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Chris Paul played a game-high 41 minutes in the Clippers' season-ending loss on Sunday, finishing with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting, six rebounds, 11 assists and two steals.

It was a typically gritty effort from CP3, who has been playing through a groin injury that would have sidelined lesser competitors. Blake Griffin added 21 points and five rebounds despite his knee injury, while Caron Butler chucked in six points with a broken hand. The Clippers gave it all they had, but the Spurs were just too talented/healthy/deep/poised/well-coached/etc.
Mon, May 21, 2012 01:50:00 AM

Barring a last minute setback, Marcus Smart (thumb) will play in Game 5 on Tuesday against the Bucks.

Brad Stevens said that Smart "felt great" after shootaround, and while he may have his minutes monitored in his first game back following a six-week absence, he should give the Celtics a major boost on defense. Khris Middleton has been killing them, scoring 25.5 points per game on 61.5% shooting, so perhaps Smart can help bring down Middleton's shooting percentages to a less-ridiculous range. Shane Larkin's minutes will take a fairly large hit with Smart back in action.
Apr 24 - 5:20 PM

Josh Richardson (shoulder) said there is a 60 percent chance that he will play in Game 5 on Tuesday night vs. the Sixers.

This is somewhat surprising, considering Richardson was able to play the second half of Game 4 (and finish with a franchise-record seven steals). In addition, it was reported after the game that J-Rich planned to play in Game 5. If Richardson is ruled out, it would be a major blow to Miami's chances. We likely won't have confirmation on his status until Coach Spoelstra speaks with reporters at approximately 6:30 pm. Dwyane Wade, Wayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder would see an uptick in minutes if Richardson is unable to play.
Apr 24 - 12:18 PM

John Henson (back soreness) did not travel with the team to Boston and has been ruled out of Tuesday's Game 5 vs. the Celtics.

Henson logged heavy minutes in Games 1 and 2, averaging 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. However, he was forced to sit out Games 3 and 4, and Tuesday will be his third straight contest on the sideline. Tyler Zeller has started, but Thon Maker has been the primary beneficiary. Maker is averaging 11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 treys and 5.0 blocks in 27.6 minutes over the last two games. He is worthy DFS option on Tuesday.
Apr 24 - 11:19 AM

Coach Brad Stevens said that Marcus Smart (thumb) has been physically cleared to play Game 5 on Tuesday, but his availability will depend on how he feels after a late-morning workout.

Speaking with reporters on Monday, Smart said the plan was to return for Game 6 and that they were on track. He is officially listed as questionable on the injury report. However, considering Smart's tenacity and eagerness to return, it would be somewhat surprising if he was cleared to play but decided to sit out. Starting point guard Terry Rozier told reporters: "I think he’s playing. But you didn’t hear it from me." If Smart does return, Shane Larkin will likely be bumped from the rotation.
Apr 24 - 10:29 AM

Donovan Mitchell hit 13-of-28 shots and three 3-pointers for 33 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a block in 39 minutes to lead the Jazz to a 113-96 win over the Thunder in Monday's Game 4, giving the Jazz a 3-1 lead in the series.

Mitchell broke Karl Malone's team playoff scoring record for a rookie with his 33 points tonight, as Malone scored 31 points in a game back in 1986. These two teams hate each other and there were six technical fouls handed out tonight, but Mitchell managed to stay out of most of the drama. He doesn't look like a rookie, and really hasn't all year, and the Jazz will look to put away the Thunder in Oklahoma City in Game 5 on Wednesday. However, a more likely scenario would be the Jazz ending the series in Game 6 back at home. Mitchell is a much needed offensive force on a team that thrives by playing defense, and this series has been the most entertaining matchup of the playoffs thus far.
Apr 24 - 1:18 AM

James Harden hit 12-of-26 shots, five 3-pointers and 7-of-7 free throws on his way to 36 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block in Monday's 119-100 win over the Wolves in Game 4, giving Houston a 3-1 lead in the series.

The Rockets scored 50 points (and hit nine 3-pointers) in the third quarter, which was the second most points in a quarter of a playoff game of all time, as the 1962 Lakers scored 51 points in a quarter. The Wolves only scored 20 in that one, turning a one-point deficit for Minnesota into a 31-point lead for the Rockets, who never looked back. Harden didn't really look like himself in Games 2 and 3, but was back to his old tricks tonight. The Rockets will look to end this series at home on Wednesday.
Apr 23 - 10:52 PM

Jeff Teague (jammed finger) will return to Game 4 on Monday.

He went back to the locker room for a few minutes, but returned with his right pinky finger taped up. Teague should be good to go the rest of the evening.
Source: Wolves PR
Apr 23 - 8:40 PM

Marcus Smart (thumb) is being listed as questionable for Tuesday's Game 5 against Milwaukee.

Smart said that the plan was for him to get back to the court for Game 6, so we'd consider him closer to the doubtful tag for Tuesday's game. Either way, he's on the cusp of a return, and once he does get back out there, Shane Larkin could drop from the rotation entirely. Check back for another update following Tuesday morning's shootaround.
Apr 23 - 5:17 PM

Domantas Sabonis was terrific in the Pacers' tough Game 4 loss, hitting 9-of-12 shots for a team-high 19 points, six rebounds and one 3-pointer.

Sabonis was thrust into a bigger role with Myles Turner in foul trouble, and he rose to the occasion with strong play at both ends in 25 minutes of action. Victor Oladipo is cruising toward Most Improved Player honors, but let's not forget the leap made by the other guy Indiana acquired in the Paul George trade -- Sabonis improved in every facet of the game this season and gives Indy a safety net on nights like this when Myles Turner is limited.
Apr 22 - 11:50 PM

Victor Oladipo shot just 5-of-20 from the field for 17 points on Sunday, adding six rebounds, five assists, three 3-pointers and two blocks in the Pacers' 104-100 defeat.

The Cavs didn't give Oladipo much breathing room offensively, and even when he did get clean looks they just weren't falling. One of his few makes was a lucky bank-shot on a 3-pointer, but on the plus side he sank 4-of-5 free throws with a relatively modest three turnovers -- he came in averaging 5.0 per game in the first round. Indiana ceded homecourt advantage with the loss, but fans of entertaining NBA games aren't complaining.
Apr 22 - 11:49 PM

Kevin Love picked up his second foul just 90 seconds into Sunday's game, which he finished with five points on 2-of-10 shooting, 11 rebounds, two steals and one block in 29 minutes.

Love is playing with a partially torn ligament in his left thumb. It hasn't cost him any time but he's struggled to make a consistent impact in the series. After attempting zero shots in the third quarter of Game 3, Love vowed to "find different ways to try and get the ball ... I need to go get it and just need to be more ... vocal in calling for it." His overall attempts dipped tonight but that was mostly due to the foul trouble, and the Cavs will continue to brainstorm ways to keep him engaged offensively.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 22 - 11:47 PM




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