Basketball News And Notes 3/27

Basketball News And Notes 3/27

NBA Today - March 27
Tue, Mar 27, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Houston at L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. EDT).

STARS - Monday

-Carlos Boozer, Jazz, scored 16 of his career-high 41 points in the fourth quarter and added 16 rebounds to help Utah rally for a 103-97 victory over Washington.

-Luol Deng, Bulls, scored a career-high 38 points, helping Chicago beat Portland 100-89.

-Chauncey Billups, Pistons, had a season-high 34 points, and 10 assists in Detroit's 113-109 overtime win against Denver.

-Raja Bell, Suns, hit six 3-pointers and scored 29 points, helping Phoenix beat Memphis 105-87.

CLINCHING

Houston clinched a playoff spot with its sixth straight home victory, beating Milwaukee 106-87 on Monday night.

CLIMBING

Shaquille O'Neal passed Reggie Miller for 12th on the NBA's career scoring list in Miami's 106-89 win over Atlanta on Monday night. O'Neal, who finished with 22 points, passed the former Indiana star with a free throw midway through the first half. O'Neal made 12 free throws, a season-best, and finished with 11 rebounds.

PLAYOFF PUSH

Miami's 106-89 win over Atlanta on Monday night, combined with Washington's loss at Utah, put the Heat alone in first place in the Southeast Division by a half-game. The defending NBA champions, who were 7 1/2 games behind the Wizards on Jan. 30, jumped from sixth to third in the Eastern Conference standings.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Gilbert Arenas scored 26 of his 32 points in the second half for Washington in a 103-97 loss to Utah on Monday night. ... Stephon Marbury scored 32 points in New York's 94-89 loss to Orlando. ... Michael Redd scored 26 points in Milwaukee's 106-87 loss to Houston.

SLUMPING

Milwaukee hasn't won in Houston since 1999, a seven-game losing streak, after Monday night's 106-87 loss to the Rockets.s ... Memphis fell to an NBA-worst 17-54 with its 105-87 loss at Phoenix. The Grizzlies are 5-30 away from home, also the league's worst mark. ... New York dropped its season-high fourth straight game, 94-89 to Orlando. The Knicks were a dismal 23-of-37 (62 percent) from the foul line and fell to a season-high 10 games under .500.

FORGOTTEN TUNE

Carlos Boozer scored a career-high 41 points in Utah's 103-97 victory over Washington on Monday night, and is the first Jazz player to score that many since Karl Malone on Dec. 20, 2000 against Philadelphia.

BEASTS VERSUS THE EAST

The Rockets finished 24-6 against the Eastern Conference this season after Monday night's 106-87 win over Milwaukee, matching their best record since 2003-04.

SPEAKING

''I'm known as The Big Baryshnikov.'' - Shaquille O'Neal after Miami's 106-89 win over Atlanta on Monday night. After a hard foul sent him tumbling, the 7-foot-1 center rolled into a backward somersault before bouncing to his feet.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 3/27

Raptors lose Garbajosa
Tue, Mar 27, 2007
By Associated Press

BOSTON -- Facing a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes, the Toronto Raptors were headed toward a loss. Then one flukey play might have cost them much more.

Paul Pierce scored 23 points and Al Jefferson added 22 points and nine rebounds to help the Boston Celtics beat Toronto 95-87 on Monday. The Raptors also lost Spanish rookie Jorge Garbajosa to a left ankle injury that put him in the hospital.

Toronto trailed 75-66 with 4:31 left in the fourth when Garbajosa went up for a blocked shot on Jefferson. Garbajosa fell awkwardly on his left leg and screamed in pain.

Garbajosa, who had five points and five rebounds, left on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital. Toronto spokesman Rover Yau said Garbajosa would stay in the hospital overnight for evaluation.

Toronto should know the extent of the injury on Tuesday. One thing's for sure, it wasn't pretty.

''I really thought he broke his leg,'' Jefferson said. ''We bumped, my leg hit his leg, and I looked down and he was all twisted up. He was screaming, and I could feel his pain.''

Garbajosa, who's averaging 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds, has started 60 games. In Toronto's 121-94 win over Denver on Friday, he scored a career-high 22 points.

''He's a big part of our team, so we're definitely going to miss him,'' guard T.J. Ford said. ''I hate that it happened because he brings so much to the table. On the defensive end, on the offensive end, his knowledge of the game - man it's tough.''

Ford scored 28 points to lead Toronto and Anthony Parker added 16 points.

It's the second big loss for Toronto in less than a week. Rookie forward Andrea Bargnani had an appendectomy last Wednesday and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Toronto has overcome several injuries this year, yet finds itself chasing its first division title in franchise history and first playoff berth since 2001-02. The Raptors are six games ahead of New Jersey in the Atlantic Division with 12 games to go.

Chris Bosh and Ford missed considerable time earlier this year, Jose Calderon has struggled with a sprained left ankle and Parker just returned to the lineup after missing eight of nine games with a sprained left ankle.

''That hurts us, but the team has gotten it done without me, it's gotten it done without T.J., Jose, Anthony - the list goes on,'' Bosh said. ''This is just another situation that we have to get ready for and make sure everybody steps up their play.''

Even before Garbajosa's injury, Toronto struggled to keep pace with Boston.

Bosh had an off night, scoring 15 on 5-of-19 shooting. He also had 11 rebounds while being guarded by Kendrick Perkins.

''I think (Perkins) had Bosh frustrated,'' Jefferson said. ''I mean, Bosh really saw a lot of shots that I know he didn't make. A couple shots he did make, he had to make a tough shot.''

Delonte West scored 18 points and Rajon Rondo had 16 points and eight assists for the Celtics, who trailed only in the opening minutes and became the last team in the NBA with 10 home wins. Boston is a league-worst 10-25 at home.

The Raptors used an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 80-74 with 2:59 left in the quarter, but Jefferson's layup extended Boston's lead the next time down the floor and helped Boston pull away.

The Raptors dropped to 3-1 against the Celtics, missing a chance for their first season sweep of Boston.

''These guys are making the plays necessary and playing tough defense,'' Pierce said. ''I think we have to give credit to our defense. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but we got the turnovers and got the easy baskets. That's all you need in games like this.''

Boston used a 13-4 run spanning the second and third quarters to take control.

After a pair of free throws by Joey Graham cut Toronto's deficit to 40-38 with five second left in the half, Rondo drove the length of the floor and hit a 19-footer at the buzzer to give Boston a 42-38 lead.

The Celtics scored the first five points of the third.

''Nobody played good,'' Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. ''We didn't play the way we've been playing, we threw the ball away, we tried to make great passes instead of make simple passes.''

Notes: G Luke Jackson didn't play for Toronto after signing a 10-day contract on Sunday. Jackson was waived by the Celtics during the preseason. ... Boston C Michael Olowokandi will miss the rest of the season with a broken bone in his left foot. Olowokandi averaged 1.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in 24 games. ... Boston outrebounded Toronto 45-35.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 3/27

Celtics center Michael Olowokandi will miss the rest of the season with a fractured cuboid bone in his left foot, according to a statement released by the team.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 3/27

Mavs Dirk Nowitzki (flu) did not practice Monday due to flu-like symptoms, and has been added to the injury report as probable for tonight's game.

Hornets Peja Stojakovic ( back) has been downgraded to out of tonight's game.

Hornets Bobby Jackson (achilles) has been downgraded to questionable for tonight's game.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 3/27

Grizzlies Mike Miller (knee) will NOT play tonight, and is out indefinitely.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes 3/27

Raptors' Garbajosa has ankle surgery
March 27th, 2007

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Toronto Raptors forward Jorge Garbajosa underwent successful surgery Tuesday to repair a displaced left ankle joint with a ligament tear and fractured fibula.

The surgery was performed at Toronto Western Hospital by Dr. Johnny Lau with the assistance of Raptors medical director Dr. Paul Marks.

"We are pleased with the reduction of the fracture and restoration of his displaced ankle joint," said Dr. Marks. "Everything is restored to an appropriate anatomic position, and we will now await post-operative recovery and healing of the soft tissue and fracture."

Garbajosa was taken off the floor on a stretcher during Monday's loss against Boston.

Garbajosa was attempting to block Celtics forward Al Jefferson's dunk. Garbajosa fell hard, grabbed his leg and yelled to the bench for help.

The Spaniard was taken to New England Baptist Medical Center for X-rays and observation.

Garbajosa is averaging 8.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season.

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