Archive for April 22nd, 2012

Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez should have been suspended for his flagrant foul on Blake Griffin last Thursday and shouldn’t have been allowed to play until Griffin recovered from the injury he sustained.

“I have an issue that Blake got hit that hard and he is in pain and he is still in pain and the player that did that played yesterday,” Del Negro said. “I have a problem with that. I don’t know how the league wants us to deal with that because then it will get out of hand.”

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Heat win home finale, beat Rockets 97-88

lebron james

As LeBron James was walking to Miami’s home bench for the final time this regular season, he raised his left arm to acknowledge the roars of another sold-out crowd. And when the obligatory ”M-V-P” chants started up, James waved again.

He’ll be back next weekend, with bigger goals in mind.

James finished with 32 points and eight rebounds, Norris Cole added 16 points and the Heat pulled away in the final minutes to beat Houston 97-88 on Sunday night and eliminate the Rockets from postseason contention…

Mike Miller scored 11 for injury-depleted Miami, which still has a mathematical chance of catching Chicago for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Joel Anthony added 11 for the Heat on 5-for-5 shooting…

Chandler Parsons scored a career-high 23 for Houston, which led by as many as 13 in the first half. Parsons tied the game at 83 with a layup late in the fourth, before James’ 3-pointer sparked an 8-0 run that put Miami in control.

Goran Dragic scored 16, while Courtney Lee and Patrick Patterson had 14 apiece for the Rockets. Luis Scola scored 12.

– Reported by the Associated Press

louis williams

Guard Lou Williams, the 76ers’ leading scorer (14.9 points per game), will opt out of the final year of his contract at the end of this season and become an unrestricted free agent, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

If he were not to opt out, Williams would be due $6.4 million from the Sixers.

Said the source: “He’s indicated that he’s not going to pick up his option. All indications are that he’s going to opt out.”

Reached at courtside via phone before the 76ers’ game at Indiana on Saturday, general manager Rod Thorn said he had not spoken with his leading scorer about his contract but acknowledged that Williams can opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

– Reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Utah Jazz point guard Devin Harris was tired of seeing 3-pointers drop for the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.

He made sure one at the end of regulation didn’t have a chance as he stepped up big against Jameer Nelson.

Harris’ block kept Utah alive, and in the end it was the Jazz draining 3s to secure a 117-107 overtime victory over Orlando…

Despite the missing pieces, Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his team.

“We just cannot guard, we cannot,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t think that our guys are not trying, but we cannot guard anyone. Our defense is disturbing to say the least.”

Van Gundy also had harsh words for backup center Daniel Orton, who contributed only two points off the bench.

“Daniel gave us nothing,” Van Gundy said. “He went for every shot fake, he fouled every time. He didn’t even give us minutes that we needed to give our starters some rest. Our lack of depth was an absolute huge factor. Those guys ran out of gas at the end.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

demarcus cousins

Jetlagged or not, the Sacramento Kings were determined not to be the team the Charlotte Bobcats beat to end their long losing streak.

The Kings made the most of a rare late-season cross country trip to the East coast and throttled the hapless Bobcats 114-88 Sunday night behind a dominant effort from DeMarcus Cousins, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds. It was Charlotte’s franchise-record 20th straight loss.

The Kings had lost nine of their previous 10 games, but this one was never in doubt as they scored 78 points inside the paint and led by 35 in the fourth quarter.

Cousins did most of the damage in the lane, but Tyreke Evans was masterful in slicing his way through a non-existent Bobcats defense, hitting 10 of 11 shots from the field - most of them on drives to the lane - and finishing with 22 points.

Jason Thompson flirted with a triple double, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Kings…

If the Bobcats (7-56) lose their final three games, they’ll finish with the worst winning percentage in league history. They travel to face Washington and Orlando before closing the regular season at home Thursday night against New York.

– Reported by the Associated Press

kobe bryant

Metta World Peace was subdued and contrite in the Los Angeles Lakers’ locker room, apologizing to Oklahoma City’s James Harden for throwing the elbow that sent them both to the locker room in the second quarter.

They both missed a beauty of a game that could echo into the postseason for two division leaders.

Kobe Bryant scored six of his 26 points in the second overtime alongside an unorthodox Lakers lineup, and Los Angeles rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half for a 114-106 victory over the Thunder on Sunday.

Pau Gasol had 20 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists for the Lakers, who made an impressive comeback in their regular-season home finale against off-target Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined to miss 42 of their 56 shots. Los Angeles’ rally stunned the Thunder and set an early tone for their possible second-round playoff matchup…

Ibaka had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who led by 11 points with 4 minutes left in regulation. Westbrook had 14 points on 3-for-22 shooting and 10 assists as Oklahoma City fell 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio atop the Western Conference with just its third loss in nine games.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that they have recalled rookie guard Travis Leslie from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.

Leslie has been with the Jam since March 30, and appeared in four playoff games with Bakersfield. In two separate stints with the Jam this season, Leslie appeared in 10 regular season games and averaged 10.2 points, 1.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and shot 50.4 percent from the field in 20.4 minutes per game.

The 47th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, Leslie has averaged 1.4 points and 4.5 minutes in 10 games played for the Clippers this season.

Melo scores 39, Knicks edge Hawks

carmelo anthony

The New York Knicks gave center Tyson Chandler, the key to their improved defense, a day off against the Atlanta Hawks. Both teams seemed to scrap their defenses through three quarters of a shootout between playoff-bound teams.

However, it was a defensive play that decided the game when Amare Stoudemire blocked Marvin Williams’ dunk attempt at the buzzer to save the Knicks’ 113-112 win over the Hawks on Sunday.

Carmelo Anthony scored 39 points and hit the winning jumper with 1:40 left on Atlanta’s defensive miscommunication. Stoudemire finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in his second game back after missing 13 with a sore back.

Williams scored a season-high 29 points in a rare start, but came up empty when he - and a full-throated crowd in Philips Arena - felt he was fouled…

Sunday didn’t help, and Atlanta All-Star Joe Johnson wasn’t happy about it after he spent much of the day chasing Anthony. Johnson scored 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Anthony was 14 for 32 as the only New York starter to shoot under 50 percent.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Andrew Bogut

Australian center Andrew Bogut will have arthroscopic ankle surgery next week and miss the London Olympics. He hopes to return to fitness in time for the start of the next NBA season.

Golden State Warriors general manager Larry Riley says the operation for Bogut, and the same for teammate Stephen Curry, will be done on Wednesday in Van Nuys, California.

Bogut broke his left ankle on Jan. 25 against Houston before coming over in a trade from Milwaukee. Riley called the scope to clean up loose particles “routine” and ruled out any possibility the 7-foot (2.13-meter) center would play for Australia’s Olympic team at London.

“After seeing a specialist I have decided it would be best to get my ankle cleaned out via arthroscopic surgery,” Bogut said on Twitter.

– Reported by the Associated Press

stephen curry

Golden State Warriors Guard Stephen Curry, who has missed the last 24 games and 37 contests overall this season due to a right ankle sprain, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the ankle next Wednesday, April 25 in Van Nuys, California. The surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel, will be exploratory in nature. Dr. Kenneth Hunt from the Warriors’ Medical Team will also be involved in the surgery process.

Center Andrew Bogut, who has missed 23 games due to a fractured left ankle since joining the Warriors following his March 13 acquisition from the Milwaukee Bucks, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the ankle next Friday, April 27 in Van Nuys. The surgery, which will also be performed by Dr. Richard Ferkel, will be a routine clean-up procedure aimed to remove loose particles in the ankle. Either Dr. Tim McAdams or Dr. Bill Maloney from the Warriors’ Medical Team will be involved in the surgery process. Bogut’s fractured left ankle continues to heal properly since sustaining the injury on January 25 when he was a member of the Bucks.

A timetable for the return to basketball-related activities for Curry and Bogut will be determined following surgery, but both players are expected to be ready for the start of training camp in October. Additionally, due to the recovery time involved, Bogut will not participate in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics.

Basketball blog