Clippers promote Doc Rivers

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Doc Rivers spent last season atop the Clippers’ basketball operations organizational flowchart, and he’ll stay there – with a better title and re-arranged cast beneath him.

Rivers – who, in addition to coaching, held the the title of Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations – is now President of Basketball Operations.

That “senior” in his previous titles distinguished him from Gary Sacks, who was Vice President of Basketball Operations. But the line between Rivers and Sacks is even clearer now.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

David Wohl was previously Director of Professional Scouting, so this is a promotion for him. He leapfrogs Sacks, who was No. 2 in the front office behind Rivers.

Wohl was an assistant coach for Rivers with the Celtics and Magic, and he became an assistant general manager in Boston while Rivers was there.

Sacks, on the other hand, is a longtime Clippers employee who became their equivalent of general manager before Rivers arrived.

Rivers likely has a greater comfort level with Wohl, and that’s why Rivers – one of four president/coaches in the NBA along with Gregg Popovich, Stan Van Gundy and Flip Saunders – is entrusting Wohl to run day-to-day operations for the Clippers front office.

With owner Donald Sterling banned for life and president Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence, Sacks’ days with the Clippers might be numbered. No knock necessarily on Sacks, but the people who hired and promoted him aren’t around, and Rivers isn’t as familiar with him.

Whether Shelly Sterling or Steve Ballmer or someone else owns the team next season, Rivers will almost surely remain in place. So, he’s using his power to craft the organization as he sees fit, and the next owner will go from there.

Watch Kawhi Leonard, Mike Conley in epic playoff duel Saturday (VIDEO)

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Kawhi Leonard scored 16 straight points for the Spurs at the end of regulation to give San Antonio the lead and a chance. Then Mike Conley hit a floater in the lane forced overtime.

There Mike Conley hit a floating bank shot that had the Grizzlies up three with :47 seconds left, only to have Leonard answer with a three to tie the game. Marc Gasol would break that tie and get Memphis the series-evening win.

Conley and Leonard traded blows through the clutch parts of Saturday’s epic Game 4 between Memphis and San Antonio. It’s worth checking out the highlights again.

John Wall goes coast-to-coast, behind-the-back for lefty dunk (VIDEO)

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There’s not going to be many plays better than this in the entire playoffs.

There wasn’t a lot for Wizards’ fans to cheer in Game 3, the Hawks took control early and routed Washington, making it a 2-1 series. But there was this, John Wall going coast-to-coast with the ball, going around-the-back and throwing it down left handed.

Wall is just so fast end to end.

Warriors take 3-0 series lead over Blazers with 119-113 win

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 34 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and the short-handed Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to take a 3-0 lead in their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 119-113 victory on Saturday night.

The Blazers led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but couldn’t hold off the Warriors, who can clinch the series with a win Monday night in Game 4 at the Moda Center.

Golden State was without Kevin Durant, who was sitting for a second straight game cause of a left calf strain, and coach Steve Kerr stayed back at the team hotel because of illness.

The Warriors took a 108-100 lead after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk with 4:05 to go.

Noah Vonleh‘s dunk got Portland within four at 110-106 with 1:29 left, but Curry answered with a 3-pointer that all but sealed it, sending fans streaming for the exits.

CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 32 points, while Damian Lillard added 31.

Markieff Morris calls Paul Millsap a “crybaby,” Millsap responds “It definitely got personal now”

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The Atlanta Hawks owned the Washington Wizards from the opening tip Saturday, making it a 2-1 series with an easy win.

It’s a series now — and that includes trash talk.

Paul Millsap had 29 points, pulled down 14 boards, got to the line 11 times, and led the Hawks to the win. He got the calls he wanted this game, but Washington’s Markieff Morris was not exactly down with high praise for Millsap.

The key line here: “”He just did more for his team. He’s a crybaby. Get all the calls and you a crybaby.”

Millsap was asked about that comment in his postgame presser — and the best part may be Dennis Schroeder’s reaction.

“It definitely got personal now, yes. I mean, I don’t care. So what? He can take his loss and go back to the hotel and be ready for the next game.”

These two have already had a beef this series.

Game 4 in this series just got a lot more interesting.