Cavs' Shaq vows to return soon

Posted: April 01, 2010

Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal says his surgically repaired thumb is healing ahead of schedule.

Looking remarkably fit, O'Neal, who has been out since tearing a ligament in his thumb on Feb. 25 and having surgery, said he plans to resume basketball activities soon and may return before the end of the regular season.

"I will be ready," O'Neal said.

O'Neal attended last night's Milwaukee at Cleveland game with his mother, Lucille, who was in town promoting her book, "Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go: From Mental Welfare to Mental Wealth." The book chronicles her life as an unwed teen mother, struggles with alcohol and her determination to get a college degree in her 40s.

The pair saw the Cavs defeat the Bucks, 101-98, thanks, in part, to clutch free-throw shooting by Mo Williams.

Williams, who scored 21 points, made four free throws in the final 12.8 seconds. LeBron James scored 23 for the Cavs, who have won 10 of their past 11.

John Salmons scored 28 for the Bucks.

Before the game, James said he will "probably not play" for Team USA in this summer's world championships.

James, a captain on the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, said he may be too busy this summer to play for the national team.

In other games:

* At East Rutherford, Steve Nash had 24 points and 14 assists, Jason Richardson scored 23 points, and the Phoenix Suns ran their winning streak to nine games by beating the New Jersey Nets, 116-105.

* At Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 25 points as the Hawks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-92. Kobe Bryant scored 28 points but only eight in the second half for the Lakers.

* At Memphis, Jason Terry scored 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 28 as the Dallas Mavericks won their 50th game with a 106-102 overtime victory over the Grizzlies.

* At Toronto, Chris Bosh had 34 points and 11 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani had 21 points and eight rebounds and the Raptors snapped a three-game home losing streak with a 114-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

* At Auburn Hills, Mich., Michael Beasley snapped out of a slump with 28 points and nine rebounds as the Miami Heat won their sixth straight, beating the Detroit Pistons, 98-81.

* At Boston, Kevin Durant scored 37 points, Jeff Green hit two three-pointers in the last 2 minutes and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Celtics, 109-104.

* At New Orleans, Mike Miller scored a season-high 27 points and the Washington Wizards snapped a franchise-record 16-game losing streak with a 96-91 win over the Hornets.

* At San Antonio, George Hill scored a career-high 30 points to help lead the Spurs past the Houston Rockets, 119-102.

* At Minneapolis, Al Jefferson had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Darko Milicic also got a double-double to help the Minnesota Timberwolves snapped a 16-game losing streak with a 108-99 win over Sacramento.

* At Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points before sitting out the final quarter, and the Trail Blazers clinched a playoff spot with a 118-90 victory over the New York Knicks.

* At Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer's 25 points and 13 rebounds led the Utah Jazz to a 128-104 win over Golden State.

Noteworthy

* Dwyane Wade has asked a court to grant him sole custody of his two young sons, adding to an already venomous and drawn-out divorce proceeding between the Miami Heat guard and his estranged wife. In addition, Wade has asked that his wife be ordered to undergo a psychological examination. In more than 300 pages of filings, the All-Star says his wife exhibited threatening behavior, had extramarital affairs, uses abusive parenting methods and is unwilling to let Wade see his children. The couple has two boys, ages 8 and 2.

* The NBA announced that fans can make their pick for the league's Most Valuable Player, with the combined fans' choice counting for one vote on the official ballot. Starting today through April 15, fans can go to www.NBA.com/KiaMVPFanVote and rank their top five choices.

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