Biyernes, Mayo 13, 2011

Bring on the Heat

THE CHICAGO Bulls set up an Eastern Conference finals showdown with the Miami Heat following a 93-73 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.

The Bulls took the series against the Hawks, 4-2.

This year’s MVP Derrick Rose scored 19 points and issued 12 assists to lead the rout. He got plenty of support from Carlos Boozer, who also doubled up with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

The top-seeded Bulls will host the Heat in Game 1 on Sunday.

Huwebes, Mayo 12, 2011

Thunder strike

NO NEED for overtime on this one.
Kevin Durant led a balanced attack as the Oklahoma City Thunder followed up a triple overtime win with a 99-72 rout against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.
Durant scored “only” 19 points – his lowest in this year’s playoffs – but six of his teammates chipped in at least nine points.
The Thunder also tightened up their defensive screws, holding the prolific Zach Randolph to a measly nine points and the Grizzlies to a season-worst 36 percent shooting.

James, Heat advance

LEBRON JAMES exorcised the demons of his past playoff failures against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

The two-time MVP scored the game’s final 10 points in Miami’s 97-87 win over the Celtics to cap and 16-0 finishing kick that ended the Eastern Conference semifinal series at 4-1.

The Celtics eliminated James and his former team Cleveland Cavaliers in two of the last three seasons.

James shattered an 87-all tie with a three-pointer with 2:10 to go, added another one with less than a minute to play, picked up a steal and dunked the ball in the ensuing play, and put the icing with another basket on their last possession.

The Celtics took an 87-81 lead with 4:29 left, but went scoreless the rest of the way.

Dwyane Wade carried the fight for the Heat early, scoring 23 of his 34 points in the first half. James had 23 of his 33 points after the halftime break.

Miyerkules, Mayo 11, 2011

Bulls take 3-2 lead

THE CHICAGO Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter behind Derrick and Taj Gibson to score a 95-83 win and seize a 3-2 lead over the Atlanta Hawks in their Easter Conference semifinal series on Tuesday.
Rose scattered 33 points while Gibson poured in all of his 11 in the fourth period as the Bulls broke away from a tight contest.
The Bulls outscored the Hawks, 26-15, in the fourth period.
The Hawks took the lead, albeit briefly, at the start of the fourth, 70-69. But the Bulls responded with nine unanswered points to take control.

Lunes, Mayo 9, 2011

Thunder win in 3OT

THE OKLAHOMA City Thunder rallied from an early double-digit deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies in triple overtime, 133-123, and even their series at 2-all on Monday.
Inspired by the prospect of moving within a win of the Western Conference finals, the Grizzlies raced to a 28-16 in the opening period.
But the Thunder, led by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, outscored the Grizzlies in each of the next three periods.
Westbrook finished with 40 points, five rebounds and five assists while Durant tallied 35 points and 13 rebounds.
Regulation ended at 96-all, the first overtime at 109-all and the second overtime at 119-all.

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Heat push Celtics on the brink

LEBRON JAMES came out firing after a sub-par performance as the Miami Heat took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Boston Celtics following a 98-90 overtime win on Monday.
The two-time MVP scored 35 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. He already had 20 at halftime, easily surpassing his 15-point output in their Game 3 loss.
Chris Bosh also came up big after getting thoroughly outplayed by Kevin Garnett in the previous outing. He finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, including a huge tip-in in the closing minutes of overtime that gave the Heat a 95-90 lead.
Dwyane Wade completed the big night of the Heat’s Big Three with his 28 points and nine rebounds.
The Heat can close out the series at home in Game 5 on Wednesday.

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Hawks level series

JOSH SMITH and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a nine-game home losing streak in the Eastern Conference semifinal with a 100-88 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
Their skid began against the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 1996 playoffs.
Smith scattered 23 points, hauled 16 rebounds and issued eight assists in his best outing in this year’s post-season. The series is now tied at 2-all.
The victory guaranteed at least another home game for the Hawks – the Game 6 of the series. Chicago will host Game 5 and, if necessary, Game 7.

Mavericks sweep Lakers

THE DALLAS Mavericks ended the reign of the Los Angeles Lakers and the coaching career of Phil Jackson with a 122-86 thrashing on Sunday.
Jackson, the most successful coach in NBA history with 11 championships in 13 finals appearances, insisted that this would be his last hurrah.
The Mavericks made his exit quick with a series sweep and in style. With Jason Terry leading the way, the Mavericks tied an NBA playoffs record with 11 three-pointers in the first half and 20 in the game.
Terry went 9-for-10 from beyond the arc while Peja Stojakovic made all of his six tries from long distance.
They led 63-39 at halftime and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

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Linggo, Mayo 8, 2011

Helterbrand raring to get back soon

FOR Jayjay Helterbrand, no injury hurts as much as seeing his team getting beat in the brand of play suited for him.

The Barangay Ginebra guard helplessly watched his team play catch-up to the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.

“Our opponents are killing us in the open court,” he observed.

That was plain for all to see. The Kings don’t have the velocity to keep pace with the Tropang Texters.

Helterbrand could certainly help address the issue. But a hamstring injury kept him in the garage for the whole conference.

“It’s kind of frustrating really,” he said. “But I still believe we could pull it off.”

The Kings fell behind 1-3 in the best-of-seven series as the Tropang Texters repeatedly smoked them in the open court.

But the never-say-die team gamely extended the series to six games with a gritty 100-93 win in Game 5. They could tie the series with another victory tonight, May 8.

The future looks bright for Helterbrand and the Kings.

“My hamstring is fully healed now and all I’m doing is strengthening it,” he said. “I’m already practicing with the team and I should be ready for the next conference.” 

He and best buddy Mark Caguioa formed one of the most exciting backcourt combos in the PBA lore. They are collectively known as the “Fast and the Furious.”

His hardcourt brilliance was rewarded in the 2008-09 season when he won the coveted Most Valuable Player award.

Life outside basketball is never boring for Helterbrand.

“I like to hang out with my kids. Play video games with them,” he said while counting the Call of Duty and NBA 2K among his favorites.

He’s also in constant communication with his mother. “I’m going to chat with my mom online. I’m going to try to Skype and get a hold of her, wish her a happy Mother’s Day, and have a good time with her.”

Obviously, he’s one of the very few techie guys in the league. It just makes sense that he has a web store business in the United States.

Celtics freeze Heat

KEVIN GARNETT imposed his will in the shaded lane and the Boston Celtics made sure there will be no sweep in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with an emphatic 97-81 win over the Miami Heat on Saturday.

The former league MVP had his best showing in this year’s playoffs, finishing with 28 points and 18 rebounds while limiting Heat all-star power forward Chris Bosh to just six points and five rebounds.

Facing a must-win situation after falling 0-2, the Celtics came out firing and built an early double-digit spread.
They showed a lot of courage too.

Rajon Rondo fell hard after colliding with Dwyane Wade and dislocated his left elbow. But he returned to help the Celtics complete the victory.

Flag this message Grizzlies rally past Thunder

THE MEMPHIS Grizzlies rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime, 101-93, and take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday.

Zach Randolph delivered 21 points and a franchise-record 21 rebounds as the Grizzlies inched closer to a place previously untouched by a No. 8 seed from the West.

No eighth seeded team has reached the Western Conference finals before.

The Thunder took a 70-54 lead following a tip-in by Kendrick Perkins with 3:53 left in the third period. But the Grizzlies quickly countered with a 13-2 spurt and dominated the fourth with their hustle plays.

Kevin Durant and Randolph both failed in their tries to win it in regulation with the game tied at 86-all. 

Durant’s jumper with four seconds left went long while Randolph’s 20-footer just before the buzzer was off to the left.

Grizzlies rally past Thunder

THE MEMPHIS Grizzlies rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime, 101-93, and take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Zach Randolph delivered 21 points and a franchise-record 21 rebounds as the Grizzlies inched closer to a place previously untouched by a No. 8 seed from the West.

No eighth seeded team has reached the Western Conference finals before.

The Thunder took a 70-54 lead following a tip-in by Kendrick Perkins with 3:53 left in the third period. But the Grizzlies quickly countered with a 13-2 spurt and dominated the fourth with their hustle plays.

Kevin Durant and Randolph both failed in their tries to win it in regulation with the game tied at 86-all. Durant’s jumper with four seconds left went long while Randolph’s 20-footer just before the buzzer was off to the left.

Sabado, Mayo 7, 2011

Rose, Bulls overwhelm Hawks

DERRICK ROSE showed the form that earned him the MVP award this year, netting a career-high 44 points as the Bulls regained the home court advantage with a 99-82 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Bulls took the lead in the series for the first time, 2-1.

“Just attacking the whole game,” Rose said. “That was my whole thought process.”
He found little resistance from the Hawks. “He’s a tough cover anyway,” said Jeff Teague, who had the unenviable task of defending Rose most of the night.

Rose made 16 of 27 shots, including four three-pointers. He also issued seven assists, grabbed five rebounds, picked up a steal and blocked a shot.
PEJA STOJAKOVIC found his touch in time to help the Dallas Mavericks rally past the Los Angeles Lakers, 98-92, and move within a victory of clinching a spot in the Western Conference final on Saturday.
The sweet-shooting forward scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth period, spiked by three timely three-pointers that fueled their rally.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry also came up big for the Mavericks down the stretch. Nowitzki scored 32 points and canned the go-ahead free throws, 88-87, in the closing minutes off a Pau Gasol foul.

The Lakers regained the lead on a floater by Derek Fisher, but Terry answered with a booming trey on the ensuing play to put the Mavericks ahead for good.

All 98 teams in NBA playoffs history that have trailed 0-3 in a best-of-seven ended up losing the series.

Miyerkules, Mayo 4, 2011

Mavericks take 2-0 lead

DIRK NOWITZKI and the Dallas Mavericks put Kobe Bryant and two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on the brink of elimination with a methodical 93-81 win on Wednesday.
The Mavericks can wrap up their Western Conference semifinal date at home with victories in the next two games.
Nowitzki scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Mavericks took two games at the Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 23 points, but wasn’t much of a factor in other areas. He had no rebound in 38 minutes of play.
The Mavericks seized control early in the fourth period, padding the lead to double digits and never looked back.

Bulls hold off Hawks

A GAME-ENDING 9-2 spurt by the Chicago Bulls foiled an Atlanta Hawks rally, settled an 86-73 victory, and evened their Eastern Conference semifinal series at 1-all.
Derrick Rose received his MVP trophy in a brief ceremony before tip-off and proceeded to score 25 points to lead the Bulls.
Joakim Noah chipped in 19 points and 14 rebounds and Luol Deng 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Bulls dominated the boards to avoid falling 0-2 in the best-of-seven series.
The Bulls outrebounded the Hawks, 58-39.
Despite that and the cold shooting of super-sub Jamal Crawford, the Hawks were within six points midway in the fourth period, 71-77.
The Bulls tightened up their defensive screws from there. Crawford managed only 11 points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Most Valua-Bull

DERRICK ROSE of the Chicago Bulls was officially named the NBA Most Valuable Player on Tuesday.
He is the youngest ever recipient of the award and the only other Bulls player to win it after Michael Jordan.
The 22-year-old playmaker averaged 25 points and 7.7 assists while leading the Bulls to a league-best 62-20 record.
Rose received 113 first-place votes and a total of 1,182 points from a panel of media voters. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard was a distant second with 643 points. Two-time MVP LeBron James of the Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder rounded out the top five.

Martes, Mayo 3, 2011

Thunder even series

JAMES HARDEN sparked the Oklahoma City Thunder off the bench to get even with the Memphis Grizzlies, 111-102, in the Western Conference semifinal on Tuesday.
The Thunder reserves combined for only 16 points in their Game 1 loss. They tripled that total this time with Harden contributing 21 points.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 26 points while Russell Westbrook accounted for 24.
But it was their bench that spelled the difference. Harden scored seven points and Eric Maynor hit three triples in a decisive 18-6 run at the start of the fourth period that gave the Thunder a 94-74 lead.
Game 3 is in Memphis on Saturday.

No-no for Liriano

FRANCISCO LIRIANO hurled the Major League Baseball’s first no-hitter this season as the Minnesota Twins edged the Chicago White Sox, 1-0, on Tuesday.
It was also Liriano’s first career complete game in 95 major league starts.
The 27-year-old left-hander completed the no-hitter after Adam Dunn lined out to shortstop Matt Tolbert. He did it in 123 pitches, walking six batters and striking out two.

Turqueza, Frayna rule junior chess c’ship

SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE bet Mari “MJ” Turqueza and Far Eastern University standout Janelle Mae Frayna topped their respective divisions on Tuesday, May 3, in the 2011 National Juniors Chess Championships at the NCCC Mall in Davao City.

The Quezon City-based Turqueza, also the top player of V. Luna Chess Club, defeated top seed Sheider Nebato of General Santos City in the eighth round then drew with Richelliu Salcedo of Cagayan de Oro City in the ninth and final round to capture the boys’ title. He finished with 8.0 points on seven wins and two draws.

In the distaff side, Frayna defeated local bet Jessa Marie Balbona in the eighth then drew with Judith Pineda of Olongapo City in the ninth and final round to finish with 7.5 points and grab the girls’ title.

Turqueza and Frayna obtained outright National Master (NM) and Woman National Master (WNM) titles, respectively. Liberty Icao

James lifts Heat to 2-0 lead

LEBRON JAMES caught fire in the second half to lift the Miami Heat past the Boston Celtics, 102-91, and give them a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday.
The two-time league MVP scored 24 of his 35 points in the last two quarters and anchored a late 14-0 spurt that practically settled the issue.
After Paul Pierce’s free throws knotted the game at 80-all, the Celtics missed their next six shots and the Heat pulled away and made it 94-80 following a split from the line by Chris Bosh.
James had a three-point play and a long jumper during the rally.
Game 3 is in Boston on Saturday.

Mavs stun Lakers

DIRK NOWITZKI outdueled Kobe Bryant in a battle of former MVPs down the stretch as the Dallas Mavericks stole the game and the home court advantage away from the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.
The Mavericks leaned on their superstar in the closing seconds to cap their rally from a 16-point deficit and pull off a 96-94 victory at the Staples Center.
Bryant had his way against the Mavericks most of the way, but failed to deliver when it counted most.
Jason Terry stole the ball from Bryant with the Lakers holding to a 94-93 lead. Nowitzki cashed in by picking up a foul on Pau Gasol and hitting the go-ahead free throws, 19.5 seconds left.
Bryant again lost the ball on the next play and Jason Kidd added another free throw for the final score. Bryant missed a potential winning trey as time expired.

Hawks prevail

THE ATLANTA HAWKS continued to soar in this year’s playoffs.
After stunning Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in the first round, the Hawks took Game 1 of their series against probable MVP Derrick Rose and the top-seeded Chicago Bulls, 103-95, on Monday.
Joe Johnson led a 15-2 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to turn a four-point deficit into an 80-71 lead, 10:27 to go.
He had 11 points during that spurt en route to a 34-point night while making 12 of 18 shots, including all five from beyond the arc.
Rose led the Bulls with 24 points and 10 assists, but shot only 11-for-27.

Linggo, Mayo 1, 2011

Heat take opener vs Celtics

DWYANE WADE buried the ghosts of his regular-season failures against the Boston CelticsMiami Heat to a 99-90 victory in Game 1 on Sunday. with a 38-point explosion that propelled the
Wade averaged a measly 12.8 points on 28 percent shooting in four regular-season meetings with the Celtics. He already had nine field goals and 23 points by halftime.
James Jones shared the spotlight by setting a Miami postseason record of 25 points off the bench, spiked by five three-pointers. He also went 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
LeBron James also produced decent numbers to cover the sub-par performance of Chris Bosh, who was held to seven points. James finished with 22 points, six rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals.
While the game wasn’t too close, it certainly was filled with tension.
Paul Piere, who had 19 points, was ejected with still seven minutes left after picking up two technical fouls in skirmishes with Wade and Jones within a span of 59 seconds.
Ray Allen carried the fight the rest of the way for the Celtics and wound up with 25 points. But the rest of their starters were held to single digit.

Grizzlies rout Thunder

THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES wasted no time to prove that their victory over the San Antonio Spurs was no fluke.
Two days after eliminating the Western Conference top seed, the Grizzlies dominated the shaded lane and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their best-of-seven series, 114-101, on Sunday.
Zach Randolph delivered a playoff career-high 34 points and 10 rebounds while Marc Gasol scattered 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to underline their supremacy inside.
The road win gave the Grizzlies the homecourt edge in the series. They just need to protect their home floor in Games 3, 4 and 6 to become the first eighth seeded team to advance to the Conference final since the NBA made all rounds of the playoffs a best-of-seven affair.
Randolph went to work early, scoring the first seven points for the Grizzlies to give them the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
With Randolph and Gasol leading the way, it was no accident that the Grizzlies topped the league in inside production with an average of 51.5 points during the regular season.
They had 52 points inside against the Thunder.