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Blake Griffin's 32 help Clippers take 2-1 series lead on Warriors (April 25, 2014)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul (3) celebrates after making a 3-point basket against the Golden State Warriors during the second half in Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. Los Angeles won 98-96. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Blake Griffin scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 22 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Golden State Warriors 98-96 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.

The frontcourt tandem bullied and bruised the Warriors inside to power the Clippers ahead by 18 points in the third quarter. And they did just enough late to silence a rocking, gold-shirt wearing sellout crowd of 19,596 to regain home-court advantage.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points, and Stephen Curry had 16 points and 15 assists to rally the Warriors back. But Curry forced a contested, step-back 3-pointer over Chris Paul in the final seconds to seal the Clippers' victory.

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Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley celebrates after scoring against the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime of Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 98-95. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mike Conley scored five of his 20 points in overtime, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 98-95 Thursday night in taking a 2-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.

The Grizzlies won their second straight overtime game after blowing a fourth-quarter lead. This time, they led by 17 before going cold for most of the final 7:43 of regulation. Courtney Lee clinched the win, hitting three of four free throws in the final 10.9 seconds of OT.

Game 4 is Saturday night in Memphis.

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CORRECTS TO THURSDAY NOT WEDNESDAY - Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola, left, and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap fight for a loose ball in the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series on Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA -- As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Atlanta Hawks celebrated and their fans serenaded the Indiana Pacers with chants of "Overrated!"

Game 3 did nothing to change that perception.

The top-seeded Pacers are on the ropes again at the hands of the eighth-seeded Hawks, who finished six games below .500 during the regular season but truly believe they can pull off a major upset in the opening round of the playoffs.

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Khem Birch leaving UNLV for NBA (April 25, 2014)
Jeff Goodman [ Source: ESPN ]

UNLV junior big man Khem Birch told he is headed to the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Canadian big man averaged 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks last season.

Birch began his college career at Pittsburgh and played 10 games before transferring to UNLV.

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MIAMI -- Charlotte Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts was fined $20,000 by the NBA on Thursday for making excessive contact with his foul on LeBron James late in the Miami Heat's victory in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

McRoberts struck James with a forearm to the neck when the two collided in the lane with 50 seconds left in the Heat's 101-97 win on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in the series. The blow knocked James to the court and he spent several seconds rubbing his neck before returning to his feet.

The play was ruled a common foul by officials during the game, but was upgraded to a Flagrant 2 excessive contact penalty after the league reviewed the play Thursday. McRoberts was not suspended by the league for Game 3 on Saturday.

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Air21, SMB KO game set (April 25, 2014)
Waylon Galvez [ Source: Manila Bulletin ]

Arwind Santos of San Miguel Beer blocks Mike Burtscher of Air21 in Game 1 action. Sports5/Paolo Papa

This could be the closest Asi Taulava will ever get to redeeming himself and putting behind that harrowing experience in the 1999 PBA All-Filipino Cup playoffs – the one that saw him dissolve in tears.

That year, a much-younger Taulava was left a weeping wreck after his then team, No. 1 seed Mobiline, blew a twice-to-beat quarterfinal advantage and lost to No. 8 Ginebra San Miguel, with Bal David slashing inside and hitting a leaning jumper at the buzzer in Game 2.

Now the 40-year-old Taulava is with seventh seed Air21 which is looking to knock off No. 2 San Miguel Beer in the PLDT Home TVolution PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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Spencer Dinwiddie of Colorado Buffaloes entering NBA draft (April 25, 2014)
Jeff Goodman [ Source: ESPN ]


Colorado junior Spencer Dinwiddie announced on Thursday he will leave school for the NBA.

The 6-foot-6 point guard tore the ACL in his left knee Jan. 12 against Washington. He was averaging 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds at the time and was considered a late first-round pick. Now there remains uncertainty among NBA executives, with some feeling Dinwiddie still has a chance to go late in the first round and others telling that he'll most likely fall into the second round.

Colorado finished 23-12 last season, but the Buffaloes were 9-9 without Dinwiddie in the lineup. They lost to Pittsburgh in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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San Mig Coffee's Marc Pingris grabs the offensive rebound against Alaska. Photo by Mark Cristino for

MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee may have leveled their PBA Commissioners Cup best-of-three quarter-finals series against Alaska, but the Aces' defense continues to torment the Mixers and their head coach, Tim Cone.

In a grueling defensive battle, San Mig came from behind to beat Alaska, 70-65, thanks to another heroic performance by Marc Pingris (17 points, 12 rebounds) and force a do-or-die game for a spot in the semi-finals.

“Somehow, we won it and I’m not sure how,” Cone said, as quoted by “We’ll take it and see what we could do in Game 3.”

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Nets management believed Jason Kidd needed freedom to succeed -- and the move worked. Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King said it was his decision to re-assign assistant coach Lawrence Frank to doing daily reports earlier this season.

The Nets were 5-12 when the Nets decided to move Frank into a reduced role. Sources told that there was friction and a difference of philosophies between Frank and rookie coach Jason Kidd. Frank, who coached Kidd in New Jersey, was brought in to serve as a mentor and show Kidd the ropes. It didn't work out.

"In order for [Jason] to be successful, I had to make a decision, so I said, 'Let's reassign him,' " King said during an interview with NBA TV. "He does his report -- I got it this morning -- and he's helping from afar. But I believe in Jason and so to give him the ability to be successful, we had to make that decision."

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Cliff Hodge of Meralco. Sports5 file/Paolo Papa

Meralco forward Cliff Hodge’s hard foul on Rain or Shine rookie Raymond Almazan triggered an endgame confrontation after Game Two of their PLDT Home TVolution Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals series on Wednesday.

Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao tried to confront Hodge after the game, and continued to rail about the play after the game.

“I’m not the only guy complaining about excessive physicality and I would be the last to complain because it’s our type of game. But I think punching a player on the face on a rebound play, something which was done by Cliff Hodge, that’s way out of the rules of this league,” said Guiao.

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