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Pioneering star, 87, dies

Dolph Schayes, one of the first stars of the fledgling NBA who was named to the league-created list of the 50 best players in 1996, died Thursday of cancer in Syracuse, N.Y. He was 87.

Mr. Schayes, who at 6 feet 8 was one of the tallest players at the time, spent all 16 of his seasons with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers franchise, leading the Nats to their lone NBA title in 1955. He retired after the 1963-64 season, holding held NBA records for games played (996), free throws made (6,712), free throws attempted (7,904) and personal fouls (3,432) and was second to Bob Petit in scoring (18,438).

Playing power forward, he mixed two-hand set shots in with jump shots, and revolutionized the post position by being in constant motion instead of just planting himself in the paint.

Mr. Schayes was selected for the first 12 NBA All-Star games, scoring the first points in All-Star Game history off a pass from Bob Cousy in 1951.

After spending a few years as the 76ers coach — he was named coach of the year in 1966 after leading Wilt Chamberlain and Philadelphia to a 55-25 record — and the league's director of referees, Mr. Schayes was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1972. His son, Danny, played 18 NBA seasons.

"People remember Dolph's long set shots," Al Bianchi, a former Nationals teammate, recalled in Terry Pluto's oral history Tall Tales (1992). "But what made him great was that he could shoot running one-handers — and make them with either hand. His left was as good as his right."

The Knicks selected Mr. Schayes as their No. 1 pick in the 1948 draft of the Basketball Association of America, a precursor to the NBA. As he recalled, they offered him $5,000, the league limit for rookies, but he signed instead for $7,000 and a $500 bonus with Syracuse, then part of the National Basketball League.

"I figured out that $2,500 was a lot of money and professional basketball might not have a long life," Mr. Schayes said in June. "So I figured I might as well take the best offer."

Adolph Schayes (he had no middle name) was born May 19, 1928, in the Bronx, a son of Jewish immigrants from Romania. His father, Carl, drove a truck for a laundry company. His mother, Tina, was a homemaker. He took up basketball because, he said, "I was the biggest kid on my block, and basketball was the New York game." During the Great Depression, Mr. Schayes delivered laundry for cash.

In recent years, he owned 250 garden apartments in the Syracuse area, "a great business," he said in 2007, "once you pay off the mortgage."

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, who hasn't played since breaking his left kneecap in Game 1 of last season's Finals, could make his season debut in the next few days. Coach David Blatt said Irving and guard Iman Shumpert, who has been out with a right wrist injury, might play tonight in Orlando or Tuesday in Boston. … X-rays on Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin's right wrist were negative. Martin jammed the wrist early in Wednesday's victory over the Lakers, but went on to score a season-high 37.

Thunder 107, Hawks 94

ATLANTA (94): Sefolosha 5-8 1-4 11, Millsap 2-5 3-8 7, Horford 3-14 2-2 9, Teague 8-14 1-1 18, Korver 4-8 0-0 12, Muscala 4-8 0-0 8, Bazemore 7-12 4-4 22, Schroder 2-8 3-4 7, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Holiday 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-78 14-23 94.

OKLAHOMA CITY (107): Durant 8-14 7-7 25, Ibaka 9-14 4-4 23, Adams 5-7 1-3 11, Westbrook 8-17 4-6 23, Roberson 0-1 1-2 1, Waiters 4-14 0-0 9, Morrow 3-6 0-0 8, Collison 0-1 0-0 0, Kanter 2-6 0-0 4, Augustin 0-0 3-4 3, Payne 0-0 0-0 0, Singler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-80 20-26 107.

Atlanta 28 21 26 19— 94

Oklahoma City 35 25 23 24— 107

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 10-28 (Korver 4-7, Bazemore 4-7, Teague 1-2, Horford 1-4, Millsap 0-1, Holiday 0-1, Sefolosha 0-2, Muscala 0-2, Schroder 0-2), Oklahoma City 9-17 (Westbrook 3-4, Durant 2-2, Morrow 2-3, Ibaka 1-3, Waiters 1-4, Roberson 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 38 (Millsap 8), Oklahoma City 61 (Durant 12). AssistsAtlanta 21 (Korver, Millsap, Teague 4), Oklahoma City 24 (Westbrook, Durant 10). Total FoulsAtlanta 19, Oklahoma City 16. TechnicalsOklahoma City defensive three second. A18,203 (18,203).

Bulls 83, Clippers 80

L.A. CLIPPERS (80): Mbah a Moute 2-9 0-0 5, Griffin 7-14 4-4 18, Jordan 4-7 2-3 10, Paul 5-16 0-0 12, Redick 2-11 4-5 8, Crawford 1-5 0-0 2, Rivers 1-6 0-0 3, Johnson 3-6 0-0 9, Smith 3-8 0-0 8, Pierce 0-2 0-0 0, Stephenson 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 30-88 10-12 80.

CHICAGO (83): Snell 1-3 0-0 2, Gibson 4-9 4-4 12, Gasol 10-19 1-1 24, Rose 5-11 0-0 11, Butler 4-14 6-8 14, Noah 1-5 0-0 2, Hinrich 1-4 0-0 3, McDermott 0-5 0-0 0, Brooks 3-9 3-3 10, Mirotic 2-8 0-0 5. Totals 31-87 14-16 83.

L.A. Clippers 24 11 19 26— 80

Chicago 23 21 20 19— 83

3-Point GoalsL.A. Clippers 10-22 (Johnson 3-4, Smith 2-3, Paul 2-4, Rivers 1-2, Mbah a Moute 1-2, Stephenson 1-2, Pierce 0-1, Griffin 0-1, Crawford 0-1, Redick 0-2), Chicago 7-23 (Gasol 3-3, Rose 1-3, Brooks 1-3, Hinrich 1-4, Mirotic 1-5, Snell 0-1, Butler 0-2, McDermott 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsL.A. Clippers 58 (Jordan 14), Chicago 60 (Noah 13). AssistsL.A. Clippers 22 (Paul 5), Chicago 20 (Butler 8). Total FoulsL.A. Clippers 15, Chicago 12. Flagrant Fouls—Griffin. Ejected—Griffin. A21,491 (20,917).

Nets 100, 76ers 91

PHILADELPHIA (91): Covington 3-10 0-0 6, Noel 3-9 0-0 6, Okafor 7-15 8-8 22, Wroten 3-5 3-6 9, Canaan 2-10 0-0 4, McConnell 6-9 2-2 17, Grant 4-10 0-0 9, Holmes 5-6 4-4 14, Stauskas 1-8 0-0 2, Thompson 0-5 2-2 2. Totals 34-87 19-22 91.

BROOKLYN (100): Johnson 3-9 0-0 7, Young 6-13 6-9 18, Lopez 2-3 3-5 7, Jack 2-7 0-0 5, Bogdanovic 4-7 0-0 10, Robinson 1-2 0-0 2, Larkin 5-10 4-4 14, Bargnani 8-15 7-9 23, Ellington 1-1 0-0 3, Reed 3-4 0-0 6, Brown 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 37-74 20-27 100.

Philadelphia 13 31 30 17— 91

Brooklyn 24 28 18 30— 100

3-Point GoalsPhiladelphia 4-31 (McConnell 3-4, Grant 1-4, Wroten 0-1, Thompson 0-3, Covington 0-6, Canaan 0-6, Stauskas 0-7), Brooklyn 6-14 (Bogdanovic 2-4, Ellington 1-1, Brown 1-2, Jack 1-2, Johnson 1-4, Larkin 0-1). Fouled OutCovington. ReboundsPhiladelphia 45 (Okafor 10), Brooklyn 55 (Young 11). AssistsPhiladelphia 17 (Stauskas 5), Brooklyn 22 (Jack 8). A13,266 (17,732).

Pioneering star, 87, dies 12/10/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2015 11:05pm]
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