Basketball News And Notes April 2

Basketball News And Notes April 2


NBA Today - April 2
Mon, Apr 2, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Monday, April 2

No games scheduled.

STARS

Sunday

- Ricky Davis, Timberwolves, scored a season-high 36 points - including the winning 3-pointer - and Minnesota beat Orlando 105-104 in overtime.

-Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets, scored 32 points, leading Denver to a 114-103 victory at Seattle.

-Leandro Barbosa, Suns, scored 29 points and Phoenix beat Dallas for the second time in 18 days, 126-104.

-Al Jefferson, Celtics, had 24 points, seven rebounds and tied a career high with five blocked shots in Boston's 98-96 victory against Cleveland.

-Luol Deng, Bulls, scored 30 points to lead Chicago to a 105-97 win over Atlanta.

PLAYOFF BOUND

Chris Bosh had 24 points and 16 rebounds and Toronto clinched their first playoff spot since 2002 with a 107-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday night. The Atlantic Division-leading Raptors are third in the Eastern Conference, which would give them home court in at least the first round.

ECLIPSED

Phoenix snapped Dallas' nine-game winning streak with a 126-104 victory Sunday. The Suns shot 65 percent (46-of-71), the highest in the NBA this season and a record for any team at US Airways Center, formerly America West Arena. Phoenix shot 86 percent in the fourth quarter (13-for-15), 4-of-4 on 3s.

BULLSEYE

Chicago won its 11th straight victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night, 105-97. The Bulls haven't lost to the Hawks since April 9, 2004. Overall, they have won five of six and 12 of 16.

SNAPPED

The Utah Jazz ended a six-game losing streak with a 86-83 win at Houston on Sunday.

SIDELINED

The Washington Wizards might be without All-Star forward Caron Butler for the playoffs. Butler scored 19 points before he broke his right hand Sunday midway through the third quarter during the Wizards' 121- 107 win against the Bucks.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Yao Ming had 35 points, 16 rebounds, and also blocked four shots in Houston's 86-83 loss to the Jazz on Sunday.

SPEAKING

''It means a lot to me. ''It quiets the people who were like 'Why did you come here? Why didn't go you to the States?' It's just a good feeling that my beliefs have paid off and it's turned to reality.'' - Forward Chris Bosh after Toronto's 107-94 victory over the Bobcats on Sunday clinched a playoff spot for the Raptors.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes April 2

Butler breaks right hand
Sun, Apr 1, 2007
By Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- The Washington Wizards might be without All-Star forward Caron Butler for the playoffs.

Butler scored 19 points before he broke his right hand Sunday midway through the third quarter during the Wizards' game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

''Second round, third round, a possibility,'' Butler said after the game. ''But right now, I probably won't have a jersey on until next year.''

Butler said that the accident happened when he went up to challenge a shot by Ruben Patterson and his right hand hit the backboard. He was playing in his third game back since missing six with a left knee contusion.

''My hand caught under the rim, and it popped out of place,'' Butler said.

''I see a hand specialist tomorrow,'' Butler said. ''Hopefully, I'll get the opportunity to come back as soon as possible.''

He entered the game averaging 19.1 points and 7.5 rebounds.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes April 2

Wade eyes a return to practice
Sun, Apr 1, 2007
By Associated Press

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade is ready to begin his comeback.

Nearly six weeks after dislocating his left shoulder, the reigning NBA finals MVP will attempt to practice with the Miami Heat on Monday, his first attempt at a full workout since suffering the injury.

''It's going to feel pretty good to get back out there,'' Wade said Sunday during a visit to Miami Children's Hospital, while his teammates were playing at Detroit to end a three-game road trip. ''The only thing I can do is continue to work hard.''

Miami has nine regular season games left, starting Tuesday against Toronto. The playoffs open April 21. Odds for Tuesday's matchup have not yet been released.

Wade was averaging 28.8 points when he was hurt in a collision with Houston's Shane Battier on Feb. 21. Entering Sunday, the Heat had gone 13-6 since Wade's injury, rising from a team on the Eastern Conference playoff bubble to one contending for the Southeast Division title.

His decision to try and resume playing is hardly a surprise. The fan poll on his official Web site has read ''What do you expect from Dwyane when he comes back?'' and teammates have suggested for weeks that they were fairly certain Wade would at least attempt a return.

Wade underwent tests about a week and a half ago which indicated that the shoulder was healing nicely. He was seen shooting and running through individual drills after a Heat practice last week for the first time since getting hurt, and he's even helped design a sleeve that he'll wear on-court to protect his shoulder.

The dislocation was a painful one, evidenced by the tears that streamed down Wade's face as members of the Heat medical staff tried - and failed - to get the shoulder back into place in the moments immediately following the fourth-quarter collision with Battier.

He was ushered off Houston's court that night in a wheelchair, a precaution taken in part so that Wade wouldn't further injure himself on his way to the locker room. Within hours, Wade was given two options: Surgery that would end his season, or a rigorous rehabilitation plan with no guarantees of a comeback.

Wade chose rehab, which he began about a month ago. And while surgery is still a virtual certainty for this offseason, he now feels the joint has healed well enough to try and begin absorbing the rigors of NBA basketball once again.

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Re: Basketball News And Notes April 2

Wade returns to practice
Mon, Apr 2, 2007
By Associated Press

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade practiced with the Miami Heat on Monday, the first time he'd taken part in a full workout since dislocating his left shoulder nearly six weeks ago.

Wade was on the floor for some 5-on-5 and other drills for about 90 minutes, then planned to do about another 90 minutes of weightlifting and physical therapy afterward. He even absorbed some contact on the shoulder without any pain.

''He looks OK. He's missed a long time. He's in as good a shape as he can be in,'' Heat coach Pat Riley said. ''It's going to be a process.''

Wade was averaging 28.8 points when he was hurt in a collision with Houston's Shane Battier on Feb. 21. The Heat have gone 13-7 since Wade's injury, rising from a team on the Eastern Conference playoff bubble to one contending for the Southeast Division title.

''Just happy to see him out there running and smiling,'' Heat guard Eddie Jones said. ''I think it's a great thing to have guys together again.''

Wade plans to travel with the Heat to Cleveland and Boston later this week, but his return to game action is still at least a few more days away. Wade said Sunday that he'd like to play in one or two games before the playoffs begin, but indicated Monday that he's open to playing more - if his shoulder responds well over the coming days.

''You never know,'' Wade said. ''I can't predict the future. Four or five games, I would love it, but I don't think they'd let me right now.''

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