Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns) got back on track against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night as he hit 3 of 5 shots (including a three) for seven points. The efficient shooting was a bit of a slump-buster for the rookie, who had hit just 16 of 53 shots (30 percent) in his last six games. Markieff also had seven rebounds, an assist, a steal and a season-high three blocks in 20 minutes (full stats here).
Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) played 20 minutes on Monday against the Phoenix Suns, but scored only four points as the Hawks lost, 99-90. Hinrich hit just one of his five shots (including two three-point attempts) and added 2 of 3 free throws to go along with two rebounds, two assists and two turnovers (full stats here).
It looks like Josh Selby fell out of the Memphis Grizzlies’ rotation on Monday night. Selby, who hadn’t scored in a game since Jan. 26, did not play (coach’s decision) against the San Antonio Spurs. Instead, Grizzlies guard Jeremy Pargo played 10 minutes at the backup point guard spot. Memphis lost to the Spurs, 89-84 (full stats here).
Xavier Henry (New Orleans Hornets) played for the first time in three games on Monday as five Hornets (all starters at one point in the season) sat out with injuries. Henry made the most of his opportunity, scoring eight straight points for the Hornets in a two-minute span during the second quarter. He finished with those season-high eight points (on 4 of 7 shots), two rebounds, a steal and a block in 10 minutes as the Hornets gave up a big lead and lost to the Sacramento Kings, 100-92 (full stats here).
Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) scored two points (both free throws) with four rebounds, an assist and a steal in 19 minutes on Monday against the Portland Trailblazers. Collison also picked up a charge on Portland forward Gerald Wallace. The Thunder beat the Blazers in overtime, 111-107 (full stats here).
Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder) did not play (coach’s decision) on Monday against the Portland Trailblazers. The Thunder won, 111-107 in overtime (full stats here).
Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) hit a trio of three-pointers for the fourth game in a row on Sunday as the Heat fended off the Toronto Raptors, 95-89. Chalmers hit 4 of 7 shots overall (3 of 5 from distance) and finished with 11 points, two rebounds, two steals, four assists and just one turnover in 27 minutes (full stats here). Two of Chalmers’ three-pointers came back-to-back in a 30 second span in the third quarter. He is now seventh in the NBA this season in three-point shooting percentage with 46.6 percent (48 of 103 through 24 games).
Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists on Sunday in a 98-80 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Pierce added a steal, a three and a perfect 10-for-10 line from the charity stripe. Ten of Pierce’s points came in 4 minutes and 45 seconds in the fourth quarter. During that time, he hit both of his shot attempts and sank 6 of 6 free throws (full stats here). Sunday’s game was Pierce’s second in a row with 10 free-throw makes.
Josh Selby (Memphis Grizzlies) played just six minutes against the Boston Celtics in a 98-80 loss on Sunday. Selby entered the game late in the fourth quarter with the Celtics up by 16. He missed both shot attempts (including a three-pointer) and turned the ball over once (full stats here). It was the fifth Grizzlies game since Jan. 26 where Selby played but still went scoreless.
Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers) had five points and five assists on Sunday in a 94-78 loss to the Texas Legends. Morningstar played 25 minutes and added a three, a rebound, a steal and two turnovers (full stats here).
By the end of the day today, NBA teams with players on non-guaranteed contracts must decide whether to cut those players or extend them through the rest of the season. That, combined with an option for teams to sign players to 10-day contracts, could be good news for free agent Julian Wright or other former Jayhawks looking to break back into the NBA. SBNation’s Scott Schroeder organized a nice breakdown of available NBA roster spots here.
Eurobasket.com reported that Darnell Jackson (Ukraine-Superleague - BC Donetsk) will not be cut by his team in the coming days. That news is attributed to club officials and comes in response to a recent Sportando.net report, which said Jackson had not lived up to the Ukrainian team’s expectations and the team was looking to replace him. Jackson has averaged eight points and four rebounds in 17 games this season with BC Donetsk.
Markieff Morris’ Phoenix Suns teammate Steve Nash turned 38 years old today, and the rookie sang him “Happy Birthday” — with a little prodding, of course.
Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics) was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday. Pierce averaged 22 points and nearly six rebounds and six assists in four games last week.
If Paul Pierce scores 10 points or more tonight, he will pass Larry Bird for second on the Boston Celtics’ all-time scoring list. Pierce is currently sitting at 21,782 points. Bird had 21,791. And Celtics franchise-leader John Havlicek had 26,395.
6:30 p.m., Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Charlotte Bobcats
6:30 p.m., Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns
9:30 p.m., Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors