NBA announces preliminary schedule for Game 1 of the playoffs

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There are still some seedings to be worked out on the final night of the NBA season, but the league has released a preliminary schedule of the days and times for Game 1 of every playoff series that will take place this weekend.

The Miami Heat will begin their quest for a third straight title on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, in a contest that will be nationally televised on ABC. The Spurs, meanwhile, will take the league’s best record into the postseason beginning at 1:00 p.m., and their game can be seen on TNT.

Only two matchups are completely set — the Pacers will host the Hawks on Saturday, (though the time is yet to be determined), while the Rockets will host the Blazers on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. on TNT.

The complete schedule is reprinted below, and we’re likely to get finalized versions with matchups and times for all teams shortly following the conclusion of tonight’s action.

Western Conference

                                                                     DATE                                       ET                    NETWORK

at San Antonio                                         Sunday, April 20                      1:00PM          TNT

at Oklahoma City                                    Saturday, April 19                   TBD                 TBD

at L.A. Clippers                                        Saturday, April 19                   TBD                 TBD

Portland at Houston                               Sunday, April 20                   9:30PM            TNT

                                                                       

Eastern Conference                                       

                                                                     DATE                                       ET                    NETWORK

Atlanta at Indiana                                 Saturday, April 19                   TBD                 ESPN

at Miami                                                    Sunday, April 20                    3:30PM           ABC/ESPN Radio

at Toronto                                                Saturday, April 19                   TBD                 ESPN

at Chicago                                               Sunday, April 20                      7:00PM          TNT

Clippers blow 18-point lead, lose in final 2 seconds on putback to Kings (VIDEO)

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The Los Angeles Clippers had a rough go of things against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Up by 18 with more than five minutes to go, LA blew their lead and were left to watch as the Kings sealed the game late.

The final possession for Sacramento came on a missed corner 3-pointer by Clippers guard Jamal Crawford. The Kings got the outlet pass out on the rebound, but Ben McLemore took it to the rack and missed. That’s when Willie Cauley-Stein stepped in, cleaned up the board, and put the game-winning shot home with less than two seconds left.

Los Angeles lost in spectacular fashion, and became the only team this season to lose given their game situation.

Here’s a compilation the NBA put together of Sacramento’s epic comeback:

Meanwhile, Chris Paul called it the worst regular season loss of his career.

The Clippers peaked too soon. Like, the first 20 games of the season too soon.

Russell Westbrook throws incredible halfcourt bounce pass vs. Rockets (VIDEO)

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Russell Westbrook had yet another triple-double on Sunday. The Oklahoma City Thunder star notched 13 assists in the loss to the Houston Rockets, 137-125, and one of them came on a nifty pass to teammate Victor Oladipo.

The play happened with the Thunder on the fastbreak early in the third quarter. Westbrook was moving from left-to-right across the middle of the floor with the ball while Oladipo streaked down the right wing.

With the Rockets defense collapsing, Westbrook reached halfcourt and fired a bounce pass that sliced through the opposition.

Oladipo finished with the clean dunk.

Still not sure it beats this one, but I think we’ll have to compare once the season comes to a close.

Kobe Bryant on race for Podoloff Trophy: “We might see our first co-MVPs this year”

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The race between James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the 2017 NBA MVP has narrowed to a two-man race toward the end of the season. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is averaging at triple-double this year, and the Houston Rockets guard is doing things nobody has ever done on a basketball court before.

It’s a tough decision to decide between them, so much so that even former Los Angeles Lakers great and 2008 NBA MVP Kobe Bryant can’t do it.

Speaking on ESPN on Sunday, Bryant said he thought the league might have to just bite the bullet on Westbrook vs. Harden.

“We might see our first co-MVPs this year,” said Bryant.

That would be a huge step for the league, but I’m not entirely sure they would do it. There have been co-NBA All-Star Game MVPs in years past, but never league MVP.

Still, can you decide between Russ and Harden? The Mamba can’t.

Watch Rockets C Nene lead the break, eurostep past Enes Kanter (VIDEO)

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Houston Rockets center Nene is from Brazil, but on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder the South American native went full euro.

On a fastbreak possession, Nene took on Thunder big man Enes Kanter near the rim and absolutely shook him with a nasty eurostep.

The play was so good that it forced Oklahoma City to call a timeout as James Harden and the rest of the Rockets bench met Nene on the court to celebrate.