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News from and

  • NBA playoff picture update: What's still up for grabs on the last night of the 2013-14 season (Ball Don't Lie)

    The 2013-14 NBA regular season ends Wednesday, and all 30 teams will be in action on the final night of the 82-game campaign. For 14 squads, it'll offer an opportunity to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehn and goodbye — until the draft lottery, at least. For the 16 teams that'll enter postseason play this weekend, it offers one more potential pitfall, one last night to survive without incident or injury before loading up for the long, arduous journey to hoisting the O'Brien trophy come late June. That journey will begin with opening-round quarterfinal matchups, a number of which have yet to be officially determined and will be locked in on the final night of the season. Here's a quick refresher on what's up for grabs and left to play for as we head into the 15-game Wednesday that will set the table for the playoffs. ***

  • Nets-Cavaliers Preview (The Associated Press)

    While they're trying to balance between being rested and ready for the postseason, the Brooklyn Nets still have some business to take care of in their regular-season finale. The Nets again look to clinch the Eastern Conference's fifth seed and try to avoid a fourth loss in five games Wednesday night at the lottery-bound Cleveland Cavaliers. Although they have the East's second-best record at 34-16 in 2014, the Nets (44-37) have gone 1-3 since a 6-1 stretch following Tuesday's 109-98 loss to an eliminated New York team that played without star Carmelo Anthony. Alan Anderson and Shaun Livingston sat out with injuries and Mirza Teletovic is away from the team after his wife gave birth to twins, but all are expected to be ready for the playoffs.

  • Iman Shumpert shakes Paul Pierce to floor, throws down off-glass alley-oop as Knicks beat Nets (Video) (Ball Don't Lie)

    New York Knicks swingman Iman Shumpert's third NBA season has been a fairly sizable disappointment. Things started off poorly, thanks to a secret offseason knee surgery , and never seemed to get on track. He got mad at himself for unfocused play during the preseason and decided to get a mea culpa preseason haircut , which seemed to have the Samsonian effect of turning him from a swaggering Johnny Bravo type into something more like, I don't know, a 6-foot-5 Piglet at points. The 2011 first-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech repeatedly found himself included in trade rumors and chatter . It never stopped feeling weird to see Shumpert shopped as New York's best trade asset at the same time as his head coach continued to slough him off , his star teammate got into it with him on the bench , and he made costly late-game errors (in the course of playing good defense on a then-white-hot All-Star, it's worth noting) that made everyone keep doubting him. His confidence all but disappeared, leading to the least productive offensive season of his three-year career — he entered Monday's action making a career-low 38.3 percent of his field goals (including just 33.9 percent from 3-point range, down from a strong 40.2 percent mark last season) and scoring a career-low 9.1 points per 36 minutes of floor time — and mitigating some of his effectiveness as a perimeter defender. With relatively few exceptions — basically just the Knicks' 2014-opening road trip in Texas — nearly everything that could have gone wrong this year did for Shumpert and the rest of the Knicks. With New York eliminated from playoff contention and heading into Tuesday's cross-borough matchup with the Brooklyn Nets without shut-down-for-the-season forward Carmelo Anthony and with nothing to play for but pride and bragging rights, Shumpert and his teammates went into Barclays Center seeming intent on spoiling the evening — and perhaps a shot at the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference — for the playoff-bound Nets. Shumpert made a pair of pretty flashy contributions to that effort. With just under nine minutes remaining in the third quarter and the 'Melo-less Knicks out to a 61-48 lead over the Nets, who rarely seemed to care to put up much of an effort in this one, Shumpert attacked Nets forward Paul Pierce off the dribble and shook the surefire first-ballot Hall-of-Famer out of his sense of equilibrium before dotting him — or, at least, the air where "The Truth" used to be — with a pure midrange jumper: That's nearly the exact same spot on the floor where Pierce's teammate, Joe Johnson, performed a similar shakedown on the then-Boston Celtics captain at the TD Garden last season: If this keeps up, Pierce is going to start having up-close-and-personal visions of the right-elbow floorboards in his nightmares. Shumpert came calling again early in the fourth quarter, with New York leading by 13 and getting out on the fast break after a Brooklyn live-ball turnover. Sparingly used point guard Toure' Murry took the lead pass from sparingly used shooting guard Shannon Brown, saw sparingly used center Jeremy Tyler on his left, but decided to get a little flashy and give Shumpert a chance to unleash his sparingly used big loud dunking ability: Watching Shumpert actually finish the off-the-glass alley-oop with authority felt somewhat cathartic for Knicks fans — there have been plenty of times where we've seen Shump take flight with malicious intentions, only to fail to finish the flush and stick the landing. After a season full of false starts and frustrating road blocks, you can only hope it felt as good for him, and that he's able to use nights like Tuesday — and votes of confidence like the ones he's reportedly received from new Knicks president Phil Jackson — to put himself on the path to a bounce-back season next year. Shumpert finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists in 31 minutes as the Knicks beat the barely-there Nets, 109-98 , to win the season series between the New York clubs three games to one. He was one of six Knicks in double figures, led by rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 16 points on 5 for 10 shooting and highlighted by a career-high 13 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds for center Cole Aldrich. Playing without starting guard Shaun Livingston and reserves Mirza Teletovic (whose wife gave birth to twins Tuesday) and Alan Anderson, the Nets frequently seemed disinterested in pushing for the victory that would lock up the No. 5 seed in the East. "Fifth, sixth, same thing," Jason Kidd said. — Andrew Keh (@andrewkeh) April 16, 2014 Marcus Thornton led the way with 24 points on 7 for 15 shooting off the bench, joining rising rookie Mason Plumlee (16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, a few highlight reel -worthy finishes of his own) in providing rare sparks for Jason Kidd's club. The Nets can still clinch the fifth spot with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday , but simply getting back on the good foot from a rhythm and flow perspective might be more important than seeding at this stage; Deron Williams left the arena without speaking to reporters after his 10-point, two-assist, three-turnover night, so all does not seem especially well heading into the postseason. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.

  • Nets fall to Knicks, fail to wrap up No. 5 seed (The SportsXchange)

    NEW YORK -- If there is one thing that New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson doesn't like, it is watching the postseason from his couch, something he will have to do in the coming weeks. The Knicks downed the postseason-bound Brooklyn Nets 109-98 Tuesday night. The Knicks (36-45) defeated the Nets in three of four meetings this season, and they earned their six win in their past eight games overall. The Nets (44-37) had an opportunity to clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but the idle Washington Wizards (43-38) remain in the hunt for that spot due to Brooklyn's loss.

  • Knicks 109, Nets 98 (The SportsXchange)

    NEW YORK -- After winning 15 straight home games, the Brooklyn Nets have lost two straight at the Barclays Center after the cross-town rival New York Knicks came away with a 109-98 victory on Tuesday night. The Knicks defeated the Nets in three of four meetings this season. Despite being eliminated from the playoffs last week, the Knicks have won six of their last eight games. The Nets had an opportunity to clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, but now will have to stave off the sixth-seeded Washington Wizards for the spot in their regular-season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

  • Cavs Deng wins NBA citizenship award (The Associated Press)

    Luol Deng has never once forgotten home. He has spent much of his adult life trying to give back to his native South Sudan, the war-torn African nation the Cavaliers forward and his family fled when he was a young boy. I'm just happy to be in the position that I'm in to be able to do the things that I'm able to do.'' On Tuesday, Deng was commended for his compassion and dedication when he was named the winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, given annually to an NBA player, coach or trainer for outstanding community service. Deng has had a long commitment to philanthropic work in South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011 but has been ravaged by ethnic violence.

  • Tuesday night playoff table-setter: What's at stake in Nets-Knicks and Clippers-Nuggets (Ball Don't Lie)

    There are only two games on the NBA calendar on Tuesday night , as the league prepares for its annual regular-season-ending 15-game, all-30-teams-in-action smorgasbord on Wednesday , but they both have playoff implications. Yep, that's what I said, Terrence Jones. (Did I stutter?) Here's a quick reminder of what's at stake in Tuesday's TNT double-header:

  • Wizards' coach Wittman finally makes the playoffs (The Associated Press)

    No one in NBA history has coached more games with less success than Randy Wittman. Now on his third team, Wittman will finally coach his first playoff game this weekend, having overseen the Washington Wizards' return from the days of dysfunction. Until now, he's been mostly known as the guy who supplied the punch line whenever the Wizards lost. When the Wizards finally clinched their first playoff berth since 2008, he proclaimed: ''Let me tell you, it feels like I've been here 20 years.'' He's actually been here for five, having arrived as an assistant in 2009.