At $960 a ticket, Monday night's game to determine the Western Conference champion boasts the second-highest list prices for an NBA Game 7 in the past five years, topped only by the 2013 NBA Finals, according to ticketing search engine TiqIQ. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The deciding game of the Western Conference championship is, not surprisingly, a very hot ticket.

In fact, according to ticketing search engine TiqIQ, Monday night's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors has the second-highest list prices for an NBA Game 7 in the past five years ($960 per ticket).

The only Game 7 to top Monday night's matchup in Oakland was the 2013 NBA Finals Game 7 between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs ($1,346 per ticket).

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A day after a demoralizing Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder were back on the practice floor and noticeably upbeat as they look forward to Game 7 on Monday in Oakland.

"If we walk in here like it's a funeral, we've already lost." Kevin Durant told reporters on Sunday. "Nobody walked in like that. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. They aren't going to feel sorry for us, and whoever's covering the game, fans, nobody's feeling sorry for us. It's just a part of basketball. Guys walked in here are really confident. We're upset we lost, but we let that go and we've got to get ready for Game 7."

The Thunder held an eight-point lead to start the fourth quarter in Game 6 on Saturday, and were up seven with five minutes to go. Behind a historic shooting performance from Klay Thompson and some stingy defense, the Warriors outscored the Thunder 19-5 in the final five minutes to force a decisive seventh game.

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ESPN analyst P.J. Carlesimo, coveted by the Philadelphia 76ers to succeed Mike D'Antoni as associate head coach, has elected to stay in broadcasting for family reasons, according to league sources.

Sources told that Carlesimo had strong interest in the Philadelphia post and in reuniting with his former colleague in San Antonio, Sixers head coach Brett Brown, and new Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo, with whom Carlesimo worked in Toronto.

But Carlesimo, sources say, ultimately decided to continue in his dual TV and radio broadcasting roles, which allow him to spend more time with his family.

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ATHENS, Greece -- NBA stars Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks battled it out in Athens in a game of streetball Sunday, watched by a crowd of 5,000.

Played in an open court in Greece's largest public high school, the "Antetokounbros Streetball Event" ended 123-123. No overtime was played.

Porzingis scored 21 points but was overshadowed by team member Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis' older brother, who scored 69. The two had played for a few games together last season, when Thanasis was signed by the Knicks on a 10-day contract. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the other team with 64 points. The other players were a mixture of veteran pros and amateurs.

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Baldwin praises Almazan: He belongs with Gilas (May 30, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Raymond Almazan getting some pointers from Tab Baldwin. Tristan Tamayo/

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin sure knows what he’s getting when he floated the name of Raymond Almazan as a possible member of the pool.

And with the national team in need of warm bodies, the one-time NCAA MVP out of Letran did not disappoint.

“What can I say? I mean anybody that watched that practice would think that he’s been with us every single practice,” Baldwin said after wrapping up Sunday’s training session, the first with Almazan as a practice player.

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Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin. Tristan Tamayo/

Jordan Clarkson won’t be wearing the Philippines colors anytime soon but Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin is just glad to see the enthusiasm the Los Angeles Laker has towards the national team.

“Whenever Jordan shows up, it helps our morale because we know his passion is, his desire to play for the Philippines. It makes us feel good and he’s happy doing it,” Baldwin said.

Clarkson attended the national team’s jersey unveiling on Saturday and took part in the squad’s closed-door practices soon after.

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Caidic: Gilas may upset OQT foes (May 30, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Ranidel de Ocampo and the rest of Gilas Pilipinas in practice. Tristan Tamayo/

ALLAN Caidic, one of the best offensive players the Philippines has produced internationally, believes that the key for Gilas Pilipinas in the coming Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) is for the Filipinos to continue “to just enjoy the game.”

Caidic, who was a part of the first three all-pro teams that played in the Asian Games, sees Gilas as capable of posting upsets if it plays with the nothing-to-lose mentality like it did in the World Cup in Spain in 2014.

“No one expected us to contend in Spain. No one expected our games to be close there,” Caidic told the Inquirer over the phone yesterday. “And you know why? Because everyone in the team knew that we had nothing to lose, and that worked to our advantage.

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Ray Parks. FIBA file photo

The introduction of Ray Parks to the Philippine national men’s basketball pool has been a boost to the training session, especially as it comes on the heels of the crucial loss of point guard Paul Lee, who withdrew from the squad due to a nagging knee injury.

Gabe Norwood, the longest-tenured Philippine team member, believes Lee’s exit will be difficult to make up for.

“It’s big, not just for Ray, but for all the guys. You’re in a situation where you need to work a little bit harder and pick up that slack. There’s not a lot of Paul Lees in this country. He’s one of a kind. We could add on a little piece to that puzzle and hopefully help each other out,” Norwood told in an exclusive interview.

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Blatche upbeat on PH 5 chances (May 30, 2016)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Andray Blatche. Tristan Tamayo/

ANDRAY Blatche doesn’t want to dwell on the past anymore.

“I’m not here to talk about last year. I’m here to talk about this year and what’s our focus on moving forward, what we need to do to win,” Blatche told reporters after practice with Gilas Pilipinas Sunday.

“This year, we’re facing teams which are better than the ones in Fiba-Asia,” the 6-foot-11 former Brooklyn Net in the NBA went on, referring to the teams he will try to lead the Filipinos in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament starting July 5 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

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La Salle's Ayo grateful to coach against Baldwin (May 30, 2016)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Aldin Ayo and the La Salle Green Archers. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University head coach Aldin Ayo considered it an honor and a learning experience to have coached against Tab Baldwin in the 2016 FilOil Flying V Preseason Tournament.

Ayo steered the Green Archers to an impressive 98-66 victory over Baldwin's Ateneo Blue Eagles in the preseason tilt, with the Katipunan-based dribblers looking flustered by the full court press that Ayo had installed in La Salle.

With Ateneo committing 34 turnovers and La Salle dominating the offensive glass, the Green Archers cruised to victory to remain unbeaten at 5-0

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