Spurs, Raptors Regain Home-Court Advantage
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Rockets are still alive in the NBA playoffs.
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets beat Portland 108-98 to pull within three games to two in the series. Jeremy Lin provided a big spark off the bench with 21 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Chandler Parsons finished with 20 points and Omer Asik had 15 rebounds while they helped the Rockets hold the Trail Blazers to 43 percent shooting.
Wesley Matthews hit five 3-pointers in scoring a team-high 27 points for the Blazers.
Game 6 is Friday in Portland.
The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors have grabbed 3-2 leads in the conference quarterfinals.
Tony Parker had 23 points and the Spurs never trailed in a 109-103 victory over Dallas. Manu Ginobili had 19 points and Tiago Splitter added 17 and 12 rebounds as San Antonio regained home-court advantage.
Tim Duncan chipped in 16 points and 12 boards in the win.
Vince Carter scored 28 points for the Mavericks, who will try to stave off elimination when they host Game 6 on Friday.
Toronto coughed up a 26-point lead before downing Brooklyn 115-113. Kyle Lowry scored a career playoff-high 36 points on 6 of 9 from 3-point range, including a trey that put the Raptors ahead to stay.
DeMar DeRozan had 23 points for the Raptors, who would advance to face Miami in the second round with a victory in Game 6 on Friday in Brooklyn.
Joe Johnson scored 30 points for the Nets who outscored Toronto 44-24 in the fourth quarter and twice tied the score late in the game.
D'Antoni steps down
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers are the latest team in need of a head coach.
Mike D'Antoni has resigned after less than two seasons at the post. He went 67-87 with the Lakers, including a 27-55 mark this season.
D'Antoni took over for Mike Brown, who lasted just 71 games after replacing 11-time NBA champion-coach Phil Jackson.
The 62-year-old D'Antoni had one year left on his contract but wanted the Lakers to pick up his option year for 2015-16 to have any chance of success. The Lakers apparently refused, leading to D'Antoni's resignation.
Owners committee to meet on Sterling
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA owners' advisory and finance committee will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss the next steps in the removal of Donald Sterling as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 10-member committee will have a conference call two days after Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from the league and fined him $2.5 million for making racist comments. Silver also said he would urge owners to use their power to force Sterling to sell the team.
That would require the support of three-fourths of the league's owners in a vote.
Minnesota owner Glen Taylor chairs the committee.
Celebs line up for shot at Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — If Donald Sterling is compelled to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, the list of potential buyers will have more stars than the team's roster.
Oprah Winfrey leads the list of wealthy celebrities who have expressed an interest in purchasing the club shortly after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league for life.
Winfrey's spokesperson confirmed Wednesday she is already in discussions with record-label mogul David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to pool their vast resources for a bid.
Music mogul Sean Combs tweeted his interest in going after the Clippers, and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants to form a group to buy the team.
Celebrities ranging from Matt Damon to Oscar De La Hoya expressed interest in joining an ownership group.
Sterling controversy boosts Clippers-Warriors TV ratings
NEW YORK (AP) — The Donald Sterling saga has paid short-term dividends for ABC and TNT. Sunday's game between the Clippers and Warriors drew 6.5 million viewers on ABC, up a whopping 48 percent from the 4.4 million who watched Game 1 on the network just over a week prior. There also was a 34-percent spike in TNT's usual viewership for the Warriors and Clippers last night, hours after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban for Sterling and plans to try to force him to sell the team.