Archive for May 5th, 2013

Pacers beat Knicks 102-95, take Game 1

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony’s shooting woes continued in Game 1 of the Knicks’ first second-round playoff game in 13 years, and it proved too much for his team to overcome.

Anthony’s poor shooting game and the size of the Pacers put the Knicks in an 0-1 hole in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Indiana beat the Knicks 102-95 Sunday afternoon at the Garden. Game 2 is Tuesday back here.

Playing with a sore left shoulder, Anthony led the Knicks with 27 points and 11 rebounds. But he shot just 10-for-28 from the field. In his last four games, Anthony is 35-for-110 (31.8 percent).

He didn’t get much help from J.R. Smith, who continues to misfire since returning from his one-game suspension in the first-round win over Boston for elbowing Jason Terry. Smith was just 4-for-15 from the field.

The Pacers were led by David West’s 20 points. Paul George added 19. D.J. Augustin scored 16 off the bench and Brooklyn’s Lance Stephenson had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Indiana held a 44-30 edge on the boards and outscored the Knicks 20-10 in second-chance points.

– Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers, who built a 16-point lead while Carmelo Anthony was on the bench in foul trouble in the third quarter, and easily held on to spoil the Knicks’ first second-round game since 2000.

Anthony finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but was frustrated by the Pacers’ rugged defense and by the referees. He shot just 10 of 28 from the field.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

kevin durant

Kevin Durant scored 35 points and hit a pair of jumpers in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 93-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Derek Fisher poked the ball away from Mike Conley to spring Durant the other way, and he pulled up to make a shot with 11.1 seconds left that put Oklahoma City up 91-90.

Quincy Pondexter had a chance to send the game to overtime when he was fouled attempting a 3-pointer with Memphis trailing 93-90 and 1.6 seconds remaining. But he missed the first free throw.

On the Grizzlies’ previous possession, Thabo Sefolosha deflected an inbounds pass, and Conley landed out of bounds while diving for the ball. Reggie Jackson then hit two free throws to make the lead three.

But Jackson hacked Pondexter on his right arm before he released a 3-pointer from the left wing in an attempt to tie it. Pondexter, a 72 percent career free-throw shooter, made his second attempt before purposefully missing the third, but Durant swatted the rebound away and Marc Gasol’s attempt at a buzzer-beater was late.

The Grizzlies got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Gasol and 18 points and 10 rebounds from Zach Randolph. Pondexter and Conley scored 13 apiece.

Kevin Martin scored 25 for Oklahoma City, which trailed for much of the game but was able to avoid repeating its Game 1 loss from when these two teams met in the West semifinals two years ago.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

lebron james

As widely expected, LeBron James of the Miami Heat has won the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2012-13 NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. James earns the honor for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in five seasons. The only other player to win the award in four of five seasons is Bill Russell (1961, 62, 63, 65), and the only other players to win at least four regular-season MVPs are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan (five), Russell (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four).

James totaled 1,207 points, including 120 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 voters that consisted of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote. For the fourth consecutive season, the NBA gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 120 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one for each fifth-place vote received.

Rounding out the top five in voting are Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (765 points), the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, (475 points, one first-place vote), the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul (289 points), and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (184 points).

James, who led the Heat to a league-best and franchise-record 66-16 mark, was the only player in the NBA to lead his team in scoring (26.8 ppg), rebounding (8.0 rpg) and assists (7.3 apg). He shot a career-high from the field (.565) and from three-point range (.406). He produced a record streak of six straight games with at least 30 points and a .600-or-better field goal percentage (Feb. 3-12). Additionally, James led the NBA score differential (+9.5) and player impact estimate (22.1 percent), according to NBA.com/Stats.

amare stoudemire

Mike Woodson is preparing for Amar’e Stoudemire to make his long-awaited return in Game 3 of the second round against the Pacers on Saturday in Indianapolis.

With the schedule released yesterday giving the Knicks three days off between Games 2 and 3, Woodson plans to give Stoudemire back-to-back scrimmages before Saturday’s third game.

The Knicks coach sat with Stoudemire after yesterday’s practice to tell him the plan. Stoudemire has yet to have a contact scrimmage.

“On Thursday and Friday, we’ll put a group together, we’ll scrimmage and let Amar’e get contact in,’’ Woodson said. “Based on how we feels after Thursday’s work and he’s feeling fine, we’ll have him test it again Friday. If he feels fine after Friday I think he’ll be playing Saturday.’’

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Carmelo Anthony playing with a sore shoulder

Carmelo Anthony, who is battling a sore left shoulder, was asked yesterday yesterday if he will play in Game 1 today against the Pacers.

“I ain’t dead. I’m here,” he said. “I’ll be ready to rock at 3:30.”

Anthony said he can play and denies that his shoulder is coming out of its socket, but the injury remains troubling for the Knicks. In each of the last two games, Anthony has aggravated the shoulder — getting tangled with Kevin Garnett in Game 5 and getting bumped into by Avery Bradley in Game 6.

Coach Mike Woodson said he is a bit worried, but is confident Anthony will play.

“There is some concern there, but if Melo tells me he can play, I’m all for Melo,” Woodson said. “If it’s bothering him, we may have to rest him if that may be the case, but he hasn’t come to me.”

– Reported by Mark Hale of the New York Post

stephen curry

Besides the volume and accuracy of Curry’s 3-point shooting, the most impressive facet is his versatility. He took at least 100 attempts in four different play types as charted by Synergy Sports — spot ups (53.4 percent), transition (52.3 percent), pick and rolls as the ballhandler (44.3 percent) and coming off screens (37.7).

The latter is his lowest percentage on any play type he had more than 20 attempts, and he was still above league average. As such, wanting to run Curry off the 3-point line and actually doing it are often two very different things.

No wonder former Spurs forward Bruce Bowen — never one to back down from a challenge — all but threw up his hands when recently asked how he’d defend Curry.

“I wouldn’t try to force him to do anything,” he said. “I would play him straight up because he is too good. He is such a smart player and has so much skill, all he does is see what you’re trying to do to him and counter.”

– Reported by Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)

PJ Carlesimo

The Brooklyn Nets will not offer a new contract to interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.  A search for a new head coach will commence immediately.

One obvious candidate for the Nets is Phil Jackson, who may be willing to consider a return to coaching in the league.

“The Brooklyn Nets organization would like to thank P.J. for his efforts with the team in his roles as both head coach and assistant, and for his contributions to the team’s success both on and off the court.  We wish P.J. and his family only the best in the years to come.”

Carlesimo was named interim head coach of the Brooklyn Nets on December 27, 2012 and led the Nets to a 35-19 record in the final 54 games of the season.  Under Carlesimo, the Nets reached the postseason for the first time since 2007, losing to Chicago (4-3) in the first round. Including his previous stops as a head coach in Portland, Golden State and Seattle/OKC, Carlesimo has a lifetime NBA coaching record of 239-315 in the regular season and 6-13 in the playoffs.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

ron artest

Metta World Peace has taken a leadership role in fostering mental health awareness.

Starting Monday, World Peace and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health will partner in May for Mental Health Awareness Month.

World Peace’s “Talk It Out” campaign will be on display on Metropolitan Transportation Authority shelters, depots, buses and trains in both English and Spanish.

“It’s unnecessary stress if you’re holding things in,” World Peace said.

– Reported by Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Blog)

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