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Jazz easily top Clippers in LA in Game 7

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) The young Utah Jazz have grown up quickly.

Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and the Jazz eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday with a 104-91 victory, closing out the first-round series 4-3 to earn the franchise's first postseason victory since 2010.

"We've been through some pretty hard downs," said Hayward, a seventh-year veteran. "It definitely feels really good to go from 25 wins to where we were this year making the playoffs, winning a series."

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Thomas' 33, 19 3s get Celtics by Wizards

BOSTON (AP) Nothing it seems can stop Isaiah Thomas this postseason - be it pains big or small.

The All-Star led the Celtics to a first-round win over Chicago in a haze after learning the day before that series began that his younger sister, Chyna Thomas, had died in a car accident outside of his native Tacoma, Washington.

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Cavs, Raptors meet again in playoffs

CLEVELAND (AP) We The North vs. We Are The Champions.

One round earlier than a year ago, Toronto and Cleveland are meeting again in the NBA playoffs.

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Spurs face tough task against Rockets

SAN ANTONIO (AP) After surviving an intense, physical battle with the Memphis Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs now face James Harden and the freewheeling Houston Rockets.

With a leading MVP candidate leading its offense in Harden, Houston averaged 112.8 points in its five-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets attempted 169 3-pointers in that series, making 34 percent, and were 134 for 168 from the free throw line.

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Wade noncommittal on Bulls future

CHICAGO (AP) Dwyane Wade wasn't ready to make any declarations about his future with the Chicago Bulls.

The 12-time All-Star and three-time champion is waiting for management to set the direction of the franchise. Then he'll make up his mind: Stay with his hometown team for $23.8 million or look elsewhere.

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Hawks' Millsap 'probably will opt out'

ATLANTA (AP) Paul Millsap confirmed on Saturday he "probably will opt out" of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, leaving the Atlanta Hawks to plot their future following a painful first-round exit from the playoffs.

Millsap has a $21.4 million option for next season. The four-time All-Star can earn substantially more in a new long-term deal, making the opt-out decision obvious.

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Warriors hope Livingston, Barnes return

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors hope to get injured reserves Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes back from injuries for the second round of the playoffs after getting more than a week off between series.

The Warriors said Saturday that Barnes has been upgraded to probable for Tuesday night's Game 1 and Livingston remains questionable but is hopeful he will be ready to return. Star forward Kevin Durant is expected to be a full go after missing two games and being limited to 20 minutes in Game 4 last round because of a strained left calf.

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Bird steps down as Pacers president

Larry Bird started the week by driving an IndyCar down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to stump for the NBA's All-Star weekend returning to Indiana.

He ended it by stepping down as president of basketball operations for the Pacers, a stunningly abrupt decision that has become a hallmark of the NBA great's post-playing career.

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Bucks eager to build after strong finish

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) With the sting of their frantic but failed Game 6 comeback effort still fresh in their minds, the Milwaukee Bucks returned to their practice facility Friday morning to pack their things and head their separate ways.

The Bucks consider themselves a team on the rise in the Eastern Conference, a belief no doubt reinforced by a furious 14-4 run late in the season that propelled them to sixth place in the East and solidified by a strong, though inconsistent, effort against Toronto in the playoffs.

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Memphis faces big decisions in offseason

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) David Fizdale helped coax even better play out of Mike Conley and turned Marc Gasol into a 3-point shooter. The first-year coach also helped the Grizzlies extend their franchise record streak of postseason appearances to seven.

As with many of the Grizzlies postseason hopes, the San Antonio Spurs dashed them yet again by ousting Memphis in six games with the clincher Thursday night 103-96 .

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