.

Bobby Portis had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Wizards. Beal scored 15 points but hit just 4 of 21 field-goal attempts.

Pistons 112, Bulls 104

Blake Griffin scored 27 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and visiting Detroit rallied from a 21-point deficit to down Chicago.

Andre Drummond recorded his 11th 20-20 game this season with 20 points and 24 rebounds as the Pistons won for the 11th time in 13 games. Reggie Jackson supplied 21 points, Langston Galloway added 15 and Luke Kennard chipped in 14. Detroit outscored Chicago 43-24 in the decisive fourth quarter.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 24 points, Otto Porter Jr. supplied 23 points and eight assists while Lauri Markkanen added 18 points. Chicago had three starters in double figures by halftime in racing to a 66-49 halftime lead before being outscored 63-38 in the second half.

Heat 126, Cavaliers 110

Dwyane Wade sparked a third-quarter run, and Miami scored 10 straight in the fourth quarter to pull away for a win over visiting Cleveland.

The Heat remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, just ahead of Orlando and Charlotte, both winners on Friday night. The victory also was Miami’s 16th straight against the Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Eight Heat players scored in double figures. Josh Richardson led the way with 20 points. Justise Winslow finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Collin Sexton paced Cleveland with 27 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 21.

Magic 111, Mavericks 106

Terrence Ross scored 22 points in his return from a one-game absence caused by a sore left Achilles as host Orlando beat Dallas.

Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic recorded his team-high 48th double-double of the season after collecting 20 points and 13 rebounds. Aaron Gordon chipped in with 18 points, and Ross went 6-for-11 from 3-point range for the Magic, who have won nine of their last 13 games.

Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 15 points, moved past John Stockton for third place all-time in games played (1,505) in NBA history. The 40-year-old trails only Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560).

Grizzlies 114, Jazz 104

Mike Conley scored 28 points and dished out 11 assists, and Jonas Valanciunas added 27 points as host Memphis defeated Utah.

The Grizzlies, who beat the Jazz for the third time in four meetings this season, shot 51.1 percent from the field and outscored Utah 60-34 in the paint.

Donovan Mitchell poured in 38 points while shooting 12 of 24 from the field to lead Utah. Joe Ingles added 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Jazz, and Jae Crowder had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks with Air Force Academy Superintendent Johnson at White House ceremony in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks with Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, after presenting the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the U.S. Air Force Academy football team in the East Room of the White House in Washington May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

March 8, 2019

By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson has reached the upper echelons of two very different but equally male-dominated fields and credits her decorated military career with helping her serve as the NBA’s head of referee operations.

Johnson, who was the first woman to lead the U.S. Air Force Academy and one of the top women’s basketball players in school history, had no previous NBA experience when the league named her senior vice president and head of referee operations in 2017

While some might have considered her an out-of-the-box hire, she believes her time as a command pilot, where team work was critical to successful missions, made her someone who could easily relate with NBA referees as they too must make snap decisions in tense situations.

“Being a pilot on a crew airplane where you fly around the globe and have a small crew, you have to have a deep knowledge base on many fronts and make quick decisions that have high stakes, it’s something that’s just really similar,” Johnson told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“You might not think of it, but that’s been a real connective point for me and the officiating staff.”

Johnson, who said the chance to help shape the direction of a key operational group within the NBA made the job appealing to her, is responsible for recruiting, training, developing and evaluating referees. She also oversees the NBA Replay Center.

When it comes to recruiting NBA referees, Johnson said her checklist goes well beyond a foundation of competence, knowledge of rules, an ability to make accurate calls and an understanding of the game, traits that she said can be taught to almost anyone.

For Johnson, it is all about intangibles, like having the courage to make a tough call, the confidence to look a coach or a player in the eye and explain a decision respectfully, and the ability to be humble but not weak.

“If people are decisive and have that kind of strength and that kind of personal character (the rest) can be refined with more training or more study of the rules,” said Johnson, who is the first woman inducted into the Air Force Sports Hall of Fame for her achievements on the basketball court.

“But some things are almost not coachable, and so to be able to have that kind of courage sets people apart.”

FEMALE REFEREES

There are currently three female referees at NBA level, two of whom were promoted to full-time officials last November. About a third of the approximately 70 officials working in the NBA’s official minor league are women.

Johnson, who last month joined The Female Quotient for its ‘Equality Lounge’ at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte to speak on a panel about female trailblazers, said there is no “magic number” when it comes to the amount of female referees.

“We look for the best referees and we want to look for the talent where it is,” said Johnson. “But we need the referee staff to look like our league, so we’re mindful of diversity on all fronts so that the talent can come from all avenues.”

During her military career, Johnson became the U.S. Air Force’s first woman cadet wing commander, first female Rhodes Scholar and was the Air Force aide to former U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The trailblazing Iowa native said there have been at least two all-women officiated games in the G-League this season but believes it could take years before that happens at the NBA level.

According to Johnson the current crop of female referees will need to log more years of service before they have the credentials needed to form a three-person officiating team that consists of a crew chief, referee and umpire.

“The thing about (referees) being at the top of their craft I mean there’s a deep knowledge base but there’s also an experience base,” said Johnson.

“So it’ll take a few years for our (female) refs to be able to become crew chiefs and playoff officials. So it’ll take a few years.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
March 6, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the second half at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez

March 8, 2019

With the playoffs slipping further away with every loss, the Los Angeles Lakers will scale back LeBron James’ minutes for the remainder of the season, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the first to report on the plan, said both the Lakers’ front office and people in James’ camp have agreed to limit the superstar’s minutes to “in the range of 28-32 minutes per game.” What’s more, Haynes reported, James may sit out one side of back-to-backs, depending on how he feels.

But ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported later Thursday that “a source close to James” said that while the team is looking at a 32-minute limit, that number is more of “an advisement.” Lakers coach Luke Walton spoke with ESPN on Thursday and confirmed, “I will be monitoring his workload from here on out.”

Of the 17 games remaining on their schedule, the Lakers have three sets of back-to-back games remaining. They entered Thursday 6 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. James is averaging 35.6 minutes despite the fact he is 34 and in his 16th season.

–In other Lakers news, ESPN reported the team will not fine or discipline point guard Rajon Rondo for sitting in a courtside seat for fans, off the bench and away from his teammates, near the end of a Wednesday night loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Rondo said it is something he said he has done “eight, 10 times this year.” But after meeting with Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka on Thursday to discuss the incident, Rondo told ESPN, “They notified me that it was a league rule that you can’t sit there. I wasn’t aware of it. But now I know going forward where I need to be.”

Rondo only scored four points on 2-for-7 shooting (0-for-3 on 3-pointers) but had 11 assists. The fact that he played only 16 minutes in the second half had nothing to do with his seat selection, Rondo said.

–Amir Hinton, a junior from Division II Shaw University, told ESPN he plans to enter the 2019 NBA Draft and hire an agent.

Hinton led Division II in scoring in 2018-19 with 29.4 points per game. The CIAA Player of the Year is shooting to be the first DII player drafted since 2005, when Robert Whaley of Walsh University was selected in the second round. Whaley played 23 NBA games with the Utah Jazz in the 2005-06 season.

“Some scouts have told me I am a top-three guard in this class,” Hinton told ESPN.

–Free agent Tyler Zeller will join the Atlanta Hawks on a 10-day contract Friday, ESPN reported.

Zeller, 29, was a first-round pick out of North Carolina in 2012 but never played for the Dallas Mavericks, who traded the 7-footer to the Cleveland Cavaliers. After two seasons with the Cavs, Zeller spent three seasons with the Celtics, then split a year between Milwaukee and Brooklyn.

He has 165 starts in 406 career games, averaging 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

–The New Orleans Pelicans announced that guard Jrue Holiday will be out at least seven to 10 days due to a lower abdominal strain.

A day after scoring 16 points in a 114-104 loss to Utah, Holiday underwent an MRI exam Thursday morning, and the severity of the injury was discovered, according to a news release from the Pelicans.

Holiday, 28, is averaging a career-best 21.2 points per game as well as 7.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Alliance of American Football has continued its trend of strong TV ratings.

According to SportsTVRatings Tuesday, the AAF games over the past weekend on the NFL Network for week three got just more than a million viewers. As pointed out by Awful Announcing, the games on Saturday and Sunday saw jumps of 16 percent and 21 percent from week two of the league.

The AAF has certainly had some problems off of the field. There have been payroll issues, a lawsuit and poroblems with where the team in Florida can practice. (RELATED: San Diego Fleet Quarterback Phillip Nelson Completes No-Look Heave Of A Pass)

It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing at all times.

However, the TV numbers have been solid from the jump. The debut weekend on CBS got more than three million viewers and beat a nationally televised NBA game.

If you’re an executive, player or coach in the league right now, then you have to be happy with the TV ratings. The NFL Network isn’t ever going to draw the same numbers as normal broadcast television, but putting up more than a million viewers over a weekend is very strong.

Plus, the numbers keep going up. Not only are they strong, but they continue to trend in the correct direction. I think the AAF is here to stay for a long time.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller


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