Heat, Thunder favored by oddsmakers to return to the Finals

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The season hasn’t even been over for 24 hours yet, but you can already get some action down on who will win the 2013 NBA title. And not surprisingly, at this ridiculously early stage, the Heat and the Thunder are equal 5-2 favorites to win the championship next season.

The Bulls are next in line at 5-1, followed by the Spurs at 7-1, Lakers at 12-1, and Mavericks at 15-1. After that, we start to get into some pretty far-fetched territory, with the Celtics and Pacers at 20-1, and the Nuggets, Clippers, Magic, and Grizzlies all at 30-1.

Even further from the title in Vegas’ eyes are the Knicks, Sixers, and Hawks at 60-1. Everyone else stands at 100-1, which likely isn’t tempting enough to put even a dollar down on teams like the Kings or the Hornets.

If you’re psychotic and like throwing money in the trash, then betting the outcome of the NBA season a year in advance without knowing what teams’ rosters will ultimately look like after trades and free agency is definitely the way to go. But if you’re determined to get something down — or even make a choice for, you know, entertainment purposes only — there are a few interesting ones to look at.

The Lakers at 12-1 isn’t bad from a value standpoint, considering they are a virtual lock to get to at least the second round of the playoffs even if they do absolutely nothing to improve the talent on their roster. The Mavericks are an even better value, but only if you believe the buzz that Deron Williams will end up there in free agency.

Beyond that, only the Clippers seem like a team on the fringe that could make that type of run. But again, with so many variables in play, not to mention the injury factor, it’s virtually impossible to make a compelling case for anyone at this point.

Except maybe the two teams we just saw play in the Finals, which is why it’s no surprise they’re the favorites to make it back next season.

Stephen Curry’s 32 lead Warriors over Rockets 113-106

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HOUSTON (AP) Stephen Curry scored 32 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and the Golden State Warriors built a big lead early and held on for a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

The Warriors scored 37 points in the first quarter and never trailed on the way to their eighth straight victory and 60th this season.

Golden State led by eight after a pair of free throws by Curry with just over three minutes left. Patrick Beverley countered with a tip-in layup for Houston, then was fouled when he was knocked to the ground on a screen by Draymond Green seconds later.

James Harden missed a layup on the next possession before Green added a shot on the other end to put the Warriors up 107-99.

Another layup miss by Harden followed, and Curry made a 3-pointer with 1:46 left to send fans streaming to the exits.

Warriors F James Michael McAdoo leaves game vs. Rockets with head injury (VIDEO)

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There was a scary moment during the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. During a change of possession, Houston’s Trevor Ariza and and Golden State’s James Michael McAdoo got tangled up and fell together on the floor.

McAdoo was under Ariza and wound up getting his head slammed into the hardwood. He was immediately taken off the floor and sent to the locker room.

Via Twitter:

The NBATV broadcast said McAdoo received stitches but did not test positive for a concussion. He is averaging 8.7 minutes, 2.9 points, and 1.7 rebounds per-game for the Warriors.

Jusuf Nurkic trolls Nuggets, tells former team to enjoy their summer (VIDEO)

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Jusuf Nurkic did not enjoy his time as a member of the Denver Nuggets. His trade to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee was a welcome change of scenery.

On Tuesday night, Nurkic got to take on his old team with huge playoff implications at stake. Portland beat the Nuggets, 122-113, moving a game ahead of their rivals in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and giving them the best tiebreaker between the two.

Nurkic was impressive, blasting his old squad with 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, three blocks, and two assists.

Nurkic was interviewed in the arena after the game, and he was obviously happy he helped his team while also sticking it to Denver. Speaking with Portland reporter Brooke Olzendam, Nurkic took one last shot at the Nuggets, telling them to enjoy their summer.

Via Twitter:

Nurkic quite possibly sent the Nuggets packing for the year with the game at the Moda Center on Tuesday, so he might have been the guy who helped start their summer.

Still, that is ice cold.

James Johnson decimates Marcus Morris with huge one-handed dunk (VIDEO)

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Miami Heat forward James Johnson is one of the NBA’s best in-game dunkers. On Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, he yammed down a huge one-handed slam that embarrassed Marcus Morris and drew gasps from the crowd at the Palace.

The play came midway through the fourth quarter with Johnson at the top of the key. After a quick pass over to him, Johnson gave a quick hesitation before driving to his left and past his defender.

With the quick step, Johnson’s only remaining opponent at the basket was Morris, who was unfortunate enough to find himself between the high-flying Heat and the rim.

This is what happened next:

Morris was whistled for a foul on the play.