Archive for March, 2008

Mar. 31: Jazz 129, Wizards 87

The AP reports: C.J. Miles scored a career-high 29 points and the Utah Jazz set a team record with 15 3-pointers in a 129-87 rout of the short-handed Washington Wizards on Monday night. Deron Williams had 12 points and 16 assists, despite resting most of the fourth quarter, and Mehmet Okur returned from a stomach virus with 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Carlos Boozer added 19 points and Kyle Korver scored 15, making all six of his shots. Utah outrebounded Washington 40-23, had 40 assists on 50 field goals and shot almost 60 percent (50-for-84)… They were also resting Caron Butler’s strained left hamstring instead of playing him back-to-back nights. Antawn Jamison led Washington with 22 points.

Melo and Martin feeding off each other

I’m watching the Suns and Nuggets, and several plays in a row now Carmelo Anthony has gotten the ball around the right elbow, with Kenyon Martin around the free throw line. And when Melo got double-teamed, Martin immediately cut to the rim, caught a feed from Melo, and scored.

But now, for a play or two in a row, the Suns aren’t doubling Melo, and backed off of Martin, letting him shoot from just outside the free throw line instead of slashing at the rim, and it’s worked for Phoenix.

Mar. 31: Hawks 116, Grizzlies 99

The AP reports: Josh Smith had 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Atlanta Hawks built an early lead before and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 116-99 on Monday night. Atlanta led by 38 in the third quarter and seemed to be coasting to the victory. However, Memphis opened the fourth with 13 consecutive points, part of a 23-4 run that made the game more interesting, and forced Atlanta to put its starters back in the game… Al Horford and Joe Johnson scored 19 points apiece for Atlanta, and Mike Bibby had 17, Josh Childress 14 and Marvin Williams 12. Johnson also had eight assists and Bibby seven. Smith shot 11-of-13 from the field, part of Atlanta’s 56 percent effort on the night. Rudy Gay led Memphis with 29 points, while Juan Carlos Navarro and Kyle Lowry finished with 17 each.

Mar. 31: Pacers 105, Heat 85

The AP reports: Jermaine O’Neal scored nine points after sitting out for more than two months with a knee injury, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Miami Heat 105-85 on Monday night. O’Neal shot 3-for-4 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line in 18 minutes. He had missed 33 straight games with a bone bruise, and the Pacers went 12-21 during that stretch. Danny Granger led Indiana with 23 points and Mike Dunleavy added 18 as the Pacers won their second straight and their sixth of eight to remain contenders for an Eastern Conference playoff spot. Indiana entered the game three games behind Atlanta for eighth place in the East. Daequan Cook led Miami with 16 points and Kasib Powell and Chris Quinn both scored 15.

Mar. 31: Raptors 104, Bobcats 100

The AP reports: Chris Bosh scored 32 points and the Toronto Raptors remained alone in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 104-100 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night. Bosh hit 13 of 16 free throws and added eight rebounds and five assists for the Raptors, who won for the third time in four games to pull a game ahead of idle Philadelphia in the playoff race… Anthony Parker added 20 points and T.J. Ford added 15, including the clinching free throw with 1.9 seconds left for the Raptors, who bounced back from a home loss to New Orleans on Sunday. Jason Richardson scored 18 of his 26 points in the first half, Gerald Wallace scored 20 points and Emeka Okafor had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, whose faint playoff hopes took a hit.

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Blake Ahearn and forward Stephane Lasme to second 10-day contracts. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Ahearn, a 6’2”, 190-pound guard, has appeared in six games for the HEAT averaging 5.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 15.0 minutes of action. He scored a career-high 15 points at Detroit on 3/27 and his 94.7 percent (18-of-19) from the free throw line currently leads the team.

Lasme, a 6’8”, 215-pound forward, has appeared in six games for the HEAT averaging 5.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 1.00 steals in 21.5 minutes of action. He blocked a career-high three shots on two occasions and has recorded 12 blocks in his six games with the HEAT.

J-Rich and Melo win Player of Week

The Charlotte Bobcats’ Jason Richardson and the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 24, through Sunday, March 30. More info here.

J-Rich is playing well but it’s too little, too late for the Bobcats, who need a miracle to make the playoffs and may be having issues with head coach Sam Vincent, who several newspapers recently reported may not be kept around next season.

As for Melo, all recent talk was that they might miss the playoffs, as they were sitting in 9th place in the West for a while, but as of today they’ve jumped up to 7th, but only by virtue of a tie-breaker with the Mavericks and Warriors. I think Denver may stay in there.

Anyway, the Western conference playoff race is awesome. Even if you’re a fan of an East squad, watch the West closely, because that’s where it’s at.

Spain: Ricky Rubio may play in Olympics

Fiba.com reports: Spanish backcourt phenom Ricky Rubio is almost certain to be headed to the world champions’ pre-Olympic training camp with a chance of making the team for the Beijing Games as a back-up point guard. Pepu Hernandez, the Spain coach, indicated earlier this season that the DKV Joventut star would join up with the senior squad and that likelihood has become even stronger with Rubio enjoying an outstanding campaign with his club.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (Jerry Zgoda) reports: The Wolves lost eight of the first 13 times they led going into the fourth quarter this season. They now have won the past four games in which they led after three quarters and are 10-4 in that category since winning at Golden State on Jan. 21, the demarcation line in a season they started 5-34. “We’ve grown up,” Wolves center Al Jefferson said. They won seven games in March, are 14-19 since that Jan. 21 game, and Sunday’s victory was their second over the Jazz at home in five weeks. “We’re getting better and better,” Jefferson said. “To win like this two times in a row over them at home says a lot.”

Mar. 30: Lakers 126, Wizards 120 OT

For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant (just 7-of-24) had 26 points and 13 assists, Sasha Vujacuc (6-of-9, including 6-of-8 three-pointers) had 20, Vladimir Radmanovic (7-of-11, including 4-of-7 threes) had 18, and Derek Fisher (6-of-12, including 3-of-6 threes) scored 17.

For the Wizards, DeShawn Stevenson (9-of-15, including 8-of-12 three-pointers) had 27, Nick Young (10-of-16, including 3-of-4 threes) had 27, Caron Butler (6-of-17) had an awesome 17 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists and 2 steals, and Antawn Jamison (6-of-15) had 19 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The two teams combined for 31-of-57 from three-point range.

Mar. 30: Warriors 114, Mavs 104

The AP reports: Monta Ellis scored 30 points and Kelenna Azubuike hit two clutch shots down the stretch to help the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 114-104 Sunday night to create a three-way tie for seventh place in the ultracompetitive Western Conference… Baron Davis added 21 points, Stephen Jackson had 16 and Andris Biedrins had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Azubuike scored 15 off the bench a day after Davis and Jackson called for more help from the reserves. Josh Howard scored 36 to lead Dallas in his third straight 30-point game since Nowitzki went down with the injury. Brandon Bass added 21 off the bench, while Kidd had 13 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds.

Mar. 30: Kings 120, Sonics 107

For the Kings, Kevin Martin (11-of-19) had 31 points, Ron Artest (12-of-23) had 29 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks, and Francisco Garcia (8-of-14) had 21 points and 5 rebounds. For the Sonics, Kevin Durant (10-of-18) had 25 points, Jeff Green (9-of-16) had 21 (but a few too many turnovers), Earl Watson (9-of-15) had 20 points and 12 assists, and Damien Wilkins (7-of-15) had 18.  The Kings shot 55.1% from the field, and had 28-of-32 free throws, compared to just 11-of-15 free throws for the Sonics.

Mar. 30: Celtics 88, Heat 62

The AP reports: Kevin Garnett scored twice before Miami made a basket, and the Boston Celtics held the Heat to an NBA-record low 17 field goals, coasting to an 88-62 victory Sunday. The matchup of the NBA’s best team and its worst was even more lopsided than anticipated. Boston was up 27-4 after 10 minutes and Celtics coach Doc Rivers started subbing for his starters just 7:10 into the game. Boston’s backups finished the first quarter, handled most of the second and all of the fourth as no starter played more than 25 minutes. Leon Powe had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Boston, and Garnett finished with 12 points, five assists and eight rebounds in 21 minutes. Ricky Davis had 14 points and six rebounds and Chris Quinn had scored 14 with eight assists for the Heat (13-60), who lost their third straight and sixth out of seven as they solidify their hold on the worst record in the NBA. Miami coach Pat Riley skipped his fourth game to resume his college scouting tour, and assistant Ron Rothstein ran the bench.

Mar. 30: Cavs 91, Sixers 88

The AP reports: LeBron James made a twisting bank shot with 19.3 seconds left to put Cleveland ahead to stay and the Cavaliers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 91-88 on Sunday night. James, who finished with 26 points, took the ball at the top of the key, drove through the lane and put Cleveland up 90-88. After a Philadelphia miss, Cleveland forward Joe Smith was fouled and made one free throw. Andre Iguodala, who led the 76ers with 19 points, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Trailing 86-82, Cavaliers guard Delonte West hit two 3-pointers to tie the game at 88 with 1:13 to play. West finished with 18 points. James, who made 4-of-17 shots in Saturday’s loss to Detroit, was 11-of-18 from the field with nine rebounds and nine assists.

Mar. 30: Hornets 118, Raptors 111

The AP reports: David West scored 32 points and Chris Paul had 20 points and 16 assists to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 118-111 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night. Peja Stojakovic scored 25 and Tyson Chandler had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Hornets bounced back from a 20-point loss in Boston on Friday night to win for the sixth time in seven games. The Hornets reached 50 wins for the first time since the 1997-98 season. Chris Bosh scored 21 points and Carlos Delfino added 18 as Toronto’s modest two-game winning streak came to an end. Rasho Nesterovic had 14 and Jamario Moon added 13 for the Raptors, who have lost seven of 10.

Mar. 30: Hawks 114, Knicks 109

The AP reports: Marvin Williams scored 27 points and Joe Johnson had 23 to help the Atlanta Hawks win their third straight, 114-109 over the New York Knicks on Sunday… Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 39 points—19 coming in the third quarter—but he was just 2-for-5 from the field in the fourth before his meaningless layup ended the scoring… Johnson, who had a season-high 13 assists, caught Al Horford’s pass from the right wing and laid in a short turnaround for a 105-94 lead with 3:42 remaining… David Lee finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Mar. 30: Wolves 110, Jazz 103

The AP reports: Al Jefferson had 22 points and eight rebounds and Rashad McCants scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half of Minnesota’s 110-103 victory Sunday over a Utah team that just can’t seem to win on the road. Corey Brewer tied a career high with 16 points and had seven rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have now beaten the Jazz at home twice this season, losses that are inexcusable for a team that hopes to contend for the Western Conference crown. Carlos Boozer had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the short-handed Jazz, who are nearly unbeatable at home but just 16-22 on the road this year… Deron Williams had 15 points and 13 assists, but was pretty quiet from a scoring standpoint after getting seven points in the first 5 minutes.

Mar. 30: Spurs 109, Rockets 88

The AP reports: Michael Finley scored 22 points on Sunday and the Spurs picked up their seventh straight win with an easy 109-88 victory over the Houston Rockets… Tony Parker added another 22 points and Tim Duncan had 13 for the Spurs, who have 51 wins—the most in the tightly packed Western Conference. The Rockets aren’t far behind… Luis Scola scored a season-high 24 points for the Rockets. Tracy McGrady— most often matched up against Spurs top defender Bruce Bowen—and Rafer Alston each had 13 points after shooting a combined 9-for-38… Luther Head scored 10 points for the Rockets. Manu Ginobili scored 14 for the Spurs and Kurt Thomas added 10.

Mike D`Antoni praises Manu Ginobili

The Boston Globe (Peter May) reports: Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni often wonders why the name Manu Ginobili doesn’t surface when the topic concerns today’s great swingmen. “If you were picking a small forward or a big guard for your team, he’s got to be one of the top five that you’d be talking about,” D’Antoni said. “I mean, look at what he’s done. Three [NBA] championships. An Olympic gold medal. And yet he doesn’t even make the All-Star team. I don’t know if you mention him in the same sentence with the real greats, but if this is about winning, then what he has done is unbelievable. I don’t think we put enough of a premium on that. I think he’s one of the best players in the league.”

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Mike Harris for the remainder of the 2007-08 season.  As per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.  Harris originally signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets on March 8 and was re-signed to a second 10-day contract on March 18.  In eight games with the Rockets, Harris has averaged 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Harris (6-6, 240, Rice), who signed with the Rockets as a rookie free agent on July 13, 2007, averaged 5.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while playing in Houston’s first two preseason games this season. Released by the Rockets on Oct. 22, Harris averaged 24.3 points and 11.6 rebounds in just 28 minutes per game in 25 outings with DongGuan (2007-08) of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Harris’ season highs in the CBA included a 46-point, 26-rebound game. The former standout at Rice University also averaged 12.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in five games with Houston in the 2007 NBA Summer League presented by adidas.

In 2006-07, Harris averaged 6.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in five preseason games with the Milwaukee Bucks. Selected third overall in the 2006 D-League Draft by Colorado, Harris also averaged 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.54 blocks in 48 games (16 starts) with the 14ers in 2006-07.

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