Casspi ends impressive rookie campaign

Kings wrap up season with 106-100 defeat to Lakers at Staples Center.

omri casspi 311 (photo credit: AP)
omri casspi 311
(photo credit: AP)
Omri Casspi scored four points and took seven rebounds as the Sacramento Kings wrapped up their season with another defeat  on Tuesday, this time at the reigning champion LA Lakers.
The Israeli ended a very successful rookie campaign with averages of 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25 minutes, but fell out of favor with coach Paul Westphal in the final weeks.
Pau Gasol had 28 points and eight rebounds, Shannon Brown scored 24 points and Kobe Bryant rested as the Lakers finished their regular-season home schedule with a 106-100 victory.
“I learned a lot. It was a very productive year for most of our guys and hopefully next year we will be a little more competitive throughout the playoff run,” Casspi said.
“I’m going to be working on my shots and my free-throw percentages, a few things that can make me a better player.”
Casspi is now preparing to play for Israel in the summer EuroBasket qualification campaign.
Tyreke Evans scored 10 points for the Kings before his remarkable rookie season ended with a third-quarter ejection as Sacramento wrapped up its fourth straight losing season with an 11th defeat in 12 games.
Bryant sat out to rest his litany of injuries, including a sprained ankle and a broken finger.
Bulls 101, Celtics 93 At the United Center, Derrick Rose scored a career-high 39 points and Kirk Hinrich added a season-high 30 as Chicago helped its playoff chances with a victory over Boston.
The eighth-place Bulls lead Toronto by a game in the Eastern Conference and will make the playoffs as long as they finish with a better record, meaning they need a win at Charlotte on Wednesday or a loss by the Raptors to New York.Fourth-place Boston, meanwhile, cannot catch Atlanta for the third seed after falling for the sixth time in nine games.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 28 points, and Ray Allen scored 25. Kevin Garnett added 14 points and nine rebounds after sitting out the previous game to rest.
Jazz 103, Warriors 94 Mehmet Okur had 23 points and seven rebounds, and Paul Millsap grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds as Utah swept the three-game season series against Golden State despite losing leading scorer Carlos Boozer to an early injury in Oakland.
Boozer strained his right ribcage while playing all 12 minutes of the opening period. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays at the start of the second quarter but didn’t return. He had five points and four rebounds before departing.
The Jazz was due to wrap up the season Wednesday at home against Phoenix in a game that will determine both teams’ playoff seedings. Utah, riding a 10-game home winning streak, could be as high as the No. 2 seed or fall to fifth.
Suns 123, Nuggets 101 Amare Stoudemire scored 26 points, and Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists before sitting out the fourth quarter as Phoenix completed a rout of visiting Denver to earn homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Suns made 14 of 24 3-pointers, 11 of 17 in the first threequarters. Phoenix jumped to an 18-2 lead and the Nuggets never cut itto single digits after the first quarter.
The Suns can finish no worse than No. 4 in the West and would be No. 3if they win at Utah on Wednesday. Denver, which finished its regularseason, would get the No. 4 spot and a first-round homecourt edge ifPhoenix beats the Jazz.
Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets.