Archive for April 19th, 2012

Dwight Howard to have back surgery

Dwight Howard

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will undergo back surgery Friday morning in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk, effectively ending his season and eliminating him from participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Howard’s agent said Thursday night.

Howard has been complaining of back problems since early March, but it wasn’t until Los Angeles-based spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins examined him last week that the herniated disk was discovered.

Howard received an epidural to alleviate the pain at that time and the plan was that he’d rest and rehabilitate his back for 10-14 days before deciding if he could return to play or further treatment might be necessary.

But his back has worsened and both Watkins and the Magic’s medical staff determined that surgery is necessary.

– Reported by Ric Bucher of ESPN the Magazine

Wilson Chandler is done for the season

Wilson Chandler

Wilson Chandler’s season started late and is finishing early.

The Denver Nuggets’ versatile forward needs surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip and is done for the season.

Chandler arrived in Denver last February as part of the blockbuster trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. He played for Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association during the NBA lockout and rejoined the Nuggets a month ago, signing a five-year deal worth nearly $37 million.

The 24-year-old averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in eight games, including six starts but spent more time on the sideline than on the court after hurting his hip.

– Reported by the Associated Press

James Harden drops 40 on the Suns

James Harden

James Harden scored a career-high 40 points, including making 5 of 8 3-pointers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder dealt Phoenix a blow in its scramble to make the playoffs with a 109-97 victory over the Suns on Wednesday night.

Kevin Durant added 29 points and Russell Westbrook 15 for the Thunder, who stayed a half-game behind San Antonio for the top playoff seed in the Western Conference.

Phoenix’s loss, coupled with Utah’s’ victory over Portland, moved the Jazz a half-game ahead of the Suns for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot.

Jared Dudley scored 21 points for Phoenix.

Harden, who starred at nearby Arizona State, made 12 of 17 shots overall and was 11 of 11 from the free throw line. The Thunder’s superb, bearded reserve played 33 minutes. His previous high was 33 against Charlotte on March 10.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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