Archive for May 1st, 2012

jrue holiday

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points, Lou Williams added 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Chicago 109-92 on Tuesday night to even their first-round series in the Bulls’ first game since Derrick Rose’s season-ending knee injury.

The superstar point guard received a standing ovation and waved to the crowd as he limped onto the court to present the game ball, then watched from a suite as the 76ers simply blitzed the Bulls in the third quarter.

They outscored Chicago 36-14 in the period, turning an eight-point deficit into an 83-69 lead, and pulled even with the league’s top-seeded team. Game 3 is Friday in Philadelphia.

Holiday was 11 of 15 from the field, and the Sixers shot 59 percent overall. Williams came up big, going 8 of 13 after hitting just 1 of 6 shots in the opener, and Chicago product Evan Turner chipped in with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Joakim Noah led the Bulls with 21 points and eight rebounds. John Lucas III scored 15 points, but Carlos Boozer scored just nine and Luol Deng finished with eight. More alarming, the Bulls simply couldn’t stop the Sixers, particularly in the third quarter.

Turner scored 11 points in the period, and Philadelphia wiped out a 55-47 deficit.

– Reported by the Associated Press

paul pierce

Paul Pierce battled through another tough shooting night to score 36 points and the Boston Celtics wiped out Atlanta’s 11-point lead in the second half even without Rajon Rondo, stunning the Hawks 87-80 on Tuesday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is Friday night in Boston, and Rondo will be back for the Celtics in that one, his shorthanded team having claimed the home-court edge. The stellar point guard sat out a one-game suspension for bumping an official in the opener.

The Hawks appeared to be in control when they pushed out to a 65-54 lead late in the third quarter. But Boston sliced it to 66-61 by the end of the period, and Pierce led a dominating fourth.

The Celtics were up 74-72 when a quick spurt essentially finished the Hawks, especially when Josh Smith went out late in the game with a sprained left knee…

For good measure, Pierce also led his team in rebounding with 14. Garnett had 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Bradley, who shifted over to take Rondo’s spot at the point, chipped in with 14 points but only three assists - a far cry from what the Celtics usually get out of that position.

Johnson had 22 points but never got many open looks, hitting just 7 of 17 from the field. Smith had 16 points and 12 rebounds, the state of his knee now becoming a major concern for the Hawks, who already have played most of the season without Al Horford.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Amare Stoudemire has surgery on hand

Amare Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire’s difficult season may be over.

Stoudemire had a small muscle in his left hand repaired Tuesday and will not play for the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Stoudemire met with a hand specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, a day after he was badly cut when he punched the case surrounding a fire extinguisher after the Knicks’ 104-94 loss in Miami.

The Knicks are listing Stoudemire as doubtful for Game 4 on Sunday.

Stoudemire apologized on his Twitter account for the act, which leaves the Knicks without another key player as they try to rally from a 2-0 deficit. Jeremy Lin is still recovering from knee surgery and Iman Shumpert is out for the season after tearing a knee ligament in Game 1.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Kyle Lowry

Houston Rockets guard Kyle Lowry underwent successful surgery this morning to correct a sports hernia. Lowry is expected to return to his normal offseason training program in six to eight weeks.

In his fourth season with Houston, Lowry averaged 14.3 points, 6.6 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.55 steals in 47 games (38 starts).

The Rockets finished the season with a 34-32 record, good for 9th in the Western conference.

This is an amazing music video tribute to the Charlotte Bobcats:

Don’t stop believing!

The TNT crew had some fun on Monday as Kenny Smith celebrated the Inside the NBA show’s success by pouring champagne on Charles Barkley.

Add another name to the ever-expanding list of Kevin Garnett’s critics. Hawks rookie forward Ivan Johnson became the latest to join the chorus this afternoon after Hawks practice.

“Garnett, he’s a dirty player,” Johnson said. “He gives me a lot of elbows and I can handle that.”

Johnson said he expected that Garnett and the Celtics would attempt to do things to incite a reaction.

“I was prepared for that,” Johnson said. “I already knew how KG was going to come at me. They’re a whole bunch of mess-talkers.”

– Reported by Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald

Nets hope to keep Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace

The Nets plan to sign Gerald Wallace to a multi-year deal in free agency or an extension, according to GM Billy King.

“Obviously he’s a big part of it and his reality being 30 years old, this is probably going to be one his last chances to get a big contract before he gets beyond that,” King said today. “So our goal is try to get him where he’s comfortable with the numbers, we’re comfortable with the numbers, and we keep him in the fold.”

Wallace has to make a decision on his one-year player option worth $9.5 million by June 15. At any time, the Nets can sign him to an extension of up to two years on top of the one-year player option. The extension could be no greater or less per year than 7 percent of $9.5 million. So we’re looking at having Wallace locked up somewhere in the ballpark of three years, $29 million.

That would avoid Wallace going to free agency, but obviously at a steep price. If the Nets lose Wallace, they essentially traded a first-round pick for 16 meaningless games with the Nets.

– Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News Blog

wilson chandler

Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler is recovering after successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip.

The procedure was performed Monday by Dr. Marc J. Philippon. Chandler is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in October.

Chandler, 24, spent much of the 2011-12 NBA season playing in China before re-signing a multiyear contract with the Nuggets on March 18. He averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in eight games after his return.

Acquired by Denver on Feb. 22, 2011, Chandler averaged 15.3 points and a career-high 5.7 rebounds last season.

San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich is the recipient of the  Red  Auerbach  Trophy  as  the  2011-12 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.

Popovich,  who  also  earned  the  honor  in  2002-03,  totaled 467 points, including  77  first-place  votes,  from  a  panel of 119 sportswriters and broadcasters  throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five  points  for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote  and  one  point for each third-place vote. The award was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

In his 16th season as head coach of the Spurs, Popovich guided San Antonio to a league-tying-best 50-16 (.758) record. With Popovich at the helm, the Spurs ranked second in the league in scoring (103.7 ppg) and point-differential (+7.2). In the second half of the season, however, the Spurs were the league’s most dominant team, posting an NBA-best 26-6 (.813) record while averaging league highs in scoring (108.3 ppg) and point-differential (+10.8). In the process, Popovich guided the Spurs to their 15th consecutive postseason berth, which is the longest active streak in the NBA.

The Spurs finished the season winning 10 straight games, 24 of their last 27 and 38 of their last 45. San Antonio won at least 50 games for the 13th consecutive season – all under Popovich’s tenure – surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers (1979-80 to 1990-91) for the longest streak in NBA history. The Spurs also set a franchise mark with three double-digit winning streaks.

Popovich was named the Coach of the Month in February and March, giving him 14 Coach of the Month awards in his career, the most in league annals. His back-to-back wins marked the second time Popovich earned consecutive coaching honors (November and December, 2010).

The longest tenured coach with the same team in all four major professional sports, Popovich holds the best winning percentage of the longest tenured coaches in the other three major professional sports (.679). In addition, his 847 victories with the Spurs ranks second all-time in NBA history for most wins with one team (Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz, 1,127)

Popovich also supports the NBA Coaches for Kids program, a league initiative in partnership with the NBA Coaches Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America launched during the 2008-09 NBA season.  To date, the program has provided more than 155,000 Boys & Girls Club members with the chance to attend NBA games.  Youth participants also have the opportunity to meet with NBA coaches, general managers and athletic trainers and learn the fundamentals of the game, the values of sportsmanship and teamwork, and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau finished second in the voting. Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel finished third. Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins finished fourth. And Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers finished fifth.

russell westbrook

Last postseason, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks rode a wave of late-game comebacks to win the franchise’s first NBA title.

Now the Oklahoma City Thunder are showing the Mavs how it feels to be on the other side.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Kevin Durant added 26 in an off-shooting performance and Oklahoma City clawed out a 102-99 victory over Dallas on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series…

Durant hit two free throws with 50.4 seconds left to give Oklahoma City a 98-97 lead, and reserve James Harden hit all four of his foul shots after that to close it out for the Thunder.

Jason Terry missed two 3-point attempts from the left wing in the final 5 seconds that could have tied it and set up overtime. Instead, the defending champs head back home facing what amounts to a must-win Game 3 on Thursday night in Dallas.

”That’s really all we need right now is to get on the board on Thursday,” said Nowitzki, who led Dallas with 31 points but missed both his shots in the final 75 seconds.

– Reported by the Associated Press

An Orlando team without its top rebounder, injured All-Star center Dwight Howard, dominated the boards in the first half to take a two-point lead. The heavily favored Pacers stewed in their locker room as they faced the possibility of taking a two-game deficit to Orlando for Game 3 on Wednesday…

The Pacers responded, asserting complete control inside during the second half of a 93-78 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. Indiana grabbed 12 of the first 13 rebounds in the third quarter and outrebounded Orlando 26-13 in the second half…

Indiana lost Game 1 81-77 on Saturday and felt its season slipping away in Game 2 before rallying…

David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds and has emerged as a stabilizing force for the Pacers…

Granger and George Hill each added 18 points and Paul George had 17 points and eight rebounds for Indiana. The Pacers won despite making just 2 of 20 3-point attempts and Granger, the team’s leading scorer this season, shooting just 7 for 21 from the field.

Indiana held the Magic to 36 percent shooting overall. Indiana has held the Magic below 40 percent shooting in both games…

Davis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but he shot 5 for 16 from the field. Davis, the loudest talker after Saturday’s win, was the first player off the court on Monday.

J.J. Redick scored 13 points and Jameer Nelson added 12 for Orlando.

– Reported by the Associated Press

amare stoudemire

Drops of blood stained the carpet leading up to the back entrance of the New York Knicks’ locker room. The glass portion of a nearby fire-extinguisher case was quickly replaced. And Amare Stoudemire needed doctors and paramedics to treat a cut on his left hand.

Game 2 probably wasn’t all the Knicks lost in Miami on Monday night.

Stoudemire left the building with his arm in a sling and what appeared to be a bulky wrap over his left hand, long after the Heat took control of the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series with a 104-94 win over the Knicks, going up 2-0.

It resumes Thursday in New York, and although the Knicks were saying nothing for certain, it seems most unlikely that Stoudemire would be able to play…

Dwyane Wade scored 25 points, Chris Bosh added 21 and LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, but their night was completely overshadowed by whatever went on with Stoudemire in the hallway that’s just a few steps from the edge of the court…

Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points on 12-for-26 shooting for New York, which got 18 points from Stoudemire and 13 apiece from Chandler and J.R. Smith. The only other team to lose 12 straight playoff games is the Memphis Grizzlies, who dropped their first dozen postseason contests from 2004 through 2006.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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