Basketball News And Notes 2/20

Basketball News And Notes 2/20

Magic's Hill to make return
Tue, Feb 20, 2007

Grant Hill is expected to make his return to the Orlando Magic lineup tonight against the New York Knicks after missing six games with a knee injury.

The Magic went 2-4 both straight up and against the spread without the small forward. He is averaging 15.1 points a game, making him the team's second leading-scorer.

Magic head coach Brian Hill says being healthy is key to his team's success in the second half of the season.

"This obviously is a very important stretch, and we've got our work cut out for us," Hill told the Orlando Sentinel yesterday. "We're starting to get healthy again, and that's the most important thing for us."

The Knicks starting small forward, Quentin Richardson, missed yesterday's practice because of the flu. He is questionable for tonight's game.

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Two Jazz starters doubtful tonight
Tue, Feb 20, 2007


The Utah Jazz are expected to be without their starting point guard tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers. Deron Williams is considered doubtful for the game because of a left groin strain he suffered during Friday's Rookie-Sophomore Challenge game.

The Deseret Morning News reports Williams didn't practice on Monday because of the injury. The second-year guard is having a great year and is one of the main reasons for Utah's surprising season. He's averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 assists in 52 games this season.

Also, Carlos Boozer will not make his return to the Jazz lineup tonight. The All-Star power forward has missed the last seven games due to a stress fracture in his left knee. Utah has gone 6-1 straight up and 4-3 ATS without him. Boozer is averaging 22.1 points and 11.8 rebounds this season.

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NBA Today - February 20
Tue, Feb 20, 2007
By Associated Press


Denver at San Antonio (8 p.m. EST). The Nuggets are 8-12 since trading for Allen Iverson. Oddsmakers have not released a line for this game.

RETURN

After testing his sore right shoulder in practice on Monday, Phoenix point guard Steve Nash said he hopes to return to the lineup when the Suns visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. Nash has missed four games since a shoulder inflammation kept him out of the second half of a 113-108 victory at Denver on Feb. 5. Without Nash directing the league's most potent offense, the Suns have dropped three straight games and slipped 4 1/2 games behind Dallas in the race for the Western Conference's top playoff seed. ... Miami head coach Pat Riley returned and was on the practice court Monday evening, nearly seven weeks after he stepped down for operations to replace his left hip and repair cartilage in his right knee. Riley led the Heat through a two-hour workout, their first since the All-Star break.

VIRTUAL LEBRON

Cleveland's LeBron James capped a glitzy few days of party hopping and hoops at the NBA's All-Star weekend by teaming with Microsoft Corp.'s MSN to launch lebron.msn.com, a storybook style Web site about his life designed for kids and teens. In addition to broadening his iconic image through his latest business venture, James is hoping the innovative Web site will motivate youngsters worldwide with positive messages of encouragement and his own story of perseverance. The leading vote getter for this year's All-Star game, James recently appeared in TV ads for Microsoft's launch of its Windows Vista operating system. He's the first NBA player the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant has used to promote its products, and he may do more projects in the future.

TRYING TO BE LIKE MIKE

Charlotte Bobcats part-owner Michael Jordan says he's disappointed with his team's record this season and vows that management will ''spend what it takes'' to attract top talent in the offseason. In a letter to be mailed to season ticket holders this week, Jordan went into detail about the state of the team for the first time since he bought a minority stake last June and was given final say in all personnel decisions.

ROSTER MOVE

The Milwaukee Bucks signed center Jared Reiner to a second 10-day contract. The 6-foot-11 Reiner appeared in two games for the Bucks, averaging one point, 3.5 rebounds and one assist in seven minutes.

SPEAKING

''Being in Vegas, it's a great place to be, a great place to chill. But it's out with the fantasy and back to reality.'' - Minnesota's Kevin Garnett on the start of the NBA's second half of the season Tuesday.

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LSU's Davis out for Kentucky game
Tue, Feb 20, 2007

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU forward Glen Davis did not travel with the team to Lexington, Ky., for tonight's Southeastern Conference game against Kentucky.

Davis continues to be bothered by a strained muscle in his right leg that he sustained against Arkansas on Feb. 10, LSU said. Although he played against Mississippi and Mississippi State last week, he did not complete all the practices before either game.

Coach John Brady said Davis did not practice either Sunday or Monday.

"We are going to determine the extent of his injury and the length of time he needs to get well," Brady said after Monday's practice. "Before he goes back in a game, he needs to practice."

Davis has averaged 18.1 points -- second in the SEC -- and leads the conference with an average of 10.5 rebounds.

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