NBA news and Notes May - 31

NBA news and Notes May - 31

NBA Today - May 31
Thu, May 31, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Thursday, May 31

Cleveland at Detroit (8 p.m. EDT). The series is tied 2-2.

STARS

Wednesday

- Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, Spurs. Each finished with 21 points to lead San Antonio into the NBA Finals with a 109-84 win over Utah.

GOING FOR FOUR

San Antonio's 109-84 win over Utah on Wednesday night put them in the NBA Finals for the fourth time. They won it all in 1999, 2003 and '05.

KOBE'S BEEF

Believing he had been insulted and misled, Kobe Bryant asked the Los Angles Lakers for a trade Wednesday and insisted nothing could change his mind. Then something did. He spoke with coach Phil Jackson and backed off his request. Bryant also told KLAC, the Lakers' flagship station, that he hadn't heard from owner Jerry Buss, indicating a conversation could go a long way toward resolving the matter.

HURTING

The Jazz missed Derek Fisher and Deron Williams in their 109-84 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday night. Fisher missed the start of the game because he was flying back from New York, where his infant daughter was getting medical care for a rare eye condition, and Williams was slowed by a sprained right foot.

SPEAKING

''Our first quarter was unbelievable. I can't remember, since I've been with the Spurs, shooting the ball like that. Our offense was great, our defense was great. ... You can't ask for a better start.'' - San Antonio's Tony Parker after the Spurs shot out to a 30-11 lead in the first quarter of their 109-84 win Wednesday night to advance to the NBA Finals.

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Bobcats lure Higgins away from Warriors to be GM
May 31, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -The Charlotte Bobcats hired Rod Higgins as general manager Thursday, reuniting him with former boss Michael Jordan.

Higgins served as Golden State's GM the last three seasons, part of more than two decades of experience as an NBA player, coach and executive. Higgins will manage and oversee all player personnel matters for the franchise as it heads into its fourth season.

Higgins was a Washington Wizards assistant GM from 2000-2003, when Jordan was the team's president of basketball operations. Higgins also played with the Chicago Bulls during Jordan's rookie season in 1984-85.

Jordan became a part-owner of the Bobcats last June and took the final say on all basketball decisions from coach and general manager Bernie Bickerstaff.

Bickerstaff stepped down as coach at the end of the season, but is staying with the team as an executive vice president and will essentially be Jordan's top aide.

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Pacers hire O'Brien as coach
May 31, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Jim O'Brien was hired Thursday as coach of the Indiana Pacers, who turned to an NBA veteran in hopes of reviving a team that missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade and has been beset by player turmoil.

The announcement ends a five-week search that began with the firing of Rick Carlisle after four seasons.

O'Brien has coached in Boston and Philadelphia, compiling a 182-158 record in five seasons. He has been out of coaching since he was fired by the '76ers after the 2005 season.

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Cavs Larry Hughes (heel) said at today's shootaround that he expects to get a cortisone shot that will help him start in tonight's game.

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