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Blazers defeat Clippers 110-102 (Yahoo Sports)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 01:23

Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen Davis, left, and Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez battle for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Will Barton had a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers downed the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 in the regular-season finale Wednesday night, with both teams resting key players in advance of the playoffs. Portland, which sat starting forward LaMarcus Aldridge, ends the regular season on a five-game winning streak. Seeded fifth in the Western Conference, Portland will face the Rockets in a first-round series starting Sunday in Houston. Jamal Crawford had 34 points for the Clippers, who didn't play Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111 (Yahoo Sports)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 00:21

 Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives against the Detroit Pistons on April 16, 2014 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons had Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Oklahoma City Thunder had Kevin Durant. Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Thunder secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference, rallying from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Pistons 112-111 Wednesday night. Oklahoma City (59-23) had lost two straight to put itself in the must-win situation in the regular-season finale to earn the No. 2 seed.

Grizzlies grab 7th seed, beat Dallas 106-105 in OT (Yahoo Sports)

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 00:20

Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33), of Spain, goes to the basket against Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) and forward Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Lance Murphey)

The Memphis Grizzlies had every reason to ease up in the regular season finale after pushing hard the past three months to reach the postseason. Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies moved up from the eighth seed by edging the Dallas Mavericks 106-105 on Wednesday night. The Grizzlies, who set a franchise record with a 14th straight home win in a single season, will open the postseason Saturday night at Oklahoma City. ''Playing Grizzlies' basketball going into the postseason was key, and we wanted to try to keep that momentum going,'' Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said.

Knicks beat Raptors, who get No. 3 seed anyway (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:49

Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas (17) and Amir Johnson (15) defend New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Knicks lingered on the court, soaking in the cheers from the fans wearing those giveaway orange shirts that were probably meant for the playoffs. Hard as it still is for them to believe, there is no more basketball for the Knicks this season. New York finished its disappointing season with a 95-92 victory Wednesday night over the Toronto Raptors, who blew a 21-point lead but still landed the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. ''We just take that on the chin and use that for preparation for next year.'' Toronto moves on to host the Brooklyn Nets, who fell to the No. 6 seed, in its playoff opener Saturday.

Wizards head to playoffs with win (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:44

Washington Wizards forward Nene Hilario, right, drives against Boston Celtics center Joel Anthony during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Bradley Beal stood at his locker near the middle of a noisy Washington locker room and expressed a thought that Wizards' players haven't felt for a few years. ''I was sitting here after the game and talking to Glen (Rice) saying, 'It's a great feeling knowing you're going to keep playing,''' Beal said after scoring 27 points to help the Wizards grab the Eastern Conference's No. 5 seed with a 118-102 win over Boston on Wednesday night. For me being my second year, a lot of guys haven't been through it.'' The Wizards, who closed the regular season by winning seven of their last 10 games, will be facing Chicago in their first playoff appearance since 2008. ''I just thought the way we ended it, that's what we talked about,'' Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.

Nets rest starters, lose 114-85 to Cavaliers (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:32

Cleveland Cavaliers' Alonzo Gee, right, knocks the ball loose from Brooklyn Nets' Andray Blatche during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The Nets lounged their way into the NBA playoffs. Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the season finale and the Nets wound up with the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs following a 114-85 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Although the Nets could have clinched the No. 5 spot with a win, Kidd elected to rest Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston, who spent the night on the bench as the world's highest-paid cheerleading squad.

Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86 (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:24

Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson, left, shoots past Charlotte Bobcats' Jannero Pargo, right, and Taj Gibson, second from right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Al Jefferson knows few people will be giving the Charlotte Bobcats a chance to upset the Miami Heat in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. ''They didn't give us a chance in October, if you remember,'' Jefferson said. So we don't worry about what is said outside of these walls right here.'' The Bobcats defeated the Chicago Bulls 91-86 in overtime on Wednesday night to finish the season 43-39 and as the seventh seed in the East. But now there is the monumental task of beating the two-time defending NBA champions, something the Bobcats haven't done in the LeBron James era.

Hawks wrap up regular season, beat Bucks 111-103 (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 23:17

Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton, right, and Atlanta Hawks' Kyle Korver go after a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Mike Scott scored 17 points and the Atlanta Hawks ended the regular season with a 111-103 win Wednesday over the Bucks, hours after Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl announced he was selling his team. Mike Muscala added 15 for the Hawks, who rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first half. Atlanta is locked into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and a first-round date with the Indiana Pacers. Scott started for forward Paul Millsap, who was rested to get ready for the postseason.

Pacers rest 3 starters, cruise past Magic 101-86 (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 21:35

Indiana Pacers' Evan Turner (12) takes a shot over Orlando Magic's E'Twaun Moore, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as the Indiana Pacers rested their key players and cruised to a 101-86 victory over the Orlando Magic in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Eastern Conference's top seed ended the season winning three of four to shake off a nasty late-season slump. The Pacers will open the playoffs against eighth-seed Atlanta. Indiana held out Paul George, Lance Stephenson and David West against the Magic.

Woodson still believes he's right coach for Knicks (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 21:15

New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson calls out to his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Mike Woodson won't lobby to keep his job with the New York Knicks. Woodson is hoping to get an answer soon from new president Phil Jackson, who will have to decide if he wants to hire a new coach after the Knicks missed the playoffs. Atlantic Division champions last season who thought they could contend for a title in 2013-14, the Knicks instead entered their season finale against Toronto on Wednesday with a 36-45 record. He had been proving it in his first 1 1/2 seasons in New York.

Knicks sign Lamar Odom (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 20:05

 Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Clippers looks on at Staples Center in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks have signed former NBA champion Lamar Odom, who was out of the league this season.

Rockets rest Harden, Lin, Parsons for finale (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:47

Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin (7) drives the ball past San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (21) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 14, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Houston Rockets, already locked into the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, have decided to rest James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons for Wednesday night's regular season finale against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Nets resting all starters for season finale (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:46

Brooklyn Nets' Jason Kidd scratches his head during the second half of the Nets' NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in New York. The Knicks won 109-98. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

On the final day, the Nets rested. Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat all of his starters and some key reserves for the season finale against the Cavaliers so they're ready for the playoffs. The Nets entered Wednesday night's game with the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but could drop to No. 6 with a loss and if Washington wins in Boston. Kidd is sitting Deron Williams, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Shaun Livingston, and the Nets will dress just eight players.

Millsap to sit out Hawks season finale for rest (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:21
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap will sit out the team's regular season finale Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks to rest for the playoffs.

Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:07

New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry , left, and Wesley Edens talks to Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Jim Cleamons Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Milwaukee. The Bucks announced that owner Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the franchise to Edens and Lasry. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Bucks owner Herb Kohl was well past retirement age and realized it was time to secure the future of the franchise. He had one big caveat for any potential investors: Keep the team in his hometown of Milwaukee. The former U.S. senator is banking on New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens to follow through after agreeing to sell them the Bucks for about $550 million. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its board of governors.

Pacers resting 3 starters vs. Magic (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:32
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Pacers coach Frank Vogel says he is resting starters Paul George, David West and Lance Stephenson in their regular season finale against the Magic.

Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:17

 Milwaukee Bucks owner Senator Herb Kohl speaks during a halftime ceremony honoring the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers during the NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Milwaukee Bucks on February 12, 2011 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Bucks owner Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the franchise to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for about $550 million.

Demps likes Pelicans' core, expects all back (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:47
The left knee surgery Eric Gordon had scheduled on Wednesday was little more than an arthroscopic ''cleanup'' and all five of New Orleans' injured regulars should be ready for the start of next training camp, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps said Wednesday. Demps, who spoke as the Pelicans prepared for Wednesday night's season finale against Houston, could not immediately discuss the results of Gordon's procedure, but asserted, ''I don't think it's a major surgery. ... Obviously, any time someone has surgery, it's a concern, but from what we've been told he'll be ready to go at the beginning of next season.'' Ryan Anderson, who had neck surgery this month on a herniated cervical disk, also is expected to recover fully this summer, Demps said. The same goes for Jrue Holiday, who had surgery in late February for a fractured right shin;

Griffin has to sit out finale for technical fouls (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:14

 Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks over Kenneth Faried # 35 of the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on April 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Blake Griffin has been suspended for a game after getting his 16th technical foul this season.

A good read: Bucks' Udoh draws fans for book club (Yahoo Sports)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 03:14
Epke Udoh will leave one positive lasting impression from this dreary season for the Milwaukee Bucks, and it has nothing to do with basketball. Few, if any, NBA players can say they've started a book club over Twitter. Fewer still probably cite entertainment magnate Oprah Winfrey as a role model. Udoh, a four-year NBA veteran, is thinking big.