NBA News and Notes April - 27

NBA News and Notes April - 27

Kidd diagnosed with strained left knee
April 26th, 2007

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Jason Kidd was diagnosed with a strained left knee on Thursday.

The injury occurred Tuesday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Toronto Raptors, while trying to draw an offensive foul.

Kidd sat out of practice Thursday, and is a game time decision for Game 3 on Friday. The series is tied 1-1.

Over the first two games, Kidd is averaging 11 points, 11 assists and 10.5 rebounds.

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Re: NBA News and Notes April - 27

NBA Today - April 27
Fri, Apr 27, 2007
By Associated Press

Chicago at Miami (8 p.m. EDT). The defending NBA champions trail the Bulls 2-0 in this Eastern Conference opening-round series.

STARS

Thursday

-Kobe Bryant, Lakers, scored 15 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter and Los Angeles rallied for a 95-89 win over Phoenix.

-Carlos Boozer, Jazz, had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Utah past Houston 81-67.

-Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups, Pistons. Prince scored 23 points and Billups added 21 and Detroit defeated Orlando 93-77.

BACK IN IT

The Los Angeles Lakers avoided going down by three games to Phoenix in their Western Conference first-round series by rallying from 17 points down to win 95-89 Thursday night. But the odds remain against the Lakers, since only 11 of 193 teams in NBA history have come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.

GROUNDED

Utah held Houston without a field goal for 10 minutes in the second half while beating the Rockets 81-67 on Thursday night in Game 3 of their playoff series. The Rockets won the first two games at home, but were sloppy on the road during the first playoff game in Utah since 2003. Houston had 19 turnovers to Utah''s 11 and was just 21-for-64 from the floor (32.8 percent).

THREE''S THE CHARM

Detroit took a three games to none lead in its first-round series with Orlando after a 93-77 victory on Thursday night. The Pistons had lost their last six Game 3s when leading 2-0 and have their first 3-0 series lead since their championship season in 1990. No team in NBA history has ever won a playoff series after trailing 3-0.

IN OR OUT?

Jason Kidd missed the New Jersey''s practice Thursday because of a strained left knee and will be a game-time decision for Friday''s third game against Toronto. Kidd was hurt early in Game 2 while attempting to draw an offensive foul.

SEARCH IS ON

Memphis owner Michael Heisley said he interviewed Larry Brown on Thursday about the coaching vacancy with his young team, but other candidates are also being considered. Heisley is looking for a new coach for a franchise that went from the playoffs to the NBA''s worst record at 22-60 in one season. Coach Mike Fratello was fired in December and replaced on an interim basis by Tony Barone Sr.

CLOSE CALL

Golden State guard Monta Ellis was selected the NBA''s Most Improved Player on Wednesday, edging Sacramento''s Kevin Martin in the closest voting in the award''s history. Ellis, a second-year pro who joined the Warriors straight out of his Mississippi high school, received 47 first-place votes and 352 points from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Martin received 44 first-place votes and 349 points.

SPEAKING

''He''s the one guy on our team that people don''t talk about. He''s kind of a silent assassin.'''' - Detroit coach Flip Saunders on Tayshaun Prince, who scored 23 points in the Pistons'' 93-77 win over Orlando in Game 3 of that first-round series.

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Kidd looks likely to play in Game 3 vs. Raptors
Fri, Apr 27, 2007
By Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- All-Star point guard Jason Kidd brushed off concerns about his strained left knee and said he would play for the New Jersey Nets against the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

''I feel good,'' Kidd said Friday morning, hours before Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal. ''I had a bump on the knee. I went to the doctors yesterday and everything will be fine. I'll be ready to go tonight.''

Kidd hurt the knee in the opening minutes of Game 2 on Tuesday, trying to take a charge against Raptors forward Chris Bosh.

Instead of practicing Thursday, Kidd was seen by an orthopedic surgeon. A manual examination of the knee was performed, but nothing else, Kidd said.

He had physical therapy Friday morning at the Nets' practice facility before taking part in a shootout.

''I feel like I will be full speed,'' said Kidd, who added the swelling in the knee has gone down. ''There shouldn't be anything I can't do. This morning I felt great. We'll see how everything goes tonight.''

Nets coach Lawrence Frank said formally that Kidd would be a gametime decision.

''If there is a possibility he's going to play, he'll play,'' Frank said.

Kidd has averaged 11 points, 11 assists and 10.5 rebounds in the opening two games in Toronto, which the teams split.

If he couldn't play, Frank might start rookie Marcus Williams at the point, but he also has the option of moving shooting guard Vince Carter there.

Williams has played well at times this season, but Frank did not play him in the second half of Game 2 because he struggled.

Expect Kidd to go, though. In 2004, he played 58 minutes on basically one leg in a Game 6 loss to Detroit in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

''It's the playoffs,'' Kidd said. ''Bumps and bruises you put aside and do everything to help the team. I'll just go out and do what I have been doing this series and, hopefully, get a win tonight.''

Kidd said his current injury isn't similar to 2004, when he needed surgery.

''It's just a bruise,'' Kidd said. ''We're dealing with it. It shouldn't be any problem. It should not have an effect on me or my performance.''

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