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. 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. 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.”

Game 5: Frye, Dudley lead Suns past Blazers

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.