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NBA NEWS - PREVIEW for WEEK 18

Michael Jordan turns 55 on Saturday - ( Steve Lipofsky photo)

 

 

 

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry - NBA photo

 

Cavaliers LeBron James - NBA photo

 

 

 

 

 

Hornets Chairman and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan turns 55 on Saturday - This season could become the first in NBA history in which both conference leaders have leads of no more than one game at the All-Star break - Los Angeles will host NBA All-Star for a record sixth time. The 67th All-Star Game will reach fans in 215 countries and territories - - The Cavaliers LeBron James is set to start his 14th consecutive NBA All-Star Game - THIS DAY IN THE NBA

 

NEW YORK, N.Y. USA

Monday, February 12, 2018

THREE POINTS

1.NBA All-Star 2018: Week 18 culminates with the NBA’s annual global celebration of the game. Los Angeles will host NBA All-Star for a record sixth time. The 67th All-Star Game will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 50 languages through the NBA’s international television and digital partners. Please check out Media Central’s 2018 NBA All-Star Media Guide for additional information, including a complete schedule, a look at each on-court event, facts and figures about the 2018 All-Stars, historical notes and more.

2. All That Jazz: Utah has won nine straight games to reach the .500 mark (28-28) and close within 1½ games of eighth place in the Western Conference. During its longest winning streak in eight years, the Jazz is averaging 113.2 points (up from 101.6 before the streak) and outscoring opponents by 15.2 points per game. Utah, which has played an NBA-high 31 road games, has its next six games at home. The extended stretch at Vivint Smart Home Arena begins with two games before the All-Star break, against San Antonio on Monday and Phoenix on Wednesday.

3.Brilliant Backcourts: Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum go head-to-head when the Warriors visit the Trail Blazers on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Thompson, Lillard and McCollum are the only players in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to score at least 50 points in a game in fewer than 30 minutes; Lillard and McCollum each did it in a recent nine-day span. Curry, Thompson and Lillard will be teammates on Team Stephen at the NBA All-Star Game.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MJ!

Hornets Chairman and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan turns 55 on Saturday.

Jordan will celebrate his birthday on the same day as State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. During his illustrious career, Jordan won back-to-back Verizon Slam Dunk titles (1987 and 1988).

His NBA All-Star legacy also features 13 All-Star Games played, three Kia NBA All-Star MVP awards and the first triple-double in All-Star Game history (1997).


TIGHT AT THE TOP

As Week 18 opens, the top two teams in each conference are separated by only half a game, with Toronto (39-16) edging Boston (40-18) in the Eastern Conference and Golden State (43-13) leading Houston (42-13) in the Western Conference.

This season could become the first in NBA history in which both conference leaders have leads of no more than one game at the All-Star break. The Raptors, who have won five straight games, face Miami on Tuesday and Chicago on Wednesday.

The Celtics’ only Week 18 game is against the LA Clippers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Toronto and Boston have split two games this season and meet twice more.

The Warriors host Phoenix on Monday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV) and visit Portland on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), while the Rockets visit Minnesota on Tuesday and host Sacramento on Wednesday. Houston, which has won eight games in a row, has its best record through 55 games in franchise history. The Rockets have won the season series against the Warriors 2-1.


NBA ALL-STAR MILESTONE WATCH

LeBron James, Cavaliers: The Team LeBron captain is set to start his 14th consecutive NBA All-Star Game, which will break a tie with Bob Cousy for the longest streak in NBA history. With 14 starts, James will be one behind Kobe Bryant (15) for the most overall.

Stephen Curry, Warriors: The Team Stephen captain will become the first Warriors player to start five straight All- Star Games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: After starting the 2017 All-Star Game in his All-Star debut, the Team Stephen forward will become the first Milwaukee player to start consecutive All-Star Games since Marques Johnson in 1979 and 1980.

Dwane Casey, Raptors: The Team LeBron head coach will be Toronto’s first All-Star Game head coach.


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

February 12, 1934 Bill Russell is born in Monroe, Louisiana.

February 12, 1987 Bill Fitch became the fifth coach in NBA history to reach 700 career wins when the Houston Rockets beat the New Jersey Nets 121-99.

February 12, 1989 A crowd of 44,735, the largest in NBA All-Star Game history, turned out at the Houston Astrodome to watch the West beat the East 143-134 in the 39th renewal, as Utah’s Karl Malone won MVP honors after scoring a team-high 28 points.

February 12, 1994 Cleveland’s Mark Price captured his second straight AT&T Shootout title, Minnesota rookie Isaiah Rider won the Nestle Crunch Slam Dunk, and the Phenoms, led by Golden State’s Chris Webber (14 points, 10 rebounds), defeated the Sensations 75-68 in the inaugural Schick Rookie Game at All-Star Saturday, held at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

February 12, 1995 In the 45th annual NBA All-Star Game at America West Arena in Phoenix, Sacramento’s Mitch Richmond scored a game-high 22 points and won MVP honors in leading the West to a 139-112 triumph over the East.

February 12, 1999 Mark Price announced his retirement from the NBA at a news conference at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where he starred for Georgia Tech from 1982 to 1986

February 12, 1999 Utah’s Karl Malone became the 10th player in NBA history to log 40,000 career minutes in a game against Golden State.

February 12, 2000 NBA All-Star Saturday in Oakland had Chicago’s Elton Brand winning the Schick Rookie Challenge MVP after finishing with 14 points and 21 rebounds as the 2000 Rookies defeated the 1999 Rookies 92-81 in overtime. The Sony All-Star 2ball competition was won by Utah Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek and Utah Starzz Natalie Williams, as they edged out Phoenix’s Jason Kidd and Jennifer Gillom, 68-61. Hornacek carried his hot shooting into the AT&T Shootout, and became the fourth player in the history of the event to repeat as champion, edging out Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Milwaukee’s Ray Allen in the final round with a score of 13. Vince Carter took center stage in the evening’s grand finale and turned in an Oscar-worthy performance, capturing the NBA.com Slam Dunk title. Carter registered three perfect scores of 50 points and distanced himself from a talented collection of high risers, including second-place finisher Steve Francis of Houston and Raptors teammate and cousin Tracy McGrady (third).

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