For Irving, no regrets, no second guesses on eve of playoffs

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving cost millions of dollars in salary. He may have cost the Brooklyn Nets any realistic chance of winning the NBA title. His decision not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus put him at the center of the debate and left him unable to play in New York for most … Read more

Pelicans earn 105-101 win over Clippers, claim No. 8 seed

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One franchise player out for the season. A first year head coach. A start of 1-12. The New Orleans Pelicans overcame it all and came back to make the playoffs. Brandon Ingram scored 30 points and the Pelicans rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the frazzled Los Angeles Clippers … Read more

Young’s 38 lift Hawks past Cavs for No. 8 playoff seed

CLEVELAND (AP) — When the final buzzer sounded and Trae Young’s job was done, he slammed the ball into the ground and sent it spinning skyward. She then turned and waved goodbye to the Cleveland fans retiring to the exits. So cold. Ice Trae stings again. Young scored 32 of his 38 points in the … Read more

Experienced Grizzlies feeling confident hosting Timberwolves

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — All-Star shooting guard Ja Morant thinks there’s a big difference between the last postseason and these playoffs for Memphis: The Grizzlies now have playoff value. “Last year we were playing. This year, no,” Morant said. The Grizzlies are young, talented, deep and have more than a little confidence after going from … Read more

Doncic injury looms over 1st-round Mavs-Jazz playoff series

DALLAS (AP) — Just as the Dallas Mavericks finally got home-court advantage in the playoffs for the first time since winning the NBA title 11 years ago, they could face several games without their best player. Star point guard Luka Doncic injured his left calf in the final game of the regular season and did … Read more

Confident, not cocky: Loaded Suns ready for playoff run

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns have every reason to be confident they can make another deep playoff run. They have the No. 1 seed overall, they’re talented, they’re healthy and their roster has a lot of continuity and postseason experience after advancing to the Finals last season. Confident, but not cocky, as they’ve identified … Read more

With Bulls to face Bucks, LaVine finally gets playoff taste

CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine has an Olympic gold medal, All-Star selections the past two years and a pair of dunk championships. When it comes to postseason appearances, his resume has one glaring omission. And with the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs, that’s about to change. “About time,” he said between laughs. LaVine finally gets … Read more

Antetokounmpo eager to win title a ‘second time, third time’

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledges there is pressure in the NBA playoffs and after winning the first title, “your mind wants to win a second or third time.” Antetokounmpo, a top contender for MVP again this season, likes to compare playing basketball to creating a work of art and will attempt … Read more

Cavs get second shot at playoffs, must slow Hawks’ Young

CLEVELAND (AP) — Many of them rookies in the big NBA games, the young Cavaliers took their packs in Brooklyn the other night and missed their first shot at the playoffs. Fortunately, they have another chance. The problem is that Trae Young does it too. Atlanta’s high-scoring All-Star guard will be THE defensive focal point … Read more

Clippers looking to eke out playoff berth vs Pelicans

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals to a last-minute play-in game, the Los Angeles Clippers have been a surprisingly resilient group. They finished two games over .500 despite missing superstar Kawhi Leonard all season and losing Paul George for the most part. They traded for Norman Powell in … Read more