Basketball News And Notes 2/23

Basketball News And Notes 2/23

NBA Today - Feb. 23
Fri, Feb 23, 2007
By Associated Press


Phoenix at Minnesota (8 p.m. EST). The Suns are 2-0 since Steve Nash returned from a shoulder injury following the All-Star break.

STARS

Thursday

-Gilbert Arenas, Wizards, scored 43 points, had seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals to lead Washington to a 109-106 victory over Sacramento.

-Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, scored 31 points with 11 rebounds and six assists and Dallas beat Miami 112-100.

-Ben Wallace, Bulls, scored 14 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and had a season-high seven blocks, leading Chicago to an 84-78 victory over Cleveland.

CELTIC LOSS

Dennis Johnson, the star NBA guard who was part of three championships died Thursday, collapsing after his developmental team's practice. He was 52. Johnson, coach of the Austin Toros, was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at Austin Convention Center, said Warren Hassinger, spokesman for Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services.

MAVE-LOUS

Dallas beat Miami 112-100 on Thursday night for their 10th straight victory. The Mavericks have won 31 of 33 and became just the fourth team in NBA history to have three winning streaks of at least 10 games. The 1970-71 Bucks, 1980-81 76ers and the 1999-2000 Lakers also had three winning streaks of at least 10 games in one season.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

Washington beat Sacramento 109-106 on Thursday night after nearly blowing a 17-point lead. With 0.7 seconds remaining, Sacramento's John Salmons took a long inbounds pass and made a turnaround jump shot at the 3-point arc. Officials initially ruled it a good 2-point basket, but replay showed it to be a 3 that was released just after the clock hit 0.0.

DEADLINE DEALS

Dallas traded journeyman guard Anthony Johnson to Atlanta on Thursday for the Hawks' second-round pick in the draft. Johnson, who came to the Mavericks in a trade with Indiana last offseason, averaged 3.8 points in 40 games for Dallas. ... Portland traded guard Juan Dixon to Toronto on Thursday for guard Fred Jones. ... Utah acquired veteran forward Alan Henderson. The Jazz and 76ers exchanged the right to trade second-round picks in the 2007 draft. Philadelphia also included undisclosed cash considerations in the deal.

SNAPPED

Chicago beat Cleveland 84-78 on Thursday night. The Bulls snapped a six-game losing streak in Cleveland and improved to 8-2 in the Central.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Sacramento's Ron Artest scored 32 points and Mike Bibby scored 30 points in the Kings' 109-106 loss to Washington on Thursday night. ... LeBron James scored 29 points but Cleveland lost to Chicago 84-78.

SPEAKING

''All that stuff don't mean nothing if we can't get the win. We got the win, that's all that matters. But I do like the blocks.'' - Chicago's Ben Wallace after leading the Bulls to an 84-78 win over Cleveland on Thursday night. Wallace had 14 points, 19 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 2/23

Pitt's Gray may not play vs. Hoyas
Thu, Feb 22, 2007


The Pittsburgh Panthers may not have their most important player for the biggest game of their Big East schedule.

Center Aaron Gray, who leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks, is considered day-to-day because of sprained right ankle suffered in action against the Washington Huskies on Saturday. The injured ankle prevented Gray from playing Monday against the Seton Hall Pirates. Pitt won 71-68, but failed to cover the 7-point spread.

The Pathers play the Georgetown Hoyas this Saturday in a battle for first place in the Big East. Oddsmakers have not yet released a line for the game.

"The swelling didn't go down that much," Panthers coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN's Andy Katz on Tuesday. "They were still telling me Sunday he (Gray) would play Monday but I wasn't so sure. I am worried about Saturday."

Gray has rested the ankle this week, but he is expected to try to practice on Friday. The game against Seton Hall was the first Gray missed in his two years as Pitt's starting center. The Wooden Award candidate is averaging 14.5 points and 10 rebounds in 27 games this season.

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Season-ending surgery now an option for Dwyane Wade
Thu, Feb 22, 2007
By Associated Press

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade is considering season-ending surgery to repair his dislocated left shoulder, which would be the biggest loss yet for the Miami Heat during their rocky reign as NBA champions.

The All-Star guard was hurt in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's 112-102 loss at Houston. Wade flew home early Thursday in a private plane and was examined at a hospital by team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick, who conducted a battery of tests.

''Wade is presently weighing his treatment options provided to him by the Heat medical staff,'' the team said in a statement. ''Wade still needs to discuss these options with his family and Heat president and head coach Pat Riley, and will then decide what course of action to take.''

Regardless of the decision, the Heat's bid to repeat was further weakened. They may hard-pressed merely to make the playoffs.

The injury stung especially hard because it came in the first game in which Wade, Riley and Shaquille O'Neal have been together since mid-November. Plagued by health issues much of the season, the Heat had won seven of eight games to reach .500, their best record since they were 3-3, and appeared ready to surge into the playoffs.

Miami was beaten 112-100 by Dallas on Thursday, but they did cover as 12 1/2-point underdogs for the contest. The teams played over the total which was set at 190 1/2.

The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the postseason. Only once since 1970 has the defending NBA champion failed to make the playoffs - Chicago in 1999.

''You don't know how this whole thing is going to play out,'' Riley said. ''We'll have to play with a sense of urgency.''

O'Neal said he's not yet projecting playoff seedings, but in Wade's absence, he said it's time for him to become more active.

''I'm going to start playing really aggressive,'' he said. ''Hopefully I'll get more looks and get more touches and be able to keep everyone involved.''

O'Neal, who turns 35 next month, is still rounding into form after returning Jan. 24 from knee surgery. He had 20 points and 16 rebounds in 27 minutes Wednesday.

''If we can get Shaq to play the way he did tonight, we will be in pretty good shape,'' Riley said.

''We have to keep the big fellow going,'' forward James Posey said.

Even with O'Neal as another option on offense, Wade leaves a huge void. The MVP of last season's NBA finals is third in the league in scoring with an average of 28.8 points.

''He's the one we look to to take shots,'' center Alonzo Mourning said. ''Guys are going to take up the slack. We've got guys in here who have been in those roles before, so when our number is called, we've got to produce, plain and simple. We've got to do everything a little bit better now.''

Wade was on defense when his left arm collided with Houston's Shane Battier and awkwardly stretched back. Wade walked off the court hunched over in pain and sat on the bench in tears as his shoulder was examined. He then left in a wheelchair and went to a hospital by ambulance.

Wade bruised the same shoulder in a game Feb. 13 but played in the All-Star game Sunday.

For the Heat, Wade's departure was all too familiar. He already had missed seven games this season, O'Neal has been out 39 games, and starting point guard Jason Williams has missed 20.

In addition, Riley returned this week after been sidelined since Jan. 3 for operations to replace his left hip and repair cartilage in his right knee.

''Obviously injuries are a part of this game,'' Mourning said. ''But it seems as though this year we've been behind the eight ball when it comes to injuries.''

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 2/23

Niagara's second leading scorer F Clif Brown missed practice on Thursday, and has been added to the injury report as questionable (infection) for tonight's game.

Knicks F David Lee has been downgraded to doubtful (illness) for tonight.

Sun F Boris Diaw has been downgraded to doubtful (back) for tonight.

Bobcats F Sean May is out (knee); Bulls F Andres Nocioni  is questionable (knee).

Suns F Boris Diaw is questionable (back)

Bucks F Charlie Villanueva is questionable (ankle)

Jazz G Deron Williams is questionable (ankle).

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mvbski wrote:


Pitt's Gray may not play vs. Hoyas
Thu, Feb 22, 2007


The Pittsburgh Panthers may not have their most important player for the biggest game of their Big East schedule.

Center Aaron Gray, who leads the team in points, rebounds and blocks, is considered day-to-day because of sprained right ankle suffered in action against the Washington Huskies on Saturday. The injured ankle prevented Gray from playing Monday against the Seton Hall Pirates. Pitt won 71-68, but failed to cover the 7-point spread.

The Pathers play the Georgetown Hoyas this Saturday in a battle for first place in the Big East. Oddsmakers have not yet released a line for the game.

"The swelling didn't go down that much," Panthers coach Jamie Dixon told ESPN's Andy Katz on Tuesday. "They were still telling me Sunday he (Gray) would play Monday but I wasn't so sure. I am worried about Saturday."

Gray has rested the ankle this week, but he is expected to try to practice on Friday. The game against Seton Hall was the first Gray missed in his two years as Pitt's starting center. The Wooden Award candidate is averaging 14.5 points and 10 rebounds in 27 games this season.


Pitt center Aaron Gray (sprained ankle) appears unlikely to play on Saturday at Georgetown in a game that will decide first place in the Big East.  "I don't think he'll be ready to go," said Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 2/23

Boozer, Williams to play tonight

By Tim Buckley
Deseret Morning News

DENVER — Jazz point guard Deron Williams and power forward Carlos Boozer both said Friday morning that they plan to play in tonight's ESPN-televised game at Denver.

Boozer, who will return after missing eight straight games with a hairline fracture in his left fibula, said he'll be in the starting lineup.

"Definitely gonna be out there," Boozer said. "Looking forward to getting back out there."

Williams said he can't be sure he won't reinjure the strained left groin that kept him from playing Tuesday at Portland, but he wants to go nonetheless.

"You never know with these kinds of injuries," Williams said.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 2/23

Suns G Raja Bell isn't listed on the injury report but will be a game-time decision tonight after hyperextending his right knee in Thursday's practice. Coach Mike D'Antoni said of Bell's knee, "He tried a little bit (today at shootaround) and didn't feel good."

Suns F Boris Diaw has been downgraded to out of tonight's game.

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