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Rockets rest Harden, Lin, Parsons for finale (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:47:47 PDT)
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.

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.

Rockets kick off playoffs at home Sunday (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:21:10 PDT)
The Rockets will finish up their regular season on Wednesday night and will be in the playoffs on Sunday. The Rockets' first game against the Trail Blazers will be on Sunday, April 20 at 8:30 p.m. CT at the Toyota Center. The game will be Comcast SportsNet Houston as well as TNT. The Rockets earned the fourth seed, so they have home-court advantage over the fifth-seeded Blazers.

The 10-man rotation, starring Patrick Beverley on his defense: 'I'd probably want to fight me too' (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:11:41 PDT)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Sports Illustrated . Patrick Beverley tells Lee Jenkins what he wants his opponents to experience when he defends them — "It's going to be something you don't like. It's going to be hell." — in a predictably fantastic piece on what makes the hard-nosed point guard such an integral piece of the Houston Rockets' championship hopes. PF : SB Nation , Hardwood Paroxysm , GQ and The Triangle . James Herbert, Andrew Lynch, Bethlehem Shoals, Andrew Sharp and Danny Chau sing songs of praise for the dearly departed 2013-14 Phoenix Suns, who gave us more than we had any right to expect, never let us forget that we didn't expect anything, and head into the summer of 2014 with a remarkably bright future. SF : Bleacher Report . A great read from Howard Beck on how the Chicago Bulls "have become, essentially, the San Antonio Spurs of the Eastern Conference," and how their real-life practice of all those coaching clichés coming out of every NBA locker room makes them the kind of team that nobody — not Miami, not Indiana, not anyone — wants to see in the postseason. ( Steve Aschburner of NBA.com has a similarly themed banger that's worth your time, too.) SG : Eye on Basketball . Matt Moore can't help but notice that, for all the talk this year about tanking, most of the league's worst teams are ones that actually wanted to be good this year: "If you want to lament the horror of bad basketball this season, recognize that it's the same as it's always been in the NBA: There will be bad basketball somewhere because playing at this level is hard, the competition is fierce, and the season is long." PG : Regressing . Which NBA players and teams most often take shots late in the shot clock? Who's best and worst at converting them, and which defense are most and least effective at forcing opponents into late, low-percentage looks? Interesting stuff from Kyle Wagner. 6th : Spurs.com . Patty Mills and Boris Diaw explain frogging in far more depth than you would have ever believed you wanted … and yet, by the end, you somehow want to know even more about frogging. 7th : Rufus on Fire . A Philadelphia 76ers writer wondered if midseason trade acquisition Byron Mullens can have the same level of success with the Sixers that he had with the Charlotte Bobcats. Unlike most of the rest of us, Ben Swanson actually watched the Bobcats play when Mullens was on the team, and he's got news for you, Jack: there wasn't much"success" to speak of. 8th : Beyond the Arc . Zach Randolph can be an absolute monster offensively , but the plodding power forward remains a liability on the defensive end that could wind up costing the Memphis Grizzlies come the start of the playoffs this weekend. Kevin Yeung highlights Z-Bo's shortcomings on D, how opponents can exploit him, and how the Grizzlies need to cover for him. 9th : BSports . Chi Nwogu continues his important research , providing a full list of every uniquely Clydeish turn of phrase offered by color commentator Walt Frazier during New York Knicks broadcasts this season. 10th : The Triangle . Kirk Goldsberry looks at which NBA players create the most corner 3-point opportunities for their teammates. Hello there, Mr. Wall. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

Gregg Popovich 'really impressed' with Spurs putting aside Finals flameout, soaring to No. 1 seed (Ball Don't Lie)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:25:47 PDT)

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.

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 Powell; playoff roster set (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:29:02 PDT)
The Rockets finally have their 15-man roster in place for the playoffs, as they announced on Wednesday the signing of forward Josh Powell. Powell was in his first season in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel club. He has played for six other NBA teams and has played professionally in Russia, Italy, China, Puerto Rico, Greece and China. After going undrafted in 2003 out of N.C. State, Powell played overseas before his NBA career began with the Dallas Mavericks in the 2005-2006 regular season.

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.

Wakeup Call: Doc starts with a bang (Comcast SportsNet New England)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:46:23 PDT)
Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, April 16:

2014 PBT Awards: Most Improved Player (NBC Sports)
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:00:00 PDT)
Nine combined spots on the ballot go to eight different players, and none of our winners made the other two's top three

Parsons on car accident: 'I was terrified' (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:37:36 PDT)
Before Mondays big showdown with the San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center, Chandler Parsons already had quite an eventful day. Just as the Rockets forward was about to pull into the loading dock at the arena, he was involved in a car accident with a female driver. I was already running a little late, Parsons said.

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.

2014 PBT Awards: Executive of the Year (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:17:00 PDT)
Two general managers make all three ballots, one tops each

Rockets-Pelicans Preview (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:34:12 PDT)
The Houston Rockets figure to rest some of their key players in a meaningless regular-season finale. They may have to put together a scouting report on the New Orleans Pelicans that is different from the one they used over the weekend. The Pelicans' Tyreke Evans didn't play in his club's defeat that night but should be eager to get back on the court Wednesday night at home. The Rockets won 104-98 at home over San Antonio on Monday to seal home-court advantage in the first round.

Fan runs into Chandler Parson’s car on way to game, asks for autograph (NBC Sports)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:07:15 PDT)
It was just a fender bender, the good news is nobody got hurt. However, Chandler Parsons was delayed getting to the Toyota Center for the Rockets game Monday when he got into an accident. And then the other driver found out who he was and… I will let Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tell…

Three points after Rockets' win over Spurs (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:25:38 PDT)
Three Points after Rockets104-98 win over the Spurs

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.

Lillard, adidas sign $100M deal (The SportsXchange)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:31:58 PDT)
Adidas signed Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard to the third-largest shoe and apparel contract in the NBA, a deal that could net the second-year start $100 million over 10 years. "Adidas has been great to me over my first two seasons," said Lillard in a release. Lillard signed to the Adidas stable last season, but joins Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard as the prominent faces of the shoe and apparel company.

Wakeup Call: Suns set in the West (Comcast SportsNet New England)
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:22:34 PDT)
Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, April 15:

NBA-Highlights of Monday's National Basketball Association games
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:43:33 PDT)
- - - Grizzlies 97, Suns 91 Zach Randolph scored a season-high 32 points and collected nine rebounds, and Mike Miller added five three-pointers and a season-high 21 points off the bench, as the Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns and eliminated them from playoff contention. In a tight game down the stretch, Mike Conley put Memphis ahead to stay at 93-91 on a three-pointer with 1:08 left. Markieff Morris scored 21 points off the bench for the Suns (47-34), who will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season. The Grizzlies (49-32), tied with Dallas (49-32), play the Mavericks in the season finale on Wednesday with the winner claiming the No. 7 seed in the West.

Rockets lock up 1st round homecourt advantage (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:55:52 PDT)
It took 81 games to get there, but the Rockets finally earned home court advantage in the opening round of the western conference playoffs with a 104-98 win over the San Antonio Spurs. After letting a 14-point third quarter lead slip away, the Rockets came back from five points down in the fourth quarter with six minutes remaining to earn their 54th victory, the fifth-most in team history. The Rockets had their starters on the court in those final six minutes and they scored five points apiece, except for Chandler Parsons, who scored two points, but had the team's lone assist down the stretch.

Bulls' Fredette makes the most of his opportunity (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:04:20 PDT)
CHICAGO - Guard Jimmer Fredette has gotten used to biding his time during three NBA seasons. Fredette joined the Chicago Bulls on March 2, but had not played more than a few garbage minutes with his new team. Fredette finally got his chance on Monday night at the United Center. Fredette filled his spot in the rotation and scored 17 points, helping lead Chicago to a 108-95 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Noah leads Bulls to 108-95 win over Magic (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:57:22 PDT)
There's just one game remaining in the regular season and the NBA playoffs begin on Saturday. The Chicago Bulls still don't know their first-round opponent, but that's fine with Joakim Noah. ''Whatever happens, happens,'' Noah said after the Bulls' 108-95 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday. We're going to focus on out next opponent and everything will take care of itself.'' Noah had 18 points and 10 rebounds and eight assists, Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points and the Bulls pulled away late.

Rockets slip past Spurs, clinch No. 4 seed (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:54:31 PDT)
Even so, the Houston Rockets won't dismiss their four-game run of victories over the San Antonio Spurs, especially taking into consideration the historical context of their feat. The Rockets used a late rally to overcome a five-point, fourth-quarter deficit, and Houston earned a 104-98 win over the Spurs on Monday night at Toyota Center. The Rockets (54-27) secured the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage for their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers by completing their first season sweep against the Spurs (62-19) since 1988-89. Houston surged into the lead with a 16-5 run after San Antonio wrestled control with a spirited performance from its bench.

Rockets down Spurs 104-98 (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:27:13 PDT)
The Houston Rockets needed one win in their last two games or a loss by Portland on Wednesday to secure home-court advantage in their first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers. Chandler Parsons scored 21 points and Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones added 20 apiece to lift the Rockets to a 104-98 win over the San Antonio Spurs. The victory gave No. 4 seed Houston home-court advantage in their first-round playoff series with Portland. I'm glad we didn't have to wait until Wednesday to try and get it.'' James Harden agreed.

Bulls 108, Magic 95 (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:37:19 PDT)
CHICAGO -- Forward Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 108-95 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night at the United Center. The Bulls played their final regular-season home game, but their playoff future remains unsettled. Chicago and the Toronto Raptors remain tied for third place in the Eastern Conference, both 48-33. If Toronto loses to the Knicks in New York on Wednesday, and the Bulls beat the Bobcats in Charlotte the same night, Chicago would get the No. 3 seed.

Rockets beat Spurs, clinch home court advantage (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:33:07 PDT)
It took 81 games, but the Rockets finally accomplished one of their stated goals before the season. With their 104-98 win over the Spurs, Houston has clinched home court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Rockets led for much of the game but just as the Rockets built their largest lead of the game at 76-62 late in the third quarter, they relaxed defensively and the Spurs blitzed them with a 23-4 run to take their largest lead of the game, 85-80 with 6:40 left in the game. Dwight Howard was very sharp in the first half, hitting all six of his shots, thanks to a nice array of moves against both Aron Baynes and Tim Duncan.

Rockets 104, Spurs 98 (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:32:19 PDT)
HOUSTON - The Houston Rockets used a late rally to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit for a 104-98 win over the San Antonio Spurs Monday night at Toyota Center that clinched a season series sweep. The Rockets (54-27) secured home-court advantage for their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers by completing their first season sweep against the Spurs (62-19) since the 1988-89 season. Houston surged into the lead with a 10-2 run after San Antonio wrestled control with a spirited performance from its bench. Houston center Dwight Howard recorded his 10th consecutive double-double against the Spurs, posting 20 points and 17 rebounds.

(WATCH) Jones throws down a one-handed jam (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:15:20 PDT)
Terrence Jones gave the Rockets a 12-point lead in the third quarter.

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