Wednesday's NBA Capsules
Thursday, April 14, 2011
CHICAGO (AP) — Kyle Korver scored 19 points, Derrick Rose had 15 and the Chicago Bulls closed the regular season with their ninth straight victory, beating the New Jersey Nets 97-92 on Wednesday night.
The Bulls earned home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with the NBA’s best record later Wednesday with San Antonio’s loss to Phoenix. Had the Bulls and Spurs tied, a random drawing would have decided the top spot because all the tiebreakers were even.
Joakim Noah finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Bulls finish 62-20, equaling their best showing since the 1997-98 championship season. That also put Tom Thibodeau in a tie with Paul Westphal (Phoenix, 1992-93) for the most victories by a first-year coach.
Chicago will face Indiana in the first round of the playoffs.
Jordan Farmar had 21 points and 12 assists for the Nets.
Suns 106, Spurs 103
PHOENIX (AP) — Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Phoenix denied San Antonio a chance for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Spurs, who at 61-21 finished a game behind Chicago for the best record in the NBA, lost Manu Ginobili to a hyperextended right elbow early in the game.
Of greater concern to San Antonio could be the health of Ginobili, who went down with 9:46 left in the first quarter. The star guard slid to the floor near the San Antonio free throw line, then the Suns’ Grant Hill fell on top of him. X-rays for a more serious injury were negative. An MRI was planned on Thursday.
San Antonio will open against Memphis in the playoffs.
Phoenix failed to make the playoffs for the second time in three years after a surprise run to the Western Conference finals a year ago, which included a second-round sweep of San Antonio.
Lakers 116, Kings 108, OT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Kobe Bryant scored 36 points and forced overtime with a tying 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left in regulation, and Los Angeles regrouped to beat Sacramento in what might have been the Kings’ last game in Sacramento.
A standing-room only crowd packed things beyond the 17,317-seat capacity, clanking cow bells and roaring louder than they had in years. With the team mulling a move to Anaheim, fans brought handmade signs and cheered their loudest to will the team back. And they nearly did.
Instead, the Lakers pulled away in overtime to take the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, setting up a first-round series against New Orleans.
Marcus Thornton had 33 points and Tyreke Evans added 16 to help the Kings outscore the Lakers 29-11 in the fourth quarter to rally from 20 points down. They went ahead by three until the final seconds, when Bryant delivered a shot to crush Sacramento’s hope yet again.
Heat 97, Raptors 79
TORONTO (AP) — Eddie House scored a career-high 35 points, Juwan Howard added 18 and Miami beat Toronto in the regular-season finale.
With the Heat assured of the second seed in the East, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra rested LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Heat also were without forward Mike Miller, who sat out the second half Sunday against Boston because of a sore left thumb and injured his left ankle Monday night against Atlanta.
Miami will host Philadelphia in its postseason opener Saturday.
House’s previous career best was 31, set against Utah on Nov. 18, 2005. He was 7 of 13 from 3-point range. The Heat have won four straight and 15 of 18 heading into the playoffs.
Jerryd Bayless scored 21 points for Toronto.
Celtics 112, Knicks 102
BOSTON (AP) — Avery Bradley scored a career-high 20 points to help Boston’s “B” team beat New York’s second string in a regular-season finale both teams used to rest their starters, instead of as a tuneup for their first-round playoff matchup.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Sasha Pavlovic added a season-high 19 points as the Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak despite resting their starters for the second straight game.
Amare Stoudemire played 20 minutes and scored 14 points for New York, which will return to Boston to open the Eastern Conference postseason Sunday night.
Magic 92, Pacers 74
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Anderson scored 14 points, and Dwight Howard had 13 points and 13 rebounds in a short night in Orlando’s victory over Indiana.
Mike Dunleavy and Brandon Rush both scored 16 points for Indiana.
Orlando beat Indiana for the fifth straight time, including three victories this season. The Magic also concluded their fourth consecutive 50-win season by winning four of their final five games.
The Pacers open their first playoff series in five years on Saturday against top-seeded Chicago. The Magic will host Atlanta on Saturday night in a matchup of the fourth and fifth seeds.
Clippers 110, Grizzlies 103
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the 82nd and final game of his spectacular rookie season for Los Angeles.
Griffin sat out all 82 games last season after hurting his knee in the final preseason game and having surgery. He was the only player to appear in every game this season when injuries plagued the team.
Eric Gordon added 24 points and DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles. The Clippers finished 32-50 to miss the playoffs again.
Sam Young had 22 points for Memphis. The Grizzlies rested starters Tony Allen, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph in anticipation of their first playoff berth since 2005-06.
Mavericks 121, Hornets 89
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 12 of his 32 points in the decisive third quarter, leading Dallas past New Orleans in the regular-season finale — and leaving both teams waiting a few hours for their playoff seeds and first-round foes to be determined.
Dallas wound up No. 3 in the Western Conference and will face Portland in the opening round. The Los Angeles Lakers held onto the No. 2 spot by beating Sacramento in overtime later Wednesday. New Orleans hung onto the seventh spot because Memphis also lost. The Hornets will face the Lakers.
Jarrett Jack led New Orleans with 22 points.
Warriors 110, Trail Blazers 86
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Reggie Williams scored 28 points and Stephen Curry had 18 points and nine assists in Golden State’s victory over Portland.
Dorell Wright had 20 points to cap a breakout season for the veteran forward and David Lee added 13 points for the Warriors in what could be first-year coach Keith Smart’s final game.
Patty Mills had a career-high 23 points and Wesley Matthews added 18 points for Portland, which already had locked up the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
Bucks 110, Thunder 106, OT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Brandon Jennings scored 16 points and Milwaukee sent Michael Redd into free agency with a victory over Oklahoma City.
Jennings outscored the Thunder 8-2 in the final 2:21, hitting the go-ahead reverse layup with 56.8 seconds left and then hitting two free throws to put the game away. Redd, in possibly his final game with Milwaukee, hit a 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 flurry in the final 1:26 and send the game into overtime.
Russell Westbrook scored 20 points and Kevin Durant added 14 in a season-low 23 minutes as the Thunder gave their starters a lightened load with the playoffs looming. Oklahoma City will be the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and open against Denver.
Jazz 107, Nuggets 103
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rookie Gordon Hayward scored a career-high 34 points and hit five 3-pointers to lift Utah past playoff-bound Denver.
The game meant little to the Nuggets, who already had locked up the Western Conference’s No. 5 seed and rested many of their players. They probably wish they had sat starting guard Ty Lawson as well. He had to be helped off the court after spraining his left ankle early in the second quarter and did not return.
Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with 27 points.
Bobcats 96, Hawks 85
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gerald Henderson scored 20 points, D.J. Augustin added 17 points and seven assists and Charlotte sent Atlanta to the playoffs on a six-game losing streak.
With no starter playing more than 25 minutes and only Kirk Hinrich (10 points) scoring in double figures, coach Larry Drew got the Hawks rest, but no momentum heading into their first-round game at Orlando on Saturday. Atlanta last lost six straight games midway through the 2007-08 season.
Pistons 104, 76ers 100
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points, and Tayshaun Prince had 14 to help Detroit hand playoff-bound Philadelphia its fifth loss in six games.
Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 21 points. They will open the playoffs against Miami.
Cavaliers 100, Wizards 93
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ramon Sessions scored 27 points, J.J. Hickson added 15 and Cleveland closed out one of the worst seasons in franchise history — and first in eight years without LeBron James.
The Cavs finished 19-63, an extreme drop after going a league-best 61-21 during the regular season in 2010 before James bolted as a free agent. Andray Blatche scored 20 for Washington.
Rockets 121, Timberwolves 102
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Chase Budinger scored a career-high 35 points and Kevin Martin added 25 for Houston.
Michael Beasley scored 34 points and Anthony Randolph had 23 for Minnesota. The Timberwolves lost their last 15 games of the season to finish with the worst record in the NBA at 15-65.