76ers

NBA Notes: Garnett out at least one week

032513_kevingarnettusa.jpg

NBA Notes: Garnett out at least one week

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston's Kevin Garnett is expected to miss at least a week with inflammation in his left ankle as the Celtics practice patience with their 36-year-old star.

Coach Doc Rivers, preparing his team for a playoff run, said on Monday he doesn't think Garnett will be out for the long term.

"I don't know what long term is," Rivers said before practice. "If you mean that he's not going to play this year, no, I don't worry about that. But can he miss four or five games? Yeah, that's possible."

Garnett sat out Saturday night's 110-106 loss at Memphis and will miss Tuesday night's home game against the New York Knicks, Rivers said. The Celtics' busy stretch continues Wednesday night at Cleveland, Friday night at home against the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday night at New York and Monday at Minnesota.

Boston general manager Danny Ainge wasn't sure how much time Garnett would miss.

"I think that it's not longer than three weeks or it could be a week," he said. "I'll guess two weeks just because we want to make sure he's really ready. We need to get him fresh anyway," (see full story).

Royce White back with D-League team
HOUSTON -- Royce White is back with the Houston Rockets' developmental league affiliate, five days after he left the team.

White announced on Twitter that he had returned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and that a "miscommunication" with the Rockets had been cleared up. He said last week that he had left the team and returned to Houston on the advice of a team doctor.

The Rockets had no comment on White's departure last week or his return.

White has played in 12 games for the Vipers, averaging 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. He was a first-round pick (16th overall) last summer and has yet to play for the Rockets.

Qualcomm CEO joins Sacramento bid to keep Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Add another investor to the group Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is assembling to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.

Johnson announced Monday night that Paul Jacobs, CEO of the international technology company Qualcomm, has agreed to become part of the Sacramento bid. Jacobs joins a group that includes billionaire investor Ron Burkle, 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and TIBCO Software CEO Vivek Ranadive.

Sacramento city officials reached a preliminary agreement Saturday with the investment group for a new $447 million downtown arena. The City Council is planning to vote on the non-binding term sheet Tuesday night.

Sacramento is hoping to block a bid by a group that has a pending purchase agreement to buy the Kings from the Maloof family and move the team to Seattle. The NBA Board of Governors is expected to make a decision by the end of its April 18-19 meetings.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for inappropriate comments toward fan during Sixers game

ap-kyrie-irving-celtics-sixers.jpg
AP Images

Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for inappropriate comments toward fan during Sixers game

NEW YORK — The NBA has fined Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for responding to a fan with inappropriate language.

Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA' executive vice president of basketball operations, announced the fine Sunday.

Irving spoke to a fan at halftime of Boston's 102-92 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night (see story). 

The NBA fined Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for language he used toward a fan late in a loss to Memphis on Wednesday night in the season opener.

Without Joel Embiid in Toronto, Sixers 'jumped' in telling loss to Raptors

Without Joel Embiid in Toronto, Sixers 'jumped' in telling loss to Raptors

BOX SCORE

TORONTO — Ben Simmons' double-double feat aside, the Sixers have had little to enjoy about the start to the season.

They were outclassed Saturday night, 128-94, by the Toronto Raptors and have lost their first three games (see observations).

As has been their custom for back-to-back games, center Joel Embiid did not play Saturday after playing Friday in the loss to the Boston Celtics to protect his left knee.

Head coach Brett Brown said he did not expect things to go this way.

“I didn’t,” he said. “I knew the first three games were going to be difficult. I knew coming into this building after a back-to-back was going to be difficult, but you are certainly not expecting it to be that margin of a deficit. I give Toronto credit.

“We have a lot of work to do; we look forward to getting Joel (Embiid) back in this and continuing to learn how to play the group.”

After trailing by as many as 17 points in the first quarter, the Sixers whittled the lead to eight when Jerryd Bayless hit a couple of free throws with 2:22 left in the first half.

Toronto led 62-49 at the half and blitzed the Sixers to open the third quarter with Serge Ibaka scoring eight of their first 10 points of the second half. With 3:12 left in the third, the Raptors led by 29.

“They jumped us, especially at the start of the third, certainly portions of the first period but especially the start of the third and you’re just playing catch up pretty much for the rest of the game after that first almost minute, minute and a half,” Brown said.

“You’re just trying to find some type of order and purpose to end the game with that in mind.”

It was a subdued atmosphere in the dressing room after the game.

The edge surely was removed from another double-double by Simmons.

He had 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Simmons joins Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players to average 10-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and five-plus assists in their first three career games.

“It looks great, but I’d rather have a win,” he said. “I’d rather we had three wins than three double-doubles.”

Simmons said he is looking forward to Embiid returning to the lineup Monday against the Detroit Pistons.

He said he could feel the game slipping away Saturday.

“Toward the third, coming out we just didn’t click, didn’t have it together,” Simmons said. “It’s tough without Joel (Embiid), obviously there’s chemistry and then you switch it up, so that comes into it, but we need to learn to play without him, with those back-to-backs.

“We have to stay together as a team, talk it out, get through it, communicate on the court and hold each other accountable. … We have to sit down and look at what we did wrong, that’s with every game, you have to fix your mistakes and come out ready for the next one. It’s a long season.”

It could seem even longer if there aren't signs of improvement.

“Coach Brown has talked since Day 1 of camp about our goal; to build every day, to take something positive every day and I think for tonight, we were unable to do that,” guard J.J. Redick said. “I was just saying if it’s a six-minute stretch where we are doing things well, cutting into their lead, that’s something to build on. I don’t think we did that before but that’s what I was trying to get across.

“I’m a patient person; if we were 0-45 then I’ll start to panic. There are 82 games, we have a very tough schedule to start, we’re a young team, and that’s not an excuse but the reality is the team we played tonight and the team we played in D.C. Wednesday night, they’ve been together a long time and know how to play together. We have to figure out a way to jell quicker and we have to understand and close our margin for error.”