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Brad Hurt

Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain posted by Brad Hurt

An MRI on Marc Gasol's left knee, which he injured in the first half of the Grizzlies' loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, revealed a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).  The injury, similar to one suffered two years ago by Zach Randolph, will keep Gasol out of action indefinitely but will not require surgery.  Kosta Koufos will start in his place.  This is a huge blow for the team, both in terms of production and morale.  The injury has been called "non-contact", although there could have been some contact as it occurred while the Spurs' Danny Green posted up against Gasol and backed into him.  Even so, it's still a freakish, unfortunate injury.Continue reading "Gasol out indefinitely with MCL sprain"

Brad Hurt

Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain posted by Brad Hurt

The Grizzlies had reason to be proud as they returned home Friday to face the perennially tough San Antonio Spurs.  They had just finished the most successful West Coast road trip in a decade.  Now they would have the FedEx Forum crowd behind them to urge them to victory.  Unfortunately, the Spurs would have none of that, playing the role of the rude houseguests with a 102-86 victory.

Potentially far worse for the home team, however, is the fact that center Marc Gasol left the game after suffering a non-contact injury to his left knee early in the second quarter and did not return.  The team is calling it a sprain, and Gasol will undergo an MRI today.  Losing Gasol for any extended period of time would be a crushing blow to the team.  He is currently averaging 16 points and more than 7 rebounds per game, teaming up with Zach Randolph to form an imposing post duo.  Randolph has been putting up monster numbers in his own right, but losing Gasol would undoubtedly change the way teams choose to defend Randolph, enabling more double-and-triple teams.  The Grizzlies currently have the 23rd-ranked offensive output in the league, averaging 94.1 points per game.  Ideally, they would like to see that number increase as they work toward a return to the playoffs come April.  Gasol is also a great veteran leader for the team, and intangibles are difficult to replace.  So let's hope the sprain isn't too severe and Gasol can return to action soon.

Continue reading "Gasol leaves loss with knee sprain"


Brad Hurt

Close call: Grizzlies rally for sweep posted by Brad Hurt

It was anything but easy, but the Memphis Grizzlies outlasted the Golden State Warriors, 88-81 in overtime on Wednesday night to complete a perfect West Coast road trip.

The comeback happened largely thanks to the team's Grit N Grind mentality.  After spotting the home team a double-digit lead in the opening quarter, the Grizzlies (7-5) relied on strong defense to get back into the game.  They had to overcome a 12-point deficit in the second half to escape with their 11th consecutive head-to-head win over the 8-4 Warriors.  They won the third quarter 25-13 behind a 17-2 run led by Zach Randolph's eight points in the period.  Randolph finished with another double-double of a team-high 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Ball control played a huge part in the win as the Grizzlies turned the ball over only seven times.

The Grizzlies shot only 38 percent for the game, led by Marc Gasol's 6-of-14 effort.  Gasol added 11 rebounds to his 18 points to join Randolph with a double-double.  His pair of free throws with 2:02 left in the fourth quarter forced the game into overtime.  Mike Conley also finished in double figures scoring for the Grizzlies, scoring 19 points and draining the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime.  The Grizzlies' bench came up large, outscoring the Warriors' reserves 16-7.  Kosta Koufos led the Grizzlies subs with seven points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Andrew Bogut led the Warriors with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

This trip proved the Grizzlies can compete with some of the top teams in the West.  It is never easy to win away from home, and putting together a streak like this shows the character and fight this team has.

Continue reading "Close call: Grizzlies rally for sweep"


Brad Hurt

Grizzlies seek first road sweep since '04 posted by Brad Hurt

The Grizzlies have reeled off three straight wins on the road since falling at home to Toronto last Wednesday.  West Coast trips are usually daunting, but the Grizzlies have found ways to win to this point.  Their current trip reaches its conclusion tonight in Oakland as the Grizzlies (6-5) take on the Pacific-leading Golden State Warriors (8-3), winners of four straight.  So someone will see a streak end.  If the Grizz get the win, they will have their first road sweep of at least four games since March 2004.  The Warriors are 5-0 at home this season, a mark the Clippers also had before falling to the Grizzlies on Monday.

The Warriors boast five players averaging double figures in scoring at this point in the season, led by Klay Thompson's 20.5 points per game.  Sensational guard Stephen Curry is a close second with 19.9 points per game.  Curry, who usually gets top billing as the team's superstar leader, will miss Wednesday's game with a concussion.

The Grizzlies have seen good balance offensively.  Mike Conley is off to a good start, scoring 18.7 points and dishing out around six assists per game.  As he has gone over the past few years, so have gone the Grizzlies.  He seems to be over the confidence issues and inconsistency that plagued him a couple of years ago, when trade rumors surrounded him.  Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have been key for the Grizzlies, continuing to comprise one of the biggest post tandem threats in the league.  Gasol is putting up 17 points and seven rebounds per game on the season.  However, on this trip he is scoring over 20 points per game with 8+ rebounds and 8+ assists.  Randolph is leading the team with 9.2 rebounds per game while scoring 16.1 points per contest on a career-high 55 percent shooting clip.

Continue reading "Grizzlies seek first road sweep since '04"


Brad Hurt

Tony Allen Receives Dubious Suspension posted by Brad Hurt

The NBA has announced that Tony Allen will be forced to sit out the Grizzlies' game at Golden State on Wednesday as he serves a one-game suspension for his actions on Monday. Allen was assessed a Flagrant 2 Foul and ejected from Monday night's 106-102 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers for kicking Chris Paul in the face.  The kick in my opinion was clearly inadvertent as Allen jumped and kicked his legs out in a defensive move against the driving Paul.  Such a move is a fairly common part of today's NBA game and is a natural reaction.  Players want to do all they can to impede the progress of the ballhandler and get the ball free.  I don't think Tony said, "Hmmm...I think I'll kick Chris Paul in the face."  Tony is one of the best defenders in the league and doesn't need to resort to cheap shots to get the job done.  It was just a case of bad timing and an unfortunate accident.  Paul is among the shortest players in the league.  That is the only reason the blow landed where it did and made this an issue.  I can see calling a Flagrant 1 because it's not an everyday occurrence, regardless of alleged intent, but a suspension seems a bit heavy-handed to me.  Save that for thrown punches.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flz-uF9ldls

Continue reading "Tony Allen Receives Dubious Suspension"


Brad Hurt

Grizzlies Adjusting to Changes posted by Brad Hurt

It was an eventful offseason for the Memphis Grizzlies, centering around the drama that comes with a regime change.  Following the franchise's first-ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals, a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, new owner Robert Pera made his presence known by allowing the expiration of head coach Lionel Hollins' contract.  While stunning in the wake of a string of postseason appearances and a new milestone, this move came as no real shock from a business perspective.  Anytime someone new takes over a team, he is going to want to surround himself with people who fit into his vision for the franchise.  Very few coaches in sports survive changes at the top of an organization for very long.  Displeased by pending changes in the team's philosophy, Hollins made his frustration publicly known, and that did not help any chance he may have had of returning to the bench for the 2013-14 season.

With lead assistant Dave Joerger getting the front office's support as the new head man, the Grizzlies have gotten off to an uneven start, but that is to be expected as the players adjust to the change.  I think bringing in a total stranger would have made the transition more daunting.

So far the biggest asset for the Grizzlies as they try to establish the type of team they are going to be this season has been Zach Randolph.  Z-Bo proved to be very valuable down the stretch last season, and he continues to be a crucial factor in establishing the Grizzlies as a powerful post team.  If Zach continues to be on top of his game and the guards knock down perimeter shots, the Grizzlies will be back contending for a spot in the finals at the end of the season.

Continue reading "Grizzlies Adjusting to Changes"


NBA News

posted by NBA News

The Kansas Jayhawks have a proud tradition in college athletics. Buoyed by their elite basketball program, alumni and fans alike around the country flock to games and spend thousands of dollars per year on merchandise. You can show your support for the Jayhawks by going online or stopping by the campus bookstore to  shop Kansas jerseys today.

A Jayhawks jersey makes a great birthday or Christmas gift for the fan in your life. If you are about to go to a Kansas basketball or football game, having a jersey to wear to the stadium will help you fit in with the other Jayhawks faithful. 

Kansas students and alumni may qualify for discounts on merchandise just for going to the school. Those who buy their jerseys online may be able to get free or discounted shipping on their orders. Customers who buy a jersey as a gift can include a gift receipt as well as track the status of the order online to ensure that it gets to the recipient in a timely manner. 

Any Kansas fan would be proud to wear school colors on game day whether they are watching the game at the stadium or watching it with friends at home. If you have a credit card and an Internet connection, you are never more than a couple of minutes away from getting your own Kansas Jayhawk merchandise.Continue reading ""


NBA News

Lessons I learned from playing poker that helped my improve my basketball skills posted by NBA News

Poker is a game that some try to discourage due to its perceived association to gambling. Some parents may discourage their children from playing the game; for fear that it could eventually lead to a gambling problem. However, this attitude is wrong, given the many benefits that both children and adults can gain from playing the game.

Playing poker requires a diverse range of skills that you acquire over some period of time. These skills can be applied in different areas of your life, from the sports you participate in to businesses and the personal relationships and interactions you have to handle on a day to day basis.

Making Timely Decisions

One of the ways lock poker helped me improve my basketball skills, was to improve my ability to make judgments. I learned to read non verbal cues that I could read from my opponents and use that to make split second decision. It made me realize that non verbal cues can add improve decision making. I realized it is possible to learn to look for this cues as when training and playing in the field, without necessarily knowing what to look out for.

The beauty of poker, is that it helps you to learn things faster. You recognize patterns and learn to identify them quickly. The game has a tight feedback system that enhances the learning process. Other games do not. But if you play this game for an extended period of time, you will teach your mind to identify these patterns.

Taking Risks

Another way that this poker helped me to improve my basketball skills was to learn how and when to take risks. The consequences of taking certain risks become apparent almost immediately. As a result you learn to weigh the risks. You become increasingly aware of the weight of your actions and learn to make the right decision on your feet.

Continue reading "Lessons I learned from playing poker ..."


NBA News

Tips To Becoming A Professional Sports Bettor posted by NBA News

Gambling is one of the oldest forms of commercial activities known to man.  There are many types of gambling and one of the most popular is sports betting.  To put it in layman’s term, sports betting is simply predicting and placing a wager on the outcome of a sports event.

For most people, sports betting is merely a hobby that can be addictive and engaging. People place wagers on the outcome of the Super Bowl, for instance. Through sports betting, cheering for a particular team or athlete becomes more thrilling since there is money involved.

However, for some people, sports betting is not just a recreational activity that they enjoy. In fact, they rely on sports betting for their main source of income. These professional sports bettors don’t just rely on luck. After all, luck can’t be on their side most of the time to make sports betting their primary source of income.

Sports betting is not for everyone. It takes a lot of guts for people to make sports betting their bread and butter. For the few who are inclined to make sports betting their number one source of income, here are some tips to become successful in this endeavor.

The first key to being a professional sports bettor is to learn how to be detached to a certain sports team or athlete. In sports betting, it is very common for recreational bettors to place a wager on their favorite team or athlete. For instance, a bettor from New York is inclined to put his money on the Knicks instead of, say, the Miami Heat. Emotional attachment to a sports team or athlete is one of the obstacles to becoming a successful professional sports bettor. When one bets solely or mainly on the basis of preference, then there are higher chances that he or she will end up on the losing side.

Continue reading "Tips To Becoming A Professional Sports Bettor"


NBA News

NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams and their Prospects for 2013, 2014 Season posted by NBA News

In the 2012, 2013 prediction of the NBA game seven, Miami Heat were the favorites to win according to basketball sports betting sites. They went ahead to win against the spurs. Miami Heat were defending their title for the second time. Spurs were not the favorites but they had raised hope in many people that they had a chance to take the title. Most odd makers had put odds in the fact that the game will be close. This prediction also came to be true with the final 95, 88 score. There are those that are looking for Miami Heat’s prospect for the 2013-2014 season.

Defending the Title

Miami Heat are favorites to win again in early predictions for this season. The Lebron James magic is expected to play out again as he leads his time to another victory and defend their title. Some predict that Lebron may retain his Most Valuable Player of the year title this coming season. He has consistently shown his skills in shooting, defending and attacking.

On the other hand it may be too early to judge. What are the real prospects of defending the title? Defending the title for the third time will not be that easy. There is talk of Dwayne Wade’s knee injury. Whether he will be part of the action next season and whether Lebron can do without him, is another important factor that will determine the prospects for the team this coming season.

Westbrook’s Return to Oklahoma City

Another team to watch is Oklahama City Thunder. Some odds place it second for the title after Miami Heat. Their prospects are also good. The team up of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is going to be interesting to watch this season. The two are expected to help lead the team towards the title. However Russell has been on crutches and is widely expected to recover in time but how well he recovers and the level of his game remains to be seen.

Continue reading "NBA BasketBall Betting, the Top Teams ..."

NBA Basketball News

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Jeremy Lin gets Madame Tussauds wax figure, which is nice, and shoves cake in mom's face, wh

The San Francisco branch of renowned international wax museum Madame Tussauds unveiled its newest addition on Thursday —newly minted Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin, who played his high school ball about 45 minutes outside the city in Palo Alto, Calif., and began his NBA career with a brief stint on the Golden State Warriors' bench during the 2010-11 season. Let's join Lin in taking a look at Jeremy on wax, which is word to Stone Gossard : Jeremy Lin... Meet Jeremy Lin. The unveiling of his wax figure at #MadameTussauds in #SanFrancisco @Lakers pic.twitter.com/K2eMgEUIjo —Jaime Maggio (@jaimemaggio) August 21, 2014 It looks ... well, an awful lot like the Lin figure that previously appeared at the Madame Tussauds location in Beijing , with the Houston Rockets' red uniform swapped out for L.A.'s familiar purple and gold and without the ball Lin's supposed to be dunking going through the basket. (This feels like a bad omen for the offensive potency of the 2014-15 Lakers.) Lin had to meet with Madame Tussauds' artists "for detailed measurements to ensure that the final product would be a realistic likeness of the 25-year-old point guard," according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times . I bet if you ask him, though, he'll say that the figure should probably be a little more muscular; this is the offseason, after all, and everybody's putting on 15 pounds of muscle. (Shouts to Lang .) Lin joins such luminaries as Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, tennis superstar Serena Williams, boxing legend Muhammad Ali and noted golf enthusiast Tiger Woods in the ranks of sports figures on display at Madame Tussauds' Fisherman's Wharf museum , which is neat. He should savor the flavor of the celebratory unveiling, though; if the introduction of his former New York Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony's wax figure is any indication, folks are about to start cracking on Lin's defensive shortcomings pretty darn quick. (Then again, maybe folks will direct any like-he-was-standing-still goofs toward another Lakers point guard .) As Pincus notes in his report, Lin's just two days shy of his 26th birthday, which makes the Madame Tussauds honor a decent little pre-birthday present. It also, however, means that he's two days closer to potential retribution for his recent unkindness to his mom, whose birthday celebration included an uncalled-for trip to Dessertinthefaceburgh: Hey, Jeremy Lin? Can you be cool to your mom for like a second ? Come on, dog. If you don't start shaping up, you're going to have to answer to Grandpa , and I know you don't want that. Apparently, young Mr. Lin made amends at Madame Tussauds: "Thanks to the SF Madame Tussauds Wax Museum for helping me patch things up with my mom hahah," Lin wrote in the caption to his Instagram post . "Fyi she wasnt actually upset when she got pied," he added, before wrapping up with the hashtag #itsfamilytradition. A likely story, Jeremy. We'll let it slide this time, we suppose. (Glad they put the ball in there, too.) - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Why wouldn't Klay Thompson's agent dub his client 'the top two-way, two-guard in basketball%

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have carried the NBA's top two-way, two-guard torch for 30 years, but Klay Thompson's agent says his client just staked claim to the top of that mountain, and that might be more of a commentary on the league's shooting guards than an inflammatory statement. Bill Duffy, who just so happens not to represent any other contenders for this title, told USA Today's Sam Amick that Thompson isn't just better than Bryant, but everybody else that plays the position. "I don't want (Los Angeles Lakers star) Kobe Bryant to go crazy, but there's some uncertainty as to who he is right now (because of injuries that limited him to six games last season)," Duffy told USA TODAY Sports. "But I think Klay Thompson right now is the top two-way, two-guard in basketball. I think when you look at his body of work, when you look at what he accomplished guarding point guards on a regular basis (last season), I think it's pretty clear." As long as we're basing Bryant's current abilities on six games worth of production last season, then an awful lot of shooting guards can claim they're better than the five-time champ at this point. Kobe may be 36 years old, no longer elite defensively and coming off two major injuries, but he's still Kobe Bryant — 15-time All-NBA and 12-time All-Defensive selection — so any time somebody knocks him down a peg, it will raise eyebrows, especially when that someone hasn't even made his first All-Star Game yet. But this isn't just somebody saying this; it's Thompson's agent, and did we mention the 24-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie contract? Duffy's currently demanding a max contract from the Golden State Warriors, whether in the form of an extension by Oct. 31 or as a restricted free agent come next summer, so it behooves him to label his client as the NBA's top two-way performer at his position. If Thompson's USA Basketball teammates DeMar DeRozan and James Harden — the latter of whom actually dubbed himself " the best all-around basketball player in the NBA " this summer — were Duffy's clients, the uber-agent would have a tougher time walking that tightrope. Same goes for over-30 two-guards Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobili, who have combined to win seven titles during Kobe's career. In reality, Thompson isn't the best two-guard on his own team, as fellow Splash Bro Stephen Curry showed in securing the starting spot on Team USA this summer. Heck, another Warriors teammate, Andre Iguodala, earned First Team All-Defensive honors as a guard/forward this past season. But Curry plays the point and Iguodala small forward for the Warriors, so the amalgamation of positions — combo guards, wings, point forwards, etc. — makes naming someone the best at one in particular all the more difficult in the increasing absence of prototypical shooting guards like Jordan, Bryant and, yes, Thompson. Recent young All-NBA selections Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard and Goran Dragic (another Duffy client) might also lay claim to that honor had they primarily played the position. Still, few two-guards enoyed a better year than Thompson, who averaged 18.4 points on 41.7 percent 3-point shooting, assumed the unfortunate responsibility of defending Chris Paul in Golden State's first-round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and bounced back with a gold medal for Team USA. (For the record, CP3 had a sublime series opposite the defensive effort Duffy is touting for Thompson.) Throw Bradley Beal, Lance Stephenson and Jimmy Butler into the conversation with Thompson, DeRozan and Harden, and it should be a fun battle for Bryant's shooting guard torch in the 25-and-under crowd. But there's no obvious heir apparent, and that allows Duffy to throw his client's hat into the ring. Not that Bryant will be releasing his grasp on the title any time soon, since it took Jordan until the age of 40 to officially step down from atop the NBA's shooting guard mountain. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Gregg Popovich fondly recalls his team's 'lobotomies,' readies his championship-defending te

Three months later, it’s still remarkable that the San Antonio Spurs were able to win the 2014 NBA title. The team had the talent enough, that’s for sure. Top to bottom, they were probably the deepest team in the NBA, and easily the best squad in the NBA when it came time to thinking on its collective feet and anticipating all manner of movement from opponents on either end of the court. They weren’t gifted a title, they earned one –in spite of the disparate ages and stylings of its core players. No, the Spurs’2014 championship was remarkable because of what happened some 12 months before. San Antonio fell in the final two games of its 2013 season, losing the NBA Finals along the way, in a production that was as galling as anything we’ve seen since Bill Russell’s final championship win over a shocked and reeling Los Angeles Lakers squad in 1969. Perhaps more galling, one supposes, because the 2013 Spurs were supposed to act as the modern-day Celtics in this matter –all full of security and sound moves down the stretch. Instead, they folded; with both players and coaching staff making serious mistakes late in losses in Game 6 and 7 against Miami. How coach Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players initially is one thing, any coach can get the juices flowing after a massive disappointment for a short stretch. How Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players for a training camp, an 82-game season and 23-game playoff run stretched out from early October until mid-June? It may just have been the greatest coaching achievement in NBA history. Even if Tim Duncan is on your side. Coach Pop’s motivational technique was as tangible as well as ethereal. From Buck Harvey’s feature on Popovich in the San Antonio Express-News : If you took a right out of Gregg Popovich's office in the practice facility last season, and you walked past the offices of the assistant coaches, you couldn't miss it. Straight ahead, prominently displayed on a wall, was a framed picture of the Game 6 scoreboard. […] The picture didn't display the final score. It didn't freeze time at 28.2 seconds. It showed a moment late in the third quarter —when the Spurs led by 13 points. That’s a coach burn, right there. Don’t fixate on Ray Allen’s three-pointer or the half-full Heat arena celebrating the win after the final buzzer. Focus on the 12 and a half minutes’worth of things that went wrong on Miami’s way toward outscoring San Antonio by 13 over the rest of regulation on its way to an overtime win. You’d call that typical Coach Pop, until you move on to read what else he and Harvey talked about , as Popovich readied to welcome his players back from a summer spent celebrating that hard-earned championship. On Miami’s mindset, heading into Game 3 of the 2014 Finals, working with a 1-1 series tie and home court advantage : “When they won Game 2,”he said, “they probably didn't handle that win real well. They were probably thinking that we got lucky in Game 1, with the air conditioning issue, and they thought they were just going to do it again. As two-time defending champs, it was natural. This had become their place in the world.”Combine the two attitudes, and the result was a stunning, overwhelming exhibition of basketball excellence. Even now, when Popovich watches the last three games of the Finals, he comes away amazed. “I'm thinking, 'Who are these guys?'”he joked about his players. “'Did they all have lobotomies?'”Popovich, in his own way, is always trying to surgically tweak brains. It's not manipulation as much as it is a search for the clearest, most honest message. He doesn't want to do what the Heat did, which is not handle success well. This is killer stuff. For one, the Heat can’t rightly respond. They don’t have LeBron James at their side anymore, so while Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and (especially) coach Erik Spoelstra can take all the offense they want to the insinuation that hubris got in the way of a third consecutive Heat title, they’ll still have to work through Cleveland, Chicago, and possibly a few other Eastern upstarts if they want a way to make Coach Pop eat his words in the FInals. This isn’t about the Miami Heat, though. You know that. This is about Coach Pop expecting his Spurs to have a mindset that combines the best of the 2013-14 combination of patience and execution, while learning on the fly how to do something that Pop’s Spurs teams have never been able to accomplish. That would be defending a title all the way until they’ve won another one. Finding a way to add to what was already a crystal clear focus in the wake of the 2013 disappointment, while understanding that no longer are the San Antonio Spurs considered the respectful-if-fogeyish mainstays that are to be admired but not feared. Nope, they’re the champs. And with bling, comes burden. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Chicago Bulls (Ball Don't Lie)

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From Yahoo Sports

Harden, Rockets focus on defensive improvement (The Associated Press)

HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden was the target of plenty of criticism for his defense after the Houston Rockets were bounced from the playoffs in the first round last season on a last-second shot by Portland's Damian Lillard. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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