Archive for May 9th, 2012

lebron james

LeBron James had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade both scored 19 points and the Heat ousted the shorthanded Knicks 106-94 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.

The Heat won the series 4-1, and will meet Indiana in the East semifinals starting Sunday in Miami…

Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points for the Knicks, including a spinning jumper over James at the end of the third quarter that pulled New York within 81-67. It was far from being enough to stave off an all-too-familiar playoff result for Anthony, part of that 2003 draft class that also yielded James, Bosh and Wade.

Anthony has played 54 postseason games, being part of wins only 17 times. A misleading stat for certain - it’s hardly all on him - and no shortage of people in the Heat organization interrupted their celebrating of a series-clincher to tip their caps Anthony’s way afterward…

James shot 48 percent from the field in the series, Anthony shot 42 percent. James averaged 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists, Anthony averaged 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists…

Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points, Landry Fields and J.R. Smith both added 12, Mike Bibby had 10 and Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 rebounds for New York, which is 1-8 in playoff games with Anthony and Stoudemire as teammates…

Miami went 7-1 against the Knicks this season, including playoffs. The Heat won three of four games against Indiana this season.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Don Nelson

Just a week after Shaquille O’Neal received his doctorate degree, Don Nelson will receive his Bachelor’s degree in physical education that was nearly 50 years in the making.

The winningest coach in NBA history, the now-retired Nelson, who turns 72 next week, will take part in commencement ceremonies this Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa.

“The reason I coached all these years was that I enjoyed so much being around young, talented people,” Nelson told the Des Moines Register. “This will be like coaching my teams, really. I love talented, young kids.”

Nelson, who spent 14 years as a NBA player, followed by 31 seasons as an NBA head coach, needed to require foreign language requirements to finally obtain his long-desired degree, which he put on hiatus when he left Iowa in 1962. He was able to complete those language requirements through correspondence/online classes.

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

kendrick perkins

Perhaps the best part of the time between games has been added recovery time for starting center Kendrick Perkins, who left in the first quarter of Saturday’s game with a strained muscle in his right hip. He has missed both practice sessions while getting treatment and is still considered day to day.

Brooks planned a lighter session Thursday to let his players recover.

”It’s always good to get some time off because you can rest and everybody has aches and pains when you go through a season - any season, not just this short season this year,” Brooks said. ”Just any season, it’s always a physical grind on your body.”

It’s not just keeping his team’s bodies in the right shape, though. Brooks also wants to keep his players mentally engaged, and he’s figured out a simple way to get the most out of them.

”Any time we put a scoreboard into the game, it raises up the competition. We do that with a lot of things,” he said, listing off everything from full scrimmages to free throws.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

Watch Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo get angry at a cameraman for filming him in the arena hallway:

Jason Maxiell

Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars would like to have power forward Jason Maxiell return next season.

But as he put it at his season-ending media availability last month, the decision is up to Maxiell, who has until June 30 to let the team know whether he will pick up his option of $5 million.

“It’s a player option so that’s totally in his hands,” Dumars said. “Obviously we’d love to have Max back.

“I think clearly this was his best year. He was in the best shape of his life. He looked great.”

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

raja bell

Calling Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin unprofessional and saying his career with the Jazz is over, Raja Bell opened up firing Tuesday during a season-ending media interview and never ran out of bullets.

The 35-year-old guard said Corbin made things personal by not allowing him to take the court during Utah’s first-round playoff defeat to San Antonio. Every active Jazz player except Bell recorded minutes. And after working back from knee and groin injuries this season only to watch his teammates be swept by the Spurs without him, Bell left no room for reconciliation. He’s done with the Jazz, and has no intention of playing another game in a Utah uniform…

Longtime Utah small forward C.J. Miles said he was proud of what his team accomplished and is open to returning next season. But the seven-year veteran joined Bell in questioning Corbin’s communication skills, pointing toward deep-rooted issues that sometimes undercut the team’s improved chemistry this year.

– Reported by Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune

Here is video of Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins saying that Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul does a good job of flopping.

The two teams are currently matched up in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.

javale mcgee

JaVale McGee went out with the attitude that Game 5 was the last game of his life. The other Denver Nuggets played their own mental games, some drawing inspiration from Lakers center Andrew Bynum’s comment about how closeout playoff games can sometimes be easy.

The Nuggets went deep into their motivational wells for an impressive win at Staples Center, and not even Kobe Bryant could prevent the Lakers from getting on a plane back to Denver.

Andre Miller scored 24 points, including two free throws with 12.8 seconds left, and Denver survived Bryant’s late scoring barrage in a 43-point performance, avoiding playoff elimination with a 102-99 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night and trimming the Lakers’ series lead to 3-2.

McGee had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, who barely survived a frenetic finish. Denver had a 15-point lead midway through the fourth quarter against the lifeless Lakers, but Bryant engineered a swift comeback before his final three shots missed…

Bryant scored 12 points over the final 4:45, hitting four 3-pointers that trimmed the Nuggets’ lead to 98-96 with 59 seconds left. Bryant then missed a potential tying 5-footer and a 3-pointer, but Denver missed two of four free throws before Ramon Sessions hit a 3-pointer with 12.8 seconds left, trimming the Nuggets’ lead to one point…

Arron Afflalo scored a career playoff-high 19 points and Danilo Gallinari added 14 for the Nuggets, while rookie Kenneth Faried had 10 points and nine rebounds. Miller scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and 17 in the second half, calmly leading his young teammates to the win…

Bynum had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost a closeout playoff game at home for the first time since May 4, 2006, against Phoenix.

– Reported by the Associated Press

luol deng

The Chicago Bulls aren’t quite finished after all. They’re still in a dire situation, though.

Luol Deng scored 24 points, Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Chicago beat the Philadelphia 76ers 77-69 on Tuesday night to avoid a first-round playoff exit.

The top-seeded Bulls finally won without point guard Derrick Rose, building a nine-point halftime lead and staying in control down the stretch to pull within 3-2. Game 6 is Thursday in Philadelphia, and the way Chicago sees it, maybe, just maybe, some of the pressure is now on the 76ers…

Deng played more like an All-Star after averaging just eight points in the previous three games, hitting 4 of 5 3-point attempts - three in the fourth quarter. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Boozer tied a career-playoff high with six assists, and the Bulls came out on top just when their season appeared to be unraveling…

Jrue Holiday scored 16 points for Philadelphia but hit just 5 of 17 shots. Lou Williams scored 13 points and Andre Iguodala and Spencer Hawes both finished with 11 as the Sixers remained one win from their first series victory since 2003.

Hawes grabbed 14 rebounds, but it was a rough night for him after scoring 21 and 22 the previous two games. He wound up with a nasty scratch running from the side of his left eye to below the lip after going up for a shot during the fourth quarter…

Ronnie Brewer and Evan Turner appeared to exchange some heated words, but Gibson and Brand wound up getting technical fouls with 2:25 left.

– Reported by the Associated Press

al horford

Al Horford missed most of the season.

Now that he’s back, the Atlanta Hawks center wants to keep it going as long as he can.

In his first start since January, Horford scored 19 points, hit Atlanta’s final two baskets and came up with a potentially season-saving defensive play that allowed the Hawks to hang on for a frenetic 87-86 victory over Boston in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference playoffs Tuesday night, cutting the Celtics’ lead in the series to 3-2…

In addition to pacing the Hawks in scoring, he grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out three assists, came up with three steals and blocked three shots - all while playing more than 31 minutes, far more than the Hawks intended…

Boston had a chance to end the series when Rajon Rondo stole Josh Smith’s inbounds pass with 10 seconds remaining and raced down the court, looking for the winner. But the point guard got hemmed in along the sideline when Horford jumped out to defend him, which caused Rondo to lose control and fling a desperation pass. Smith knocked it away, the ball rolling harmlessly out of bounds as the horn sounded…

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 16 points apiece. Rondo had 13 points and 12 assists, and the last of his five steals gave Boston a chance to clinch the series early and get some much-needed rest…

Josh Smith clearly looked hobbled by a sore knee that kept him out of Game 3, but still managed 13 points and 16 rebounds. Jeff Teague had 16 points, while Johnson and Marvin Williams had 15 apiece, giving Atlanta double-figure scoring from all five starters in a revamped lineup.

– Reported by the Associated Press

danny granger

After years of losing and players finding trouble, the Indiana Pacers finally gave their fans something to really cheer about. Danny Granger scored 25 points to help the Pacers defeat the Orlando Magic 105-87 on Tuesday night and clinch their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series 4-1.

”I’m just so happy for our fans,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. ”They’ve endured a lot those years when we struggled. To finally see us come back and have a winning team again and somebody that has a chance to do something special this year. That’s what they deserve. Pacers basketball is back.”

The Pacers will play Miami or New York in the second round. Miami leads that series 3-1, and as the final minutes ticked away, fans began chanting, ”Beat the Heat.”

”It was electric,” Granger said. ”The crowd was crazy. They had a lot of momentum going. They pushed us in that fourth quarter.”

It was a tough series for Orlando, which played all five games without All-Star center Dwight Howard because of a back injury. They took the opener, then watched Indiana put together its first series win since 2005 and its first clincher on its home court since the first round of the 2000 playoffs. No player on Indiana’s roster had won a playoff series while playing for the Pacers…

Darren Collison scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and George Hill added 15 points for the Pacers, who trailed by two at the end of the third quarter but outscored the Magic 36-16 in the final 12 minutes…

Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 27 points and made 5 of 8 3-pointers. Glen Davis, a thorn in Indiana’s side throughout the series, scored 15 but made just 6 of 17 shots. The Magic, who made just 5 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter, didn’t want to use Howard’s absence as an excuse.

– Reported by Cliff Brunt of the Associated Press

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