Archive for April 15th, 2012

Magic beat Cavs, clinch playoff spot

Jameer Nelson scored 21 points and the Orlando Magic clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a 100-84 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.

Orlando led from wire-to-wire despite playing without star center Dwight Howard, who has missed the last four games with a herniated disk in his back.

The news the Magic made the postseason took a back seat to the team’s injury list, which seems to grow by the day. Howard and forward Hedo Turkoglu (facial fracture) are sidelined indefinitely. Coach Stan Van Gundy said before the game he’s preparing to play the rest of the regular season and the playoffs without the two players.

– Reported by the Associated Press

LeBron James had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 28 points and nine boards, and the Miami Heat beat the New York Knicks 93-85 on Sunday to clinch the Southeast Division title.

Chris Bosh finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who pulled away in the fourth quarter of a possible playoff preview. Miami is second in the Eastern Conference and New York came into the game tied for seventh, although they fell back behind Philadelphia after the loss.

Carmelo Anthony scored 42 points for the Knicks, but had only two baskets in the fourth quarter, perhaps tired after playing 43 minutes. New York had its nine-game home winning streak snapped.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

2012 WNBA Draft is Monday

The Los Angeles Sparks are expected to select Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike at No. 1 overall. She led the Cardinal to consecutive Final Fours, losing to eventual champion Baylor this season.

Ogwumike would join a crowded Los Angeles frontcourt that includes Parker, veterans DeLisha Milton-Jones and Ebony Hoffman, second-year center Jantel Lavender and fifth-year center Nicky Anosike.

”Assuming that that happens and I end up in L.A., I think I’m looking forward to playing with a lot of experienced posts,” said the 6-foot-2 Ogwumike, who averaged 22.5 points and 10.2 rebounds this season. ”I can still elevate my game at this point, but I think it will be good to see what I can learn from people.”

The Sparks, who have a new coach in former Atlanta assistant Carol Ross and added former All-Star Alana Beard, also have three of the first four picks in the second round.

After Ogwumike, this year’s draft will be wide open. Miami’s Shenise Johnson, Tennessee’s Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen, Notre Dame’s Devereaux Peters and Natalie Novosel, and Miami’s Riquana Williams are among the top players available. Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis and Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes could also be picked in the first round.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Luke Harangody

The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned forward Luke Harangody to the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.

Harangody has played in 16 regular season games (all starts) with the Charge, averaging 19.4 points on .486 shooting, including  .413 from three-point range,  and 12.6 rebounds in 36.0 minutes per game. In the Charge’s first-ever playoff game, Friday, April 13, Harangody totaled 16 points on 6-12 shooting (.500), nine rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes in Canton’s 108-93 victory over the Springfield Armor.

The 6-foot-8 forward has appeared in 16 games with Cleveland this season, posting averages of 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game, including last night in Washington where Harangody recorded a double-double and posted team highs of 16 points on 6-11 (.545) shooting, 10 rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes.

He will be available for Game 2 of Canton’s best-of-three first round playoff series with the Springfield Armor tonight in Springfield.

Bobcats sign forward Jamario Moon

Jamario Moon

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward Jamario Moon.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Moon will wear No. 9.

A four-year NBA veteran, the 6-8 Moon has played in 278 career games for the Raptors, Heat, Clippers and Cavaliers, with career averages of 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds.  He was signed by the Raptors as a rookie free agent prior to the 2007-08 season and went on to earn Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for January 2008 before being selected to the All-Rookie Second Team following the season.  Moon also participated in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge and the Slam Dunk Contest during the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend.

In 2010-11, Moon averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 59 total games split between the Cavaliers and the Clippers.  He saw action in 40 games for Cleveland, averaging 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 19.1 minutes, before being traded to the Clippers along with Mo Williams in exchange for Baron Davis and a first-round draft pick.  With the Clippers, he averaged 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19 games played.

Moon becomes the 52nd player this season called up from the NBA D-League, where he played for the Los Angeles D-Fenders.  In 12 games this season, Moon averaged 17.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks in 37.8 minutes.

After playing one season at Meridian Community College in Mississippi, Moon began his professional career in 2001-02 with the Mobile Revelers of the NBA D-League.  He also played for teams in the USBL, ABA, WBA and CBA, as well as in Mexico during the six-year period before he joined the Raptors in 2007-08.

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