AP Source: Pelicans, Grizzlies, agree to multi-player trade
A person familiar with the situation says the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade center Jonas Valanciunas to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for center Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe and an exchange of first-round choices in this week’s draft.
Ingram, Williamson pace Pelicans in 128-111 win over Lakers
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers center Montrezl Harrell (15) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Ingram scored a season-high 36 points, Williamson had 27 points and nine rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Lakers 128-111 on Tuesday night. “We had a stretch in the second quarter where we hit a big drop, which really hurt us in this game,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. AdThe Lakers never got within single digits in the second half and trailed by as many as 30. Pelicans: Starting point guard Lonzo Ball missed his second straight game with a strained right hip flexor.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
Still perfect: Team LeBron wins NBA All-Star Game 170-150
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo hols up the trophy after basketball's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)ATLANTA – Even in the strangest NBA All-Star Game of them all, LeBron James was still the perfect captain. AdAfter showing it could handle shots up close, Team LeBron headed outside in the final seconds of the half. It was 3, 3, 3, 3, 3.”The atmosphere at State Farm Arena was downright eerie compared to a normal All-Star Game. UP NEXTThe 71st All-Star Game will be held Feb. 20, 2022, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.
James, Durant choose their teams for Sunday's All-Star Game
1 overall pick on Antetokounmpo — the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP from Milwaukee — in the draft for Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. Kevin Durant, who will not play in the All-Star Game because of injury but still is the captain for Team Durant, took Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving with his first pick. This is the fourth year of the NBA's playing captain format for the All-Star Game. It’s the All-Star Game, so there’s going to be some shenanigans out there. AdTHE COACHESRivers, who played in one All-Star Game, is coaching the game for the third time.
Williamson pushes Pelicans past NBA-leading Jazz, 129-124
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket over Utah Jazz forward Georges Niang, left, and center Rudy Gobert, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, March 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS – Zion Williamson had 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and the New Orleans Pelicans held off a late Utah charge to beat the NBA-leading Jazz 129-124 on Monday night. Williamson scored 15 points and added a pair of assists in the quarter. ... Utah had its highest scoring second quarter of the season with 41 points ... Utah shot 45.5% (46 of 101), including 17 of 43 from 3-point range. Pelicans: Hart scored 13 points to go with seven rebounds.
NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)New Orleans forward Zion Williamson now can be called an NBA All-Star, and only three others in the game’s 70-year history have gotten there at a younger age. Phoenix’s Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time, and Brooklyn’s James Harden is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reserves include Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic from the Eastern Conference, along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Portland’s Damian Lillard from the Western Conference. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself.
Doncic, Williamson hit career highs as Mavs top Pels 143-130
Doncic scored a career-high 46 points, Kristaps Porzingis added 36 and the Mavericks overcame Williamson's career-best 36 points in a 143-130 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. The Mavericks matched their season best with a fourth consecutive victory and beat the Pelicans for the fifth straight time. The Pelicans gave up a franchise-record 25 3-pointers for the second consecutive game. Mavericks: Dallas finished above 50% shooting for the third consecutive game while improving to 7-0 when scoring at least 120 points. MORE HISTORY FOR DONCICDoncic tied a franchise record shared by Mark Aguirre (1983-84) and Dirk Nowitzki (2005-06) with his 13th consecutive game of at least 25 points.
LaVine scores 46 points, Bulls hit 25 3s to beat Pelicans
Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine dunks past New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Chicago. LaVine scored a season-high 46 points, hitting nine of Chicago's franchise-record 25 3-pointers, and the Bulls cooled off the New Orleans Pelicans with a 129-116 victory Wednesday. LaVine and White became the first duo in NBA history to make at least eight 3s apiece in the same game, according to STATS. “We (were) due for a good team shooting night,” White said. Zion Williamson had 29 points for New Orleans, and Brandon Ingram finished with 21 points on 6-for-19 shooting.
AP sources: USA Basketball eyeing 60 players in Olympic pool
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) shoots as Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)MIAMI – USA Basketball is casting a wider-than-usual net in its roster selection for this summer's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, two people with knowledge of the situation said Saturday. The additions mean at least 60 players could be on the player-pool list that will be released by USA Basketball in the coming weeks. ESPN first reported that USA Basketball has sent approximately 60 invitations to be part of the player pool. USA Basketball is planning a training camp and exhibition games.
Mitchell helps Jazz beat Pelicans for 7th straight win
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) blocks the shot of New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell scored a season-high 36 points, and the Utah Jazz rallied to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 129-118 on Thursday night for their seventh straight win. Mike Conley scored 20 points and Jordan Clarkson had 19 for Utah, which has the longest active win streak in the NBA. Ingram made all six of his shots, including four 3s, as the Pelicans tallied 43 points in the first quarter. Both teams had 27 assists, and the Pelicans shot 49.4% (42 for 85).
Mitchell scores 28, Jazz beat Pelicans 118-102
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, left, goes to the basket as New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell had 28 points and seven rebounds, and the Utah Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-102 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight victory. Jordan Clarkson added 18 points, six rebounds, and six assists, and reserve Joe Ingles scored 15 points. The Jazz disrupted shots, crashed the boards, and sprinted up the court on numerous possessions to stay a step ahead of the Pelicans. … New Orleans scored 22 points off 14 Jazz turnovers.
Another 3 NBA games called off amid virus, 16 test positive
With 497 players tested, that reflects a positivity rate of 3.2%. Phoenix's home game Wednesday against Atlanta was called off, as was the Suns' home game with Golden State on Friday. That doesn't mean he tested positive and simply could mean he was potentially exposed to someone who has, or had an inconclusive test. In the previous five weeks combined, only 15 players tested positive. But even the current week's rate is well below what the league dealt with going into training camps, when 48 players tested positive in the week before practices could formally begin leaguewide.
Spoelstra stays perfect on Christmas, Heat beat Pels 111-98
New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe (5) dribbles against Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)MIAMI – Erik Spoelstra remained perfect on Christmas, and a record-tying show from Duncan Robinson helped him stay that way. Robinson made seven 3-pointers — tying the most on Christmas ever — and scored 23 points, and the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 111-98 to start the NBA’s holiday quintupleheader Friday. Spoelstra moved to 8-0 on Christmas as coach of the Heat. COMING HOMEVeteran ref John Goble was crew chief and got to be home for Christmas; he’s a Miami native.
Pelicans' Van Gundy talks teaching, commitment to defense
Van Gundy agreed to a four-year contract, according to one of the people who spoke Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the hiring has not been announced. Van Gundy has a track record of bridging that gap between knowledge and talent with younger players in his previous coaching stops. “There is a lot of teaching to do to bring these guys along,” Van Gundy said Tuesday during a formal introduction via video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Pelicans, Van Gundy said, he saw ownership that had won a championship in a major professional sport, even if it was the NFL. Van Gundy called Williamson and Ingram “two of the most unique young guys in the entire league.”“There's just a lot to build around there,” he added.
Stan Van Gundy agrees to become New Orleans Pelicans' coach
Two people with knowledge of the situation say Stan Van Gundy has agreed to become the next coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, where hell get the chance to work with No. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)Stan Van Gundy is headed to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he'll take over a promising team that includes 2019 No. “It will be an honor to work with our players and to work for Mrs. Benson and David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, their staff and the great people of New Orleans," Van Gundy wrote. Redick has readily credited Van Gundy for helping him develop into a reliable double-digit scorer. Van Gundy, 61, is a seasoned coach with a more traditional and direct style of communicating with players.
Pelicans fire Alvin Gentry after 5 seasons as team's coach
FILE - In this March 20, 2020 file photo, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry watches during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in New Orleans. The Pelicans have fired Gentry, Saturday, Aug. 15, after the club missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza, File)NEW ORLEANS The New Orleans Pelicans fired coach Alvin Gentry on Saturday after the club missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. Gentry was hired by former Pelicans general manager Dell Demps after the club fired Monte Williams following the 2014-15 season, when Anthony Davis was the face of the franchise. Odds makers favored the Pelicans to make the playoffs, but they were eliminated after dropping four of six after resuming their season.
Spurs help playoff chances, top Pelicans, Zion 122-113
A win by the Trail Blazers over Philadelphia would eliminate New Orleans from postseason consideration. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry called it a Game 7-type game beforehand but stayed with the plan of playing Williamson in short bursts. In the fourth, Gentry took Williamson out with 6:53 left, putting him back in for the last-ditch try about two minutes later. Williamson scored the next eight points by himself, kick-starting what became a 28-12 run by the Pelicans to end the quarter. DeRozan scored inside on the next San Antonio possession, and a late 8-0 spurt by the Spurs sealed the deal.
The NBA MVP finalists: Antetokounmpo, James and Harden
A trio of past winners of the award reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, four-time MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and 2017-18 winner James Harden of the Houston Rockets were announced Saturday as the finalists for this seasons top NBA individual honor. Antetokounmpo is bidding to become the 12th back-to-back winner of the award, and Harden is vying for his second MVP in three seasons. The other finalists for NBA honors:Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, Memphis; Kendrick Nunn, Miami; Zion Williamson, New Orleans. Sixth Man Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers; Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers. Defensive Player of the Year Antetokounmpo; Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers; Rudy Gobert, Utah.
Bogdanovic's career-high 35 lead Kings past Pelicans 140-125
The Kings shot 54%. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram each scored 24 points for the Pelicans. JJ Redick scored 18 points and Jrue Holiday added 17 for the Pelicans, who shot 57%. The Kings pulled even with the Pelicans in the standings and now are 2 1/2 games behind eighth-place Memphis with four games remaining. Kings: Shot 78% in the first quarter.
Williamson loses shoe, but Pelicans get key 109-99 win
Williamson had 23 points, seven rebounds and tied a career high with five assists in his most extensive playing time since returning to the NBA bubble. Williamson drove the lane in the third quarter and landed awkwardly, losing his left shoe. However, the big man quickly put the shoe back on and remained in the game. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 22 points for the Grizzlies, who fell to 0-3 since the NBA restart. Pelicans: Play Sacramento on Thursday.
George, Clippers rain 3s on Pelicans in 126-103 blowout
Kawhi Leonard and Beverly kept the barrage going for six straight 3s before Leonard had the Clippers first miss. With the Clippers well on their way to a blowout win, it was an opportunity for the Pelicans to get Williamson out of the game. We had a rough start, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. The Clippers have already clinched a playoff spot in their first season with Leonard and George playing together. Clippers: L.A. led 103-63 late in the third quarter when George and Leonard were taken out.
Gobert lifts Jazz past Pelicans 106-104 in NBA restart
He scored 13 points in just more than 15 minutes, highlighted by a couple alley-oop dunks, one on a nearly half-court lob from Lonzo Ball. But Williamson checked out for good with 7:19 left in the fourth quarter and watched the tense finish from the sideline. Thats all it is.Jordan Clarkson scored 23 points for Utah and helped lead a second-half comeback, while Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley each added 20. When Jordan has space on the floor to work, hes really difficult to guard," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. The Jazz went 8 of 34 from 3-point range but scored 54 points in the paint and went 24 of 28 on foul shots.
Pelicans place Zion Williamson in starting lineup vs. Utah
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Zion Williamson was in the New Orleans Pelicans' starting lineup against Utah on Thursday night, just two days after practicing for the first time in two weeks. Williamson left the team July 16 to attend to a family medical matter. Right knee surgery forced the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Williamson to miss the first 44 games of his rookie season. His return bolsters the Pelicans' hopes for a playoff spot. New Orleans resumes the season 3 1/2 games behind Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Zion Williamson practicing, could play in Pelicans' opener
Zion Williamson returned to New Orleans Pelicans practice for the first time in nearly two weeks on Tuesday night and coach Alvin Gentry said the NBAs top overall draft pick might play when the club resumes its season against Utah on Thursday night. If hes ready to play, hell play. So well see and evaluate tomorrow where he is the medical people will and so will Zion. That kept the Pelicans hopeful that hed be able to get ready to play quickly when he returned from a family matter that he has kept private. The Pelicans are 3 1/2 games behind Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Zion Williamson's lawyers doubt marketing firm's contract
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Lawyers for New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson want a federal judge in North Carolina to rule that a marketing firm suing Williamson for $100 million never had a valid contract with the former Duke star. The motion filed by Williamson attorney John Wester in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem this week centers on North Carolinas Uniform Athlete Agent Act. Ford and Prime Sports responded by suing in federal court in Florida for damages related to breach of contract by Williamson and tampering by his CAA agents. The questions reference Williamsons mother and step-father as well as apparel companies Nike which outfits the Blue Devils team and Adidas. Schoenfeld also referred to a previous statement that the school has reviewed Williamsons eligibility and found no concerns.