NBA News and Notes May - 4

NBA News and Notes May - 4

NBA Today - May 4
Fri, May 4, 2007
By Associated Press

Toronto at New Jersey (8 p.m. EDT). The Nets can advance to the second round with a win. Oddsmakers list the Nets as 7-point home favorites against the Raptors. The total is set at 188 points.

STARS Thursday

- Stephen Jackson, Warriors, scored a playoff career-high 33 points, including a franchise playoff-record seven 3-pointers to lead Golden State to a 111-86 victory over Dallas.

UPSET

Golden State became the first No. 8 seed to capture a best-of-seven playoff series with a 111-86 victory over the NBA-best Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 on Thursday night. The Warriors became only the third eighth seed to upset the No. 1 and the first since the opening round went from best-of-five to the current format. The Denver Nuggets (1994) and the New York Knicks (1999) are the only other teams to win a series.

HOME SWEET HOME

The Houston Rockets lost to the Utah Jazz 94-82 Thursday night, forcing a Game 7 in Houston. The home team has won every game in the Western Conference first round.

TEAM PLAYER

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng won the NBA's sportsmanship award Thursday, edging Shane Battier and four others in a vote by players. Deng received 52 first-place votes and 2,027 points - 22 more than Battier of Houston. Utah's Derek Fisher (1,953) was third, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers' Elton Brand (1,935), Atlanta's Joe Johnson (1,737) and Toronto's Anthony Parker (1,611).

CHARGED

Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest pleaded no contest Thursday to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from a March 5 dispute with his wife. Artest was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and a 10-day work project through the county sheriff''s department. Artest also was fined $600 and ordered to get extensive counseling.

FINED

Golden State's Jason Richardson was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Thursday for improper interaction with a fan during a playoff game in Dallas. Richardson had a heated verbal exchange with the fan after missing a shot and falling out of bounds with 21.9 seconds left in the Warriors'' 118-112 loss in Game 5 of the first-round series.

SPEAKING

''This is a great feeling, to make history, to upset a No. 1 seed and do it on our home floor. We came here and handled our business in the second half.'' - Baron Davis after leading Golden State to a 111-86 victory over Dallas on Thursday night. The Warriors became the first No. 8 seed to win a best-of-seven playoff series.

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Re: NBA News and Notes May - 4

After suffering a "stinger" in Tuesday night's game against the Nets, Raptors point guard T.J. Ford did not practice on Wednesday and walked gingerly in his brief appearance at practice, the Toronto Star reported. When asked about his availability for Friday's game, Ford just said, "we'll see."

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Raptors point guard Jose Calderon did not practice on Wednesday after being forced out of Tuesday's game with a right ankle sprain, the Toronto Star reported. Calderon instead spent the day getting treatment on what he called a "mild" sprain, and said he thought he might be able to play with the pain.

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Ford optimistic about playing in Game 6; Calderon still hurting
Fri, May 4, 2007
By Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Toronto Raptors point guard T.J. Ford said he's likely to play Friday night against the New Jersey Nets in Game 6, but backcourt mate Jose Calderon wasn't as optimistic about his situation.

Ford said a sprained thumb on his non-shooting left hand was the only injury from his collision with New Jersey's Vince Carter in Game 5 of their first-round series on Tuesday night. Ford had to leave the game in the second quarter after experiencing pain and numbness in his neck, shoulders and arms.

''It's a lot better day to day,'' he said at Friday's shootaround at Continental Airlines Arena. ''I couldn't move it a couple of days ago and now I have a lot of movement and flexibility in it. I think it's a good possibility I can play.''

Calderon was still bothered by the right ankle he sprained in the final minute of Tuesday night's game. He attended Friday's shootaround, and still has pain when he attempts to move laterally.

''When I go straight, it's not that bad,'' he said. ''It's difficult when I try to go from one side to the other or turn. I'll go out and test myself tonight in warmups and see.''

Calderon and Ford will be game-time decisions. If either is unable to play, Raptors coach Sam Mitchell plans to use Darrick Martin or Juan Dixon.

Ford is averaging 15.4 points and 4.6 assists in only 24 minutes per game for the series. Calderon is averaging 12.8 points and 5.2 assists in only 30 minutes.

The Raptors trail the Nets 3-2 in the series and have lost the two games at Continental Airlines Arena.

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