Archive for May 23rd, 2010

The AP reports:

Stoudemire scores 42, Suns beat Lakers

Amar’e Stoudemire matched his career playoff high with 42 points, 29 in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds to power the Phoenix Suns to a 118-109 victory Sunday night that cut the Los Angeles Lakers’ lead in the series to 2-1…

Robin Lopez, whose 7-foot presence gave the Suns some much-needed toughness inside, scored 20 on 8-of-10 shooting in 31 minutes, by far his most playing time since returning from a back injury at the start of the series. Phoenix made 37-of-42 free throws, 14 of 18 by Stoudemire. The Lakers were 16 of 20 at the line…

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports (via blog):

The Lakers’ primary area of dominance — the paint — was muted by Phoenix’s zone. The points in the paint were 44 for the Lakers and 40 for the Suns. The Lakers took 32 3-point shots — a franchise playoff record — and made just nine (28 percent).

The Lakers tied the franchise playoff record by taking 31 3-point shots in their April 22 loss at Oklahoma City. They made 10 3-pointers that game (32 percent). The Lakers are 0-3 in the three playoff games in which they took 31 3-point shots, and now they’ve lost shooting 32 also.

Also hurting the Lakers’ cause inside was early foul trouble first for Andrew Bynum and then for Lamar Odom. Neither one wound up sustaining an effort, with Odom fouling out after making a series of poor decisions in the fourth quarter. He appeared bothered by a sore right side after driving into traffic in the first half and not getting a foul call.

InsideHoops.com notes:

Both teams shot a similar field goal percentage, and both were off from three-point range, though the Lakers tossed up way more from outside.  The shooting stat that matters most is the free throw category: Suns 37-of-42, Lakers 16-of-20. Isn’t homecourt fun sometimes? Also, the Lakers committed 17 turnovers; the Suns just seven.

Steve Nash had 17 points and 15 assists. He brought it.

Ron Artest and Lamar Odom tossed up bricks, including lots of bad misses from three-point range.

Obama thinks LeBron fits with Bulls

The AP reports:

If LeBron James  isn’t sure he can win in Cleveland, President Barack Obama thinks there’s an opportunity with his hometown Chicago Bulls.

“You know, like I said, I don’t want to meddle,” Obama told TNT. “I will say this: (Derrick) Rose, Joakim Noah it’s a pretty good core. You know, you could see LeBron fitting in pretty well there.” …

“I think that the most important thing for LeBron right now is actually to find a structure where he’s got a coach that he respects and is working hard with teammates who care about him and if that’s in Cleveland, then he should stay in Cleveland,” Obama said. “If he doesn’t feel like he can get it there, then someplace else.”

Magic are all shook up

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

Coach Stan Van Gundy said players “were down” on Sunday when they started reviewing Game 3 videotape, conceding they are “a little shaken.

“It didn’t start great in the film session. Guys were down, but as it went along, they were fine,” he said. “Our guys haven’t been in this situation in a long time … to be beaten like that. We took a lot of losses in the playoffs last year. But other than Game 1 in L.A. (against the Lakers in the NBA Finals), we hadn’t been beaten like this.

“They don’t have a lot of experience with this. Our guys are a little shaken.”

The Magic unraveled in the first quarter when shots didn’t drop. Turnovers mounted and players decided to go one-on-one instead of patiently making the extra pass. The mass frustration spilled over to the defensive end.

Game 3: Celtics dominate Magic yet again

The AP reports:

Paul Pierce helped the Celtics open a 16-point, first-quarter lead, then watched as Rajon Rondo and Glen “Big Baby” Davis helped Boston coast to a 94-71 victory over the Orlando Magic and take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals…

Pierce had 15 points and nine rebounds, Ray Allen scored 14 and Garnett added 10 points in just 24 minutes. But this time it wasn’t the Celtics’ aging all-stars that did the damage—it was the two youngest players on the roster, Davis and Rondo, who were born in 1986, the year that Larry Bird and the original Big Three won the last of their three NBA titles.

Davis scored 17 points, and Rondo added 11 points and 12 assists, and they also gave the team energy and defense that the Magic couldn’t match, diving to the floor for loose balls and getting the crowd going with spectacular plays…

One game after scoring 30 points, Dwight Howard had just seven and seven rebounds. Rashard Lewis was also disappointing, scoring four points on 2-for-8 shooting, missing all four 3-point attempts. Vince Carter and Jameer Nelson had 15 points apiece…

Pierce had eight points and five rebounds in the first quarter, when the Celtics scored the first seven points and then added a 14-0 run to open a 21-6 lead.

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