Archive for April 28th, 2011

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

mario elie

Though in many ways Mario Elie never left Houston, he met with the Rockets’ front office on Wednesday determined to “come home.”

Elie, who has kept his home in Houston since his days with the franchise’s Clutch City-era teams, interviewed for the Rockets’ vacant head coaching position on Wednesday, saying he is ready to recapture the successes from his playing days here.

“I’m very excited,” Elie said. “I like their commitment to winning and bringing back the success of the championship years.

“We knocked it around for quite a bit, about three to four hours. Those guys are very sharp. They know what they want. I had a good time with these gentlemen.”

Elie, who played five seasons with the Rockets before finishing his career in San Antonio and Phoenix, has been an assistant with the Spurs, Warriors and Kings.

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports:

Hornets coach Monty Williams thinks the NBA should’ve suspended Lakers guard Shannon Brown for Game 6 of their series Thursday night.

shannon brown

Brown swung his elbow at Hornets guard Willie Green in Game 5, and although there was no contact, referee Derrick Stafford spotted it from crosscourt and whistled a foul on Brown.

“Shannon should’ve been ejected, and if he’s not going to be ejected, he shouldn’t be able to play tonight,” Williams said Thursday, according to the team’s website. “When you throw your elbow like that at a guy — I know the rule is you have to connect — but if he connects, (the result is) a fight. It could turn into more stuff.”

Williams also accused Brown of throwing another elbow at New Orleans’ Jarrett Jack at another time in the game and has been in contact with the NBA in search of discipline for Brown, whose value is increased currently because of Kobe Bryant’s sprained left ankle.

The AP reports:

Displaying the positive attitude that energized the Indiana players and fans, interim coach Frank Vogel explained why he believes he should be the next head coach.

Vogel took over for Jim O’Brien at midseason, went 20-18 and led the team to its first playoff berth since 2006. The Pacers were competitive in losing their first-round series to the Chicago Bulls.

“One thing I learned the last three months is that I can do this,” he said. “I’m confident in my leadership abilities, my management abilities, my coaching abilities. It’s been an honor to coach the last few months, it would be an honor to coach in the future.”

Team president Larry Bird was impressed with Vogel’s performance. He said the 37-year-old would get the first interview for the head coaching position.

“I think Frank did an excellent job, stepping in without the experience of a head coaching job,” Bird said. “The way he conducted himself, he brought positive energy to this team. We won more games than we lost. We did it with a young team, a team that’s trying to grow.”

The AP reports:

Durant scores 41, Thunder close out Nuggets 100-97

Kevin Durant matched his best playoff performance with 41 points, including the final nine for Oklahoma City, and the Thunder closed out their first-round series against the Nuggets with a 100-97 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

The Thunder overcame a nine-point deficit in the final 4 minutes, and Durant provided all the offense down the stretch to send the Oklahoma City franchise to its first playoff series win since it was still in Seattle in 2005…

Denver had two chances to duplicate the Spurs’ performance, but Durant blocked J.R. Smith’s potential tying 3-pointer with 9 seconds left and Arron Afflalo missed another 3 at the buzzer.

Afflalo, who missed the first two games of the series with a hamstring strain, led Denver with 15 points and Kenyon Martin added 14 points and 10 rebounds…

Westbrook had 14 points on 3-for-15 shooting, one game after he’d drawn criticism for attempting 30 shots.

Despite dreadful 37 percent shooting, Oklahoma City stuck with the Nuggets with a sizable edge in free-throw opportunities and offensive rebounds.

The Thunder made 34 of 42 foul shots—doubling the number of attempts Denver got—and also had 22 second-chance points off 16 offensive boards.

The AP reports:

Catching the inbounds pass with 1.7 seconds left, Gary Neal forced overtime with a spectacular 3-pointer in the face of O.J. Mayo as time expired, and the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs staved off elimination by stunning the Memphis Grizzlies 110-103 on Wednesday night…

The straightaway 3-pointer was the second of two remarkable San Antonio baskets in the final 2.2 seconds of regulation. Manu Ginobili, who scored 33 points, hit the other with a long corner jumper while falling out of bounds in front of the Spurs bench, in what was originally ruled a 3.

Spurs survive Game 5 OT thriller vs Grizzlies

A video replay confirmed Ginobili’s left toe was on the line. That left the Spurs still trailing 95-94, and after two free throws by Randolph, San Antonio needed another miracle…

Zach Randolph led Memphis with 26 points and 11 rebounds. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, but the Spurs assured a Game 6 in the overtime behind Parker, who scored 6 of his 24 in the extra period…

Marc Gasol had 11 points and 17 rebounds for Memphis, while Mike Conley scored 20 points and Sam Young added 18.

Duncan began the game in vintage playoff form, looking keenly aware of the stakes. He scored 11 points in the first 9 1/2 minutes, but scored just two the rest of the way. He had 12 rebounds.

The AP reports:

Wade scores 26, Heat advance past Philly 97-91

Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals by topping Philadelphia 97-91 on Wednesday night and ousting the 76ers in five games, four of them of the grueling variety, perhaps none more nailbiting than the finale…

Mario Chalmers scored 20 points off the bench and James finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Miami. Joel Anthony—who played 39 minutes without a single field-goal attempt—made a pair of critical free throws with 16.8 seconds left for the Heat…

Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand each scored 22 points for Philadelphia, which got 13 from Thaddeus Young, 12 from Jodie Meeks and 10 from Jrue Holiday…

Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas only played 4:27 apiece, benched the rest of the way after another slow start, and Chalmers and Anthony started the second half…

The Sixers made nine of their first 11 shots, running out to leads of 16-5 and 20-10—before, as was the case throughout the series, the first substitutions for Miami started paying dividends.

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