Archive for April, 2010

Game 5: Lakers rout Thunder

The AP reports:

Lakers rout Thunder

Pau Gasol had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Bynum added 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers vigorously rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 111-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Kobe Bryant had 13 points and seven assists in three quarters of work as the defending NBA champions coolly shook off the eighth-seeded Thunder’s series-tying blowout win in Game 4 with a comprehensive thrashing of the postseason newcomers.

With their offense purring and their defense throttling Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers led by 21 points at halftime and went ahead by 32 late in the third quarter of their third home victory in the series…

Durant scored 17 points and Westbrook had 15 on combined 9-for-27 shooting for Oklahoma City, which never recovered after missing its first 13 shots…

Fans included Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Rafaeli, Will Ferrell, Joel McHale, Sylvester Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Dustin Hoffman, Barry Bonds, singer Seal, David Arquette and UCLA coach Ben Howland, while Hugh Hefner watched from a luxury box.

Game 5: Butler 35, Mavs beat Spurs

The AP reports:

Butler, Haywood help Mavs beat Spurs

Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood gave the Dallas Mavericks the energy, toughness and scoring they needed—in other words, everything the Mavs expected when they traded for them a few months ago.

Butler scored a career playoff-best 35 points and had 11 rebounds, and Haywood provided a strong inside presence at both ends in his first start of this postseason, keeping the Mavericks alive by leading them to a 103-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Spurs were outplayed most of the first half, but trailed by only seven at halftime. Dallas didn’t let them hang around much longer…

Butler’s performance turned Dirk Nowitzki into a sidekick. He had 15 points and nine rebounds. Jason Terry had 12 points, while Marion and Kidd each scored 10. Kidd also had seven assists and seven rebounds.

Tony Parker led San Antonio with 18 points. Half of them came during an 11-2 run at the end of the second quarter that gave the Spurs hope of pulling off another throttling third quarter, like they did to win Game 4.

Duncan scored 11 in 24 minutes and Manu Ginobili scored seven in 19 minutes.

Game 5: Cavaliers eliminate Bulls

The AP reports:

Game 5: Cavaliers edge, eliminate Bulls

LeBron James just missed a triple-double despite an apparently sore right elbow, and the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to a playoff date with Boston by beating Chicago 96-94 in Game 5 on Tuesday night in perhaps Vinny Del Negro’s final game as Bulls coach.

James, favoring a tender right elbow that appears to hurt worse than he’s letting on, scored 19 points—16 in the second half—and added 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Cavs finally saddled the stubborn Bulls to win the series 4-1. Unable to lift his right arm, James was forced to shoot a free throw left-handed with 7.8 seconds left.

Antawn Jamison scored 25 points for Cleveland, which will face the Celtics, reuniting teams that don’t like each other and who played a testy seven-game series in 2008…

Derrick Rose scored 31 points and Luol Deng 26 for the Bulls, who had several shots roll in and out in the final minutes.

Delonte West had 16 points and Shaquille O’Neal added 14 while racking up fouls against Chicago’s big men.

InsideHoops.com notes:

The Bulls hit just 2-of-10 three-pointers.

The starting Cavs guards were awful today. Mo Williams shot just 2-of-13 for the Cavs, finishing with seven points and five assists. Anthony Parker played 19 minutes and had three points and almost nothing else.

Shaq shot 7-of-9 for 14 and eight, though he had a few too many turnovers.

Derrick Rose had 31 points, but it took 27 shots, with six assists.

Other than Luol Deng shooting 9-of-17 for 26 points, few Bulls stepped up offensively.

Game 5: Celtics eliminate Heat

The AP reports:

The Boston Celtics are heading to the second round of the NBA playoffs and a potential matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Game 5: Celtics eliminate Heat

Ray Allen scored 24 points, making five 3-pointers in the second half, to help Boston beat Miami 96-86 in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday night and eliminate the Heat. With Heat star Dwyane Wade due to become a free agent—along with James—it could be an eventful summer in Miami.

Boston advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals thanks to 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists from Rajon Rondo. Paul Pierce scored 21 for the Celtics, who will play either Cleveland or Chicago; the Cavaliers took a 3-1 lead into Game 5 of their first-round series later Tuesday night.

Wade scored 31 points—far short of the franchise postseason-record 46 he scored Sunday in Game 4 in Miami to help the Heat stave off elimination.

InsideHoops.com reports:

The Celtics as a team shot 48.6%, the Heat just 39.2%.  Boston hit 7-of-12 three-pointers, Miami just 5-of-20. Free throws and rebounding was exactly even. But the Celtics dished 10 more assists and had five more steals.

For the Celtics, Ray Allen had 24 points. Paul Pierce (8-of-13) 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Rajon Rondo (6-of-16) 16 points, eight rebounds, 12 assists (just two turnovers) and four steals. Kevin Garnett had 14 points and eight rebounds.

For the Heat, Wade had 31 points, eight rebounds and ten assists (but seven turnovers). Mario Chalmers stepped up off the bench with 20 points on 13 shots. But no other Heat player even scored double-digits. Carlos Arroyo (4-of-4) had eight and almost nothing else. Jermaine O’Neal (3-of-10) continued to be awful and had seven points with little else. Udonis Haslem came off the bench to contribute six points and 10 rebounds. Joel Anthony was off the bench for six points. Quentin Richardson (just 2-of-8) had four points and little else. Michael Beasley played only 13.5 minutes and had more turnovers (3) than points (2).

Sale of Wizards to Leonsis close

The AP reports:

The family of late Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin have agreed to the ”major economic terms” of a deal to sell its stake in the NBA team to Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

Leonsis, a former AOL executive, and the Pollins ran into some snags in talks this year. But in a statement Tuesday, Pollin’s sons, Robert and James, said they and their mother, Irene, congratulate Leonsis on this ”near-final step in a long negotiation.”

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Associated Press last month that the two sides agreed to value the franchise and the arena at slightly more than $550 million.

Jamal Crawford wins Sixth Man of Year

As expected, Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford won the 2009-10 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

He deserved it. Crawford’s scoring off the bench was a huge part of Atlanta’s success this year.

The team finished with a 53-29 record and the #3 seed in the Eastern conference.

For more info on the award, with voting results and the guys that finished behind Crawford, click here.

Spurs double-teams contain Nowitzki

Todd Archer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Spurs double-teams contain Nowitzki

For the first time in the playoff series, San Antonio double-teamed Dirk Nowitzki from start to finish in Sunday’s Game 4. The result was just 10 shots by the Mavericks’ leading scorer and a 92-89 Spurs victory.

It was only the third time in Nowitzki’s last 49 playoff games that he had taken 10 or fewer shots.

He made four of nine shots in a Game 4 win against the Spurs last year, scoring 12 points, but the Mavericks won that game.

Nowitzki expects more of the same in Game 5.

“In Game 3, I had a pretty good second half,” Nowitzki said. “They figured, ‘We better get the ball out of his hands.’ They came from the beginning on the block. They came on the isolations up top. They just got the ball out of my hands, and we didn’t make enough plays on the weak side.

“I’ve still got to find a way, even with double teams, to pick my spots, be more aggressive. Obviously, 10 shots is not going to cut it.”

The AP reports:

When the Phoenix Suns win in this playoff series, they win by a mile.

Frye, Dudley lead Suns past Portland

Channing Frye and Jared Dudley rediscovered their shooting touch in a 107-88 rout of Portland on Monday night that has the Suns one victory away from eliminating the Trail Blazers from the playoffs.

Frye scored 20 points and Dudley 19, the leaders of a Phoenix second unit that played a major role in putting the Suns up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series…

Amare Stoudemire scored 19, and Nash had 14 points and 10 assists for Phoenix.

Andre Miller scored 21, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Jerryd Bayless had 17 apiece for the Trail Blazers.

Portland All-Star Brandon Roy, in his second game back after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus just 10 days ago, drew three fouls in an ineffective 6 1/2 minutes in the first half. He finished with five points on 2-of-7 shooting in 19 minutes.

The Hawks a very good team — but they’re not great. During the regular season, the Bucks were playing close to the level the Hawks were before losing center Andrew Bogut to injury. Yet the Bucks are showing big-time pride and stepping up to put some scare into Atlanta.

The AP reports:

Bucks shock Hawks 111-104 to even series

Carlos Delfino scored 22 points with six 3-pointers and the Milwaukee Bucks pulled off their second straight playoff surprise, beating the Atlanta Hawks 111-104 Monday night to draw even in the first-round series.

Brandon Jennings scored 23 points and John Salmons added 22 for the Bucks, who survived a fourth-quarter surge led by Atlanta stars Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Now the Hawks head home for Game 5, desperately needing a win to stave off a surprising challenge by a team missing its best player, injured center Andrew Bogut.

Johnson scored 29 points, reserve Jamal Crawford had 21, and Smith had 20 points and nine rebounds.

The Bucks finally started getting to the free throw line and the made the most of it, hitting 28 of 32.

The Magic were expected to send the Bobcats home in four or five games, and they did just that.

The AP reports:

Magic beat Bobcats 99-90 to complete sweep

Vince Carter scored 21 points, Jameer Nelson added 18 and the Magic showcased their depth and pressure shot-making in a 99-90 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night to complete a sweep of their first-round series.

Dwight Howard was held to six points in his fourth straight game in foul trouble, but the Magic never flinched to accomplish their first four-game sweep in franchise history.

Tyrus Thomas scored a career playoff-high 21 points for the Bobcats, whose focus will now almost immediately turn to nomadic coach Larry Brown’s future with the team.

Howard did grab 13 rebounds, but was limited to 23 minutes before fouling out for the second straight game…

Rashard Lewis scored 17 points, Matt Barnes added 14 and Orlando held Stephen Jackson to 2-of-11 shooting to make sure Charlotte would be the only team not to win a first-round game.

Robin Lopez still out another week

Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez was seen today by specialist Dr. Christopher Huston of The Orthopedic Clinic Association (TOCA) in Phoenix.

Lopez, who has not played since March 26 due to an injured back, is progressing well and will continue to have his rehabilitation workload increased based on the evaluation of the Suns’ medical staff and on the condition that no pain or any other issues develop.

Lopez will be re-evaluated in one week.

The second-year player was the Suns’ first-round pick (15th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft.  The 7-0, 255-pound center blossomed after being inserted into the Suns’ starting lineup on Jan. 18, helping to lead the Suns to a 22-9 (.710) record in his starts.  Lopez averaged 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 24.5 minutes as a starter in 2009-10.

For the season, the Stanford product posted career highs in points (8.4), rebounds (4.9), blocks (1.04) and minutes (19.3).  His 58.8-percent field-goal accuracy (171/291) would have ranked third in the NBA if he had reached the statistical minimum needed to qualify (min. 300 field goals made).

NBA fines Erick Dampier

Dallas Mavericks’ center Erick Dampier has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Dampier was fined for comments made to the media following the Mavericks’ 94-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round on April 23.

More details tonight.

Former Milwaukee Bucks player Kevin Restani died Sunday night in San Francisco, California after returning to his home there from Milwaukee where he had participated over the weekend in the North American Association of Club Athletic Directors basketball tournament. Restani played on the Golden Masters team representing the Olympic Club of San Francisco.  He attended the Bucks-Atlanta playoff game Saturday night at Bradley Center.

Restani played over 300 games in five seasons  (l974-79) with the Bucks including a trip to the 1976 playoffs. He played under Head Coaches Larry Costello and Don Nelson and averaged 4.6 rebounds and 6.0 points per game with the Bucks.  Nicknamed “Big Bird” by then Bucks TV and radio play-by-play man Eddie Doucette, Kevin was an eight-year NBA veteran who played with the Kansas City Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers for a total of 550 career NBA games with four teams.  He played several seasons in Europe after his NBA career.

Among Bucks teammates during his tenure were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Dandridge, Mickey Davis, Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman and Quinn Buckner.

Restani was a University of San Francisco graduate who helped the Dons to two West Coast Athletic Conference titles. He was a third round 1974 draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers whose rights were purchased by the Bucks.  Kevin was a 1970 graduate of Riordan High School in San Francisco and believed to be the only alumnus to have played for any length of time in the NBA.  From 1995-97 Kevin spent three seasons as head coach of the Riordan varsity squad. His contributions to youth programs as coach and counselor were well known. He was born December 23, 1951 in San Francisco. Kevin is survived by his wife, Roberta. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Car hits Hawks team bus

Sekou Smith of the official NBA site reports:

A car smashed into the team bus while it was stopped at a light near the Bradley Center. Hawks VP of Public Relations Arthur Triche said that no one in the team’s traveling party was hurt. But they did have to exit the bus and either walk back or cab it back to the team hotel.

“We all got a jolt this morning and we didn’t need any coffee or anything else to get it,” Triche said by phone later. “But everyone is fine and we hope that the driver and whoever else was in the car are fine as well.”

Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group reports:

Franklin Mieuli, the only owner to bring a championship to the Warriors franchise since it moved West, died Sunday of natural causes. He was 89.

Mieuli owned the Warriors for 24 years, selling the franchise in 1985. But Mieuli, with his bushy beard and plaid deerstalker cap, was a regular sight courtside at Warriors games over the years, even the early part of this past season. He had been hospitalized recently, the family told the Warriors.

“Franklin Mieuli was one of the most instrumental figures in my life,” Al Attles, who was coach of Mieuli’s 1975 championship team, said in a news release.

The AP reports:

Mieuli was the principal owner of the Warriors from the time they moved to the Bay Area in 1962 until he sold them in 1986. He won an NBA title with the team in 1975…

Mieuli also once owned a small percentage of the San Francisco Giants and still had a five per cent interest in the 49ers, which he purchased in 1954.

Mieuli, who grew up in San Jose and attended the University of Oregon, was an advertising executive for a San Francisco brewery which, at his instigation, began sponsoring 49ers radio broadcasts.

The AP reports:

Jazz take 3-1 lead on Nuggets with 117-106 win

Carlos Boozer had 31 points and 13 rebounds, Deron Williams added 24 points and 13 assists, and the Utah Jazz held off a late charge to beat the Denver Nuggets 117-106 on Sunday night for a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 39 points and led the Nuggets back within range late in the fourth quarter, but Denver never caught all the way up and lost for the third straight time in the series…

Denver trailed by 18 entering the final period but was able to get within 113-106 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Anthony, but that was as close as it could get.

C.J. Miles scored 21 and Wesley Matthews added 18 points for Utah. The Jazz led by as much as 20 and had the Nuggets off balance until Anthony led a surge early in the fourth.

Mavericks in first round trouble

Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports:

The Mavericks now are down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series that returns to American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

Only eight times in NBA history have teams rallied from a 3-1 deficit. Rick Carlisle coached one of those teams when he was with Detroit, which came back to beat Orlando.

For the second time in a row in San Antonio, the Mavericks blew a game that was well within reach. They owned a 15-point lead in the second quarter and were still up by double figures four minutes into the third quarter.

But the Spurs scored 15 points in a row to go up 62-57. The Mavericks scored just 11 points in the quarter, with just two in the final seven minutes.

Game 4: Spurs beat Mavs for 3-1 lead

The AP reports:

Game 4: Spurs beat Mavs for 3-1 lead

Tim Duncan had a miserable 34th birthday and Manu Ginobili looked as bad at times as his bandaged-up nose. But George Hill scored 29 points and San Antonio beat the Mavs 92-89 on Sunday night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

Popovich called out his supporting cast after losing Game 1. But it was his Big Three who had little bark in Game 4.

InsideHoops.com reports:

It was a sight to see. Hill was awesome. And the energy of DeJuan Blair helped San Antonio a lot.

The Mavericks scored 31 points in the second quarter and 30 in the fourth, but just 17 in the first and 11 in the third.

For the Spurs, Hill scored 17. Ginobili had 17 points (just 4-of-16), four rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Richard Jefferson (6-of-9) had 15. Antonio McDyess and Tony Parker each scored 10. Duncan had just four points and 11 rebounds.

For the Mavs, Caron Butler had 17 but on 18 shots, with six rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki was a mere 4-of-10 for 17 points and 11 rebounds. Shawn Marion had 14 but on 13 shots, and seven rebounds. Jason Terry had 13 on 11 shots.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Ron Artest still learning triangle offense

Ron Artest is still trying to pick up an offense that took Scottie Pippen a year and a half to learn in Chicago. How intricate is the triangle? Tex Winter once wrote a 320-page book about it.

Artest has been a problem spot in the Lakers’ offense, making only three of 19 from three-point range heading into Game 4.

On Saturday, he had five points and made two of nine shots in the Lakers’ 110-89 loss. He was 0 for 4 from three-point range.

Phil Jackson told Artest beforehand to pass more often, but the Lakers’ coach isn’t frustrated with him…yet.

“He’s a naïve, innocent lamb,” Jackson said. “I think he’s mistaken in a lot of ways, put in the same category as Dennis Rodman. There couldn’t be a bigger disparity between people.”

The AP reports:

Game 4: LeBron amazing 37-point triple-double, Cavs beat Bulls

LeBron James had 37 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds, Antawn Jamison added 24 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls 121-98 Sunday afternoon to go up 3-1 in their first-round series.

The Cavaliers led by 10 at halftime after scoring 38 in the second quarter and broke it open with a 37-point third, putting them in position to close it out at home on Tuesday.

InsideHoops.com reports:

The Cavs shot 53.2%, the Bulls just 37.4%. Cleveland also nailed a fantastic 12-of-25 from three-point range.

For Chicago, Joakim Noah (7-of-12) had 21 points and 20 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. The Bulls had 17 offensive rebounds, the Cavs just five — though Cleveland was hitting their shots, so there were fewer misses for them to collect.

Also for the Bulls, Derrick Rose had 21 points, but on 20 shots, and he didn’t do a lot else. Luol Deng scored 16, but on 17 shots, and also contributed little else.

As expected, the Bulls are in trouble. The Cavs will probably close out the series in Game 5.

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