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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 – 5/15/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/15/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinal: Indiana Pacers 93 – Washington Wizards 80 (Pacers win series, 4-2)
Western Conference Semifinal: Oklahoma City Thunder 104 – Los Angeles Clippers 98 (Thunder win series, 4-2)
MLB: Cincinnati Reds 5 (18-20) – San Diego Padres 0 (19-22) – Game 1
San Diego Padres 6 (20-22) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (18-21) – Game 2
Milwaukee Brewers 4 (26-15) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (17-23)
Minnesota Twins 4 (19-20) – Boston Red Sox 3 (20-20) – 10 Innings
St. Louis Cardinals 5 (21-20) – Chicago Cubs 3 (13-26)
New York Yankees 1 (21-19) – New York Mets 0 (19-21)
Toronto Blue Jays 4 (21-21) – Cleveland Indians 2 (19-22)
Baltimore Orioles 2 (21-18) – Kansas City Royals 1 (20-20)
San Francisco Giants 6 (27-15) – Miami Marlins 4 (21-21)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6 (21-18) – Tampa Bay Rays 5 (18-23)
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Heat Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

Heat Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(MIAMI) –  Don’t look now, but the Miami Heat are back in the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth year in a row.
LeBron James and Dwayne Wade combined to score 57 points as the Heat rallied to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 on Wednesday night, winning their second-round matchup in five games.
“When we met the first day for prep, we said the No. 1 key, overwhelmingly the No. 1 key in this series, was great mental stability,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the two-time defending champions won their 10th straight playoff series.
The Nets led by eight with under five minutes remaining and were looking to take the series back to Brooklyn for Game 6. The Heat went on a 12-0 run to take the lead for good, while the Nets missed nine straight shots. Ray Allen hit a huge three-pointer to give Miami a 93-91 lead with 32 seconds remaining.
“Give the Heat credit,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “They were attacking there in the fourth quarter. We were attacking. Both teams were attacking. They made plays, they made shots and we didn’t.”
Joe Johnson led the Nets with 34 points, while Paul Pierce chipped in 19.
Miami will face either the Indiana Pacers or the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference finals.
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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/14/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/14/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat 96 – Brooklyn Nets 94 (Heat win series, 4-1)
San Antonio Spurs 104 – Portland Trail Blazers 82 (Spurs win series 4-1)
NHL Playoffs: Montreal Canadiens 3 – Boston Bruins 1 (Canadiens win series, 4-3)
Los Angeles Kings 2 – Anaheim Ducks 1 (Series Tied 3-3)
MLB: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 (21-18) – Philadelphia Phillies 0 (17-21)
Detroit Tigers 7 (24-12) – Baltimore Orioles 5 (20-18)
Kansas City Royals 3 (20-19) – Colorado Rockies 2 (23-19)
Washington Nationals 5 (21-19) – Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (16-27)
Chicago White Sox 4 (20-22) – Oakland Athletics 2 (25-16)
San Francisco Giants 10 (26-15) – Atlanta Braves 4 (22-17)
Tampa Bay Rays 2 (18-23) – Seattle Mariners 0 (20-20)
New York Yankees 4 (20-19) – New York Mets 0 (19-20)
Houston Astros 5 (14-27) – Texas Rangers 4 (20-21)
Boston Red Sox 9 (20-19) – Minnesota Twins 4 (18-20)
Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (17-22) – Milwaukee Brewers 1 (23-15)
Cleveland Indians 15 (19-21) – Toronto Blue Jays 4 (20-21)
Miami Marlins 13 (21-20) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (22-20)
Chicago Cubs (13-25) at St. Louis Cardinals (20-20) Postponed due to inclement weather
San Diego Padres (19-21) at Cincinnati Reds (17-20) Postponed due to inclement weather
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Thunder Stun Clippers 105-104 to Take 3-2 Series Lead

Thunder Stun Clippers 105-104 to Take 3-2 Series Lead

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) –  Russell Westbrook scored 38 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final minute to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-104 on Tuesday night and go up 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Chris Paul fouled Westbrook on a 3-point attempt with 6.4 seconds remaining.  The Thunder guard calmly sank all three free throws to put his team ahead to stay.
“I think when you get a win like this it brings everybody closer,” Westbrook said. “It lets you know you can’t mess around. You have to take every moment, every play and go out and win the game.”
Kevin Durant sank a three-pointer and converted a layup to bring the Thunder within two points with 17 seconds left. Westbrook stole the ball from Paul on the next possession. The Clippers believed the ball went off Thunder guard Reggie Jackson, but after a review, the officials awarded the ball to the Thunder.
“Everybody knows it was our ball,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “The bottom line is they thought it was a foul and they made up for it. Let’s take away the replay. We were robbed. It was our ball, whether it was a foul or not.”
The Clippers got the ball with 6.4 seconds remaining and a chance to win the game, but Paul had the ball stolen from him yet again as time expired.
The Thunder can clinch the series with a win on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
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LeBron James Scores 49 to Lead Heat Past Nets

LeBron James Scores 49 to Lead Heat Past Nets

Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — LeBron James tied his playoff career-high with 49 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 102-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets Monday, in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.
The Heat now lead the series 3-1.
James finished the game 16-of-24 from the field.
“My only thing with him, he was going so well in the third quarter we didn’t want him to die out in the fourth,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said of his teammate, James.  “But that guy has an engine that’s second to none so he just continued it going.”
Wade had 15 points in the win.
The Nets tied the game at 94 with 2:30 to play when Kevin Garnett hit two free throws. The game stayed tied until Chris Bosh hit a 3-pointer with 57 seconds remaining to give the Heat the lead for good.
“This is very difficult to swallow,” Nets center Garnett said of the loss. “Hard to take, but it’s what it is. Coulda, shoulda, woulda doesn’t help us at this point.”
Now the Nets are one game away from being ousted from the playoffs. Game 5 is Wednesday in Miami. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern.
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George Erupts for 39 Points to Push Pacers Past Wizards

George Erupts for 39 Points to Push Pacers Past Wizards

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Paul George scored a career playoff-high 39 points, 28 of them in the second half, to help the Indiana Pacers erase a 19-point deficit and beat the Washington Wizards 95-92 Sunday, in Game 4 of the Eastern Confe…

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/11/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/11/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA Playoffs: Los Angeles Clippers 101 – Oklahoma City Thunder 99 (Series tied, 2-2)
Indiana Pacers 95 – Washington Wizards 92 (Pacers lead series, 3-1)
NHL Playoffs: New York Rangers 3 – Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (Series t…

Clippers Erase 16-Point Fourth-Quarter Lead, Beat Thunder 101-99

Clippers Erase 16-Point Fourth-Quarter Lead, Beat Thunder 101-99

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Clippers erased a 16-point fourth quarter lead to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 on Sunday to even up the best-of-seven series at two.
Darren Collison had 12 of his 18 points in the fou…

Spurs Take Commanding 3-0 Series Lead Over Blazers

Spurs Take Commanding 3-0 Series Lead Over Blazers

Steve Dykes/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Tony Parker scored a game-high 29 points and dished out six assists to help the San Antonio Spurs punish the Portland Trail Blazers 118-103 Saturday, and take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal.
P…

Nets Dominate Third Quarter to Plow Past Heat

Nets Dominate Third Quarter to Plow Past Heat

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Brooklyn Nets outscored the Miami Heat 26-14 in the third quarter to take control of the game and eventually win it 104-90 Saturday night, to take Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.
“To sum it…

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Getty 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

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/9/14

Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) — NHL Playoffs – Eastern Conference Second Round: New York Rangers 5 – Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (Penguins lead series, 3-2)
Minnesota Wild 4 – Chicago Blackhawks 2 (Blackhawks lead series, 2-1)
NBA Playoffs – Eastern Co…

Heat Take Control Late to Clip Nets

Heat Take Control Late to Clip Nets

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(MIAMI) — The Brooklyn Nets were within range of the Miami Heat until they couldn’t get the ball back Thursday night.
The Nets trailed by eight points with 3:39 to play but proceeded to let Miami have a possession that took 1…

Durant and Westbrook Combine for 63 as Thunder Roll Over Clippers

Durant and Westbrook Combine for 63 as Thunder Roll Over Clippers

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) –  If Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook continue playing like this, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be hard to beat.
The All-Star duo combined to score 63 points as the Thunder dunked the Los Angeles Cl…

Hibbert Leads Pacers to Game 2 Victory over Wizards

Hibbert Leads Pacers to Game 2 Victory over Wizards

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) –  Roy Hibbert picked the perfect game to come out of his slump.
The center scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Indiana Pacers topped the Washington Wizards 86-82 on Wednesday night to even thei…

Parker’s 33 Points Lead Spurs over Blazers in Game 1

Parker’s 33 Points Lead Spurs over Blazers in Game 1

Chris Covatta/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) — Experience usually trumps youth during the NBA postseason, and the San Antonio Spurs are a prime example of that. Tony Parker scored 33 points and dished out nine assists as the Spurs rocked the Portland Trail…

Heat Rout Nets to Take 1-0 Series Lead

Heat Rout Nets to Take 1-0 Series Lead

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(MIAMI) — The Brooklyn Nets went 4-0 against the Miami Heat during the regular season, but all that went out the window on Tuesday night.
LeBron James scored 22 points as the Heat routed the Nets 107-86 to take a 1-0 lead in t…

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