Archive for April 13th, 2008

Apr. 13: Magic 104, Bulls 84

The AP reports: Hedo Turkoglu scored 24 points, and the Orlando Magic beat the Chicago Bulls 104-84 to reach the 50-win mark for the first time in 12 years on Sunday night. Dwight Howard added 19 points even though he sat out the fourth quarter, and Rashard Lewis added 18. Orlando got a much-needed win after dropping six of 10 and losing to lottery-bound New York and Minnesota in that span… Andres Nocioni led Chicago with 22 points and Luol Deng added 19, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Magic from reaching 50 wins for the first time since 1995-96.

Apr. 13: Cavs 84, Heat 76

The AP reports: Daniel Gibson made a 3-pointer and three straight free throws early in the fourth quarter to give Cleveland some cushion while LeBron James rested, and the Cavaliers moved closer to the East’s No. 4 seed with an 84-76 win over the Miami Heat on Sunday night. Delonte West scored 18 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 and 14 rebounds and James finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Cavaliers, who didn’t play well again but had enough to hold off the pathetic Heat… Ricky Davis scored 17 points and Daequan Cook and Earl Barron had 13 apiece for Miami (14-66), whose dismal season is nearly over.

Apr. 13: Lakers 106, Spurs 85

The AP reports: MVP candidate Kobe Bryant had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists before sitting out the fourth quarter, and the Lakers routed the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs 106-85 for their seventh win in eight games… Lamar Odom, the only Los Angeles starter to play in the final period, added 17 points and 14 rebounds before coming out for good with 4:26 remaining. Pau Gasol had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Derek Fisher also scored 14, Jordan Farmar added 11 points and Ronny Turiaf scored 10 for the Lakers, who outscored the Spurs 53-32 in the second half… Tony Parker had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but was held to two points after halftime. Tim Duncan added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Ime Udoka scored 14 for the Spurs (54-26), who lost for just the third time in 13 games.

Apr. 13: Pistons 91, Raptors 84

The AP reports: Detroit finished the game with its “Zoo Squad”—Jarvis Hayes, Amir Johnson, Jason Maxiell and rookies Arron Afflalo and Rodney Stuckey. The group averages just 22.8 years of age, but the youngsters have proven their worth in back-to-back wins over Washington and Toronto… Stuckey led the Pistons with 18 points, while Maxiell and Billups added 14 each. Chris Bosh had his 30 and Rasho Nesterovic added 18, but T.J. Ford (10) was the only other player to reach double figures… Detroit used all 12 players before halftime, but still took a 50-45 advantage into the break. The Pistons outrebounded Toronto 23-13 in the half, including a 7-2 edge on the offensive glass.

Sonics General Manager Sam Presti announced today the team has re-signed forward Ronald Dupree for the remainder of the season.

Aside from the question of how long the Sonics will still play in Seattle, before their possible/probable eventual move to Oklahoma City, the team is in a full rebuild around Kevin Durant, with Jeff Green also on board. Almost everyone else may go this summer or in a year or so.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Ronald Tillery) reports: A railing that overlooks a tunnel leading to FedExForum locker rooms gave way Saturday night, injuring three people about an hour before the Grizzlies’ regular-season home finale. One person was taken away on a stretcher and two others were treated at the scene. Grizzlies spokesman Dustin Krugel said during the game all three were taken to various Memphis hospitals as a precaution. Witnesses said at least a dozen people were leaning on the rail requesting autographs from Grizzlies Hakim Warrick and Juan Carlos Navarro when it collapsed.

Praise Kevin Garnett

The AP (Howard Ulman) reports: Maybe Garnett won’t win his second most valuable player award. Most stats favor Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Chris Paul. But if there were an MIP award for Most Intense Player, the leader most responsible for the Celtics’ record turnaround would have all the qualifications. He is the best player on the team with the NBA’s best record. He’s led the Celtics to the biggest single-season turnaround in league history, breaking San Antonio’s record 36-game improvement. And he’s the inspiration for a hard-working team that leads the NBA in point differential and lowest opponents’ field goal percentage.

The AP continues: “Look at the team. Look at the team’s record. Look at the turnaround,” Ray Allen said. “I think he’s probably the more unselfish guy in the NBA (of the top MVP candidates) that’s made his team better. It’s not just the offensive perspective.” Last season the Celtics were 24-58, their second worst record for a franchise that has an NBA best 16 championships. After trading for Garnett in the offseason, they are 64-16 after a 99-89 win Saturday night over Atlanta, their likely first-round playoff opponent.

The Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night at Verizon Center in Washington’s 2007-08 regular season home finale on Comcast SportsNet and WTEM 980 at 7:00 pm.

* This game marks the fourth and final meeting between the Wizards and Pacers this season.  Having lost two of the first three meetings, Washington needs a win to earn a split in the season series.  After sweeping the Pacers (3-0) last season, and having split four games in 2004-05 (2-2) and 2005-06 (2-2), Washington hasn’t lost a season-series to Indiana since 2003-04 (1-2).

* Headed to the NBA Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, Washington joins the Detroit Pistons as the only Eastern Conference clubs to qualify for postseason play in every season since 2004-05.  With two regular season games remaining, the Wizards (42-38) currently trail Cleveland (43-36) by 1.5 games for the fourth seed in the East.  Washington leads Toronto (40-39) by 1.5 games for the fifth seed.

* On Saturday night versus Philadelphia, DeShawn Stevenson hit five of Washington’s 12 three-pointers, and the Wizards increased their season total to 558 three pointers made.  After connecting on a franchise record 561 three-point field goals last season, the Wizards are just four three-pointers away from establishing a new franchise record for threes made in a single season.  Stevenson, meanwhile, has made 68 of his career-high 155 three-pointers in the 27 games since the All-Star break, and ranks 9th in the NBA in three-pointers made over that stretch.

* In Washington’s last game…Washington defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 109-93, at Verizon Center on April 12…Antawn Jamison led Washington with a game-high 25 points and 13 rebounds…Gilbert Arenas tallied 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 25:06…DeShawn Stevenson scored 19 points, including five three-point field goals, and recorded a team-high seven assists…Antonio Daniels (12 points) and Darius Songaila (10) also scored in double figures…Caron Butler (bruised right knee) missed his 22nd game of the season, but Washington improved to 9-13 in his absence…The Wizards outscored the 76ers 31-9 in the fourth quarter…Philadelphia’s nine fourth quarter points tied for the fewest amount of points a Wizards’ opponent has scored in any quarter this season.

* This season vs. Indiana…The Wizards were defeated by the Pacers, 95-83, at Indiana on Dec. 22…Antawn Jamison scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds…Roger Mason Jr. finished with a then career-high 20 points and five rebounds…Darius Songaila started his first game this season and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in a season-high 35:17…Brendan Haywood finished with 13 rebounds and a season-high tying five blocks.

Apr. 12: Warriors 122, Clippers 116

The AP reports: Baron Davis had 25 points and nine assists, Stephen Jackson added 28 points and the Golden State Warriors kept their waning playoff hopes realistic with a 122-116 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins scored 17 points apiece for the Warriors, whose victory coupled with the Nuggets’ 124-97 loss at Utah earlier in the night left Golden State and Denver tied for eighth place in the Western Conference standings at 48-32… Cuttino Mobley had 30 points and 10 rebounds as the Clippers lost their fifth straight game, including four in a row against playoff contenders… Al Thornton had 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Elton Brand added 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Clippers lost the season series with Golden State despite several late surges. Corey Maggette scored 22 points after missing the last two games with a strained hamstring.

Apr. 12: Kings 94, Hornets 91

The AP reports: Ron Artest (22 points) returned from a thumb injury to hit four clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and the Sacramento Kings dealt a big blow to New Orleans’ hopes for the top seed in the Western Conference with a 94-91 victory over the Hornets on Saturday night… John Salmons added 18 points and 11 rebounds and Garcia also had 16 points for the Kings, who will play a key role in the race for the top seed because they finish the season with games against San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers next week… David West led New Orleans with 30 points and 15 rebounds, and Stojakovic added 18 points. But All-Star point guard Chris Paul had another rough shooting night, finishing with 14 points on 4-for-13 shooting. Paul did have 12 assists, but is shooting just 16-for-48 the last four games.

Apr. 12: Blazers 108, Mavs 105

The AP reports: A 108-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday left the Blazers at 40-40 with two games left—one at home against Memphis and the season finale at Phoenix. Brandon Roy scored 23 points for Portland, which hasn’t had a winning record since the 2002-2003 season… LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points, and Jarrett Jack had 19 points and 10 assists. Channing Frye had 15 points and 10 rebounds… Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points for the Mavericks, who had won their last three and were among the teams jostling for playoff position in the Western Conference.

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