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Ibaka Returns, Thunder Victorious in Game 3

Ibaka Returns, Thunder Victorious in Game 3

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- After being dominated in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City controlled Game 3 Sunday and handed San Antonio a 106-97 loss. Serge Ibaka returned to the lineup for the Thunder as they closed the series gap to 2-1.

Originally thought lost for the playoffs, Ibaka started the game and recorded 15 points while pulling in seven rebounds and blocking four shots. At times there was a noticeable limp for Ibaka but the 6'10" power forward provided the spark Oklahoma City needed.

"When you talk about a teammate, that's everything you want in a teammate,'' said teammate Kevin Durant. "I gained so much more respect for Serge for sacrificing himself for the team. Regardless of what happened tonight, that's something you want beside you.''

After a back-and-forth first quarter that saw the Spurs hold a 29-28 advantage, it was an Ibaka layup that gave the Thunder the lead for good at 38-36 with 7:03 to play in the second. Oklahoma City continued to control tempo, leading by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter.

Freed up by the play of Ibaka, Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 51 points while the Thunder defense held San Antonio to less than 40% shooting from the floor. Oklahoma City also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Spurs 52-36 in the game.

"I was very disappointed that we didn't come out with more of a foot in the neck sort of attitude,'' explained Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "They killed us on the boards, they beat us in 50-50 balls and that's very disappointing to me.''

Manu Ginobli had 23 points off the bench to pace the Spurs' offense. Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard were the only other players in double figures for San Antonio. Game 4 is Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.

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Allen Helps Heat Scorch Pacers

Allen Helps Heat Scorch Pacers

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(MIAMI, Fla.) -- The Miami Heat trailed by as many as 15 points but Ray Allen netted all 16 he had as the defending champs rallied to a 99-87 win over Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals. With the win, Miami now leads the series by a final of 2-1.

Allen, who signed with Miami prior to last year, has always had a knack for racking up points when it matters most. Despite have zero points through the first three quarters, the 19-year veteran hit the first four three-pointers he attempted in the final 12 minutes.

Indiana had jumped out to an early 17-4 lead and eventually pushed it to 37-22 in the second quarter. The Heat would go on to outscore the Pacers 77-50 the rest of the way, taking control of the series.

"Tough loss for our guys," said Indiana head coach, Frank Vogel. "Thought we competed pretty well, came out of the gates really strong, got off to a good start and then didn't manage our foul trouble well and didn't manage picking up their defensive intensity well." 

The biggest blow came in the final moments of the third, and opening seconds of the fourth quarter. LeBron James hit a three-point shot with 1:21 left to play in the third to give Miami a 67-63 lead. As time expired in the period, Dwayne Wade buried a three of his own before doing the same thing to start the fourth and giving Miami a 10 point lead.

James finished the game with 26 points while Wade added 23 in the victory. Miami's defense was just as impressive, holding Indiana to just 47.7 percent from the floor including six-for-21 from downtown. Game 4 is Monday night in South Florida.

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Ibaka Upgraded to Day-to-Day for Thunder

Ibaka Upgraded to Day-to-Day for Thunder

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder may have gained a much needed boost prior to Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals with San Antonio. Power forward Serge Ibaka was upgraded to day-to-day and could play on Sunday night.

Ibaka was thought to be out for the rest of the playoffs with a left calf strain but has progressed well enough to potentially play. The Thunder trail the series, 2-0, in two very lopsided games against San Antonio.

"A big part of this is the swelling in his calf has reduced incredibly rapidly, more so than any of us could've expected or our medical staff could've projected," said Oklahoma City general manager, Sam Presti. "And as a result of that he's demonstrating a function level and a stability level that's better than where we thought we would be."

Even if he is unable to perform at 100%, the presence of Ibaka alone could play a significant role. The Spurs outscored Oklahoma City by a combined 52 points in the first two games of the series, shooting 78 percent from inside.

While Presti may be optimistic, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is still preparing to play without his top post defender.

"It's changed from we thought he was going to be out to now it's day-to-day, but he's still out," Brooks explained. "We're still focusing on trying to beat the Spurs without him playing, and that has not changed. I know he's listed as day-to-day, but he's still out until I'm told differently."

When in the lineup, Ibaka and the Thunder held San Antonio to 93.0 points per 100 possessions. Oklahoma City won all four meetings between the two teams in the regular season. He originally suffered the injury in the third quarter of the team's series clinching win over Los Angeles. Game 3 is Sunday night in Oklahoma.

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Jim Irsay Facing Misdemeanor Charges

Jim Irsay Facing Misdemeanor Charges

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.) -- Jim Irsay appeared in Hamilton County court on Friday and was formally charged with two misdemeanor counts stemming from his March driving arrest.

The owner of the Indianapolis Colts was charged with one count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and one count of operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body. Both are C misdemeanors and carry with them a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Irsay was arrested on May 16 for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. At the time of the arrest, authorities found $29,000 dollars in cash and "numerous" bottles of alcohol in his residence.

"We want to thank the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office for its professionalism in its investigation regarding Mr. Irsay and for devoting the necessary care and attention to determine the facts in this matter did not warrant the filing of felony charges relative to Mr. Irsay's prescription medications," said a statement from Irsay's legal team, Voyles, Zahn & Paul, released on his behalf. "Mr. Irsay will deal with the remaining misdemeanor charges through the judicial process."

An initial hearing has been scheduled for June 19.

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Report: Ming, Hill Want to Buy Clippers

Report: Ming, Hill Want to Buy Clippers

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even though the Los Angeles Clippers are not for sale just yet, there is some serious star power rumored to have in interest in purchasing the franchise. 

Sources have told ESPN.com that Grant Hill and Yao Ming are working separately to assemble ownership groups to bid on the Clippers once they are available for purchase. A separate source told ESPN.com that Los Angeles' embattled owner, Donald Sterling, has agreed to let his wife take control of the impending sale of the team.

A 19-year veteran, Hill retired following the 2012-13 season and has been reportedly been putting together a group to acquire the Clippers. Yao, who expressed heavy interest in buying the Milwaukee Bucks before outgoing owner Herb Kohl said keeping the team in Milwaukee was a requirement.

Among the others rumored to have a desire to own the LA franchise, Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners, who combined to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and billionaire Antony Ressler.

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Ibaka Likely Out for Playoffs

Ibaka Likely Out for Playoffs

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Thursday night, Serge Ibaka left Oklahoma City's Game Six win in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. On Friday, team General Manager Sam Presti announced a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris muscle will most likely keep the power forward out for the remainder of the postseason.

"I just want to express our disappointment for Serge, who, as we all know, is an elite competitor and someone that has proven to be a tremendous teammate," Presti said. "He was playing great basketball throughout the season. He's had a huge impact on our season to date."

The calf injury will sideline Ibaka due to the amount of time it takes to heal as well as the high reinjury rate. Ibaka was averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game during the playoffs, helping the Thunder reach the Western Conference finals. Even with the injury, Presti feels his team still has a chance against top-seed San Antonio in the West.

"We have had this group together for a while, and they've been through some ups and downs, and this is just another one that hopefully is only going to make us better," Presti noted in a conference call with reporters.

Oklahoma City won all four meetings with the Spurs in the regular season. Game One of the series will begin on Monday night in Texas.

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Thunder Advance to Western Conference Finals

Thunder Advance to Western Conference Finals

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES, Calf.) -- Kevin Durant made just one of his first seven shots but turned in another MVP performance to lift Oklahoma City past Los Angeles, 104-98, to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Durant had 39 points and 16 rebounds in Game Six to finish out the series with the Clippers while Russell Westbrook added 22 points and 12 assists.

The Thunder had to mount another double-digit comeback, trailing by sixteen early in the second quarter. Durant would connect on three straight 3-point shots to bring Oklahoma City to within five 41-36 with 4:27 remaining in the first half before trailing by eight heading into the locker room. The league's Most Valuable Player finished the game going 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

At the beginning of the third, Los Angeles seemed to have the edge and kept the Thunder at arm's length. A J.J. Redick basket gave the Clippers a 62-54 advantage with under six minutes to play in the frame, but Oklahoma City went on another run behind strong defense and better shooting. Nick Collison's three-pointer at the buzzer tied the game at 72-72 heading into the fourth.

Both teams trading buckets to open the period with Chris Paul knotting the game at 80 apiece four minutes in. However, the next two minutes belonged to Oklahoma City as the Thunder scored 10 straight points to seize control. Los Angeles got as close as six the rest of the way, but Oklahoma City hit their free throws down the stretch to ensure the win.

The Thunder were 29-of-33 (87.9%) from the charity stripe while Los Angeles was just 12-for-20 (60%). Meanwhile, Oklahoma City's defense held the hot-shooting Clippers to just 6-of-21 from downtown. Paul had 25 points and 11 assists for the Clippers to pace the offense. Teammate Blake Griffin fouled out after scoring 22 points and picking up eight rebounds to go along with eight assists. 

Los Angeles must now face a difficult offseason following the racist comments from owner Donald Sterling, as well as two epic collapses in their final two games of the season. Oklahoma City will move on to face San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals beginning Monday night in Texas.

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Indiana Closes Out Wizards, Face Heat Next

Indiana Closes Out Wizards, Face Heat Next

Rob Carr/Getty Images(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Despite a stumbling first round victory, the Indiana Pacers looked back to form on Thursday night when they beat Washington 93-80 to finish off the series four games to two. Indiana now advances to the Eastern Conference Finals to face defending champion Miami in a rematch of last year's conference finals.

"We're ready to go," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "I like the way we played this series. We have nothing but the utmost respect for the champs and we're excited to have another crack at them."

The Game Six win was not an easy one for the Pacers as they blew a 16-point second half lead before using their defense to pull away late. Washington was held scoreless for more than four minutes in the second quarter, giving Indiana a 52-40 halftime advantage. That was eventually erased, and the Wizards took a 74-73 lead with 8:30 to play.

However, David West came right back and hit a jumper to put the Pacers ahead for good. That basket triggered a 20-6 run to close out the game -- and the series. West finished the game with 29 points, including 18 in the second half, to pace all scorers.

John Wall was held to just 12 points for the Wizards and was 0-4 from three-point range. Marcin Gortat was Washington's leading scorer with 19 points. The Wizards advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and won a second round game for the first since 1982.

It has been a puzzling season for Indiana, who held a 46-13 record on March 2 before limping into the playoffs. After being pushed to seven games by eighth-seeded Atlanta in the first round, and losing Game 1 at home to Washington, the Pacers played impressively on the road and are 5-4 away from home in the postseason.

Indiana will now host the back-to-back champs in Game One on Sunday in Indianapolis. The Pacers and Heat went a full seven games last season with Miami defeating Indiana 99-76 in the decisive game.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) -- NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Bruins 4 - Montreal Canadiesn 2 (Bruins lead series, 3-2)  NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Brooklyn Nets 104 - Miami Heat 90 (Heat lead series, 2-1) ...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/9/14

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Paul, Clippers Cruise to Game One Win

Paul, Clippers Cruise to Game One WinRonald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- Chris Paul hit a career high eight 3-pointers as the Los Angeles Clippers cruised to a 122-105 win over Oklahoma City on Monday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Paul finished wi...

Wizards Hold Off Indiana in Game One

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Scoreboard Roundup 5-5-14

Scoreboard Roundup 5-5-14Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs: Washington Wizards 102 - Indiana Pacers 96 (Wizards lead series 1-0) Clippers 120 - Thunder 101 (Clippers lead series 1-0) NHL Playoffs: Pittsburgh Penguins 2 - New York Rangers 0 (Penguins lead series 2-1...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/2/14

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Grizzlies’ Randolph Suspended for Decisive Game 7

Grizzlies’ Randolph Suspended for Decisive Game 7Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Memphis forward Zach Randolph has been suspended for the Grizzlies' Game 7 meeting with Oklahoma City on Saturday. The punishment handed down by the NBA on Friday comes after Randolph punched Thunder center Steven ...

Hawks Push Indiana to Brink of Elimination

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Heat Sweep Charlotte, Advance to Second Round

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Scoreboard Roundup 4-28-14

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Aldridge Torches Rockets, Portland Takes 2-0 Series Lead

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Memphis Evens Series with Thunder in OT Win

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