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May

25
Heat shake off Game 4 loss, citing season done ‘the hard way’

As Jimmy Butler walked to the podium following the Miami Heat’s 116-99 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night, he was singing. It was Alicia Keys’ 2007 song “No One.” But the specific verse he closed with was, “Everything’s gonna be alright.” While Butler and the 8-seed Heat lamented that they couldn’t close out the Celtics and earn their second trip to the NBA Finals in four seasons, there remained an air of confidence within the group that it could go back to Boston for Thursday night’s Game 5 and find a way to win one more. “If anything, […]

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May

22
Lakers outshined by Nuggets again in clutch, face 3-0 deficit

For the third time in as many games in the Western Conference finals, the outcome was up for grabs in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t complete the task. Saturday’s 119-108 loss to the Denver Nuggets to fall behind 3-0 in the series might have contained different details than L.A.’s two defeats to start the series, but the general theme was the same: The West’s No. 1 seed did more when it mattered most. Now one loss away from their season being over, the Lakers, who started the season 2-10 and completely overhauled the roster just before the All-Star break, are […]

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May

18
Nikola Jokic’s dominant triple-double leads Nuggets over Lakers

Nikola Jokic claimed he did not have a strategy in mind to combat Anthony Davis. But it did not take long in Tuesday night’s Game 1 for the Los Angeles Lakers to see Jokic’s blueprint. The Denver Nuggets’ superstar came out extremely aggressive, reintroducing himself to LeBron James and Davis on the Western Conference finals stage, but this time as a two-time MVP at the top of his game. Jokic compiled his third consecutive triple-double this postseason by the third quarter, and concluded with 34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists and two blocks to help the Nuggets take a 132-126 win at Ball Arena. “He makes it […]

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May

12
Knicks push Heat to Game 6 behind Jalen Brunson’s 38-point gem

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau beamed with pride as he described Jalen Brunson’s 38-point, nine-rebound, seven-assist performance in a must-win 112-103 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday night. As eye-popping as the numbers were for the guard who has quickly become one of Thibodeau’s favorite players in his first season with the Knicks, the stat that really made Thibodeau gush was the 48 in the minutes column. Not only did Brunson lead his team offensively, he played every second of the game to make sure the Knicks forced a Game 6 Friday night in Miami. “What can you say […]

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May

09
Devin Booker shrugs off historic efficiency as Suns even series

Phoenix Suns superstar Devin Booker doesn’t want to be bothered with digging too deep into the analysis of his historic hot streak. Booker kept his phenomenal playoff run by scoring 36 points, matching teammate Kevin Durant’s total, while going 14-of-18 from the field in Phoenix’s series-evening 129-124 win over the Denver Nuggets in Sunday night’s Game 4 at Footprint Center. “Man, I’m just trying to win,” Booker said. “I always say, and it’s something that I’ll tell KD, like throw that efficiency s— out the window. I don’t care about that. Just keep going, keep attacking, keep being aggressive.” But Booker’s efficiency has been astounding throughout the playoffs […]

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May

03
James Harden lifts 76ers over Celtics with 45 points, late 3

As one second after another ticked off the clock, Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden continued to eye both the basket and his defender, Boston Celtics center Al Horford, with the Sixers trailing by one in the closing seconds of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night. And, like he has countless times before in his Hall of Fame career, Harden saw the moment when he could create the separation necessary to get off his patented step-back jumper — and took it. When the ball softly dropped through the net for the final time for Harden on the night — tying his playoff career high of […]

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April

28
Jimmy Butler, Heat eliminate top-seeded Bucks in OT stunner

As Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was drawing up a play to attempt to tie Game 5 of Miami’s first-round series versus the Bucks in the final seconds Wednesday night, he initially planned to give the ball to someone other than Jimmy Butler. When Butler was informed of this plan, however, he had other ideas. “He looked me dead in the eye,” Spoelstra said later with a smile, “and he just said, ‘No. Let me be that guy.'” After watching Butler carry his teammates to the brink of one of the greatest upsets in NBA history, Spoelstra deferred to his superstar. And Butler delivered, converting a […]

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April

26
Jimmy Butler has 56 to lead Heat comeback, put Bucks on brink

Jimmy Butler has heard the nickname before. He smiled and shook his head during his postgame news conference Monday night at the mention of the moniker “Playoff Jimmy.” “It’s not a thing,” he said with a laugh following the Miami Heat’s 119-114 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round series. “It’s not. I just be hooping.” Yet, Butler’s 56-point masterpiece is making it impossible to deny his playoff excellence. Butler matched the fourth-best scoring performance in an NBA playoff game to lead the Heat back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, stun the Bucks and push the NBA’s top overall seed […]

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April

20
Draymond Green gets 1-game ban; Sabonis questionable for Game 3

The NBA has suspended Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green for one game for stepping on the chest of the Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis, the league revealed Tuesday night. “The suspension was based in part on Green’s history of unsportsmanlike acts,” the NBA said in a statement. Green will serve his suspension Thursday when the Warriors host the Kings for Game 3 at Chase Center. Sacramento holds a 2-0 lead in the series. The incident between Green and Sabonis occurred with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 114-106 Game 2 win Monday. After Sabonis slipped and fell in the paint, he grabbed Green’s […]

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April

19
Kings beat Warriors 114-106 to take 2-0 series lead

As the referees went to the replay monitor to determine whether Draymond Green should be ejected for his hard stomp, the Sacramento Kings took that time to regroup and make sure they didn’t lose focus down the stretch. De’Aaron Fox and crew took over from there and delivered the Kings a 2-0 series lead that has the defending NBA champions reeling. Fox scored 24 points and made a backbreaking 3-pointer that led the playoff newcomer Kings to a 114-106 victory Monday night for their second consecutive victory over the Golden State Warriors. “I think that brought us together,” Fox said. “We huddled up and were like, […]

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