Archive for May 3rd, 2013

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and the New York Knicks held on after blowing most of a 26-point lead to beat the Boston Celtics 88-80 in Game 6 on Friday night and advance in the postseason for the first time since 2000.

Iman Shumpert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, when the Celtics cut a 75-49 deficit to four points. But Anthony made a jumper to give New York an 81-75 lead and then sank a 3-pointer, then J.R. Smith converted a three-point play to restore the double-digit lead the Knicks had nursed most of the game.

Jeff Green scored 21 points for the Celtics, who had rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the series and had a chance, at home, to force a decisive seventh game.

No NBA team has advanced in the playoffs after losing the first three games.

Paul Pierce scored 14 points on 4-for-18 shooting, making one of nine 3-point attempts. Anthony also struggled from in- and outside the arc, going 7 for 23 from the floor and missing his first five 3-point attempts — that was 20 in a row in the series — before sinking the key basket with 1:43 to go.

The Knicks had not won a playoff series since Patrick Ewing and Latrell Sprewell (and current backup center Marcus Camby) helped them reach the 2000 Eastern Conference finals.

Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who now face another offseason of talk whether to break up the aging core that won the franchise’s record 17th NBA title in 2008 and returned to the finals two years later. Reserve Jason Terry scored 14 points — the only points the Celtics got from their bench.

– Reported by the Associated Press

george hill

George Hill and David West each scored 21 points and the Indiana Pacers withstood a furious Atlanta comeback in the fourth quarter, beating the Hawks 81-73 on Friday night to close out the opening-round playoff series four games to two.

The home team had won every game until the Hawks returned to Philips Arena and set a franchise record with just nine points in the second quarter on 1-of-15 shooting. The defense broke down in the third, allowing Hill and West to combine for 22 points, and the Pacers built a 65-50 lead going to the fourth.

The Hawks showed some heart, slicing it to 76-73 on Al Horford’s dunk with 2:13 remaining.

But the comeback fizzled there, and the Pacers advanced to face New York.

The Hawks went through an absolutely brutal stretch from early in the second quarter to nearly midway through the third, in which they did not actually put the ball in the hoop.

In the equivalent of more than a quarter — 15:43 to be exact — Atlanta went 1 of 21 from the field, the only basket awarded to Devin Harris on a goaltending call against Roy Hibbert.

At a time when the Hawks needed one of their best performances of the season, they produced one of their worst…

Hibbert added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Lance Stephenson also had 11 rebounds.

The Hawks couldn’t play much worse than they did in the second quarter. They showed little energy. They put up some truly awful shots. They missed even when they got a decent look.

Kyle Korver made the Hawks’ only basket of the period on a jumper with 10:35 left. After that, they missed their last 13 shots before heading to the locker room to a round of boos from the home crowd.

– Reported by the Associated Press

timberwolves

Glen Taylor has pulled the Minnesota Timberwolves off the market.

Taylor said Friday that he has stopped looking for a buyer for the team and will instead offer to buy out any limited partners who are looking to sell. Taylor put the team on the market last summer in hopes of finding a person or a group that would be willing to buy a minority stake to start with and then take control a few seasons down the road.

But Taylor says he couldn’t find a buyer who would guarantee the team will remain in Minnesota, and also says he felt some seller’s remorse when negotiating with several interested parties.

– Reported by the Associated Press

dwyane wade

Dwyane Wade, who has been nursing a bruised knee, practiced Friday for the first time this week and plans to play in Game 1 of the Miami Heat’s next playoff series.

Wade said Friday that the Heat’s extended break has allowed him to focus exclusively on getting rest and treatment for his right knee, which has endured multiple bruises and has limited his play for nearly two months.

The Heat have not played since they completed a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday in the first round of the playoffs. Wade sat out of Game 4 after still feeling effects of soreness following the previous game.

Wade was also held out of two practices this week as the Heat await the winner of the Nets-Bulls series that will be decided by Game 7 on Saturday in Brooklyn.

– Reported by Michael Wallace of ESPN.com

Maryland sophomore and likely lottery pick Alex Len will be shelved for all pre-draft workouts due to surgery on his left ankle.

Sports International Group’s Michael Lelchitski said in a release Friday the 7-foot-1 Len had surgery to “stabilize” the partial stress fracture in his left ankle. Recovery time is projected to be 4-6 months.

That means Len would not only miss team workouts in late May and in early June before the draft on June 27 but also would not be available for testing at the NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago May 16-17.

Len, who averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Terps and scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in an NIT quarterfinal win over Alabama and had 16 points and nine rebounds in an NIT semifinal loss to Iowa, won’t be able to work out for any teams.

– Reported by Andy Katz of ESPN.com

Luol Deng

Deng sent a series of messages via Twitter on Friday afternoon, explaining and updating his health status:

“It really upsets me that everyone thinks I would miss a game (because) of the flu. I’ve played a lot of games with the flu in my career.

“On Wed I was taken to the ER and my symptoms indicated I may have meningitis. In order to play on Thurs I was required to undergo a spinal tap.

“As a result of the spinal tap I suffered the worst headache I’ve ever experienced and been the weakest I’ve ever felt.

“Yesterday I was unable to walk or even get out of bed. I made it to the UC and was sent home. This morning my symptoms worsened.

“Now I’m back in the ER where I may have to spend the night… I want my teammates and Bulls fans to know I would NEVER miss a game (because) of flu.

“If I’m medically cleared I will fly to NY to be with my team and try to win game 7.”

– Reported by Mike McGraw of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Blog)

Andray Blatche comes through off bench for Nets

Andray Blatche nodded his head, then pumped his left fist as he strolled toward the locker room and heard applause from Nets management.

The eighth-year pro never experienced a moment like this, not after spending his first seven seasons with the lowly Wizards. He had been to the playoffs before but never factored in an outcome as much as he did Thursday night.

As raucous Bulls fans tried every method possible to distract him, Blatche calmly stepped to the free-throw line with 19.2 seconds left in regulation. A 68.5 percent free-throw shooter during the regular season, Blatche looked flawless as he made both shots.

“Those were the biggest free throws I’ve ever shot in my career,” Blatche said. “It was beyond loud. Even C.J. (Watson) said his ears started ringing.

“Those free throws meant a lot to us. I just focused and stuck to my routine. I didn’t let it bother me. I just shot the ball like I would any other time.”

– Reported by Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune

Jarrett Jack

According to multiple team sources, the Warriors initiated extension talks with guard Jarrett Jack back in January. But Jack shut down such talks before they got rolling, looking to focus on the season and wanting to experience free agency.

Jack, who drew interest from multiple teams during the trade deadline, is in the last year of his contract paying him $5 million this season. He is expected to be a fairly well sought after this offseason, especially with the postseason he’s having, as multiple teams are looking for a point guard. Multiple teams are looking for point guards — including Utah, Charlotte, Toronto and possibly Milwaukee (since Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent). Plus, Jack has proven to be a difference-maker off the bench, which has intrigued multiple teams that already have a point guard, such as the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

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

A South Jersey sports-collectibles firm is at the center of a family fight between basketball star Kobe Bryant and his mother.

Goldin Auctions of West Berlin wants to sell more than 100 items from the Los Angeles Lakers’ pro career and his days as a high school player in suburban Philadelphia. The keepsakes - including uniforms, rings and trophies - would be offered on consignment for Pamela Bryant, the athlete’s mother.

But Kobe Bryant is trying to block the planned June auction, insisting he owns the memorabilia. The dispute moved to a federal court in Camden Thursday, when an attorney for the auction house requested a court order to allow the sale.

The filing noted Goldin Auctions already has paid a $450,000 advance to Pamela Bryant, who wanted to buy a new home in Nevada.

If a judge approves the sale, bidders could compete for shorts, jerseys, jackets and varsity letters that Bryant wore at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa. They could vie for NBA All-Star and Championship rings, a 1996 Gatorade National Player award and a 1992 Sonny Hill League Future Stars Champion Trophy.

– Reported by the Courier-Post

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