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NBA Playoff Notebook: Yao out for rest of playoffs

Associated Press
The NBA notebook …
HOUSTON ó Yao Ming will miss the rest of the playoffs with a broken left foot.
The Houston center limped off the court late in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 108-94 victory over the Rockets on Friday night. Yao missed Saturday’s practice to get treatment and the team said the 7-foot-6 All-Star would be re-evaluated on Sunday.
But the Rockets announced later Saturday night that further examination of Yao’s injury revealed a hairline fracture. The Rockets say Yao will need 8-12 weeks to recover, though no surgery is required.
The Rockets and Lakers play Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series today. The Lakers lead the series 2-1.
After the Rockets’ practice on Saturday, Ron Artest said Yao told him that he’d be ready for Game 4. However, coach Rick Adelman prepared his team as if Yao wouldn’t be available.
“We have to play to our strengths,” Adelman said. “Everybody has to play to their strengths and understand what they can do to help us win. You do it collectively. There’s strength in numbers, and that’s what we have to understand.”
“We’ve won without people all year long,” Adelman said. “It’s just one more case. You can’t dwell on who’s not here. You have to dwell on who is here. These guys truly believe, if we go out and play the way we’re capable of playing, we can win a game.”
– Artest will play today. The NBA ruled Saturday that Artest’s hard foul on Pau Gasol late in the Lakers’ 108-94 win on Friday did not merit a one-game suspension. Artest was whistled for a flagrant foul, penalty two and ejected for the hit.
“I think that they made more of that than it was,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
CELTICS REGROUP
ORLANDO, Fla. ó Celtics coach Doc Rivers was at home in the wee hours of Saturday morning after his team’s playoff loss and started watching a movie, hoping to relax.
Only this film had no drama. No hero. No uplifting end or reason to stay tuned.
The tape of Game 3 against Orlando was simply a nightmare.
“It made me feel worse,” Rivers said Saturday, a day after Boston’s demoralizing 117-96 loss to the Magic. “I was in an awful mood when I turned it on. What’s past awful, I was in that afterward. They played great. They made a lot of great shots. And we played awful.
“Our defense was awful. I thought we were soft. I thought they were more aggressive. I thought we were the retaliators all game. Other than that, it was just a wonderful night of film watching.”SUNSPHOENIX ó As expected, the Phoenix Suns are sticking with coach Alvin Gentry. Suns general manager Steve Kerr removed the interim tag from Gentry’s title on Saturday, calling him “the right man to lead our team into the future.”

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