Archive for April 29th, 2012

chris paul

Chris Paul hit a pair of free throws with 23.7 seconds left, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from 27 down to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-98 Sunday night in the opening game of this Western Conference series.

Rudy Gay missed a 15-footer with 0.9 seconds left after the Grizzlies squandered a lead they held for the first 47 minutes.

The Clippers lost Caron Butler to a broken left hand. But Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench, including three 3-pointers in the midst of the Clippers’ 26-1 run. Paul finished with 14 points, and Blake Griffin had 17. Butler had 12 before leaving the game.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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josh smith

The Boston Celtics lost Game 1 — and they may have lost their floor leader for Game 2.

Josh Smith scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks built a big lead early, then held on for an 83-74 victory over the Celtics in their opener of the Eastern Conference playoffs Sunday night.

But this one will be remembered for what happened in the final minute, not the Hawks’ blistering start. While complaining about a call, Boston star Rajon Rondo was ejected for bumping an official and faces a possible suspension when the teams meet again Tuesday night in Atlanta.

“I didn’t intentionally chest-bump him, but that’s what it appears to be,” Rondo said…

Rondo, who scored 20 points and dished out 11 assists, clearly appeared to stick out his chest to strike the official. That’s a huge no-no and will almost surely draw the wrath of NBA Commissioner David Stern…

Garnett bounced back to put up 20 points and 11 rebounds. Paul Pierce had only 12 points, going 5 of 19 from the field and missing all six of his 3-point attempts.

“For us to win, I have to be a better player,” Pierce said. “I was a really big culprit.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Joe Johnson had another poor performance in the playoffs. It’s not as if he doesn’t know he’s going to get pressured. He handled it pretty well early (it helped that the Hawks played faster) but then Joe came out after halftime and seemed to want to go one-on-one.

“I missed a lot of wide open shots I normally make. I’m sure Game 2 will be a lot different,” Joe said. “I’m just glad guys like Jeff [Teague] and Josh was able to pretty much carry us down the stretch.”

You can’t fault Joe for missing open shots. Well, I guess you can, but that happens. More problematic were all the possessions that came to a halt because Joe was dribbling aimlessly (or, worse, getting stripped by Paul Pierce) while his teammates stood and watched.

“I look at the stat sheet and he didn’t have a typical Joe Johnson game shooting-wise,” Drew said. “Yet we still won the game. With this team, I always try to focus on the positive with things like that. He’ll watch the tape and, like everyone else, he will make adjustments. We will continue to run plays through him, put the ball in his hands and put him in position to score the ball.”

– Reported by Michael Cunningham of Atlanta Journal-Constitution Blog 

Photo: NYC park basketball court

Photo taken today by editor Jeff Lenchiner of an NYC basketball court, in a nice park setting. Just a nice, simple picture. Enjoy:

Andrew Bynum

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, Andrew Bynum posted the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double in 21 years with an NBA postseason record-tying 10 blocked shots, and Los Angeles thoroughly controlled the tempo in a playoff-opening 103-88 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

Bynum, the Lakers’ All-Star center coming off his best regular season, also had 10 points and 13 rebounds while incredibly blocking 11 percent of the Nuggets’ 90 shots.

While Bynum had the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double since Magic Johnson in the 1991 NBA finals, fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol added 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the playoff-tested Lakers, who never trailed while forcing the NBA’s highest-scoring team to play Los Angeles’ preferred half-court style.

Game 2 is Tuesday night.

Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, but the NBA’s second-youngest playoff roster struggled to run. Andre Miller had 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while helping out Ty Lawson, Denver’s leading scorer, who managed just seven points while failing to make a shot in the first three quarters.

Bynum blocked eight shots in the first three quarters before surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise-record nine blocks in the fourth. He swatted Timofey Mozgov’s shot for No. 10 in the closing minutes to equal the NBA record set by Utah’s Mark Eaton on April 26, 1985, and matched by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon on April 29, 1990.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

tony parker

Tony Parker scored 28 points and added eight assists to lead the Spurs to a 106-91 victory over Utah Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs at the AT&T Center.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak of Game 1 losses in the Spurs’ most recent playoff series. And coming into Sunday’s game, the Spurs had won only two of their 10 most recent playoff games.

But a big effort by the Big Three help lead them to the victory. Tim Duncan added 17 points and 11 rebounds and Manu Ginobili added seven points in the victory.

The Spurs are 12-0 this season when Ginobili, Duncan and Parker combine for at least 50 points this season.

The Spurs are 27-6 in NBA playoff series where they won the first game.

New acquisitions Stephen Jackson accounted for 14 points and Boris Diaw scored nine for the Spurs, who claimed their 11th straight victory this season.

Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points and nine rebounds and Al Jefferson added 16 points and nine rebounds.

The victory came despite an injury to Tiago Splitter, who sustained a sprained left wrist in the second quarter and did not return. Splitter finished with four points and a rebound in seven minutes.

– Reported by Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)

Examining the Warriors starting lineup


Pending no rehab setbacks with point guard Stephen Curry, power forward David Lee and center Andrew Bogut, who each had surgery last week, the Warriors will go into next season with four solid starters.

Soon-to-be sophomore shooting guard Klay Thompson will join the trio, but the team still has a big decision to complete the starting lineup. At small forward, the Warriors have Richard Jefferson and Dorell Wright under contract, are expected to put a qualifying offer on Brandon Rush and have voiced interest in re-signing Dominic McGuire.

“I think he’s there now; I think we have a starter,” general manager Bob Myers said. “The question is who is going to embrace that role and own it? He has to fit with the other players on the floor.”

Since Curry, Lee and Thompson are proven scorers and Bogut is a capable offensive player, Myers said the right small forward would have to be able to be effective without the ball in his hands. Myers and coach Mark Jackson said they’d like to find a small forward who defends and rebounds and can knock down the occasional three-pointer.

– Reported by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle

The 2012 NBA Development League Most Valuable Player Justin Dentmon scored a team-high 30 points to lead the Austin Toros to its first-ever NBA Development League Championship with a 122-110 victory over the Los Angeles D-Fenders Saturday night at the Toyota Sports Center in L.A.

The Toros led end-to-end for the second straight game in L.A., and overcame a Game One loss to beat the D-Fenders in three games. The team finishes the 2012 postseason a perfect 6-0 in elimination games.

Eric Dawson, the 2012 NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year, scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while six Toros, including all five starters, scored in double figures. Julian Wright netted 19 points, while Brad Wanamaker poured in 18.

“We expected to win every game,” said Toros head coach Brad Jones. “We beat one heck of an L.A. D-Fenders team and we did it as a group so I’m really really excited for our guys.”

Mardy Collins finished with a game-high 31 points off the bench for the D-Fenders, while teammate Elijah Millsap scored 26. Malcolm Thomas recorded 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

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