NBA Notes: Marc Gasol wins defensive player honors

NBA Notes: Marc Gasol wins defensive player honors
April 24, 2013, 6:45 pm
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Grizzlies center Marc Gasol insists he isn't being charitable when credits his teammates for winning his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. Playing great defense is just what they do in Memphis.

He said Wednesday that he believes the entire team has been recognized for how the Grizzlies play defense, crediting guards Tony Allen and Mike Conley for having a big share of the award with him.

"It's a team game, and there's no way around it. That's how we play basketball," Gasol said. "We play as a unit, and defensively, you need five guys to play. One of us is not playing defense, we cannot do it. We play as a team. It actually feels much better when we do it like that. You create something bigger than yourself. It's not just about you."

Gasol anchored that defense, and he received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami's LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes. Gasol appeared on only 60 of the 121 ballots cast, with James on 47 ballots despite his 129 steals and 67 blocked shots.

The 7-foot-1 Spaniard became the first European to win the award, though just the latest big man following Tyson Chandler of New York last year and Dwight Howard three straight seasons before that. Gasol called being the first European to win this award an honor (see full story).

Nets' Johnson might miss Game 3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson might miss Game 3 against Chicago because of a foot injury.

Johnson said Wednesday that he was hurt in the first quarter of the Bulls' 90-82 win Monday that tied the first-round series 1-1. Johnson did not practice Wednesday. Game 3 is Thursday in Chicago.

Johnson scored 17 points on 6-of-18 shooting in 39 minutes in Game 2.

"It's sore, but there's no excuse," he said Wednesday. "I have to find a way to get through it. It's the part of the season where I can't have this happen. We've fought so hard to get to this point."

Johnson missed several games during the regular season with a heel injury (see full story).

Celtics' Garnett will play Game 3
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers says Kevin Garnett has a hip injury but it won't keep him out of Game 3 of their playoff series against the New York Knicks.

Rivers says Garnett's hip was bothering him during Tuesday night's 87-71 loss to the Knicks. The victory gave New York a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The series resumes in Boston on Friday night. And Rivers says Garnett will be on the floor.

A bigger problem for the Celtics was Garnett's foul trouble. The Boston big man picked up back-to-back fouls early in the first quarter and played just 24 minutes in the game. Rivers said after the game the fouls by Garnett were "horrendous" and Garnett was never able to get into a rhythm (see full story).

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