NBA News and Notes April 22

NBA News and Notes April 22

National Basketball Association Playoff Game Capsules
April 21st, 2007

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Richard Jefferson scored 28 points and Bostjan Nachbar added 16, with a key three-pointer late in the fourth quarter, as the New Jersey Nets held on for a 96-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the opener of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Air Canada Centre. Vince Carter was ineffective from the field in his first playoff game as an opponent at his former home, making only 5-of-19 shots and finishing with 16 points. Jason Kidd contributed eight points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in the victory. Chris Bosh, saddled with foul trouble for most of the first half, scored 22 points for Toronto, which won the Atlantic for its first-ever division title and earned the third seed in the playoffs. T.J. Ford added 21 points and Anthony Parker chipped in 16 for the Raptors, who will try to even the best-of-seven series in Game 2 on Tuesday in Toronto.

Final Score: Chicago 96, Miami 91

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Luol Deng poured in 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Chicago past Miami, 96-91, in the opener of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the United Center. Ben Gordon recorded his first career double-double with 24 points and 11 assists for the Bulls, who are making their third straight postseason appearance and hoping to advance past the opening round for the first time since 1998 -- when they last won the NBA title. Chicago has suffered back- to-back first-round exits the past two years, including last season's defeat to the Heat in six games. Andres Nocioni was a huge factor off the bench, scoring 17 points and Ben Wallace grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds in the win. Dwyane Wade, who missed 23 games with a shoulder injury, posted 21 points and Antoine Walker had 20 for the defending NBA champion Heat, who captured their third straight division title this season and are making their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Shaquille O'Neal added 19 points with six rebounds and Udonis Haslem added 11 points in defeat. Game 2 of this best-of-seven series is scheduled for Tuesday at the United Center.

Final Score: Detroit 100, Orlando 92

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Chauncey Billups scored 22 points and dished out 11 assists and Richard Hamilton also had 22 as Detroit cruised past Orlando, 100-92, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Rasheed Wallace poured in 16 points and six rebounds, while Tayshaun Prince and Chris Webber each chipped in 12 points for the Pistons, who are the top seed in the East for the second straight year and making their six consecutive playoff appearance. Detroit, which fell to the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat in last year's Eastern Conference finals, is seeking its fourth title and first since the 2003-04 season. Hidayet Turkoglu had 17 points for the Magic, who returned to the postseason for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign. Grant Hill and Darko Milicic posted 14 points apiece, while Dwight Howard recorded a double-double with 13 and 19 boards in defeat. Game 2 of this best-of-seven series is scheduled for Monday at The Palace.

Final Score: Houston 84, Utah 75

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Yao Ming poured in 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets past the Utah Jazz, 84-75, in the opener of the Western Conference quarterfinals series at Toyota Center. Tracy McGrady, who was held without a field goal in the first half, added 23 points and dished out seven assists for the Rockets, who have not won a playoff series since 1997. Rafer Alston had nine points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the victory for Houston. Deron Williams netted 15 points, had nine boards and doled out nine assists for the Jazz, who will look to even the best-of-seven series on Monday. Derek Fisher contributed 15 points in the loss while Matt Harpring had 14 points and eight boards off the bench.

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Re: NBA News and Notes April 22

NBA Today - April 22
Sun, Apr 22, 2007
By Associated Press

Golden State at Dallas (9:30p.m. EDT). The Mavericks dropped all four meetings with the Warriors this season.

STARS

- Luol Deng, Bulls, scored 33 points to lead Chicago past Miami 96-91.

- Yao Ming, Rockets, had 28 points and 13 rebounds as Houston defeated Utah 84-75.

- Richard Jefferson, Nets, scored 28 points, as New Jersey held off Toronto for a 96-91 victory.

DOUBLE FIGURES

Detroit got double-figure scoring form all five of its starters in defeating Orlando 100-92 in Game 1 of their opening-round series Saturday. Pistons guard Chauncey Billups had 22 points and 11 assists with backcourt mate Richard Hamilton also scoring 22 points. Rasheed Wallace had 16 with Tayshaun Prince and midseason addition Chris Webber each adding 12 for Detroit, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

FOUL SHOTS

Orlando missed 18 free throws in its 100-92 loss to Detroit in Game 1 of the opening-round series on Saturday. The Magic, 27th in the NBA during the regular season from the charity stripe (.702), shot 58 percent from the field, but just 50 percent from the foul line. All-Star center Dwight Howard, who managed 13 points and added 19 rebounds for Orlando, made only 3-of-11 free thows in his playoff debut.

SPEAKING

''I didn't come here to worry about the crowd and the response, I came here to win a basketball game.'' - New Jersey guard-forward Vince Carter after helping the Nets beat Toronto 96-91 on Saturday in Game 1 of their first-round series. The former Raptors star, who was jeered right from the opening introductions, scored 16 points but shot just 5-of-19 from the floor.

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