Archive for May 3rd, 2008

The AP reports: After overcoming an 18-point deficit in Friday’s semifinal, Maccabi Tel Aviv doesn’t see anything stopping it from getting revenge on CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague basketball final. The two teams both enter Sunday’s game seeking a sixth title — putting it second only to Real Madrid’s eight — but the Israeli club is also trying to make up for a thrilling 73-69 loss to CSKA two years ago that gave the Russian club its first crown in 35 years. Maccabi captain Derrick Sharp said Friday’s 92-85 comeback win over Montepaschi Siena — after trailing 36-18 in the first half — has made the team confident it will lift its third trophy since 2004… CSKA held off Spanish club Tau Ceramica 83-79 Friday and knows a stronger effort will be needed against its Israeli opponent.

May 2: Jazz 113, Rockets 91

The AP reports: The Jazz beat the Rockets 113-91 on Friday night to win the series 4-2 and avoid having to play a Game 7 on the road. The Jazz did that a year ago against the Rockets and didn’t want to push their luck again in Texas. The third quarter all but guaranteed they wouldn’t have to. Deron Williams scored 13 of his 25 points in the period, making three of four 3-pointers as the Jazz outscored the Rockets 27-11… Williams had just seven points at halftime, then took over the game in the third quarter. He was 4-for-7 from the field and pumped up his teammates as Utah pulled away on a 20-5 run. Houston had already cut a 17-point lead to four and Williams wanted the Jazz to pull away—and stay there… Houston relied almost entirely on Tracy McGrady, who couldn’t beat the Jazz by himself—even with his 40 points… Luis Scola was the only other Rockets player in double figures with 15 points. The Rockets lost point guard Rafer Alston with a sprained ankle late in the second quarter and the offense never recovered… Mehmet Okur had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 10 boards. Andrei Kirilenko scored 11 points and Williams added nine assists. The Jazz found their long-range shooting and made 10 of 22 3-pointers. Utah was 2-for-23 from beyond the arc in the previous two games.

May 2: Hawks 103, Celtics 100

The AP reports: The Celtics are still the obvious favorite, having won all three games at their place by an average of 22 points. But the Hawks have lasted longer than anyone would have expected… The Celtics looked as shell-shocked as anyone. Paul Pierce fouled out and spent the final minutes on the bench with a towel draped over his head, barely able to watch… Marvin Williams led the Hawks with 18 points despite missing much of the fourth quarter with a sprained left knee. Kevin Garnett had 22 for the Celtics and Ray Allen added 20, but Pierce—the other member of Boston’s Big Three—fouled out on a disputed call with 4:44 remaining… Joe Johnson, who went to the final period with just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting, came alive in the fourth. He saved his biggest shot for the end, getting James Posey in the air with a pump fake before hitting Atlanta’s only 3-pointer of the game to make it 100-95… Atlanta got double figures from every starters. Besides Williams’ 18, Bibby had 17, rookie Al Horford 16, Johnson 15, and Smith—who played less than 30 minutes because of foul trouble—finished with 11. Off the bench, Childress had 15 points and six rebounds, while Pachulia contributed nine points and six rebounds.

May 2: Cavs 105, Wizards 88

The AP reports: LeBron James had the last word. In an NBA playoff series filled with trash talk, hard fouls, 13 technicals, one ejection, one suspension and plenty more, James was everywhere and did a little bit of everything in Game 6. And, in what’s become his personal rite of spring, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Washington Wizards. James compiled 27 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists for his third career playoff triple-double, all the while helping slow Caron Butler at the defensive end, and the Cavaliers beat the Wizards 105-88 on Friday night to close the contentious series… It’s the third consecutive postseason that the Cavaliers eliminated the Wizards in the first round—ending each of those series on Washington’s home floor… He was more of a passer than a scorer early, with twice as many assists (four) as shot attempts (two) in the first quarter. That allowed his teammates to get in a rhythm, and Wally Szczerbiak scored a career playoff-best 26 points, Daniel Gibson added 22, and they combined to make 10 of Cleveland’s 11 3-pointers… Antawn Jamison led Washington with 23 points and 15 rebounds. The Cavaliers were ahead 56-48 at halftime, thanks in large part to a 15-0 run during the second quarter and 7-for-12 shooting on 3-pointers. The Wizards? They were 3-for-12 on 3s to that point.

Report: Kobe Bryant will win MVP

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant has won the NBA’s MVP award for the first time, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site Friday night, citing anonymous sources familiar with the outcome of voting by media members. The newspaper reported that commissioner David Stern will be in Los Angeles next week to present the trophy to Bryant.

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