Archive for March 25th, 2008

Mar. 25: Blazers 102, Wizards 82

The AP reports: Martell Webster had 23 points, Travis Outlaw added 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame the loss of top scorer Brandon Roy to beat the Washington Wizards 102-82 on Tuesday night. Jarrett Jack added 17 points and Joel Przybilla had 17 rebounds for the Blazers, who shot 49.4 percent despite Roy leaving with a strained right groin on the last play of the first quarter. Portland was already without LaMarcus Aldridge, the team’s second-leading scorer who sprained an ankle Monday against Seattle. Caron Butler had 19 to lead Washington, which was missing Gilbert Arenas after he had his return from knee surgery pushed back a week… Antonio Daniels had 14 points and eight assists for the Wizards, who had won six of their last seven. Leading scorer Antawn Jamison struggled, with nine points and eight rebounds on just 3-of-13 shooting.

Mar. 25: Jazz 128, Bobcats 106

The AP reports: Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Deron Williams added 14 points and 15 assists to lead the Utah Jazz over the Charlotte Bobcats 128-106 on Tuesday night. Mehmet Okur also had a double-double for Utah with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Jazz pulled away after letting a 20-point lead slip to three early in the fourth quarter. Matt Harpring added a season-high 18 points and Kyle Korver scored 10, hitting three 3-pointers after the Bobcats rallied to make it close. Jason Richardson scored 26 and Gerald Wallace added 21 points for the Bobcats, who lost their sixth straight road game.

Mar. 25: Mavs 103, Clippers 90

The AP reports: Dallas, which had lost three straight, led only 60-58 when Josh Howard got rolling. Howard scored 20 of the Mavericks’ next 26 points, putting them up by 16 early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 32 points, easily his most since Jason Kidd arrived. Erick Dampier also stepped up for Dallas, scoring 19 points and matching his season high with 17 rebounds. Jerry Stackhouse scored 20 and Kidd had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds…  Corey Maggette led Los Angeles with 21 points before fouling out. Tim Thomas had 13, most coming on consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter, and Nick Fazekas had 10 points in 16 minutes.

Mar. 25: Bulls 103, Hawks 94

The AP reports: Drew Gooden scored a season-high 31 points and matched a season best with 16 rebounds Tuesday night as the Chicago Bulls held on in the fourth quarter for a 103-94 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls, one of several teams chasing the Hawks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, led by 12 after three quarters before Atlanta rallied within two with just more than six minutes left. Ben Gordon’s 3-pointer with 1:27 to go gave the Bulls a 97-90 lead, and he added two free throws with 28 seconds left. Gordon finished with 16 points. Josh Childress scored 22, including eight in the final quarter, to lead Atlanta. Mike Bibby added 18.

Mar. 25: Hornets 114, Pacers 106

The AP reports: David West had 35 points and 16 rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets beat Indiana 114-106 on Tuesday night in the Pacers’ first game since CEO Donnie Walsh announced he was leaving the team at the end of the season. Chris Paul had 31 points and 14 assists as the Hornets won their fourth straight to maintain the best record (48-21) in the Western Conference. Danny Granger led Indiana with 26 points and nine rebounds against his hometown team. The Pacers had been on a four-game winning streak, but the loss gave the Pacers back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1987-88 and 1988-89.

Mar. 25: Spurs 107, Magic 97

The AP reports: Manu Ginobili scored 28 points and Michael Finley added 24 as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Orlando Magic 107-97 on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win. Dwight Howard had 24 points and 21 rebounds, his eighth game this season with at least 20 in both categories. Rashard Lewis added 24, Keyon Dooling 19 and Carlos Arroyo 17. Tim Duncan had 19 points and 15 rebounds for San Antonio. Orlando was short-handed after losing starters Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson in the first half. Nelson left with a bruised jaw after apparently running into Howard, while Turkoglu sprained his right wrist.

What about having each division winner make the NBA playoffs, but aside from that, the best teams by record, regardless of conference or division?

The idea is inspired by the fact that this year’s West/East difference is huge. If the playoffs were to start today, the #7 and #8 seeds in the West, Dallas and Golden State, have 44 and 43 wins, respectively. The #7 and #8 seeds in the East, Atlanta and New Jersey, have 30 wins each. It isn’t even close.

If the top 16 teams were to make the playoffs, this is who would get in:

Boston, Detroit, New Orleans, LA Lakers, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, Utah, Orlando, Dallas, Golden State, Denver, Cleveland, Washington and Portland.

That’s according to winning percentage.

What do you think? Post your opinion in this forum thread.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed center Lance Allred to a second 10-day contract, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Allred has played in two games for Cleveland.  He signed his first 10-day contract on March 13.

Mar. 24: Sonics 97, Blazers 84

The AP reports: Kevin Durant scored 23 points and the SuperSonics snapped their 11-game losing streak with a 97-84 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night… Damien Wilkins added 20 points off the bench, and Jeff Green continued his improved play late in his rookie season with 16 points. Martell Webster led Portland with 22 points, but 15 came in the first quarter when the Seattle native hit four 3-pointers. Another Seattle native, All-Star Brandon Roy, struggled all night, looking fatigued and leaving a number of shots short. Roy made just five of 17 attempts and finished with 11 points… The Sonics took control in the third quarter, which coincided with Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge leaving with a mild right ankle sprain.

Mar. 24: Rockets 108, Kings 100

The AP reports: Rafer Alston scored 28 points and Tracy McGrady added 17 as the Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 108-100, making Adelman the 13th coach to reach the milestone… Shane Battier added 15 points for the Rockets, who won for the second time in five games since the end of their 22-game winning streak last Tuesday. Houston entered Monday’s action in fifth place in the Western Conference, but only one game behind New Orleans and the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 1 spot. Kevin Martin scored 18, and Ron Artest and Francisco Garcia had 17 apiece to lead the Kings, who’ve lost eight of their last nine road games. Sacramento allowed 100 points for the 17th time in 18 games as Houston shot 50 percent from the field (35-of-70).

Mar. 24: Nuggets 120, Grizzlies 106

The AP reports: Allen Iverson had 26 points and seven assists, while Carmelo Anthony finished with 23 points and nine rebounds as the Nuggets used a big second half to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-106 on Monday night. “We wanted to end this road trip the right way,” said Marcus Camby, who had 15 rebounds… J.R. Smith led the Nuggets, scoring 25 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, as Denver stretched the lead to as many as 22 in winning its third straight. Smith was 8-of-10 in the period, including seven outside the arc. “Amazing,” said Kenyon Martin, who missed only one of his eight shots while recording 14 points and 10 rebounds… Rudy Gay led Memphis with 30 points, while Hakim Warrick finished with a season-high 29. Mike Miller added 19 and Javaris Crittenton 14.

Mar. 24: Sixers 95, Celtics 90

The AP reports: Andre Iguodala scored 10 straight points during a 19-0 run that brought Philadelphia back from a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit Monday night, and the 76ers beat the Boston Celtics 95-90 to move above .500 for the first time this season. “It shows how hard we’ve worked to get back,” said Iguodala, who finished with 28 points… Andre Miller scored 20, Thaddeus Young had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 12 boards for Philadelphia. Kevin Garnett scored 18, Leon Powe had 16 and Ray Allen scored 14 for Boston, which lost its second straight after winning 14 out of 15. The Celtics long ago clinched a playoff berth, and they played as if it didn’t matter down the stretch.

Mar. 24: Lakers 135, Warriors 127

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant scored 23 of his 30 points after halftime while playing with a gash under his left eye, and Lamar Odom had 23 points and 21 rebounds as the Lakers reclaimed the Western Conference’s top spot and avenged Sunday night’s 115-111 defeat… Los Angeles couldn’t have done it without Sasha Vujacic, who scored 19 points and hit a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left in overtime… “It’s unfortunate, in a situation like that, that we didn’t get an opportunity to get a shot up,” said Baron Davis, who had 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists… Monta Ellis had 18 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Warriors, who have lost four of seven in a critical stretch for their playoff hopes. Stephen Jackson added 29 points, but Golden State’s lead over Denver for the conference’s final playoff berth dwindled to a half-game.

Mar. 24: Pistons 110, Suns 105

The AP reports: With Richard Hamilton sidelined with a sore hip, rookies Rodney Stuckey and Arron Afflalo stepped up to help the Pistons end Phoenix’s seven-game winning streak with a 110-105 overtime victory Monday night… Phoenix was unhappy with the officiating all night—Amare Stoudemire picked up a technical in the first quarter—but it was especially disappointed in some late calls… Rasheed Wallace had 23 points and nine rebounds for Detroit, while Stoudemire led Phoenix with 33… InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: Steve Nash had 23 points and 9 assists, Grant Hill had 15 points and 9 rebounds, and Shaquille O’Neal had 12 points and 10 rebounds. For the Pistons, Chauncey Billups had 32 points and 6 assists, and Rodney Stuckey took 12 shots for 13 points.

Mar. 24: Nets 106, Knicks 91

The AP reports: The New Jersey Nets avoided what could’ve been a humiliating sweep, and managed to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race for one more day. Vince Carter scored 27 points, Richard Jefferson added 26 and the Nets moved within one game of the final playoff spot in the conference with a 106-91 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night. The Nets also defeated their cross-Hudson rivals for the first time this season after three losses… Jamal Crawford led the Knicks with 26 points, while Zach Randolph had 17 in his return to New York’s starting lineup. Lee finished with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Wilson Chandler added 12 points for the Knicks.

Mar. 24: Heat 78, Bucks 73

The AP reports: Chris Quinn stepped into the starting lineup and gave the Miami Heat a huge boost. The second-year guard from Notre Dame, a late replacement for the injured Jason Williams, scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Heat past the Milwaukee Bucks 78-73 on Monday night… Quinn shot 8-of-13 and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals… Michael Redd, who scored 24 points to lead the Bucks, had his shot blocked by Joel Anthony on the ensuing possession.

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