Archive for May 1st, 2010

The AP reports:

LeBron, Cavs elbow past Celtics 101-93

Hours before receiving his second straight MVP award, LeBron James scored 35 points and Mo Williams added 20 as the Cleveland Cavaliers, outplayed for most of the game, stormed back to beat the Boston Celtics 101-93 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

James, playing with a sprained and bruised right elbow, delivered yet another memorable performance as the Cavs withstood a furious punch from the Celtics, who led by 11 in the third and seem intent on making this a long series.

James, who also had seven rebounds and seven assists, drained a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left to put Boston away.

Rajon Rondo had 27 points and 12 assists and Kevin Garnett finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who were held to 15 points in the fourth quarter.

InsideHoops.com notes:

The Cavs shot 48.7%, the Celtics 44.4%. Both teams struggled from three-point range. The Cavs hit 21-of-31 free throws, the Celtics 17-of-21. Rebounding was even, and assists were close.

For Cleveland, James scored 35. Mo Williams shot 8-of-14 for 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. Shaquille O’Neal (just 4-of-12) had 11. JJ Hickson (5-of-7) had 11 off the bench.

For Boston, Rondo had 27 points, six rebounds and 12 assists. Kevin Garnett (just 9-of-20, no free throw attempts) had 18 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and three blocks. Ray Allen had 14 but on 14 shots and contributed little else. Paul Pierce was just 5-of-17 for 13 points, three steals but more turnovers than rebounds or assists. Kendrick Perkins had 11 rebounds.

Fan discussion live as this game took place was here.

Pacers fire Sam Perkins

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports (via blog):

The Pacers showed that the roster isn’t the only thing they want to change this offseason when they fired Sam Perkins as their vice president of player relations after two years on Friday.

General manager David Morway didn’t divulge why Perkins was fired, but he thanked him for his services.

Paul Millsap good off bench for Jazz

Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Paul Millsap good off bench for Jazz

For the second time in three games at EnergySolutions Arena, Paul Millsap’s grit, athleticism and uncanny ability to put a ball through a hoop propelled the Utah Jazz past Denver. This time, however, the victory Friday night meant the Jazz was advancing to the second round.

Millsap turned in a better-than- workmanlike line of 21 points and 11 rebounds. Spectacular, considering Carlos Boozer scored 22 and had 20 rebounds. It wasn’t the first time this series Millsap proved to be the guy who holds the Jazz together. In Game 3 he erupted for 22 points and 19 rebounds. And he comes off the bench.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports:

LeBron James may play at MVP level for years

It is conceivable LeBron James could continue to produce at an MVP level for another seven years. He has avoided major injuries. His granite, sculpted body is unmatched in the NBA. There might be better scorers or rebounders or distributors or even penetrators, but no one amasses those skills into one punishing body of work as James does.

His 6-foot-9-inch, 250-pound frame delivers as many hits as it withstands and James has made it a priority to be known as more than just a high flyer. Comparisons with Michael Jordan are natural, especially since both put downtrodden franchises on their shoulders and lifted them to elite status.

And what Jordan brought to the game in flare, athleticism, and dominance, James equals with strength, all-around skill, and speed. There is only one Jordan, but James is making a loud enough impression on today’s NBA to create his own mystique for a new generation of children to emulate.

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports:

Ron Artest defended Kevin Durant nicely

Ron Artest just played his Western Conference championship series and won it. He won’t have to work this hard to earn his keep again until the Lakers face the other elite scorer in the league: Cleveland’s LeBron James.

The Lakers might not play any team that tough the rest of the way through the West, either. With that in mind, what Artest just did for them is even more meaningful.

To understand just how great a series Artest had on defense, look at Kevin Durant’s stats: 35 percent field-goal shooting after 47.6 percent in the regular season. Durant’s assist-to-turnover ratio was 14-to-22.

This is a guy who went more than two months of the regular season (29 consecutive games) never scoring fewer than 25 points, something no one has done since Michael Jordan in 1986-87. It’s no coincidence that in the two games in this series the Lakers won comfortably, Durant couldn’t reach 25.

The AP reports:

Boozer rocks, Jazz eliminate Nuggets

Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 20 rebounds, rookie Wesley Matthews scored 23 and made a key block, and Utah pulled away late in the fourth quarter and beat the Denver Nuggets 112-104 on Friday night, winning the playoff series in six games.

Deron Williams added 14 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, who went on an 11-0 run after Carmelo Anthony had tied the game at 95-all midway through the final period.

Matthews went 13 for 15 from the free throw line as Utah persevered in the foul-filled game, making 34 of 51 free throws after drawing 39 fouls by the Nuggets.

Chauncey Billups led Denver with 30 points and Anthony finished with 20 points on 6 for 22 shooting…

Joey Graham scored 18 of his 21 points in the second quarter to get the Nuggets back in the game after they fell behind by 15.

Paul Millsap had 21 points, 11 rebounds and blocked three shots for Utah.

The AP reports:

Gasol tip-in helps Lakers eliminate Thunder

Pau Gasol tipped in a missed jumper by Kobe Bryant with a half-second left and the Los Angeles Lakers survived a late comeback effort by Oklahoma City and eliminated the Thunder 95-94 in Game 6 of the first-round playoff series on Friday night…

Gasol pumped both fists after the basket, and the Lakers moved on when Russell Westbrook missed a desperation 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 26 points on a dreadful 5-for-23 shooting night. Westbrook had 21 points and nine assists.

Bryant scored 32 points and Gasol had nine points and 18 rebounds, scoring his only basket of the second half at the end…

Bryant almost single-handedly kept Los Angeles out front with 16 points in a dazzling third quarter—until it came to an early end for him when he picked up his fourth foul while guarding Westbrook.

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