Archive for May 21st, 2008

Spurs old while Lakers young

The Washington Post (Michael Lee) reports: Derek Fisher is the Lakers’ only regular rotation player older than 30. On the other hand, Parker is the only player who is younger than 30 in the Spurs’ regular rotation. But the 26-year-old Parker doesn’t mind being grouped with the rest of the AARP roster. “With all the years with the [French] national team, you can add me an extra four years,” Parker said with a laugh. Parker and Horry both joked that a postseason reunion with the Lakers will make them feel young again. Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Fisher and Horry have been around for each of the previous five Lakers-Spurs clashes, of which the Lakers won three. Horry switched from the Lakers to the Spurs before the teams last met in the conference semifinals in 2004, a series that the Lakers won after Fisher made an off-balance 17-foot jumper with 0.4 of a second left in the critical Game 5. The Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals that season, losing to the Detroit Pistons.

Lakers and Spurs yet again

The Washington Post (Michael Lee) reports: “It’s getting old,” Tony Parker said about the Spurs facing the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs for the sixth time since 1999. Then Parker paused, cracked a sly grin and said: “Nah, it never gets old. It’s always great to play the Lakers. Kobe [Bryant] is at his best. They have a great team. Back to the rivalry; it’s going to be great.” If anything has gotten old, it’s the Spurs, who have had to hear about their age this season more times than Republican presidential candidate John McCain. “People always talk about us being old,” said Spurs reserve Robert Horry, 37. “They classify you as being old because you don’t dunk anymore or don’t slash as fast as you used to slash, but we’re still going. Our game plan is usually pretty good.”

May 20: Celtics 88, Pistons 79

The AP reports: Not even a week of rest could prepare the Detroit Pistons for the hottest home team in the NBA. Kevin Garnett had 26 points and nine rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 22 points Tuesday night to give Boston an 88-79 victory over the Pistons in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Celtics’ 15th straight home win… Kendrick Perkins had 10 rebounds for Boston and Rajon Rondo scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:47 left in the game after the Pistons cut the deficit to 83-75. Rondo also had seven assists and five steals while outplaying Chauncey Billups, the MVP of the 2004 NBA finals, in his return from a right hamstring injury… The Pistons quickly erased the first-quarter lead, even going ahead 13-12. But they trailed 41-40 at halftime and scored just 17 points in the third quarter, 10 from Richard Hamilton, while the Celtics took a 69-57 lead on Eddie House’s 3-pointer with 2 seconds left. Stat Notes: The Celtics shot 52.2%, the Pistons 42.4%. Three-pointers weren’t much of a favor. The Pistons got to the free throw line a bit more, and hit a slightly higher percentage. Rebounding was even. But the Celtics dished 27 assists, the Pistons just 15. Turnovers were close.

For the Celtics, Kevin Garnett (11-of-17) had 26 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Paul Pierce (9-of-18) had 22 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists (but 5 turnovers). Rajon Rondo (5-of-9) had 11 points, 7 assists and 5 steals. Ray Allen (just 3-of-10) keeps struggling and had 9 points, 4 assists and 2 steals. Kendrick Perkins had 10 rebounds.

For the Pistons, Tayshaun Prince (just 7-of-16 with no free throws) had 16 points and 4 rebounds. Richard Hamilton (just 5-of-13) had 15 points and 6 rebounds. Antonio McDyess (5-of-10) was good with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace (just 3-of-12) had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Chauncey Billups (3-of-6), returning from injury, in 31 minutes had 9 points and little else.

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