Johnson fired following 3-10 slump by Nets
Nba: Coach of the month in November, out of a job by New Year’s.
The Brooklyn Nets have elevated expectations this season, and a .500 record wasn’t good enough. Coach Avery Johnson was fired Thursday, his team having lost 10 of 13 games after a strong start to its first season in Brooklyn.
“We don’t have the same fire now than we did when we were 11-4,” general manager Billy King said at a news conference in East Rutherford, N.J. “I tried to talk to Avery about it and we just can’t figure it out. The same pattern kept on happening.”
Assistant P.J. Carlesimo will coach the Nets on an interim basis, starting with tonight’s home game against Charlotte. King said the Nets may reach out to other candidates, but for now the job was Carlesimo’s. The GM wouldn’t comment on a report that the team planned to get in touch with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.
Star guard Deron Williams recently complained about Johnson’s offense, and Nets CEO Brett Yormark took to Twitter after a recent loss to the Boston Celtics to voice his displeasure with the performance.
• Clippers win 15th straight: Matt Barnes tied his season high with 21 points off the bench, Chris Paul had 11 assists and the host Los Angeles Clippers defeated Boston 106-77, becoming the first team to win 15 consecutive games since the Celtics four years ago.
Fellow reserve Jamal Crawford added 17 points, Blake Griffin had 15 and Caron Butler 14 to help the Clippers improve the NBA’s best record to 23-6.
Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, which never led in dropping to .500 at 14-14.
• Durant scores 40 in OT win: Kevin Durant scored 40 points while Russell Westbrook added eight of his 16 points in overtime to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Dallas 111-105 for their 11th straight win at home.
Serge Ibaka added 19 points and matched his season-high with 17 rebounds as Oklahoma City charged back from 10 points down in the final 7:17 of regulation and found a way to win after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.
• Howard fined $35,000: Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 by the NBA on for a flagrant foul against Denver’s Kenneth Faried.
• Wade suspended: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has been suspended one game without pay by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with the groin of Charlotte Bobcats’ Ramon Sessions.
• Felton sidelined: New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton won’t need surgery on his broken right pinky finger and is expected to be out at least a month.
New Mexico upsets No. 8 Cincinnati
College basketball: Alex Kirk scored 15 points and blocked Sean Kilpatrick’s shot just before the buzzer, preserving visiting New Mexico’s 55-54 win that handed No. 8 Cincinnati its first loss.
New Mexico (13-1) rallied in the second half behind its 7-foot center, who hit a 3-pointer, got a team-high seven rebounds and slapped away Kilpatrick’s jumper off an inbounds play.
Cincinnati (12-1) moved up to No. 8 this week – its highest ranking in nine years – and was trying to go 13-0 for only sixth time in school history.
The Lobos have won six of their last seven games against ranked teams, leaving them 14-6 against the Top 25 during coach Steve Alford’s six seasons.
U.S. juniors roll in world hockey
Hockey: The United States routed Germany 8-0 at the world junior ice hockey tournament at Ufa, Russia, behind a goal and two assists each from Alex Galchenyuk and Riley Barber.
Tipsarevic trips up Murray in tourney
Tennis: Andy Murray’s 2013 season got off to a shaky start with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Two early breaks in each set helped Tipsarevic dispatch the third-ranked Murray.
Fisk pleads guilty to drunken driving
Baseball: Hall of Fame baseball catcher Carlton Fisk pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken-driving charge, two months after police found him asleep in his pickup truck in a suburban Chicago cornfield.
Fisk, 64, was sentenced to one year of court supervision and must pay $1,250 in court costs.