Lance Stephenson
Clifford: Stephenson 'not a star,' but has 'talent to become a star'
Lance Stephenson, SG, CHA
11:49 AM
News: Hornets guard Lance Stephenson was benched for the fourth quarter for a second straight game during Wednesday's 105-97 loss against Portland, which extended the team's losing streak to seven games. 

After the loss, coach Steve Clifford said Stephenson's issues adjusting to his first season with the Hornets is partly due to him trying to live up to expectations.

"To be fair, one of the things that's made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar," Clifford said Wednesday, per ESPN. "He's not a star. He's a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years."

Stephenson has struggled to find a consistent rhythm and role in Clifford's offense. Stephenson is fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.7 points per game, which is a significant drop after averaing 13.8 points per game in 2013-14 for Indiana.

He is also shooting just 36.8 percent from the field after shooting 49.1 percent last season. Although, it's not all bad for Stephenson, who is averaging career highs in rebounding (8.1 rpg) and assists (5.4 apg).

"I've been around Kobe [Bryant] and [Tracy] McGrady. They were superstars. I was also around Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. They were two-, three-year All-Stars," Clifford said. "[Stephenson has] got a lot of work to get to that level. Everybody proclaimed him as this guy, and if you remember the first time we got him, I said he's got to develop into that."


Marcus Smart
Celtics guard Marcus Smart will not be back Friday
Marcus Smart, PG, BOS
10:49 AM
News: Although Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart returned to practice Wednesday, he will not return to action Friday against the Bulls, the team announced Thursday. It will be the eighth straight game Smart is sidelined.

Kobe Bryant
Lakers SG Kobe Bryant scores team-high 22 vs. Grizzlies
Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL
1:11 AM
News: Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant scored a team-high 22 points on 5 of 15 shooting, including 2 of 5 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 99-93 loss to the Grizzlies Wednesday.

Bryant sank all 10 of his free throws to help boost his scoring total on a night where he struggled with a low shooting percentage for the second time in three games. He only managed to pick up four rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes in the loss, the team's third straight. The Lakers will look to get back on track Friday against the Timberwolves.


Jeremy Lamb
Thunder G Jeremy Lamb delivers sharpshooting line vs. Jazz
Jeremy Lamb, SG, OKC
12:42 AM
News: Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb scored 21 points on 7 of 8 shooting, including 3 of 3 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 97-82 win over the Jazz Wednesday.

Lamb played just 24 minutes off the bench but nearly led the team in scoring in Wednesday's win, easily eclipsing his previous best of 58.8 percent shooting from the field. However, he did foul out in the game while also racking up four rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block. The Thunder snapped a six-game losing streak with the win, and they'll look to build upon Wednesday's success Friday against the Knicks.


James Harden
Rockets' James Harden takes career-high 31 shots Wednesday
James Harden, SG, HOU
12:07 AM
News: Rockets shooting guard James Harden scored a team-high 26 points on just 10 of 31 shooting in his team's 102-89 win over the Kings Wednesday.

Harden's 31 shots eclipsed his previous career high of 28 shots, set late last season, but he suffered from a bout of inaccuracy in the win to fall short of 30 points for the first time in three games. He also managed to fill up his line with eight assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 37 minutes. The Rockets take a three-game winning streak into Friday's game against the Clippers.


Evan Fournier
Magic guard Evan Fournier returns from injury on Wednesday
Evan Fournier, SG, ORL
News: Magic guard Evan Fournier was able to return from quad injury on Wednesday.

Fournier managed to start, playing 31 minutes. He scored 10 points in his return, shooting 4-9 from the field. He also pulled down two rebounds. 


Sebastian Telfair
Thunder waive Sebastian Telfair
Sebastian Telfair, PG, OKC
News: The Thunder waived guard Sebastian Telfair Wednesday, the team announced. Telfair played in 16 games with the Thunder, averaging 8.4 points, 2.8 assists and 20.5 minutes.

Isaiah Canaan
Rockets PG Isaiah Canaan scores 24 points vs. Kings
Isaiah Canaan, PG, HOU
News: Rockets point guard Isaiah Canaan scored 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting, including 6 of 10 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 102-89 win over the Kings Wednesday.

Canaan played 32 minutes with Patrick Beverley sidelined and took advantage of the opportunity, also racking up six rebounds, four assists and four steals in the win. He hadn't made more than three three-pointers in a game this season before doubling his season high Wednesday. The Rockets are set to face the Clippers Friday.


Jeff Teague
Hawks PG Jeff Teague posts 24-12 line vs. Raptors
Jeff Teague, PG, ATL
News: Hawks point guard Jeff Teague scored a team-high 24 points on 7 of 14 shooting, including 2 of 3 shooting from three-point range, while dishing out 12 assists in his team's 126-115 loss to the Raptors Wednesday.

Teague delivered his fourth-straight 20-point performance in the loss, but his double-double was just his second of the season. He also managed three rebounds and one steal in 34 minutes Wednesday. Teague takes a 25.8-point scoring average over his last four games into Friday's game against the Pelicans.


Kyle Lowry
Raptors PG Kyle Lowry doubles up vs. Hawks
Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR
News: Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry scored 14 points on just 3 of 12 shooting, including 2 of 6 shooting from behind the arc, while dishing out 13 assists in his team's 126-115 win over the Hawks Wednesday.

Lowry hadn't managed double-digit assists in a game since posting a triple-double on Nov. 7 but came through with a season high in the category Wednesday despite dealing with his worst shooting night of the season. He also racked up six rebounds and one steal in 33 minutes as the Raptors won their sixth straight game. They'll look to keep rolling Friday against the Mavericks.


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