NBA News and Notes April - 23

NBA News and Notes April - 23

NBA Today - April 23
Mon, Apr 23, 2007
By Associated Press

Orlando at Detroit (7 p.m. EDT). The Magic have dropped their last six contests against the Pistons, including Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series.

STARS Sunday

- Baron Davis, Warriors, had 33 points, including 19 in the third quarter, leading Golden State to a 97-85 victory over Dallas.

- Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets. Iverson scored 31 points and Anthony added 30 as Denver defeated San Antonio 95-89.

- Leandro Barbosa, Suns, scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half to help Phoenix rally past the Los Angeles Lakers 95-87.

- Larry Hughes, Cavaliers, scored 27 points to lift Cleveland to a 97-82 win over Washington.

STREAKING

Golden State, the eighth seed, defeated top-seeded Dallas 97-85 in Game 1 of its Western Conference series Sunday night. This was the Warriors' sixth straight win over the Mavericks, including 4-0 since former Dallas coach Don Nelson took over as coach this season. Golden State, playing its first postseason game since 1994, got its first playoff win since April 25, 1992, and first playoff road win since May 8, 1991.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Kobe Bryant scored 39 points, but only 11 in the second half as the Los Angeles Lakers dropped their first-round playoff opener to Phoenix 95-87 on Sunday. Bryant, the NBA's season scoring champ, was 1-for-10 shooting in the fourth quarter when the Suns pulled away.

SPEAKING

''Two years ago we probably were just happy to be in the playoffs. Now we ain't just happy to be in the playoffs. We know we're a good team and when we play good we can play with the best of them.'' - Denver forward Carmelo Anthony after scoring 30 points to help the Nuggets beat San Antonio 95-89 in the first game of their Western Conference playoff series Sunday.

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Re: NBA News and Notes April - 23

Jordan doesn't expect Butler to play against Cavs
Mon, Apr 23, 2007
By Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan ruled out having injured Caron Butler back for the first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The All-Star forward was to have the cast removed from his broken right hand on Monday.

''He is not in our plans, right now - not as a player,'' Jordan said after practice Monday. ''If we get deeper in the playoffs, possibly, but not in the first round.''

Asked whether there's any chance Butler could face the Cavaliers, Jordan said: ''To me? No. Not to me.''

Butler was injured when he hit his hand on the backboard while trying to block a shot during a game April 1; his recovery was supposed to take six weeks. Two games later, All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas tore his left knee, then had season-ending surgery.

Butler was averaging career highs in points (19.1), rebounds (7.4) and assists (3.7), and the Wizards would love to have him in the lineup against the Cavaliers, who lead the best-of-seven series 1-0 heading into Wednesday's Game 2 at Cleveland. The Wizards are +3000 long shots to win the series.

But Butler's teammates also are assuming he won't be able to face LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers.

''My mind-frame is, if there's a chance for Caron to come back, it's pretty much going to be in the second round,'' Antawn Jamison said. ''My job and the rest of my teammates' job is to figure out a way to get to the second round, and then we can get some help.

''He's been out for a while, and to put that pressure on him as far as coming back in this series is a lot. You want to make sure that it's healed, and you don't want to rush him back too quickly.''

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