Archive for April 11th, 2009

The AP reports: Brian Skinner scored a season-high 21 points, Eric Gordon added 20, and the Los Angeles Clippers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 109-78 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

InsideHoops.com notes: Baron Davis was decent, hitting half of his 14 shots for 16 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Chris Kaman was good off the bench, shooting 7-of-12 for 14 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. In the loss, Beno Udrih had 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Ike Diogu in 20 minutes off the bench scored 13. Andres Nocioni added 11. No other Kings player scored double-digits. Sacramento shot a pathetic 32.6% and hit just 4-of-20 from three-point range.

The AP reports: Dikembe Mutombo had 10 points and 15 rebounds, Luis Scola added a career-high 28 points and the Houston Rockets maintained their slim hold on the third seed in the Western Conference with a 113-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Making a rare start after center Yao Ming was scratched from Houston’s lineup during pregame warmups because of lingering soreness in his right foot, the 42-year-old Mutombo blocked four shots and played a season-high 36 minutes while helping the Rockets complete a four-game season sweep of the Warriors. Ron Artest added 19 points and six assists for Houston, which remained a half-game in front of Portland and San Antonio for the third seed in the Western Conference… Kelenna Azubuike had 32 points and C.J. Watson and Ronny Turiaf added 18 apiece for Golden State (28-51), which overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half before falling short.

Roy has 24, Blazers beat Lakers 106-98

The AP reports: Brandon Roy had 24 points and eight assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Los Angeles Lakers 106-98 on Friday night. Kobe Bryant scored 32 points for the Lakers, but missed a key 3-pointer, had a crucial turnover and was off on a jumper in the final minute. It was Portland’s eighth straight victory over the Lakers at the Rose Garden. The Lakers played without coach Phil Jackson, who didn’t travel with the team because of pain in his lower right leg, and fell 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the best record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the postseason… The Blazers held a narrow lead throughout most of the fourth quarter. Bryant pulled the Lakers into a 91-all tie with 5:15 to go, but Steve Blake answered with his own jumper for the Blazers.

The AP reports: In an important win over Utah, Tim Duncan scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds. It’s a mediocre outing by his standards but enough to help the Spurs get a big 105-99 victory over the fading Jazz on Friday night. Tony Parker scored 31 points, and the Spurs shook off their recent funk long enough to bury the Jazz further back in the playoff picture. Both teams are in, but Utah lost for the fifth time in six games to inch closer to facing the dominant Los Angeles Lakers in the first round… Deron Williams had 25 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, whose misery in San Antonio continues. The Jazz haven’t won here since 1999, a streak spanning 23 games… Mehmet Okur had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Utah.

The AP reports: With a great start and a feisty finish, the rolling-at-the-right-time Dallas Mavericks were able to withstand a big game by Chris Paul and beat the New Orleans Hornets 100-92 on Friday night, forcing a tie between the teams for sixth place in the Western Conference. Now Dirk Nowitzki is eager to see if the Mavs can do it again—on Sunday, in New Orleans. “We’ve won some nice home games, but our true tests are on the road,” said Nowitzki, who scored 25 points… Paul scored 42 points, one shy of his career high, plus had nine rebounds and seven assists. However, he didn’t get much help. David West was the only other double-digit scorer with 20 points and it took him 20 shots. New Orleans trailed by 10 after a few minutes and was down 42-21 midway through the second quarter.

The AP reports: Kevin Durant and the Thunder took care of that in the final home game of their inaugural season in Oklahoma City. Durant had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead three players with double-doubles, and the Thunder knocked the Bobcats out of playoff contention with an 84-81 victory Friday night… Nenad Krstic added 19 points, Jeff Green had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook had 10 points and 11 assists for Oklahoma City. D.J. Augustin led the Bobcats with 20 points, including a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left that got Charlotte within 83-81. Green then swatted away a runner by Raymond Felton and Krstic corralled the rebound on the floor with 2.2 seconds left.

The AP reports: On Friday, the Pistons got 46 points from their bench and clinched a playoff spot with a 100-93 victory over the New Jersey Nets. “We’re getting better and better every game,” said reserve guard Will Bynum, who led the Pistons with 20 points… New Jersey (32-47) lost for the eighth time in 10 games as coach Lawrence Frank went with a young lineup for much of the game. Rookie Ryan Anderson led the Nets with 20 points, one short of his career high, and fellow first-year players Chris Douglas-Roberts and Brook Lopez had 16 each.

The AP reports: Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo scored 20 points apiece, and the Grizzlies snapped a 10-game losing streak against Phoenix with a 106-89 victory. “We’re playing to get better,” said Memphis point guard Mike Conley, who scored 17 points… Hakim Warrick had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Marc Gasol finished with 14 points. Jason Richardson and Louis Amundson led the Suns with 13 points apiece, the only Phoenix players in double figures. Starters Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash and Matt Barnes finished with nine points.

The AP reports: Al Harrington scored 27 points, Wilson Chandler had 22 and the Knicks dealt a crushing blow to Orlando’s hopes of getting the East’s second spot with a 105-95 victory over the Magic on Friday night. Orlando trails Boston by two games with three to play… David Lee added 20 points and 16 rebounds to help the Knicks avoid a season sweep by the Magic, who won the first three games against New York. New York played its most inspired game against Orlando this season, only it came too late… Hedo Turkoglu scored 24, and Dwight Howard had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Orlando. With Boston owning the tiebreaker, the Magic would need to win all their remaining games and hope the Celtics go 0-3 to finish second.

Butler, Wizards edge Raptors 100-98

The AP reports: Washington Wizards coach Ed Tapscott wanted to give Caron Butler a breather in the fourth quarter. Butler had other plans. Butler made a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer to give Washington a 100-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. Antawn Jamison had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Butler added 21 points for the Wizards, who nearly blew a six-point lead in the final minute… Bosh had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, and Kapono added 20. Calderon had 15 points and 11 assists… Brendan Haywood had 15 points, five blocks and nine rebounds for the Wizards, with Dominic McGuire adding eight points and 11 rebounds.

The AP reports: Josh Smith scored 30 points and Joe Johnson had 24 to help the Hawks clinch the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 122-118 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. Al Horford finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks earned home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Atlanta needed either a win or a loss by Miami, which fell by seven in Boston, to wrap up the No. 4 spot… Danny Granger had 35 points to lead the Pacers in scoring for the eighth straight game. Jarrett Jack, who finished with 17, matched Indiana’s biggest lead at seven midway through the third, but the Hawks never trailed after Johnson hit two free throws to make it 76-74 with 4:04 left in the quarter.

The AP reports: Paul Pierce spent part of the week looking over the schedule, counting the missed opportunities that cost the Celtics a chance to repeat as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. There was a loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles. Another to the Trail Blazers when Brandon Roy was out… Pierce scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half, including the go-ahead free throws with 97 seconds left to help the Celtics earn their sixth straight win… Rajon Rondo had seven points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for Boston, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored 22 points with eight rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, adding nine assists, to help the Heat tie it 95-all with just under 2 minutes left. But Boston scored the next eight points to pull away.

The AP reports: LeBron James had 27 points and 10 assists, Wally Szczerbiak scored a season-high 18 and the Cavaliers beat the struggling Philadelphia 76ers 102-92 Friday night to clinch home-court advantage in the Eastern conference playoffs… Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 26. The Sixers (40-39) have lost four straight since clinching a playoff berth. They remained one game behind Miami for fifth place in the East… Andre Miller and Lou Williams each scored 17 for Philadelphia, and Mo Williams had 18 for the Cavs.

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