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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Suns To Pursue Payton As Insurance Against Nash?s Ailing Hamstring

If Atlanta buys out newly acquired Gary Payton?s contract, the Suns are likely to make a move to bring the veteran their way.  Payton wants to play for a winner and Phoenix has certainly proved themselves to be a contender.

If Nash does manage to stay healthy, Payton would provided the Suns with much needed depth.    

Payton spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers in hopes of finally winning a championship.  He led the Sonics to the Finals versus the Chicago Bulls, but were defeated in 6 games.

Via Arizona Republic

Nash May Sit Tonight?s Game Versus Dallas

Steve Nash, the cog that keeps the Suns machine rolling, will make a game-time decision as to whether he will play in tonight?s game versus the surging Dallas Mavericks.

Nash is at the mercy of his ailing left hamstring which kept him out of practice yesterday.

"Hamstrings are a little tricky," Nash said Friday before the Suns departed to Dallas for tonight's game against the Mavericks. "Every day you can work as hard as you can to get it better, but it's going to be ready when it's ready."

"I know he (Nash) wants to play, but he'll be smart enough to make a good decision," coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Via The Arizona Republic

Memphis The Latest Winner To Announce Higher Ticket Prices

Following in the footsteps of Phoenix and Miami, two other surprise winners this season, the Memphis Grizzles have announced a plan to increase season ticket prices in 2005-06 in the FedExForum, credited as one of the nicest arenas in the NBA.

The Grizzlies' average ticket price of slightly more than $50 next season would still keep the Griz below the league average, according to Mike Golub, executive vice president of business operations.

"This has always been our hardest decision -- how to price," Golub said. "All along, we've wanted to create affordability."

The Griz will, however, still offer 500 $5 Sonic Saver seats on game days.

Via Commercial Appeal

Laettner Activated; Newly Aquired Steve Smith To IL

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have activated Christian Laettner from the injured list and placed Steve Smith on the injured list with a lower back strain

Laettner has appeared in 32 games for the HEAT so far this season, averaging 5.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. He was placed on the injured list on February 3, 2005 with left foot plantar fasciitis.

Smith was obtained in a trade on February 24th that sent Malik Allen to the Charlotte Bobcats. In 37 games with Charlotte this season, he has averaged 7.9 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 17.2 minutes per game.

Via Miami Heat

Sonics Start Cold; Finish Hot

In a game when the Sonics could do no right, they still managed to pull off a 99-88 win versus the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves who now reside 12.5 games back of division leading Seattle.  The Sonics survived the first half riding on seldom used Vitaly Potapenko who was the only one to shoot over 40% in the first half.

The Sonics did finally catch up in the fourth quarter and it was smooth sailing from there as Ray Allen caught fire, finishing with a game-high 32 points.

Via The Seattle Times

Pacers Win Fifth Straight Victory

Indiana won a season-high fifth straight game Friday night, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-82.

The victory was also their eighth in ten attempts.

Stephen Jackson led Indiana with 28 points, including the team's last 11 in the fourth quarter. Jermaine O'Neal added 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Indiana, which shot 52 percent.

LeBron James had a tough night from the field, scoring 21 points on 9-of-25 shooting. Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for Cleveland, which shot 36 percent and committed 15 turnovers.

Via Yahoo!

Pistons Beat The Lakers Again In Finals Rematch

The defending champions beat last season's runners-up in a 111-90 blowout.  It was the Pistons' sixth straight and 11th in 12 games, was their second lopsided win over the Lakers in two weeks. They beat them by 22 points at Detroit on Feb. 10.

Tayshaun Prince scored 26 points, Chauncey Billups added 23, and the Pistons never trailed in the rematch, same as in the previous meeting.

Richard Hamilton had 18 points and eight assists, Rasheed Wallace had 19 points, and Ben Wallace had 13 rebounds for the Pistons.

``We played great. We shared the ball, we took care of the ball,'' Detroit coach Larry Brown said. ``We defended well, got out on the break. It was a great team effort.''

Via Yahoo!

Wearing 88 Walker Scores 24 In Return To Celtics

Antoine Walker had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help the Celtics beat the Utah Jazz 109-102.

``It's great to be back,'' Walker said. ``I am excited about the opportunity to be back and make this work."

``'Toine was great,'' Doc Rivers said. ``You know what's nice with 'Toine is we had somewhere to go in the post.''

Andrei Kirilenko scored a season-high 29 points and Matt Harpring added 18 for the Jazz, who have lost six of their last seven games.

Via Yahoo!

Bucks Waive Henderson Making Him Free To Return To Dallas

Allan Henderson is now free to return to Dallas after being waived on waivers today just one day after his trade.

The Bucks acquired Henderson and Calvin Booth, along with $250,000, in exchange for forward Keith Van Horn on Thursday. Milwaukee plans to keep Booth.

Asked Thursday night of the proposition of rejoining the Mavericks, Henderson said: "I don't know anything about that."

"If we can get him back that's the best of both worlds," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said.

Via Star-Telegram

C-Webb To Philly: The Trade And The Aftermath

What a difference a day makes. One day the Sixers are stuck in relative mediocrity. The next, they?re a force in the Eastern Conference.

What a difference a player makes. Especially when that player is Chris Webber.

Webber follows in the foot steps of players like Dikembe Mutombo, Theo Ratliff, Tyrone Hill, Derrick Coleman, Matt Geiger, Keith Van Horn, Toni Kukoc, and most recently Kenny Thomas. All were at one time or another the best big man in Philadelphia. (In the cases of Van Horn and Kukoc, the words ?big man? should be applied loosely.) Now the best big man in Philadelphia also happens to be the best big man in Philadelphia since Charles Barkley last wore a Sixers uniform 13 seasons ago

The Trade

Who would have thought Sixers General Manager Billy King could swap Chris Webber for Kenny Thomas, and then replace Corliss Williamson with Rodney Rogers? It took two separate deals for that scenario to become reality, but King pulled it off. The Sixers have two new power forwards, and they got a steal of a deal

The Aftermath

Take a look at the Sixers roster after the trades and suddenly you realize that all the pieces seem to fit together nicely.

Via RealGM/Jim Serratore

Shaq's MRI Results Revealed

Nuggets Try Another Round WIth Pope

Clippers Return Home And Defeat Reeling Timberwolves

Sacramento Loses First Game In Post-Webber Era In Dallas

Steve Smith Returns To Miami In A Trade For Malik Allen

Sonics Maintain Their Chemistry While The NBA Explodes With Trades

Boozer, Allen, Pierce, Odom And Marshall Stay Put

Walker Back To Boston, Gugliotta, Payton And Stewart Sent To Atlanta

It was a long vacation for Antoine Walker, but he's finally coming back to Boston.

Warriors Trade Najera For Skita And Rodney White

Knicks Trade Nazr, Brewer, Baker & Norris for Rose/Taylor And 2 Picks

Golden State Gets Baron Davis

Baron Davis will join Jason Richardson to form one of the league's most exciting backcourts. Davis was one of 35 traded players.

Jahidi White Out For Season, Set For Surgery

Bucks Trade Van Horn To Dallas

Keith Van Horn will back up Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, as the Buck cleared cap room to keep Michael Redd and sign a big name free-agent this offseason.

Sixers Waive Brown, Place Davis And Green On IL

Iron-Man Iverson Sits With Hip Injury

Sonics Asking $205M For Taxpayer Financed Expansion Of Key Arena

Bucks Trade James, Hamilton To Rockets For Gaines

Seattle Likely To Hold On To Winning Team

Amid All The Talk, Marshall Expects To Remain A Raptor

Cavaliers Acquire Jiri Welsch

Jiri Welsch will add additional shooting to the Cleveland Cavaliers after being traded from the Boston Celtics Thursday
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