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James Scores 35, Heat Tie Series

James Scores 35, Heat Tie Series

Andy Lyons/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- After two days of taking criticism for missing the final four minutes of a Game 1 loss, LeBron James scored 35 points and added 10 rebounds as Miami defeated San Antonio 98-96 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The Heat have won 13 straight postseason games after a loss, evening the series at one game apiece.

"What happened on Thursday was Thursday," said James after the win. "My whole focus was how I was going to try to help this team even this up and just try to make some plays."

One play he made was an assist to Chris Bosh for a go-ahead three at the 1:18 mark of the fourth quarter. That gave Miami a 95-93 advantage that they would not relinquish. A Dwayne Wade layup on a broken play upped the lead to five with nine seconds remaining to seal the deal.

The back-and-forth affair saw San Antonio lead by as many as eight points, and hold a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. While nursing an 87-85 advantage, both Tim Duncan and Tony Parker missed a pair of free throws midway through the frame. James followed with a three-pointer to take the lead and regain momentum.

Duncan finished the game with 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs while Parker had a team high 21 points. Four different players for the Heat scored in double-figures. Game 3 is Tuesday night in Miami.

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Jazz Hire Quin Snyder as Head Coach

Jazz Hire Quin Snyder as Head Coach

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Quin Snyder has been hired to become the head coach for the Utah Jazz. The team announced a three-year deal with an option for a fourth on Friday.

"The opportunity to join the Utah Jazz and to be part of such a highly respected franchise with an incredibly bright future is a great honor," said Snyder in a statement released by the team. "I approach this opportunity with gratitude and humility and am committed to doing everything I can to help the Jazz become a championship-caliber team."

A longtime assistant, Snyder has also spent time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers. The 47-year-old was also the head coach of San Antonio's D-League team in Austin, Texas. Snyder was also the head coach at the University of Missouri from 1999-2006.

Snyder replaces Tyrone Corbin who went 112-146 after taking over for Jerry Sloan on Feb. 10, 2011, making the playoffs in the strike-shortened 2011-12 season. A formal news conference will take place on Saturday to introduce the new coach.

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Gatorade Issues Apology to LeBron, Electrical Malfunction Fixed

Gatorade Issues Apology to LeBron, Electrical Malfunction Fixed

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An electrical malfunction left the air conditioner within the AT&T Center useless, causing temperatures within the arena to reach the nineties during Thursday night's Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.

Heat All-Star LeBron James suffered cramps in the fourth quarter that kept him out the final four minutes of the game in San Antonio's 110-95 win.

Following the game, Gatorade tweeted, "Our athletes can take the heat," but issued a statement to ABC News on Friday.

"Our apologies for our response to fans’ tweets during last night’s Heat vs. Spurs game.  We got caught up in the heat of the battle. As a longtime partner of the Miami Heat, we support the entire team," a Gatorade spokesperson said.

The electrical failure was fixed on Friday morning and the Spurs Sports & Entertainment issued a statement regarding the issue.

"The electrical failure that caused the AC system outage during Game 1 of the NBA Finals has been repaired.  The AC system has been tested, is fully operational and will continue to be monitored.  The upcoming events at the  AT&T Center, including the Romeo Santos concert tonight, the Stars game on Saturday night and Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, will go on as scheduled.  We apologize for the conditions in the arena during last night’s game."

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Spurs Top Miami, and Beat the Heat, in Game 1

Spurs Top Miami, and Beat the Heat, in Game 1

Chris Covatta/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) -- The San Antonio Spurs outscored Miami 36-17 in the fourth quarter, and battled an air conditioner issue to boot, to defeat the Heat 110-95 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. An electrical malfunction left the air conditioner within the AT&T Center useless, causing temperatures within the arena to reach the nineties.

"It was tough on both teams," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They were pretty dead. We tried to get guys in and out. It was really hot out there."

Miami led 86-79 with just under nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter, but a 15-4 Spurs run turned it into a four-point San Antonio lead. After LeBron James cut the deficit to 94-92, the sweltering temperatures forced the Heat forward out of the game with apparent cramps. The Heat scored just three points in the final four minutes without James as San Antonio won their eighth straight home playoff game.

"After I came out of the game, they kind of took off," James told a pool reporter after the game. "And it was frustrating sitting out and not be able to help our team."

Danny Green scored 11 of his 13 points in the final frame, including three 3-point baskets, leading a San Antonio charge that saw them close the game on a 30-9 run. Tim Duncan had 21 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Spurs while James led all scorers with 25 points. 

NBA President of Basketball Operations, Rod Thorn, said after the game that the conditions on the court were not harmful to the players. Thorn also stated that officials expected the air conditioning issue to be resolved in time for Game 2 on Sunday.

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All NBA-First Team Released

All NBA-First Team ReleasedRonald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA has released their All-NBA First Team, and this year's team is highlighted by MVP Kevin Durant. Durant was the lone unanimous member of the team, as he averaged an NBA-high 32.0 points per game along wi...

Larry Bird Wants Lance Stephenson Back on Pacers Next Season

Larry Bird Wants Lance Stephenson Back on Pacers Next SeasonJed Jacobson/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Despite his colorful performance during the NBA playoffs, the Indiana Pacers hope to bring back free-agent guard Lance Stephenson. Stephenson made headlines during the Pacers' series with the Miami Heat when h...

Phil Jackson Fined $25K for Tampering

Phil Jackson Fined $25K for Tampering

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Knicks president Phil Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday for tampering with Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said that Jackson was fined for comments he made at a press conference last week regarding the Thunder guard. Jackson had said that Fisher was on his short list of possible candidates for the vacant Knicks head coaching position. Fisher was still an active member of the Thunder when the comments were made.

The league's anti-tampering rules state that teams cannot directly or indirectly express their interest in other team's impeding free agents. Fisher's contract with Oklahoma City was up when the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday. Fisher played for Jackson while with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2004 and again from 2007-2011.

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Former Nets Owner Among Dead in Massachusetts Plane Crash

Former Nets Owner Among Dead in Massachusetts Plane Crash

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former New Jersey Nets owner Lewis Katz was among the dead in a plane crash that claimed the lives of six others in Massachusetts, a business partner confirmed on Sunday. Katz, who also once owned the New Jersey Devils, was 72.

Harold H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest said he was informed by the pairs lawyer. Katz's death comes days after he and Lenfest acquired full control of The Philadelphia Inquirer, buying out their co-owners with a $88 million deal.

"All of us at the NBA were extremely saddened to learn of the tragic, sudden death of former Nets owner Lewis Katz," a statement released by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "Lewis was a trusted friend and valued member of the NBA family. He was a visionary businessman who touched the lives of so many with his tireless pursuit of innovation and enterprise, as well as his deep commitment to his family, friends and community."

The former Nets owner made his fortune investing in both the Kinney Parking empire as well as the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.

Katz oversaw the most successful period in the Nets franchise, purchasing the team in 1998, and watching them reach the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003. He sold the team a year later. A 1963 graduate of Temple University, Katz spoke at the schools commencement ceremony in May and received an honorary degree.

Katz is survived by his son, daughter, and several grandchildren.

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Spurs Win West, Earn Rematch with Miami

Spurs Win West, Earn Rematch with Miami

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- Tim Duncan scored seven of his 19 points in overtime as San Antonio outlasted Oklahoma City, 112-107 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. With the win, the Spurs advance to their second straight NBA Finals where they will face the Miami Heat. 

After five blowout games, three in favor of San Antonio, the Spurs and Thunder played their most hotly contested game of the series. Duncan also had 15 rebounds as San Antonio had to play the entire second half without point guard Tony Parker, who left with an ankle injury.

"We didn't know how much Tony was hurt in his ankle," said Boris Diaw, who led the Spurs with 26 points off the bench. "But we didn't want to go to Game 7, and we didn't know if he would be ready to play if we did or if he would be 100 percent, so we tried to get it over with tonight."

San Antonio trailed by seven at halftime but opened the second half on a 9-2 run to tie things at 51-51. The Spurs scored 37 points in the third quarter and entered the final frame with a 79-69 lead. Oklahoma City, led by league MVP Kevin Durant, battled back to take a 99-97 lead with 32 seconds left in regulation. 

Manu Ginobli drilled a three from the top of the arc to put the Spurs ahead by one, but missed a free throw that would have given San Antonio a four-point advantage. That opened the door for Russell Westbrook who was fouled on a drive to the basket, hit both free throws, and forced overtime.

Duncan scored all seven of his overtime points in a row, leading San Antonio from a 103-105 deficit to a 110-107 lead. The Spurs will face Miami in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals that the Heat won in seven games. Game 1 of the 2014 Championship round is Thursday night in Texas.

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Frank Vogel Will Return to Pacers Next Season

Frank Vogel Will Return to Pacers Next Season

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Frank Vogel is safe next season, reports ESPN and Yahoo! Sports.  The Indiana Pacers decided that they will be giving Vogel another shot in the 2014-15 season after the team fell to the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night.

Vogel guided the team to their second straight Conference finals appearance, but has not been able to finish the deal against Miami.

Vogel will return to coach in his fifth season in the final year of his contract.

Indiana was almost upset in the first round by the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks and Vogel saw the team go 23-19 in the second half of the season.

Vogel is 167-100 in the regular season and 28-26 in the playoffs.

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Heat Advance to Fourth Straight NBA Finals

Heat Advance to Fourth Straight NBA Finals

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(MIAMI, Fla.) -- It was the same old story in Miami on Friday night as another dominating performance from the Heat led to another appearance in the NBA Finals. Miami defeated Indiana 117-92 in Game 6, clinching their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Championship.

The Heat became just the fourth team, and third franchise ever, to reach four consecutive NBA finals. The last team to complete the feat was the Boston Celtics (1984-87). Now they look to become the first team since the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-2002) to win three straight NBA Championships.

Both LeBron James and Chris Bosh scored 25 points as Miami knocked out the Pacers for the third straight year in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat trailed 9-2 early but went on an 11-0 run to take a lead that they would not relinquish. With the win Miami set a franchise record with their 11th straight home postseason victory.

Indiana, which had led the Eastern Conference for most of the season, got 29 points from Paul George and another 16 from David West. Once again, Roy Hibbert was almost unproductive, scoring just eight points in the loss.

Miami led by as many as 37, their biggest margin at any point during the season. They now await the winner of the Western Conference Finals between Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Heat beat San Antonio last season and took down the Thunder in 2012 to win their first of consecutive titles.

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Phil Jackson: ‘Definitely Concerned’ about Carmelo’s Pending Free Agency

Phil Jackson: ‘Definitely Concerned’ about Carmelo’s Pending Free Agency

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(GREENBURGH, N.Y.) -- New York Knicks team president Phil Jackson is "definitely concerned" that possible free agent and seven-time All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony will take his game to another team next season.

Anthony could opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent in July, but Jackson said on Friday that he spoke with Anthony about coming back next season and testing free agency in the summer of 2015.

"I told him it might be a good idea to hang in here and see what it's like for a year and go out the next year," Jackson said. "But that's his option, that's what he's earned, and that's what's part of his contractual agreement. He has the right to do that. But I just offered that as, 'Look, this gives you an opportunity to see how this is going to change, see how we're going to get going, your relationship to the team and the coach and the system or whatever, the system we impose."

Jackson said he remains positive about their chances about bringing back Anthony, but noted it only takes one team to blow Anthony away with an offer.

"It only takes one bidder out there that has the ability and can ruin your hopes and your chances," Jackson said.

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Former Microsoft Executive Steve Ballmer Wins Bid to Buy Clippers

Former Microsoft Executive Steve Ballmer Wins Bid to Buy Clippers

(LOS ANGELES) -- Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer has won the bidding war to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, a source tells ABC News. 

This would be a record-price for an NBA team.

The source also says other offers of $1.6 billion and $1.2 billion were turned down.

The deal is not yet final, as suspended owner Donald Sterling will need to sign off on it and NBA owners must also approve.

This move comes only five days before an NBA hearing to vote out Sterling.

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Frank Vogel: Pacers Confidence Shaken by Heat

Frank Vogel: Pacers Confidence Shaken by Heat

Rob Carr/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- The Miami Heat are just one win away from their fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals after Monday night's 102-90 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel believes his team has a lot to think about before Game 5 on Wednesday night.

"I think anytime you lose three in a row in the playoffs, it shakes your confidence some," Vogel said on Tuesday. "But we can't worry about that. All we've got to worry about is coming back and winning Game 5 and giving us an opportunity to come down here and win one game.

"We've won one game in each playoff series that we've played here the last two years. We should have confidence that we can do that."

The Pacers took Game 1 at home, but have lost three straight. The team will have home court if they're able to push the series to seven games.

"I think that is when we are at our best, when our back is against the wall," Pacers guard George Hill said. "We are going to be home in front of our fans and I'm sure they're going to be going crazy."

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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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Byron Scott Think He’d be a Perfect Fit for the Lakers

Byron Scott Think He’d be a Perfect Fit for the Lakers

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their search for a new head coach, a familiar face hopes to take over the team as Byron Scott has publicly advocated that he hopes to get the job.

Scott spent 11 of his 14-year NBA career with the Lakers, and even was a former teammate of guard Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers have fallen on hard times as of late, and Scott feels that he's the right man to help get the team back to the postseason.

"I think it's the best organization in all of basketball," Scott said. "It would mean a great deal to me, just because of that, No. 1, that I've played for this organization. I know what it's all about. It's all about winning championships, and No. 2, for Dr. [Jerry] Buss, who was a guy who defended me when I was coaching."

Scott has been a head coach for the New Jersey Nets as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In 13 seasons as a coach, Scott has gone 416-521.

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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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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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Cavaliers GM Open to Trading Top Pick

Cavaliers GM Open to Trading Top Pick

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With many still in shock that the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to once again land the number one pick in the NBA draft, general manager David Griffin says the team is willing to deal the pick.

With the draft set for June 26, all eyes will be on the Cavaliers to see who the team takes at number one or if it will wind up dealing the pick.

"I actually got calls right afterward, while I was standing there doing media," Griffin told ESPN Cleveland's The Really Big Show. "Teams were already reaching out and texting, so I think it will be an active period of time."

The Cavaliers had just a 1.7 percent chance of landing the top pick.

The team has landed the number one pick three out of the last four years.

Last year, the Cavs selected Anthony Bennett number one overall, but he struggled during his rookie season.

Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid are vying for the top spot this year.

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