Archive for April 11th, 2012

Kevin Love

Ty Lawson scored 24 points, including four free throws in the final 17.6 seconds, to help the Denver Nuggets hold on for a 113-107 win Wednesday night over a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that was missing Kevin Love after the All-Star forward went out with a mild concussion in the first quarter.

Arron Afflalo added 21 points for the surging Nuggets, who have won two straight to remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.

Up by as many as 24 points, Denver saw the Timberwolves steadily climb back into the game, even tying it late in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Martell Webster…

Love sustained a head injury early in the game after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from JaVale McGee when the Nuggets center went up for a shot. Love had missed all five of his shots before being knocked out of the game…

Anthony Randolph scored 28 points and Derrick Williams had 27 to pick up the slack for the Timberwolves, who have now dropped seven straight. J.J. Barea effectively and efficiently guided the offense, dishing out a career-high 15 assists.

Rookie Kenneth Faried turned in another strong performance as he finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. This was on the heels of a 27-point, 17-rebound effort against Golden State two nights ago. The high-energy forward was just as difficult to contain for the Timberwolves, especially after Love went down.

– Reported by the Associated Press

andrew bynum

Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 30 rebounds, the most in an NBA game this season, and the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t need Kobe Bryant to blow out the San Antonio Spurs 98-84 Wednesday night.

Metta World Peace scored 26 points and the Lakers, playing their third straight game without the injured Bryant, manhandled the Spurs underneath to hand the West’s second-place team one of their most embarrassing losses this season…

Danny Green led the Spurs with 22 points.

Pau Gasol added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who are now 2-1 without Bryant. Two nights after barely squeaking past lowly New Orleans, the Lakers played far livelier this time without their superstar…

Parker and Ginobili might as well have taken another night off. Parker scored four on 2 of 12 shooting and Ginobili scored 9. Duncan had 14 points and just two rebounds.

– Reported by the Associated Press

rajon rondo

Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime and Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double with 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds to lift the surging Boston Celtics to an 88-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Kevin Garnett had 22 points and grabbed 12 boards before fouling out with just under 3 minutes left in OT, and Brandon Bass, who also hit a jumper in OT, scored 21 points.

It was Rondo’s 19th straight game with double digits in assists.

Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 21 points and Josh Smith had 20 with 11 rebounds. The Hawks had won eight of 11 since losing to Boston at home on March 19.

It was the Celtics’ 11th win in 14 games. Pierce finished with 14 points…

Boston guard Ray Allen was sidelined by a sore right ankle that had him out a few weeks ago. He had played the last five games after being sidelined six by the troublesome ankle.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Melo scores 32, Knicks edge Bucks

carmelo anthony

J.R. Smith hit a 3-pointer for the lead with 1:04 left, and the New York Knicks held on to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-107 on Wednesday night in a game that could turn out to be critical to both teams’ playoff hopes.

Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyson Chandler added 19 points for the Knicks, who took a two-game lead on Milwaukee for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Smith had 14 points off the bench.

Monta Ellis had 35 points and Brandon Jennings added 22 for the Bucks, who were coming off a 20-point loss to Oklahoma City at home on Monday…

The Knicks took advantage of woeful interior defense by the Bucks early on, hitting 11 of their first 12 shots - a lot of them coming on layups. Of the Knicks’ first 30 points of the game, 26 of them came in the paint.

New York shot 77.3 percent from the field in the first quarter and led 36-27 going into the second, but the Bucks came roaring back with a 15-2 run to take the lead. Backup Bucks forward Larry Sanders had a pair of blocks during the run, helping Milwaukee close off the interior on defense.

– Reported by Chris Jenkins of the Associated Press

Chris Paul

Chris Paul scored 31 points, including the game-winning shot on a layup with 8.8 seconds left, lifting the Los Angeles Clippers to a 100-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night that kept them in position for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Paul got past Thunder defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha and squeezed the ball onto the rim past the league’s leading shot blocker, Serge Ibaka, to put L.A. ahead.

Kevin Durant missed a 3-pointer that could have won it, hitting the back rim on a shot over Clippers center DeAndre Jordan from the left wing.

Durant led Oklahoma City with 22 points and Russell Westbrook scored 20 on 3-for-14 shooting. The West-leading Thunder have lost four of their last six games.

Blake Griffin added 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Los Angeles.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

Shabazz Muhammad, who grabbed nearly every award a high school basketball player can earn this season, said Wednesday that he plans to sign with UCLA. He chose the Bruins over Duke and Kentucky.

“Just making the decision was really difficult,” Muhammad said. “It’s a lot of jitters going through my mind. I thought how comfortable I was with the coach (Ben Howland). I chose to be a Bruin, so I’ll be at UCLA next year. I just think it’s a challenge, knowing how bad they were the last two years. It’s a challenge to get them back up to the top. With Kyle Anderson coming with Jordan Adams and hopefully Tony Parker, it will be a great team for the future.”

Muhammad, a 6-6 small forward for Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), averaged 29.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists while leading the Gaels to a state 4A title. Though most recruiting services list him as the No. 2 player behind Nerlens Noel, he won the Morgan Wootten Award and Naismith Award as the nation’s top high school player.

– Reported by Jim Halley of USA Today

Photo: Basketball hoop in NYC

Nothing crazy here. Just a simple, cool photo I took a few minutes ago of a basketball hoop in NYC.

Kevin Seraphin

Before this month, Kevin Seraphin has never recorded a double-double or scored more than 15 points in an NBA game. Seraphin also rarely had the chance to show what he was capable of, since he started the season backing up JaVale McGee and often had to settle for crumbs.

He offered a few hints immediately after the Wizards traded McGee to Denver for Nene, and has continued to serve as a reliable low post option. With Nene and Trevor Booker both out with injury, Seraphin has averaged 16.3 points on 54.7 percent shooting with 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 blocks in seven April starts.

After Seraphin had a career-high 24 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead the Wizards to a 93-85 win over the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic, Ted Leonsis offered praise on his personal blog, Ted’s Take.

Leonsis wrote: “A lot of general managers around the league are now asking; ‘How did we not draft Kevin Seraphin and how did he fall so far in the draft?’ Kudos to our scouts. And congratulations to Kevin Seraphin for taking advantage of his minutes and playing with hustle and showing off his gifts.”

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post Blog

Dwyane Wade thinks Olympians deserve pay

Dwyane Wade

Add Miami guard Dwyane Wade to the list of Olympians who believe basketball players in the Games should be paid.

Boston guard Ray Allen, a member of the 2000 gold medal team, told FOX Sports Florida on Tuesday he believes Team USA players should be compensated. Wade, who won bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008 and likely will play this summer in London, said Wednesday he agrees.

“First of all, it’s an honor to play in the Olympics, but there are a lot of things you do for the Olympics. A lot of jerseys you sell. There are a lot of things you do. We play the whole summer,” Wade said. “I do think guys should be compensated, just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it’s not that, but I think it should be something for it.”

Wade agreed with Allen that the best way to pay Olympic players would be through jersey sales, but he didn’t specify an amount.

– Reported by Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge’s Tuesday trip to Vail, Colo., will result in him missing tonight’s game against the Golden State Warriors — and possibly the final 15 days of the season.

Trail Blazers interim general manager Chad Buchanan said an “abnormality” was discovered in Aldridge’s sore right hip during his visit with Dr. Marc Phillipon on Tuesday, and the All-Star power forward is officially listed as day-to-day. Forward J.J. Hickson will start in place of Aldridge tonight, when the Blazers host the Warriors at the Rose Garden.

Buchanan said Aldridge will undergo further medical “consultation” and all parties involved will have “further conversation” before the team decides what to do with its franchise cornerstone going forward. When asked if surgery was being considered, Buchanan did not rule it out.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant will not play Wednesday night in San Antonio, missing his third consecutive game because of an inflamed tendon sheath in his left shin.

Lakers coach Mike Brown huddled with athletic trainer Gary Vitti after practice in San Antonio about it. Bryant was at practice for medical treatment — and Vitti reported further improvement in Bryant’s condition, which made notable progress through Monday — but declined to comment. Bryant had ice over his shin during practice but left without the protective boot he has been wearing.

Bryant’s track record is that he will play in games if he is physically capable — and he could play now if the situation mandated it — but the issue is that the situation with his shin will likely recur if he does not rest until it is pain free. The Lakers don’t want this to be an issue that crops back up with the playoffs coming up (the Lakers’ first playoff game is expected to be April 29).

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

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