Archive for April, 2012

Tyrus Thomas ejected for throwing elbow

Tyrus Thomas

Charlotte forward Tyrus Thomas was ejected from the Bobcats’ game with the Wizards for throwing an elbow at Washington’s James Singleton late in the first quarter on Monday night.

Thomas was dribbling and Singleton was defending him when the Charlotte forward elbowed him with 3.6 seconds remaining in the quarter. He was immediately called for a flagrant 2 foul and ejected.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Photo: Final Nets pregame in New Jersey

Photo by editor Jeff Lenchiner of the final Nets pregame in the state of New Jersey.

The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 16, through Sunday, April 22.

James helped Miami to a 4-1 week, averaging 31.0 points on 58 percent shooting, while grabbing 7.5 rebounds and dishing out 5.5 assists per game. He did not play in Miami’s only loss of the week, an 86-84 defeat against Washington. He scored at least 25 points in all four games he appeared in, including two 30-point performances. On April 16, he scored Miami’s final 17 points in the final 4:47 at New Jersey in a 101-98 win. The 17 consecutive points tied the Miami record for most consecutive points to end a Heat victory.

Jefferson registered three double-doubles to help Utah to a 3-0 week, as the Jazz competes for a playoff spot. He averaged 20.0 points and paced the league in rebounding with 15.3 boards per game. On April 16, he led the Jazz with 28 points and tied a career high with 26 rebounds to elevate the Jazz to 123-121 triple-overtime victory over the Mavericks.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Denver’s Ty Lawson, L.A. Clippers’ Chris Paul, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, and Washington’s Kevin Seraphin and John Wall.

Wolves owner Glen Taylor said the team has already informed or is informing president of basketball operations David Kahn that it has picked up Kahn’s option for next season. That means Kahn will be back for his fourth season with the club. Kahn signed a three-year deal in May 2009 that included two more years of team options, each separate…

Before Sunday’s game with Golden State at Target Center, the Timberwolves announced forward Kevin Love would not play again this season. After the Wolves had blown a 21-point second-quarter lead in a 93-88 loss, Wolves guard J.J. Barea suggested some of his teammates might already have stopped caring.

“We’ve got problems here,” Barea said after his team shot 10-for-40 in the second half and struggled on defense. “We have a lot of guys that don’t care. On a basketball team, when you have a bunch of guys who don’t care, it’s tough to win games. We’re going to keep getting [losses] here until we get players that care about winning, about the team, about the fans.”

The Wolves were without Love, again. He sustained a concussion when Denver’s JaVale McGee elbowed him in the head April 11. Despite being cleared to play, he was shut down for the season. The Wolves cited the time Love has missed and the lack of practice time to get him ready to return. Love is second in the league in rebounding (13.3) and fourth in scoring (26.0).

– Reported by Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

blake griffin

The Los Angeles Clippers are tired of seeing Blake Griffin take hard fouls and have vowed to protect their All-Star forward if it continues.

“I feel like people are intentionally trying to hurt him,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. “It’ll all come back around.”

Late in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, Suns center Robin Lopez was ejected for a flagrant foul on Griffin. On Sunday, Griffin will see New Orleans Hornets center Jason Smith on the court for the first time since Smith was ejected and suspended two games for a flagrant foul on Griffin in the fourth quarter of their game last month.

The criticism of Griffin and his teammates in the past is they haven’t done enough to retaliate after those hard fouls.

“If Blake gets fouled, I can’t go punch someone in the nose,” Jordan said. “We can’t do that but throughout the course of a game, other fouls happen to other players on the opposite team and if they happen to be hard fouls, they happen to be hard fouls. We’re going to protect our teammates; it doesn’t matter who it is.”

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez should have been suspended for his flagrant foul on Blake Griffin last Thursday and shouldn’t have been allowed to play until Griffin recovered from the injury he sustained.

“I have an issue that Blake got hit that hard and he is in pain and he is still in pain and the player that did that played yesterday,” Del Negro said. “I have a problem with that. I don’t know how the league wants us to deal with that because then it will get out of hand.”

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Heat win home finale, beat Rockets 97-88

lebron james

As LeBron James was walking to Miami’s home bench for the final time this regular season, he raised his left arm to acknowledge the roars of another sold-out crowd. And when the obligatory ”M-V-P” chants started up, James waved again.

He’ll be back next weekend, with bigger goals in mind.

James finished with 32 points and eight rebounds, Norris Cole added 16 points and the Heat pulled away in the final minutes to beat Houston 97-88 on Sunday night and eliminate the Rockets from postseason contention…

Mike Miller scored 11 for injury-depleted Miami, which still has a mathematical chance of catching Chicago for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Joel Anthony added 11 for the Heat on 5-for-5 shooting…

Chandler Parsons scored a career-high 23 for Houston, which led by as many as 13 in the first half. Parsons tied the game at 83 with a layup late in the fourth, before James’ 3-pointer sparked an 8-0 run that put Miami in control.

Goran Dragic scored 16, while Courtney Lee and Patrick Patterson had 14 apiece for the Rockets. Luis Scola scored 12.

– Reported by the Associated Press

louis williams

Guard Lou Williams, the 76ers’ leading scorer (14.9 points per game), will opt out of the final year of his contract at the end of this season and become an unrestricted free agent, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

If he were not to opt out, Williams would be due $6.4 million from the Sixers.

Said the source: “He’s indicated that he’s not going to pick up his option. All indications are that he’s going to opt out.”

Reached at courtside via phone before the 76ers’ game at Indiana on Saturday, general manager Rod Thorn said he had not spoken with his leading scorer about his contract but acknowledged that Williams can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

– Reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Utah Jazz point guard Devin Harris was tired of seeing 3-pointers drop for the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

He made sure one at the end of regulation didn’t have a chance as he stepped up big against Jameer Nelson.

Harris’ block kept Utah alive, and in the end it was the Jazz draining 3s to secure a 117-107 overtime victory over Orlando…

Despite the missing pieces, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his team.

“We just cannot guard, we cannot,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t think that our guys are not trying, but we cannot guard anyone. Our defense is disturbing to say the least.”

Van Gundy also had harsh words for backup center Daniel Orton, who contributed only two points off the bench.

“Daniel gave us nothing,” Van Gundy said. “He went for every shot fake, he fouled every time. He didn’t even give us minutes that we needed to give our starters some rest. Our lack of depth was an absolute huge factor. Those guys ran out of gas at the end.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

demarcus cousins

Jetlagged or not, the Sacramento Kings were determined not to be the team the Charlotte Bobcats beat to end their long losing streak.

The Kings made the most of a rare late-season cross country trip to the East coast and throttled the hapless Bobcats 114-88 Sunday night behind a dominant effort from DeMarcus Cousins, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds. It was Charlotte’s franchise-record 20th straight loss.

The Kings had lost nine of their previous 10 games, but this one was never in doubt as they scored 78 points inside the paint and led by 35 in the fourth quarter.

Cousins did most of the damage in the lane, but Tyreke Evans was masterful in slicing his way through a non-existent Bobcats defense, hitting 10 of 11 shots from the field - most of them on drives to the lane - and finishing with 22 points.

Jason Thompson flirted with a triple double, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings…

If the Bobcats (7-56) lose their final three games, they’ll finish with the worst winning percentage in league history. They travel to face Washington and Orlando before closing the regular season at home Thursday night against New York.

– Reported by the Associated Press

kobe bryant

Metta World Peace was subdued and contrite in the Los Angeles Lakers’ locker room, apologizing to Oklahoma City’s James Harden for throwing the elbow that sent them both to the locker room in the second quarter.

They both missed a beauty of a game that could echo into the postseason for two division leaders.

Kobe Bryant scored six of his 26 points in the second overtime alongside an unorthodox Lakers lineup, and Los Angeles rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half for a 114-106 victory over the Thunder on Sunday.

Pau Gasol had 20 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers, who made an impressive comeback in their regular-season home finale against off-target Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined to miss 42 of their 56 shots. Los Angeles’ rally stunned the Thunder and set an early tone for their possible second-round playoff matchup…

Ibaka had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who led by 11 points with 4 minutes left in regulation. Westbrook had 14 points on 3-for-22 shooting and 10 assists as Oklahoma City fell 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio atop the Western Conference with just its third loss in nine games.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that they have recalled rookie guard Travis Leslie from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.

Leslie has been with the Jam since March 30, and appeared in four playoff games with Bakersfield. In two separate stints with the Jam this season, Leslie appeared in 10 regular season games and averaged 10.2 points, 1.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and shot 50.4 percent from the field in 20.4 minutes per game.

The 47th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Leslie has averaged 1.4 points and 4.5 minutes in 10 games played for the Clippers this season.

Melo scores 39, Knicks edge Hawks

carmelo anthony

The New York Knicks gave center Tyson Chandler, the key to their improved defense, a day off against the Atlanta Hawks. Both teams seemed to scrap their defenses through three quarters of a shootout between playoff-bound teams.

However, it was a defensive play that decided the game when Amare Stoudemire blocked Marvin Williams’ dunk attempt at the buzzer to save the Knicks’ 113-112 win over the Hawks on Sunday.

Carmelo Anthony scored 39 points and hit the winning jumper with 1:40 left on Atlanta’s defensive miscommunication. Stoudemire finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in his second game back after missing 13 with a sore back.

Williams scored a season-high 29 points in a rare start, but came up empty when he - and a full-throated crowd in Philips Arena - felt he was fouled…

Sunday didn’t help, and Atlanta All-Star Joe Johnson wasn’t happy about it after he spent much of the day chasing Anthony. Johnson scored 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Anthony was 14 for 32 as the only New York starter to shoot under 50 percent.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Andrew Bogut

Australian center Andrew Bogut will have arthroscopic ankle surgery next week and miss the London Olympics. He hopes to return to fitness in time for the start of the next NBA season.

Golden State Warriors general manager Larry Riley says the operation for Bogut, and the same for teammate Stephen Curry, will be done on Wednesday in Van Nuys, California.

Bogut broke his left ankle on Jan. 25 against Houston before coming over in a trade from Milwaukee. Riley called the scope to clean up loose particles “routine” and ruled out any possibility the 7-foot (2.13-meter) center would play for Australia’s Olympic team at London.

“After seeing a specialist I have decided it would be best to get my ankle cleaned out via arthroscopic surgery,” Bogut said on Twitter.

– Reported by the Associated Press

stephen curry

Golden State Warriors Guard Stephen Curry, who has missed the last 24 games and 37 contests overall this season due to a right ankle sprain, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the ankle next Wednesday, April 25 in Van Nuys, California. The surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel, will be exploratory in nature. Dr. Kenneth Hunt from the Warriors’ Medical Team will also be involved in the surgery process.

Center Andrew Bogut, who has missed 23 games due to a fractured left ankle since joining the Warriors following his March 13 acquisition from the Milwaukee Bucks, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the ankle next Friday, April 27 in Van Nuys. The surgery, which will also be performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel, will be a routine clean-up procedure aimed to remove loose particles in the ankle. Either Dr. Tim McAdams or Dr. Bill Maloney from the Warriors’ Medical Team will be involved in the surgery process. Bogut’s fractured left ankle continues to heal properly since sustaining the injury on January 25 when he was a member of the Bucks.

A timetable for the return to basketball-related activities for Curry and Bogut will be determined following surgery, but both players are expected to be ready for the start of training camp in October. Additionally, due to the recovery time involved, Bogut will not participate in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics.

Wade hurt as Heat lose to Wizards 86-84

dwyane wade

With the playoffs a week away, Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat arena Saturday night with his swollen finger in a splint - and considered himself lucky.

Wade played less than 3 minutes before dislocating his left index finger but avoided serious injury as the Heat lost 86-84 to the woeful Washington Wizards.

A doctor reset Wade’s finger, and X-rays were negative…

Cartier Martin scored 22 points for Washington. Wall had 13 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and four steals, and Kevin Seraphin scored 17 points for the Wizards, who outscored Miami 22-3 on fast-break points.

The Wizards have only 17 victories, but they have won five of their past seven games, beating both Chicago and Miami down the stretch.

Miami’s Mike Miller led a second-half comeback and finished with his first double-double of the season, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Mario Chalmers also scored 16 points, and Udonis Haslem had a season-high 15 rebounds.

– Reported by Steven Wine of the Associated Press

Deng leads Bulls over Mavericks 93-83

luol deng

Derrick Rose could feel some pain in the area of his right ankle and foot, the site of his most recent injury during a season in which he has missed 26 games.

It was OK, though. All worth it. The fans were cheering for him, he was back on the court and the Chicago Bulls got another victory that moved them closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

”It was throbbing a little, but the great thing about it is we got the win and we get a couple of days off to get treatment and I’m going to stay off my feet and hopefully it’s going to get better,” Rose said after the Bulls beat the Dallas Mavericks 93-83 on Saturday night.

Rose’s return after missing three straight games wasn’t spectacular, but it was still a 32-minute effort that saw him get 11 points and eight assists…

The Bulls, able to use their starting five for just the 14th time this season, got 22 points from Luol Deng and 19 from Richard Hamilton in beating a Mavericks team that had already clinched a playoff berth two nights earlier, played at home Friday night and rested guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry…

Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points and Rodrigue Beaubois, starting in place of Kidd, added 16 - 10 in the final quarter - despite playing the second half with a dislocated finger. After leaving with about 7 1-2 minutes to go in the first half after hurting his finger guarding Ronnie Brewer, he returned minutes later to the game with his fingers taped.

– Reported by Rick Gano of the Associated Press

dwyane wade

Dwyane Wade has left the Miami Heat’s game against Washington with a dislocated left index finger.

Wade appeared to hurt the finger when it got caught in another player’s jersey early in the first quarter Saturday night. He immediately went to the locker room grimacing in pain.

A short time later, the Heat said he would miss the rest of the game.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Justin Dentmon named 2012 D-League MVP

Austin Toros guard Justin Dentmon was today named the 2012 NBA Development League’s Most Valuable Player, as voted on by the NBA D-League’s 16 head coaches.

Dentmon, a 6-0, 185-pound guard out of Washington, started in all 40 regular season games he played for the Toros, averaging 22.8 points, 5.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 37.2 minutes.  A 2012 NBA D-League All-Star, Dentmon ranked fourth in the League in scoring, finishing with double-digit points in 39 games.  He led the Toros in scoring in 24 games and was the assist leader 26 times.

Twice honored for his play during the season, Dentmon was named the NBA D-League Player of the Month in January and the Performer of the Week on Jan. 17.  He led the Toros to an NBA D-League 33-17 regular season record and the third seed in the NBA D-League Playoffs presented by BBVA.  In two postseason game for the Toros since returning from the Raptors, he is averaging 18.0 points, 3.5 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 29.0 minutes.

A two-time Call-Up to the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors, Dentmon appeared in six NBA games this season, averaging 4.3 points, 1.7 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 15.2 minutes.

“The impressive season that Justin had for the Toros is a testament to his talent and work ethic,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel for the NBA D-League.  “His leadership helped Austin to its best season yet, while individually he earned an NBA D-League All-Star selection and two trips to the NBA.  He has emerged as one of the League’s top prospects, and I congratulate him on a fantastic season.”

Dentmon will be presented with the 2012 NBA D-League Most Valuable Player trophy prior to tonight’s semifinal game between the Toros and the Canton Charge, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET in Austin.

Dentmon joins Curtis Stinson (Iowa, 2011) Mike Harris (Rio Grande Valley, 2010), Courtney Sims (Iowa, 2009), Kasib Powell (Sioux Falls, 2008), Randy Livingston (Idaho, 2007) Marcus Fizer (Austin, 2006), Charlotte Bobcats guard Matt Carroll (Roanoke, 2005), Tierre Brown (Charleston, 2004), Devin Brown (Fayetteville, 2003) and Ansu Sesay (Greenville, 2002) as winners of the annual NBA D-League MVP award.

Steve Kerr and John Hammond — two candidates who have been down this road before — are back in the mix of the Trail Blazers’ search for a general manager.

Team president Larry Miller, who is heading the search, said he is not taking no for an answer when it comes to Kerr, the former Phoenix Suns general manager and current TNT television analyst. According to agent Mark Bartelstein, Kerr will have lunch with Miller this weekend in San Diego, even though he already has told Miller he is happy being a father, husband and television analyst for TNT.

“I haven’t given up on Kerr,” Miller said Friday.

Kerr, 47, was Miller’s first target last May after Rich Cho was fired, but he turned down the overtures, citing his desire to be with his family. Bartelstein on Friday reiterated those sentiments.

– Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

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