Sports Morning Headlines - Monday, 4/30/12

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, 4/30/12.

Spurs strike first, blast Jazz in Game 1 - Tony Parker had an offseason to stew, a lockout to fume, an entire NBA regular season to simmer.  By the time Game 1 against Utah tipped off Sunday afternoon, Parker’s wait for playoff redemption had reached a boiling point. He was primed. He was pumped. He was raring to go.  And then, he literally came bursting out of his shoe.  This is how Parker’s day of atonement began, in a 106-91 victory over the Jazz at the AT&T Center: 96 seconds in, Nike in hand, sheepishly begging for a 20-second timeout to rectify a wardrobe malfunction.  His afternoon would improve substantially after that. Parker finished with 28 points and eight assists, helping the top-seeded Spurs put last season’s first-round disaster against Memphis one day further behind them.  “I wanted to make sure I set the table in Game 1, and make sure I was aggressive,” Parker said. “And then build on that.”  The victory staked the Spurs to their first 1-0 lead in a series since the 2008 first round, when they needed miracle 3-pointers from Michael Finley and Tim Duncan to beat Phoenix in overtime.  So long ago was that game that Kawhi Leonard — the Spurs’ starter at small forward Sunday — was a junior in high school then.   READ MORE

Kevin Durant admits Shawn Marion had him covered well on last-second shot: 'I didn't see the rim' - After Kevin Durant's winning shot over him in Game 1, Mavericks forward Shawn Marion said there was no way that Durant could have seen the basket as he took the 15-footer that bounced on the rim, off the backboard and through the hoop.  "I didn't see the rim," a smiling Durant admitted after the Thunder's practice Sunday. "But shooting so many shots in my lifetime, man, you know where the rim is."  Durant said he was grateful that he got a "shooter's bounce," but pointed out that Serge Ibaka was there for the tip-in had Durant's shot missed.  "He was there," Durant said. "And everybody would have been hugging him."   READ MORE

Rockets enter offseason looking for foundation player - The details along the way might have changed, but the results and subsequent plans have not. Another Rockets regular season ended with no postseason, sending the Rockets to familiar goals for the offseason.  For the third consecutive season, the Rockets finished with a winning record but one spot removed from the playoffs. That is enough for them to consider themselves to be good, just not good enough.  Their way out of that pattern remains as unchanged as their hold on the 14th pick of the NBA draft. Loaded with solid players but lacking stars, the Rockets enter another offseason hoping to land a player to build around, continuing the search for successors to Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady while believing they are another season better equipped to make the move.   READ MORE











Rangers lose Hamilton, Wash, game, series - Throw enough good starting pitching at the Texas Rangers and they're bound to lose a series sometime.  That time came Sunday night as Tampa Bay's David Price held the Rangers to just two runs in a 5-2 Rays victory.  Texas had won a club record six consecutive series to open the year and 12 straight in the regular season dating back to 2011.  But the end of this series reinforced one truth about these Rangers: Their last four losses have come to Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia, along with the Tampa Bay All-Star duo of James Shields and Price. It also reinforced on more truth: The undeniable importance of Josh Hamilton to the lineup.  Battling back against such tough pitching with Hamilton out of the lineup was of little consolation; however, to the Rangers —particularly on a night when they again felt like they had enough chances to win the game.   READ MORE

Astros ready for extended stay home - Houston opens a nine-game homestand against the Mets.  The Mets get their leadoff hitter back and the Astros get an extended stay at home when the two teams start a three-game series Monday.  Andres Torres likely will return from the disabled list Monday, leading off and starting in center field, Mets manager Terry Collins said.  The Astros, who have played just three of their past 16 games at home, will be home for three-game sets against the Mets, Cardinals and Marlins.  "Last time we were home it's like we were just stopping by," said Astros manager Brad Mills of a brief three-game homestand against the Dodgers.  Though the Mets will be careful not to disrupt their on-base percentage-oriented offense by running too often, Collins plans to give Torres the green light to attempt to steal a base at all times.  The outfielder swiped 19 bags in 25 attempts last season with the Giants, and holds a 74-percent success rate for his career.  Without him, the Mets entered Sunday's play ranking dead last in the Majors with five steals.   READ MORE











Kubiak, Texans thrilled with their draft class - The Texans entered the draft looking for Mario Williams’ replacement, depth in the offensive line, depth at wide receiver and a kicker to replace Neil Rackers.  General manager Smith found Williams’ replacement in the first round, Illinois outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus. He’ll be developed behind starters Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed.  In the third through sixth rounds, Smith selected two receivers, three offensive linemen and Texas A&M kicker Randy Bullock, who’s being handed one of the most important jobs on the team.  Even though they didn’t need another defensive lineman, they jumped on Nebraska tackle Jared Crick, who missed seven games last season because of a torn pectoral muscle, the same injury that sidelined Williams for the last 11 games of last season.  “Rick and the scouts did a tremendous job,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “Obviously, the coaches have done their work over the last couple of months, too. It’s just nice to see things come together.   READ MORE

Garrett says Cowboys didn't pick players just for their character - Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has a reputation for liking overachievers, but he said the Cowboys’ seven draftees weren’t chosen strictly because of their character. They can all play, too.  “It’s not like they are ‘makeup’ guys, undersized guys who will run through the wall for you but they can’t play in the NFL,” Garrett said Saturday night after the Cowboys finished picking in the three-day draft. “These guys have the physical traits to play. ... They are big enough, long enough, fast enough. They have the traits that are required to play their position.”  In addition, they weren’t taken strictly for special teams, either, Garrett said.   READ MORE













Prospect update: Scott Glennie - This is the latest in a series of updates on the top prospects of the Dallas Stars. This one looks at forward Scott Glennie, who played his first full professional season with the Texas Stars of the AHL.  Glennie, Dallas’ first round pick (8th overall) in 2009, registered 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists) in 70 games for Texas. He missed all but the first couple days of training camp and the first three games of Texas’ season due to a concussion. He missed the last two games of the season with a wrist injury.  “It was a bit of a slow start with the injury there, but I think the second half went pretty well. I got my feet underneath me,” said Glennie. “It’s just getting used to the game. It took me a little while to get used to the pace, how fast and big the guys are. I think I am used to that now.”  Glennie had only two points in his first 13 games, but picked up the pace when Dallas made some roster moves in late November.   READ MORE









---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story

comments
MVPTEXAS RT @RealSportsTaIk: Cavs bout to lose to the Knicks. Yo @KingJames.. http://t.co/QMBzR2CTor
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MVPTEXAS RT @dallasmavs: Coach asking the team to close this game out! #DALvsUTA
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MVPTEXAS RT @BallinWithBryan: The RUN DMC is truly legit. Genius. Wow. Solid job, @TheWellDelivers. http://t.co/yK9bcVtLBI
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MVPTEXAS RT @dallasmavs: Mavs starting line up! Who's ready?? #DALvsUTA https://t.co/gsB2EiTQvi
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