Archive for May 4th, 2014

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on Rockets forward Terrence Jones:

michael redd

By the end of the season, Rockets forward Terrence Jones had his routine down.

Before every game, he would take a few shots on the court, then headed to the dining room to get a plate of his favorite pasta. He sat at his locker, watching video of that night’s opponent on a large screen in the locker room while eating dinner and listening to music in his headphones. Under his practice shirt, though, his heart was pounding.

Jones was calm like a seasoned veteran before every game, but he was also eager like the 22-year old second-year NBA player that he is.

At the start of the season, Jones was one of the players on the list of forwards who would have to step up and fill a role for the Rockets this season. At the end, he was the Rockets’ regular starter and a reliable piece of the puzzle they have been trying to build.

paul pierce

Paul Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry’s shot from the lane on the final play of the game, and the Brooklyn Nets held off the Toronto Raptors 104-103 in Game 7 on Sunday to advance to the second round of the playoffs.

The Nets will begin the conference semifinals at Miami on Tuesday night to play the two-time defending NBA champion Heat.

Leading by one point, Brooklyn used its final timeout after failing to inbound the ball. On the second opportunity, Shaun Livingston tried a lob pass to Pierce, but Terrence Ross got a hand on the ball and then knocked it off Pierce and out of bounds for a turnover.

Toronto used a timeout and gave the ball to Lowry, whose driving shot was blocked by Pierce as time expired. Lowry lay prone in the key as the Nets surged onto the court in celebration.

Joe Johnson scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nets.

– Associated Press

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on the Clippers, who’ve had more than basketball on their minds lately:

Clippers

The weight of the Donald Sterling saga did not pull the Clippers all the way down.

Instead, the Clippers summoned all they had left in their collective tanks to grind out a 126-121 Game 7 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at Staples Center.

With six players scoring in double figures, the Clippers won the first-round best-of-seven series, four games to three.

The Clippers advance to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. They’ll face the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Game 1 on Monday night in Oklahoma.

“I just thought with all this stuff, this team just needed this win,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said, referring to the Sterling controversy. “I mean, we grinded.” …

Sterling’s comments about blacks continued to envelop the Clippers even after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned the team’s owner for life and instructed the other NBA franchise owners to force him to sell the team.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee with a report on the ongoing quest for a new Sacramento NBA arena:

New Sacramento arena agreement not finalized just yet

The Sacramento City Council’s historic vote on the new downtown arena for the Kings won’t take place May 13, after all.

Unable to complete the fine points of the development agreement in time, Sacramento officials Saturday postponed indefinitely the vote on the Downtown Plaza project and the city’s proposed $255 million subsidy.

Nonetheless, officials said they remained confident the deal is moving forward, the delay will be brief and the project’s October 2016 scheduled opening isn’t in peril.

“The definitive agreements are in the last stages of completion and will be finalized soon,” the city said in its announcement.

NBA to appoint CEO to supervise Clippers

The NBA said Saturday it will appoint a chief executive officer to supervise the Los Angeles Clippers’ operations after banning owner Donald Sterling from the league for life.

The league announced its decision a few hours before the Clippers faced the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for racist comments made on an audio recording, fined him $2.5 million and urged league owners to force him to sell the team.

“The best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation is to move quickly and install a CEO to oversee the Clippers organization,” Mike Bass, the NBA executive vice president of communications, said in a statement. “The process of identifying that individual is underway.”

– Associated Press

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the Warriors:

Warriors facing major decisions this offseason

Warriors head coach Mark Jackson shook off a postgame question Saturday night about whether he’ll have the same title next season.

“There has never been discussion as far as my ownership group or my management team,” said Jackson, who has one season left on his contract. “… I work every single day with a passion and a commitment, like it’s my last. I’m trying to be a blessing to people. I’m trying to impact people. That’s the way I live my life, and that’s the way I coach.

“I’m totally confident and have total faith that - no matter what - I’m going to be fine. That’s even if I’m a full-time pastor.”

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

No surprise here. Michael Carter-Williams will be named the NBA’s rookie of the year this week, sources have confirmed.

The 76ers point guard’s receiving the award, first reported Saturday afternoon by Philly.com, will be perhaps the most obvious and anticlimactic outcome of the 2014 NBA awards season.

Carter-Williams joins Allen Iverson (1996-97) as Sixers rookies of the year after posting one of the best campaigns by a first-year player in league history.

It was a season in which the 6-foot-6, 185-pounder was mentioned in the same breath as Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.

Paul George scored a playoff career-high 30 points and Roy Hibbert finally came up big to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Atlanta Hawks, 92-80 on Saturday night in Game 7.

Indiana staved off elimination for the second time in three days. It’s the first time since mid-March the Pacers’ regular starters have won back-to-back games.

Instead of becoming the sixth top seed to lose in the first round of the current 16-team playoff format, the Pacers will be back on their home floor Monday night against Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Kyle Korver scored 19 points and Jeff Teague had 16 for Atlanta, which won just 38 games in the regular season but proved to be a tough opponent for the Pacers…

Hibbert, who scored 20 points total in the first four games, had a series-high 13 points and seven rebounds. Lance Stephenson finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and George added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double in the playoffs…

The Pacers finished with a 55-38 rebounding edge and with Hibbert clogging the way, the Hawks were forced to rely primarily on 3-pointers. Atlanta wound up just 11 of 44 from beyond the arc, most coming as it tried to dig out of a double-digit deficit.

– Associated Press

It nearly cost the Pacers the series earlier, but in the end, coach Frank Vogel’s faith in Roy Hibbert paid off. The maligned center gets eight points and three rebounds in the first quarter. That was huge, considering the Pacers were extraordinarily sloppy at that point. Hibbert finishes with13 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. The haters become lovers. He gets a standing ovation when he heads to the bench for a third-quarter breather.

The Hawks get little offensively from All-Star forward Paul Millsap, who finished with 15 points and was just 6-for-21 from the field. He was 0-for-9 in the first half when the Hawks looked like they might keep the game close. Millsap’s lack of production allowed the Pacers to clamp down on Atlanta’s Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver after both got off to hot starts. Teague’s driving dunk attempt on the final play of the first half is blocked by Indiana’s Ian Mahinmi and he’s barely a factor after that, scoring six second-half points.

Atlanta nearly pulled off the first-round upset because of its strong 3-point shooting and its ability to get to the line early and often. Both went missing on Saturday. The Hawks were just 11-for-44 from 3-point range and 13-for-16 from the line.

While Millsap was struggling, Pacers star forward Paul George is terrific, scoring a playoff career-high 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Lance Stephenson has 19 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

Indianapolis Star

When the final buzzer sounded on the longest two weeks of the Los Angeles Clippers’ careers, they felt more exhaustion than elation. While coach Doc Rivers high-fived fans and pumped his fist at the crowd, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul quietly congratulated each other.

They had just persevered through seven exhausting playoff games amid enormous distractions leading to their owner’s lifetime banishment from the NBA.

A franchise that once redefined losing was a winner despite it all - and there’s no telling how much farther these new Clippers can go.

Griffin scored 24 points, Paul had 22 points and 14 assists, and the Clippers outlasted the Golden State Warriors 126-121 in Game 7 on Saturday night to win their first-round playoff series…

Jamal Crawford scored 22 points for the third-seeded Clippers, who earned the franchise’s third playoff series win in 38 years with the highest degree of off-court difficulty imaginable…

Stephen Curry had 33 points and nine assists, but Golden State blew a lead with 2:10 left in Game 7. Draymond Green scored 24 points for the Warriors, who lost their first Game 7 since 1977 and failed to advance in consecutive postseasons for the first time since that same year…

Redick scored 20 points for the Clippers, and Jordan put in a stellar low-post performance for the two-time Pacific Division champions.

– Associated Press

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