Connect with us

NBA

Ex-NBA star JR Smith stung by hornets, high scores during first collegiate golf tournament

Published

on

BURLINGTON, N.C. — JR Smith stepped into a hornets nest in his first college golf tournament, and it had nothing to do with his high score.

The 36-year-old two-time NBA champion was literally stung by hornets while completing his round Tuesday for North Carolina A&T on the second day of Elon’s Phoenix Invitational.

“To get stung on the basketball court or in an arena, never happens,” said Smith, now a freshman walk-on. “That’s one of the very few things you don’t have to worry about [in basketball] — other animals. When I got stung, I was like ‘No way.'”

The hornets just added to the sting of Smith’s birdie-less round of 8-over-par 79 on the Donald Ross-designed layout. Combined with his two rounds Monday, he finished at 29 over 240 — in 81st place out 84 entries.

Smith said he’s determined to improve because he knows others are paying attention. He communicated with Suns guard Chris Paul after Monday’s two rounds and heard from ex-NBA teammates as part of a group text.

“I got a lot of great feedback,” Smith said. “Chris Paul was telling me guys were talking about it in the locker room. Guys are really looking for my scores, so I got to take care of business so when I see them it ain’t going to be too much backlash.”

Still, he made an impact at the event. Well after the round, playing partner Mason Whatley of Presbyterian went to have a photograph with Smith.

“He has made golf cool for people,” Whatley said.

When the hornets attacked, being an ambassador for the game was not Smith’s top priority.

It happened on his third hole of the third round at Alamance Country Club. His tee shot went off the fairway and became embedded in pine straw. He found the ball, but his pull cart’s wheel rolled over the the nest.

Smith darted away from that area, waving his arms, before needing treatment. Smith, along with playing partners Florian Blatti of George Washington and Whatley, were granted a 15-minute break as other groups played through.

“I tried to turn it into a positive,” Smith said, referring to suiting up while ill in the NBA. “This might be your equivalent of a flu game.”

Smith had the sixth-best score out of six players on his team. The Aggies finished 11th in the 13-team field, 57 shots off the pace set by tournament champion Elon.

Smith played 16 years in the NBA, winning championships with Cleveland in 2016 and with the Los Angeles Lakers last year in the Florida pandemic bubble. The Lakers’ title-clinching win came exactly one year before his debut as an Aggies golfer.

Smith said he has a round tentatively set up next week with recently retired North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams. Smith was originally set to play basketball for Williams’ Tar Heels before going jumping straight to the NBA in 2004.

Source link

NBA

Sacramento Kings outduel Los Angeles Lakers, pull away in 3-OT thriller

Published

on

LOS ANGELES — De’Aaron Fox scored 34 points, Buddy Hield had 13 of his 25 after regulation and the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers 141-137 in triple overtime Friday night.

In a game that saw 19 ties and 23 lead changes, the Lakers led 126-124 a minute into the third overtime when the Kings went on an 11-2 run to go up by seven with 1:54 remaining. Marvin Bagley III had five points during the spurt, including a three-point play to give Sacramento the lead.

Carmelo Anthony hit a 3-pointer with 9.4 seconds remaining to get the Lakers within a basket, but Hield sank a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to put it away.

Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points for the Kings, who had seven players in double figures. They are 2-1 under interim coach Alvin Gentry.

The Lakers, who are 10-11 after dropping five of their past seven, had four players with at least 20 points with the first time this season. LeBron James led the way with 30 points, Russell Westbrook added 29, Anthony Davis 23 and Malik Monk 20.

The Lakers scored the first six points of the first overtime and were up 110-103 before the Kings scored seven straight, including Hield’s 3-pointer to tie it with 28 seconds remaining. Davis had a driving layup with 9.0 seconds remaining but Sacramento forced a second OT on Hield’s 18-foot jumper.

The largest lead anyone had in the second overtime was three points. James made a driving layup with 24 seconds remaining to tie it at 124. Sacramento had the final possession, but couldn’t get a shot off.

HOW WE GOT TO OVERTIME

Monk scored 11 points during a 24-8 second-half run that saw the Lakers turn a three-point deficit with 4 minutes to go in the third quarter into an 86-73 advantage with 10:02 remaining.

The Kings would counter through with a 22-5 rally, including eight points from Alex Len, to seize a 98-93 advantage with 2:26 to go. Los Angeles, though, scored seven of the last nine points of regulation to send it to overtime.

After a layup by James gave the Lakers a 100-98 advantage, Fox tied it with a layup with 21 seconds to go. The Lakers had the final shot, but James missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send it to overtime.

TIP-INS

Kings: It was Fox’s second game this season with at least 30 points. He scored 37 on Nov. 10 at San Antonio. … Terence Davis had 13 points before fouling out in overtime. … Harrison Barnes (right foot sprain) and Richaun Holmes (right eye contusion) were out of the lineup.

Lakers: Anthony (16 points) was 6 of 13 from the field after going 7 of 27 the past two games. … This was Monk’s third game with at least 20 points since joining Los Angeles during the offseason. … Davis reached 800 career steals when he stripped the ball from Fox during the first overtime.

UP NEXT

Kings: Travel to Memphis Sunday.

Lakers: Host Detroit Sunday.

Source link

Continue Reading

NBA

‘We’re just trying to build, build’

Published

on

NEW YORK — The Phoenix Suns haven’t lost a game in a month. And, after beating the New York Knicks here at Madison Square Garden Friday night, they are two wins away from equaling the franchise’s all-time consecutive win streak of 17 games.

To do so, however, the Suns will only have to beat the teams sitting atop both conferences — first facing the East-leading Nets Saturday night in Brooklyn before heading home to play the West-leading Golden State Warriors. It’ll be the first of three games in less than a month against the Warriors, culminating with a Christmas Day showdown between the league’s top two teams thus far.

But while the rest of the NBA may have the consecutive games between two of the league’s three-best teams circled at the moment, one team does not: the Suns themselves.

“This ain’t a playoff game tomorrow,” Chris Paul said with a smile after Phoenix’s 118-97 victory over the Knicks. “It’s good for us to go out there and compete, and we’re probably gonna see different coverages and all that, but we’re just trying to build, build.

“It’s not about winning a game in November.”

The Suns are focused on building toward winning games in May and June. But the whole winning games in November thing? That’s going just fine as Phoenix ripped off its 15th straight victory Friday night in a comprehensive win over the Knicks.

The game was competitive through the first quarter. But, as the game progressed, the Knicks simply melted away, unable to get anything going offensively while simultaneously giving up whatever the Suns wanted at the other end of the court. Phoenix finished the game shooting 55 percent from the field and 13-for-28 from 3-point range.

But it was Devin Booker, who finished with 32 points in 35 minutes, that stole the show for the Suns, pouring in 21 points in the first half and getting wherever he wanted against whomever Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau threw at him.

“A lot of guys say they want to play on this stage, but he really does,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “But I don’t think there’s many stages Book doesn’t want to play on.”

Booker said the aggression on his part stemmed from knowing that the Suns needed to get off to a good start after a pair of close wins over San Antonio and Cleveland earlier this week. He acknowledged Phoenix’s win streak has made them a team everyone is excited to play, and that the Suns have to match that intensity on a nightly basis.

“We just wanted to get it going,” said Booker, who shot 14-for-27 from the field and 4-for-9 from 3-point range. “It’s no secret we have a streak going, and we’re going to get every team’s best shot. The whole NBA knows about that, so we just tried to set the tone early. Come out, play team basketball … we did our job tonight.”

That’s been the case for quite some time for these Suns, who are now a pair of wins away from equaling that franchise-best 17-game win streak, which came back in the 2006-07 season.

The past calendar year has seen Phoenix return to the heights they haven’t reached since that era, when Steve Nash, Amar’e Stoudemire, Shawn Marion and Mike D’Antoni turned the Suns into perennial contenders in the Western Conference.

These Suns, though, managed to do what that group never quite could last season in reaching the NBA Finals, where they lost in six hard-fought games to the Milwaukee Bucks. And after it looked like Phoenix might fall into some sort of hangover from last season with losses in three of its first four games, all the Suns have managed to do is win every game since, to the point where it enters Saturday’s game in Brooklyn having gone a full calendar month between losses.

It’s a turnaround that began with Phoenix’s acquisition of Paul via trade a year ago this month. And, as he surveyed his team’s latest win, he said it is Phoenix’s defense — which is the NBA’s third-best unit this season, and is second to Golden State since the start of the winning streak — that is the foundation for everything the Suns are hoping to accomplish.

“We talk about it all the time. [The] one thing that travels is defense,” Paul said. “I think that’s where we try to be consistent.”

The Suns will now hope to carry that consistency over to Saturday’s game in Brooklyn. What Phoenix says it won’t do, however, is think about anything beyond that.

“We do one at a time,” Booker said. “We know we have a tough opponent tomorrow that’s been waiting on us, well-rested. So we just have to come in with the same mentality, play the type of basketball that we do, defend at a high level and put ourselves in good shape to get it done.”

Source link

Continue Reading

NBA

Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant injures left knee in 1st, out for rest of game

Published

on

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant suffered a left knee injury that caused him to exit Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter.

Morant was hurt while dribbling the ball toward the paint, although there was no contact that appeared to cause the injury. He began to limp, passed the ball and then hobbled off the floor in the middle of the play.

After briefly being attended to in front of the Grizzlies’ bench, Morant was helped to the locker room, putting no pressure on his left leg. Minutes later, the Grizzlies announced that he was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Morant, 22, has established himself as one of the NBA’s premier young stars. He seemed to be on the path to his first All-Star appearance this season, averaging a career-best 25.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game entering Friday night.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending