Basketball News and Notes April 15

Basketball News and Notes April 15

Johnson, Claxton to miss remainder of Hawks' season
Sat, Apr 14, 2007
By Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Atlanta forward Joe Johnson and guard Speedy Claxton will sit out the final three games of the season because of injuries that have nagged the last-place Hawks for months.

Johnson, the club's leading scorer, missed his 19th straight game Saturday because of a bruised right calf. Coach Mike Woodson said the club decided to rest Johnson so he can recover more quickly.

Woodson doesn't know if the injury will affect Johnson's status as a member of the U.S. national team.

''I don't know if he's going to entertain that or not,'' Woodson said. ''Right now, he's our concern in terms of the calf and we want to make sure he's in perfect position as he goes through his summer regimen.''

Johnson averaged 25 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds for the Hawks, who entered Saturday's game against Cleveland with five players injured.

Claxton, the Hawks' assists leader, missed 33 games with a sore left knee. The 29-year-old signed with Atlanta as a free agent in September after playing last season with New Orleans.

''We've got to get Speedy back on board,'' Woodson said.

The Hawks were already missing forward Josh Childress, who is out for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Atlanta doesn't have forward Zaza Pachulia (lower right leg) and guard Salim Stoudamire (sprained right ankle) either. Both are expected to miss at least one more game.

The injuries have been tough for Woodson and the Hawks (29-50), the NBA's youngest team.

''I don't know where we are as a team in terms of personnel because everyone has been banged up,'' Woodson said.

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Re: Basketball News and Notes April 15

Celtics Al Jefferson (knee) is not expected to play tonight.

Raptors Andrea Bargnani (flu) will not play tonight according to the Toronto Sun.

The Sixers said Andre Iguodala (back), Kyle Korver (wrist) and Kevin Ollie (right eye bruise) will not play in tonight's game.

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Re: Basketball News and Notes April 15

NBA Today - April 15
Sun, Apr 15, 2007
By Associated Press

Seattle at Los Angeles Lakers (9:30 p.m. EDT). The SuperSonics are 8-3-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings in Los Angeles.

STARS

Saturday

- Dwight Howard, Magic, scored a career-high 35 points and had 11 rebounds to keep Orlando alive for the playoffs with a 104-87 win over Philadelphia.

-Walter Herrmann, Bobcats, scored 30 points and Charlotte beat the Bucks 113-92 Saturday night.

- Steve Nash, Suns, had 18 assists to help Phoenix move one step closer to the No. 2 seed in the West with a 126-98 victory over Utah.

ALMOST THERE

Orlando can make the playoffs on Sunday if the Magic beat Boston and Indiana loses to New Jersey. Orlando beat Philadelphia 104-87 Saturday. ... Phoenix beat Utah 126-98 to get closer to the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Suns just need one more win or a loss by San Antonio to clinch the second-best record in the league. Only Dallas (64-14) has a better mark than Phoenix's 61-19. ... Houston is one win away from securing home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs after a 123-112 win over New Orleans.

SNAPPED

Denver's eight-game winning streak came to an end with a 133-118 loss to the NBA-worst Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

BLOODIED

LeBron James shook off an early elbow to the face and scored 23 points in Cleveland's 110-76 rout of Atlanta on Saturday night.

SPEAKING

''He definitely caught me pretty good. But I'm a football player, I'm all right.'' - LeBron James, who was accidentally elbowed by Atlanta's Josh Smith in the Cavaliers' 110-76 win over the Hawks Saturday night. James played football in high school

---

''There was no game plan at all to double-team the post, and yet we've got people running down there double-teaming,'' Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak after Charlotte rookie Walter Herrmann scored 30 points on them in a 113-92 win Saturday night.

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