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Raptors Guad DeMar DeRozan Out Indefinitely with a Torn Adductor Longus

Raptors Guad DeMar DeRozan Out Indefinitely with a Torn Adductor Longus

Ronald Matinez/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- The Eastern Conference's best team will be without one of their best players for the foreseeable future as guard DeMar DeRozan will be out indefinitely with a torn tendon in his left groin.

At 13-3, the Raptors hold the best record in the Eastern Conference, with DeRozan being the team's leading scorer.

Now in his sixth NBA season, all with the Raptors, the 25-year-old DeRozan is averaging 19.4 points on the season.

While there is no exact timetable for his return, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the injury could keep him out of action up to 12 weeks if it is determined he needs surgery.

DeRozan has missed just 11 games over five seasons before this injury, so now the Raptors must spread their offense around even more than they already do with Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, and Jonas Valanciunas.

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Mark Cuban Suggests Realignment in the NBA

Mark Cuban Suggests Realignment in the NBA

MichaEL Buckner/Getty Images for Reality Rocks(NEW YORK) -- The Western Conference has eight of the top-10 teams in the NBA record-wise, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the league would benefit from realignment.

If Cuban had his way, the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and New Orleans Pelicans would move over to the Eastern Conference while the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks would shift over to the Western Conference.

"It's not like you're reducing competition," said Cuban. "You keep Cleveland, Washington and other good teams in the East. It kind of shakes things up in terms of not just interest but also in terms of how people rebuild.

"It just changes things up and it changes the thought process of a lot of teams. It makes both conferences very competitive, at least for the short term and I think, based on the history of the teams, for the long term as well."

Cuban has not discussed his idea with commissioner Adam Silver.

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Hornets’ Coach Steve Clifford Frustrated with Guard Lance Stephenson

Hornets’ Coach Steve Clifford Frustrated with Guard Lance Stephenson

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Charlotte Hornets guard Lance Stephenson has yet to live up to expectations after the team made him their big free agent acquisition over the summer, and his head coach Steve Clifford has admitted as much.

The Hornets signed Stephenson away from the Indiana Pacers after agreeing on a three-year deal worth $27 million. They thought they'd be getting a dynamic guard coming into his prime.

"To be fair, one of the things that's made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar," Clifford said Wednesday. "He's not a star. He's a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years."

So far this season, Stephenson is averaging 9.7 points on .368% shooting, 8.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game.

Clifford decided to sit Stephenson the entire fourth quarter during the team's loss to Portland Trail Blazers for the second consecutive game.

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Curry Drops 40 on Heat

Curry Drops 40 on Heat

NBA via Golden State Warriors(MIAMI, Fl.) -- Stephen Curry lit up the Miami Heat Tuesday night as he led the Golden State Warriors to a 114-97 victory.

Curry finished the night shooting 12 of 19 from the floor, draining eight 3-pointers. 

There had been some concern in the past couple days with Curry's shooting as he was 8 of 24 in his previous two games. Curry steadied those worries by finding open looks with the help of his teammates. 

"Everything feels in rhythm," Curry said. "My bigs, Draymon Green, Mo Speights, Andrew Bogut set some great screens for me and I got a lot of space. When you see your first two or three go down, your confidence is at a high. Shots just appear and you have confidence to knock them down."

Heat forward Chris Bosh was utterly perplexed by the end result.  With 6:45 left in the fourth, his team was leading by two.

"We got to the end, we're in the bonus, you know 93-95 and we don't score anymore," Bosh said. "We just forget our offense and I don't know why."

The Warriors have now won six straight and are 11-2 on the season.

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Cavs Snap Skid with Win over Orlando

Cavs Snap Skid with Win over Orlando

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- LeBron James scored 29 points -- 16 in the first quarter -- as the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Orlando Magic 106-74 on Monday night.

Prior to the game, James called himself out by telling reporters "I stink" and taking responsibility for the team's lackluster performance.

"I'm my biggest critic," James said. "I wasn't happy with my play the last week. No one puts any more pressure on me than myself. You go out and you just don't talk about it, you show it too."

The veteran took his own advice and came out strong, scoring as many points in the first quarter as the Magic (6-10) did. James finished the day by shooting 9-for-17 and pushing the lead to the point where he did not play in the fourth quarter. As a team, Cleveland (6-7) controlled the game defensively with 14 steals and nine blocks, forcing 21 turnovers.

"He's a great player and that's what great players do," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said of James. "They lead their team and make plays at both ends of the floor." 

Orlando struggled offensively as well, shooting 36.3 percent (29-of-80) from the floor. The Magic, who had won consecutive road games, were playing without leading rebounder and scorer Tobias Harris for the second straight night. Victor Oladipo picked up the scoring, racking up 22 points in the loss.

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Hornets Guard Eric Gordon Out Indefinitely with Separated Shoulder

Hornets Guard Eric Gordon Out Indefinitely with Separated ShoulderNBA via New Orleans Pelicans(NEW YORK) -- The injury bug has bitten New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon once again after separating his shoulder during Saturday's game against the Utah Jazz. Gordon got tangled up with Jazz guard Alec Burks in the se...

Louis Williams Drops 36 in Beat-down of Cavaliers

Louis Williams Drops 36 in Beat-down of Cavaliers

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CLEVELAND,Oh.) -- The Toronto Raptors smacked down the Cleveland Cavaliers as Louis Williams came in off the bench and paced the Raptors to a 110-93 victory, Saturday.

Williams put up 36 points, completing 9 of 19 from the field including three from beyond the arc.

"The thing was that [my teammates] saw that I had a hot hand and they kept coming to me," Williams said. "Just created a spark off the bench."

No shot had as much impact as the three he drained at the first half buzzer that gave Toronto a 56-54 lead.

From there it was all downhill for the Cavaliers according to LeBron James.

"[Williams] changed the game, when he came into the game," James said. "We lost the tempo that we had."

The Cavaliers began the season as the favorites to win it all. Hyped up as the new Big 3; which includes, James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers currently sit at 5-7. 

"We're a very fragile team right now, we were a fragile team from the beginning," James said. "Any little adversity hits us, we just shell up."

 

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Bulls Forward Taj Gibson Suffers Sprained Ankle

Bulls Forward Taj Gibson Suffers Sprained Ankle

NBA via Chicago Bulls(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- The Chicago Bulls have to deal with another injured player as power forward Taj Gibson is out with a sprained ankle.

Midway through the third quarter of the team's game against the Portland Trail Blazers, and have to be carried off the floor by a pair of teammates.

X-rays wound up coming back negative, which is good news considering Gibson has dealt with issues in that same ankle in the past.

"It's the same lingering injury," Gibson said. "Just keep trying to play through it, trying to be there for my teammates. Just push through. All summer I was trying to rehab the same ankle and it just keeps flaring up. I keep having these little bum ankle turns. And I just took some time off from it and tried to rush back and this thing happened again. I'm just frustrated."

The 29-year-old Gibson is a key reserve for the Bulls. In 12 games this season, he's averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

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Charlotte’s Jeff Taylor Suspended 24 Games

Charlotte’s Jeff Taylor Suspended 24 Games

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The NBA announced Wednesday that Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor would be suspended for 24 games without pay after pleading guilty to misdemeanor physical assault and malicious destruction of hotel property last month.

The 25-year-old will be credited the first 11 games of the season, which he sat out, and be forced to miss the next 13 as well. In total, the suspension will cost Taylor $119,689 of his $915,000 salary. As of Wednesday night, both Taylor and his officials were working with union officials to go over their options.

"This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public's confidence in it," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release. "Mr. Taylor's conduct violates applicable law and, in my opinion, does not conform to standards of morality and is prejudicial and detrimental to the NBA."

Taylor was arrested on Sept. 25 at a hotel in East Lansing, Mich. after an altercation with a woman with whom he was reportedly having a romantic relationship. An NBA release stated that the two had been drinking heavily when an argument ensued, resulting in Taylor shoving the woman into the hallway, where she fell and struck her head. The statement also noted that Taylor punched a hole in the wall near his room.

Taylor was sentenced to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty in October. He also must complete 26 weeks of a domestic violence intervention program.

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Lakers Win Consecutive Games for First Time This Year

Lakers Win Consecutive Games for First Time This Year

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- For the first time in the 2014-15 season, the Los Angeles Lakers won consecutive games with a 98-92 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. Kobe Bryant led the way with 29 points, seven assists, and five rebounds for the Lakers (3-9).

"Look, we had a bad start," Bryant said. "Are we a 3-9 team? No. We're a much better team than that. We got off to a really bad start, but we'll (get better)."

Trailing by four with less than a minute to play, Los Angeles used a 7-1 run to take a 94-92 lead and pick up the victory. Nick Young scored 16 points in just his second game of the season, scoring 17 in Tuesday night's win. Young added a pair of free throws late to seal the win.

The Rockets (9-3) were playing without center Dwight Howard who missed the game with a knee injury. James Harden paced Houston with 24 points while three other players scored in double figures. Despite shooting 15-of-38 from beyond the arc, the Rockets turned the ball over 17 times and were out-rebounded 47-38 in the loss.

It was the first meeting between the Western Conference foes after Houston's opening night win in Los Angeles. That contest featured a small spat between Howard and Bryant, heightening the drama going into Wednesday's game. 

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Bucks Outlast Brooklyn in Triple Overtime

Bucks Outlast Brooklyn in Triple Overtime

Jed Jacobson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In his first trip back to the Barclays Center since leaving the team, Jason Kidd and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets 122-118 in triple overtime on Wednesday. The Bucks (7-5) trailed by eight at halftime but rallied to force extra play.

In the first overtime, Milwaukee actually had a chance to win the game. With the game tied at 105, Brandon Knight picked off a pass from Joe Johnson with 2.9 seconds remaining. Knight then sprinted the length of the court and missed a wide-open layup to send the game into the second overtime.

However, that memory did not stay with Knight long. The guard would end up hitting a game-tying three late in the second overtime, and the game-clinching free throws in the third. Knight finished with 18 points and eight assists in the win. 

"My teammates trusted me to make the next shot to force a third overtime, so that's really what it's all about," Knight said, "and we stuck through it as a team."

The Nets (4-7), who lost their fifth straight, were led by a season-high 26 points from Brook Lopez. 

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Jason Collins Retires

Jason Collins Retires

Jeff Gross/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay player in NBA history retired on Wednesday, reports Sports Illustrated.

Collins was signed by the Nets last season after announcing he was gay in February.

"In order to understand why I am so lucky to be sitting here today as a person who is finally comfortable in his own skin, you need to understand how basketball saved me," Collins wrote on ThePlayersTribune.com. "I needed to live the past few years as an openly gay basketball player in order to be at peace retiring today."

"There are so many people I have to thank for helping me on my journey," Collins wrote. "My family, friends, and fans empower me each and every day. My teammates, coaches, and the Brooklyn Nets organization gave me an opportunity. The entire NBA family, where the leadership of David Stern and Adam Silver created an environment that made me feel safe to step forward. My agent, Arn Tellem, who is like the cool uncle everyone wishes they had."

Collins also had a message for his supporters: "All the fans in New York who would see me walking on the street and say, 'Hey Collins, good luck tonight!' or 'We are proud of you!' To all the people who came out before me and helped clear the path for others to follow. And the many countless individuals who have fought and sacrificed for human and civil rights, period. Thank you."

Collins, 35, will be in Brooklyn on Wednesday and officially announce his retirement before the Nets play the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Blazers Lose McCollum for One Month

Blazers Lose McCollum for One Month

National Basketball Association(PORTLAND, Or.) -- The Portland Trail Blazers will be without guard C.J. McCollum again after a fracture was discovered in his right index finger.

McCollum suffered the injury Monday in the win over the Pelicans, the team announced.

In the fourth quarter of the game, McCollum was attempting to recover an offensive rebound when he was hit by Pelicans guard Eric Gordon. 

This isn't the first time the Blazers will be without the young guard. Last year, before the season started, he broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot -- the same injury he suffered while in college at Lehigh.

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Rockets’ James Harden Sympathizes with Thunder Guard Reggie Jackson

Rockets’ James Harden Sympathizes with Thunder Guard Reggie Jackson

Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of having a career-season, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson is bound for restricted free agency after turning down an extension from the team. Former Thunder guard and current Houston Rocket James Harden, supports Jackson's decision.

“I fell into the same situation, and that could have been my only contract and I’m sure Reggie feels the same way,” Harden told The Oklahoman. “He has to get the money that he’s earned and that he’s worked his whole life for. It’s the nature of the business. It’s going to happen every single year and it’s going to continue to happen.”

Harden spent the first three years of his career with the Thunder, but was traded to Houston after the team realized they could not give into his salary demands as he was approaching free agency.

Jackson's scoring average has increased each year he's been in the NBA. Through eight games this season, Jackson is averaging 21.5 points per game.

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Suns’ Suspend Forward P.J. Tucker

Suns’ Suspend Forward P.J. Tucker

Ingrim Publishing/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- After already being suspended once this season, the Phoenix Suns have decided to suspend forward P.J. Tucker for violating team rules.

Tucker was inactive for the team's game on Sunday against the Boston Celtics, and it was later revealed by Suns spokeswoman Julie Fie that Tucker "basically missed the plane" to Boston on Sunday.

This latest suspension comes fresh off Tucker's three-game suspension that came earlier this season after he pleaded guilty to "super extreme" driving while intoxicated.

Tucker had a blood alcohol level of .222 back on May 10 when he was arrested by police. The legal limit in Arizona is .08.

Now in his fourth NBA season, Tucker signed a three-year contract with the Suns over the summer worth $16.5 million.

The 29-year-old Tucker has gotten off to a slow start this year. In seven games this season, he's averaging 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

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Lakers Forward Kelly Tears Hamstring

Lakers Forward Kelly Tears Hamstring

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES, Ca.) -- The Los Angeles Lakers continue to receive bad news in 2014.

Forward Ryan Kelly tore his hamstring in Sunday night's loss to the Golden State Warriors.  Kelly is expected to miss at least six weeks.

The 2014 season has started about as poorly as it could.  The team currently sits at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 1-9 record.

The Lakers also lost first round selection Julius Randle for the season on opening night when he broke his right tibia.

Kelly is averaging 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists, and 0.33 steals in 8.2 minutes this season. 

 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/17/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/17/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Dallas Mavericks 107 (8-3) - Charlotte Hornets 80 (4-7)

Denver Nuggets 106 (3-7) - Cleveland Cavaliers 97 (5-4)

Orlando Magic 107 (5-7) - Detroit Pistons 93 (3-8)

Phoenix Suns 118 (5-5) - Boston Celtics 114 (3-5)

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning 5 (13-4-2, 26pts)   - New York Rangers 1 (7-7-4, 18pts)

Top-25 College Basketball: (7) Louisville 88 (2-0) - Jacksonville State 39 (0-2)

Miami 69 (2-0) - (8) Florida 67 (1-1)

(12) Villanova 81 (2-0) - Maryland-Eastern Shore 44 (0-2)

(24) Michigan 77 (2-0) - Bucknell 53 (1-1)

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Magic Rookie Aaron Gordon Out Indefinitely with Foot Fracture

Magic Rookie Aaron Gordon Out Indefinitely with Foot FractureChristopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Just as he was starting to settle into the NBA style of play, Orlando Magic rookie forward Aaron Gordon is out indefinitely after fracturing a bone in his left foot. Gordon injured his foot Saturday night d...

Adam Silver Calls for Legalized Sports Betting

Adam Silver Calls for Legalized Sports Betting

NBATV/ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver believes it is time for society to embrace sports gambling.

Silver wrote an op-ed on the New York Times website calling for the United States government to embrace placing bets on professional sports in a heavily legislated manner; similar to the manner in which Europe runs its betting market.

From the New York Times article, Silver writes:

"...despite legal restrictions, sports betting is widespread. It is a thriving underground business that operates free from regulation or oversight. Because there are few legal options available, those who wish to bet resort to illicit bookmaking operations and shady offshore websites. There is no solid data on the volume of illegal sports betting activity in the United States, but some estimate that nearly $400 billion is illegally wagered on sports each year."

A New Jersey judge is expected to make a ruling on the legality of the state accepting bets on sporting events.  The NBA, as well as the other major sports leagues have filed an injunction to ban the state from accepting such wagers. 

When asked to comment on the article, Tim Frank, VP of Communications at the NBA told ABC Radio that, "the article speaks for itself and we don't have any additional comments to make on it."

 

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Nowitzki Passes Hakeem Olajuwon on All-Time Scoring List

Nowitzki Passes Hakeem Olajuwon on All-Time Scoring List

NBA via Dallas Mavericks(DALLAS) -- Dirk Nowitzki moved past Hakeem Olajuwon into ninth place on the all-time scoring list on Tuesday night, making him the only international player in the top-ten

Nowitzki finished with 23 points in their 106-98 victory over the Kings to give him 26,953 in his career.

"It's an honor," Nowitzki said. "To do it at home, it was even more special. Getting a standing ovation, it was great."

"Hakeem, to me, was one of the greatest," Nowitzki continued. "I grew up watching him in the 90s. His footwork, his touch, was next to no other. I'm really humbled to keep climbing the ladder, blessed to stay healthy, and play at a semi-high level, I guess."

The 12-time All-Star had his longtime short doctor and mentor, Holger Geschwindner, in the crowd to see it as well.

"It's great for him to be here and see it," Nowitzki said. "He meant so much to me in my career and he still does. I'm 36 years old and we still work on my game like I'm 21 years old. It's fair to say that without him I wouldn't be sitting at number 9 right now."

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