Archive for April 4th, 2012

Raptors beat fading 76ers by 21

Best team in the Atlantic Division was a nice title for three months.

The Philadelphia 76ers wanted more.

A winning record for the first time in seven seasons. A top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. All of those goals are slipping out of reach for the Sixers.

andrea bargnani

Andrea Bargnani scored 24 points and DeMar DeRozan had 18 to lead the Toronto Raptors to their third straight win, 99-78 over the Sixers on Wednesday night.

Back in January, the Sixers thumped Toronto 97-62 en route to a sizzling 20-9 start. Those days are over for the fading franchise. Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday had 20 points in Philadelphia’s eighth loss in the last 12 games. The Sixers (29-25) lost their grip on first place in the Atlantic—and end the season with a stretch of nine road games over the final 11 that could jeopardize a playoff spot…

The Raptors got hot in the fourth, shooting 50 percent, while the Sixers missed 17 of 20 shots. Led by Ed Davis’ 14 rebounds, the Raptors outrebounded the Sixers 46-29.

– Reported by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan had 10 points and 16 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs won their ninth straight game, recovering to beat the Boston Celtics 87-86 on Wednesday night after blowing a 17-point, first-half lead.

Duncan also stopped Paul Pierce on the final play, forcing him into a step-back jumper that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Danny Green scored 14 points and Gary Neal had 13, including a 3-pointer with 2 minutes left that gave the Spurs the lead after Boston went on a 13-4 run to move in front.

Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 11 assists for Boston. The Celtics had won five in a row.

Pierce had 15 points and 10 rebounds, but he couldn’t maneuver into open space after Boston inbounded the ball with 7.9 seconds left. Duncan stayed on him, forcing Pierce to step back near the top of the key for a floater that clanged harmlessly off the rim.

Avery Bradley scored 19 points off the bench for Boston, and Kevin Garnett had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ray Allen returned after missing six games with a sore right ankle and added seven rebounds and five points, including a 3-pointer in the final minute that brought Boston within a point.

– Reported by Jimmy Golen of the Associated Press

Seattle Mariners President Chuck Armstrong insists the team’s objections to a proposed new NBA/NHL arena in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood are strictly about traffic concerns and not about possibly seeing dollars spent elsewhere.

The Mariners were on the defensive Wednesday after the franchise sent a letter to city of Seattle and King County leaders voicing their concerns over the proposed new arena that would be adjacent to the Mariners’ Safeco Field parking garage.

– Reported by Tim Booth of the Associated Press

The Austin Toros today announced the addition of NBA veteran guard Ronald “Flip” Murray.  Murray will join the Toros bench tonight when the team takes on the Texas Legends at 7:30 pm at Cedar Park Center.  Murray will wear jersey number 24.  Da’Sean Butler has been waived due to injury.

Murray has played in the NBA eight seasons, starting in 2002-03 with the Bucks and averaging 9.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 487 games with multiple teams including the SuperSonics, Cavaliers, Pistons, Pacers, Hawks, Bobcats and Bulls.  Murray was the NCAA’s Division II Player of the Year during his senior season at Shaw.  Most recently, Murray played professionally in Turkey.

The Toros host the Texas Legends tonight and the Springfield Armor Friday night at Cedar Park Center for the final two regular season home games.  Both games tip-off at 7:30 pm.  Fans attending tonight’s game can view the Aflac NASCAR #99 inside the arena and the first 500 fans attending Friday night’s game will receive a free cinch bag courtesy of Multimedia Games in exchange for one non-perishable food item that will be donated to Caritas.

Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving out 7-10 days

kyrie irving

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving did not travel with the Cavaliers to Milwaukee in order to obtain an MRI at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Sports Health today and undergo additional examination from Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker.

Irving experienced additional contact on his right shoulder, that was previously contused/sprained during the Cavaliers game last Friday night at The Q vs. Milwaukee, during last night’s game at The Q vs. San Antonio. The contact resulted in the aggravation of his right shoulder contusion/sprain. The MRI taken today confirmed this result.

Irving will now undergo a period of rest and treatment for the shoulder and then transition into a period of rehabilitation. He is currently projected to be out for the next seven to 10 days and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Mike Miller

Swingman Mike Miller returned to practice, participating in Tuesday’s morning shootaround. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said it’s the most encouraging sign since Miller sustained a sprained left ankle March 10 against Indiana.

There is still no date on when he is expected back in uniform. Miller has missed the past 12 games.

“He went through about half the shootaround,” Spoelstra said. “He’s making progress.”

– Reported by Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Golden State Warriors have recalled forward Chris Wright from the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

Wright, 23, was assigned to the Wizards on March 24 and has appeared in six games for the Warriors’ D-League affiliate since that time, averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 58.2% (46-79 FG) from the field.  The 6’8” forward helped lead the Wizards to a 5-1 record during his stint with the team, including victories in their last five contests to secure a spot in the 2012 D-League Playoffs.

This was the second assignment of the season for Wright, as he previously was assigned to the Wizards on January 26 and averaged 20.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 2.33 blocks in 31.0 minutes over three games before being recalled on February 6.  Overall, he has appeared in nine games with the Wizards this season, averaging 18.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.33 blocks in 29.0 minutes of action.

Wright will rejoin the Warriors in Minnesota in time for tonight’s game against the Timberwolves.  He has appeared in 17 games with Golden State this season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.7 minutes.

Steve Nash wants new 3-year contract

Steve Nash

With the Phoenix Suns clinging to their playoff lives in the Western Conference, star point guard Steve Nash insists his back feels “the best it’s felt in a decade.”

Nash, who turned 38 in February, also told ESPN.com in a phone interview before Tuesday night’s game in Sacramento he intends to “sign for three more years this summer” and play beyond his 40th birthday when he either inks a new deal to stay with the Suns or finds a new team via free agency.

Responding to a New York Post report in Tuesday’s editions which described the condition of Nash’s back as “bad as it has ever been,” Nash strongly disputed such suggestions. He expressed great satisfaction with the way his health has held up through the rigors of a lockout-compacted schedule that called for 66 regular-season games in a span of about 120 days.

“It’s been my best year physically from start to finish in a long time,” Nash said. “Other than a little tweak (last week) against San Antonio, my back’s been pretty close to 100 percent.”

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

michael redd

The matchup was reminiscent of the classic Pacers-Knicks games from the 1990s. The crowd was electric, the action was chippy, Reggie Miller jerseys were plentiful, and Indiana rallied from a seemingly hopeless deficit to win.

Danny Granger played the role of Miller, scoring 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter as the Pacers rallied from 17 points down late in the third quarter to take a 112-104 victory on Tuesday night.

Granger made all three of his 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, a fitting performance one day after Miller was announced as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 class…

Paul George scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and reserves Leandro Barbosa and Dahntay Jones added 12 points each for the Pacers.

Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 39 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Knicks. Landry Fields scored 15 points and Tyson Chandler added 12 points and 14 rebounds for New York, which fell to 9-3 under interim coach Mike Woodson.

– Reported by the Associated Press

DeMarcus Cousins

Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Nash added 18 points and 12 assists and the Phoenix Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 109-100 on Tuesday night.

The Suns won their second straight and third in four games to move over the .500 mark (27-26) for only the third time this season.

The Suns moved within 1 1/2 games of Houston for the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff berth.

DeMarcus Cousins scored a career-high 41 points and had 12 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost three of four.

Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and seven assists, and Terrence Williams had another big game off the bench with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Michael Redd had 16 points and both Channing Frye and Jared Dudley had 15 for Phoenix. Shannon Brown had 12 points for the Suns.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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