Nuggets close out Hornets, Hawks beat Heat take 3-2 lead

Nuggets close out Hornets, Hawks beat Heat take 3-2 leadLos Angeles - After years of frustration, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets are celebrating a Rocky Mountain High.

Anthony scored a career-playoff high 34 points, J. R. Smith added 20 and the Nuggets rocked the New Orleans Hornets 107-86 at home on Wednesday to wrap up their Western Conference opening-round playoff series in five games.

Denver had lost five consecutive first-round series before advancing for the first time since 1994.

Orlando's Howard suspended for Game Six against Sixers

Dwight Howard Los Angeles  - The Orlando Magic's hopes of closing out the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six on Thursday, and moving into the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, took a giant hit on Wednesday.

The NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson said that Magic All-Star centre Dwight Howard was handed a one-game league suspension for elbowing Sixers big man Samuel Dalembert in the head.

The costly incident occurred with 9:15 remaining in the first quarter of Orlando's 91-78 home-court victory on Tuesday night.

Mavericks' Terry named NBA's Sixth Man of the Year

Jason TerryLos Angeles  - Some egos would have been bruised, calling it an obvious demotion, but Jason Terry embraced his new role and the Dallas Mavericks shooting star was rewarded for it.

Terry was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year on Friday, after making the successful transition from starting guard to super sub.

"It's all about the team," Terry said. "That's what I've been about since day one."

Terry received 576 of a possible 605 points, including 111 of a possible 121 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters.

Awards: Bulls' Rose named NBA Rookie of the Year

Awards: Bulls' Rose named NBA Rookie of the YearLos Angeles  - The Chicago Bulls made Derrick Rose the first pick in the NBA Draft last June, and came up smelling like roses as the talented point guard bloomed as tops in his class.

Rose was named the NBA's Rookie of the Year, after leading the Bulls into the playoffs, the league announced on Wednesday.

"When I first came into the season my biggest thing was to get this award," Rose said. "I was telling you all that I wasn't caring about it, but when you're coming in, you really do want this award. It shows how much work you have put into it."

Orlando's Howard named NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Orlando's Howard named NBA Defensive Player of the Year Los Angeles - Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is the NBA's new secretary of defense in a landslide decision.

Howard was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, after becoming the fifth player in league history to finish tops in rebounds and blocked shots.

"To be the defensive player of the year at 23 is remarkable," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "To be a great defensive player usually comes later in a career. And he still has so much room for improvement."

Celtics lose Powe to knee injury for remainder of season

Boston Celtics Los Angeles  - NBA champions Boston Celtics said Tuesday that they had lost backup forward Leon Powe for the rest of the season because of injury.

Tests revealed that Powe suffered a torn ligament in his left knee during the first half of Monday night's 118-115 victory over the Chicago Bulls in game two of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

"Leon has an ACL tear and meniscus," Celtics coach Doc Rivers told the Boston Globe. "He's obviously out for the playoffs. Surgery will be determined when it's determined. So, obviously a tough break."