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Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Jazz ship All-Star Williams to Nets

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The New Jersey Nets finally landed a big-name All-Star in a blockbuster trade that gives them point guard Deron Williams and sends rookie Derrick Favors and point guard Devin Harris to the Utah Jazz.

News photo
Broadway debut: New York's Carmelo Anthony drives past Milwaukee's Corey Maggette in the first half on Wednesday night. The Knicks beat the Nuggets 114-108. AP PHOTO

The Jazz also will receive the Nets' first-round pick in 2011, which could be a lottery pick, along with cash and Golden State's 2012 first-round draft pick.

"I feel Deron Williams is the best point guard in the NBA," Nets general manager Billy King said in announcing the deal Wednesday. "I spoke with Deron and he's excited about it. He understands where we are and where we want to go. In this league, you win with point guards."

The Nets hope Williams will sign a contract extension, which they can offer this summer. If so, he would become the face of their franchise when they move to Brooklyn in 2012.

"Everything happens for a reason. I take everything in stride," Williams told the Jazz team broadcasters from his hotel room in Dallas. "I had a great 5 1/2 years in Salt Lake. The fans have always been great for me. I'm going to miss them."

The deal came two days after the Nets failed to land Carmelo Anthony, who was acquired by the New York Knicks as part of a blockbuster deal with the Denver Nuggets.

Jazz CEO Greg Miller said he made the move because of a "gut feeling" that he wouldn't be able to sign Williams to a long-term deal after next season.

"If you look at what happened with Phoenix, Toronto and Cleveland . . . they all lost their marquee player and had very little if anything to show for it," Miller said. "This trade allows us to be competitive now and beyond the 2012 season."

The Nets also picked up Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric from the Golden State Warriors for Troy Murphy, a move that could help New Jersey clear salary space at the end of the season.

The struggling Atlanta Hawks acquired guard Kirk Hinrich from Washington in a five-player trade, upgrading their backcourt for the playoff run. The Hawks also received forward Hilton Armstrong in exchange for guard Mike Bibby, rookie guard Jordan Crawford, swingman Maurice Evans and a first-round pick in this year's draft.

The Hornets and Kings agreed on a trade sending forward Carl Landry to New Orleans in exchange for shooting guard Marcus Thornton and cash. The deal gives the playoff-contending Hornets depth in the frontcourt, but at the cost of a popular former LSU star who can score in a flurry.

The Hornets-Kings trade upset at least one NBA owner — the Dallas Mavericks' Mark Cuban — who questioned the fairness of the NBA allowing a league-owned team to absorb more salary while at the same time sending cash to the other club involved in the trade. The NBA took over the Hornets in December from founder George Shinn, who was having cash-flow problems and wanted to unload the club quickly.

'Melo wins debut

NEW YORK (AP) Carmelo Anthony had never experienced anything like his welcome to New York.

The screaming fans and video tributes seemed more fitting for a rock concert than an NBA game.

But when it got close at the end, that was all too familiar to Anthony.

"It came down to basketball at that point," he said.

Anthony had 27 points and 10 rebounds, hitting a pair of clutch buckets down the stretch in front of a crowd that cheered his every move as New York beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 on Wednesday night in his Knicks debut.

"This was ordinary for him, and that's the highest compliment of what he does. You drop him in any place, any playground, any place in the world and he'll put up 27 points and 10 rebounds," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "That's what he does for a living."

Mavericks 118, Jazz 99

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points and the Mavs cruised past the reeling Jazz.

Spurs 109, Thunder 105

In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored the last of his 20 points on a jumper with 26.1 left.

Kings 111, Magic 105

In Orlando, Jermaine Taylor had 21 points, Beno Udrih added 18 and the Kings snapped a five-game losing streak against the Magic.

Suns 105, Hawks 97

In Phoenix, Channing Frye scored six of his 20 points in the final four minutes to help the Suns pull away.

Hornets 98, Clippers 87

In New Orleans, Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists, leading the Hornets to the victory over Los Angeles.

76ers 117, Wizards 94

In Philadelphia, Jrue Holiday scored 20 points for the Sixers in a win over Washington.

Raptors 118, Bulls 113

In Toronto, Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan each scored 24 points

Pacers 102, Pistons 101

In Indianapolis, Brandon Rush's dunk with 5.4 seconds remaining gave the surging Pacers the victory.

Rockets 124, Cavaliers 119

In Cleveland, reserve Chase Budinger scored a career-high 30 points, including 11 straight in the fourth quarter.

Grizzlies 104, T-wolves 95

In Minneapolis, Zach Randolph had 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Lakers 106, Trail Blazers 101

In Portland, Kobe Bryant had 37 points and Los Angeles overcame a 10-point deficit late in the fourth quarter.

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