From: NBA News [R-3-733145-4693561-2-1104-US1-A93201D3@xmr3.com]
Sent: 28. mars 2002 22:05
To: Björn Leósson KKI
Subject: NBA NEWS -- March 28, 2002
NBA News


NBA NEWS
March 28, 2002
Volume 56, No. 54
Editor: Barry Rubinstein
Assignment Editor: Jeanne Tang
Contributing Writers: Mark Broussard, John Gardella, Rob Reheuser, Rita Sullivan

For more information, log on to the NBA's official Web site at:
NBA.com,
or NBA Media Central, the league's exclusive media-only Web site, at:
NBA.com/mediacentral.

P.J. Brown
P.J. Brown and the Hornets are heating up as they make the turn to the finish line.

Like the thoroughbred race horse whose ears perk up, eyes widen and heart pumps faster at the top of the stretch, the NBA has its own version of a late closer. And if you don't watch carefully, you just might miss the Charlotte Hornets whizzing by, bolting through the pack in the final furlong of the Eastern Conference stakes.









Table of Contents

Hornets Swarming in East Race ... The Playoff Picture ... Pierce a Pillar in Community ... Game Notes on Media Central
Celtics at Pacers ... Kings at Pistons ... Lakers at Nets
Happy Anniversary, Big O ... Not-So-Big Ben ... Mailman Calling ... and more
Ron Artest, Pacers
Schedules ... Changes ... Birthdays ... Anniversaries
Quotables ... Results ... Moves

1. FROM THE NEWSDESK

1-A. HORNETS SWARMING IN EAST RACE

Like the thoroughbred race horse whose ears perk up, eyes widen and heart pumps faster at the top of the stretch, the NBA has its own version of a late closer. And if you don't watch carefully, you just might miss the Charlotte Hornets whizzing by, bolting through the pack in the final furlong of the Eastern Conference stakes.

They have won seven straight games, forcing their competition in the East to turn their heads to see just what's causing all the hubbub at the Charlotte Coliseum. At 37-33, the Hornets have surged into a sixth-place tie with Philadelphia, are a scant one-half game behind Milwaukee and Orlando in a deadlock for fourth and trail third-place Boston by only three games.

"The guys have a sense of urgency right now," said Hornets coach Paul Silas, "and know that one, we want to make the playoffs, and two, after we make it, the sky's the limit. I think anybody can come out of the East this year, and I think our chances are just as good as anybody's."

A closer look at the past performance charts may unlock more of what the immediate future could hold for Charlotte. The Hornets made a similar run to the wire last season, when they went 21-11 down the stretch and finished the season with four victories, setting the stage for their first-round playoff sweep of Miami.

Of the Hornets' 12 remaining games this season, 10 are against competition under .500. No other team in the East has such a favorable schedule ...

"Which doesn't mean anything in this league," piped up defensive-minded forward P.J. Brown. "It's a great opportunity, but all those teams are dangerous. We have no reason to relax. I've been in this league too long to look at it that way. If you do, you will get snipped in the behind. That's just the way it is."

Silas would rather leave the forecasting and handicapping to others outside the dressing room, where the onus is to maintain a heightened state of concentration.

"I don't want them looking at standings and all that kind of thing that much," he said. "If we continue to play well, we really have a chance to keep this thing going. But teams are going to start shooting at us hot and heavy here. They see what we're about. So each game we play, even if it's a team down near the bottom, they're really going to play us tough. That's what I want to make my guys understand -- we've got to come with it every night."

Other than center Elden Campbell, who is nursing a hamstring injury, the Hornets are enjoying good health. Jamal Mashburn, who missed 42 games with a lower abdominal strain, is averaging 21 points since his return. David Wesley, who missed 13 games with a cracked bone in his left foot, is averaging 14.8 points and forms a solid backcourt alongside Baron Davis (18.7 ppg).

It is all coming together at a perfect time for the Hornets, who only two weeks ago came limping home from a West Coast trip with a 30-33 mark, fresh off a 107-66 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Charlotte has not lost since.

"Things were looking kind of bleak around here," Brown said. "We knew we were going to be scrapping the rest of the way trying to get in the playoffs. Now, things look a lot brighter, but there's still a long way to go. You just don't want to get too caught up in it.

"We're starting to get attention and people are starting to take notice, but you have to stay focused with the task at hand -- that's to win every game possible the rest of the way out and not worry about what's going on around us or looking at the standings. We control our own destiny. If we continue to do what we've been doing, the rest of it is going to take care of itself."

BACK TO THE TOP

1-B. THE PLAYOFF PICTURE

Following are the matchups for the opening round of NBA Playoffs 2002 if the regular season ended today (team with home-court advantage is in CAPS).

EASTERN CONFERENCE

  • 1. NEW JERSEY (46-26) vs. 8. Indiana (35-35)
    (New Jersey won regular-season series, 3-1)
  • 4. MILWAUKEE (37-32) vs. 5. Orlando (38-33)
    (Milwaukee won, 2-1)
  • 3. BOSTON (41-31) vs. 6. Philadelphia (37-33)
    (Philadelphia won, 3-1)
  • 2. DETROIT (42-29) vs. 7. Charlotte (37-33)
    (Detroit won, 3-1)

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

  • 1. SACRAMENTO (50-19) vs. 8. Utah (39-32)
    (Sacramento leads, 3-0)
  • 4. SAN ANTONIO (49-22) vs. 5. Portland (44-27)
    (San Antonio leads, 2-1)
  • 3. L.A. LAKERS (50-21) vs. 6. Minnesota (42-28)
    (Minnesota leads, 2-1)
  • 2. DALLAS (49-21) vs. 7. Seattle (41-31)
    (Dallas leads, 2-1)

    For the complete playoff picture, including expanded standings, schedule breakdowns for every contending team and tiebreaker procedures, please click here.

    BACK TO THE TOP

    1-C. CELTICS' PIERCE NAMED WINNER OF 2002 HOME TEAM COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

    Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics, who has been quick to dish many assists off the court, on Tuesday was named the 2002 recipient of the Home Team Community Service Award, based on Pierce's volunteer activities, community work and impact in the Boston area.

    Pierce was presented with the award on Wednesday, prior to the Celtics' 102-99 triumph over Golden State at the FleetCenter.

    "This is a great honor for me to receive the Home Team Community Service Award from the Fannie Mae Foundation and the NBA," said Pierce. "As an NBA player, I have a unique opportunity to give back and make a difference in my community. So many players are actively involved in their community that to be singled out for recognition is very special."

    Pierce's Playground, the Paul Pierce Turkey Giveaway, the Paul Pierce Celebrity Softball Challenge and the Paul Pierce Summer Basketball Camps are only a few of the programs the Celtics forward has spearheaded over the past year. Pierce is also a national spokesman for the NBA's "Read to Achieve" program, which promotes the importance of reading and education to children and their families.

    The Home Team Program is a partnership between NBA teams and the Fannie Mae Foundation to help rehabilitate neighborhoods in inner cities across the country and provide home-buying information to help more Americans achieve the dream of home ownership.

    Pierce was chosen as the award winner by a panel of judges from NBA and the Fannie Mae Foundation, and will receive a $50,000 grant -- $25,000 from the Foundation and $25,000 from the NBA -- to donate to the charity of his choice.

    2002 HOME TEAM COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD FINALISTS

    • Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Atlanta
    • David Wesley, Charlotte
    • Jerry Stackhouse, Detroit
    • Charlie Ward, New York
    • Chris Dudley, Portland
    • Terry Porter, San Antonio
    • Desmond Mason, Seattle
    • Jahidi White, Washington

    BACK TO THE TOP

    1-D. GAME NOTES ON NBA MEDIA CENTRAL

    Did you know updated game notes can be found on NBA Media Central, the league's exclusive media-only Web site? From the home page, click on "Game Notes" on the left side of the page or the "Game Notes" button on the top navigation. From there, you can access the latest game notes from every NBA team. You will need a free download of Adobe Acrobat in order to view the game notes. A link is available on the game notes page, above the list of teams.

    Keeping our promise of exclusivity, Media Central is a password-protected site. Only media members who regularly cover the NBA are granted access. To register, visit www.nba.com/mediacentral and follow the TO REGISTER instructions. TWO follow-up e-mails will be sent to you, the one from Media Central will alert you that you have access to the site.

    Registered users can directly log on to the site with their user name and password.

    BACK TO THE TOP

    2. BIG GAME BOOKMARK

    2-A. KEY GAME PREVIEWS

    BOSTON CELTICS (41-31) at INDIANA PACERS (35-35)
    Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. EST

    THE NOTABLE:

    • With one more victory, Boston will ensure its first season above .500 since 1992-93. Indiana leads Washington and Toronto by 2½ games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Of the Pacers' final 12 games, eight are against foes under .500.
    • In the teams' first two meetings, Jalen Rose averaged 22 points for Indiana before being dealt to Chicago in a seven-player trade on February 19. The Celtics' Antoine Walker, averaging 22.6 points this season, is averaging 18 against the Pacers.
    • When Boston defeated Indiana on January 23, it marked one of only two times this season that neither Walker nor Paul Pierce was the Celtics' leading scorer.
    • Going back to the beginning of the 1988-89 season, the Pacers are 23-3 in their past 26 home games against Boston, including nine home sweeps. Should the Celtics complete the sweep of the season series, it will mark only the second time they have ever swept Indiana. The last time was in 1987-88, which is also the last time Boston won the season series against the Pacers.

    THE SEASON SERIES:
    (Celtics lead, 2-0)

  • Wednesday, November 14 - Boston 101, Indiana 93
  • Wednesday, January 23 - Boston 98, Indiana 94
  • Tuesday, April 2 - Boston at Indiana, 7 p.m. EST

      BACK TO THE TOP

      SACRAMENTO KINGS (50-19) at DETROIT PISTONS (42-28)
      Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. EST

      THE NOTABLE:

      • Sacramento continues its hold on the best record in the NBA, with the top four teams in the Western Conference only two games apart. The Kings, with a league-best 33-4 mark at home, play nine of their final 13 games on the road, where they are 17-15 -- the worst mark among the top four squads in the West.
      • In the teams' only meeting on December 18, Sacramento was triumphant as Mike Bibby scored 25 points, two off his season high. Jerry Stackhouse netted 35 points for the Pistons, five points off his season high.
      • The Kings need needs six more victories to record their best campaign in franchise history. They finished 55-27 last season, and the 1963-64 Cincinnati Royals were 55-25.
      • Detroit is 14-5 in home games against the Kings franchise going back to the beginning of the 1980-81 season. The Pistons played at the Pontiac Silverdome that season, and the Kings were based in Kansas City.

      THE SEASON SERIES:
      (Kings lead, 1-0)

      • Tuesday, December 18 - Sacramento 102, Detroit 98
      • Wednesday, April 3 - Sacramento at Detroit, 7:30 p.m. EST

      BACK TO THE TOP

      LOS ANGELES LAKERS (50-20) at NEW JERSEY NETS (45-26)
      Wednesday, April 3 (TNT), 8 p.m. EST

      THE NOTABLE:

      • The Lakers trail Sacramento by one game for the best record in the NBA. Nine of L.A.'s remaining 11 games are against teams with records of .500 or better. The Lakers have now won 50 or more games 19 times in the past 22 full NBA seasons, going back to 1979-80.
      • The Nets need five victories in their final 11 games to win 50 for the first time since joining the NBA in 1977. With a 3½-game lead on Detroit for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, New Jersey will play seven of its final 10 games against foes with marks of .500 or better.
      • Shaquille O'Neal, who leads the NBA in field-goal percentage (.582), is gunning for his fifth straight season topping the league in that department. The only other player who has led the NBA from the field five consecutive seasons is Wilt Chamberlain, who did it from 1964-65 to 1968-69.
      • The Lakers have won five straight, 12 of 13 and 27 of 33 against the Nets. At the Meadowlands, the Lakers have taken 13 of the past 16 meetings, and lead the all-time series 43-14.

      THE SEASON SERIES:
      (Lakers lead, 1-0)

      • Tuesday, March 5 - L.A. Lakers 101, New Jersey 92
      • Wednesday, April 3 - L.A. Lakers at New Jersey (TNT), 8 p.m. EST

      BACK TO THE TOP

      3. STATS AND STUFF

      3-A. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, BIG O ... NOT-SO-BIG BEN ... MAILMAN KEEPS CALLING ... AND MORE

      When the numbers kept piling up, the young guard didn't really pay too much attention, even when his averages were comfortably hovering in a stratosphere where others could only dream of floating.

      "Reflecting back, it wasn't treated in any special way," Oscar Robertson said, "nor did I treat it any special way. That's the way I was taught to play. When you're inside, you rebound. You learn to pass the ball."

      During the 1961-62 NBA season, Robertson combined shooting, passing and rebounding better than anyone else before or since, as he became the only player in league history to average a triple-double over the course of a season.

      A look at the career of Robertson, who played 14 Hall of Fame seasons with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks and is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, bears out some amazing numbers.

      In 1961-62 -- his second season in the league -- he averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 12.5 rebounds, but he nearly pulled off the feat five times in his first five campaigns:

      OSCAR ROBERTSON'S FIVE FABULOUS SEASONS
      Team, Season
      RPG
      APG
      PPG
      Cincinnati, 1960-61
      10.1
      *9.7
      30.5
      Cincinnati, 1961-62
      12.5
      *11.4
      30.8
      Cincinnati, 1962-63
      10.4
      9.5
      28.3
      Cincinnati, 1963-64
      9.9
      *11.0
      31.4
      Cincinnati, 1964-65
      9.0
      *11.5
      30.4
      * - led NBA

      In 1961-62, Robertson ...

      • had seven 15-rebound, 15-assist games. He totaled 14 in his career.
      • Had seven consecutive triple-doubles, tied with Michael Jordan for the second-longest streak in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain had nine straight double-doubles in 1967-68.
      • finished the season with 41 triple-doubles.

      In his career, Robertson averaged 25.7 points, 9.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds. His total of 9,887 career assists stood as the NBA record until broken by Magic Johnson and later by John Stockton. He led the NBA in assists per game eight times.

      NBA ALL-TIME TRIPLE-DOUBLES LEADERS

      • OSCAR ROBERTSON, 181
      • Magic Johnson, 138
      • Wilt Chamberlain, 78
      • Larry Bird, 59
      • Jason Kidd, 46

      BACK TO THE TOP

      Since blocked shots became an official NBA statistic in 1973-74, the masters of the domain were often players who towered above seven feet tall. Of the 13 players who led the league in blocks, only five were not seven-footers, and all were 6-10 or taller.

      Should 6-9, 240-pound Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons -- the current blocked shots leader with 3.46 a game -- finish the season as the blocking king, he would become the shortest player to capture an NBA shotblocking title.

      Such a scenario is all but certain -- Wallace holds a commanding lead on the second-place shotblocker, Dallas' Raef LaFrentz, who averages 2.82 rejections.

      Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said of Wallace, "For a guy his size, the number of blocked shots he gets is phenomenal. Pound for pound, he's the best defensive player I've ever seen in my life."

      What's more, Wallace is also tied with San Antonio's Tim Duncan for the league lead in rebounding (12.7 rpg). If Wallace ends the season as the top rebounder and shotblocker, he would become only the fourth player in NBA history to do so, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1975-76), Bill Walton (1976-77) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1989-90).

      BACK TO THE TOP

      Karl Malone, the venerable veteran forward of the Utah Jazz, is in sight of yet another milestone on the road to Springfield. Malone, with 12,676 career field goals, needs six more to pass Wilt Chamberlain (12,681) and move into second place on the NBA's all-time list. The Jazz visits Cleveland on Thursday.

      NBA ALL-TIME FIELD GOAL LEADERS
      (including games of March 27, 2002,
      active players in CAPS)
      Player
      FGA
      Pct.
      FGM
      Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
      28,307
      .559
      15,837
      Wilt Chamberlain
      23,479
      .540
      12,681
      KARL MALONE
      24,374
      .520
      12,676
      MICHAEL JORDAN
      22,969
      .501
      11,496
      Elvin Hayes
      24,272
      .452
      10,976
      HAKEEM OLAJUWON
      20,929
      .512
      10,715
      Alex English
      21,036
      .507
      10,659
      John Havlicek
      23,930
      .439
      10,513
      Dominique Wilkins
      21,589
      .461
      9,963
      PATRICK EWING
      19,205
      .504
      9,681

      BACK TO THE TOP

      From the international front, here's an update on Yao Ming, who sparked the Shanghai Sharks to victory in their first-round matchup against the Guangdong Tiger in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) playoffs.

      In three postseason games, Yao is averaging 33 points, 16.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks, is shooting .778 from the field (42-for-54) and ..667 from the free throw line.

      Yao also enjoyed a stellar regular season. In 24 games, he averaged 29.7 points, 18.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocks to go along with .696 shooting from the field and .766 shooting from the line.


      The Portland Trail Blazers, 19-4 since the All-Star break, ended the San Antonio Spurs' 13-game winning streak as San Antonio lost for the first time in 17 games this season when shooting better than 50 percent from the field.


      Since the All-Star break, Pat Garrity of the Orlando Magic is shooting ..514 (57-for-111) from three-point range.


      The Dallas Mavericks have won 12 straight games -- and are 15-3 this season -- when Steve Nash has recorded a double-double. Dallas' next victory will give it back-to-back 50-win seasons for the second time in franchise history, and the first time since 1986-87 and 1987-88.


      Gary Payton of the Seattle SuperSonics has become the ninth player in NBA history to record 2,000 career steals. Payton reached the mark in a triumph over the Jazz on Tuesday that gave the Sonics a 1½-game lead on Utah for seventh place in the West.

      BACK TO THE TOP

      4. FEATURES

      4-A. PACERS' ARTEST WON'T LET DEFENSE REST

      If Ron Artest isn't careful, he may find himself saddled with the often dreaded "one-dimensional" tag. But in the case of the Indiana Pacers swingman, that would be a good thing, as his most established dimension is one highly coveted by coaches and general managers throughout the NBA.

      We're talking defense, which Artest takes great pride in.

      "When I'm playing defense, I know that I don't want my guy to get to the basket," Artest said. "In my mind it's like, 'Whatever you do, don't let your guy get to the basket.' If he's at the three-point line, keep him at the three-point line. If he's at 18 feet, keep him at 18 feet. Move your feet, don't be lazy and don't give up."

      His insistence on staying close to his man must have something to do with his upbringing. Reared in Queensbridge, N.Y., Artest lived in a crowded apartment with his mother, two brothers, three sisters and various cousins, nephews and nieces. There were sometimes 15 people in the same apartment. Space was not an option, and that carried over to the basketball court.

      "If a guy scores on him, it's almost like a guy has insulted him," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas told the Indianapolis Star. "He takes it extremely personal. But it's beyond that. It's not fake emotion. His is genuine."

      Since joining the Pacers, along with Brad Miller, Ron Mercer and Kevin Ollie in a trade with Chicago for Jalen Rose and Travis Best on February 19, Artest has started 13 of 17 games and is averaging 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. For the season, he ranks second in the NBA in steals (2.6 spg).

      In recent victories over Sacramento, Orlando and Detroit, Artest held Peja Stojakovic, Tracy McGrady and Jerry Stackhouse to a combined total of 36 points on 14-for-53 shooting.

      "I love to play against great scorers," Artest admitted. "I'd rather play against a guy who's going to try to score 30 than a guy who isn't as aggressive, because you really learn how to improve on defense against those guys."

      Some of his greatest lessons have taken place during his past few summers in Chicago pick-up games, where his most coveted defensive assignment was guarding Michael Jordan.

      "I love Ron Artest," Jordan said. "He's got so much intensity and such competitive drive. I wish I could have seem him six years ago (when Jordan was in his prime). But he has great intensity for the game and has that workman attitude."

      Thomas is hoping this intensity rubs off on the rest of his players. The Pacers (35-35) are holding on to eighth place in the East, with Toronto and Washington 2½ games behind.

      "Most guys in this league don't play with the intensity he plays with," Thomas said. "Everyone kind of plays at a comfortable pace. But he comes along and pushes you out of your comfort zone."

      BACK TO THE TOP

      5. WHAT'S COMING UP

      5-A. UPCOMING GAMES

      (all times EST)

      THURSDAY, MARCH 28
      Toronto at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
      Denver at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
      Dallas at Minnesota (TNT), 8 p.m.
      Philadelphia at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
      Sacramento at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
      Cleveland at Utah, 9 p.m.

      FRIDAY, MARCH 29
      Milwaukee at Washington, 7 p.m.
      Dallas at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
      Minnesota at New York, 7:30 p.m.
      Indiana at Orlando, 7:30 p.m.
      Atlanta at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
      Sacramento at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.
      Golden State at Detroit, 8 p.m.
      L.A. Clippers at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
      San Antonio at Seattle, 10 p.m.
      Portland at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

      SATURDAY, MARCH 30
      Philadelphia at New Jersey, 1 p.m.
      Charlotte at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
      Golden State at Memphis, 8 p.m.
      Denver at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
      Phoenix at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
      Seattle at Portland, 10 p.m.
      Utah at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

      SUNDAY, MARCH 31
      Milwaukee at Boston (NBC), 12:30 p.m.
      Sacramento at Atlanta, 2 p.m.
      Dallas at Washington (NBC, ESPN Radio), 3 p.m.
      New York at Orlando, 3 p.m.
      Miami at Indiana, 3 p.m.
      Toronto at Philadelphia (CTV), 3:30 p.m.
      New Jersey at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m.
      San Antonio at L.A. Lakers (NBC, ESPN Radio), 5:30 p.m.
      Denver at Detroit, 8 p.m.

      MONDAY, APRIL 1
      No games scheduled

      TUESDAY, APRIL 2
      Phoenix at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
      Boston at Indiana, 7 p.m.
      Detroit at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
      Milwaukee at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
      Charlotte at New York, 8 p.m.
      L.A. Lakers at Washington (TBS, TSN), 8 p.m.
      Sacramento at Memphis, 8 p.m.
      Seattle at Houston, 8:30 p.m.
      Utah at Denver, 9 p.m.
      Portland at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.

      WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3
      Miami at Charlotte, 7 p.m.
      Chicago at Toronto, 7 p.m.
      Phoenix at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
      Sacramento at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
      L.A. Lakers at New Jersey (TNT), 8 p.m.
      Washington at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
      Memphis at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
      Seattle at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.
      L.A. Clippers at Utah, 9 p.m.

      Click on the following links for NBA schedules:

      Complete NBA 2001-02 regular season schedule
      NBA team-by-team schedules
      NBA national TV schedule
      Complete 2001-02 NBDL regular season schedule
      Complete 2002 WNBA regular season schedule
      2002 WNBA national television schedule

      BACK TO THE TOP

      5-B. NBA BROADCAST AND SCHEDULE CHANGES

      Please be advised of the following changes to the NBA regular season schedule:

      On Sunday, March 31, the Milwaukee at Boston start time has been changed to 12:30 p.m. EST on NBC. The Toronto at Philadelphia start time has been changed to 3:30 p.m. EST on CTV in Canada. The Dallas at Washington game will now be broadcast by NBC and ESPN Radio.

      The national broadcast schedule for March 31:

      • NBA on NBC Pregame Show (NBC), noon EST
      • Game 1 - Milwaukee at Boston (NBC), 12:30 p.m. EST
      • Game 2 - Dallas at Washington (NBC, ESPN Radio), 3 p.m. EST
      • Toronto at Philadelphia (CTV), 3:30 p.m. EST
      • Game 3 - San Antonio at L.A. Lakers (NBC, ESPN Radio), 5:30 p.m. EST


      The national broadcast schedule for April 7:

      • NBA on NBC Pregame Show (NBC), noon EDT
      • Game 1 - Milwaukee at Philadelphia (NBC, CTV), 12:30 p.m. EDT
      • Game 2 - L.A. Lakers at Miami (NBC, ESPN Radio), 5:30 p.m. EDT


      On Wednesday, April 10, the Miami at Boston start time has been changed to 8 p.m. EDT and will now be televised by TNT. The Toronto at Indiana game will no longer be televised by TNT.

      The national broadcast schedule for April 10:

      • Miami at Boston (TNT), 8 p.m. EDT


      On Thursday, April 16, the Detroit at New Jersey start time has been changed to 8 p.m. EDT and will now be televised by TBS. The Toronto at Milwaukee game will no longer be televised by TBS.

      The national broadcast schedule for April 16:

      • Detroit at New Jersey (TBS), 8 p.m. EDT

      For more information, please click here.

      BACK TO THE TOP

      5-C. NBA ON THE AIR

      (all times EST)

      THURSDAY, MARCH 28

      • Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves (TNT), 8 p.m.
      • Inside the NBA, 10:30 p.m.

      SATURDAY, MARCH 30

      • NBA Inside Stuff (NBC), check local listings

      SUNDAY, MARCH 31

      • Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics (NBC), 12:30 p.m. EST
      • Dallas Mavericks at Washington Wizards (NBC, ESPN Radio), 3 p.m. EST
      • Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers (CTV), 3:30 p.m. EST
      • San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers (NBC, ESPN Radio), 5:30 p.m. EST

      TUESDAY, APRIL 2

      • Los Angeles Lakers at Washington Wizards (TBS, TSN), 8 p.m.
      • Inside the NBA (TBS), 10:30 p.m.

      WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3

      • Los Angeles Lakers at New Jersey (TNT), 8 p.m.
      • Inside the NBA (TNT), 10:30 p.m.

      For complete national TV schedule, click here.

      BACK TO THE TOP

      5-D. NBA 2002 KEY DATES

      • April 3-7: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Churchland H.S., Portsmouth, Va.
      • April 8-9: NBA Board of Governors meeting, New York City
      • April 17: NBA 2001-02 regular season ends
      • April 20: NBA Playoffs 2002 begin
      • May 12: NBA Early Entry eligibility deadline, 11:59 p.m. ET
      • May 19: NBA Draft Lottery, NBA Entertainment Studios, Secaucus, N.J.
      • June 2: NBA Finals earliest possible start date
      • June 4-7: NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago
      • June 5: NBA Finals latest possible start date
      • June 19: NBA Finals latest possible end date
      • June 19: NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant withdrawal deadline
      • June 26: NBA Draft 2002, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York
      • July 1: Teams may begin negotiating with, but not sign, free agents
      • July 17: Teams may begin signing player contracts
      • August 29-September 8: 2002 World Basketball Championship, Indianapolis

      BACK TO THE TOP

      5-E. UPCOMING NBA BIRTHDAYS

      Thursday, March 28

      • Wesley Person of the Cleveland Cavaliers is 31.

      Sunday, March 31

      • Steve Smith of the San Antonio Spurs is 33.
      • Cal Bowdler of the Atlanta Hawks is 25.

      Monday, April 1

      • Mark Jackson of the New York Knicks is 37.
      • Antonis Fotsis of the Memphis Grizzlies is 21.
      • Etan Thomas of the Washington Wizards is 24.

      Tuesday, April 2

      • Randy Livingston of the Seattle SuperSonics is 27.

      Wednesday, April 3

      • Michael Olowokandi of the Los Angeles Clippers is 27.
      • DeShawn Stevenson of the Utah Jazz is 21.

      Thursday, April 4

      • Stanislav Medvedenko of the Los Angeles Lakers is 23.

      Friday, April 5

      • Stephen Jackson of the San Antonio Spurs is 24.
      • Shammond Williams of the Seattle SuperSonics is 27.

      Monday, April 8

      • Terry Porter of the San Antonio Spurs is 39.

      Tuesday, April 9

      • Zeljko Rebraca of the Detroit Pistons is 30.

      Wednesday, April 10

      • Kenny Satterfield of the Denver Nuggets is 21.

      BACK TO THE TOP

      5-F. UPCOMING NBA ANNIVERSARIES

      40 Years Ago Friday ...
      March 29, 1962
      Elgin Baylor (45) and Jerry West (41) of the Lakers became the first teammates to both score 40 or more points in a playoff game as the Lakers lost to Detroit 118-117 during the Western Division Finals.

      20 Years Ago Sunday ...
      March 31, 1982
      The NBA and the Players Association reached a four-year agreement that included a revenue-sharing plan, the first of its kind in team sports. Players received 53 percent of revenues, beginning in the 1984-85 season, in return for minimum and maximum payrolls.

      15 Years Ago Wednesday ...
      April 3, 1987
      The New Jersey Nets honored Julius Erving before his last game against his former club by retiring uniform No. 32, which Erving wore during his ABA days with the Nets and the Virginia Squires. He also has had his uniform No. 6 retired by the Philadelphia 76ers.

      Five Years Ago Next Thursday ...
      April 4, 1997
      Utah's Karl Malone became the first NBA player to reach the 2,000-point plateau in 10 consecutive seasons in the Jazz 106-79 victory against the Grizzlies.

      35 Years Ago Next Friday ...
      April 5, 1967
      Wilt Chamberlain, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, grabbed an NBA playoff record 41 rebounds in a 115-104 victory over Boston.

      BACK TO THE TOP

      6. AROUND THE LEAGUE

      6-A. WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

      DAVID WESLEY, Charlotte Hornets guard, on teammate JAMAL MASHBURN, who had 20 points, including a key three-pointer in the final minute, with nine rebounds and eight assists in a 111-104 triumph over Orlando on Wednesday, the Hornets' seventh straight victory, a season high:

      "We've got 'Big-Game James' over there, the guy who looks like Oscar Robertson. He's pulled us out of a lot of holes hitting those big shots. As long as we have Big-Game James we're going to be fine."
      BYRON SCOTT, New Jersey Nets coach, on the team's first victory over the Sixers in three tries this season:
      "I thought that if we don't beat these guys and we meet them somewhere down the line, psychologically, they would have the edge. That's something that you don't want any team to have over you when you're in the playoffs."
      FLIP SAUNDERS, Minnesota Timberwolves coach, on the team's recent struggles:
      "Over the last couple of weeks, everybody has been asking what's wrong, and we've been saying it's mental. Well, it's not mental. It's us not playing with passion ... Until we start playing with passion and a sense of urgency, we're kidding ourselves."
      KOBE BRYANT, Los Angeles Lakers guard, on home-court advantage in a postseason matchup with the Kings, and the Lakers' 5-1 record at ARCO Arena in their last six games:
      "We're really not too concerned about it, whether it's at home or on the road. All it boils down to is execution anyway. But I think it does send them a message that we're not intimidated by ARCO Arena at all."
      GEORGE KARL, Milwaukee Bucks coach, on nagging injuries afflicting SAM CASSELL and RAY ALLEN down the stretch:
      "What I know about Sam and Ray's injuries, it's going to be a month of rest before they go away. You just have to evaluate what you can get out of your body. I can't do that for them. They have to do it themselves."

      BACK TO THE TOP

      6-B. LATEST RESULTS

      (Home team in CAPS)

      MONDAY, MARCH 25
      Denver 84, NEW YORK 83
      Boston 87, MIAMI 82
      PHOENIX 102, Cleveland 96
      Memphis 103, PORTLAND 100
      SEATTLE 106, Utah 92
      San Antonio 91, L.A. CLIPPERS 85

      TUESDAY, MARCH 26
      WASHINGTON 103, Denver 87
      Detroit 96, INDIANA 77
      ORLANDO 96, Chicago 82
      ATLANTA 103, New Jersey 77
      Dallas 112, MILWAUKEE 106 (OT)
      Golden State 115, MINNESOTA 106
      UTAH 109, Houston 105
      SACRAMENTO 107, L.A. Clippers 90
      L.A. LAKERS 121, Cleveland 116

      WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27
      BOSTON 102, Golden State 99
      CHARLOTTE 111, Orlando 104
      New York 89, DETROIT 82
      New Jersey 88, PHILADELPHIA 80
      TORONTO 81, Miami 80
      PHOENIX 118, L.A. Lakers 106
      SEATTLE 96, Memphis 82
      PORTLAND 98, San Antonio 93

      BACK TO THE TOP

      6-C. TRANSACTIONS

      MARCH 21

      • Denver activated F CHRIS ANDERSEN and placed F ANTONIO McDYESS (left knee inflammation) on the injured list.

      MARCH 22

      • Milwaukee activated F MARK POPE and placed F JASON CAFFEY (bone impingement, right ankle) on the injured list.
      • New Jersey activated C TODD MacCULLOCH and placed G LUCIOUS HARRIS (broken zygomatic bone, right side of face) on the injured list.
      • Orlando signed G DEE BROWN to a second 10-day contract.
      • Seattle placed F VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC (sprained right big toe) on the injured list.

      MARCH 23

      • Denver announced G TIM HARDAWAY (fractured fifth metatarsal, left foot) will miss the remainder of the season.

      MARCH 24

      • Los Angeles Clippers signed G DOUG OVERTON for the remainder of the season.
      • Philadelphia activated C SAMUEL DALEMBERT and placed G ALLEN IVERSON (fractured left hand) on the injured list.

      MARCH 25

      • Boston activated G JOSEPH FORTE and placed G KENNY ANDERSON (sprained left ankle) on the injured list.
      • Memphis G JASON WILLIAMS was find $5,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing game officials in a March 23 incident.
      • New Jersey F KENYON MARTIN was suspended by the NBA for two games without pay after committing a flagrant foul - penalty one against Atlanta's Shareef Abdur-Rahim in a March 24 incident.
      • San Antonio activated G-F STEPHEN JACKSON and placed G TERRY PORTER (strained right calf) on the injured list.

      MARCH 26

      • Denver signed G CARLOS ARROYO for the remainder of the season.
      • Milwaukee activated G RAFER ALSTON and placed C GREG FOSTER (cervical bulging disc) on the injured list.

      MARCH 27

      • Indiana F JERMAINE O'NEAL was suspended two games without pay and fined $10,000 by the NBA for his flagrant foul - penalty two against Detroit's Corliss Williamson and for throwing punches at Detroit's Michael Curry and Ben Wallace in a March 26 incident.
      • Indiana F JONATHAN BENDER, F-C PRIMOZ BREZEC and C BRUNO SUNDOV received an automatic one-game suspension for leaving the immediate vicinity of the bench area during the above altercation.
      • Detroit F CORLISS WILLIAMSON was fined $5,000 by the NBA for retaliating against O'Neal by throwing the basketball at his head.
      • Seattle activated G EARL WATSON, signed G RANDY LIVINGSTON for the remainder of the season and placed F ART LONG (strained right hamstring) on the injured list.

      MARCH 28

      • Toronto signed G DERRICK DIAL to a 10-day contract.

      BACK TO THE TOP


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