Thursday , Apr , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Ronald Murray scored 19 points and dished
out six assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers edged the Atlanta Hawks, 100-99, at
Quicken Loans Arena in the regular season finale for both teams. With the
victory, Cleveland reached the 50-win mark for the first time since the
1992-93 campaign. Anderson Varejao posted 14 points and 18 rebounds while
Donyell Marshall scored 16 points for the Cavaliers, who will be the No. 4
seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will take Washington on in the
first round. Cleveland did not play several of its regulars, including
LeBron James and Larry Hughes. Josh Smith netted a game-high 21 points and
added five boards for Atlanta, which finished with a record of 26-56. Al
Harrington had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.

Final Score: Indiana 89, Orlando 83

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Jermaine O’Neal had 24 points, 13
rebounds and six blocks as the Indiana Pacers secured the sixth seed for the
upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs with an 89-83 win over the Orlando Magic
in the season finale for both clubs. Stephen Jackson added 22 points and
Peja Stojakovic had 17 points and six boards for the Pacers, who enter their
first-round matchup against the third- seeded New Jersey Nets on a two-game
winning streak. Anthony Johnson had 10 points for Indiana, which has won five
of its last six games. Carlos Arroyo had 17 points and Keyon Dooling had 15
for the Magic, who ended their campaign with consecutive setbacks to
complete a 36-46 season. Trevor Ariza added 13 points and 12 boards for
Orlando, which was swept by the Pacers in the three-game season series.

Final Score: New York 90, New Jersey 83

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Jamal Crawford scored 23 points and
dished out 11 assists, as the New York Knicks avoided 60 losses on the season
after defeating the New Jersey Nets, 90-83, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Eddy Curry added 18 points for the Knicks, who snapped a five-game losing
streak and avoided setting a single-season record for most defeats in a
season. The Knicks finished the season at 23-59. Knicks head coach Larry
Brown returned to the bench after missing three games due to a stomach
ailment, but assistant coach Herb Williams coached most of the game. Jacque
Vaughn scored 15 points with eight assists for the Nets, who were without
regulars Vince Carter, Nenad Krstic and Jason Kidd. Regular starter Richard
Jefferson netted 13 points in 18-plus minutes of work for the Nets. Zoran
Planinic donated 10 points and six assists for the Nets, who closed out the
season by losing four of six. However, the Nets head into the postseason as
the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nets will face the Indiana
Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

Final Score: Charlotte 92, Philadelphia 86

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – Philadelphia native Matt Carroll scored 20
points to lead Charlotte in a season-ending win over the 76ers, 92-86, at
Charlotte Bobcats Arena. Melvin Ely scored 18 points for the Bobcats, who
concluded the campaign with a team record four straight wins. Raymond Felton,
who scored double figures for the 19th straight game, added 15 points and nine
assists. John Salmons scored 19 points for the 76ers, who lost three of their
last four games to close out the season. Kyle Korver netted 13 points and
Willie Green added 11. Philadelphia stars Allen Iverson and Chris Webber
showed up late to the bench for the second straight game, but were not
expected to play anyway because of injuries.

Final Score: Washington 96, Detroit 80

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Caron Butler finished with 33 points and 12
rebounds and Antawn Jamison added 21 points and nine boards, as the Washington
Wizards sewed up the fifth seed in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs
with a 96-80 victory over Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Gilbert
Arenas donated 18 points and dished out seven assists in Washington’s third
straight victory. As the fifth seed, Washington will square off against the
fourth-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. Carlos Delfino was the
only Piston in double figures with 17 points and three players — Richard
Hamilton, Lindsey Hunter and Rasheed Wallace — all added nine points in the
club’s second consecutive setback. While the Wizards played their stars,
Arenas and Jamison, 38-plus minutes each, Detroit sat starting point guard
Chauncey Billups while Ben Wallace was the only starter to play more than 25
minutes. The Pistons had already locked up the top seed in the Eastern
Conference playoffs prior to the contest and sat many starters to prevent
injuries. They will open up against Milwaukee in the first round of the
playoffs.

Final Score: Boston 85, Miami 78

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Ryan Gomes scored 19 points as Boston toppled
Miami, 85-78, in the season finale for both clubs. Tony Allen scored 17
points off the bench for the Celtics, who halted a five- game losing streak
to end the season. Brian Scalabrine tallied 10 points, while Raef LaFrentz
scored just two points, but led Boston with 11 rebounds. Paul Pierce and
Delonte West did not play for the Celtics. Dorell Wright scored 20 points
and grabbed seven rebounds for the Heat, who sat most of their starters
after having already clinched the Southeast Division title and the
second seed in the Eastern Conference. Antoine Walker scored 14 points, while
Jason Kapono and Wayne Simien each added nine. Miami was without Shaquille O’
Neal and Dwyane Wade.

Final Score: San Antonio 89, Houston 87

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Brent Barry sprang for 19 points off the
bench as the San Antonio Spurs slipped past the Houston Rockets, 89-87, at the
Toyota Center in the regular season finale for both clubs. Michael Finley
tallied 17 points and Manu Ginobili had 11 points and six assists for
San Antonio, which is the top seed in the Western Conference and heads into
the playoffs with a three-game winning streak. Stromile Swift had a team-
high 18 points while Luther Head posted 17 points and seven rebounds for
the Rockets, who dropped five of six to finish the season.

Final Score: LA Clippers 85, Dallas 71

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Corey Maggette returned to the lineup for the
Clippers and scored 18 points as Los Angeles defeated the Dallas Mavericks,
85-71, in the regular season finale for both teams. Maggette, who missed the
last seven games with back spasms, added 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who
ended a two-game losing streak and as the sixth seed in the Western Conference
will face No. 3 Denver in round one of the playoffs. Chris Kaman added 14
points and six rebounds while Walter McCarty contributed 12 points off the
bench. Los Angeles rested starters Elton Brand and Sam Cassell. Rawle Marshall
came off the bench to lead Dallas with a career-high 13 points as the
Mavs lost three of their last four games to close out the season. Jason
Terry had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Dirk Nowitzki was
held out of the game for Dallas, which will be the fourth seed and will
have homecourt advantage in the first round against No. 5 Memphis.

Final Score: Memphis 102, Minnesota 92 (2OT)

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Brian Cardinal scored 18 points, pulled
down 11 rebounds and drained three treys in the second overtime, as Memphis
went into the playoffs on a winning note with a 102-92 victory over Minnesota
at the Target Center. Anthony Roberson scored a career-high 14 points and
Dahntay Jones donated 13 points for Memphis, which ended the regular
season on a five-game winning streak. The Grizzlies finished 8-1 in April and
as the fifth seed, will square off against the fourth-seeded Dallas
Mavericks in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Star
players Pau Gasol and Eddie Jones spent the night on the bench in street
clothes to avoid injury. Eddie Griffin posted a double-double with 17
points and 15 rebounds while Marcus Banks added 15 points for the
Timberwolves, who ended the season with three consecutive defeats and will
miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

Final Score: Chicago 127, Toronto 106

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ben Gordon paced six Chicago players in
double figures as the Bulls solidified the seventh playoff seed in the Eastern
Conference with a 127-106 win over the Toronto Raptors at the United Center.
Gordon ended with 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Bulls, who
closed out the regular season with a six-game winning streak and will now face
the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Luol Deng added 21 points
and seven rebounds, Kirk Hinrich scored 17 points with 10 assists and Chris
Duhon and Jannero Pargo each scored 11 in the win. Chicago could have finished
as high as fifth in the Eastern Conference, but wins on Wednesday by
Washington and Indiana prevented that. Morris Peterson and Charlie Villanueva
each netted 29 points for the Raptors, who lost 12 of their last 13 games
to end the season.

Final Score: Utah 105, Golden State 102

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 11
rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a season-ending 105-102 win over the Golden
State Warriors at the Delta Center. Mehmet Okur and C.J. Miles had 23
points each for the Jazz, who ended their season 41-41. Deron Williams had
12 points and 13 assist for Utah, which had lost its previous two contests.
Monta Ellis had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Warriors,
who had a four-game win streak halted. Derek Fisher and Ike Diogu had 20
points each for Golden State, which ended the year 34-48 after a 14-9 start to
the season.

Final Score: Phoenix 106, Portland 96

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Shawn Marion posted 32 points and 11
rebounds as Phoenix dropped Portland, 106-96, at the Rose Garden to end the
regular season. Steve Nash notched a triple-double with 16 points, 12 assists
and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who won their second straight game. Tim Thomas
scored 12 points, while James Jones added 11 points and 10 boards. Jarrett
Jack scored 18 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost their eighth
straight. Phoenix won the Pacific Division for a second straight year and will
be the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Suns will have the
homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven first-round series. The Suns will
play the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening round of the playoffs,
after the Lakers beat the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets on Wednesday,
115-95.

Final Score: Seattle 109, Denver 98

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Ray Allen scored 27 points, shooting 7-of-13
from beyond the arc to set a new NBA record for three-pointers in a season, as
Seattle toppled a playoff-bound Memphis team that sat most of its starters,
109-98, in the season finale for both teams. Allen finished with 269 three-
pointers for the SuperSonics, who ended the year with a record of 35-47. Luke
Ridnour and Rashard Lewis each scored 15 points. Earl Watson scored 14
points off the bench, while Ridnour also added eight assists and five
rebounds. DerMarr Johnson tallied 22 points and pulled down six boards for
the Nuggets, who won the Northwest Division and own the third seed in
the Western Conference playoffs, but will not have home-court advantage
against the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. Linas Kleiza scored 17
points off the bench, while Ruben Patterson added 16. Carmelo Anthony, Marcus
Camby, Kenyon Martin and Greg Buckner did not play for Denver.

Final Score: LA Lakers 115, New Orleans/Oklahoma City 95

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant capped a remarkable regular
season with a 35-point performance, as the Los Angeles Lakers secured the
seventh spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 115-95 victory over New
Orleans/Oklahoma City at Staples Center. Kwame Brown contributed 19 points and
eight rebounds while Brian Cook added 12 points in Los Angeles’ fifth
straight victory. Smush Parker and Devean George donated 10 points apiece in a
winning effort. The seventh-seeded Lakers will head to the Valley of the
Sun to begin their first-round playoff series against the second-seeded
Phoenix Suns on Sunday. P.J. Brown led the Hornets with 16 points while Marc
Jackson posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds in the club’s
fourth straight setback. Moochie Norris added 13 points and Desmond Mason
sprang for 12 points in defeat, the Hornets fourth straight on the road
versus the Lakers.