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Chris Paul may play, he may not, but Clippers will show up for Game 2

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON -- It might have felt more like a getting-to-know-you session than a pregame pep talk, Doc Rivers going from player to player in the Los Angeles Clippers' locker room before the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

"You're Austin Rivers," Rivers said Monday night, referring to his son. "You're J.J. Redick."

And on it went, the ...Read more

Hawks storm past Wizards late, even series at 1-1

Sports / Basketball /

This time there was no second-half collapse.

Not completely, anyway.

The Hawks nearly let another double-digit lead get away before a fourth-quarter rally saved a 106-90 victory over the Wizards in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. With the win, the Hawks evened the best-of-seven series, 1-1.

The Hawks lost a 10-point lead ...Read more

Grizzlies point guard Conley to start Game 2 vs. Warriors

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Memphis point guard Mike Conley will return to action and start in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Warriors on Tuesday.

"I think the pain isn't going to be too big of an issue," Conley told reporters. "I hope not. I'm just going out there not thinking about it and playing the game I know how to play." ...Read more

Defensive lapses weighing on Cavs

Sports / Basketball /

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- There are 12 ways to defend a pick-and-roll, Cavaliers coach David Blatt said Tuesday. From the outside, it appeared as if the Cavs unsuccessfully tried about half of them during Monday's 99-92 loss to the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

No matter how the Cavs tried to adjust their approach, ...Read more

Bulls' Rose says shoulder is fine

Sports / Basketball /

CLEVELAND -- Derrick Rose said he has no pain in the right shoulder that he suffered a stinger in late in the Bulls' Game 1 victory over the Cavaliers.

The Bulls didn't practice Tuesday, opting for a film session and walkthrough at the team hotel.

"I feel good," Rose said in a hotel ballroom. "I'm not sore or anything so that's a good sign. ...Read more

LeBron James hints he'll be more aggressive in Game 2 vs. Bulls

Sports / Basketball /

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James acknowledged Tuesday he might have to be more aggressive in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls. With the Cavs' Big Three down to only two following the injury to Kevin Love, James thought he was too passive at times during Monday's 99-92 loss to the Bulls despite finishing with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine ...Read more

Griffin leads Clippers to Game 1 rout of Rockets

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON -- Blake Griffin provided everything the Los Angeles Clippers usually receive from Chris Paul.

There were the passes, Griffin routinely finding his teammates for shots they couldn't create on their own.

There was the leadership, Griffin giving a halftime address and calling for a huddle on the court midway through the fourth quarter.

...Read more

Rockets play like the tired team in Game 1

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON -- Kevin McHale ripped through the core of his entire Houston Rockets team, his language succinctly getting to the point.

McHale had just watched the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers tear apart the well-rested Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, and that made the Rockets coach grow more incensed as he talked about ...Read more

Whoever wins NBA title, it will feel like something new

Sports / Basketball /

Sometime in mid-June, the NBA will crown a champion for the 2014-15 season.

There will be a parade, followed by a visit to the White House.

None of the eight teams in the hunt for the NBA's biggest prize has raised the trophy in the past 16 years. And most of the players weren't even born the last time their franchises were crowned champions. ...Read more

Warriors' Stephen Curry is NBA's MVP

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Warriors guard Stephen Curry is the winner of the NBA's Most Valuable Player award, the league announced Monday.

Curry, 27, became the second player in franchise history to win the award, joining Wilt Chamberlain, who won it in 1960 while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors.

Curry received 100 of 130 first-place votes ...Read more

Jimmy Butler relishes chance to guard LeBron James

Sports / Basketball /

CLEVELAND -- Nothing has really changed for Jimmy Butler.

On June 23, 2011, the night the Bulls drafted him, Butler jumped on a conference call with Chicago reporters and made his stance clear.

"I want to guard LeBron (James)," Butler said.

Mission accomplished. Butler will spend as much time as a cameraman following James over the next ...Read more

Bulls down Cavaliers, draw first blood

Sports / Basketball /

CLEVELAND -- The Bulls' confidence was sky-high entering their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the shorthanded Cavaliers.

It remained there following a convincing 99-92 victory in which they never trailed.

Derrick Rose scored 25 points with five assists, including two late ones for huge baskets from Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol, as the ...Read more

Mavericks seek winning pieces with roster potentially wide open

Sports / Basketball /

Since winning the NBA title in 2011 and basking in all the subsequent glory, this is the fourth consecutive year in which the Dallas Mavericks ended their season in disappointment.

This time it was the Houston Rockets who bounced the Mavs out of the playoffs, winning their opening-round series in five games. Since hoisting their championship ...Read more

Chris Paul's status uncertain as Clippers prep for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Sports / Basketball /

HOUSTON -- They couldn't exhale, not even after the end of a breathless first-round playoff series.

The Los Angeles Clippers boarded their charter flight Sunday not knowing whether the point guard who had carried them past the San Antonio Spurs would be available in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Houston ...Read more

Grizzlies' Allen target of Oracle Arena fan fury

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- With an oblivious stroll through a kids' dance routine during a second-quarter timeout on Sunday, Grizzlies' forward Tony Allen became Public Enemy No. 1 at Oracle Arena.

"It was hilarious," Warriors forward Draymond Green said.

The timeout was nearly over when Allen walked onto the floor, directly through the Jr. Jam Squad ...Read more

Warriors' Curry to be named MVP

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Adding one more piece to a dream season for the franchise, Warriors guard Stephen Curry will be named NBA Most Valuable Player this week, according to CSN Bay Area and multiple reports.

Curry could be given the award as soon as Monday -- an off-day for the Warriors during their second-round series against Memphis -- and then ...Read more

Warriors roll past Grizzlies in series opener, 101-86

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors dominated the Memphis Grizzlies in a 101-86 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday.

Eight days after playing in their last game, the Warriors showed little sign of rust and remained undefeated in the postseason.

Stephen Curry scored 22 points, Klay Thompson added 18 and Draymond ...Read more

Wizards rally past Hawks in second half for 104-98 win

Sports / Basketball /

ATLANTA -- Perhaps DeMarre Carroll said it best.

"You can't score 35 points in the second half and expect to beat this team," was how he summed up a Game 1 loss to the Wizards.

That's exactly what happened to the Hawks in a 104-98 loss in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Sunday afternoon at Philips Arena. The Hawks ...Read more

Clippers point guard Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

Sports / Basketball /

There were only a few hours to exhale, even after the end of a breathless first-round playoff series.

The Clippers boarded their charter flight Sunday not knowing whether the point guard who had carried them past the San Antonio Spurs would be available in the opener of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Houston Rockets.

...Read more

Even without Kevin Love, Cavaliers wary but confident heading into series with rival Bulls

Sports / Basketball /

Near the end of a shooting drill with J.R. Smith on Saturday, LeBron James called out to anyone who would answer to ask what time it was.

"3:05," a Cavaliers staffer answered and James grimaced.

"Whooo, I'm gonna get cussed out," he said.

James had an evening appointment for which he was now running late, which presumably was about to draw ...Read more