Archive for May 20th, 2009

The Los Angeles Times (Lisa Dillman) reports: Danny Manning, Michael Olowokandi . . . and now Blake Griffin. The Clippers have twice had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, and will get it again for a third time, having won the league’s draft lottery Tuesday night at Secaucus, N.J. “Clearly, we’re taking Blake Griffin,” Clippers General Manager and Coach Mike Dunleavy said in a telephone interview from Barcelona, Spain. “This guy is the No. 1 pick. We’re extremely excited. He’s the guy.” There wasn’t much of a question the Clippers would do anything other than take the dynamic, explosive forward from Oklahoma. Dunleavy, though, wasn’t about to be coy in the wee morning hours in Spain and erased any shred of doubt about the team’s intention in the draft June 25 in New York.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant proved a steadying presence for his wildly inconsistent teammates, taking over in the fourth quarter and delivering a come-from-behind victory. Bryant scored 40 points, including six free throws in the final 30 seconds, to lift Los Angeles to a 105-103 win over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals opener on Tuesday night after the Lakers trailed most of the game… Pau Gasol added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who faced a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Gasol’s two free throws tied the game for the last time at 99 before Bryant started his closing streak at the line, offsetting a 3-pointer by Chauncey Billups and a free throw by J.R. Smith. Carmelo Anthony scored 39 points and Billups added 18 for the Nuggets, who hadn’t played since taking care of Dallas in five games last Wednesday… J.R. Smith sprained his right knee and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

Nuggets G JR Smith suffered a sprained right knee at the end of tonight’s game against the Lakers. His status for Thursday’s game will be updated tomorrow.

Renaldo Balkman suffered a sprained right ankle in pregame workouts. He is questionable for Thursday’s game.

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