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NBA-Highlights of Wednesday's NBA games
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:02:20 PDT)
- - - Grizzlies 106, Mavericks 95 (overtime) Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Dallas Mavericks in a game that decided who would be the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Memphis (50-32) took the honours and will now open the post-season against the second-seed Oklahoma City Thunder, while eighth-seeded Dallas (49-33) opens against the San Antonio Spurs.

Thunder clinch West's second seed
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:02:02 PDT)
Kevin Durant's dunk with 16.5 seconds to play lifted Oklahoma City to a 112-111 victory over Detroit on the final night of the NBA regular season. With the victory, the Thunder secured the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Durant drove past Kyle Singler on the left side for the two-handed slam -- giving the Thunder their first lead since early in the third quarter. Detroit's Brandon Jennings couldn't get an off-balance three-point attempt to fall in at the buzzer.

NBA playoff matchups set (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:16:17 PDT)
When the Memphis Grizzlies edged the Dallas Mavericks in overtime Wednesday night, sealing the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, the first-round matchups for the NBA's postseason were set.

NBA Playoffs: Bulls-Wizards first round schedule set (Comcast SportsNet Chicago)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:42:48 PDT)
It's something of a dream scenario for the Bulls.Instead of facing the red-hot, veteran-laden Brooklyn Nets in the first round, the Bulls will instead take on the upstart Washington Wizards, who catapulted past the Nets Wednesday night to claim the No. 5 seed in the East.

NBA first-round playoff schedule (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:57:13 PDT)
NBA first-round playoff schedule. All times ET.

Hawks put Bucks out of their misery (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:36:47 PDT)
MILWAUKEE -- There was almost nothing at stake on Wednesday night when the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-103 in the regular-season finale at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Atlanta was headed to the playoffs, already locked into eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot and a first-round date with top-seeded Indiana. Milwaukee, meanwhile, was closing the book on a largely forgettable season that came to an end with a franchise-worst 15-67 record. "I just wanted the guys to come out and play," Bucks coach Larry Drew said.

Hawks wrap up regular season, beat Bucks 111-103 (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:31:24 PDT)
The Atlanta Hawks got a confidence boost before the playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks found out they were being sold. It turned out to be a big night for two teams headed in different directions with the regular season coming to a close. Mike Scott scored 17 points to lead Atlanta in a 111-103 win Wednesday, hours after Milwaukee owner Herb Kohl announced he was selling his team.

Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86 (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:24:00 PDT)
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.

Check out the first-round matchups for the 2014 NBA Playoffs (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:00:46 PDT)
After nearly six full months and 82 games for each of the NBA's 30 teams, the regular season now gives way to the postseason. With no clear favorite, a massively competitive Western Conference, and two big rivals atop the Eastern Conference, this year's playoffs figure to be worth the wait. Without further ado, let's take a quick look at the first-round matchups, along with full schedules (all times Eastern and some quick analysis. (We'll publish in-depth previews for every series later this week.) WESTERN CONFERENCE No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (62-20) vs. No. 8 Dallas Mavericks (49-33) Game 1:Sunday, April 20,at San Antonio,1:00PMon TNT Game 2:Wednesday, April 23,at San Antonio,8:00PMon NBA TV Game 3:Saturday, April 26,at Dallas,4:30PM onTNT Game 4:Monday, April 28,at Dallas,9:30PM onTNT Game 5*:Wednesday, April 30,at San Antonio, TBD Game 6*: Friday, May 2,at Dallas, TBD Game 7*:Sunday, May 4,at San Antonio, TBD The eternally effective Spurs bounced back from last June's heartbreaking NBA Finals loss to finish with the league's best record, due in large part to the strenghts of head coach Gregg Popovich and the mainstay trio of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili. The Mavericks return to the playoffs after a one-year absence and boast Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis as offensive leaders. San Antonio swept the season series 4-0 and looks like the favorite this year, as well. No. 4 Houston Rockets (54-28) vs. No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) Game 1:Sunday, April 20, at Houston, 9:30PM on TNT Game 2:Wednesday, April 23, at Houston, 9:30PM on TNT Game 3:Friday, April 25, at Portland, 10:30PM on ESPN Game 4:Sunday, April 27, at Portland, 9:30PM on TNT Game 5*:Wednesday, April 30, at Houston, TBD Game 6*:Friday, May 2, at Portland, TBD Game 7*:Sunday, May 4,at Houston, TBD With All-Stars Dwight Howard and James Harden, plus a strong supporting cast that includes the multi-talented Chandler Parsons, the Rockets have a not insubstantial chance at representing the West in the NBA Finals. The Blazers cooled down after a scintillating start to the season, but All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard present a formidable challenge for any opponent. Expect a high-scoring series from two of the NBA's most efficient offenses.

Finally the NBA playoff match ups are set (NBC Sports)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:00:15 PDT)
The West is loaded with great series: Thunder vs. Grizzlies, Clippers vs. Warriors, Rockets vs. Blazers.

Reserves guide Pacers past Magic (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:52:32 PDT)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Despite their late-season struggles, the Indiana Pacers are right where they always wanted to be. The Pacers, who beat the Orlando Magic 101-86 Wednesday night, will open the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks as the No. 1 seed in the East, guaranteeing them home-court advantage all the way through the conference finals. The Pacers closed the regular season by winning only 10 of their last 23 games, but they didn't seem to care Wednesday night. We are ready to go," center Roy Hibbert said.

Hawks 111, Bucks 103 (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:35:14 PDT)
MILWAUKEE -- Six players scored in double digits for Atlanta as the Hawks wrapped up the regular season with a 111-103 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday night at Bradley Center.

Pacers 101, Magic 86 (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:34:20 PDT)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Lightly regarded forward Rasual Butler scored a season-high 19 points, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-86 victory over the hapless Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Forward Evan Turner had 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help the Pacers (56-26) finish the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Indiana already had clinched the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs on Monday night and were resting three regular starters on Wednesday. The Pacers will open the playoffs this weekend against the No. 8 seeded Atlanta Hawks.

NBA announces preliminary schedule for Game 1 of the playoffs (NBC Sports)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:14:32 PDT)
The matchups aren't all set, but this gives us an idea of who plays when as the playoffs open this weekend.

NBA roundup: Agreement reached on Bucks' sale (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:33:37 PDT)
Milwaukee Bucks longtime owner Herb Kohl confirmed Wednesday that he reached an agreement to sell the NBA franchise to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. The announcement came before the Bucks' regular-season finale in the BMO Harris Bradley Center against the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks will finish this season with the worst record in the NBA.

Millsap to sit out Hawks season finale for rest (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:21:29 PDT)
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 (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:07:49 PDT)
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.

Rockets ready for regular season finale (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:51:56 PDT)
The Houston Rockets regular season finale holds no bearing on the Western Conference standings as they prepare for the playoffs. After the Rockets clinched their playoff-berth with a 111-107 win over Oklahoma City on April 4, they were hoping to clinch home-court advantage in the playoffs as soon as possible. The NBA postseason schedule will not be announced until after the game, but Houston will host Game 1 of their best-of-7 first round playoff series against Portland either Saturday or Sunday. James Harden and Chandler Parsons will not play.

Bucks announce sale of team (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:40:56 PDT)
Milwaukee Bucks longtime owner Herb Kohl confirmed Wednesday that he reached an agreement to sell the NBA franchise to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.

NBA playoff picture update: What's still up for grabs on the last night of the 2013-14 season (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:37:22 PDT)
The 2013-14 NBA regular season ends Wednesday, and all 30 teams will be in action on the final night of the 82-game campaign. For 14 squads, it'll offer an opportunity to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehn and goodbye until the draft lottery, at least. For the 16 teams that'll enter postseason play this weekend, it offers one more potential pitfall, one last night to survive without incident or injury before loading up for the long, arduous journey to hoisting the O'Brien trophy come late June. That journey will begin with opening-round quarterfinal matchups, a number of which have yet to be officially determined and will be locked in on the final night of the season. Here's a quick refresher on what's up for grabs and left to play for as we head into the 15-game Wednesday that will set the table for the playoffs. ***

Rockets sign C Powell (The SportsXchange)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:45:35 PDT)
The Houston Rockets signed center Josh Powell, the team announced Wednesday.

A good read: Bucks' Udoh draws fans for book club (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:14:56 PDT)
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.

Nets fall to Knicks, fail to wrap up No. 5 seed (The SportsXchange)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:07:57 PDT)
NEW YORK -- If there is one thing that New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson doesn't like, it is watching the postseason from his couch, something he will have to do in the coming weeks. The Knicks downed the postseason-bound Brooklyn Nets 109-98 Tuesday night. The Knicks (36-45) defeated the Nets in three of four meetings this season, and they earned their six win in their past eight games overall. The Nets (44-37) had an opportunity to clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but the idle Washington Wizards (43-38) remain in the hunt for that spot due to Brooklyn's loss.

Knicks 109, Nets 98 (The SportsXchange)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:13:33 PDT)
NEW YORK -- After winning 15 straight home games, the Brooklyn Nets have lost two straight at the Barclays Center after the cross-town rival New York Knicks came away with a 109-98 victory on Tuesday night. The Knicks defeated the Nets in three of four meetings this season. Despite being eliminated from the playoffs last week, the Knicks have won six of their last eight games. The Nets had an opportunity to clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, but now will have to stave off the sixth-seeded Washington Wizards for the spot in their regular-season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Hawks-Bucks Preview (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:40:09 PDT)
Locked into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks may decide to rest starters again in their regular-season finale. After all, playing their regulars in Milwaukee won't prepare them much for facing the East's top seed, and resting starters has been the norm for playoff-bound teams against the lowly Bucks. The Hawks look to sweep the three-game season series over a Milwaukee team that wraps up the worst season in franchise history Wednesday night. After securing the East's last playoff spot with a win over Miami on Saturday, Atlanta (37-44) decided to rest starters Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll for Monday's home finale against Charlotte.

With top spot secure, Pacers to rest George, West, Stephenson, Watson Wednesday (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:41:15 PDT)
With nothing on line Pacers going to rest key guys... except Hibbert.

Reports: Rockets to sign forward Powell (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:41:44 PDT)
Since the Rockets release of center Greg Smith on April 10, the team tried and failed to fill his roster spot once and are taking a second crack at it, just in advance of Wednesday's signing deadline for playoff eligibility. Dexter Pittman was signed on Apil 10, but was released four days later without ever practicing with the team, attending a game or even being issued a jersey. Reports out of the Phillippines over the last several days indicated that former NBA forward Josh Powell asked for his release from his team, Barangay Ginebra, so he could sign a contract with Houston. Powell, 31, last played in the NBA in the 2010-2011 season when he appeared in 54 games for the Atlanta Hawks.

Bulls-Bobcats Preview (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:28:48 PDT)
The Chicago Bulls are guaranteed home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason, but they still don't know who they're facing.

Playoff Chase: We know all 16 teams going to dance, who dances with whom still up in air (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:03:05 PDT)
We know for sure the Pacers play the Hawks in the first round, and we know the Rockets and Blazers will meet. After that all the matchups are still up in the air.

Washington Wizards thrash depleted Miami Heat (NBC on Yahoo Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:49:12 PDT)
The way the Wizards were in sync Monday, it may not have mattered had LeBron James and Chris Bosh played for the Miami Heat. They blew out the two-time defending champions, who chose to rest those starters and only allowed Dwyane Wade to play 19 minutes, 114-93 at Verizon Center in spectacular fashion in front of 20,356 for their fourth sellout of the season. The Wizards (43-38) placed five in double figures led by Trevor Ariza (25 points) Nene (18), Al Harrington (16), Bradley Beal (15) and Marcin Gortat (10) and are one game away from securing no worse than the No. 6 seed for the playoffs. The No. 7 Charlotte Bobcats (42-39) won at the buzzer vs. the Atlanta Hawks to keep the pressure on. A win by the Wizards or a loss by the Bobcats on Wednesday clinches the spot. The Wizards have an outside shot at the No. 5 seed if they win the regular-season finale and the Brooklyn Nets lose their last two games. In Miami's last trip here, they had James, Bosh and Wade and fell down 43-18 after the first quarter and eventually lost 114-97. This time, the Wizards scored 43 points in the second quarter to equal that season-high. In just his second game back from a left hamstring injury, Wade finished with nine points and four turnovers. The Heat (54-27) were led by Michael Beasley with 18 points and 14 from Toney Douglas. The season series with Miami ended tied at 2, with both teams holding serve at home. -- J. Michael, CSN Washington

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