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The Golden State Warriors visit the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals with a 2-0 lead in the series. The teams meet for the seventh time this season. Dallas is 36-16 against the Western Conference, and Golden State is 33-19 against conference opponents.

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Stephen Curry scored 32 points with six 3-pointers and eight rebounds, Kevon Looney had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors used one of their signature third-quarter flurries to rally past the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. Luka Doncic scored 18 of his 42 points in the first quarter — two points shy of his 20-point Game 1 total. His 3-pointer with 13 seconds before halftime put Dallas up 72-58 at the break and gave him 24 points.

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Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics was the leading vote-getter for the All-Defensive first team, with Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns joining him as the other guard. Former Defensive Players of the Year Rudy Gobert of Utah and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee were also voted Friday to the first team along with Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. Smart received 99 first-place votes and 198 points from the panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Bridges, the runner-up to Smart for the league’s top defensive award, got 95 first-team votes and two second-team votes for a total of 193 points.

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The Boston Celtics got outworked by the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals but returned the favor in Game 2. A big factor for the Celtics was having Marcus Smart back. The Defensive Player of the Year brought his signature energy in a blowout win. Now the Celtics have home-court advantage for the series as it shifts to TD Garden. And the Heat are the team dealing with injury concerns. Heat forward P.J. Tucker left Game 2 with a knee bruise. He had an MRI Friday before boarding the team plane to Boston.

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The Boston Celtics host the Miami Heat in game three of the Eastern Conference finals with the series tied 1-1. The teams meet for the sixth time this season. Boston is 33-19 against the Eastern Conference, and Miami is 35-17 against conference opponents.

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Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown each scored 24 and the Boston Celtics dominated the first half to roll past the Miami Heat 127-102 and tie the Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece. Smart was a rebound shy of a triple-double, after adding 12 assists and nine rebounds. Boston used a 17-0 run in the first quarter to take control. Jimmy Butler had 29 points in 32 minutes for Miami. The Heat fell to 7-1 at home in these playoffs. The Celtics made 20 shots from 3-point range to Miami’s 10. Game 3 is Saturday in Boston.

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Al Horford and Marcus Smart are coming back. And Derrick White headed home early for a good reason. The Boston Celtics have two missing starters back for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. Smart’s mid-foot sprain has improved to the point where the Celtics said he could play Thursday. Horford was removed from the NBA’s health and safety protocols after getting cleared by test results. And White left Miami early because of the looming birth of a child.

TyTy Washington Jr. says he gained invaluable experience playing at Kentucky this past season. He's banking on what he learned at the college level to help him make the jump to the NBA. The college game can offer opportunities that aren’t available through other avenues, with the exposure through TV deals and the NCAA Tournament and all that comes with it. The burgeoning name, image and likeness chances that were created last year when the NCAA’s Board of Directors cleared the way for college athletes to start earning money without endangering their eligibility or putting their schools in jeopardy of rules of violations are another incentive for top prospects. Options remain overseas and in the G League Ignite. A new league called Overtime Elite is another path.

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A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Denver Nuggets president Tim Connelly is in discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about their vacant president of basketball operations role. The Nuggets are widely considered to be on the verge of NBA title contention after Connelly's nine years as the team's primary decision-maker. The Timberwolves also coming off a season in which they doubled their win total from the previous season to 46. They pushed Memphis hard in a six-game first-round playoff loss.

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Mitch Kupchak has signed a multiyear contract extension to remain the Charlotte Hornets’ general manager. His contract was set to expire this summer. Kupchak told reporters on Thursday that “for better or for worse I will be here for the next couple of years.” He would not say when the contract expires. Kupchak will continue to lead the team’s search for a coach. He said the team already has interviewed eight to 10 candidates and could speak with a few more over the next week or so. He said he would like to make a hire preferably in the next two weeks and at the very least before the June 23 NBA draft.

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Jason Kidd has been here before in his first season as coach of the Mavericks. Dallas is down 1-0 in a third consecutive NBA playoff series. The Bay Area native is looking for another bounce-back from Luka Doncic and company in his first trip to the conference finals as a coach. It just happened to start in San Francisco. Kidd is guiding the franchise that was his first home away from home nearly 30 years ago. Dallas is this deep in the playoffs for the first time since Kidd was the point guard on the Dirk Nowitzki-led team that won the 2011 NBA title.

Teenage power forward Dominick Barlow will be one of approximately 76 prospects at the NBA draft combine this week in Chicago. He didn’t take the conventional route through the college ranks, or the NBA’s G League Ignite, or by playing overseas. He skipped college to join Overtime Elite. The new basketball league was created to give high school players another path to the pros. He got paid a six-figure salary as he and the rest of the inaugural group learned about nutrition, social-media skills and financial literacy as they immersed themselves in basketball.

The Golden State Warriors host the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference finals with a 1-0 lead in the series. The teams meet for the sixth time this season. Golden State is 33-19 against the Western Conference, and Dallas is 36-16 against conference opponents.

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Stephen Curry had 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, Golden State’s defense held Luka Doncic in check, and the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 for a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. Doncic scored 20 points but shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep. He made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the first half to get his team within 54-45 at the break, but Curry and Klay Thompson helped the Warriors pull away in the second half. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Friday night at Chase Center.

Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, Cleveland forward Evan Mobley and Detroit guard Cade Cunningham were unanimously voted to the NBA All-Rookie first team. Orlando’s Franz Wagner and Houston’s Jalen Green were the other players chosen for the first team by a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Barnes, the No. 4 pick by the Toronto Raptors, edged Mobley for the Rookie of the Year in the smallest margin under the current format that began in 2002-03. They both received 200 points in the All-Rookie balloting, along with Cunningham, the 2021 No. 1 pick.

The Dallas Mavericks have been fined $50,000 by the NBA for a second violation of bench decorum during their Western Conference semifinal series against Phoenix. The second fine was twice as much as the first. It was issued after Dallas’ blowout Game 7 victory in Phoenix that sent the Mavericks to the West finals against Golden State. The league says players and a member of the coaching staff stood for extended periods, were too far from the bench area and encroached on the court during game action. The other fine came after Game 2, also in Phoenix.

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Things have been working out just fine so far in this postseason for Jimmy Butler and the top-seeded Miami Heat. They'll look to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals when they play host to the second-seeded Boston Celtics on Thursday night. It won’t be easy to win two straight. The Celtics are 3-0 after losses in these playoffs. They've won those bounceback games by an average of 14.7 points and got two of those victories on the road. The Celtics are hoping to have defensive player of the year Marcus Smart back. He's listed as probable for Game 2.

The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals with a 1-0 lead in the series. The teams meet for the fifth time this season. Miami is 35-17 against the Eastern Conference, and Boston is 33-19 against conference opponents.

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Jimmy Butler scored 41 points, and the Miami Heat turned things around with a huge third quarter on the way to beating the shorthanded Boston Celtics 118-107 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night. Tyler Herro scored 18 and Gabe Vincent added 17 for the Heat, who outscored Boston 39-14 in the third quarter. Butler had 17 alone in the third, outscoring the Celtics by himself over those 12 minutes. Jayson Tatum scored 29 for the Celtics, who were without starters Marcus Smart (foot) and Al Horford (health and safety protocols). Jaylen Brown scored 24 for Boston, which got 18 apiece from Robert Williams III and Payton Pritchard.

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The Orlando Magic won the NBA draft lottery and landed the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since they got Dwight Howard nearly two decades ago. Orlando finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 22-60 and missed the playoffs for the  eighth time in 10 years. But they got a huge win in the lottery, with the top pick for the first time since taking Howard in 2004. Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Auburn’s Jabari Smith are widely considered the most likely candidates to be taken first. The draft is June 23 in New York. Oklahoma City got the second pick, followed by Houston and Sacramento.

According to a person familiar with the situation, the Charlotte Hornets have scheduled second interviews with Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham and Golden State Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson this week for their head coaching vacancy. The team is also scheduled to interview former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts this week. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team has not released a list of potential coaching candidates. The Hornets fired James Borrego as coach after going 43-39 this season and finishing in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. 

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Boston will be without two starters for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, with Al Horford entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols and Marcus Smart unable to play because of a mid-foot sprain. The Celtics announced those updates about three hours before the series opener against the Miami Heat. Smart was injured Sunday in the Celtics' series-clinching win over the Bucks.

Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are one step closer to playing for another championship as they prepare to tip off Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. Thompson looks like his old self this postseason after returning in January from injuries that sidelined him for more than 2 1/2 years. He can’t wait to lead the Warriors into the best-of-seven series against the fourth-seeded Mavericks, who took down top-seeded Phoenix in the deciding seventh game of their semifinal series.

The Golden State Warriors are back in the Western Conference finals for the sixth time in eight years. They will face an unexpected opponent. Luka Doncic and the Mavericks ousted Phoenix, which had the NBA’s best record, with a Game 7 rout in the Western Conference semifinals. The Mavericks haven’t made it this far since winning their lone NBA title in 2011. The conference finals were once just a stopping point for the Warriors, who played in five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19. Game 1 of the series is Wednesday night in San Francisco.

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