Latest: Cavs, Wade, Grizzlies, Aldridge

With LeBron James on the bench to start the fourth Sunday, the Spurs went on a 9-0 run in the first 100 seconds to take control.

The latest news, views and rumors from around pro hoops.

Per Cleveland.com: “After crushing the Miami Heat on Tuesday night and canning 11 triples in the win despite not having LeBron James for the fourth quarter, the Cavs have now reached double digits from beyond the arc in 10 straight games. It’s their best stretch of basketball and it’s no surprise that they are 9-1 over the last 10.”

Per Cleveland.com: “That’s who the Cavs are, a prolific group of bombers. They set franchise records for long balls last season and it helped mask some of their other deficiencies. Now they’ve gotten back to that.”

Per Cleveland.com: “I think we’re in better shape for one,” James said following Tuesday’s game. “We’re in much better shape than we were. We’re moving the ball and we’re very comfortable in our sets. And it took a little time, but we’re very comfortable with our rotations and very comfortable with the sets. Then when you defend and you get out and run before the defense is set it allows you to get those shots, so that has definitely helped out a lot.” (Full report)

Per Terry Pluto: “When the Cavs signed Derrick Rose and later Dwyane Wade, I thought Rose had a better chance to help the Cavs long-term than Wade. Well, I was very wrong.”

Per Terry Pluto: “It was not all the fault of Rose, but the Cavs were a minus-14 points when he played in seven early games. That was when the starting unit was disjointed and lacking confidence.”

Per Terry Pluto: “This is not a homer comment: LeBron James should not have been ejected from Tuesday’s game. A technical? Yes. But a second technical as he was walking away from official down the floor — never. Any good official would tell you that.” (Full column)

Per Ohio.com: “In Tuesday night’s home victory over the Heat, Wade scored 17 points, his fourth consecutive game in double figures.”

Per Ohio.com: “Asked before tipoff why the backup point guard role fits Wade so well, Spoelstra said, ‘I think any role that has to do with winning suits him. That’s what he’s been about his whole career. And it shows the kind of guy that he is that he’s willing to sacrifice in this role to provide something different that he’s done before in his career. You can see that he’s playing that role well.'”

Per Ohio.com: “I’ve always been a good shot blocker,” Wade said after practice Sunday. “Being a good shot blocker doesn’t mean you gotta have a 40-inch vertical. Even when I did have one I still blocked shots in other ways.” (Full report)

Per ESPN: “Celtics guard Kyrie Irving asked Wednesday about LeBron James’ first career ejection. “Oh, you were asking me about that? OK. Man, some tough calls. Some tough calls this year.”

Per ESPN Stats & Info: “Ben Simmons leads the league in passes out of the paint to 3-point shooters with 45 and is behind only Westbrook (387), LeBron (383), and Harden (370) in total passes to shooters with 288. (Lonzo is 5th with 269). Data provided by Second Spectrum.”

Per ESPN: “The Cavaliers won their ninth straight on Tuesday against the Heat. It’s their longest win streak since winning 12 straight over January and February of 2015. Improved defense has been the key to the recent success for Cleveland.”

Per Bleacher Report: “USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt reported Wednesday some NBA executives believe Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo will make an effort to sign LeBron James. James can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 2017-18 season.”

Per Bleacher Report: Showing interest in James is multiple steps away from signing the 13-time All-Star, and the Sixers will be among a number of teams making a push for his signature.” (Full report)

Per Amico Hoops: “So far, George and the Thunder appear to be an iffy proposition. They are gambling that George will want to remain beyond this season. If not, it will be a major loss.”

Per Amico Hoops: “The Cavs? They’re all about the right here and right now, trying to win another championship while the window exists.” (Full column)

Per ESPN: “The Memphis Grizzlies will not shift into rebuilding mode this season, general manager Chris Wallace told ESPN after the team’s losing streak was extended to nine games on Wednesday, two days after the firing of head coach David Fizdale.”

Per ESPN: “We have no intention to trade Marc,” Wallace told ESPN when asked if the franchise might consider dealing the 32-year-old big man. “We never seriously considered that at all. We never placed any calls to any teams in that regard. So that’s not happening.”

Per ESPN: “It’s not just Marc that this whole equation is about. It’s also Mike Conley, when he comes back. We’ve got two guys among the elite in the league at their respective positions that are still very much in their window with an awful lot of tread left on their tires.” (Full report)

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Davis was called for two technical fouls in the first half and ejected for the first time in his career during the New Orleans Pelicans’ 120-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Smoothie King Center.”

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins said the decision to kick Davis out the game was “a joke” and the team struggled to re-focus after his departure.”

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune: “It’s a joke, man. It’s a complete joke,” said Cousins, who posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. “I don’t have to speak on it, you saw it. … Everybody here knows A.D. and there’s got to be some type of legit reason for him to act out.” (Full report)

Per Project Spurs: ““I’m just happy for him,” said Pau Gasol of LaMarcus Aldridge’s play. When asked if Aldridge is playing like an All-Star, Pau said, “without a question.”

Per Project Spurs: “LaMarcus Aldridge on his 41-point game: “It just feels good. I thought guys found me.” “He got me going early,” said Aldridge of Parker finding him.

Per Project Spurs: “Twelve of the Spurs’ 14 wins this season have come against teams below .500.”

Per HoopsRumors: “Spurs swingman Kyle Anderson will be in a strong position when he enters free agency next summer, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPN.”

Per ESPN: “Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said he consulted with former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant this week on how to deal with a painful, injured ring finger on his shooting hand.”

Per ESPN: “Curry said he reached out to Bryant because he knew the former Lakers star had dealt with a similar injury during his career. According to Curry, Bryant told him it was possible to play with the injury if it’s wrapped and padded, but that it was one of the more painful injuries he’d experienced in his career, and that it did not heal quickly.” (Full report)

Per HoopsRumors: “The Trail Blazers will welcome forward Al-Farouq Aminu back Thursday night after missing 13 games with a sprained right ankle, relays Casey Holdahl of NBA.com. Portland expected Aminu to return in two to three weeks after he suffered the injury in a November 1 game, but he wound up missing almost the entire month.”

For more injury news, visit the Amico Hoops home page.

Per HoopDirt: “Phil Johnson was named UTEP’s interim men’s basketball coach on Tuesday morning, following the retirement of Tim Floyd.” (Full report)

Per HoopDirt: “California men’s basketball assistant coach Theo Robertson is on leave from the program. Director of Operations Keith Brown will serve as the program’s third assistant coach in the interim.” (Full report)

Per HoopDirt: “East Carolina Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jeff Lebo announced his resignation effective immediately Wednesday afternoon. … Assistant coach Michael Perry has accepted the role as interim head coach according to ECU Director of Athletics Jeff Compher.” (Full report)

Former Knicks forward Maurice Ndour has signed with Unics Kazan of Russia, per Amico Hoops.

Former Cavaliers and Pelicans power forward Kevin Jones has agreed to a contract with Baskonia of Span, per Amico Hoops.

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