Archive for March 28th, 2013

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday that forward Danny Granger will miss the remainder of the season to undergo surgery on his left knee.

The decision was made after all conservative treatment options could not alleviate the soreness Granger encountered. After consultation between Granger, the Pacers’ medical staff and Dr. James Andrews, surgery became the preferred option.

Granger underwent a procedure in late October for patellar tendinosis. He returned Feb. 25 and played five games before continued soreness in the knee sidelined him. After further rehab did not ease the soreness, surgery was decided on. He is expected to be ready for training camp.

Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who injured his left knee in Monday night’s game against the Warriors in Oakland, underwent successful surgery today for a torn lateral meniscus.

The surgery was performed by team doctors Steve Lombardo and Dan Kharrazi of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Group in Los Angeles.

World Peace, who has averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.70 steals in 70 games (64 starts) this season, is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

The last two games, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has played 43 and 46 minutes. His back up, Jarrett Jack, has played 33 and 35 minutes the last two games. Conversely, rookie reserves Draymond Green and Kent Bazemore totaled just over 8 minutes the last two games. Veteran Richard Jefferson hasn’t played at all.

Jackson has noticeably shortened his rotation. He’s primarily playing the five starters and Jack off the bench. He’s been mixing in forward Carl Landry and rookie center Festus Ezeli off the bench.

JACKSON: “It’s a combination of both shortening the rotation and reading (the situations). It doesn’t mean those guys aren’t going to play. … The good teams that I’ve been on, the good teams that I’ve watched, this time of year you shorten it.”

As the Warriors shift into playoff mode, Jackson is bracing his team for the intensity of the posteason. Possessions will matter more. The level of play will increase. That means less room for error, and less time for players deep on the bench.

– Reported by Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times (Blog)

Reggie Evans

Reggie Evans’ Brooklyn teammates egged him on, making sure he knew just how many points and rebounds he had against the Trail Blazers.

In the end, Evans finished with a career-high 26 rebounds and matched his career best with 22 points, and Brooklyn beat Portland 111-93 on Wednesday night. Evans is the first NBA player to reach both those numbers in a game this season.

And to top it off, he was battling an infection that kept his right eye half-shut throughout the game.

”I just wanted to win, that’s it,” Evans said. ”But after a while your teammates get to tell you how many rebounds you got. Typical of my teammates: ‘Oh, you got this many. You got this many. You got this many.’ I just take whatever I can do.”

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo called Evans’ performance ”absurd.”

It was Brooklyn’s 20th road win of the season, matching a franchise best. Brook Lopez added 28 points for the Nets, who built a big lead early and stretched it to as many as 30 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 24 points despite rolling his right ankle in the first half and briefly leaving the game…

Blazers rookie Damian Lillard, who is averaging just over 19 points, didn’t score before having 10 points in the third quarter. He finished with 15.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Tim Duncan, Spurs edge Nuggets 100-99

Tim Duncan

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich treats the stretch run of the regular season like a series of final exams for his team.

The Spurs passed their latest - just barely.

Tim Duncan had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks and the San Antonio Spurs escaped with a 100-99 win over Denver on Wednesday night when Nuggets veteran guard Andre Miller missed a short jumper at the buzzer.

”The schedule that we have is something that should be embraced and considered a great opportunity,” Popovich said, ”because it’s like taking a final exam every day or most days. To get ready for the playoffs, understanding the physicality, aggressiveness and competitiveness that’s necessary night after night in the playoffs.”

Denver dished out a heavy dose of that playoff intensity.

Danny Green added 20 points and Tony Parker had 18 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Oklahoma City in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and Tiago Splitter 10.

JaVale McGee had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Wilson Chandler scored 15 points and Miller 14 for the Nuggets, whose reserves outscored their Spurs counterparts 59-18. Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari added 12 points apiece and Andre Igoudala had 10.

– Reported by Raul Dominguez of the Associated Press

lebron james

With two-tenths of a second left, LeBron James took the final inbounds pass in his own end, dropped the ball to let time expire, turned and walked toward the exit.

No buzzer beater.

No fourth-quarter rally.

No record for James and the Miami Heat, either.

The Heat’s bid for NBA history ended Wednesday night when their 27-game winning streak was snapped by the Chicago Bulls 101-97, setting off a raucous celebration inside United Center.

Miami finished six shy of the 33-game record held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

James said there was no shame in falling short.

”It’s one of the best that this league has ever seen,” James said, referring to the streak that began on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. ”We recognized that and rightfully so.”

James tried to spur yet another comeback in the final minutes, getting mad after a rough foul. But the reigning MVP could never get the defending champions even or, more importantly, ahead.

Luol Deng scored 28 points, Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 17 rebounds, and the Bulls brought the Heat’s stampede to a screeching halt.

– Reported by Andrew Seligman of the Associated Press

JR Smith

Look who has the NBA’s longest winning streak now.

The New York Knicks, mired in a bad slump just two weeks ago, tied a season high with their sixth straight victory by holding off the Memphis Grizzlies, 108-101 on Wednesday night.

J.R. Smith scored 35 points, his second straight 30-point game, to help the Knicks withstand a furious rally.

”I started off establishing my game on the inside and moving on from there,” said Smith, who shot 10 of 18 from the field and 12 of 13 from the free throw line. ”Fortunately, I got a lot of calls, got to the free throw line and was making my free throws, except for one. My mom is going to kill me, but I’ll take it.”

Smith scored 32 points against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

Carmelo Anthony added 22 points and Iman Shumpert had 16 for the Knicks, who started the season 6-0 but had played around .500 ball for much of the time since. They took over the NBA’s longest win streak after Miami’s 27-game run ended with a 101-97 loss in Chicago…

Mike Conley led Memphis with 26 points and Bayless finished with 24. Allen had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Marc Gasol, who missed the previous two games with an abdominal tear, finished with 13 points.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Jeff Green

The reeling and battered Boston Celtics were seconds away from matching their longest losing streak of the season.

Then Jeff Green saved the day.

Green hit the winning layup at the buzzer and scored 21 points, and the Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak with a 93-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

It was obvious Boston, which had lost seven of nine coming in and was again without star forward Kevin Garnett, needed something positive to happen. An uncharacteristic late-season slide had dropped the Celtics to seventh place in the Eastern Conference and it looked as if the skid would continue when Cleveland built an 86-72 lead with just over eight minutes to play.

”It was a huge win,” said forward Paul Pierce, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds. ”We didn’t play well from the second quarter on, but we found a way. It seemed like we were mentally fatigued and physically fatigued, but we put it all together at the end.”

Wayne Ellington scored 16 points to lead Cleveland, which has lost six in a row - matching a season high - and 10 of 12.

– Reported by Steve Herrick of the Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks clinch spot in NBA playoffs

The Atlanta Hawks weren’t expected to make it back to the playoffs after trading Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams last summer.

It must feel good to silence the doubters.

Al Horford scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, Jeff Teague had 24 points and 13 assists and the Hawks clinched a playoff berth for the sixth straight season, beating the Toronto Raptors 107-88 on Wednesday night.

”I’m really proud of this bunch with what we accomplished tonight,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. ”There were a lot of people that counted us out at the start of the season and said we wouldn’t be in this position. With all the changes that we made, here we are.”

Teague was just as delighted.

”This is a group no one really gave a chance,” he said. ”For us to come together and be in the playoffs this year, it’s a lot of excitement.” …

Josh Smith scored 19 points for the Hawks, who used a 16-0 run midway through the fourth to win for the 13th time in their last 15 meetings with the Raptors…

Jonas Valanciunas scored 19 points, DeMar DeRozan had 14, Terrence Ross 13 and Alan Anderson 12 for the Raptors, who have lost four straight and 11 of 14.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

Basketball blog