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Avery Johnson will try to revive the New Jersey Nets

compiled from staff and wire reports

Avery Johnson has been hired to revive the fortunes of the New Jersey Nets.

The ESPN analyst coached Dallas for three-plus seasons, going 194-70 in the regular season and 23-24 in the playoffs. He guided the Mavs to the NBA finals in 2006, but was fired after a first-round playoff series loss to New Orleans in 2008.

Johnson will take over a team that posted a league-worst 12-70 record and set a league-record opening the season with 18 straight losses.

Avery Johnson (nba)

The miserable start led to the firing of coach Lawrence Frank after 16 games. Outgoing general manager Kiki Vandeweghe served as the interim coach for the majority of the season. It was only the fifth 70-loss season in NBA history.

The Nets threatened to break the Philadelphia 76ers’ league record for fewest wins in a season-nine- until a late run got them away from breaking that unwanted record. The 76ers set the record in 1972-73.

Because of that record, New Jersey will get the third pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Avery Johnson is a proven winner, and his coming to New Jersey will reunite him with point guard Devin Harris, who was shipped to New Jersey in the deal for Jason Kidd to the Mavericks.

The Nets do have some talent in Brook Lopez, Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee and Chinese Olympian Yi Jianlian.

Johnson will have an owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian Billionaire who said his wallet is open to free agent spending. The Nets have more than $23 million to spend on available talent.

The Nets will be moving to the Prudential Center in Newark for the next two years before permanently moving to their new arena, The Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York in 2012.

Led by Russell Branyan, Indians come back from brink of defeat

compiled from staff and wire reports

Russell Branyan is the Indians latest hero, as he hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning Thursday night, rallying Cleveland to a crazy 8-7 win over the Boston Red Sox.

The Indians overcame three errors in one inning by third baseman Andy Marte, a 5-0 deficit, then a blown save by closer Kerry Wood along with an eighth-inning disruption by two fans who ran out onto the field to impersonate LeBron James and his throwing of powder into the air before every Cavs game.

Russell Branyan (mlb)

Kerry Wood got two quick outs in the top of the ninth before hitting J.D. Drew in the right leg with a pitch. Then Adrian Beltre belted a two-out, two-run homer off Wood (1-2) put Boston ahead 7-6.

The Indians quickly loaded the bases with no outs against Daniel Bard (1-2) in the bottom half of the ninth. Bard, closing games while Jonathan Papelbon is on the bereavement list, then struck out Travis Hafner and retired Jhonny Peralta on a foul out.

Branyan then blooped a looping single over second baseman Dustin Pedroia into shallow right field.

Comeback Reds do it again; ups lead in NL Central division to 1 1/2

compiled from staff and wire reports

The 2010 Reds are keeping their fans on the edge of their seats every game.

Brandon Phillips’ fourth hit, a two-run triple off one of the NL’s best relievers, Guillermo Mota in the eighth inning, rallied Cincinnati to yet another late win on Thursday, 7-6 over the San Francisco Giants.

Arthur Rhodes (mlb)

The Reds lead the majors with 12 wins in their last at-bat. They’ve got 21 comeback wins, out of 35 victories overall, which is the best around.

Mota (0-2) had allowed only three runs all season, He opened the eighth by giving up a single and a double, then went to a full count before Phillips hit an opposite-field triple, tying it at 6-6. Joey Votto then singled up the middle as Mota misjudged the bouncing ball, for the game-winning hit.

Left-hander Arthur Rhodes (2-1) retired five batters, his longest appearance in two years, got the win. Francisco Cordero retired the side in the ninth, getting his 17th save in 21 tries.

Cincinnati opened up a 1 1/2 -game lead over idle St. Louis in the NL Central, the latest in a season that the Reds have been in first place since June 17, 2002, their final season at Cinergy Field and the manager was Bob Boone.

Thursday game was a wild one as San Francisco grounded into three double plays with the bases loaded, and had another runner caught in a rundown between third and home after a botched squeeze play.

Mike Leake, making his 12th major league start, was roughed up. He gave up a career-high 11 hits and five runs in only 4 1/3 innings. It was his short start of the season.

Indians recall hot prospect Carlos Santana

Info Courtesy of Columbus Clippers and Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians have recalled top prospect Carlos Santana from Triple-A Columbus.

Santana is a switch-hitting catcher, who currently is batting .316 with 13 homers and 51 RBI’s in 57 games with the Clippers. The best hitter in Cleveland’s overall organization, the Indians kept him in the minor leagues this season to work on his receiving skills and overall defense.

Carlos Santana of the Clippers (megasportsnews.com)

Santana was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 in the deal for third baseman Casey Blake. In 2009, Santana was the Indians’ top minor league player after he earned the Eastern league’s MVP.

To make room for Santana, the Indians optioned catcher Lou Marson to Columbus. Marson was hitting .191 in 45 games.

ENTERTAINMENT: Marvin Isley, Isley Brothers bass player dies

compiled from staff and wire reports

Marvin Isley, the bass player for the R & B group, the Isley Brothers, died earlier this week in Chicago. He was 56.

The Isley Brothers are one of several bands from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Marvin left the group in 1996 after suffering from diabetes that included a stroke, high blood pressure and the loss of both legs and the use of his left hand.

Marvin Isley (magic sound productions)

Marvin joined his brothers in 1973, and by that time the Isley Brothers had established themselves with such hits as the million-selling song “Shout.”

Other top-selling hits included: “Fight the Power,” “Harvest for the World,” “Summer Breeze” and “Who’s that Lady.”

Marvin moved on to Isley-Jasper-Isley in the 1980′s and returned to the Isley Brothers in the 1990′s.

The group, whose career has spanned six decades, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

At one time, the group have five Isley brothers, including Marvin.

Overall the entire group was: Ronald Isley, Ernie Isley, Rudolph Isley, Chris Jasper. Members who are now decease include: O’Kelly Isley, Vernon Isley and now, Marvin Isley.

Currently, only Ronnie Isley tours full time after a three-year stint in federal prison for tax evasion.

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