Basketball News and Notes April 11

Basketball News and Notes April 11

NBA Today - April 12
Thu, Apr 12, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

New Jersey at Cleveland (8 p.m. EDT). The Nets are trying to hold onto seventh in the Eastern Conference, while the Cavaliers are looking to earn homecourt advantage to start the playoffs.

STARS

Wednesday

-Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets. Iverson had 22 points and 12 assists, and Anthony scored 32 points to lead Denver to a 115-106 victory over Utah.

-Tracy McGrady, Rockets, had 32 points in Houston's 99-95 win over Portland.

-Chauncey Billups, Pistons, finished with 28 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, in Detroit's 104-99 win over Orlando.

CLINCHINGS

Detroit clinched home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference and its fifth Central Division in six years with a 104-99 win over Orlando on Wednesday night. ... Miami wrapped up the Southeast Division title with an 85-82 victory over Washington on Wednesday night. ... Denver clinched a playoff berth with its 115-106 win over Utah.

ROAD WARRIORS

Dallas set a franchise record with its 30th road victory of the season, a 105-88 win at Minnesota on Wednesday night.

STREAKING

Denver won its seventh straight, 115-106 over the slumping Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. ... San Antonio has won five straight and 11 of 12 after a 109-100 victory over Sacramento. The Spurs are a league-best 22-3 since the All-Star weekend, and have won a season-best nine straight at home.

STILL KICKING

Philadelphia won it's third straight game and pulled to within three games of Orlando for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 102-94 win over Boston on Wednesday night. The Sixers, who also trail Indiana by two games, must win all four of their remaining games to have a chance. They host the Magic on Saturday.

SLUMPING

Boston has dropped five in a row to fall to an Eastern Conference-worst 23-55 after a 102-94 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday night. ... Minnesota lost its sixth straight home game, 105-88 to Dallas. It's the Timberwolves' longest skid since a franchise-record 14-game streak in 1994. ... Utah has dropped five straight for the first time this season after a 115-106 loss to Denver. ... Washington has dropped six straight games - the last five by a combined 26 points - after a 104-99 loss to Miami. The Wizards' last win at Miami was exactly four years earlier - April 11, 2003.

CENTRAL PROBLEM

Milwaukee is 1-14 against teams from the Central Division after a 104-98 loss to Indiana on Wednesday night. The Bucks beat Detroit to open the season and have lost 14 consecutive division games.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Rashard Lewis scored 30 for Seattle in a 109-91 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night. ... Matt Harpring led Utah with 31 points in a 115-106 loss to Denver.

KG CLIPPED

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett is out indefinitely with an injured right quadriceps. Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said Garnett will miss at least two of the team's five remaining games. Garnett is averaging 22.4 points and a league-leading 12.8 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

YO, ADRIAN!

The Utah Jazz retired Adrian Dantley's number on Wednesday, 21 years after he was traded. Dantley played for the Jazz from 1979 - their first season in Utah - through 1986. His scoring average of 29.6 points is 4.2 higher than that of Karl Malone - the second-leading scorer in league history. Dantley still ranks third in Jazz history in total points (13,635) and his shooting percentage of 56.2 also tops all Jazz players

SPEAKING

''It was just another game where we didn't make the big stop or the big play at the end to win. The bottom line is we're playing with a fairly new team in a sense. We're building something from almost a foundation. We have to be patient.'' - Washington coach Eddie Jordan after Wednesday's 104-99 loss to Miami. The Wizards are still without leading scorers Gilbert Arenas (knee) and Caron Butler (hand).

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Re: Basketball News and Notes April 11

Garnett out indefinitely with quad injury
Wed, Apr 11, 2007
By Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett is out indefinitely with an injured right quadriceps.

Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said Wednesday night that the injury has bothered the former MVP for months, and that Garnett and his agent decided it was time to shut it down and seek a second opinion before going forward.

McHale said Garnett will visit doctors in the next day or two and will miss at least two of the team's five remaining games. They will wait to see what the doctors say before Garnett decides if he will return at all this season.

Garnett is averaging 22.4 points and a league-leading 12.8 rebounds a game for the Timberwolves, who were eliminated from postseason contention on Monday.

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Re: Basketball News and Notes April 11

Pierce to miss rest of season
Wed, Apr 11, 2007
By Associated Press

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce will miss the rest of the season with a sore left elbow.

Pierce, who had surgery on that elbow last offseason and had an infection in it earlier this season, hasn't played since re-aggravating the injury in a 105-96 double-overtime victory over Orlando on March 28.

With only four games remaining, the Celtics long out of playoff contention, coach Doc Rivers said rushing Pierce back wouldn't be worth the risk.

''I don't think it makes any sense,'' Rivers said. ''I just think it's dangerous and not smart to do.''

Pierce, who missed 24 games earlier in the season with a stress reaction in his left foot, averaged 25 points and 5.9 rebounds in a career-low 47 games.

Rivers also said forward Brian Scalabrine will sit out the rest of the season, and there's a good chance forward Al Jefferson and guard Delonte West will, too.

Scalabrine missed his 10th game Wednesday with a strained left hamstring, West missed his fourth game with a sprained left ankle and Jefferson sat out his fifth game with a bruised left knee.

Of those players, West is most likely to return.

''I still want to play,'' he said. ''I'm not going to end my season like this, with a sprained ankle.''

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