Monday, December 11, 2017
Sports

Howard, Magic coach try to forge ahead

ORLANDO — A day after he said his star player wanted him fired, Stan Van Gundy said he only has one regret.

Van Gundy said he regretted that what he regards as his larger point — that his job security and what Dwight Howard wants are "irrelevant" and are "not important right now" — didn't receive more attention.

"It's not important to me, I know that," Van Gundy said after practice Friday. "And I don't think it's important to our players. It's not important, so let's move on. That's what I wanted to emphasize."

Van Gundy started a circus Thursday when he revealed he was told by high-ranking team officials of Howard's request. Howard walked up and hugged Van Gundy during that media scrum, unaware what Van Gundy had just said. After the coach walked away, Howard was blindsided that reporters knew the truth about his firing request.

Hours later, the Magic lost their fifth straight, 96-80 to the Knicks, and dropped to sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Van Gundy spoke to reporters for more than 30 minutes after practice Friday, with most of the questions focusing on his relationship with Howard. Van Gundy used the term "irrelevant" more than a dozen times.

"I answered the question honestly and let's move on," Van Gundy said. "That was my only intention.

"At least there's no more speculation. It's not going to go back and forth. It happened. To me, it'll go a day or two and then people are off of it, rather than it hanging out there and people bringing it up again."

Howard acknowledged that the team faces "a tough situation for everybody."

"We're capable of getting through anything," Howard said. "Right now, the leader is being attacked from all angles, and it's my job to stay strong for the team and not allow anything to break my spirit or break who I am as a person or a player. And the rest of the guys will follow."

To make matters worse for Orlando, forward Hedo Turkoglu will have surgery for a facial fracture and miss at least the rest of the regular season. Turkoglu was inadvertently hit by Knicks star Carmelo Anthony on Thursday during New York's victory.

Heat's 17-game home winning streak ended

MIAMI — Rudy Gay scored 17, Zach Randolph had 14 points and 14 rebounds off the bench, and the Grizzlies had seven players score in double figures to snap the Heat's 17-game home winning streak Friday night, 97-82.

Mike Conley and St. Petersburg native Marreese Speights each scored 15 for the Grizzlies, who have won six of their last eight games.

LeBron James had 21 points, six assists and six rebounds for the Heat, who never led and failed in a bid to match the franchise's longest home win streak, set in the 2004-05 season.

Dwyane Wade scored 20 points, Chris Bosh added 19 and Terrel Harris scored 10 for Miami, which had last lost at home Jan. 22 to Milwaukee.

Miami fell three games behind Chicago in the race for the No. 1 seed in the East. The Heat has 12 games left, the Bulls have 10, and the teams meet twice more.

The Grizzlies forced 11 turnovers in the first quarter — Miami's most in a quarter since Feb. 14, 2006 — and led 25-12 behind nine points from Gay.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Danny Granger had 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to help the host Pacers beat the Thunder 103-98 for their fourth straight win. Indiana overcame Kevin Durant's 44-point night, the most scored against the Pacers this season. … Jeff Teague tied a career high with 24 points and had a season-high 11 assists, and Josh Smith added 20 points and 12 rebounds to help the host Hawks top the Pistons 101-96.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The Nets shut down Brook Lopez for the season after an injury-marred campaign in which he played in five games. The 24-year-old is eligible to become a free agent after this season. … The league fined Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for publicly criticizing officials after Thursday's 95-83 loss to the Clippers. Cousins, who fouled out in the closing seconds, called Blake Griffin an "actor" in terms of foul calls and said the league protects last season's Rookie of the Year and slam-dunk champion too much. The teams meet again today in Los Angeles.

Grizzlies 97, Heat 82

MEMPHIS (97): Gay 8-19 1-2 17, Speights 6-9 3-3 15, Gasol 3-7 4-5 10, Conley 5-8 2-2 15, Pondexter 2-4 0-0 4, Randolph 6-17 2-2 14, Mayo 4-10 1-1 10, Arenas 4-5 0-0 12, Cunningham 0-2 0-2 0, Haddadi 0-0 0-0 0, Pargo 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 38-82 13-17 97.

MIAMI (82): James 8-19 3-4 21, Bosh 8-15 2-2 19, Turiaf 1-1 0-0 2, Chalmers 0-4 1-2 1, Wade 8-18 3-4 20, Haslem 0-2 0-0 0, Battier 0-4 0-0 0, Cole 0-5 0-0 0, Harris 4-10 2-2 10, Anthony 3-3 1-2 7, Howard 1-1 0-0 2, Pittman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-82 12-16 82.

Memphis 25 23 25 24— 97

Miami 12 20 29 21— 82

3-Point GoalsMemphis 8-17 (Arenas 4-5, Conley 3-4, Mayo 1-3, Randolph 0-1, Pondexter 0-2, Gay 0-2), Miami 4-18 (James 2-6, Wade 1-1, Bosh 1-2, Cole 0-2, Harris 0-2, Chalmers 0-2, Battier 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMemphis 50 (Randolph 14), Miami 51 (Wade 7). AssistsMemphis 20 (Mayo 6), Miami 17 (James 6). Total FoulsMemphis 17, Miami 16. TechnicalsMemphis defensive three second, Miami Coach Spoelstra. A20,008 (19,600).

Pacers 103, Thunder 98

OKLAHOMA CITY (98): Durant 15-24 11-13 44, Ibaka 3-7 0-0 6, Perkins 3-6 0-0 6, Westbrook 7-23 5-8 21, Sefolosha 1-1 1-1 3, Harden 1-5 7-8 10, N.Collison 4-6 0-1 8, Mohammed 0-1 0-0 0, Fisher 0-3 0-0 0, Cook 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-77 24-31 98.

INDIANA (103): Granger 11-23 3-3 26, West 5-8 4-4 14, Hibbert 7-14 7-9 21, D.Collison 3-7 4-4 11, George 3-13 1-2 8, Hill 2-5 2-4 8, Barbosa 3-10 2-2 9, Hansbrough 1-4 2-2 4, Amundson 0-1 2-4 2, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-85 27-34 103.

Oklahoma City 20 21 20 37— 98

Indiana 32 24 19 28— 103

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 6-19 (Durant 3-8, Westbrook 2-5, Harden 1-3, Cook 0-1, Fisher 0-2), Indiana 6-19 (Hill 2-4, D.Collison 1-2, George 1-3, Granger 1-4, Barbosa 1-6). Fouled OutGeorge. ReboundsOklahoma City 51 (Westbrook 11), Indiana 56 (George 16). AssistsOklahoma City 20 (Westbrook 9), Indiana 13 (Hill 4). Total FoulsOklahoma City 25, Indiana 25. A18,165 (18,165).

Nets 110, Wizards 98

WASHINGTON (98): C.Singleton 3-7 0-0 8, Vesely 2-6 0-0 4, Seraphin 6-13 3-4 15, Wall 7-15 4-5 18, Crawford 3-12 3-4 9, Martin 3-9 0-0 7, Cook 0-1 0-0 0, J.Singleton 5-8 2-2 12, Mack 3-4 4-4 10, Mason 6-9 1-3 15. Totals 38-84 17-22 98.

NEW JERSEY (110): Wallace 6-9 4-4 19, Humphries 3-10 2-4 8, S.Williams 1-1 1-2 3, D.Williams 7-15 2-2 19, Brooks 8-15 2-3 18, J.Williams 7-7 0-0 14, Green 4-8 1-2 9, Morrow 8-11 0-0 17, Stevenson 0-0 0-0 0, Horner 0-0 1-2 1, Petro 0-2 0-0 0, Gaines 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 45-80 13-19 110.

Washington 20 23 23 32— 98

New Jersey 33 24 26 27— 110

3-Point GoalsWashington 5-12 (Mason 2-3, C.Singleton 2-4, Martin 1-4, J.Singleton 0-1), New Jersey 7-18 (Wallace 3-5, D.Williams 3-6, Morrow 1-2, Brooks 0-2, Green 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWashington 47 (Seraphin, J.Singleton 9), New Jersey 45 (Humphries 12). AssistsWashington 22 (Mack 8), New Jersey 32 (D.Williams 13). Total FoulsWashington 17, New Jersey 13. A12,783 (18,711).

Hawks 101, Pistons 96

DETROIT (96): Prince 4-9 1-2 10, Maxiell 1-2 0-0 2, Monroe 3-7 2-6 8, Knight 5-8 1-1 13, Gordon 3-5 0-0 6, Stuckey 8-22 9-11 27, Wallace 0-1 0-0 0, Jerebko 4-9 1-1 10, Wilkins 2-3 1-1 5, Bynum 7-12 0-0 15. Totals 37-78 15-22 96.

ATLANTA (101): J.Johnson 6-16 2-2 16, Smith 10-20 2-6 22, Pachulia 2-4 0-0 4, Teague 9-16 5-6 24, Hinrich 1-4 0-0 3, Williams 2-5 8-10 12, I.Johnson 8-12 0-1 16, Green 1-3 0-0 2, McGrady 0-0 2-2 2, Pargo 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 39-81 19-27 101.

Detroit 20 23 25 28— 96

Atlanta 24 28 26 23— 101

3-Point GoalsDetroit 7-15 (Stuckey 2-3, Knight 2-4, Jerebko 1-1, Prince 1-2, Bynum 1-3, Wilkins 0-1, Gordon 0-1), Atlanta 4-15 (J.Johnson 2-7, Hinrich 1-3, Teague 1-4, Green 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDetroit 46 (Monroe 8), Atlanta 52 (Smith 12). AssistsDetroit 16 (Monroe 4), Atlanta 30 (Teague 11). Total FoulsDetroit 28, Atlanta 18. A15,143 (18,729).

Cavaliers 84, Raptors 80

CLEVELAND (84): Gee 3-10 2-2 9, Jamison 8-16 6-8 25, Thompson 2-6 2-3 6, Sloan 2-8 1-2 5, Harris 1-8 1-2 4, Casspi 0-2 2-2 2, Samuels 3-6 4-8 10, Hudson 6-14 11-13 23, Walton 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-73 29-40 84.

TORONTO (80): Anderson 0-4 0-0 0, Bargnani 8-22 2-4 19, Gray 2-3 0-2 4, Uzoh 4-8 1-1 9, DeRozan 10-16 7-8 28, Kleiza 2-9 3-3 8, Davis 3-6 0-0 6, A.Johnson 1-1 1-4 3, Dentmon 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 31-73 15-24 80.

Cleveland 20 19 12 33— 84

Toronto 22 20 21 17— 80

3-Point GoalsCleveland 5-17 (Jamison 3-5, Gee 1-1, Harris 1-4, Casspi 0-1, Walton 0-1, Sloan 0-1, Hudson 0-4), Toronto 3-15 (DeRozan 1-2, Bargnani 1-5, Kleiza 1-6, Anderson 0-1, Dentmon 0-1). Fouled OutGray. ReboundsCleveland 50 (Jamison 8), Toronto 60 (Kleiza 8). AssistsCleveland 16 (Hudson 7), Toronto 13 (DeRozan 4). Total FoulsCleveland 18, Toronto 29. TechnicalsCleveland Coach Scott 2, Kleiza. Ejected—Cleveland Coach Scott. A16,565 (19,800).

Comments
How bad are Florida State’s football facilities?

How bad are Florida State’s football facilities?

As Jimbo Fisher was leaving Florida State for Texas A&M, an administrative commitment to facilities was one reason why.So how bad are the Seminoles' facilities, really?No. 12 in the country, according to 247Sports.That's better than Miami (...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 10:30: In addition to the Cardinals, the Rockies and Mets are considered hot in pursuit of Rays closer Alex Colome. …. Keep hearing the Angels as a potential landing spot for 3B Evan Longoria if the Rays deal him. … Rays manager K...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Explosives? On 40-yard plays, Bucs among NFL’s worst

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has key statistics that he puts great value in, finding a close correlation between success in those areas and success on the scoreboard. Winning the takeaway battle is always first among those priorities, but he and his staff...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Another close game that got away

In his latest Cannon Fodder podcast, Greg Auman looks back on the Bucs’ 24-21 loss to the Lions, Gerald McCoy’s injury, reports of Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter friction and another close game that got away from Tampa Bay on the way to a 4-9 record. Li...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

Rick and Tom podcast: Do Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter get along?

The Bucs guarantee another losing season after turning the ball over five times in a 24-21 loss to the Lions. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about how the Bucs stayed in the game until the end despite a non-existent pass rush...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Tampa Bay Rays cornerstone Evan Longoria “somewhere in limbo” due to trade speculation

Franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria considers his future with the Rays "somewhere in limbo" based on speculation he could be traded as part of a cost-cutting and rebuilding movement."I don't know what to think, really,'' Longoria told the Tampa Ba...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

The Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship: It’s complicated

  TAMPA — There are lies, damn lies and statistics, none of which are working in favor of Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter avoiding a split in the near future. Even before the Bucs turned the football over five times and lost to the Detroit Li...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Report: Jameis Winston-Dirk Koetter relationship ‘is not in a good place’

Jameis Winston is displeased with how coach Dirk Koetter has handled Winston's shoulder injury and the Bucs offense, according to an NFL Network report Sunday. “The relationship between quarterback Jameis Winston and Koetter is not in a good p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 4 hours ago