NBA

Grizzlies move to 15-2 without Morant, Butler and Spoelstra lock horns

By Sports Desk March 24, 2022

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving delivered big performances, but the Memphis Grizzlies were unstoppable in the first half on the way to a 132-120 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving finished with 43 points (15-of-27 shooting, six-of-11 from three) and eight assists, while Durant posted figures of 35 points (12-of-28 shooting, 10-of-10 from the free-throw line) with 11 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.

But the Grizzlies would not be denied in front of their home fans, clicking on all cylinders early to jump out to a 76-62 half-time lead.

It was yet another stunning showing without MVP candidate Ja Morant who missed again through injury, with seven Grizzlies scoring double figures to pick up the slack.

Desmond Bane (eight-of-17 shooting) and De'Anthony Melton (eight-of-13 shooting) led the way with 23 points each, while Jaren Jackson Jr swatted away four shots as he continued his charge for Defensive Player of the Year.

With the win, the Grizzlies moved to 50-23 for the year, and an incredible 15-2 in games Morant has missed.

 

Warriors 'punk' the Heat

A day after Draymond Green said his Golden State Warriors were being "punked" in recent losses, they responded in style, beating the Miami Heat 118-104 without Green and injured star Stephen Curry.

In a game where Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler had to be physically separated from coach Erik Spoelstra during a time-out, the Miami defence simply could not get stops in the second half as tempers flared.

Jordan Poole shone yet again for the Warriors, scoring 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, going three-of-seven from long range, while rookie Jonathan Kuminga, All-Star Andrew Wiggins and bench player Damion Lee chipped in with 22 points each.


Ayton and the Suns shine in Minnesota, Davion dominates

A 42-point fourth quarter capped off a terrific 125-116 comeback win for the Phoenix Suns on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Trailing 64-51 at the halfway stage and by five at three-quarter time, the Suns got 11 points from centre Deandre Ayton down the stretch to cap off a big 35-point (15-of-24 shooting), 14-rebound performance.

Devin Booker controlled the contest for the Suns, scoring 28 points on only 15 field goal attempts, going 13-of-16 from the free throw line while also dishing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, rookie top-10 pick Davion Mitchell starred in the Sacramento Kings' 110-109 away win against the Indiana Pacers, scoring 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting and collecting seven assists in arguably his best game as a professional.

Joel Embiid scored 30 points and had 10 rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the Philadelphia 76ers in their 126-121 win over a Los Angeles Lakers side who were without LeBron James.

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    When the P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy’s Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL) tips off at the National Indoor Arena in Kingston on Saturday, August 13, one of the more highly anticipated match-ups, will be the game between Team Horizon (Red) and Team Rivers (Blue) as it will feature the number-one draft pick Nicholai Brown against the talented Dave Black, who are both looking forward to the contest.

    Brown believes his team will be ready and expect to win based on what he believes will be the foundation of Team Horizon’s success.

    “Going into this league, just the basic things of basketball, playing defence,” he said.

    “I am a good defensive player so I am expecting my team to play good defence because from good defence comes great offence. So I am expecting my teammates to play good defence and each player, whether we are playing zone or man so I am expecting good things from them.”

    From a personal standpoint, Brown, Team Horizon’s co-captain, said he is eagerly anticipating going up against Black, who is co-captain of Team Rivers.

    “The first match is going to be great. We are playing against Dave (Black). He is a great player. I have always wanted to play against him. I have seen what he can do over the week that I have been playing with him,” Brown said.

    “I think all my teammates are looking forward to playing against Team Blue. They are as excited as I am. My teammates are all good competitors so it’s going to be a good game.”

    Meanwhile, Black said Team Rivers plans to play exciting basketball that will entertain the fans.

    “After the first practice, I think we have good chemistry going into Saturday’s game. We just want to get up and down the court fast and play some exciting basketball,” Black said.

    “We have a lot of talent on our team and we just want to go out there and compete. We had our first practice yesterday (Wednesday) and this morning (Thursday) and our expectation is to win the tournament.

    “I think we have one of the best teams. In our first game, we’ll be trying to get stops, trying to go on the break and playing exciting basketball not only for the coaches but also for the fans. We want everybody to have fun watching some great basketball.”

    The Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season is being hosted in collaboration with the Jamaica Basketball Association.

    The tournament starts at 5:00 pm with an opening ceremony, followed by competition between the four teams in the league - Elite 1 Rivers, Elite 1 Waves, Elite 1 Horizon, and Elite 1 Storm. Each team comprises top-tier professional players from Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.

  • P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Summer Basketball League commences this weekend P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Summer Basketball League commences this weekend

    The National Arena in Kingston comes alive this Saturday, August 13th with the first games of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy’s Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL)- the Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season, which is hosted in collaboration with the Jamaica Basketball Association. 

    The event starts at 5:00 PM with an opening ceremony, followed by heated competition among the four teams in the league; Elite 1 Rivers, Elite 1 Waves, Elite 1 Horizon, and Elite 1 Storm. Each team comprises of top-tier professional players from Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.  

    Spectators will also be treated to entertaining half time shows headlined by some of Jamaica’s most popular artistes. 

    The exciting competition continues August 14 starting at 6:00 PM, and on August 17 at 4:00 PM.  It will culminate with a celebrity game, third place playoff and the championship game on August 20th which will start at 4:00 PM. 

    CEO and Founder of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy Wayne Dawkins, says the E1CBL is the consummate family event, and is inviting people to come out and witness basketball like they have never seen it before in Jamaica. 

    “We are going be bringing them a professional basketball atmosphere that a lot of people only see on TV. We will have high flying basketball players, dancers, music and entertainment topped off by an energetic crowd. It’s the ultimate family entertainment event,” he said. 

    Tickets for the event are available at Emkay Sports at 11 Oxford Terrace in Kingston, and cost $200 for students, $500 for bleachers, and $1000 for VIP. Persons can also reach out to the E1CBL via Instagram @e1caribbeanbasketballleague to purchase tickets. 

    The E1CBL is sponsored by the Jamaica Basketball Association, Elite 1 Recruiting Platform, Ribbiz, TurboStats, Global Pipeline Agency, KFC, Phoenix Health Complex and Vision Centre, Athletic Fusion, Suretime Medical, Habliborange, Herbs, Facey Pharmaceuticals, and Confectionery and Snacks Jamaica. 

    P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy was founded by Jamaican Canadian and former basketball player, Wayne Dawkins. For the past 25 years, P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy have been organizing and hosting basketball leagues and tournaments in Canada and the US and Africa. These events have contributed substantially to the growth of the youth sports industry. 

    P.H.A.S.E.1 Academies are located in Canada, Jamaica, the United States, and Africa. Our student-athletes have access to expert staff, elite training methods, top competition, and exposure to greater opportunities. Over the years, we have assisted in the development of more than 500 athletes in receiving scholarships to study and play post-secondary sports and move on to become professional athletes.

     

  • Michigan State give Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo new 5-year, $31m contract Michigan State give Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo new 5-year, $31m contract

    Michigan State and Tom Izzo have agreed to a new five-year, $31 million contract, giving the Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach an annual raise of about $2 million.  

    The university announced the contract extension on Thursday, pending board approval.  

    "We greatly appreciate Coach Izzo's commitment to our outstanding university and his competitive drive to keep Spartan basketball as a national powerhouse," university president Samuel Stanley said in a statement. 

    The MSU Athletics account on Twitter announced Izzo’s new deal using the phrase "Spartan For Life."

    "Twelve years ago, Tom Izzo said he would be a Spartan for Life, and today's announcement further demonstrates and renews this commitment," AD Alan Haller said in a statement. "We have worked collaboratively to come up with a contract which benefits the university, coach Izzo and his family."

    A 2016 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Izzo is entering his 28th year at the helm of Spartan men’s basketball with a career record of 666-267.  

    Izzo has led Michigan State to eight Final Four appearances, including the 2000 national championship.  

    The Spartans have participated in NCAA Tournament in a Big Ten-record 24 straight seasons.  

    "Michigan State has been a home to me and my family for 40 years and I'm ecstatic to sign this contract," Izzo said in the statement. 

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