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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Celtics Rout Hawks, Take 3-2 Lead

The Boston Celtics notched a pivotal Game Five victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, 110-85, thanks to a very solid performance in the first half.

Paul Pierce led with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists and Rajon Rondo tallied 12 points and 7 dimes in the win for Boston, who hit 53% of their shots and outrebounded Atlanta by eleven at home.

Joe Johnson starred for the Hawks with 21 points, while rookie Al Horford added 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists  in the defeat.

Atlanta shot just 40% from the floor and turned the ball over four more times than Boston.

Kevin Garnett and Johnson were whistled for technical fouls late in the third quarter for jawing at one another following a questionable foul that was called on Pierce.

Things started to get intense towards the end of the second quarter when Horford flagrantly fouled Garnett.

Josh Smith received a technical foul in the final minutes of the loss, and coach Mike Woodson promptly removed his stars to avoid the risk of injury or suspension.

Game Six will be held in Atlanta on Friday night as the Celtics look to move on into the second round.

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Wizards Clip Cavs, Force Game Six

Caron Butler made a layup with just a few seconds remaining on the clock Wednesday night to give the Washington Wizards a huge 88-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The win kept the Wizards alive, forcing a Game Six in Washington this Friday night.

Butler posted 32 points and 9 rebounds and Antawn Jamison added 8 points and 11 boards for the Wizards, who were without Gilbert Arenas and held Cleveland to just 36% shooting.

LeBron James had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists for the Cavaliers in the loss, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas tallied 19 points and 6 boards.

The game was extremely close, with neither team gaining any breathing room over the entire forty-eight minutes.

James missed a layup with two seconds left in the game. Ilgauskas grabbed the offensive rebound, but missed another game-winning attempt as the clock expired.

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Owner Asks Wizards To Win One For Him

Wizards' owner Abe Pollin asked his team to win one for him against the Cavaliers before the team left for Cleveland on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.

"It kind of caught us off guard," Caron Butler said. "We heard he wanted to see us for a minute. Mr. Pollin wanted to tell us something before we left for Cleveland."

Pollin, 84, is frail because of an undisclosed disease and has owned the team for well over forty years.

"He said he'll be anxious on Friday to see us back at the game," Antawn Jamison said, of a Game Six that will be played, if necessary.

"He said, 'Win one for me,' " Jamison added.

Via The Washington Post

Giricek Could Return To Suns Next Season

Gordan Giricek found himself a nice spot in the rotation with the Suns in the second half of the season and could return to Phoenix next year, according to the Arizona Republic.

"The game fits me," Giricek said. "I like the city. I like the team. I like the coaches, the whole organization. I really mean that. We'll see what happens. I'm very happy here."

"I would like to (return). You never know," he added.

He played important minutes down the stretch for the Suns in the playoffs, and management appears interested in him returning as well.

Via The Arizona Republic

Nuggets Could Look At Pietrus This Summer

The Nuggets might be interested in acquiring the services of guard/forward Mickael Pietrus this summer, according to the Denver Post.

The team desperately needs to add players to fortify their defense, and he likely wouldn't cost the Nuggets very much money.

Via The Denver Post

Brown Expected To Push Young Bobcats

Larry Brown, who was named the coach of the Bobcats earlier this week, is expected to push the young team, according to HoopsWorld.

He has a history of running rather difficult practices during his numerous coaching stops throughout both the NBA and NCAA.

Nazr Mohammed played under Brown in Philadelphia for a couple of seasons.

"I haven't had the chance to talk to everyone (on the team) yet, so no one has asked me any questions.  I know everyone is probably going to ask me some questions before it is all said and done," said Mohammed.

Via HoopsWorld

Johnson Out As Dallas Head Coach

The Dallas Mavericks fired Avery Johnson on Wednesday, a day following the team's second consecutive first-round exit from the NBA playoffs, ESPN.com has learned.

Johnson became Mavs' coach during the 2004-05 season and walked away with a 194-70 record (.735) but only a 23-24 mark in the playoffs.

The Mavs have now lost 12 out of their last 15 postseason games after taking a 2-0 lead in the Finals against Miami.

Mark Cuban and Johnson engaged in an emotional argument after a March 18 home loss to the Lakers, and sources indicated that Cuban actually considered firing Johnson before the playoffs.

Both the Mavs and Johnson wanted a speedy resolution to the situation so the coach could pursue current openings in Chicago and New York.

Via ESPN

Kerr Refutes D'Antoni Report

Steve Kerr refuted a report on Wednesday that Head Coach Mike D'Antoni is on his way out in Phoenix.

"There's no truth to that," Kerr told the Arizona Republic. "I asked Mike when the story came out, and he denied it. Mike's our coach and has done a great job for four years. We'll get together soon and talk about where this team can go from here."

Via FoxSports

Malone Fathered Child With 13-Year-Old While In College?

Karl Malone's son is Buffalo Bills rookie offensive tackle Demetrius Bell, a 7th round draft pick.

Bell's mother, Gloria Bell, reportedly was only 13-years-old when he was born and Malone a college sophomore at Louisiana Tech. Malone might have served jail time had her family asked the district attorney to file criminal charges.

In a 1998 story in the Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune, Gloria Bell said, ?Demetrius is ashamed that his dad doesn?t claim him. But I?ve told him it is not his fault.?

Via Buffalo News

TNT's Playoff Ratings Up 20% From Last Year

TNT's coverage of the 2008 NBA Playoffs is up 20 percent over last year?s comparable post-season coverage.

The network is showing gains of 32 percent among adults 18-34, 30 percent among adults 18-49 and 25-54, 36 percent among men 18-34, 33 percent among men 18-49, and 32 percent among men 25-54.

Via Media Week

Bosh: Bargnani Has To Get Better

A season after setting numerous franchise marks the Raptors failed to improve this year and former number one overall pick Andrea Bargnani may have actually devolved.

Najera Will Test Free Agent Waters

Eduardo Najera wants to remain with the Nuggets, but he claims that he will still test the waters of free agency.

Party For Howard After Loss Annoyed Avery

A party held for the birthday of forward Josh Howard after the Mavericks' Game Four loss to New Orleans infuriated coach Avery Johnson.

Report: D'Antoni May Be Out In Phoenix

A late report by Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum on Tuesday night indicates that Mike D'Antoni may not return to coach the Suns next season.

Raptors Say No For Garbajosa To Play In Olympics

After the debacle which resulted in forward Jorge Garbajosa playing in the European Championships last summer, the Raptors are not going to make the same mistake again.

Colangelo: Sam's Safe 'For Now'

Raptors' GM Bryan Colangelo called the speculation that Sam Mitchell could be fired "absolutely ludicrous".

Sonics' Durant Will Get Rookie Of Year

Sonics rookie Kevin Durant will be named the league's Rookie of the Year on Thursday, beating out Hawks' rookie Al Horford for the honor.

Spurs Edge Suns, Move On

The San Antonio Spurs barely edged the Phoenix Suns, 92-87, on Tuesday night to advance to the second round of the playoffs and face the New Orleans Hornets.

Rockets Win, Send Series Back To Utah

Tracy McGrady strapped the Houston Rockets to his back and helped will them to a season-saving win, 95-69, over the Utah Jazz at home on Tuesday night in Game Five.

No One Disciplined After C's-Hawks Game 4 Run-in

NBA spokesman Tim Frank has said there would be no fines or suspensions for a Game 4 altercation that resulted in double technicals to both the Celtics and the Hawks.

Sonics Agreement Includes Clause On Team Name

The Oklahoma City Council has approved the final portion of the lease terms with the SuperSonics, including a requirement that the team name must include 'Oklahoma City'.

Pistons Win Pivotal Game Five At Home

The Detroit Pistons beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 98-81, in a pivotal Game Five battle on Tuesday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Hornets Advance, Eliminate Mavericks

Chris Paul led the New Orleans Hornets to a clinching victory, 99-94, over the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of their best-of-seven series on Tuesday night.

Shaq Defends D'Antoni Despite Struggles

Shaquille O'Neal defended Phoenix Coach Mike D'Antoni on Tuesday despite the fact that the team will face elimination for the second-straight game on Tuesday night.

Avery Realizes He Could Be Fired In Dallas

Avery Johnson talked openly on Monday about the possibility of being fired and on whether or not the Mavericks are still in his corner.

Mark Jackson To Interview In Chicago

Current ABC analyst Mark Jackson will interview on Wednesday for the heading coach position with the Bulls.

Should Garnett Be Suspended?

Boston's Kevin Garnett could be suspended for Game Five against the Hawks if it is determined that he threw an elbow at referee Eddie F. Rush.

Brown, M.J. Team Up To Lead Bobcats

Larry Brown and Michael Jordan teamed up Tuesday as Jordan introduced Brown as the new coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Scott Named Coach Of The Year

New Orleans? Byron Scott is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2007-08 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.

Iverson Wants An Extension

As the 8th best player in the NBA according to our season FIC, Allen Iverson had a +0% Reina Value and 'deserved' to make his actual salary of $19.01 million.
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