NBA News and Notes May - 2

NBA News and Notes May - 2

NBA Today - May 2
Wed, May 2, 2007
By Associated Press

L.A. Lakers at Phoenix (10:30 p.m. EDT). Kobe Bryant has averaged 32.5 points for the Lakers, but the Suns lead the series 3-1. Oddsmakers list the Suns as 10-point favorites. The total is set at 210 1/2.

STARS Tuesday

-Jose Calderon, Raptors, scored a career-high 25 points with eight assists as Toronto staved off elimination and beat New Jersey 98-96.

-Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, had 30 points and 12 rebounds as Dallas avoided elimination with a 118-112 victory over Golden State.

NOT FINISHED YET

After letting a 21-point lead turn into a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes, Dirk Nowitzki hit consecutive 3-pointers to start a game-ending 15-0 run that carried Dallas past Golden State 118-112 Tuesday night and cut the Warriors'' series lead to 3-2.

BANGED UP

Toronto point guard T.J. Ford left shortly after colliding with New Jersey''s Vince Carter late in the first quarter of the Raptors'' 98-96 victory Tuesday night. Ford suffered what team officials called a ''stinger.'''' Tests showed no serious problems but Ford still complained of soreness after the game. Backup Jose Calderon scored a career-high 25 points before hurting his ankle in the game''s final minute. The severity of his injury was not known.

FOR NAUGHT

Golden State hit a franchise playoff-record 16 3-pointers, but missed its last eight shots in falling to Dallas 118-112 Tuesday night. The Warriors still lead the Western Conference opening-round series 3-2 and can close it out Thursday at home.

TOUGH ROAD

Houston, which leads its Western Conference first-round series with the Jazz 3-2, hasn''t won in Utah since March 2005. Game 6 is Thursday night in Salt Lake City, where Utah has won 55 of 73 playoff games since 1992.

SPEAKING

''It doesn''t matter if we play (Game 6) on the moon. We fear nobody. It''s about taking on the challenge.'''' - Dallas guard Jason Terry after Tuesday night''s 118-112 victory cut Golden State''s opening-round series lead to 3-2.

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Re: NBA News and Notes May - 2

Raps' Ford, Calderon leave Game 5
Wed, May 2, 2007
By Associated Press

TORONTO -- After staving off elimination by holding on for a win in Game 5, the Toronto Raptors hope they have enough healthy players for Game 6.

Jose Calderon scored a career-high 25 points before spraining his ankle in the final minute and Andrea Bargnani added 18 points as the Raptors rebounded from two double-digit losses to beat the New Jersey Nets 98-96 on Tuesday night.

''It took everything and it took everybody,'' Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. ''They didn't go away quietly.''

Game 6 in the first-round series is Friday night in New Jersey.

The victory came at a cost for Toronto, who lost point guards Calderon and T.J. Ford to injury.

''We're going to need these couple of days in between games,'' Mitchell said. ''We've got some guys banged up but hopefully they'll feel a little bit better tomorrow.''

Ford left shortly after colliding with Carter with less than 30 seconds to play in the first quarter. Ford, who suffered what team officials called a ''stinger,'' was taken to a hospital for tests. He returned to the arena and was sitting on the bench late in the fourth quarter. Tests showed no serious problems but Ford still complained of soreness after the game.

Calderon was taken to a hospital after the game for tests on his ankle. The severity of his injury was not known.

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Re: NBA News and Notes May - 2

Kobe misses practice
Wed, May 2, 2007

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant did not practice yesterday because of a stiff back, but he is still expected to play tonight in Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns.

Bryant leads all scorers with a 32.5 scoring average in this year’s playoffs. Lamar Odom (16 points a game) is the only other Laker averaging double figures.

Bryant missed three games this year with knee and ankle injuries and two games because of suspensions. The Lakers went 3-2 straight up and against the spread in those games. Bryant led the league in scoring during the regular season averaging 31.6 in 77 games.

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Re: NBA News and Notes May - 2

Nuggets' J.R. Smith benched for Game 5
Wed, May 2, 2007

Denver Nuggets backup shooting guard J.R. Smith will watch tonight's Game 5 against the San Antonio Spurs from the bench because of poor play.

“He’s a good-bad player,” Nuggets coach George Karl told the Denver Post after Tuesday's practice. “You evaluate his good, you evaluate his bad. He had good plays in Game 3 and he had good plays in Game 4. But you’ve just got to be mentally more secure and tougher than he showed in Game 4.”

Smith’s numbers have been anything but impressive in the playoffs. He is only 6-for-22 from the field and 0-for-12 from 3-point distance. Smith was the team’s third leading-scoring and shot an impressive .390 from 3-point land in the regular season.

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