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Rockets center Dwight Howard doubles up Warriors in losing effort


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field and pulled down 14 rebounds in Houston's 115-80 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.

It was Howard's 11th double-double in the playoffs this season and fifth in his last six games. Howard is averaging 16.4 points and 14 rebounds per game in the postseason. He and the Rockets will look to stave off elimination on Monday in Houston.


Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scores 40 points in blowout win


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scored 40 points on 12 of 19 shooting from the field, including a blistering 7 of 9 from 3-point range, in Golden State's 115-80 win over the Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

It was the second time this postseason Curry has scored at least 40 points and is averaging 29.9 points per game. Curry also dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds in the game. Curry and the Warriors will look to close out the series and advance to the NBA Finals on Monday in Houston.


Rockets C Dwight Howard (knee) starting in Game 3


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/23/2015) Rockets forward Dwight Howard is listed as a starter for Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Howard was able to play in Game 2 on Thursday, but was listed as probable due to a nagging knee injury heading into action on Saturday.


Kevin Love does light workout for Cavaliers


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love was able to do a light workout on Saturday. 

Love is expected to miss the rest of the postseason with a shoulder injury. The Associated Press reported that Love was at the Cavs practice facility on Saturday and "got in some kind of workout, likely bike."


Pacers' Paul George still not 100 percent


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Pacers forward Paul George still isn't fully recovered from the broken leg that kept him out for much of the regular season. 

Appearing at the Indy 500 Festival Parade, George said he's doing "good" in his recovery from the injury, but he's still not at 100 percent. 

"Not yet," he said, per Vigilant Sports. "I’m working towards it though."


Kyrie Irving practices for Cavaliers, still questionable for Game 3


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving practiced on Saturday, wearing a soft sleeve on his injured left knee, per ESPN

Coach David Blatt said that Irving is still questionable for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, per the Associated Press. Blatt said Irving's playing status would be a medical decision. The fact that the Cavaliers are leading the series two games to none over Atlanta will have no bearing. 


Hawks' Kyle Korver out for playoffs, may need surgery


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Hawks shooting guard Kyle Korver suffered a high right ankle sprain in Game 2 and is out for the remainder of the playoffs, per the Journal Constitution

Korver's MRI on Saturday revealed a severe sprain, the team announced. He'll see a specialist to see if surgery is necessary. 

Korver averaged 12.1 points this year and led the NBA in 3-point percentage for the second straight year. 


Raptors' Terrence Ross has ankle surgery


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Raptors guard/forward Terrence Ross had ankle surgery on Friday to remove bone spurs and loose bodies, the team announced on Saturday. 

Ross had the procedure in Van Nuys, California and will rehab in Toronto. No timetable has been released. 

Ross averaged 9.8 points this season. 


Rockets' Dwight Howard's knee improving


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard said that his injured knee feels better than it did prior to Game 2, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

Howard had 19 points and 17 rebounds in 40 minutes in Game 2. He said on Saturday, "I don't even want to think of it as an injury."


Knee of Hawks SF DeMarre Carroll 'must've felt good' Friday


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll didn't feel well mentally after his team fell again to Cleveland at home Friday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final. But he felt OK physically, which is saying something.

Carroll had to be helped off the court during the opener after taking a hard fall. A serious knee injury appeared likely, but he was diagnosed only with a bone bruise. Still, he was clearly not 100 percent and trying to hang with LeBron James on the court has a way of making knees not feel so good.

"I got out there, so I must've felt good," he said via cleveland.com. "But when you're a little kid, you dream of an opportunity to play in the Eastern Conference finals and playing against one of the best players in the world. I didn't care if I had one leg, I wasn't going to let his opportunity pass me by."

Carroll, however, expressed disappointment at the team effort, which inexplicably given the circumstances, was lacking.

"I don't know, man. I think we just came out flat," he said. "How does that happen? I don't know."


Budenholzer 'hopeful' that Hawks C Al Horford will play Sunday


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Hawks center Al Horford will likely be available for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference final Sunday in Cleveland. His status seemed quite uncertain when he banged knees with Iman Shumpert early in the fourth quarter Friday night and limped off the court.

"He had two or three different times where he got hit in the same spot," Mike Budenholzer said. "The feedback from him after the game, I think that he's going to be OK. ... A couple hits, a couple bangs, we're hopeful that he'll be fine going into Game 3."

Horford, who checked back in a few minutes later, has been one of his team's few accurate shooters in the series. He has hit on 65 percent (13-for-20) from the field.


Cavs' LeBron James flirts with triple-double in Game 2 win


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Cavaliers forward LeBron James was one rebound shy of recording a triple-double during Friday's 94-82 win over the Hawks.

James finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists to help give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead in the series. James shot 10 of 22 from field, including 2 of 7 from the 3-point line. He also blocked one shot and turned the ball over four times.


Hawks center Al Horford deals with quad issue during Game 2


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Hawks center Al Horford needed help off the court during Friday's Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers, but he said he is ok, reports Bleacher Report.

Horford came out of the game with a quad injury, but he was able to return to the game. Horford played 30 minutes and scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.


Hawks F Kyle Korver suffers ankle injury during Game 2


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Hawks forward Kyle Korver sustained a right ankle sprain during Friday's Game 2 matchup against the Cavaliers, the team announced.

Korver is doubtful to return. He scored 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting before leaving with the injury.


Hawks F DeMarre Carroll (knee) cleared to play in Game 2


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll will start in Friday's Game 2 matchup against the Cavaliers, the team announced. 

Carroll sustained a left knee sprain during the Game 1 loss Wednesday and he was considered a game-time decision Friday.

The Hawks are 3-point favorites over the Cavaliers on Friday.


Jazz forward Gordon Hayward undergoes procedure on heel


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Jazz forward Gordon Hayward underwent a minor surgical procedure on his right heel last week, the team announced Friday.

Hayward missed the last three games of the season with a sore Achilles.


Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will not play in Game 2


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) The Cavaliers will hold guard Kyrie Irving out of Friday's Game 2 matchup at Atlanta, the team announced.

Irving is dealing with tendinitis in his left knee. He traveled to Florida on Friday to see Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the tendinitis diagnosis. Irving is considered questionable for Game 3 on Sunday. Guard Matthew Dellavedova is expected to start in place of Irving on Friday.

The Cavaliers are 3-point underdogs at Atlanta on Friday.


Warriors PF Marreese Speights out for Game 3 against Rockets


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Marreese Speights will not play for the Warriors in their Game 3 matchup against the Rockets on Saturday, per Jimmy Spencer of Fox Sports.

Speights is dealing with a moderate right calf strain, which has kept him out since Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals.


Lakers' Kupchak says PG Clarkson reminds him of Russell Westbrook


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Lakers point guard Jordan Clarkson is riding high as of late. He was recently named to the NBA's All-Rookie First Team and now his general manager Mitch Kupchak is comparing him to the Thunder's Russell Westbrook, per ESPN.com.

"If there’s a player in the league that plays like him, it’s Russell Westbrook," Kupchak said. "Now, I’m not saying for a second that Jordan Clarkson is the next Russell Westbrook, but he’s that kind of a ball-handling guard."

The Lakers drafted Clarkson with the 46th pick in the 2014 draft. An injury-riddled roster helped Clarkson gain significant playing time.

In 38 games as a starter, Clarkson averaged 15.8 points, 5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game.


Doc Rivers on son: 'I really want him back, would be great'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Clippers coach Doc Rivers didn't make a move to acquire his son, Austin Rivers, when he was first advised to do so. Now he's hoping to have the free-agent back on the team next season.

General manager Dave Wohl suggested Doc sign Austin before the start of last season, but Doc waivered. The Clippers instead signed Jordan Farmar, who they would later release before trading for Austin at the trade deadline.

“It was a gamble for me personally,” Doc Rivers said. “It was just a tough one for me. I was on the other side of not wanting to do it, and I’m glad I listened to people for a change. I wasn’t so stubborn. I give Dave Wohl credit, before the season started and we signed Jordan or anyone, he wanted that to happen and I didn’t hear any of that.

“In retrospect, it would have been nice to have him the whole year. It would have been better. That was a mistake. I probably should have.”

Austin showcased his potential in the Clippers' playoff loss to the Rockets. He scored 25 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out two assists in Game 5 of the series.

He opened enough eyes that his dad is hoping he takes a discount to stay with the organization, he even threatened to call his mother.

“He's young and he clearly helped us, I think we all have to agree with that,” Doc Rivers said. “And I think he loved it here. I even think he liked the coach at times.

“You know, it'll be interesting. I really want him back and I think it would be great to have him back, and I think he's a great fit for this team. But business is business and it'll be an interesting thing this summer.”


Rockets C Dwight Howard probable for Game 3


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard has been upgraded to probable for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Saturday in Houston.

That designation indicates that Howard, who has been hampered by a knee problem, came through Game 2 without a setback.

Howard certainly improved his performance Thursday, racking up 19 points and 17 rebounds in 40 minutes against Golden State. He managed just seven points and 13 boards in 26 minutes in the series opener.


Hawks' Bazemore primed to step up if Carroll can't go for Game 2


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) With Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll ruled a game-time decision for Game 2 against the Cavaliers, Kent Bazemore is preparing to fill in that defensive-oriented role, according to AJC.com.

If Carroll does not play, Bazemore will undoubtedly have the task of defending Cavs forward LeBron James. Bazemore, though, is not shying away from that challenge.

“It’s great,” Bazemore said. “It’s a great platform to show what you can do. They brought me here as a defender and that’s my job. What a great measuring stick to go up against one of the best. … It’s tough but it’s what you sign up for. It’s a challenge I love. I love guarding the best players. I’ve been doing it all my life. This is no different. The tools I have and the preparation up to this point, I think I’ve prepared myself to do a good job.”

Bazemore is averaging 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game during the playoffs.


Lakers GM: Kobe 'has indicated to me that this is it'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015)
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said that the upcoming 2015-16 season will be the last for perennial All-Star Kobe Bryant, per ESPN.com.

"He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak said.

Bryant, who will be 37 years old when the season begins, is entering the final year of a two-year, $48.5 million dollar extension with the team.

Bryant later took to Twitter to deny he had made any decision.

"I think first and foremost, he's on the last year of a deal," Kupchak said. "There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don't think there will be."

Kupchak said that if anything changes and Bryant wants to continue playing past his current contract, negotiations can be had. Bryant's last three seasons have been cut short because of injury. Last season, he was limited to 35 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

"A year from now, if there's something different to discuss, then it will be discussed then," Kupchak said. "I talk to him from time to time ... and he is recovering. He's running. He's getting movement and strength in the shoulder. We expect a full recovery, but yeah, he's much closer to the end than to the beginning."

Kobe Bryant might be ready to walk away aftrer next year.  (Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant might be ready to walk away after next year. (Getty Images)


Cavs' Dellavedova: 'I will be ready for whatever' in wake of Irving injury


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) With Kyrie Irving listed as questionable for Game 2 against the Hawks on Friday, Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova is primed to take on a bigger, more crucial role, per Cleveland.com.

"I will be ready for whatever the team needs," Dellavedova said when asked about the possibility of starting. "It will probably mean a lot more minutes so I might have to adjust my game a little there, but not too much."

Though Irving is the Cavs' second-leading scorer, it was Dellavedova who came up big in the team's closeout win over the Bulls in Game 6 of the previous series. Dellavedova scored a season-high 19 points on 7of 11 shooting, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc.

"Delly has done great work for us all season coming from the bench and he has started other times during the season," Cavs coach David Blatt said. "He's been a consistent rotation guy for us and he's a dependable and high character guy that gives us an awful lot. We believe in him, our guys believe in him and he's ready."

Iman Shumpert is also capable of filling in for Irving during stretches. Shumpert is averaging 9.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per games during the playoffs.


Blatt: Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving will decide fate Friday night


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) David Blatt has indicated that Cavaliers ailing guard Kyrie Irving will make the final decision as to whether he plays in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night in Atlanta, per the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Irving expressed optimism heading into the series that the pain in his left knee and right foot had subsided, but if anything he was more limited than ever in the series opener. He re-aggravated the knee injury during the game and played only three of the last 18 minutes as his team put away the Hawks.

The guard did not attend shootaround Friday. He instead received further treatment and evaluation as an MRI was planned.

"My understanding is like most injuries, it's a combination of pain management and what the physical symptons are," Blatt said.

Irving was not invisible in Game 1, but his struggles trying to finish off drives to the basket were again evident. He did manage 10 points and six assists in 27 minutes.