• Livingston enjoying the moment filling in for injured Curry

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shaun Livingston's left leg could have been amputated nine years ago. The knee injury he suffered while with the Clippers in 2007 was that severe. Going for a layup, Livingston's leg buckled backward, parallel to the court, when he fell in a freak accident. He screamed and writhed in agony. Now, healthy and reliable, Livingston is making a new name for himself on the NBA's postseason stage. He has filled in admirably for the NBA's best player as Golden State moves on to the second round of the playoffs without injured MVP Stephen Curry. Livingston scored 16 points in each of his three starts in place of Curry during Golden State's 4-1 first-round series win against the Houston Rockets.

  • Hornets C Spencer Hawes out for remainder of series vs Heat

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets say backup center Spencer Hawes will miss the remainder of their first-round series against the Miami Heat with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The Hornets lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is Friday night. The team says Hawes will be re-evaluated in a week, which means he wouldn't be available if the series goes to a seventh and deciding game on Sunday. He was injured during Charlotte's win in Game 5 Thursday night in Miami. The 7-foot Hawes has appeared in five playoff games for Charlotte and is averaging 3.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 10.6 minutes.

  • No longer rebuilding, Pistons hope to improve in offseason

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Pistons have finally moved beyond the rebuilding stage. After their first playoff appearance since 2009, Stan Van Gundy's Pistons can look ahead to the offseason knowing that if they simply keep their current starting lineup intact, the future could be fairly bright. That's not to say that Detroit will stand pat, but the team's key players are young enough that the Pistons can envision more success if this group stays together. "We're now not at the time of wholesale change anymore. We went through that," said Van Gundy, who just wrapped up his second season as Detroit's coach and team president. "We're not making deals just to make deals.

  • Cavs coach Lue believes David Blatt deserves another chance

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue would like to see his former boss, David Blatt, get another NBA job. Blatt was fired in January despite a 30-11 record and replaced by Lue, who guided Cleveland to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. On Wednesday, Blatt interviewed with the New York Knicks, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press. "He definitely deserves another chance," Lue said. "I thought Coach Blatt did a great and phenomenal job here. He taught me a lot. Just being friends with him and getting a chance to understand him was great for me. I know a lot of guys around here, we talked about it the other day, they miss him and his presence. "Hopefully, he gets anot

  • Thunder: How the Thunder embraced Enes Kanter the person and extracted the most out of him as a player

    By Anthony Slater Staff writer ASlater@Oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Kanter left Utah disgruntled, his game flawed, his defense ridiculed, his departure sour. Most saw the former third overall pick as a disgraced disappointment. But the Thunder saw untapped potential.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Get inside the mind of columnist Jenni Carlson about everything OU, OSU and the Thunder in the Power Lunch live chat at 11 a.m.

  • Eastern Conference providing best drama in NBA playoffs

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    Remember when the Western Conference playoffs were can’t-miss TV? When the East was like watching inferior basketball? You didn’t have to plan your night around the NBA playoffs. Go to dinner, go to a movie, go to church. Didn’t matter. You wouldn’t miss much. And when you got home, there would be a great Western Conference game to get your basketball fix. Not this season. The Western Conference playoffs are a dud, and even the semifinals figure to be only halfway worth watching. Thirty-eight NBA playoff games have been staged so far. Of those 38, only 13 finished within single digits. In other words, 25 games have been blowouts or well-in-hand games by the end. And the West is responsible.

  • Sioux Falls Skyforce win NBA Development League championship

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Sioux Falls Skyforce is the champion of the NBA Development League. The Skyforce on Wednesday beat the Los Angeles D-Fenders 91-63 in the third and final game of the championship series to take the team's first D-League crown. Sioux Falls joined the league for the 2006-07 season. Before that, the Skyforce won two championships in the Continental Basketball Association. Sioux Falls' Jarnell Stokes was named most valuable player of the finals. He also won the D-League's regular season MVP award. The Skyforce is an affiliate of the NBA's Miami Heat.

  • Warriors reach second round with MVP Stephen Curry sidelined

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Perhaps a corny catchphrase to some, those three words really resonate with the Golden State Warriors: "Strength in Numbers." They are bought into this mantra, all right. Now more so than ever with Stephen Curry on the sidelines. Poll a few Warriors and they surely will bring up the defending champions' depth and ability to push forward, no matter who goes down. Even when it's the best player not only on the team but in the entire NBA. It has been that way all season. Golden State rolled right into the second round of the playoffs by embarrassing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday night to win the best-of-seven series 4-1 as the league's leading scorer watched in delight.

  • Warriors roll into second round of playoffs without Curry

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson knew Golden State had to come together, that every player needed to raise his game with Stephen Curry sidelined. "None of us can do it alone," Thompson insisted hours earlier. He sure got things started, scoring 27 points with seven 3-pointers as the Warriors rolled into the second round of the playoffs without their injured superstar, thoroughly embarrassing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday night in Game 5. "Urgency of the game and we did not want to go back to Houston — it's a long flight," Thompson said of his extra motivation. Draymond Green added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, who will face the winner of the Clippers-Trail Blazers s

  • Hawks, Celtics alone on playoff stage in close out game

    Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2016

    After a frenzied start to the week that saw some of the NBA's top players sidelined by injuries, Thursday will mark the quietest night in the NBA playoffs so far, with only one game scheduled. Meanwhile, the East's top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers — who certainly remember what it was like a year ago when they were bitten by postseason injuries — continue to play the waiting game following their first-round sweep of Detroit. That downtime could come to an end depending on what happens Thursday in Boston during the Game 6 matchup between the Celtics and Hawks. Atlanta leads the series 3-2 and will have the first opportunity to close things out coming off a blowout win on Tuesday night.

  • Trail Blazers beat outmanned Clippers 108-98, take 3-2 lead

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 27 points, Damian Lillard added 16 of his 22 in the fourth quarter when Portland pulled away, and the Trail Blazers capitalized on the absence of injured Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 108-98 on Wednesday night in Game 5 their first-round series. The Blazers are up 3-2 and could close it out Friday in Portland. If Game 7 is needed, it would be Saturday back at Staples Center. Maurice Harkless added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Mason Plumlee had 10 points and 15 boards for Portland. The Blazers made six 3-pointers in the fourth, with Lillard hitting five of his six as they outscored the Clippers 37-27. J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 19 points.

  • Hornets stun Heat with 90-88 win, take 3-2 series lead

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    MIAMI (AP) — Courtney Lee was steaming after missing a layup that would have given Charlotte the lead heading into the final minute. His anger didn't last long. Miami's will last for a while. Lee's 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left — just his second make in nine tries from the floor — put the Hornets ahead to stay, and Charlotte beat the Heat 90-88 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night. The Hornets have won three straight in the series to take a 3-2 lead into a potential Game 6 clincher on Friday night. "I felt I couldn't make a shot," Lee said, "but the biggest one went in." Miami thought Dwyane Wade was fouled after he got the rebound of a miss by Goran Dragic

  • AP Source: Knicks interview Blatt for coaching job

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks have interviewed former Cleveland coach David Blatt for their head coaching position, a person with knowledge of the details said Wednesday. Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson met with Blatt this week, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the coaching search are private. Blatt's interview was first reported by Yahoo Sports. Blatt was fired by the Cavaliers after leading them to the NBA Finals last year in his first season and a 30-11 record this season. The longtime successful international coach was a teammate at Princeton with Knicks general manager Steve Mills. The Cavaliers led the Eastern Conference when the

  • Warriors grant Lakers permission to interview Luke Walton

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers received permission from the Warriors to interview top assistant Luke Walton for their coaching vacancy. Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday before Game 5 of the playoffs against Houston that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak contacted Warriors GM Bob Myers, who said Walton could interview once the first-round series is done. The Warriors held a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series going into Wednesday. "Mitch has called Bob and we've told Mitch he's perfectly welcome to talk to Luke as soon as this series is over and we have a little break," Kerr said.

  • Doc Rivers brought to tears in pregame interview session

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clippers coach Doc Rivers' eyes welled with tears and he became choked up before his team played Portland in Game 5 of their first-round series. During his pregame availability Wednesday night, Rivers was asked who he leans on to get through after losing injured stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Rivers responded, "I don't know," and his dark eyes filled with tears. He paused and put his hand to his face in an attempt to keep any liquid from spilling out. He told the media that his emotional reaction wasn't in response to the reporter's question. The 54-year-old coach mentioned his late mother, Bettye Rivers, saying, "That would have been a person.

  • Thunder journal: Russell Westbrook appreciative of Kevin Durant sticking up for him after Mark Cuban comment

    By Anthony Slater Staff writer Aslater@Oklahoman.com | Published: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    At Wednesday’s practice, Westbrook was asked what it meant to him that Durant stuck up for him like that.

  • Nets' Ellington wins J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn Nets guard Wayne Ellington has won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for outstanding service and dedication to the community. Ellington beat out Cleveland's LeBron James, the Clippers' Chris Paul, Washington's John Wall and Indiana's George Hill in voting Wednesday by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. Ellington has been an advocate for gun-violence prevention since his father, Wayne Ellington Sr., was shot to death on Nov. 9, 2014, in Philadelphia. He spoke at Peace Day Philly's "March for Peace" last September, created the "Power of W.E." campaign and in August will host the Philadelphia Peace Games, where rival gang members will come together for a basketball game played

  • Billy Donovan receives high praise, but the spotlight on the rookie coach is about to get brighter

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    Yes, Donovan matched up against one of the most underrated coaches in the league in the first round, but Rick Carlisle — and pretty much every other NBA coach — pales in comparison to Gregg Popovich.

  • Emerging trend: Coaches given president's title in NBA

    Updated: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    A day after Stan Van Gundy's first game as president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons last season, he was asked to give an assessment of the coach in the 89-79 loss to the Denver Nuggets. "My front office was not very happy with the coach last night," Van Gundy quipped. "He admonished the coach." The name of the coach: Stan Van Gundy. Over the last four seasons, a mini-trend has developed in the hiring practices of NBA teams. Several owners have decided to give their coaches the additional title of team president, bestowing final decision-making authority on their shoulders. The Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers (Doc Rivers) and Atlanta Hawks (Mike Budenholzer) all have coaches in dual roles.