The AP reports: Ronnie Brewer scored a career-high 26 points and Utah increased its winning streak to seven straight with a 102-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, hours after Jazz owner Larry Miller’s funeral in the same building. Mehmet Okur also scored 26 and Deron Williams added 16 points and 11 assists for the Jazz, who went 10-1 in February. The day started somberly for the Jazz with the funeral for Miller, who died eight days before of complications from diabetes, but ended with another win—a fitting send-off for their longtime owner. Kevin Martin had 19 points to lead the Kings, who haven’t won back-to-back games since November. Rashad McCants had 17 points and Bobby Jackson scored 14 for Sacramento.
The AP reports: Derrick Rose scored 16 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, and the Chicago Bulls rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 105-102 on Saturday night. Trailing 99-82 with just under six minutes left, the Bulls outscored the Rockets 23-3 the rest of the way to pull out a dramatic win in their first home game since the deaths of franchise icons Norm Van Lier and Johnny “Red” Kerr… Artest, who scored a season-best 32 points, argued vehemently for a foul and had to be escorted away by Dikembe Mutombo… Yao Ming added 17 points, Luis Scola scored 16 while grabbing 11 rebounds, but the Rockets let what looked like their first road win in more than a month slip away.
The AP reports: Charlie Villanueva scored 25 points and Richard Jefferson added 22 to lift the Milwaukee Bucks to an easy 109-93 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Milwaukee never trailed, opened up a double-digit lead in the opening minutes and was never seriously threatened to win its fourth straight over Washington and avoid losing three in a row for the first time since early December… Reserve Dan Gadzuric had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Ramon Sessions added 12 points and 10 assists. The Bucks also got 13 points from rookie Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and 12 from Charlie Bell… Washington would mount no such challenge despite getting 21 points and 14 rebounds from Antawn Jamison. Caron Butler scored 19 and Nick Young added 13 for the Wizards, who had an inspired 113-90 victory over Chicago on Friday night.
The AP reports: Jeff Green had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 99-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. The Thunder won despite playing without Kevin Durant, the league’s fourth-leading scorer with a 26.0 average, who suffered a right ankle sprain in Friday night’s 110-108 overtime loss to Dallas. Durant is listed as day-to-day. Thabo Sefolosha, playing only his fourth game for Oklahoma City after a trade from Chicago, recorded 15 points and 11 rebounds, season-highs in both categories. Nenad Krstic also scored 10 points. Rudy Gay scored 20 points to lead Memphis, which lost its seventh straight. O.J. Mayo finished with 18 points, while Mike Conley had 17.
The AP reports: Telling the packed arena more than once that “this is my house,” Dwyane Wade scored 46 points, 15 of them coming in a dramatic 19-0 spurt that erased a huge deficit in the final nine minutes and carried the Miami Heat to a 120-115 win over the Knicks on Saturday night… Wade also had 10 assists, Jermaine O’Neal scored 18 points and Jamario Moon added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat. Nate Robinson led the Knicks with 29 points off the bench, but missed the 3-pointer that would have tied it in the final seconds. Larry Hughes and Chris Duhon each scored 19 and David Lee had an 18-point, 13-rebound night for New York.
The AP reports: Even when All-Star Dwight Howard has a subpar game, the Orlando Magic can never be counted out. Not with their offensive arsenal. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu scored 23 points each and the Magic tied a franchise record with 37 3-point tries in their 106-100 comeback win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. Courtney Lee contributed 18 points, Howard added 12 and Rafer Alston had 11 for the Magic (43-16), who rebounded from a disappointing 93-85 home loss to the Detroit Pistons on Friday. The Magic improved to 21-9 on the road, the third best record in the NBA… Andre Miller had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Andre Iguodala scored 22, Willie Green added 19 and Thaddeus Young had 18 for the Sixers, who fell back to .500 at 29-29.
The Houston Chronicle (Jonathan Feigen) reports: With his playing time scarce and time running out on his contract, Rockets guard Luther Head was waived on Saturday to beat the deadline for players to be eligible for the postseason. Head will likely be replaced on the roster by high-scoring NBA Development League forward James White of the Anaheim Arsenal. The Rockets were close to signing White to a 10-day contract, a person with knowledge of the move said on Saturday, and White was held out of Saturday’s game… “He wants to play and it didn’t seem he would get the opportunity to play a lot there,” Head’s agent Mark Bartelstein said. “This is an opportunity to find a team and get a chance to play, maybe to play in the playoffs and to showcase him before he is a free agent this summer.”
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The Oklahoman (Darnell Mayberry) reports: Thunder forward Kevin Durant will miss up to two weeks with a Grade II ankle sprain, according to a team source. Durant is expected to miss seven to 14 days after rolling his right ankle in Friday’s game at Dallas when he stepped on the foot of Mavs forward Josh Howard while driving to the basket with 7:13 left in the first quarter. He remained in the game for about three minutes before walking off the court with a limp.
The 2009 National Basketball League (NBL) Grand Final series will be an all-Victorian affair after the South Dragons defeated the Townsville Crocodiles to advance to the title round, where they will face cross-town rivals the Melbourne Tigers in a classic one versus two showdown.
The Dragons, who took out the minor premiership with a league-best regular season record of 22-8, defeated Townsville in the deciding Game Three of their Semi-Final series, 101-78, at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena tonight.
The league’s reigning Champions and this season’s number two seed, the Tigers, had previously advanced to the Grand Final series after defeating the New Zealand Breakers 2-0 in their own best-of-three Semi-Final series.
The Dragons’ victory tonight sets-up a clash of the top two ranked teams in the league, and the first all-Victorian NBL Grand Final since 1997, when the South-East Melbourne Magic (led by South Dragons current coach Brian Goorjian) defeated the Melbourne Tigers 2-1 in a classic three-game series.
The AP reports: Raymond Felton had 26 points and nine assists, and Emeka Okafor added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte (23-36), which won for just the fourth time in its last 13 games… Stephen Jackson had 33 points and eight assists for Golden State (20-38), but couldn’t help thinking about the pass that got away from him at the end while trying to inbound the ball to Kelenna Azubuike following Diaw’s go-ahead 3-pointer… Gerald Wallace finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which snapped a four-game road losing streak to the Warriors. Andris Biedrins had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Golden State, which trailed by six points at halftime but opened the third quarter with a 16-5 run to take the lead. Biedrins had nine of his points during the spurt then later added a dunk to make it 73-68.