Thursday, May 31, 2012, 9:21 PM [General]
Rajon Rondo played every second for the Boston Celtics. Made just about every play. Made just about every shot, too. His final numbers: a career-high 44 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds. And somehow, even a night like that wasn't enough to beat the Miami Heat. LeBron James scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds kevin durant's jersey, Dwyane Wade scored eight of his 23 points in the extra session and the Heat rallied from 15 down to beat the Celtics 115-111 on Wednesday night - taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals by pulling off the biggest comeback in franchise postseason history. "There's no turning back. It's the conference finals,'' Rondo said. "I wanted to play every minute. I thought I didn't hurt my team by me playing every minute. I wanted to go out there and continue to do my best for my team.'' That he did, shooting 16 of 24 from the floor custom basketball jerseys, 10 of 12 from the foul line and making both his 3-point tries. Boston scored 12 points in overtime and Rondo had every one custom basketball jersey, giving his team the lead on three possessions before the Heat found a way to finally escape. "Rondo was absolutely amazing,'' James said. "The performance he put on tonight will go down in the record books.'' The Heat expected Boston's best - and the Celtics didn't disappoint kevin garnett jersey, yet still head home for Game 3 on Friday night facing a deficit no Boston team has been able to successfully overcome in a series since 1969. "Listen customized basketball jerseys, we played terrific,'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I told them, we played extremely hard. I thought we played with great heart tonight, but I didn't think we played smart all the time. And there's things we can absolutely fix, and we'll do that. We'll be ready for Friday.'' Mario Chalmers scored 22 for the Heat, who took 47 free throws - 24 by James - to Boston's 29. "This group had resolve,'' Wade said of the Celtics. "They came out and played a great game. It was physical early. They brought the game to us. That can't happen. We used our crowd and the energy to get back into the game and we had to play better.'' Paul Pierce scored 21 points, Kevin Garnett added 18 and Ray Allen 13 for Boston.
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 9:06 PM [General]
This was the fitting end to one of the darkest, most unseemly episodes in the history of the NBA, the perfect punctuation on the commissioner’s manipulation of the sale and salvation of a lost franchise. The New Orleans Hornets won the draft lottery and get to pick one of the most transcendent prospects in years, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. The NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets, with a 13.7 percent chance, won the lottery. For over a year, David Stern pushed hard to get maximum value for his owners on the re-sale of the Hornets, and Tom Benson gave Stern an asking price and an assurance the franchise wouldn’t leave New Orleans. “It’s such a joke that the league made the new owners be at the lottery for the show,” one high-ranking team executive told Yahoo! Sports. “The league still owns the Hornets. Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. This is a joke.” The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That’s the worst part for the NBA; these aren’t the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.Twyman also left his mark on the NBA for the way he helped Stokes, who was a budding star in 1958. During the last game of that season, Stokes hit his head on the floor during a game. He later had a seizure, slipped into a coma and was left paralyzed. In addition to becoming Stokes' guardian, Twyman organized an exhibition game with NBA players to raise money for Stokes, who died in 1970. That game became an annual tradition to raise money for needy former players. "He was a great man, a devoted husband and father and a tremendous grandfather,'' Jay Twyman said. "What he accomplished in his lifetime was really the equivalent of three lifetimes,'' said Twyman, referring to his father's success in basketball and business and his devotion to Stokes and other friends and family members. Jack Twyman's daughter, Lisa Bessone of Santa Fe, N.M., described her father as someone who was "larger than life and who always gave 110 percent to everything he did.'' "He believed every day was a gift, and that's how he approached his life,'' Bessone said. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Gertrude Church in the Cincinnati suburb of Madeira. Twyman also is survived by his wife Carole, two other daughters and 14 grandchildren.
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:47 PM [General]
After a painful wait for a new owner, the search for a new star was a breeze for the New Orleans Hornets. All it took was a little luck of the draw. And Anthony Davis can't wait to play as a pro in the city where he won a championship in college. The Hornets, recently sold by the NBA to Saints owner Tom Benson, won the league's draft lottery Wednesday and the No. 1 pick overall - which they almost certainly will use to select the consensus college player of the year who led Kentucky to a national title. He could be joined by another young piece, as the Hornets also have the No. 10 pick. "I'm excited for our fans, especially those people who hung in there with us,'' said coach Monty Williams, who represented the Hornets on stage and insisted his team keep playing hard as its difficult season was ending, even though it could have hurt its chances of landing a high pick. "I'm excited for the Benson family. They bought this organization without knowing what pick we were going to have. And yet I'm mindful of all the work that is going to have to be done for us to be a good team. You can't skip those steps. ... Those two young guys can't help us become a championship team overnight. We've got to address a lot of issues.'' So do the Charlotte Bobcats, who added one more loss to a historic season full of them. Michael Jordan's team had the best shot at the No. 1 pick after the worst season in NBA history, but instead fell to the No. 2 spot. No such disappointment for the Hornets, whose good fortune comes after a difficult season in which they traded All-Star Chris Paul and a couple of years in limbo where they couldn't do much to upgrade the roster while the league was looking for a buyer. "Just a first step for us to winning it all,'' Benson said in a TV interview after the lottery. The Hornets moved up from the fourth spot, where they had a 13.7 percent chance, to earn the pick. "Everything was surreal once they announced the fourth pick,'' Williams said. "I said `This is pretty cool.' I knew my wife and kids were home praying that things would go well and they did.'' The Bobcats had a 25 percent chance of grabbing the No. 1 pick after going 7-59, lowest winning percentage in NBA history. Instead they will have to take the best player after Davis, possibly his teammate, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Washington will pick third and Cleveland fell one spot to fourth.
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 1:21 AM [General]
All-Star point guard Deron Williams has made one decision about his free agency: If the Brooklyn Nets win the No. 1 pick in the NBA’s draft lottery on Wednesday night – and the chance to secure Kentucky center Anthony Davis – it won’t be enough for Williams to sign a contract extension, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. “It’s Dwight Howard or bust,” said a league source who has spoken to Williams. Williams doesn’t want to stay with the Nets unless they become an instant Eastern Conference contender and wouldn’t accept waiting for Davis’ development. The Nets have a 7.5 percent chance of winning the lottery kevin garnett jersey, and sources said the organization would be willing to part with Davis for the chance to pair Howard and Williams for the franchise’s move into a new Brooklyn arena next season. For the Nets to beat the odds and get the rights to draft Davis ramon sessions lakers jersey for sale, they believe that they’ll be able to hold onto forward Brook Lopez in a potential deal with Orlando. Howard regrets forgoing his early termination option on his 2012-13 contract, sources said, and wants a trade before next season. Nevertheless miami heat basketball jerseys, the Nets become far less appealing should Williams leave in July as a free agent kevin durant's jersey, so Howard’s camp is applying pressure on Orlando to expedite a deal once it hires a new general manager. Guided by their All-Star point guard, San Antonio shredded Oklahoma City's defense with pinpoint passes for three quarters. The Spurs were shooting 63 percent from the field and 64 percent from 3-point range at one point in the third quarter. Parker went 16 for 21 from the field, including a 3-pointer. "Tony's been great all year,'' Popovich said. "He's been really focused the entire season.'' San Antonio picked up where it left off from the 39-point fourth quarter that turned Game 1 on Sunday. With sharp passes and hot shooting, the Spurs jumped to a 19-9 lead after the Thunder missed six of their first seven shots and had three turnovers in the first 4 minutes. The Spurs shot 58 percent (22 of 38) and had 13 assists in the first half. They also cut down their turnovers customized nba jerseys, committing only six in the first half after giving away 14 in the first two quarters of Game 1. San Antonio resumed picking apart Oklahoma City's defense with precision passes after the break, scoring on five straight possessions. The biggest cheer from the crowd came after Ginobili flipped a behind-the-back pass to Parker in the corner for another 3 and the lead ballooned to 78-58. "We have seen what we can do when we play as a team,'' Harden said. "We fought hard, but it was too much of a deficit to come back (from) late in the game.'' The Spurs missed 12 of 15 shots during one stretch, but Parker hit an off-balance, high-arcing jumper with 3:39 left for a 107-96 lead and San Antonio controlled the game from there.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 10:56 PM [General]
The new nasty is plastered on T-shirts all around San Antonio, though the description hardly fits. There's probably not a more cerebral or mild-mannered team in the NBA than the Spurs, who are making basketball look so easy that sometimes their coach has to remind them a good street fight might not be so bad. Gregg Popovich gave them a rallying cry in Game 1 against Oklahoma City with an "I want nasty'' exhortation that went viral before the game was even over. He was at it again in Game 2, though his team seemed to already have matters in hand. "It's a big boy game,'' he yelled at his charges during one timeout Tuesday night. So far, the Spurs have been the biggest boys around, owners of an NBA record 20 straight wins bridging the regular season and playoffs. They haven't lost since April 11, and are a perfect 10-0 after sweeping the Jazz and Clippers and taking the first two against the Thunder. Six more and we begin talking about the Spurs as one of the greatest teams ever. Which is nice, because before playoffs began hardly anyone was talking about them at all. They play in San Antonio, an NBA backwater if there ever was one. Great town, nice riverwalk, but mostly an afterthought - even in the state of Texas. Writers from big cities travel there only when necessary, like every other year or so when it seems like the Spurs are on a run toward another NBA title. They've won four of them in the last 13 years, but the last was in 2007 and the perception was that this was a team whose time had passed. Hardly helped that the most interesting things about Tony Parker are published in the tabloids, and that Tim Duncan is about as bland as he is good. Sure, Popovich won another coach of the year award and the Spurs got on a roll at the end of the season. But when the Big Three came up for discussion it was about the players holding court in Miami, not the trio that has the Spurs deep into a record-breaking playoff run. Well, who do ya like now? LeBron and company, or the Big Three that has actually won together before and plays the kind of unselfish, fundamental basketball thought to no longer exist in the NBA? I'll take the Spurs, if only because I can't get enough of Pops. He's already among the elite as one of only five coaches with four or more NBA titles, joining the likes of Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach in that group. A fifth crown with the same team, and he'll be starting to inch into Zen Master territory as one of the great coaches ever.
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