NBA Playoffs And A Change In Memphis
Spurs handle Thunders in opener
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs weren't able to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder during the regular season, but that was before Serge Ibaka (ih-BAH'-kah) got hurt.
Tim Duncan scored 27 points and the Spurs captured Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference finals by pounding the Thunder 122-105 in San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had 18 points for the Spurs, who dominated inside while Ibaka sat out with a calf injury that will force him to miss the rest of the postseason.
San Antonio scored 66 points in the paint and shot nearly 58 percent from the field. The Spurs weren't bad from outside, either, as Danny Green shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range and finished with 16 points. Kawhi Leonard also had 16 points.
Tony Parker finished with 14 points and 12 assists while showing no signs of a hamstring injury suffered in Game 5 of the conference semifinals.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 28 points and Russell Westbrook added 25, but the rest of Oklahoma City's starters combined for just five points on 2-for-10 shooting. Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha (TAH'-boh seh-feh-LOH'-shuh) were both scoreless.
League continues to move in on Sterling
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has initiated a charge against Donald Sterling, setting up a June 3 hearing after which owners could vote to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. The charge asserts that Sterling has damaged the NBA and its teams, disparaged African-Americans and that his actions "significantly undermine the NBA's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion."
Sterling, who has been banned for life by Commissioner Adam Silver after the release of a recording in which he made racist remarks, has until May 27 to respond to the charge, and the right to appear at the hearing in front of the board of governors.
If three-fourths of the owners vote to sustain the charge, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981.
Shakeup in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies' early exit from the playoffs has claimed a couple of suits in the front office.
The Grizzlies have parted with team CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash in a front-office shake-up that follows the Grizzlies' elimination in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace assumes interim responsibility for basketball operations.