Basketball News And Notes 3/22

Basketball News And Notes 3/22

NBA Today - March 22
Thu, Mar 22, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD
Thursday, March 22

Denver at Chicago (8:30 p.m. EDT). The Nuggets have won five straight to solidify playoff position, while the Bulls have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference despite losing two straight.

STARS

Wednesday

- Chris Bosh, Raptors, had 34 points and 16 rebounds in Toronto's 92-85 victory over Orlando.

- Gilbert Arenas, Wizards, capped his 42-point night by banking in a right-handed runner as time expired to give Washington a 108-106 victory over the Seattle.

- Tim Duncan, Spurs, scored 27 points to lead San Antonio to a 90-72 win over Indiana.

SIMPLY THE BEST

Dallas won its fourth in a row Wednesday night, beating Cleveland 98-90 to improve the NBA's best record to 56-11. The Mavericks are 3-0 on a six-game road trip that's also included victories over Detroit and New York.

THE HITS KEEP COMING

Indiana lost Wednesday night for the 13th time in 14 games. The Pacers' 90-72 loss in San Antonio was also their ninth straight on the road.

ROUGH NIGHT

As if LeBron James' night against Dallas in the Cavaliers' 98-90 loss Wednesday night wasn't hard enough, he banged his head on the floor after getting spun around by Josh Howard while going for a loose ball. He was slow to get up but stayed in the game. James also took an elbow from Nowitzki with 1:39 left and fell to the floor.

HOT, HOT HEAT

Williams had 21 points and eight assists, and the Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 91-83 Wednesday night for their 10th victory in 11 games.

DOWN TIME

Toronto rookie Andrea Bargnani had an appendectomy on Wednesday, and is expected to be released from a hospital in the next few days. No timetable was set for the return to the court of Bargnani, the No. 1 pick in the draft, who is averaging 11.5 points and 3.9 rebounds off the bench for Toronto.

SPEAKING

''I was not throwing the game, or anything like that.'' - Boston coach Doc Rivers after the Celtics lost to Charlotte, 92-84 with their starting five on the bench. The Bobcats are Boston's closest pursuers in the Greg Oden and Kevin Durant sweepstakes.

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Two Bucks players out for the season
Wed, Mar 21, 2007
By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut and forward Charlie Villanueva will miss the rest of the season because of injuries.

Bogut missed a game for the first time in his career Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers because of a sprained left foot. The Bucks announced that neither player would return this season during the second quarter.

The second-year center was hurt against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 7. He re-injured his foot in practice on Tuesday.

Bogut's left foot will be immobilized for two to four weeks, and he is expected to resume basketball activity in six to eight weeks.

Bogut, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft, averaged 12.3 points and 8.8 rebounds this season.

Villanueva, also a second-year player, has developed recurrent right shoulder pain that will require arthroscopic surgery.

Villanueva missed Milwaukee's last two games because of the injury and has played in 39 games this season. He was averaging 11.8 points and 5.8 rebounds.

The Bucks have 15 games remaining in the regular season.

The next game for Milwaukee is Sunday against the Detroit.

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SuperSonics without All-Star Allen
Thu, Mar 22, 2007
By Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Ray Allen's season may be headed for an early conclusion.

Seattle's All-Star guard sat out Wednesday night with continued pain and discomfort from bone spurs in his left ankle, and indicated before the game against Washington that season-ending surgery is becoming more of an option.

The SuperSonics said Allen is day-to-day, and Damien Wilkins started in Allen's place.

Allen has been bothered by the ankle since early February, but missed just one game in the last two months - when he sat out against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 1 and finally revealed the injury.

The SuperSonics' next game is against the Timberwolves on Friday.

Surgery to remove the spurs is the likely solution to Allen's pain, and that may happen before the season ends.

''I think that's the next issue, just talking about that, putting myself in that situation where I have surgery early. Possibly,'' Allen said before Wednesday's game.

Allen is seeking a second opinion from a specialist at Duke University, referred to him by his agent. Allen had X-rays Wednesday afternoon sent to North Carolina, and was hopeful of getting feedback sometime on Thursday.

Those X-rays came a day after Allen had an MRI exam on his right knee, after feeling discomfort for the last two weeks that he believes was overcompensation for the pain in his ankle.

Allen was told that structurally, he can't do any more damage to his ankle, and it's a matter of dealing with the pain. But the discomfort in his knee was the catalyst for further opinion.

''The doctors here feel they've done everything to make me satisfied with what is going on,'' Allen said. ''But it's just a second opinion and we'll address it from there.''

Allen is averaging a career-high 26.4 points in 55 games. But while Allen has played with pain, the Sonics have struggled. A recent five-game losing streak severely damaged any chance Seattle had of making a late rally for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Sonics entered Wednesday night 26-40 and 4 1/2 games back of Golden State for eighth place.

''It comes and goes when I'm not playing basketball, but when I'm playing, the pain is pretty prominent,'' Allen said. ''It's a matter of running up and down the floor and trying to ignore it.''

Allen missed nine games in December with a bone contusion in his right foot. Seattle was without either Allen or forward Rashard Lewis in the lineup between early December and the middle of February.

''I'm really tired of injuries, to be honest with you,'' Seattle coach Bob Hill said. ''It's been all year long.''

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Mourning out with injured knee
Wed, Mar 21, 2007
By Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Backup center Alonzo Mourning missed Miami's game against Atlanta on Wednesday night because of a right knee contusion.

Heat coach Pat Riley said Mourning was day-to-day. The 14-year veteran either was hit or kicked in Miami's 97-83 loss to Orlando on Sunday that ended a nine-game winning streak.

Mourning has averaged 9.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots in 65 games.

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Shaw questionable for Salukis
Wed, Mar 21, 2007


Southern Illinois Salukis’ third-leading scorer, Matt Shaw, is considered questionable for Friday’s game against the Kansas Jayhawks because of a sprained ankle.

Shaw rolled his ankle at the end of the first half of Southern Illinois’ first-round game against the Holy Cross Crusaders on Friday. The 6-foot-7 junior did not play in the second half and missed Sunday’s game against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Salukis won and covered in both games.

In 30 games Shaw is averaging 11.2 points and 5.8 rebounds this season. Sophomore forward Tony Boyle should get the start if Shaw can’t play. Boyle scored 14 points against Holy Cross, but was held scoreless against Virginia Tech.

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MEMPHIS...Chris Douglas-Roberts (15 ppg), the balanced Tigers’ leading scorer, is questionable for Thursday’s battle with Texas A&M at San Antonio. But the latest report from Memphis insiders is that Douglas-Roberts, who suffered a moderate ankle sprain in the second half of Sunday’s win over Nevada, will likely be available for at least limited action against the Aggies.

PITTSBURGH...Versatile 6-4, 220 jr. swingman Mike Cook (11 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg, 50% FGs), the Panthers’ second-leading scorer, was limited to only 7 minutes following intermission in Saturday’s game against Virginia Commonwealth after bruising his knee during the first half of Panthers’ eventual overtime win. Cook is expected to be in the starting lineup for Thursday’s tussle with UCLA.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS...The scrappy Salukis were able to triumph over Virginia Tech by double digits last Sunday despite the absence of key 6-7, 235 jr. F Matt Shaw (left; 11 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 81% FTs), who was sidelined after spraining his ankle during first-round win over Holy Cross. Shaw remains questionable for Thursday night, when SIU takes on heavily-favored Kansas. UNLV...The Runnin’ Rebels are banged up heading into their Sweet 16 showdown against Oregon this Friday, as sr. swingman Wendell White (ribs), sr. PG Kevin Kruger (ankle), and soph G Jo’Van "Wink" Adams (tailbone) are all nursing injuries. Head coach Lon Kruger (Kevin’s dad) says most questionable is the status of Adams, who is the squad’s second-leading scorer and a stellar perimeter defender.

www.goldsheet.com

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Knicks Channing Fry (eye) has been upgraded to expected to play tonight, as he will wear protective eyewear.

Knicks Quentin Richardson is not expected to play (back)

Blazers Zach Randolph is out (personal)

Kings Brad Miller is doubtful (foot)

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