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  • NBA notebook: Pacers part ways with Vogel
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Frank Vogel will not be fired, but the Indiana Pacers asked him not to stay.

    • "Frank's not getting fired. His contract is up and I just made the decision not to renew it," Pacers president Larry Bird said at a press conference Thursday morning.

      Vogel became head coach on an interim basis Jan. 30, 2011, replacing Jim O'Brien and was granted the full-time job July 6, 2011. Vogel compiled a 250-181 record, five NBA playoff appearances, two Central Division championships and two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.

      Bird said Vogel asked repeatedly to be allowed to stay during a 30-minute conversation Thursday morning after they spoke previously on Wednesday.

      Bird said the Pacers will do what is necessary financially to get the right guy, but expectations are unchanged building around Paul George.

      --Steph Curry did not participate in three-on-three drills or scrimmage with the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, and coach Steve Kerr deemed the reigning NBA MVP unlikely to play in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers on Saturday in Portland, Ore.

      Curry was present for the practice session but did not appear to participate in any segment of the workout, shooting from a stationary position and giving no indication he was ready to test his ailing knee.

      Diagnosed with a sprained knee ligament on April 24, Curry sat out the final two games of the first-round series against the Houston Rockets and missed the two Warriors wins over the Trail Blazers in Oakland, Calif.

      The Warriors' initial timetable for Curry was to merely re-evaluate his status on May 9, two weeks from the date that general manager Bob Myers confirmed the severity of Curry's injury.

      --Washington Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall underwent surgery on both knees, the team announced.

      Wall underwent surgery on his left knee to remove calcium deposits. He also had an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee to clean out loose bodies.

      Wall had issues with both knees over the second half of last season. The surgery was performed in Cleveland by Dr. Richard D. Parker.

      Wall, 25, averaged 19.9 points and 10.2 assists last season with 49 double-doubles in 77 games. The timing of the surgeries figures to knock him out of the Olympics. Wall is one of 30 finalists for the team.

      --The Philadelphia 76ers named Marc Eversley as vice president of player personnel and appointed Ned Cohen as associate vice president and chief of staff, the team announced Thursday.

      The 76ers also promoted Brandon Williams to vice president of basketball administration.

      Eversley was vice president of player personnel for the Washington Wizards over the past three years. Cohen has worked in various roles in the NBA front office since 2004, while Williams has worked for the 76ers since 2013.

  • Curry appears doubtful to return Saturday
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Steph Curry did not participate in three-on-three drills or scrimmage with the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, and coach Steve Kerr deemed the reigning NBA MVP unlikely to play in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers on Saturday in Portland, Ore.

    • Curry was present for the practice session but did not appear to participate in any segment of the workout, shooting from a stationary position and giving no indication he was ready to test his ailing knee.

      Diagnosed with a sprained knee ligament on April 24, Curry sat out the final two games of the first-round series against the Houston Rockets and missed the two Warriors wins over the Trail Blazers in Oakland, Calif.

      With three full days between Games 2 and 3, Kerr did not rule Curry out entirely but continues to give the company line for a status report of "doubtful."

      "Everything has gone very smoothly. He hasn't had any setbacks," Kerr said.

      The Warriors' initial timetable for Curry was to merely re-evaluate his status on May 9, two weeks from the date that general manager Bob Myers confirmed the severity of Curry's injury.

  • 76ers add front office executives
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    The Philadelphia 76ers named Marc Eversley as vice president of player personnel and appointed Ned Cohen as associate vice president and chief of staff, the team announced Thursday.

    • The 76ers also promoted Brandon Williams to vice president of basketball administration.

      Eversley was vice president of player personnel for the Washington Wizards over the past three years. Cohen has worked in various roles in the NBA front office since 2004, while Williams has worked for the 76ers since 2013.

      "I am very excited about the opportunity to bolster our front office through the addition of two eminently respected and seasoned professionals," Philadelphia president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Marc's distinguished eye for talent along with his ability to relate to and connect with players has set him apart in such an important sector of the industry.

      "Ned's overall knowledge of the league, his expertise on a wide range of topics, and his ability to manage high-level issues will be very beneficial to our management team."

      Colangelo was hired in his role in April.

  • Wizards PG Wall undergoes surgery on both knees
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Washington Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall underwent surgery on both knees, the team announced on Thursday.

    • Wall underwent surgery on his left knee to remove calcium deposits. He also had an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee to clean out loose bodies.

      Wall had issues with both knees over the second half of last season. The surgery was performed in Cleveland by Dr. Richard D. Parker.

      "John's procedure went very well and should allow him to play without pain once he has completed his rehabilitation," Parker said in a statement. "We have worked closely with the Wizards' medical and athletic training staff throughout this process to develop the plan he will need to follow this summer in order to resume his normal basketball activities."

      Wall, 25, averaged 19.9 points and 10.2 assists last season with 49 double-doubles in 77 games.

      The timing of the surgeries figures to knock him out of the Olympics. Wall is one of 30 finalists for the team.

      "I am determined to lead this team back to the playoffs and getting healthy is the best way for me to accomplish that," Wall said in a statement. "I can promise the fans, my teammates and the organization that I will be focused on that goal throughout the summer and it will drive me to do everything I can to be ready for next season."

      Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said Wall's long-term health was a factor in the procedures as well as having him ready for next season.

      "John has been a true warrior for us throughout his career and we're confident that his work ethic will have him back leading the team as soon as possible," Grunfeld said in a statement.

  • Vogel gone, Pacers go 'different direction'
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, May 5, 2016

    Frank Vogel will not be fired, but the Indiana Pacers asked him not to stay.

    • "Frank's not getting fired. His contract is up and I just made the decision not to renew it," Pacers president Larry Bird said at a press conference Thursday morning.

      Vogel became head coach on an interim basis Jan. 30, 2011, replacing Jim O'Brien and was granted the full-time job July 6, 2011. Vogel compiled a 250-181 record, five NBA playoff appearances, two Central Division championships and two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.

      Bird said Vogel asked repeatedly to be allowed to stay during a 30-minute conversation Thursday morning after they spoke previously on Wednesday.

      "We know he'll be successful down the road and end up getting a job, but for us, I just feel it's time to move in a different direction," Bird said.

      The belief from management was that Vogel lost his voice in the locker room. Bird ruled out former Boston Celtics teammate Kevin McHale and did not offer any other thoughts on specific coaches he is interested in hiring.

      Bird said the Pacers will do what is necessary financially to get the right guy, but expectations are unchanged building around Paul George.

      "I expect us to be better, and we will be," Bird said. "Paul coming off an injury and Myles (Turner) making strides, we should be better. What you add to that mix, the franchise is in good shape with some of the guys we have. I always expect greatness."

      The Pacers plan to be aggressive in free agency, Bird said.

      "We know through the grapevine some players who would like to come here and play," Bird said. "You can't talk to players this time of year, but you hear it. The new coach might have some ideas of players he'd like."

      Though he has regular contact with George via text message and will discuss the process with the All-Star forward before it wraps up, Bird said didn't want to bother players with messages about what they want to see happen during the search.

      "I think it's important to get someone they all respect," Bird said.

  • Bosh declared out for rest of Heat season
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    Chris Bosh's season is officially over.

    • The Miami Heat announced in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that the veteran forward will not return during the NBA playoffs.

      "The Heat, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible," the team said.

      Bosh missed the final 29 games of the regular season after a blood clot in a leg was detected before the NBA All-Star Game break, but he had expressed a desire to return to the court during the playoffs. He also was sidelined because of the same medical issue the previous season.

      The medical concern is that the clots can hinder breathing and heart function. As part of the treatment, Bosh was placed on blood thinners, which could lead to internal bleeding should Bosh be struck by a hard blow.

      The National Basketball Players Association issued a statement a day earlier, saying "our top priority is Chris' health and well-being. We have spoken with Chris and his agent, and have reached out to the Miami Heat. We are hopeful that all parties involved can meet as soon as possible to resolve the situation."

      The 11-time All-Star traveled with the team to Toronto on Wednesday, but he has refused to comment on the situation.

  • James welcomes matchup with Wade, Heat
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, May 4, 2016

    LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of an Eastern Conference playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, but that hasn't stopped him from thinking ahead to a potential matchup against his former team.

    • The Cavs, who lead the Hawks 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, could face the Miami Heat in the conference finals later this month. The Heat also lead 1-0 in their series against the Toronto Raptors.

      Game 2 in the Cavs-Hawks series is Wednesday night.

      Asked after Wednesday morning's shootaround if he was pondering the possibility of facing Dwyane Wade and his former team, James answered, "Naturally, of course. "That's since I've came back. It'd be great to play against those guys in the postseason.

      "Throughout my whole career, I've always wanted to go against Wade in a playoff series. We've always talked about it even before we became teammates in '10. It's not been heavy on my mind, but it's crossed my mind throughout my whole career."

      James and Wade won two NBA titles together with the Heat and went to the NBA Finals four straight years from 2011 to 2014.

      Now in his second season with the Cavs since he returned in 2014, James is just 4-5 against the Heat during the regular season.

      James said he was inspired by Wade's effort in the final game of a first-round series against the Charlotte Hornets and in the series opener against Toronto on Tuesday night.

      "Any time one of my best friends is able to go out there and perform the way he performs, it's definitely motivating," James said. "I was looking forward to Game 1 after watching him in Game 6, you know, the way he was able to close that game out. They all gritted last night. Not only Miami, but Toronto. It was a slugfest watching that game and they were able to pull it out as well."

  • Report: Warriors G Curry receives platelet-rich plasma treatment
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry said he received platelet-rich plasma treatment to promote healing on his sprained right knee, the San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday.

    • Curry hurt his knee while slipping to the floor during Game 4 of the Warriors' first-round playoff series with the Houston Rockets. Golden State eliminated Houston in Game 5. Curry sat out the first two games of the team's Western Conference semifinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers, on Sunday and Tuesday.

      Before Game 1 against Portland, Curry said he hoped to return for Game 3 on Saturday.

      Curry missed the second and third games of the Houston series due to a sore right ankle.

      During the regular season, Curry, the league's reigning MVP, led the NBA with an average of 30.1 points and shattered his own league record by sinking 402 3-pointers.

      According to the Mercury News, Warriors general manager Bob Myers told 95.7 The Game on Tuesday that he knew Curry opted for platelet-rich plasma treatment, but he declined to discuss the issue further.

  • Heat say Bosh still out, contrary to star's wishes
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    The specter of Chris Bosh's future hangs over Miami as the Heat open the second round of playoffs on Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors.

    • Bosh has been sidelined since the All-Star break because a blood clot was found in his left leg. Bosh's 2015 season also was curtailed because of a blood clot.

      The 11-time All-Star missed the final 29 games of the regular season and the entire postseason, but wants to return to action.

      The power forward/center was averaging 19 points per game before being sidelined. And since then, very little information about his health has been released by both Bosh and the Heat.

      On March 10, Bosh did release a statement giving the public a glimpse of his health and his belief that he would play again this season.

      "I know there have been many questions regarding my health and when I will play again. My situation this year has never been life-threatening. I am feeling great and currently I do not have deep-vein thrombosis.

      "Together with the Miami Heat, I am working with doctors, exploring the best precautionary treatment options and taking every necessary step to make sure I am healthy for myself, my family and my team. I have been working out, training with the team, watching film of the games, walking through plays and have attended home games despite not being visible to the public.

      But the Heat have been steadfast, saying the 32-year-old remains out indefinitely.

      And while the team might have Bosh's best interest at heart, he wants to play. To achieve that end, Bosh has enlisted the help of the player's union.

      On Tuesday, the union issued a statement.

      "Our top priority is Chris' health and well-being. We have spoken with Chris and his agent, and have reached out to the Miami Heat. We are hopeful that all parties involved can meet as soon as possible to resolve the situation."

      ESPN's Brian Windhorst, appearing on "Mike & Mike," said that playing Bosh could be potentially life-threatening.

      "The Heat would love to have (Bosh) back, but you just can't play when you're on blood-thinners, you just can't. And from what I understand, the Heat believe that there's no team in the league that would play Chris Bosh under the circumstances that he's facing right now."

  • NBA notebook: NBA admits refs erred at end of Spurs-Thunder game
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    The NBA admitted officials on the floor missed a foul call late in a Western Conference playoff game on an inbounds play that they had never seen before Monday night.

    • But that was not the only mistake. There were four other incorrect non-calls in the final 13.5 seconds of the Oklahoma City Thunder's 98-97 victory over Spurs in San Antonio, the league announced in its report on Tuesday.

      The first missed call came against Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who should have received a delay of game for stepping on the sideline during the final inbounds play.

      That was followed by the most controversial play, when Thunder guard Dion Waiters used an elbow to push Ginobili away to create space for his pass to teammate Kevin Durant. The league said in its report that an offensive foul should have been called on Waiters.

      Once the ball was inbounded, Danny Green took the ball away from Durant. But the league said fouls were missed on Spurs guard Patty Mills and forward Kawhi Leonard.

      Then, after Mills missed a 3-point shot that would have won the game, Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge came up with the ball under the basket, but he was grabbed by the jersey and held by Thunder forward Serge Ibaka. The review indicated that a shooting foul should have been called by Ibaka with 2.6 seconds left.

      --As the Kings shop for their fourth head coach since the end of the 2014 season, the list of candidates to replace George Karl in Sacramento is multiplying.

      David Blatt, who took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015 but was let go in January and replaced by top assistant Tyronn Lue, interviewed with general manager Vlade Divac this week.

      There are a number of familiar names coming in to meet Divac behind Blatt, including Charlotte Hornets assistant coach Patrick Ewing, former Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale, former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek and former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

      Kings assistant coach Corliss Williamson was also scheduled to be interviewed for the position.

      --Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was named winner of the Magic Johnson Award, which goes to the player who best combines excellence on the court with cooperation and dignity in dealing with the media and the public.

      The award, announced Tuesday, is given out by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The other finalists were New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap.

      Curry, a point guard, helped the Warriors to a 73-9 record -- best in NBA history -- and he led the league in scoring (30.1) and 3-point baskets (402).

      The award was created in 2001 and named after Johnson, considered the ideal model for the award.

      --Blake Griffin isn't going anywhere.

      The popular trade target will be with the Los Angeles Clippers next season, coach Doc Rivers said.

      Griffin missed 41 games and logged just five games before the playoffs, where he injured his quadriceps again and point guard Chris Paul went down with a broken hand.

      The Clippers fourth consecutive season of 50-plus wins ended in another playoff loss. Rivers said part of it was health, but he thinks the entire team could be back.

  • Refs acknowledge errors in Thunder-Spurs finish
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    NBA referees admitted Tuesday officials on the floor missed a foul call late in a Western Conference playoff game on an inbounds play that they had never seen before Monday night.

    • But that was not the only mistake. There were four other incorrect noncalls in the final 13.5 seconds of the Oklahoma City Thunder's 98-97 victory over Spurs in San Antonio, the league announced in its report on Tuesday.

      The first missed call came against Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who should have received a delay of game for stepping on the sideline during the final inbounds play.

      That was followed by the most controversial play, when Thunder guard Dion Waiters used an elbow to push Ginobili away to create space for his pass to teammate Kevin Durant. The league said in its report that an offensive foul should have been called on Waiters.

      Once the ball was inbounded, Danny Green took the ball away from Durant. But the league said fouls were missed on Spurs guard Patty Mills and forward Kawhi Leonard.

      Then, after Mills missed a 3-point shot that would have won the game, Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge came up with the ball under the basket, but he was grabbed by the jersey and held by Thunder forward Serge Ibaka. The review indicated that a shooting foul should have been called on Ibaka with 2.6 seconds left.

      The referees union tweeted Tuesday about the no-call on Waiters that they would use the play for future training. But that acknowledgement did not change the outcome of Oklahoma City's victory over San Antonio to tie the best-of-seven series at one win each.

      Crew chief Ken Mauer said after the game that upon further review an offensive foul should have been called on Waiters.

      "On the floor, we did not see a foul on the play," Mauer told a pool reporter. "However, upon review we realize and we agree we should have had an offensive foul on the play. It's a play we've never seen before, ever. We should have had an offensive foul on the play."

      Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and San Antonio players angrily left the court shouting at the officials.

      "I don't know what it is, to tell you the truth, what type of a violation it is," Ginobili said Monday night. "It's got to be something. But again, it's not that play that decided anything because we got the steal, we got a shot, we got an offensive rebound.

      "I really don't know. I've never seen a play like that. I don't know what should have been called or if it should have been called anything. It doesn't matter. It's over. We're not gonna be able to change it. Nobody's gonna change it. It's 1-1. We've got to go to OKC and try to win a game."

  • Warriors PG Curry wins Magic Johnson Award
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was named winner of the Magic Johnson Award, which goes to the player who best combines excellence on the court with cooperation and dignity in dealing with the media and the public.

    • The award, announced Tuesday, is given out by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. The other finalists were New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap.

      Curry, a point guard, helped the Warriors to a 73-9 record -- best in NBA history -- and he led the league in scoring (30.1) and 3-point baskets (402).

      The award was created in 2001 and named after Johnson, considered the ideal model for the award.

  • Clippers strive to keep core together
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Blake Griffin isn't going anywhere.

    • The popular trade target will be with the Los Angeles Clippers next season, coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday.

      Griffin missed much of the season because of quad and hand injuries, the latter a self-inflicted wound resulting from landing a punch in a fight with assistant equipment manager Matias Testi during an argument at a Toronto restaurant. The Clippers suspended Griffin four games because of the Jan. 23 fight, which occurred as he was nearing a return from a quad injury.

      "We have a priority of trying to just keep making our team better. Obviously because of the injuries -- Blake's in particular -- we literally don't know what we could have done. Even during the playoffs, he still wasn't 100 percent," Rivers said.

      Griffin missed 41 games and logged just five games before the playoffs, where he injured his quadriceps again and point guard Chris Paul went down with a broken hand.

      The Clippers fourth consecutive season of 50-plus wins ended in another playoff loss. Rivers said part of it was health, but he thinks the entire team could be back.

      "I think they all want to come back, and we're going to make a strong effort to bring all our guys back. The good news about the free-agent guys who are opting out on their contracts -- as they should, because everyone knows what we can spend and what we can't spend -- I can't find one who doesn't want to be here," he said.

      Rivers said he would not trade Griffin, even if an attractive sign-and-trade opportunity comes about with a player such as Kevin Durant, the top available player on the market in July. Paul signed a five-year, $107 million extension in 2013 but the deal includes an opt-out clause this summer.

      Rivers said Paul will exercise the opt-out but wants to remain with the Clippers.

      Center DeAndre Jordan is not available via trade, either, Rivers said. Jordan infamously backed out of a verbal agreement with the Dallas Mavericks in July 2015 when Rivers, Griffin, J.J. Redick and others showed up at his home on the eve of the signing to change his mind.

  • Kings' coaching candidates list extensive
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    As the Kings shop for their fourth head coach since the end of the 2014 season, the list of candidates to replace George Karl in Sacramento is multiplying.

    • David Blatt, who took the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015 but was let go in January and replaced by top assistant Tyronn Lue, interviewed with general manager Vlade Divac this week.

      There are a number of familiar names coming in to meet Divac behind Blatt, including Charlotte Hornets assistant coach Patrick Ewing, former Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale, former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek and former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

      Karl was 44-68 in one-plus season with the Kings, who hired him to replace Tyrone Corbin.

      Kings assistant coach Corliss Williamson was also scheduled to be interviewed for the position.

      Indiana Pacers assistant coach Nate McMillan could be interviewed.

      The Kings completed interviews with several other candidates with NBA coaching experience. Former Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, former Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro and former New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson met with the team last week.

  • NBA roundup: Thunder pull even with Spurs
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO -- Russell Westbrook scored 29 points and handed out 10 assists, and Kevin Durant added 28 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 98-97 Monday in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal and tied the best-of-seven series at one win apiece.

    • Durant canned a floating jump shot off an assist from Westbrook with 33 seconds left to give Oklahoma City a 96-91 lead, but the Spurs responded with an Aldridge 3-pointer, just his second of the season. Westbrook then made two free throws with 18.3 seconds left to push Oklahoma City's lead back to four points, at 98-94.

      Aldridge (41 points) hit three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt with 13.5 seconds left to bring the Spurs to within 98-97.

      On the ensuing inbounds play, San Antonio's Danny Green stole the ball from Durant, and it was eventually passed in the corner to Patty Mills, who missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left. The two teams scrambled for the ball under the basket, but the Spurs could not get off another shot.

      Cavaliers 104, Hawks 93

      CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 25 points and came up with two big steals late in the game as Cleveland continued its dominance over Atlanta to win the opener of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

      It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Cavs over the Hawks after sweeping them in the conference finals last season and winning all three meetings in the regular season this season.

      Kyrie Irving had 21 points and eight assists for the Cavaliers, and Kevin Love had 17 points and 11 rebounds despite a tough 4-of-17 shooting night. Tristan Thompson had 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who improved to 9-0 all-time against the Hawks in the postseason.

      Dennis Schroder scored a career-playoff-high 27 points for the Hawks, who went more than four minutes late in the game without a field goal as the Cavs pulled away. Paul Millsap had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Kent Bazemore had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta.

  • Pacers undecided whether Vogel will be retained
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, May 3, 2016

    Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said in an interview Monday that he is undecided about bringing head coach Frank Vogel back for a seventh season.

    • "I don't know what's going to happen," Bird told the Indianapolis Star, adding that a decision will be made following his conference call with Pacers owner Herb Simon.

      Bird said there is no timeline for the decision, but he wants to move quickly to allow Vogel to seek employment elsewhere if a move is made.

      Indiana has gone 250-181 in six seasons under Vogel, who took over as the team's head coach following the firing of Jim O'Brien in 2011.

      Under Vogel, the Pacers have made the playoffs five of the last six years. Indiana made back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals appearances in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

      Vogel served as the head coach of the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

      This season, the seventh-seeded Pacers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs following an 89-84 loss to the second-seeded Toronto Raptors in Game 7 on Sunday.

  • NBA roundup: Heat, Raptors win Game 7s
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    MIAMI -- Goran Dragic had a game-high 25 points as the Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals, routing the Charlotte Hornets 106-73 in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.

    • The Heat advance to face the Raptors in the second round, with Game 1 on Tuesday in Toronto.

      Miami, which never trailed, also got 15 points from Luol Deng, 12 points from Dwyane Wade and 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks from Hassan Whiteside.

      In franchise history, Miami is 6-3 in Game 7s. Before Sunday, the Heat's most recent Game 7 came in 2013, when they beat the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA championship.

      Charlotte, which just a few days ago had a 3-2 series lead, failed to close out the Heat. Hornets guard Kemba Walker, who had 37 points against Miami on Friday, was held to nine points on 3-for-16 shooting. He also had a team-high three turnovers.

      Raptors 89, Pacers 84

      TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points and Toronto defeated Indiana in the seventh game of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

      The Raptors led most of the way and used a 28-20 third-quarter surge to take a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter. Indiana had the ball with 26.9 seconds to play and the Toronto lead still at three, but the Raptors made the stop. DeRozan sank two free throws to stretch the lead to five with 6.5 seconds left to clinch the game.

      Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Toronto, Norman Powell scored 13 points, and Patrick Patterson had 11. Kyle Lowry added 11 points and nine assists.

      Paul George scored 26 points and had 12 rebounds for Indiana. George Hill added 19 and Monta Ellis 15. George broke Indiana's playoff-series record with 191 points, topping the mark of 181 set by Reggie Miller in the 1995 Eastern Conference finals.

      Warriors 118, Trail Blazers 106

      OAKLAND, Calif. -- Klay Thompson bombed in a game-high 37 points and Draymond Green recorded his second career postseason triple-double as Golden State ran away early from Portland en route to a victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

      Hitting four 3-pointers, Thompson poured in 18 of his 37 points in the first quarter, during which he single-handedly outscored the Trail Blazers 18-17. For the game, Green produced 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in 37 minutes. The Warriors were again without reigning league MVP Stephen Curry (knee).

      Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 30 points but shot just 8-for-26 while being covered mostly by Thompson.

  • NBA notebook: Curry may return for Game 3
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    The Golden State Warriors just might see star guard Stephen Curry on the court for Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    • Curry missed Sunday's series opener due to a sprained MCL in his right knee and coach Steve Kerr said before Sunday's contest that it is "pretty slim" that Curry would be able to play in Tuesday's Game 2.

      But Game 3 isn't until Saturday in Portland, giving Curry a chance to further his rehab and test the knee in 5-on-5 scrimmages.

      "It just depends how his week goes," Kerr said. "We'll just monitor him and see how it goes and hopefully get him back at some point. ... It's nice to have that long break between (games) 2 and 3."

      The Warriors beat the Trail Blazers in Game 1 Sunday.

      --Luke Walton admits it was a difficult decision to leave the Warriors but feels he is up to the challenge to take over as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

      "It was a tough decision, but I didn't have to sleep on it because I already kind of thought it out," said Walton, who addressed the media Saturday for the first time since being hired by the Lakers. "Obviously, I love that the past two years, the players here are incredible, not just talent-wise, but the people they are. I love the coaching staff I work with here."

      NBA coaching sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that Walton landed a five-year deal with the Lakers, with four years guaranteed, at an annual salary between $5 million and $6 million, depending on incentives.

      Walton served as the Warriors' interim head coach at the start of this season and led the team to a 39-4 record, including an NBA-record 24-0 start, before coach Steve Kerr returned after recovering from back surgery.

      -- Longtime NBA coach George Karl reflected on his rocky tenure with the Sacramento Kings, including his clashes with star center DeMarcus Cousins and the team's front office.

      The Kings fired Karl on April 14.

      "I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz (Cousins)," Karl told the Sacramento Bee in an interview at his home. "Some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradable.

      "I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded."

      "Eighty percent of the time, I think the Kings did what had to be done," Karl told the newspaper. "But I'm old-school enough to think that a coach has to feel powerful, has to feel supported -- and I never felt that level of support. ... Vlade (Divac, the Kings general manager) has a helluva task ahead of him. The roster needs to be tinkered with. He is going to be in for an NBA free agency unlike anything we have ever seen."

  • Curry resumes light shooting, looking toward Game 3
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    The Golden State Warriors just might see star guard Stephen Curry on the court for Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    • Curry missed Sunday's series opener due to a sprained MCL in his right knee and coach Steve Kerr said before the contest that it is "pretty slim" that Curry would be able to play in Tuesday's Game 2.

      But Game 3 isn't until Saturday in Portland, giving Curry a chance to further his rehab and test the knee in 5-on-5 scrimmages.

      "It just depends how his week goes," Kerr said. "We'll just monitor him and see how it goes and hopefully get him back at some point. ... It's nice to have that long break between (games) 2 and 3."

      Curry injured the knee in Game 4 of the first-round series against the Houston Rockets on April 24. He underwent an MRI exam -- that's when the ligament injury was diagnosed -- and general manager Bob Myers said the reigning MVP would miss at least two weeks.

      Curry is seemingly ahead of that timetable in that he has already began light shooting. On the other hand, he still needs to test the knee with planting and change-of-direction drills before he can be cleared to play.

      "It's all speculation," Kerr said. "As Bob said from the beginning, the two-week timetable was just kind of a random guess more than anything based on past history of these MCL injuries. So, we don't really know, but that's the hope, is that by the middle of next week we'll get him back in more basketball-type movements."

      Curry has expressed that he's aware he won't be 100 percent when he returns. Sitting out playoff games is hard for him but he said he is trying to focus on the efforts of his teammates.

      "I had the utmost faith and confidence in the 14 other guys on this team to go out and show who they are and what they're capable of, and they've obviously done that," Curry told reporters. "I only played 38 minutes in the first round and we finished it in five. They're a very capable group without me.

      "Obviously I'd like to be out there with them and I feel like we're a better team when I'm out there, but the way that they play and the way they have that confidence and swagger about them, it's fun to watch. We're going to need that, the same energy, focus and confidence going forward to start this next round."

      Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts wasn't buying into the notion that his club has received a major break with Curry sitting on the sidelines.

      "They're a great team without Steph," Stotts said. "They're a historically great team with him."

  • Karl reflects after firing by Kings, clashes with Cousins
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Longtime NBA coach George Karl reflected on his rocky tenure with the Sacramento Kings, including his clashes with star center DeMarcus Cousins and the team's front office.

    • The Kings fired Karl on April 14, one day after the franchise completed its 10th consecutive losing season (33-49). Overall, Karl went 44-68 in parts of two seasons with the Kings.

      Part of Karl's downfall with the Kings was his inability to get along with Cousins.

      "I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz," Karl told the Sacramento Bee in an interview at his home. "Some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradeable.

      "I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded."

      Karl nearly lost his job on multiple occasions during the season before general manager Vlade Divac ultimately decided to make the coaching change last month, sources told ESPN.

      Karl told the Sacramento Bee that he felt a lack of support from Divac and the rest of the front office.

      "Eighty percent of the time, I think the Kings did what had to be done," Karl told the newspaper. "But I'm old-school enough to think that a coach has to feel powerful, has to feel supported -- and I never felt that level of support. ... Vlade has a helluva task ahead of him. The roster needs to be tinkered with. He is going to be in for an NBA free agency unlike anything we have ever seen.

      "If the decision is made to keep Cuz, you have to put the right players around him. But it can't be about Cousins. You have to make basketball decisions."

      Karl, 63, praised Cousins' talent throughout the interview.

      "Whether or not they trade Cuz, they have to empower their coach," Karl said. "They have to let him coach. It takes a few years to build a program. It becomes a culture, an energy force.

      "Vivek (owner Vivek Ranadive) wanted magic to happen. But in the NBA, magic happens once in a while -- and usually is associated with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan. I think you can win with him (Cousins), but my thing is, how long is it going to take to get there? Then, how long before you become a winning team? I think there are faster ways to go."

  • Walton feels ready for Lakers' challenge
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Luke Walton admits it was a difficult decision to leave the Golden State Warriors but feels he is up to the challenge to take over as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

    • The Lakers reached a contract agreement on a multiyear deal Friday night with the 36-year-old former player and Golden State assistant coach. Walton will remain on the Warriors' staff for the remainder of the team's playoff run. The Warriors opened their second-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

      "It was a tough decision, but I didn't have to sleep on it because I already kind of thought it out," said Walton, who addressed the media Saturday for the first time since being hired by the Lakers. "Obviously, I love that the past two years, the players here are incredible, not just talent-wise, but the people they are. I love the coaching staff I work with here."

      NBA coaching sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that Walton landed a five-year deal with the Lakers, with four years guaranteed, at an annual salary between $5 million and $6 million, depending on incentives.

      Walton served as the Warriors' interim head coach at the start of this season and led the team to a 39-4 record, including an NBA-record 24-0 start, before coach Steve Kerr returned after recovering from back surgery.

      "I was a little nervous about making the phone call because we have such a good thing going here, and I respect (Kerr) so much," Walton said. "But he was blown away. He couldn't believe how quickly it had happened, but he was so excited. It was like two friends talking. He was really, really happy for me, the opportunity. We had that call, and I was at his house three hours later."

      Kerr obviously will miss Walton, the son of Hall of Famer Bill Walton.

      "Luke called me maybe around 4 o'clock or so," Kerr said, "and said, 'I got good news and bad news.' I said, 'What's the good news?' He said, 'The Lakers offered me the job.' I said, 'What's the bad news?' He said, 'I took it.' I said, 'You're right. That is bad news. We're going to miss you.'"

      Kerr was asked what advice he would give to Walton.

      "I'm gonna say it's too bad you don't have Steph and Klay and Draymond anymore," said Kerr, smiling. "You're on your own, pal.

      "No, Luke and I will have a lifetime friendship, and we will undoubtedly share ideas and thoughts, coaching-wise, that kind of thing."

      Walton will be leaving a team that won an NBA-record 73 games this season as the Warriors chase their second straight title.

      The Lakers are coming off a franchise-worst 17-65 season, but Walton said he is ready for the challenge.

      "(The Lakers) laid it all out. They showed what they want to do, players they plan on going after, all that stuff," Walton said. "That's exciting to me. Get to be with one of the greatest organizations in the history of sports, and they're ready and willing to get after it."

      Lakers legend Magic Johnson welcomed the team's new hire.

      "Luke Walton was a champion as a player and an asst. coach and he will bring that championship mindset & attitude to the @Lakers organization," Johnson tweeted Saturday.

  • Curry ruled out of Sunday's game, but Tuesday ...
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, May 1, 2016

    Golden State guard Stephen Curry will watch from the sidelines when the Warriors face the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series on Sunday.

    • But coach Steve Kerr left the door open a slight crack that Curry could play Tuesday night in Game 2.

      "I'd be shocked if he played Tuesday because he hasn't even been out on the floor yet," Kerr told the San Jose Mercury News. "I'm not going to rule him out for Tuesday, but not much of a chance he'd play then."

      If Curry can get back on the practice floor in the next couple of days, Kerr said he could better evaluate his star guard's health.

      Curry suffered a Grade 1 medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee during Game 4 against the Houston Rockets on April 24. He was expected to miss at least two weeks, which would have put his return date around May 9.

      "If he can progress throughout the week, fortunately Game 3 isn't until Saturday," Kerr said. "Maybe we'll get a chance to see him on the court for a couple of days and see what it looks like."

  • Clippers' Pierce 50-50 on retirement
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Paul Pierce of the Los Angeles Clippers was in tears after the Portland TrailBlazers eliminated the Clippers from the NBA playoffs on Friday night and said he is considering retirement after 18 seasons.

    • The 6-7 forward had the least productive season of his career, averaging career-lows of 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 68 games, failing to average in double figures in points for the first time.

      "Each and every year for the last couple of years, I've thought long and hard about walking way from the game," Pierce told reporters. "The process will continue this summer, as I think long and hard, as I step closer to getting older in age, seeing how my body feels, talk to my family. I don't want to make an emotional decision right now, so I'll just take some time off, sit down with my family, and really think about it, think long and hard.

      "It's just gotta hit you one day. You know, you just never know, man. You just don't know, you know what I mean? Right now it's 50-50. I'll see how I feel when I wake up, if I feel like getting ready for next season. If I don't feel that feeling, that fire's not there, it's going to be tough."

      Pierce averaged 20.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in 18 seasons with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and the Clippers, after the Celtics made him the 10th pick of the 1998 NBA Draft as an All-American out of Kansas.

      In 2008, Pierce led the Celtics to the NBA title and was Finals MVP.

      Pierce is under contract with the Clippers for two more seasons. He's scheduled to have a cap hit slightly over $3.5 million both years, with his 2017-18 salary only partially guaranteed,

  • Lakers hire Walton as coach after Warriors' season ends
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Luke Walton is returning to the Los Angeles Lakers as their coach.

    • The Lakers reached a contract agreement on a multiyear deal Friday night with the 36-year-old former player, general manager Mitch Kupchak announced. Walton will become the 26th coach in franchise history.

      Walton, an assistant with Golden State, will remain with the Warriors until the end of their season. Walton served as the interim coach at the start of this season and led the team to a 39-4 record, including an NBA-record 24-0 start, before coach Steve Kerr returned after recovering from back surgery.

      "I loved everything about my time at Golden State and learning from Steve," Walton told ESPN. "I'll forever be grateful to him, the organization and the team. But I have always dreamed of being a head coach and the chance to do that for an organization like the Lakers doesn't come around very often."

      Byron Scott was fired last Sunday after the Lakers struggled to the second-worst record in the NBA this season at 17-65. They were 38-126 in Scott's two seasons as coach.

      "We're excited to bring Luke back to Los Angeles, where we feel he's going to start an outstanding coaching career," Kupchak said in a statement. "He's one of the brightest young coaching minds in the game and we feel fortunate that he'll be leading the on-court future of our team."

      Walton is in his second season with the Warriors. After his 10-year NBA playing career ended, he served as an assistant at the University of Memphis in 2011 and as a player development coach for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA Development League in 2013-14 before joining the Warriors.

      "I'm incredibly happy for Luke," Kerr said. "As we witnessed earlier this season, he has all of the intangibles necessary to be an outstanding head coach in this league, including a terrific understanding of the game and the ability to communicate with a wide range of people. He's certainly ready for this opportunity and I'm confident he'll do a great job with the Lakers once our season is complete."

      As a player, Walton averaged 4.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 564 regular-season games for the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. He played on the Lakers' NBA championship teams in 2009 and 2010.

      "We are thrilled for Luke," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for him to return home and serve as head coach for one of the most storied franchises in sports. Luke has done an incredible job during his two-year stint with our team and has played a significant role in our success, including last year's championship and again this season under some very unique circumstances. We are certainly going to miss Luke after we conclude our playoff run this season, but we wish him the very best with the Lakers."

      Walton's biggest praise came from his father, Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who did so in proud dad fashion by tweeting a picture of Luke as a young child.

      "Who would have ever thought that little Luke Walton would be the head coach of the Lakers, so happy for him," Bill Walton posted Saturday on Twitter.

  • NBA roundup: Trail Blazers eliminate Clippers
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 30, 2016

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 46 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past the Los Angeles Clippers 106-103 Friday night at the Moda Center.

    • Lillard scored 26 points and McCollum added 20 as the Trail Blazers closed out the Clippers in six games in their first-round playoff series.

      Mason Plumlee contributed nine points -- including the deciding three free throws in the final 14.7 seconds -- and grabbed 14 rebounds for Portland, which opens Western Conference semifinals play Sunday at Golden State.

      Jamal Crawford came off the bench for a career playoff-high 32 points for the Clippers, but missed on a driving layup that could have tied the game in the closing seconds. Austin Rivers collected 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds while DeAndre Jordan had 15 points and 20 boards for the losers.

      Heat 97, Hornets 90

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and hit two clutch shots in the final minute, and Miami forced a decisive Game 7 with a victory over Charlotte in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

      Wade's 3-pointer with 46 seconds remaining gave the Heat a 93-88 lead, and then after a Charlotte basket, he hit a fallaway 18-footer with 19.5 seconds left to push the lead back to five.

      The Heat led by as many as 13 in the first half and 12 in the second, thanks to 60 percent shooting from the field in the first half. They went cold in the third quarter but still finished at 45.8 percent.

      Game 7 is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday in Miami.

      Pacers 101, Raptors 83

      INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Indiana used a dominating second half to defeat Toronto in Game 6, tying the best-of-seven series 3-3 and forcing Game 7 on Sunday in Toronto.

      After leading 65-64 late in the third quarter, Indiana used a 32-5 run to increase its lead to 97-69 with 3:02 remaining.

      The Pacers scored the fourth quarter's first six points and led 77-64 with 10:38 remaining, prompting a Toronto timeout. The run became 12-0 for an 83-64 advantage. Indiana shot 64 percent from the field in the second half.