NBA: Heat, Spurs Reach Conference Finals Again
UNDATED (AP) — The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have earned a few extra days' rest before opening their respective conference final series.
The Heat erased a nine-point deficit in the final 5 1/2 minutes to beat the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 in Game 5 of the conference semifinals. Ray Allen drained a go-ahead, 3-pointer with 32 seconds left before adding a pair of free throws to cap a 12-0 run. It was Miami's first lead since late in the second quarter.
LeBron James scored 29 points and had nine rebounds, while Dwyane (dwayn) Wade added a postseason-high 28 for the Heat. James provided five points during the fourth-quarter run.
Joe Johnson scored a game-high 34 for the Nets, including a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left that got his team within one.
The Spurs also wrapped up a five-game series as Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard each scored 22 points in a 104-82 pounding of Portland. Green and Leonard both shot over 60 percent and combined for seven 3-pointers and 16 rebounds, including a team-high nine from Green.
San Antonio won easily despite the loss of Tony Parker, who missed the second half of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night with tightness in his left hamstring after going scoreless in 10 minutes. The Spurs outscored Portland by 15 in the second half.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, while Damian Lillard added 17 points and 10 assists.
Kerr picks Warriors over Knicks
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Steve Kerr is the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors, agreeing to a five-year, $25 million deal. Kerr had been in talks with the Knicks about becoming their next coach since Phil Jackson took over as team president in March. Instead, he decided to accept the chance to coach a Western Conference contender in his home state.
Kerr spent three seasons as general manager of the Phoenix Suns before stepping down in June 2010. He replaces Mark Jackson, who was fired by the Warriors last week after three seasons and back-to-back playoff appearances.
James pleased with Silver's handling of Sterling.
MIAMI (AP) — Miami Heat forward LeBron James reaffirms that he's pleased with the initial response from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to racist remarks made by now-banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Players union vice president and former Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. told Showtime that James will boycott games if Sterling is not removed as owner. But after the story escalated Wednesday, Mason Jr. tweeted that James "never said anything about boycotting."
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA over his comments, and the league is in a process that would lead to the Clippers owner being forced to sell the club.
New coach for Motown
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Pistons have hired Stan Van Gundy as their coach and president of basketball operations. Van Gundy is 371-208 in seven-plus seasons as a coach with Miami and Orlando. He reached the NBA Finals in 2009 with the Magic.
Detroit went 29-53 last season, missing the playoffs for a fifth straight year.