Archive for May 4th, 2010

Game 1: Magic destroy Hawks by 43

The AP reports:

Magic destroy Hawks by 43

Dwight Howard had 21 points and 12 rebounds in one of the most crushing playoff wins in Magic history, a 114-71 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Howard added five blocks and avoided the fouls and frustration that overwhelmed him in the first round, helping the Magic go ahead by as many as 46 points. Vince Carter finished with 20 points as Orlando showed no signs of rust after an eight-day layoff…

Josh Smith scored 14 points and Zaza Pachulia had 12 for a Hawks team that had little playoff poise. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in Orlando, and Atlanta will have to find some way to rally from an embarrassing defeat…

The Hawks were held to 10 points in the second quarter, and just 11 points in the third. Howard and most of the Magic starters weren’t even needed in the fourth, and Atlanta players covered their heads with towels on the bench in the final minutes. notes:

The Hawks shot just 34.6 percent from the field and only hit 2-for-13 from three-point range.

Mike Bibby shot just 1-of-5. Al Horford only hit 1-of-7. And Jamal Crawford hit just 1-of-11.

The entire Hawks team dished just 12 assists.

This was a mess.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao left last night’s game versus the Boston Celtics at the end of the third quarter with low back spasms and did not return.

He was reexamined at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health this morning by Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker. The results of the exam confirmed the back spasms (MRI and X-Rays were negative).

He is receiving treatment and is currently listed as day-to-day.

Orlando to host NBA All-Star 2012

The most magical week in sports is returning to Orlando for the second time, as the city has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2012, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced at a press conference today at the Amway Center. Orlando Magic President Bob Vander Weide, Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Stern at the announcement. Orlando also hosted the 1992 All-Star Game.

The 61st NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Amway Center, which will also host the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam and NBA All-Star Saturday Night. NBA All-Star Jam Session, the hugely successful interactive basketball celebration, will be held at the Orange County Convention Center.

“As a premier entertainment destination with a new, state-of-the-art arena and a wide array of hospitality options, Orlando is an obvious and compelling choice to host this celebration of our game,” said Stern. “We thank the Magic, Orlando and Orange County for once again welcoming NBA All-Star.”

Few All-Star Games have rivaled the one Orlando hosted in 1992 in which the West defeated the East, 153-113, at Orlando Arena. The game is best remembered for the return of Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who had retired in November 1991 after contracting HIV. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Johnson had gone one-on-one with both Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan, and turned in a vintage performance, recording game highs of 25 points and nine assists to lead the West and win his second All-Star MVP award. Golden State guard Tim Hardaway, who had allowed Johnson to replace him in the starting lineup, contributed 14 points and seven assists.

“This is a great day for the DeVos family, for the Amway Center and, most importantly, for Orlando,” said Orlando Magic President Bob Vander Weide. “We are excited the NBA is bringing one of its signature events to our community and believe it will be among many legendary moments we are able to attract to this first-class facility.”

“We are proud that Orlando, and especially its revitalized downtown, will be showcased during NBA All-Star 2012,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “With the majestic Amway Center hosting great events like NBA All-Star, our vision for a world-class downtown is well on its way to being realized.”

The 2011-12 season will mark the 28th year that Turner Sports will provide NBA All-Star coverage, and the 10th consecutive year the All-Star Game will be televised in primetime on TNT. The All-Star Game will be seen by a worldwide television audience in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages.

NBA All-Star competitions will get underway on Friday, Feb. 24, as the league’s top rookies and second-year players square off in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. The following day’s festivities will feature NBA All-Star Saturday Night, an all-inclusive skills showcase comprised of Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA and WNBA players, and NBA legends; Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Three-Point Contest, a long-standing staple of the evening; and the ever-entertaining Slam Dunk contest.

“It’s a testament to our Central Florida community, the Magic organization and our beautiful new Amway Center that Orlando has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2012,” said Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins. “We look forward to working with the city, the county and the NBA to make this an unforgettable week that will drive major economic impact.”

“Orlando is the entertainment capital of the world, making it the ideal city to host the action of NBA All-Star,” said Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty. “On behalf of the county, we look forward to welcoming NBA fans and players from around the world and doing what Orlando and Orange County do best: helping create memories that will last a lifetime.”

Thunder exercise third year option on coach Scott Brooks

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has exercised its third-year option for the 2011-12 season on Head Coach Scott Brooks.

”We look forward to our players continuing to benefit from Scott’s consistent focus on their development, selfless approach to his work, and commitment to our organizational vision,” said Presti.

Brooks was named Thunder head coach on April 14, 2009, becoming the 16th head coach in franchise history, after serving as interim head coach for the last 69 games of the 2008-09 regular season.

Brooks was awarded the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2009-10 NBA Coach of the Year after leading the Thunder to a 50-32 record in his first full season as head coach. The Thunder posted a 23-18 road record (tied for 6th best in the NBA this season) and finished as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Under Brooks direction the Thunder led the NBA in blocked shots (5.9 blocks per game) and ranked 7th in defensive field goal percentage (44.8%).

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with the Thunder organization and this great group of players,” said Brooks. “The support that my family and I have been given by this community has been overwhelming and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Bulls fire Vinny Del Negro

Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman announced today that Vinny Del Negro has been relieved of his duties as the team’s head coach.

Del Negro went 82-82 (.500) in his two seasons at the head of the Bulls’ bench.  The Bulls also went 4-8 (.333) under Del Negro in the postseason.  He was named the 17th head coach in franchise history on June 11, 2008.

The AP reports:

Nash scores 33, Suns beat Spurs

After resting his strained right hip for three days, Steve Nash had 33 points and 10 assists, and the Phoenix Suns broke their Game 1 curse against the San Antonio Spurs with a 111-102 victory on Monday night in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Any doubt that Nash would be slowed by the injury ended in the early minutes of the game, when he made his five shots, including an array of twisting, swiveling drives to the hoop. He had 17 points by the end of the first quarter…

Jason Richardson scored 27 and Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns.

Manu Ginobili, tape across his broken nose, scored 27, Tony Parker 26 and Duncan 20 for the Spurs, who had won three straight Game 1s against the Suns, two of them in Phoenix. Both of those times, in 2005 and 2007, the Spurs went on to win the NBA title…

Twice San Antonio rallied from 14 back, with a 12-0 run in the third quarter and a mighty 13-0 outburst that sliced Phoenix’s lead to 94-93 on Ginobili’s 7-foot runner with 4:26 to go in the game.

These Suns had whatever it took to withstand the charge. notes:

Phoenix shot 51.9%, San Antonio 45.8%. And while Phoenix only hit 7-of-20 three-pointers, San Antonio connected on a miserable 4-of-19 (21.1%). Free throws were close. Rebounding and assists were fairly close.

For Phoenix, Nash had 33 points and 10 assists (six turnovers). Richardson had 27 points and six rebounds, with no assists. Stoudemire had 23 points, 13 rebounds and no assists. No one else stepped up offensively, but the collective effort was enough.

For San Antonio, Ginobili had 27 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Tony Parker (still coming off the bench) scored 26 but with just three assists and no steals. Tim Duncan scored 20 (on 15 shots) with 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. George Hill shot just 2-of-9 and only dished one assist as the starting point guard.

The AP reports:

LeBron James better make sure his new MVP trophy isn’t missing. The Boston Celtics stole everything else.

Rondo has 19 assists, Celtics tie series with Cavs

Rajon Rondo tied a team playoff record with 19 assists, Ray Allen scored 22 points and the Celtics, playing with renewed confidence and looking very dangerous despite their years, opened a 25-point lead in the fourth and then survived Cleveland’s comeback for a 104-86 victory on Monday night to even their semifinal series at 1-1.

After blowing an 11-point lead in the third quarter of Game 1, the Celtics almost squandered a much bigger one. They led 91-66 with 9:08 left before the Cavaliers, who have been outplayed in both games, scored 15 straight and pulled within 93-83 on James’ basket with 3:13 left.

Boston, though, closed with an 11-3 spurt and then packed up and headed home for Friday’s Game 3 thinking it can oust the Cavs…

James, who seemed to be favoring his injured right elbow, scored 24 and Jamison 16 for Cleveland, outscored 31-12 in the third…

The Celtics seemed in control with their 25-point bulge, but they got complacent and found themselves having to scramble down the stretch when they could have been resting their starters. Boston went nearly six minutes without scoring. notes:

Boston shot 51.3%, Cleveland just 40.0%. And while Boston nailed an impressive 9-of-19 three-pointers, Cleveland hit a miserable 4-of-21. Cleveland had 38 free throw attempts but only connected on 26 of them, while Boston hit 15-of-18.  Boston had 11 more rebounds, and won the assists category 30-17.

Boston had six players score double-digits. Ray Allen scored 19. Kevin Garnett (just 8-of-21) had 18 points, 10 rebounds and not much else. Rasheed Wallace was in the zone off the bench, hitting 7-of-8 (3-of-4 threes) for 17 points in 18 minutes. Paul Pierce had just 14 points and not a lot else. Rondo had 13 points and 19 assists (6 turnovers). Kendrick Perkins (5-of-6) had 10 with nine rebounds.

For Cleveland, LeBron had 24, seven rebounds, three steals but more turnovers than assists. Antawn Jamison scored 16. JJ Hickson had 13 off the bench. No one else reached double-digit points. Starting guards Mo Williams (1-of-9) and Anthony Parker (2-of-7) couldn’t hit shots today.

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