Thursday , Apr , 19 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Baron Davis notched 12 points, 14 assists and
10 rebounds, as the Golden State Warriors qualified for the postseason for the
first time since 1994 with a 120-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at
the Rose Garden. Golden State (42-40) finished two games ahead of the Clippers
for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West. Since the Lakers beat
Sacramento, 117-106, Golden State is the eighth seed and the Lakers No. 7.
The Warriors will face the top- seeded Dallas Mavericks, who lost all three
contests to Golden State this season. The series starts Sunday at 9:30 p.m.
(et). Stephen Jackson scored 31 points and Jason Richardson posted 25
points and eight rebounds for the Warriors, who have won five straight and
nine of their last 10 games overall. Al Harrington netted 24 points, and
Monta Ellis added 12 points. Travis Outlaw scored a career-high 36 points for
Portland (32-50), which lost six of its last seven games overall. Martell
Webster scored 14 points, and Jamaal Magloire had 13 points and 11 boards for
the Trail Blazers, who failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth
straight year.

Final Score: Dallas 106, Seattle 75

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and Josh Howard
added 15 to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Seattle SuperSonics, 106-75, in
the regular-season finale for both clubs. Jerry Stackhouse added 13 points
and Jason Terry tallied 12 for Dallas, which won five of its final seven
games heading into the postseason. The Mavs (67-15) head into the playoffs
with home-court advantage throughout. The team will play the Warriors in the
first round. Golden State entered the playoffs thanks to a 120-98 win over
Portland on Wednesday night. The Warriors post a threat to Dallas, having
won all three regular-season matchups this year, including a 111-82 decision
on Monday night. The series begins Sunday at 9:30 p.m. (et). Devin Harris had
13 points for the Mavs, who had every player on its roster score in this
game. Rashard Lewis scored 14 points to lead Seattle (31-51), which ended its
season with five straight losses.

Final Score: LA Lakers 117, Sacramento 106

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant poured in 34 points to lead the
Los Angeles Lakers into the playoffs with a 117-106 win over the Sacramento
Kings, as the Pacific Division rivals wrapped up their regular season at ARCO
Arena. Kwame Brown scored 17 points, while Lamar Odom had 15 points and
pulled down 13 rebounds for the Lakers (42-40), who will be the seventh
seed in the Western Conference playoffs and will face the second-seeded
Phoenix Suns. Phoenix knocked out Los Angeles in the opening round last year
in seven games. The series starts Sunday at 3 p.m. (et). The Lakers went 1-3
against Phoenix this season and have dropped 10 of their last 12 regular-
season meetings with the Suns. Luke Walton finished with 10 points and 11
boards for the Lakers, who closed out their regular season with a two-game
winning streak. Mike Bibby scored 17 points — all in the first quarter
— and Ron Artest added 16 and dished out six assists for the Kings
(33-49), who had their streak of eight straight years in the postseason
halted.

Final Score: Denver 100, San Antonio 77

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Reggie Evans scored 19 points and ripped
down 20 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 100-77,
in a first round playoff preview. With San Antonio locked into the third seed
and Denver saddled with the sixth spot, both teams sat their regulars in
the season finale. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Fabricio
Oberto all rode the bench for the Spurs, while Carmelo Anthony, Allen
Iverson, Marcus Camby and Nene did not play for the Nuggets. Linas Kleiza
and J.R. Smith each scored 17 points and Steve Blake had 16 points and
eight assists for the Denver (45-37), which is 10-1 in April heading
into the playoffs. Beno Udrih scored a team-high 13 points and Melvin Ely had
11 for San Antonio (58-24), which is appearing in the playoffs for the 10th
consecutive season.

Final Score: Utah 101, Houston 91

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Paul Millsap posted 14 points and 10
rebounds, as the Utah Jazz downed the Houston Rockets, 101-91, to finish
their regular season schedules, in a prelude to their battle in the first
round of the playoffs. The Jazz (51-31) captured the Northwest Division and
are the fourth seed in the Western Conference, while Houston (52-30) is No.
5 and finished in third place in the Southwest Division. The Rockets own
home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series since they had a better
regular season record than Utah. The series starts Saturday at 9:30 p.m. (et).
Gordan Giricek also scored 14 points for the Jazz, who won three of their last
four games. Dee Brown netted 13 points and Mehmet Okur added 12 in the win.
Utah ended a three-year playoff drought by qualifying for this year’s
postseason. The Jazz last appeared in the playoffs in 2003, when they were
eliminated in five games by the Sacramento Kings in the opening round. Juwan
Howard scored 20 points for Houston, which had a five-game winning streak
snapped. Luther Head scored 18 points, Kirk Snyder 14, and Vassilis
Spanoulis added 13 in the loss. Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming didn’t play for
Houston.

Final Score: Detroit 91, Boston 89

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Ronald Murray hit the game-winning jumper at
the buzzer, as the Detroit Pistons closed out the regular season with a 91-89
win over Boston at TD Banknorth Garden. Detroit (53-29) already captured home-
court advantage in the East playoffs and its third straight division title
— the fifth in six years and eighth since the 1987-88 campaign. Detroit is
also in the postseason for the sixth straight year and owns a 53-40 record in
the playoffs since the 2001-02 season. The Pistons will play Orlando in the
first round, starting Saturday at 7 p.m. (et). Amir Johnson posted 20
points and 12 rebounds for the Central Division- champion Pistons, who
split their last four games. Murray ended with 16 points, and Jason
Maxiell and Antonio McDyess both finished with 11. Rajon Rondo notched 19
points and nine assists for Boston (24-58), which will miss the playoffs for
a second straight year.

Final Score: Cleveland 109, Milwaukee 96

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – LeBron James poured in 24 points and dished
out nine assists as Cleveland cruised past Milwaukee, 109-96, in the regular
season finale for both clubs at Quicken Loans Arena. Sasha Pavlovic added 21
points and Donyell Marshall donated 14 off the bench for the for the
Cavaliers (50-32), who won their final four games of the season. Cleveland
earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs because the
Chicago Bulls lost at New Jersey, 106-97 Wednesday night. The Cavaliers
will face Washington in the first round of the playoffs, starting Sunday at
12:30 p.m. (et). Larry Hughes netted 13 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas
ended with 10 for the Cavaliers, who swept the season series 4-0 with
Milwaukee and beat the Bucks for a seventh straight time. Earl Boykins scored
28 points and Ruben Patterson chipped in 19 for the Bucks (28-54), who have
dropped eight straight at Cleveland. Charlie Bell posted 12,
Maurice Williams 11 and Ersan Ilyasova 10 points in defeat.

Final Score: New Jersey 106, Chicago 97

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Vince Carter scored 24 points, grabbed
10 rebounds and dished out nine assists, as New Jersey captured the sixth seed
in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 106-97 victory over Chicago at
Continental Airlines Arena. Mikki Moore added 22 points and Richard Jefferson
had 21 for the Nets (41-41), who finished the season winning four straight
and eight of their last 10 games. They will face the Atlantic Division
champion Toronto Raptors in the first round, beginning Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
(et). Bostjan Nachbar and Josh Boone each donated 15 points off the bench
for New Jersey, which has won 11 straight and 14 of its last 15 against
Chicago at home. Kirk Hinrich posted 20 points with nine assists and Andres
Nocioni chipped in 19 for the Bulls (49-33), who dropped to the fifth
seed in the East as Cleveland beat Milwaukee on the final night of the
regular season. Luol Deng recorded 15 points and 11 boards, while Ben Gordon
also had 15 in defeat, as the Bulls finished a game behind the Cavaliers.
Chicago will meet the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in the first round,
but will have home-court advantage for the series by virtue of a better
record. The series begins Saturday at 3 p.m. (et).

Final Score: Washington 98, Indiana 95

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Antawn Jamison scored 19 points and pulled
down 11 rebounds, as the Washington Wizards beat Indiana, 98-95, to grab the
seventh seed heading into the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
DeShawn Stevenson added 15 points for the Wizards (41-41), who are in the
postseason despite losing two of their best players to injuries – Gilbert
Arenas and Caron Butler. Washington will play Cleveland in the first round of
the playoffs, starting Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (et). Antonio Daniels added 13
points and nine assists for Washington, which won just two of its final 10
games to end the regular season. The Wizards swept the season series (3-0)
from the Pacers for the first time since 1976-77. Mike Dunleavy Jr. had 17
points for the Pacers (35-47), who missed out on the postseason, finishing
five games behind eighth seed Orlando. Their victories are the fewest since
winning 28 in the 1988-89 season. After that the Pacers reached the playoffs
in 16 of the next 17 campaigns. The Pacers played without Jermaine O’Neal,
who was sidelined with a sore left knee. Guard Jamaal Tinsley also didn’t play
due to a sore right elbow.

Final Score: Orlando 94, Miami 68

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Grant Hill scored 17 points, and the Orlando
Magic routed the Miami Heat, 94-68, in the regular season finale for both
clubs. Hedo Turkoglu finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for the
Magic (40-42), who will enter the playoffs having won four straight, and
six of seven. Orlando, the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, will match
up with the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the playoffs. Orlando
could have moved up to seventh if both Washington and New Jersey had
lost Wednesday night, but both teams won. Dwight Howard was a force on the
boards for Orlando, pulling down 14 rebounds to go with 12 points. The Magic
will start the playoffs Saturday night at 7 p.m. (et) at the Palace of Auburn
Hills. Dorell Wright scored 17 points for the Heat (44-38), who have
dropped their last two entering the postseason. Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane
Wade both sat for the Heat, who have locked up the fourth seed in the East.
Miami will draw the Chicago Bulls in first round and, despite the face that
the Heat are the higher seed, the Bulls will have homecourt advantage
thanks to their better record. Miami’s first playoff game is Saturday at 3
p.m. (et).

Final Score: Philadelphia 122, Toronto 119

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Willie Green scored a career-high 37 points as
the Philadelphia 76ers ended their season with a 122-119 win over the playoff-
bound Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Andre Miller had 29 points,
nine rebounds and eight assists for the 76ers (35-47). Joe Smith finished
with 26 points and 11 boards for Philadelphia. Luke Jackson scored a career-
high 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting and Chris Bosh added 23 points and nine
boards, for the Raptors (47-35), who lost their final two games of the season
after their six-game winning streak. Andrea Bargnani donated 17 points in his
first game after missing 14 because of an appendectomy for Toronto, which will
play New Jersey in the first round of the playoffs, starting Saturday at 12:30
p.m. (et).

Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 86, LA Clippers 83

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Rasual Butler hit a follow-up jumper with
1.5 seconds remaining to lift the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets past the
Los Angeles Clippers, 86-83, in the season-finale for both clubs. With a win
and a Golden State loss to Portland, the Clippers could have clinched
the eighth and final playoffs spot in the Western Conference. The Warriors,
though, routed the Trail Blazers and locked up the final playoff berth as
LA battled the Hornets down the stretch in the fourth quarter. David West
scored 32 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Hornets (39-43), who will
play next season solely in New Orleans for the first time since the 2004-2005
season, before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city. Devin Brown and Marc
Jackson each scored 12 points, while Butler finished with 11. Maggette had 21
points and 11 boards for the Clippers (40-42), who were looking to appear
in the postseason in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992 and
1993.

Final Score: Memphis 116, Minnesota 94

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Pau Gasol scored 25 points and grabbed 16
rebounds as the NBA’s worst team, the Memphis Grizzlies, ended the season on a
positive note with a 116-94 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tarence Kinsey scored 22 points, ripped down nine boards, and doled out seven
assists for the Grizzlies (22-60), who won a season-best three straight to
close their 2006-07 campaign. Hakim Warrick finished with 18 points and seven
boards, and Dahntay Jones had 16 points and seven boards for Memphis.
Randy Foye finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for the T-
Wolves (32-50), who finished their disappointing season with seven straight
losses. Ricky Davis had 23 points, six boards and six assists, and Craig Smith
had 11 points and 13 boards.

Final Score: New York 94, Charlotte 93

Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) – Eddy Curry’s tip-in with 0.6 seconds
remaining lifted the New York Knicks over the Charlotte Bobcats in the season-
finale for both clubs. Curry ended with 28 points and eight rebounds for
the Knicks (33-49), who finished their season by ending a five-game losing
streak. Steve Francis added 24 points and eight boards for New York, which
also finished the first season under head coach Isiah Thomas with just three
wins in 16 games. Nate Robinson tallied 18 points and Malik Rose had 10
points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, as the Knicks used the final second
heroics to salvage an otherwise disappointing season that resulted in
missing the playoffs for a third straight year and fifth time in six
campaigns. Walter Herrmann had 22 points to lead Charlotte (33-49), which
dropped two of its final three games under head coach Bernie Bickerstaff,
who is also the general manager and will remain with the team in a front
office position. The only head coach in Bobcats’ history will not return
next season. He ends his three-year reign with a 77-169 mark.