Sports Morning Headlines-Thursday, 04/14/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Thursday, April 14, 2011.

Project Spurs:  Spurs lose All-Star and Best Record in Season Finale to Suns - The San Antonio Spurs went into Phoenix looking to stay healthy and end the season with the best record in the NBA; but those two objectives weren’t accomplished as the Spurs fell to the Suns 106 to 103 while losing one of their all stars.  The first quarter was close as the Spurs and Suns matched baskets, Phoenix held an early six to seven lead.  Then, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili ran off a Tim Duncan set-screen and got his right elbow caught between Duncan’s body and Suns’ guard Grant Hill’s arm. Ginobili fell to the ground in pain and left to the locker room. Word came out in the second quarter that Ginobili had a right hyper-extended elbow and would not return to the game. The results were negative and Ginobili was scheduled to have an MRI test done as soon as the team arrived in San Antonio.   READ MORE

A message from Manu: “The best is coming” - His right arm in a sling to protect his hyperextended right elbow, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was escorted out of U.S. Airways Arena late Wednesday night without speaking to reporters.  Less than half an hour later, he posted this update on his Twitter account (presumably using his left hand):  “Playoffs r almost here. No time 4 grievance. Tmrw MRI & we’ll see. We had a great season & the best is coming. Updates tmrw.”   READ MORE

Nowitzki leads Dallas, Mavs take No. 3 seed - Now that it's playoff time, the Dallas Mavericks know they're going to need to play the smothering defense they showed in the third quarter of their season finale.  And if Dirk Nowitzki can keep up his shooting touch, they might really have something.  Nowitzki scored 12 of his 32 points in the decisive third quarter, leading the Mavericks to a 121-89 victory over the Hornets on Wednesday night. Then came a few hours of waiting for both teams to learn their seeds and first-round foes.   READ MORE

Mavs open the playoffs at home vs. Portland on Saturday - The Dallas Mavericks had to wait and wait and wait until the clock moved past midnight and Wednesday night crept into Thursday morning before they finally found out who they will face in the playoffs.  It’s the Portland Trail Blazers.  Game 1 of the Mavs-Blazers best-of-seven series is 8:30 p.m. Saturday at American Airlines Center, and Game 2 is also in Dallas on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.   READ MORE

Triple-double for Dragic - Of the 48 rebounds the Rockets snared Wednesday, none might have been taken with more gusto than Goran Dragic's 10th. Told by assistant coach R.J. Adelman that he was one rebound from a triple-double, Dragic went over Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson to get his 10th rebound. Dragic finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.  "I don't know what's wrong with me, but the last three games I was all over the place, especially for the rebounds," said Dragic, who had three consecutive games with at least 10 rebounds to close the season. "The last rebound I had to get. I was like, 'It's mine."   READ MORE

Rockets beat Timberwolves 121-102 in season finale - The Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves saw disappointing seasons come to a merciful end Wednesday night.  Now they both head into an offseason of uncertainty, not sure when they'll be playing again or who will be coaching them when they return from what many fear will be an extended lockout.  Chase Budinger scored a career-high 35 points and Kevin Martin added 25 to lead the Rockets to a 121-102 victory over the Timberwolves in the season finale for both teams.   READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Norris looks to limit mistakes vs. Padres - It hasn't been a successful homecoming so far for the Astros.  Six games into a 10-game homestand -- their first of the season -- the Astros sit at 2-4 following series losses to the Marlins and Cubs. On Thursday, Houston will look to reverse that trend and gain some momentum when it begins a four-game series with the Padres at 8:05 p.m. ET.  "You want to win the series, but you have to start with game one," Astros center fielder Michael Bourn said after Wednesday's loss. "They're known for their pitching, so we'll have to battle against them. We'll come out and be ready tomorrow. We can't linger on today. It's a bad feeling, but it's something you continue to have to press forward with. We have another team coming here and we have to start over."   READ MORE

Astros fall behind Zambrano, Cubs early in loss - Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano blasted his 22nd career home run and escaped with the victory Wednesday night, as Chicago jumped out to an early five-run lead and managed to hang on to defeat the Houston Astros 9-5 in the rubber game of the series.  Zambrano (2-0) allowed five earned runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts over 99 pitches (57 for strikes) in 5 2/3 innings.   READ MORE

Texas Rangers: Was the Josh Hamilton Steal Attempt "Stupid"? - Josh Hamilton just recently suffered a fracture in his upper right arm, an injury that will sideline him for 6-8 weeks. Afterwards, there has been a little controversy as to whether the play was a stupid play or not. Hamilton:  “I listened to my third-base coach,” Hamilton said. “That’s a little too aggressive. The whole time I was watching the play I was listening. [He said] ‘Nobody’s at home, nobody’s at home.’ I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t want to do this. Something’s going to happen.’ But I listened to my coach. And how do you avoid a tag the best? By going in headfirst and get out of the way and get in there. That’s what I did.”   READ MORE

Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton apologizes to 3B coach - Josh Hamilton looked like a player who had recently suffered a broken bone just under his right shoulder.
He needed an assist from teammate David Murphy to pull off a long-sleeved shirt. Once Hamilton finally was dressed in workout clothes Wednesday morning, the arm was tightly secured in a sling.  And when he spoke, he sounded like a player who had a bit of a chip sitting on that same shoulder. After the Texas Rangers had lost 3-2 late in the afternoon, though, Hamilton's tone had changed.  Hamilton said that he offered an apology to Rangers third-base coach Dave Anderson for how he responded to reporters' questions Tuesday about the play on which he was injured.   READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Cowboy Fan with a Sense of Super Bowl Entitlement? - The last few years have made life tough for anyone who bleeds silver and blue. The Dallas Cowboys have fallen short of expectations for half a decade now. As I look around for someone, anyone, to blame for the letdown that has been the last five seasons, I wonder if perhaps I am the one to blame for my own torment.  Growing up in Dallas during the 1990’s was I spoiled by the decadence of three Super Bowls and the title of “Team of the Decade”? My demographic is made of fans raised on Super Bowls by a generation of fans who were raised on Super Bowls.  Could it be that I have become that stereotypical Cowboys junkie that every other fanbase in the NFL despises? Am I guilty of having that sense of entitlement that makes every other fanbase in the NFL want to puke?   READ MORE

Cowboys' Gurode opens up on off-season - The NFL lockout has players navigating through this off-season with little certainty or routine. Workouts are not allowed at team practice facilities, coaches are prohibited from interacting with players and some athletes are taking their talents to other leagues, sports or professions.  In an attempt to help fans better understand what the players have been doing to keep busy, Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode joined Dallas sports radio station 105.3 The Fan recently to give an inside look into his off-season.  Among several questions, Gurode was asked about how he and his veteran teammates have handled situations like the ones involving Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant last month.   READ MORE

Connor Barwin, Owen Daniels do show and tell, Hanks Gym style - If you are interested in the Texans defense, you may want to know how OLB Connor Barwin is doing coming off of injury and preparing for next year's transition to the 3-4.  If you are interested in the Texans offense or fantasy football, you may want to know if TE Owen Daniels is going to resume his outrageous production of 2009 prior to his injury.   READ MORE

New direction for Texans’ defense as draft approaches - It’s the second week of the Texans’ draft meetings, and defensive prospects are under the microscope.  General manager Rick Smith and the Texans’ coaches and scouts meet five days a week at Reliant Stadium from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They looked at offensive players last week and will review both sides of the ball next week.  It’s defense that the Texans are expected to focus on in the 2011 draft, given the team’s struggles there in 2010. New Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has brought 35 years of coaching experience to pre-draft discussions, much to the liking of head coach Gary Kubiak.   READ MORE

 

 

 


Crawford believes he was right fit for Stars - The difference between the Dallas Stars making the playoffs and missing out for a third straight season came down to one win. And Marc Crawford sees one win as being the difference when it came to him losing his job as the head coach of the team.  “One more win and we’re in the playoffs, and you also have to realize that if you don’t make the playoffs that’s kind of a no-no in our business,” Crawford said Wednesday, one day after Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk relieved him of his head coaching duties. “The tough one is two more wins, we’d be home ice and I might be coach of the year.”  But those wins didn’t come and Nieuwendyk made the change two days after the season ended. Crawford said he didn’t see it coming, but when you’re in the coaching business job security can be tenuous.   READ MORE

Stars Players Remain in Shock after Missing Playoffs - Of course, the big news on Tuesday was that the Stars relieved Marc Crawford of his head coaching duties. But before that announcement became official, it was the day players in every professional sport dread, bag day.  Player End Of Season Interviews That is the day after the season has come to an end where the team assembles one last time to gather their belongings, say their goodbyes to one another before the off-season and also possibly talk to the media before heading out.  Well, Tuesday was bag day for the Stars and since they were not even two full days removed from their season-ending 5-3 loss at Minnesota, a defeat which kept them out of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, one expected disappointment to still be prevalent in the room, which it most certainly was.  Almost fittingly, the first player to address the media was Dallas captain Brenden Morrow.   READ MORE
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MVPTEXAS RT @SportsCenter: Steelers score 24 points in final 3:08 of 1st half to come back vs Texans, 30-23. Le'Veon Bell: 145 total yds, Rec TD htt…
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MVPTEXAS RT @nflnetwork: .@HoustonTexans HC Bill O'Brien's postgame presser airing NOW on NFL Network. #HOUvsPIT
 

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