Sports Morning Headlines - Tuesday, 4/24/12

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Tuesday, 4/24/12.

Spurs 124, Trail Blazers 89 The Spurs wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference in the upcoming playoffs with an impressive 124-89 victory over Portland Monday night at the AT&T Center. Tim Duncan and Danny Green scored 18 points apiece to lead the Spurs to their eighth straight victory — all by double figures.  Tony Parker added 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal added 12 points apiece to pace a balanced Spurs’ scoring attack featuring six players in double figures.  It gave the Spurs their sixth No. 1 seed in the West during the 15-season career of Tim Duncan.  The victory was the eighth straight for the Spurs (48-16) who matched their season-best victory margin recorded in a 125-90 victory at Cleveland on April 3.  Monday’s blowout victory concluded the Spurs’ home schedule with remaining road games Wednesday in Phoenix and Thursday in Golden State.  The Spurs rang up a season-high 34 assists as they dominated from the opening tip and never trailed.  Portland (28-37) saw its season-worst losing streak stretched to six games.   READ MORE

Gosselin: Mavericks may win one playoff series, but old legs won't carry them any farther - SportsDay columnist Rick Gosselin answered reader questions during a live chat on Monday. Here are some highlights:  After watching the Mavs this season, what's your estimate on when they might get knocked out of the playoffs? Or will they shock everyone again?  Rick Gosselin: I learned in football old legs tend to fade late. That could be even more true of the Mavericks this season because the lockout compressed the season, so there was even greater stress on old legs to play more games in a shorter period of time. I think it would be interesting if this Mavericks team still had their shot blocker and inside presence (Tyson Chandler) and their offensive penetration (JJ Barea). But they don't, so I think this Dallas team wins one series at best.   READ MORE

With playoff hopes dashed, owner Alexander has few answers for what went wrong with Rockets - Rockets owner Leslie Alexander watched his team blow another lead and another game, officially ending its playoff hopes with a loss like so many others down the stretch. Like the Rockets, he had few answers — or few he was willing to share.  Asked what he had learned about the Rockets during their late-season swoon, Alexander would not comment. Asked where they go from here, he would not say. Even when he was asked if there is something good that can come from the meltdown, he took a pass.  It was as if he were following the motherly advice: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  In a way, Alexander might have revealed more about his feelings with his reticence than had he chosen to answer every question. He was as unwilling to make an excuse or offer salesmanship spin as he was to assign blame.  Asked where the repairs were needed most after seven losses in eight games, coach Kevin McHale shared even less.  “We’ll handle all that in the summer,” he said.   READ MORE










With Holland off, Rangers can't catch up - The Rangers' starting rotation finally had a bad night.  Derek Holland coughed up seven runs against the Yankees, including a back-breaking three-run home run to Alex Rodriguez, as the Rangers were defeated convincingly for the first time this season, 7-4, on Monday night.  The Rangers, off to a roaring 13-3 start entering Monday, finally had an off night. Each of Texas' three previous losses had been by a run, and the rotation had pitched brilliantly in building a 10-1 record and a 2.54 ERA. The Yankees changed that, taking advantage as Holland struggled with his command.  Holland was shaky early, allowing two runs in the first inning on a two-out single by Curtis Granderson. Holland's night took a turn for the worse in the top of the fifth, when a walk to No. 9 hitter Chris Stewart set up a game-changing rally.   READ MORE

Martinez returns to site of big league debut - The three-game series against the Brewers at Miller Park marked the first trip to Milwaukee for Astros left fielder J.D. Martinez since he made his Major League debut here last July 30. Martinez doubled in his first big league at-bat.  "I said it the moment I got in the taxi taking me here," Martinez said Monday. "I was thinking, 'This is the same taxi ride, except not from the airport this time.' I remember seeing the ballpark from afar and going through the whole day. Everything seems like it's a flashback."  Martinez, of course, established himself pretty quickly by notching 28 RBIs in August and began this season entrenched as the club's No. 3 hitter. As he reflected upon his Miller Park debut, Martinez is much more confident in his surroundings these days.   READ MORE









Battle Red Radio: Pre-Draft Boogaloo - It occurred to me that while we have written ad nauseam about things this offseason ... or at least I think we did, sometime before there was a mock draft ... the BRB crew hasn't yet weighed in on such topics under the guise of sobriety.  Join myself, MDC, and Tim tonight at 10 p.m. CT! We will discuss the defections of Mario Williams, Mike Brisiel, Eric Winston (I guess it's not technically a defection if they cut you), DeMeco Ryans (ditto for trading) and Joel Dreessen. I will ask Tim about 10 different questions about Coby Fleener and Stephen Hill. I will murder MDC in a pool of cold blood for suggesting Nick Toon is worth a second-round pick. Other prospects may also be talked about.   READ MORE

Opting for Courtney Upshaw would be best move for Cowboys in draft - The Cowboys have done their homework on Courtney Upshaw. Coach Jason Garrett made the trip to Alabama on March 29 to watch some of the Crimson Tide players work out. That included Upshaw.  Garrett attended only one pro day last year as well, and that was at Southern California. The Cowboys then used their first-round pick on USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith.  Upshaw is built to play near the line of scrimmage and has shown the ability to get off the ball quickly. His skill set is similar to Anthony Spencer, but Upshaw comes with a mean streak.  And get this: He's a big fan of DeMarcus Ware.   READ MORE









Stars fire some executives - There was a behind the scenes shake up at the Dallas Stars offices in Frisco on Monday as some senior executives were let go.  Among those fired Monday were Assistant Vice President, Communications Rob Scichili, Senior Director of Game Entertainment and Events Jon Adams and Manager, Digital Media Lane Pate.  The changes in the front office have been going on for a while. Chief Financial Officer Robert Hutson had been let go previously.   READ MORE








---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story

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