Archive for April 15th, 2008

Rafer Alston out at least one week

Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston underwent an MRI test this afternoon at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center which revealed a moderate to severe strain of his right hamstring.  Alston suffered the injury in the third quarter of Sunday’s game at Denver and did not play in last night’s game at Utah.  He is expected to miss a minimum of a week.

Sasha Pavlovic out 2-3 weeks

Cavaliers guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic suffered a left ankle sprain in the third quarter of last night’s game at Philadelphia.  He underwent an MRI this morning at The Cleveland Clinic.  The results of which confirmed the left ankle sprain.  He is expected to miss 2-3 weeks and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Warriors playoff hopes end

The Bay Area News Group (Geoff Lepper) reports: For the first time in 175 games since Don Nelson returned the Warriors’ bench, he’ll be coaching a meaningless game. The Warriors’ regular-season finale Wednesday against visiting Seattle was rendered moot Monday after Golden State was eliminated from the playoffs. The faint hopes of a second consecutive playoff berth flickered during a third-quarter run where Golden State scored 15 consecutive points, but in the end, too much of Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire ended the Warriors’ hopes. A 122-116 loss to the Suns on Monday leaves the Warriors (48-33) one game behind the Denver Nuggets (49-32) and destined to lose a tiebreaker even if they catch up with Wednesday’s regular-season finale. The Warriors are guaranteed of being a historical footnote: The winningest team not to make the playoffs since they expanded to 16 teams in 1983-84.

The Orlando Sentinel (Tim Povtak) reports: The Toronto Raptors, by virtue of their 91-75 victory against the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers’ controversial 91-90 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, earned the No. 6 seeding in the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs so that is who the No. 3-seeded Orlando Magic will face in the first round. The Sixers lost and the Cavs clinched the No. 4 seeding after refs reviewed a foul by Samuel Dalembert at the end of their game and called the 76ers, who thought the game was over, out of the locker room. Officials put 0.2 second back on the clock, and the Cavs’ Devin Brown sank two free throws for the win.

The Seattle Times (Percy Allen) reports: Howard Schultz says he wants the Sonics back. Nearly two years after selling Seattle’s NBA franchise to Oklahoma City investors, the Starbucks mogul has hired a lawyer and is preparing to file a lawsuit against Sonics chairman Clay Bennett to rescind the July 2006 sale. Attorney Richard Yarmuth confirmed Monday that his Seattle-based law firm, Yarmuth Wilsdon Calfo, is representing Schultz and plans to sue Bennett’s Professional Basketball Club in the next two weeks. “The damages that are being sought is to rescind, unwind the transaction,” Yarmuth said a day after the team played what could have been its final home game in Seattle.

Apr. 14: Suns 122, Warriors 116

The AP reports: While Baron Davis just sat and watched. Fighting off a cold that he said sapped his energy, Amare Stoudemire scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and Phoenix recovered after blowing a 17-point lead for a 122-116 victory Monday night. The Warriors’ loss clinched the final playoff spot in the West for Denver. Steve Nash nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds as the Suns remained in the midst of a scramble for playoff positioning and a possible home-court advantage in the first round. Stephen Jackson scored 16 of his 23 points in the Warriors’ third-quarter comeback. Monta Ellis added 20 points, Kelenna Azubuike 17 and Andris Biedrins 16… Shaquille O’Neal had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Phoenix, but sat while coach Mike D’Antoni went with a smaller lineup during the decisive late stretch. Barbosa scored 19 and Raja Bell 16.

Apr. 14: Spurs 101, Kings 98

The AP reports: Tony Parker tied his season high with 32 points and added 11 assists as the struggling Spurs managed to pull out a 101-98 victory Monday night against the depleted Sacramento Kings… Playing only 24 minutes due to foul trouble, Tim Duncan had 17 points for the Spurs. Mike Finley scored 19 points and Fabricio Oberto had 17. John Salmons led the Kings with 29 points and 11 rebounds, Spencer Hawes had 17 points, Beno Udrih scored 16 and Garcia added 15… The Kings played without injured Kevin Martin and Ron Artest, their two leading scorers. Starting center Brad Miller also did not play.

Apr. 14: Jazz 105, Rockets 96

The AP reports: The Jazz went 37-4 at home, where they hope to be playing this weekend in the first round of the playoffs. “It changes every day, so we’ll see what happens,” said Carlos Boozer, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds in his 51st double-double of the season Monday… Mehmet Okur added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Deron Williams finished with 17 points and nine assists for the Jazz, who won for the sixth time in seven games and finished with their best home record since winning 38 games in 1996-97. Tracy McGrady and Luis Scola scored 22 each for Houston, which fell short with a late rally after trailing by 17 at the end of the third quarter. The Rockets made six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to make it closer, but couldn’t overcome Utah’s huge lead.

Apr. 14: Bulls 151, Bucks 135

The AP reports: The Chicago Bulls couldn’t miss, thanks to the defensively inept Milwaukee Bucks, who haven’t been able to stop anyone all season. Luol Deng scored 32 points and Ben Gordon added 29 as the Chicago Bulls barely fell short for most points in franchise history in a 151-135 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night… Chris Duhon had 22 points and 15 assists for Chicago, which fell five points short of its scoring record of 156 set March 16, 1984 at Portland, and four points short of its regulation record set against Phoenix on Dec. 4, 1990… The lone bright spot for the Bucks was rookie Ramon Sessions, who set a franchise record with 24 assists, three more than Guy Rodgers had in Milwaukee’s sixth game as a franchise on Oct. 31, 1968 against Detroit. Sessions also scored 20 points—the first 20-20 with points and assists in franchise history.

Apr. 14: Celtics 99, Knicks 93

The AP reports: Isiah Thomas was booed during pregame introductions and fans chanted for him to be fired in the final minute. But while firing Thomas may be the popular decision with fans, Jamal Crawford cautioned that it may not be the right one… Doc Rivers gave Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen the night off, but Rajon Rondo had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who learned during the game they will face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. Sam Cassell added 22 points for the Celtics, who got a halftime pep talk from another champion who wears green: Masters winner Trevor Immelman, who watched the game the day after collecting the green jacket.. Nate Robinson scored 26 points and David Lee had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the Knicks. Rookie Wilson Chandler, who had been playing well lately, sprained his left knee in the third quarter. X-rays were negative.

Apr. 14: Raptors 91, Heat 75

The AP reports: Rasho Nesterovic scored 20 points, Chris Bosh had 15 and the Raptors beat the Miami Heat 91-75 on Monday night. The win, coupled with Cleveland’s 91-90 victory at Philadelphia, gave Toronto the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and an opening round matchup with Orlando… Anthony Parker had 13 and Jason Kapono scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, when Toronto outscored Miami 21-11… Daequan Cook had 22 and Chris Quinn added 14 for the Heat, who lost for the 21st time in their past 24 games. Miami must beat Atlanta at home Wednesday to avoid the worst record in franchise history. The Heat went 15-67 in their inaugural 1988-89 season.

Apr. 14: Cavs 91, Sixers 90

The AP reports: The 76ers saw Devin Brown’s shot fall short, heard the buzzer and darted toward the locker room for an apparent victory celebration. Game over? Not so fast. Officials reviewed the final sequence for several minutes before deciding that Sixers center Samuel Dalembert fouled Brown with 0.2 seconds left and brought Philadelphia back to the court for the free throws. Minutes after the game was seemingly over, Brown sank the pressure-packed free throws to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 91-90 win over the Sixers on Monday night and clinch the fourth seed in the East… LeBron James scored 27 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 22 and the Cavaliers clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs… Andre Miller scored 26 points and Lou Williams had 21 for the struggling Sixers, who have lost all the momentum built during a torrid 11-4 March that shot them up the East standings.

Apr. 14: Wizards 117, Pacers 110

The AP reports: Despite the playoff implications of Monday’s game, Washington coach Eddie Jordan went to his bench early and often, getting 31 points from Roger Mason, 14 from rookie Nick Young and little resistance from the Pacers’ defense. Gilbert Arenas was given the night off and Caron Butler sat out with a bruised knee. The Wizards’ reserves outscored their starters 70-47. The disparity was even greater after DeShawn Stevenson left early in the second half with a sore back… “It’s disappointing,” said Mike Dunleavy, who scored 26 points… They weren’t missed. Mason was 7-for-9 on 3-pointers, rookie Dominic McGuire scored a career-high nine points, and Andray Blatche grabbed 11 rebounds as Washington dominated the boards 58-31.

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