Archive for April 18th, 2012

Stephen Curry

After trying so hard to get back in the court, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry sounded as if he’d embraced the truth his season is over.

“You can ask our trainers and all that,” Curry said, “(about) me fighting them every day about how fast I need to get back to a certain level and how fast I need to be getting back on the court. And them keeping me patient. … Once we came to the conclusion we only had a week left and I wasn’t going to be able to play, I guess the decision was pretty much made for me.”

Curry is going to miss 40 games this season of that ankle. He sprained the ankle five times (at Sacramento on Dec. 20, vs. Chicago on Dec. 26, atPhoenixon February 22, and vs.Dallason March 19) this season. Last season, he missed a total of eight games thanks to four ankle sprains.

Like most Warriors fans, Curry’s sights are now set for next year. He now that he’s done for the year, everything will slow down. He said in about a month his ankle should be healed.

– Reported by Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times Blog

Pierce leads Celtics to win over Magic

paul pierce

Paul Pierce had 29 points and a career-high 14 assists and the Boston Celtics clinched at least a tie for the Atlantic Division title as they held off a late charge by the Orlando Magic for a 102-98 win Wednesday night.

Boston (37-26) has a 3 1-2-game lead over New York (33-29). The Celtics have three games left and the Knicks, who beat the New Jersey Nets 104-95, have four.

Division winners are guaranteed to be seeded no worse than fourth in the conference and wouldn’t have to face Chicago or Miami in the first round…

The Celtics played without their starting backcourt. Point guard Rajon Rondo, who has at least 10 assists in each of his last 23 games, had a sore lower back after landing hard on it in Tuesday night’s 118-110 loss at New York. Ray Allen missed his sixth straight game with a right ankle injury.

Avery Bradley started for Rondo and finished with 23 points. Bass added 21.

Davis, starting in place of Dwight Howard, led Orlando with 27 points. Nelson had 19 points and nine assists. Howard missed his sixth consecutive game because of a herniated disc.

– Reported by Howard Ulman of the Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 of his 33 points in the first quarter, and the New York Knicks beat the Nets 104-95 on Wednesday night in their last trip to New Jersey.

Continuing his torrid stretch without Amare Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, Anthony hit his first six shots in front of the usual pro-New York crowd that will become an all-New York crowd next season, when the Nets move to Brooklyn.

The Nets once hoped to have Anthony in the lineup when they got there and he is showing why lately, surpassing 30 points for the third straight game and the sixth time in nine games this month. He shot 11 of 21, going 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, and finished slightly ahead of the NBA-best 32.1 points he was averaging in April.

Tyson Chandler added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who won for the 15th time in 20 games under interim coach Mike Woodson and remained in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Baron Davis missed the Knicks’ game at New Jersey on Wednesday night because of a stomach virus and was replaced in the starting lineup by Mike Bibby.

Davis was feeling ill Tuesday and played only 18 minutes of the Knicks’ 118-110 victory over Boston. He has been the starter since Jeremy Lin was lost to knee surgery, despite battling a hamstring injury.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Kyrie Irving returns for Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving wanted to finish his rookie season on the floor. Despite some worry, the Cleveland Cavaliers will let him do it.

The NBA’s presumptive rookie of the year returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday night against Philadelphia after missing nine straight games with a sprained right shoulder.

Irving, who hasn’t played since April 3 when he re-injured his shoulder against San Antonio, will play limited minutes.

Cavs coach Byron Scott said the team considered shutting Irving down for the final six games of the season, but decided to let him play after he was given a clean bill of health by trainer Max Benton and team physician Dr. Richard Parker.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

“Basketball Wives” star Jennifer Williams is filing a lawsuit Wednesday accusing a Manhattan woman of a flagrant foul for viciously slapping her face during a taping of the reality show.

Williams, ex-wife of NBA player Eric Williams, also has filed a complaint with the state attorney’s office in Florida, said lawyer Sanford Rubenstein.

“Violence used against any person is wrong but when a woman hits another woman it sets a horrible example for young girls everywhere,” Williams told the Daily News.

“I choose to use the justice system to fight back,” she said in an exclusive interview.

The defendant, Nia Crooks, is a personal assistant to “Basketball Wives” co-star Evelyn Lozada. Crooks belted Williams while VH1 cameras were rolling Jan. 21 in the presidential suite of the Gulfstream Park racetrack in South Florida.

– Reported by John Marzulli of the New York Daily News

Luke Harangody

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

Harangody was assigned to Canton on April 15th and recently took part in an extremely rare four-games-in-four-nights set while leading the Canton Charge to their first-ever playoff series victory. Already on assignment with Canton, Harangody led the Charge to a Game 1 victory over the Springfield Armor in Canton on April 13th with 16 points on 6-12 shooting (.500), nine rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes. The following day he was recalled by the Cavaliers and started at Washington, recording a double-double with 16 points on 6-11 (.545) shooting, 10 rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes in a 98-89 victory.

The Notre Dame alumnus was re-assigned to Canton on Sunday, April 15th for Game 2 at Springfield, where he scored a team-high 26 points in 39 minutes in a 125-116 overtime loss. The following night in the decisive Game 3 matchup against Springfield, he grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and added seven points in 25 minutes in a 115-106 win. In the four games, Harangody averaged 16.3 points on .500 shooting and 8.0 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per game.

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. He is available for the Cavaliers’ game tonight versus Philadelphia.

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed center Darryl Watkins to a 10-day contract.

The 6’11” center is in his second NBA season, originally appearing in nine games for the Sacramento Kings during the 2007-08 season, averaging 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game. Undrafted out of Syracuse in 2007 after four seasons with the Orange, Watkins has appeared in preseason games for the Kings (2007-08), San Antonio Spurs (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10) and most recently the Hornets in 2010-11, where he played three games, scoring 2.0 points and pulling down 3.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes of action.

To make room for Watkins, the Hornets announced today they have waived center Chris Johnson. Johnson has missed the last eight games with a concussion, suffered Apr. 1 against the Phoenix Suns. Originally claimed off waivers on Mar. 20, Johnson played in seven games for New Orleans this season, averaging 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 11.5 minutes.

The roster currently stands at 15.

Dallas Mavericks guard Delonte West has been fined $25,000 for a physical taunt by poking Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz in the ear, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 3:40 remaining in the second quarter of Utah’s 123-121 win over Dallas at EnergySolutions Arena on April 16.

You can read about the initial incident and see a video clip here. And also see more on Hayward’s reaction here.

Kentucky freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb will enter their names in this year’s NBA Draft. All five players are projected as first-round picks.

Together, the five led Kentucky to its eighth national championship, a 16-0 mark in league play and the program’s 45th Southeastern Conference championship. UK finished with a 38-2 record, tying the NCAA record for wins in a season.

Davis, the National Player of the Year and 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, blocked a national-best 4.7 shots per game while leading the Wildcats in scoring (14.2), rebounding (10.4) and field goal percentage (.623). He broke the school and SEC records and NCAA freshman records for blocks in a season with 186. He finished the season with 20 double-doubles which was the most in the SEC this season while also tying the UK freshman record for double-doubles.

Kidd-Gilchrist, an All-America selection by multiple media outlets and the NCAA Tournament South Region Most Outstanding Player, ranked second on the team with seven double-doubles including three against top-20 ranked teams, with the other three coming on the road. Kidd-Gilchrist ranked second on the team in rebounding (7.4), third in blocks (37) and steals (37) and fourth in scoring (11.9).

Teague led the Wildcats in assists this season with 191, ranking second in the SEC in assists per game (4.8). He finished the season with the second-most assists by a freshman in UK history, and his 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play was the best by a UK point guard under head coach John Calipari in the last three seasons. Over the last 22 games, he finished with a 2.2 ratio.

Jones ranked third on the team in scoring (12.3) and rebounding (7.2). He ranked 62nd nationally in blocks per game (1.8) and became the 59th member of UK’s prestigious 1,000-point club, finishing his career ranked 52nd on the Wildcats’ all-time scoring list. He is only the 34th player in program history to tally 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Only five prior UK players recorded 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 140 blocks.

Lamb ranked second on the team in scoring (13.7) while hitting better than 46 percent from 3-point range (46.6). He also became a member of the 1,000-point club in Kentucky’s win over Kansas in the national championship game, finishing his career with 1,018 points. He concluded his career as the top 3-point shooter in school history, hitting 47.5 percent of his 3-pointers.

Underclassmen have until April 29 to declare for the draft.

The 2012 NBA Draft will take place on June 28, in the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

– University of Kentucky

NBPA committee cancels internal audit

In a pushback against National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher, union executive director Billy Hunter convinced members of the NBPA’s executive committee to kill an independent audit of the union’s finances and practices, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

Hunter had his legal team send a brief memo to players Tuesday night, telling them the audit voted upon on Friday by the executive committee had been cancelled. The memo was obtained by Yahoo! Sports.

Fisher had pushed for an internal audit of Hunter’s New York offices, and gathered the necessary votes on a conference call Friday to proceed with the inquiry, sources said.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

ray allen

As the NBA trade deadline lurched into its final hour a month ago, league sources say the call Ray Allen long feared had come: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was on the line, telling him he had been traded. Allen had been sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for a package including O.J. Mayo and a draft pick, and the Celtics’ Big Three had come to a most brusque ending.

For 20 minutes or so, Allen had to process the information. They traded me to Memphis? And yet, as the disappointment dissolved to anger, Rivers returned with a messenger’s nightmare: Never mind. The deal fell apart. Take a deep breath and let’s go back to work again.

Before the Big Three could make it past the trade deadline, Allen-to-the-Grizzlies had to fall apart and discussions on a deal that would have sent Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets for an expiring Mehmet Okur contract and a lottery pick never reached completion, league sources said. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge loves the talent in the 2012 NBA draft, but he still gets one more run, one more chance with this group in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Hornets shut down Chris Kaman

chris kaman

Hornets center Chris Kaman will miss New Orleans’ final five games because of a bruised left tibia.

The Hornets say the injury occurred during New Orleans’ victory over Memphis on Sunday night.

The 7-foot Kaman missed the Hornets’ win at Charlotte on Monday night.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Ray Allen

Ray Allen has missed more than 10 games this season due to right and left ankle injuries. As the Boston Celtics look ahead to their playoff push, health is of the utmost importance to the 16-year veteran guard.

In order to maintain his ankles, Allen, who has sat out the past four games with a sore right ankle, is paying extra attention to another part of his body: his calves.

He attributes some of his ankle problems over the years to his over-sized muscles. Allen underwent double ankle surgery in 2007.

“I’ve been told that I have huge calf muscles my whole life,” Allen, 36, said earlier this month. “But they’re always like the bane of my pain, of my existence, because I always feel tightness in there. When they do get tight, it keeps my ankles from moving.”

– Reported by Jessica Camerato of CSNNE

tony parker

While last week’s blowout loss to the Lakers still stings the San Antonio Spurs, they found a way to feel better while moving into prime position to win the West.

Tony Parker had 29 points and 13 assists, Tim Duncan had 19 points and eight rebounds, and the Spurs handed Los Angeles its worst loss of the season, 112-91 on Tuesday night.

Just six days after the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers jumped to a 26-point lead during a comfortable victory at San Antonio, the Spurs answered by scoring 18 consecutive points during an impressive second-quarter spree. The Spurs snapped Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak while dominating a meeting of division leaders - albeit with Bryant sitting out his sixth straight game to rest his bruised shin…

Manu Ginobili scored 15 points as the Spurs (44-16) improved their position atop the Western Conference with their fourth straight win, moving a half-game clear of Oklahoma City (44-17) for the No. 1 playoff seed. Popovich didn’t sit his stars in the second game of a three-in-three-nights stretch, with Duncan playing 35 minutes and Parker 30…

Andrew Bynum had 21 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers, whose Pacific Division lead over the Clippers dwindled to a half-game, although the Lakers hold the tiebreaker. Matt Barnes and Pau Gasol scored 16 points apiece, but with Bryant watching from the bench in a sharp suit, Los Angeles couldn’t match the depth of the Spurs, who got at least four points from 10 players.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

carmelo anthony

As the Celtics staggered to the locker room after getting hit by an NBA record-tying 3-point assault, the halftime musical selection perfectly summed up how they must have felt.

It was ”You Dropped a Bomb on Me” - and Carmelo Anthony and two sharpshooting subs sure did.

Anthony had 35 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double, and the New York Knicks made 19 3-pointers to keep alive their Atlantic Division title hopes with a 118-110 victory over Boston on Tuesday night.

JR Smith and Steve Novak both scored 25 points for the Knicks, who overcame a season-high 43 points from Paul Pierce and moved into sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference while trimming Boston’s division lead to 3 1/2 games.

Novak hit eight 3s in the highest-scoring game of his career. Smith made all seven of his 3s in the first half, equaling a team record.

”Our bench was great tonight,” Anthony said. ”Novak and JR, them guys combined for 50 points off the bench. When they get hot like that, it’s hard to deal with.”

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

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