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Jimmy Butler, Jared Dudley tossed after Joel Embiid’s foul in 76ers-Nets game

UPDATED: Sat., April 20, 2019, 8:14 p.m.

Jimmy Butler and Jared Dudley were ejected in the third quarter of Game 4 between Philadelphia and Brooklyn after a scuffle that spilled into the stands. Dudley reacted to Joel Embiid’s hard foul on Jarrett Allen, bumping the 76ers’ All-Star center. Butler then shoved Dudley from behind to start the scrum.
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NBA Tipoff: Celtics can sweep; Warriors, Raptors, Blazers aiming at 3-1

The Boston Celtics can become the first team to reach the second round of these playoffs with a win over Indiana in Game 4. Golden State, Toronto and Portland all have a chance to go back home with 3-1 series leads. And that means all the home teams – the Pacers, the Los Angeles Clippers against the Warriors, the Orlando Magic against the Raptors and the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Trail Blazers – will be feeling serious pressure on Sunday.

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NBA Tipoff: Finally a playoff game at Detroit Pistons’ new arena

Little Caesars Arena in Detroit will finally host its first playoff game – in what is probably the last chance the Pistons have to make their series against Milwaukee competitive. The Milwaukee-Detroit matchup is one of two series shifting sites Saturday. Houston and Utah will also play Game 3 in Salt Lake City. There are a couple Game 4s on tap as well: Philadelphia at Brooklyn and Denver at San Antonio.
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Joel Embiid listed as doubtful for 76ers’ Game 4 vs Nets

The Philadelphia 76ers are listing Joel Embiid as doubtful for Game 4 of their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets. Embiid has been bothered by a sore left knee, but was able to play in the first two games of the series. He warmed up before Game 3 on Thursday night before it was decided that he couldn’t play.
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Pacers’ resiliency faces tough test with 2-0 deficit

Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic ignored those who doubted the Indiana Pacers last season. They’re even more determined to prove them wrong in the playoffs. The two veterans who helped the Pacers exceed expectations after losing Paul George in a trade and kept them together following Victor Oladipo’s season-ending knee injury now insist they can help the Pacers overcome a 2-0 deficit against Boston.
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Thunder’s Paul George out of sync, looking to find rhythm

When Paul George has been rolling this season, so has Oklahoma City. The Thunder’s All-Star forward has been off his game against Portland. Yes, he’s averaging 26.5 points but he’s making just 27 percent of his 3-pointers, down from 39 percent during the regular season. George says previously sore shoulder is fine and he’s pain free. He says it’s just a matter of finding his rhythm, which he needs to do quickly.
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NBA Tipoff: Magic finally get a playoff game at home; OKC, Indy on ropes

Orlando came home with home-court advantage. Indiana and Oklahoma City are seeking some home-court magic. A trio of Game 3s – Toronto at Orlando, Boston at Indiana and Portland at Oklahoma City – come with different story lines. The Magic got a split of their first two games with the Raptors, the Pacers are reeling after a late-game collapse in Game 2 left them trailing the Celtics 2-0, and the Thunder have seemed completely out of sorts as they’ve gotten into a 2-0 hole against the Blazers.
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NBA Tipoff: Warriors, Spurs try to forget blown chances for 2-0 leads

The Golden State Warriors are trying to regain the lead in a series they probably still can’t believe is tied. Same with the San Antonio Spurs, who like the Warriors know they are facing an opponent who won’t stay down no matter how far they fall down. The Clippers made a historic comeback against the Warriors in Game 2 and Denver rallied past San Antonio. So things are even going into Game 3s on Thursday.
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Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley playing with intensified edge

UPDATED: Wed., April 17, 2019, 4:13 p.m.

Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley always play with an edge, which has been intensified in the NBA playoffs. Lillard and Westbrook are squaring off in the Portland-Oklahoma City series while Beverly is taking on the world champion Warriors. And the trio of guards has provided some of the most entertaining moments of the postseason so far.
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‘We’re excited’: Knicks have hopes for lottery, free agency

The New York Knicks are excited and optimistic. They know there is the chance to quickly turn around what was the NBA’s worst record at 17-65 this season. They share the best odds of landing the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery and possibly have enough money to afford two top players in free agency. Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing will present them on stage at the May 14 draft lottery.
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Injured DeMarcus Cousins unlikely to return this postseason

UPDATED: Wed., April 17, 2019, 2:45 p.m.

Center DeMarcus Cousins is unlikely to return this postseason for the Golden State Warriors yet won’t require surgery on his torn left quadriceps muscle. Coach Steve Kerr has named Andrew Bogut as the starter in place of Cousins for Thursday night’s Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. The first-round series is tied 1-1.
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Pelicans’ David Griffin: Alvin Gentry staying, and perhaps Anthony Davis, too

UPDATED: Wed., April 17, 2019, 2:10 p.m.

The Pelicans’ newly hired top basketball executive says coach Alvin Gentry will be retained. David Griffin also won’t rule out the possibility of talking six-time All-Star Anthony Davis into rescinding his trade request and committing to New Orleans long-term. Griffin was formally introduced as the Pelicans’ executive vice president of basketball operations on Wednesday afternoon. Griffin’s hiring fills the vacancy created when the Pelicans fired general manager Dell Demps earlier this season.
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NBA Tipoff: Celtics, Rockets and Bucks eye 2-0 1st-round series leads

The Celtics are looking to follow-up the ugliest game of the playoffs with another win against the Pacers. And they don’t care how it aesthetically it looks as long as they win. The Rockets and Bucks look for competitive games in their respective series against the Jazz and Pistons after dominating performances to start the postseason.
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Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins has torn left quadriceps

DeMarcus Cousins has a torn left quadriceps muscle that will sideline the Golden State Warriors center indefinitely. An MRI exam revealed the tear Tuesday. The Warriors say Cousins will begin rehabilitation immediately. Coach Steve Kerr has said that Cousins would be out for a significant period of time.