Archive for May 28th, 2009

The AP reports: With Cleveland’s wondrous season on the line, LeBron James had 37 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists, and Mo Williams, who boldly predicted his team would come back and win this tight-as-can-be series, added 24 points in the Cavaliers’ 112-102 victory over the Orlando Magic in Game 5 on Thursday night… James scored 21 points in the second half—17 in the fourth quarter—and had a hand in 29 of Cleveland’s 34 points in the final 12 minutes. Hedo Turkoglu scored 29 to lead Orlando, and Dwight Howard had 24 and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 2:22 remaining when he was called for his sixth personal foul while trying to stop James on a drive.

Fans discussed the game live as it happened in this forum topic.

Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a cartilage injury to his left shoulder. The surgery was performed in Dallas by Dr. Richard Levy of Texas Sports Medicine. A timetable for his return has not been set.

In the 2008-09 NBA season, the 6-0, 175-pound guard averaged 7.8 points and 3.4 assists in 20.3 minutes per game.

If history were grading Orlando’s chances of advancing to The Finals, it would give the Magic an A. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, all time in the postseason there have been 187 best-of-seven playoff series in which a team has taken 3-1 lead. That team has advanced to the next round 179 times or 96 percent. Orlando has won five games on the road during the playoffs, the most wins away from home during a single postseason in team history (previous high was four in 1995). The Magic clinched its first round series with a win at Philadelphia in Game 6, and advanced to the conference finals with a Game 7 victory in Boston, marking the fourth and fifth times that Orlando won a series-deciding game on the road. All time in the playoffs, however, Cleveland, is 42-25 (.627) at home, including winning of eight of its last nine playoff games at The Q. Orlando is responsible for the lone loss, besting the Cavaliers in Game 1. Since the 2006 postseason, the Cavaliers are 21-7 (.750) at home, which accounts for the second most home wins in the postseason over that span behind San Antonio (22-7).

The Los Angeles Lakers took another step towards advancing to their second straight Finals by defeating the Denver Nuggets 103-94 in Game 5 yesterday to take a 3-2 series lead. Teams with a 3-2 lead are 193-33 (.854) all time, with 122 of those series ending in six games. Of those 122 Game 6 wins, more than half (69) came on the road. The last team to win a series after trailing 3-2 was the San Antonio Spurs, which defeated the New Orleans Hornets in last year’s conference semifinals.

Notable: There have been 20 games this postseason decided by three or fewer points, surpassing the previous high of 19 (2006). Orlando has played in seven of those games, winning three.

–NBA News

The Denver Post (Mark Kiszla) reports after the Lakers beat the Nuggets in Game 5: In an accusation that goes straight to the heart of the sport’s integrity, one member of the Nuggets shook his head in disgust after the game, and could not believe how cheap it was for Los Angeles to buy a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. “The Lakers paid $50,000 to win that game. They got their money’s worth,” said a Denver player, not wanting to be identified for fear of retribution from the league. Was the outcome rigged? I refuse to believe it was. The 16 field-goal attempts the Nuggets missed during the fourth quarter had much more to do with the defeat than any of the 30 personal fouls called against Denver by the referees.

InsideHoops.com editor says: There’s a 98% chance the player was just angry about how things went down, and was just lashing out, and absolutely doesn’t mean it. He probably thinks the refs made some lousy calls, was just venting some frustration, and shouldn’t be taken literally.

The AP reports: With Kobe Bryant luring double coverage then passing to his teammates, the Lakers owned the fourth quarter in a 103-94 victory Wednesday night that gave them a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. Bryant scored 22 points—on just 13 shots—Lamar Odom had 19 points and 14 rebounds despite an aching lower back and Pau Gasol added 14 points and 10 rebounds… Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points, hitting 12 of 13 free throws, and Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups added 12 points each for the Nuggets. The teams were tied after the first, second and third quarters for just the fourth time in NBA playoff history… “I thought they got the benefit of the whistle,” George Karl said. “Every player in my locker room is frustrated, from guards to big guys. Gasol goes after at least 20 jump shots, 20 shots to the rim and gets one foul; our big guys have 16. Nene has six fouls, three or four of them don’t exist.”

Australia will have 2009-10 season

Basketball Australia (BA) has announced that eight-teams will participate in its upcoming season of elite men’s basketball in 2009/10, with powerhouse club the Melbourne Tigers agreeing to join the competition.

BA recently announced its intention to move ahead with a season of elite men’s basketball in 2009/10, before launching a new national basketball competition in 2010.

Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast, New Zealand, Perth, Townsville and Wollongong all made submissions indicating they wished to participate in the league. On Thursday the Melbourne Tigers also formally agreed to join the other seven clubs for an eight-team competition.

More info on our NBL/Basketball Australia page.

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