Archive for May 6th, 2012

carmelo anthony

Amare Stoudemire raised his hands in the air, one covered in padding, as streamers fell from the ceiling above him.

Finally, New York could celebrate an NBA playoff victory again.

Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, Stoudemire had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his return from a cut hand, and the Knicks snapped an NBA-record, 13-game postseason losing streak by beating the Miami Heat 89-87 Sunday in Game 4 of their first-round series.

”I think it’s the first of many,” said Stoudemire, his left arm back in a sling to keep his hand elevated. ”Tonight was a great win for us, for our fans to finally get over that hump of those consecutive games that we lost, I guess the Knicks, lost over those years in the playoffs.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that an MRI today confirmed that Kendrick Perkins suffered a right hip muscle strain in last night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Perkins’ return to play will be based on his progress and recovery in the coming days.

First, the Thunder took a hard-earned day off Sunday while waiting to find out whom they’ll face in the Western Conference semifinals. Kevin Durant and Co. won’t know until at least Tuesday night, and possibly not until Saturday, whether it will be the Los Angeles Lakers or the Denver Nuggets

The Lakers held a 2-1 lead heading into Game 4 in Denver on Sunday night.

The Thunder won the season series against both potential opponents 2-1, losing to both in the final week of the regular season with top reserve James Harden out for the last part of the Lakers game and all of the Nuggets game after getting elbowed by L.A.’s Metta World Peace.

The sweep could give Oklahoma City its longest break of this lockout-shortened season. The only time the Thunder had more than three straight days off was a five-game layoff over the All-Star break.

– Reported by the Associated Press

spencer hawes

Spencer Hawes scored 22 points and Jrue Holiday had 20 to help the surprising Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls 89-82 on Sunday and take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who have won the last three games after losing Game 1.

Holiday stretched the lead with consecutive 3-pointers late in the game to put the Sixers one win away from joining the short list of eighth-seeded teams that have won a series against a No. 1 seed.

Game 5 is Tuesday in Chicago.

The top-seeded Bulls played without Derrick Rose (torn ACL) and Joakim Noah (sprained ankle). Rose is out for the season and Noah is day to day for the rest of the series.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Jason Kidd not retiring from NBA yet

jason kidd

As would befit a 39-year-old point guard who just finished posting 16 points, a game-best eight assists and seven rebounds in a key playoff game, Jason Kidd isn’t ready to hang up his sneakers.

“I’ll land somewhere early, I would think,” Kidd said regarding his upcoming free agency.

He’s heard everything from going home to Oakland to play with Golden State to backing up Deron Williams — wherever it is that Williams ends up playing. That seems likely to be either in Brooklyn with the Nets or in Dallas with the Mavericks.

Kidd said he essentially will try to help recruit Williams as a free agent this summer. He could envision himself next season as Williams’ backup.

– Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

shaquille o'neal

He’s officially Dr. O’Neal now.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal received his doctoral degree in Education from Barry University Saturday morning along with another 1,100 students during multiple commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami.

Like all things done by the four-time world champion, 15-time All-Star, movie star, rapper and entertainer, O’Neal, 40, accepted the degree in style. Wearing a custom-made, bright red XXXL-sized gown, the seven-foot-one, 325-pound former Miami Heat center got on one knee so Dr. David M. Kopp could place a light blue hood around his big neck.

O’Neal then stood up and lifted his professor like Tarzan was rescuing Jane. “Swept off my feet,” Kopp described the moment, celebrated with loud cheers from the crowd.

O’Neal then walked over and hugged school president, Sister Linda Bevilacqua before walking off stage posing for photos in his cap, gown and hood like all the other graduates. On his way back to his seat, O’Neal strolled by a star struck row of graduates and handed out high-fives like he was walking past his old teammates on the bench.

– Reported by Manny Navarro of the Palm Beach Post

tony parker

Through nearly 40 minutes, the Utah Jazz made Tony Parker look average.

He had 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting, and the San Antonio Spurs were clinging to a five-point lead.

Parker the MVP candidate then took over.

”They threw a lot of guys at me, so I needed to be more patient and then in the fourth quarter I was more aggressive,” said Parker, who hit all five field goals and went 6 of 6 from the line in the final period to finish with 27 points.

His effort fueled a 102-90 victory Saturday night that gave the Spurs a 3-0 lead in the first-round Western Conference playoff series…

”He’s a handful and he’s very physical,” Parker said about Favors, who had 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in his most extensive action of the series. ”He goes to the boards hard.” …

Harris, after scoring just 12 points in the first two games combined, had 12 in the first quarter and finished with 21.

Al Jefferson also rebounded from two sub-par games and finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds on 10-of-18 shooting…

While Favors was 3 of 7 shooting in the fourth, Utah’s other budding star struggled down the stretch.

Burks was just 1 of 6 in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 points.

– Reported by Lynn DeBruin of the Associated Press

james harden

Down by 13 points with less than 10 minutes remaining, youthful Oklahoma City could have easily have been content knowing they could go home for a Game 5 still needing to win only one more game.

The Thunder, with their 20-something All-Star duo Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, are instead going home to wait and see who they will play next.

And it was their other emerging star who led the way.

James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in a 12-0 run, and the Thunder rallied for a 103-97 victory Saturday night to complete a first-round series sweep of the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.

”I got into attack mode. I was determined to make plays,” Harden said.

”He was phenomenal,” said Durant, who scored 24 points. ”His pick and roll game is unreal. It’s fun to watch, fun to be part of. The best part about our team is that we have a lot of guys who can play off each other, and we complement each other well.” …

Durant had 11 rebounds, while Westbrook and Fisher had 12 points each…

”It was an up and down year,” said Nowitzki, the 11-time All-Star who had 34 points. ”We weren’t consistent enough throughout to be an elite team.” …

Jason Kidd, the Mavericks’ 39-year-old point guard, had 16 points and eight assists. Jason Terry had 11 points in what might have also been his last game in Dallas.

– Reported by Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press

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