April 18, 2007


Playoff race down to wire


Associated Press/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Golden State Warriors’ Mickael Pietrus, of France, shoots past Dallas Mavericks’ Greg Buckner during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday. Golden State won 111-82.

By The Associated Press
The Warriors and Clippers are taking it to the limit in pursuit of an NBA playoff berth.
Going into the final night of the season, Golden State leads Los Angeles by one game in the Western Conference race. The Warriors beat Dallas 111-82 Tuesday night and head to Portland for their finale. The Clippers won 103-99 at Phoenix and finish at home against New Orleans.
“Win or go home. What better way?” asked Warriors guard Baron Davis. “Who would have thought we would be in this position at the end of the year? The mission is not over. We win tomorrow, that’s when the mission starts.”
The Warriors haven’t been on such a mission since 1994, the last time they made the playoffs. So after the Mavericks, who have the league’s best record, rested Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry Stackhouse, Erick Dampier and Josh Howard, Golden State romped. And began looking to Portland.
“Y’all are going to see us next week, playing Dallas or Phoenix,” Al Harrington told the crowd.
The Warriors actually could finish seventh in the West if they win and the Lakers lose to Sacramento. And, of course, Golden State (41-40) can go home early if its falls against the Trail Blazers while the Clippers (40-41, but with the tiebreaker) beat the Hornets.
“I think it’s going to be one of the toughest games we’ll have all year,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “It’s just a feeling that I have.”
Mickael Pietrus scored 22 points and Matt Barnes had 19 against Dallas.
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, it was: Orlando 95, Washington 889; Cleveland 98, Philadelphia 92; Detroit 100, Toronto 84; and Atlanta 118, Indiana 102.
Phoenix wasn’t as easy on the Clippers as Dallas was on the Warriors, playing its regulars all night. But the desperate Clippers responded with a strong effort.
Elton Brand scored 21 points to lead six Clippers in double figures. Jason Hart made two free throws with 7.8 seconds left to seal the win and deprive the Suns of a 62nd victory in their regular-season finale. That would have tied the franchise record.
Brand said the Clippers should never have found themselves in this precarious situation anyway.
“Just two weeks ago we were fighting for seventh,” he said. “We still have to go out and handle our business tomorrow. All in all, it’s still disappointing that it had to come down to this.”
Leandro Barbosa scored 22 for the Suns.
Cavaliers 98, 76ers 92: Larry Hughes scored 22 points and LeBron James had 18, preserving visiting Cleveland’s chances for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavaliers could move up to No. 2 if they beat Milwaukee on Wednesday night and New Jersey beats Chicago.
James added six assists in an all-around solid game and led a well-balanced Cavaliers attack that had six players score in double figures.
Joe Smith had 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Sixers. Willie Green scored 24 points.
Magic 95, Wizards 89: Orlando overcame Antawn Jamison’s 48 points and kept up a last-minute push to improve its playoff seeding.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points to lead the Magic, who are eighth in the East, but could move up to seventh if they beat Miami.
If they do move up, it will be largely at the expense of the Wizards, who have lost eight of nine and six straight at home — most of them without their two injured All-Stars, Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler.
Pistons 100, Raptors 84: Neither team had anything to play for — the Pistons are locked into the East’s top seed and the Raptors will be No. 3, but Detroit coach Flip Saunders didn’t want a repeat of his team’s feeble loss to Philadelphia.
So, while Toronto’s Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker spent the night in street clothes, host Detroit played its normal rotation until the game got out of hand.
Unfortunately for the Raptors, Morris Peterson was still on the floor in the final minutes when he appeared to hyperextend his right knee. He limped off the floor, and was helped back to the locker room.
Hawks 118, Pacers 102: The Hawks set season highs for points in a quarter and a half as they finished another disappointing season by beating the Pacers. The Hawks missed the playoffs for the eighth straight season, but reached 30 wins for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Tyronn Lue and Josh Smith each scored 25 points to lead four Hawks with more than 20. Marvin Williams added 23 and rookie Shelden Williams set a career high with 21.
Backup forward Ike Diogu led Indiana with 20 points.



Area contests keep falling to snow

Mother Nature continues to be the biggest winner on the local sports scene while SUNY Cortland and the high schools continue to rescheduled postponed contests.
Here is a look at the latest postponements, cancelled and rescheduled sporting events:


  • The Red Dragon baseball team had its Tuesday home game against Rochester and a road trip to Ithaca College today postponed. No make-up dates have been announced. Cortland State will now travel to St. Joseph’s on Long Island today for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
    The Red Dragons also announced that their postponed April 15 doubleheader at Plattsburgh State will be played April 26 at noon.
  • Red Dragon softball had its Tuesday doubleheader at Geneseo postponed until Thursday at 3 p.m.
  • Red Dragon women had their Tuesday lacrosse game at Oswego State postponed. The game will be moved to the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex for a 6:30 p.m. match tonight.


  • The following events today have been postponed with no make-up dates announced. Varsity baseball at Chittenango, varsity softball hosting Chittenango at Meldrim Field and varsity track at Fulton


  • Varsity baseball home game against Phoenix Tuesday was postponed. The baseball game will be played May 10 at 4:30 p.m. The Trojans were slated to travel to Mexico today, but that game has also been postponed with a rescheduled date for May 1 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Varsity softball was scheduled to travel to Phoenix Tuesday. That game was postponed and rescheduled until April 24 at 4:30 p.m. The Trojans were slated to host Mexico today, but that game has been postponed and rescheduled for May 1 at 4:30 p.m.
  • Two varsity lacrosse matches between Homer and Chittenango where postponed Tuesday. The boys will now host the Bears May 19 at 3 p.m. on Butts Field. The girls will travel to Chittenango April 25 for a 5 p.m. match. The previously postponed boys game at Fulton April 5 has been rescheduled for Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
  • Varsity track was slated to host Chittenango today, but the meet has been postponed with no make-up date announced.


  • Varsity baseball at home against Newark Valley Tuesday was postponed and has been rescheduled for May 5 at 3 p.m.
  • Purple Lion varsity baseball and softball were slated to travel to Elmira Notre Dame today, but those games have been postponed and rescheduled for Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
  • Varsity lacrosse at Chenango Forks was postponed Tuesday and has been rescheduled for Friday at 5 p.m.
  • Varsity track was hosting both Newark Valley and Elmira Notre Dame Tuesday, but that meet was postponed with no make-up date announced.



Purple Tigers sharp early in easy victory

CLINTON — Given the circumstances, Cortland High boys’ lacrosse coach John Spallone was especially happy with the way his team started out in Tuesday’s OHSL B contest with New Hartford at Hamilton College.
“We had a very, very good first quarter,” said Spallone, whose team moved to a 4-0 lead after the first 12 minutes and rolled to a 13-6 victory over the defending sectional Class B champions. “After a long bus ride and stretching in the parking lot, things that can be disorienting, we did a lot of things very well. Three of the first four goals were assisted; we moved the ball well and did a nice job over the full field.
“We were ahead 8-2 at halftime and feeling pretty good about everything.”
That feeling lasted the rest of the game, as the Purple Tigers improved to 4-1 in league play and 6-2 overall with the win. Senior attack Taylor Brown and junior attack Jack Spallone had two goals and an assist apiece, while senior midfielder Nick Becker scored twice, senior midfielder Joel White had a goal and three assists and senior midfielder Dan Leonard had a goal and an assist. Senior midfielder Theo Bishop, junior defenseman Jesse Brown and junior midfielder Brad Rogers scored once each.
CHS senior starting goalie Zach Zayac made 10 saves and reserve Travis Carruthers, a junior, stopped one shot while the Spartans’ Pat Alcott made 16 saves, Cortland with a 30-15 shot advantage. Chris Perra scored twice as the hosts fell to 2-3 league and 3-4 overall.
“Our defense played solid, the midfield — back and intact — ran the field very well and our three attacks did a great job of moving without the ball,” John Spallone said. “We had nine players score, and that’s ideal, getting a lot of people involved in your offensive production. It was a very, very sold team game.”