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Warriors take 3-0 series lead over Blazers with 119-113 win (April 23, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Stephen Curry scored 34 points as Golden State put Portland on the brink of elimination 119-113.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.

The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn't hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.

Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.

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Tied at 2: Gasol lifts Grizzlies past Spurs 110-108 in OT (April 23, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Marc Gasol made this game-winning jumper as Memphis Grizzlies beat San Antonio Spurs 110-108 in overtime to tie their series at 2.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said he was an option to take the final shot and that the San Antonio Spurs thought so, too, on a night when he scored a franchise postseason record 35 points.

Marc Gasol laughed and insisted he didn't know his teammate was an alternative on the game-winning play. Zach Randolph backed up his All-Star center, too.

"He told me he was going to get it and go to his fadeaway, and that's what he did," Randolph said.

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Hawks deliver early playoff KO, romp past Wizards 116-98 (April 23, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Atlanta's Hawks forward Paul Millsap powered his way to 29 points and 14 rebounds as Atlanta topped Washington 116-98.

ATLANTA -- The Hawks are back in the series, and the bad blood with the Washington Wizards shows no signs of letting up.

Paul Millsap scored 29 points, Dennis Schroder had 27 and Atlanta delivered an early knockout blow in a 116-98 victory Saturday, slicing the Wizards' lead to 2-1 in the opening-round playoff matchup.

After two tight losses in Washington exposed plenty of ill feelings between the teams , Millsap and Washington's Markieff Morris continued to go at it in Game 3.

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Raptors beat Bucks 87-76 in slugfest, tie series at 2-2 (April 23, 2017)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

After scoring eight points last game, DeMar DeRozan records 33 points and nine rebounds in Toronto's 87-76 win over Milwaukee to even the series at 2-2.

MILWAUKEE -- DeMar DeRozan reverted back to his playmaking form. The Toronto Raptors reasserted themselves on defense.

They're headed back to Canada after winning a bruiser of a first-round playoff game on Saturday over the Milwaukee Bucks.

DeRozan scored 33 points, and Kyle Lowry had 14 of his 18 points in the second half of Toronto's 87-76 victory to tie the Eastern Conference series at two games apiece.

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Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap got tangled up going after a loose ball in Game 1. Rob Carr/Getty Images

Atlanta's Paul Millsap and Washington's Markieff Morris have been jawing at each other in their first-round playoff matchup, likening the physical style of play to mixed martial arts. The bad blood took a personal turn Saturday night in Atlanta, though, after the Wizards' blowout loss in Game 3 put the Hawks back in the series.

Millsap led the Hawks with 29 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and five assists as Atlanta dismantled Washington 116-98 to trim the Wizards' lead to 2-1. Afterward, Morris insinuated that Millsap had help with having such a big game.

"Me, as a man, you take your wins with your losses. I take my wins with my losses all the time," said Morris, who finished with nine points on 4-of-14 shooting. "He just did more for his team. He's a crybaby. You get all the calls when you're a crybaby. That's how I look at it."

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Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said the purpose of his discussions with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving in the fourth quarter of Game 3 was to keep the stars engaged. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was unhappy Saturday about how a key decision he made in Game 3 of the team's first-round series with the Indiana Pacers was being portrayed in the media.

After he benched Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the fourth quarter of the Cavs' 119-114 come-from-behind win Thursday, Lue was annoyed with how the lineup change was framed as Lue seeking "permission" from his two All-Stars to keep them out while Deron Williams and Channing Frye closed out the game.

"That was the craziest thing I've ever seen," Lue said of the coverage, without mentioning specific publications or shows. "A grown man asks somebody permission to do something, I never understood that. They always make a story out of something when it comes to us."

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Stephon Marbury will move on from the Beijing Ducks following a dispute over salary and a potential assistant coach role with the club. Marbury led the Ducks to three Chinese league titles. VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The Chinese Basketball Association's Beijing Ducks announced Stephon Marbury's departure on Friday, terminating his two-year contract due to the dispute of Marbury's role and salary in the next season.

The contract included a team option for Marbury as a player or an assistant coach for the 2017-18 season. After several rounds of negotiations, Marbury turned down the assistant coach offer, insisting to play for another season before the team decided to terminate the contract.

Marbury wrote a letter to fans on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. In the letter, Marbury explained why he refused to become an assistant coach.

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 How well Ginebra's locals play seems to depend on how Justin Brownlee performs. Courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

MANILA – Barangay Ginebra will put its winning streak on the line against an equally red-hot TNT squad in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

The Ginebra-TNT game is at 6:45 p.m., after Mahindra and GlobalPort, 2 teams at the bottom of the standings, raise the curtain at 4:30 p.m.

Ginebra had to grind it out in the second half before securing a 101-92 win against NLEX on Wednesday, its 3rd straight victory.

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Rockets look to fix first-quarter struggles (April 23, 2017)
Calvin Watkins [ Source: ESPN ]

"We got to come out desperate, that's all that is," James Harden said of the Rockets slow starts so far in the playoffs. Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

OKLAHOMA CITY -- What troubles the Houston Rockets through three games of their best-of-seven series against the Oklahoma City Thunder is how they have started.

Another poor effort on Friday night led to a 14-point hole, which forced the Rockets to play catch-up. Despite taking a late third quarter lead and having multiple chances to take the lead late in the fourth, the rough start resulted in a Rockets loss. The series is now 2-1 in favor of the Rockets, but there's an understanding that things need to be fixed.

"We got to come out desperate, that's all that is," James Harden said before Saturday's practice. "Come out desperate, come out on the defensive end with a sense of urgency and offensively just do what we do, get our shots, get to the rim and be unselfish."

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Garcia struggles to get Elastopainters on same page (April 23, 2017)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Caloy Garcia. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Before the Rain or Shine thinks of retaining its crown, coach Caloy Garcia said that the team must figure out a way to be on the same page first.

That was the reality check San Miguel dealt the Elasto Painters after they suffered a humbling 111-98 whipping on Saturday.

“I’m just trying to think about how to get these players on the same page,” he said. “Before the conference started, even after every game, whether we win or we lose, I’m telling the players that I still think we’re still a good team. The only problem is we have to be on the same page.”

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