Tim Thomas not expected back for remainder of the season

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If you’re only scraping the surface of the events that have unfolded between Tim Thomas and the Dallas Mavericks this year, you probably think you’ve seen this all before.

The Mavs added Thomas in the off-season, taking a chance on a veteran and a shot-maker, as so many teams have before. Thomas put on his happy face and went to work, winning over fans with his versatile offensive game, as he’s done so many times before. He enjoyed a relative level of success considering his standing on the team, as Thomas has done so many times before. Then, he disappeared. He wasn’t traveling with the team, he wasn’t at practice, and certainly wasn’t playing in games.

It had to be the same old Tim Thomas, right? His act would inevitably wear down in a matter of time, and the same act that’s forced his divorce from so many franchises in the past would grind on Rick Carlisle and the Dallas Mavericks, until ultimately, they told him to just go home.

Any other season and you’d probably be right; Thomas hasn’t been without hardship in his career, and most of it was self-inflicted. He has all the talent in the world and struggles most to rein in that force between his temples, and that’s the very reason he’s had nine tours with seven different NBA teams. He could never quite figure it out.

But this season, Thomas was anything but a problem. There wasn’t a peep from within the Mavericks organization indicating that there was trouble brewing. He was doing a terrific job as a deep reserve for a veteran Dallas team, hitting big shots (like a game-tying three against Houston in December to force overtime) and putting up impressive point totals on occasion (22 vs. Houston in a different game, 23 vs. Cleveland).

It looked more and more like Thomas’ destructive tendencies had vanished, and though he lacked the star potential he once had, he was an able contributor and a perfect fit for his role with Dallas.

Then trouble hit, but a different kind of trouble than anything Thomas has brought on himself during his career. Thomas’ wife, Tricia, is very ill, and his mysterious disappearance from the team was nothing more than a man answering the call for his family.

Not exactly a predictable event when considering the Tim Thomas canon, but perhaps a gentle reminder that some of these guys deserve the benefit of the doubt, even when they haven’t necessarily earned it.

When Lance Stephenson gets a traveling call, he earns it (VIDEO)

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Yes, guys get away with traveling in the NBA. James Harden on the step back (sometimes, not always), or guys sliding left/right to avoid a closeout at the arc and not bothering to dribble while they do it.

Lance Stephenson got called for traveling Sunday in the Pacers’ loss to the Cavaliers. In a game where Stephenson got under the skin of LeBron James and drew a technical (and tied him up for a jump ball at one point), this was the best Lance highlight of the game. Because if you’re going to travel, you should go all in.

Never change Lance. Never change.

Matthew Dellavedova steals pass, hits wild scoop shot at buzzer (VIDEO)

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Matthew Dellavedova is a hustler. Everybody knows that. Well, unless you want to argue he’s more about grit. It’s really your call.

But against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, Dellavedova came through with whatever you want to call it — hustle, grit, moxie, gumption.

As the first quarter wound down and the Celtics tried to inbound the ball, Dellavedova spied his opponents rolling the basketball in order to save time on the clock.

That allowed the Australian native to fly in and do this:

That’s a steal, a scoop, and a score all within 1.2 seconds.

Milwaukee won Game 4 and evened the series with the Celtics, 2-2.

Cavaliers tie series with Pacers in Indiana, 2-2

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Sunday night’s game between the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers was raucous. Bankers Life Fieldhouse was rocking, and despite Indiana’s best effort to put back seemingly every offensive board it encountered, LeBron James‘ 32 points was just too much to overcome.

Facing the possibility of going down 3-1 in the first round, the Cavaliers pulled out the win, 104-100, and sent the series back to Ohio for Game 5.

The game came down to the final period following a surge by the Pacers to end the third quarter. The teams were tied several times midway through the fourth, but a tip shot by Thaddeus Young wth 6:13 left gave the Pacers the lead as fans in Indiana went wild.

Cleveland then came roaring back. At the three-minute mark, James drove to the basket and scored. Thirty seconds later, Kyle Korver hit a big-time 3-pointer to put the Cavaliers up by four points, a mark the Pacers couldn’t recover from.

LeBron scored again with 1:52 left, and despite some weird late-game antics — featuring none other than Lance Stephenson — the Cavaliers were able to remain resolute down the stretch.

James finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Kyle Korver added 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep, and Kevin Love had five points with 11 boards.

Victor Oladipo struggled for Indiana, scoring 17 points but shooting just 25 percent from the floor. Seven Pacers finished in double-digits, with Young notching an impressive double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Game 5 will be played in Cleveland on Wednesday, April 25.

Wizards beat Raptors in Game 4, tie series at 2-2 heading to Toronto

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The Toronto Raptors were far and away the best team in the Eastern Conference this season. The Washington Wizards were … well, very Wizard-y.

So considering their regular seasons, the fact that Washington was able to tie the first round series between the two teams at 2 games apiece on Sunday is pretty astonishing.

Bradley Beal had 31 points and five rebounds for the Wizards while teammate John Wall added 27 points to go along with a whopping 14 assists. Washington shot an impressive 41 percent from 3-point range as four of five starters finished in double-digit scoring.

Despite Beal’s performance, it was Wall who saved the day for the Wizards. Beal was disqualified after fouling out with around five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Beal didn’t agree with the call, and could be seen throwing a towel near the Washington bench.

For his part, Wall either scored or assisted on 10 of the Wizards’ final 14 points of the game. That helped stave off the likes of DeMar DeRozan, who led all scorers with 35 points.

The series heads back to Toronto for Game 5, which will be played on Wednesday, April 25.