Pacers Internal Fighting??

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The Pacers got back into their series with the Hawks on Tuesday, but the news wasn’€™t all positive.

Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner fought during practice on the eve of the playoffs, Yahoo Sports reports. The two reportedly needed to be separated and one witness told Yahoo Sports “this stuff happens, but the timing wasn’t ideal.”

“We’ve been on the ropes a little bit,” Pacers forward David West told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night. “Every team goes through that. But I thought we did a great job of dealing with whatever issues we had. The great thing about this group has always been that we’re very open with one another, always been able to get through the ups and downs of a long NBA season.”

The 76ers traded Turner to the Pacers for veteran Danny Granger, who was a locker-room leader in Indiana. The Pacers struggled shortly after the deal, going 12-13 since March 1, but still earned the No. 1 seed in the East.

Indiana, which was stunned in Game 1 by No. 8 seed Atlanta, evened its best-of-7 series with a 101-85 win Tuesday.

Raptors Win Game 2

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DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

A first-time All-Star this season, DeRozan struggled in his postseason debut on Saturday. He went 3 for 13 from the field and scored 14 points in Toronto’s 94-87 loss.

On Tuesday, DeRozan eclipsed that total in the fourth quarter alone, scoring 17 of Toronto’s 36 points.

“We knew he was going to bounce back from the first game,” Brooklyn’s Deron Williams said. “He took over the game, hit some crucial shots, some tough shots. We’ve got to do a better job of stopping him, especially late.”

DeRozan made nine of 21 shots and went 12 for 14 at the free-throw line, hitting nine of 11 attempts in the final quarter.

“He bounced back, refocused,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Making those free throws down the stretch was huge. For him to come through after a tough first game and everyone doubting him, I was really happy with that.”

So was Raptors guard Kyle Lowry.

“Tonight he showed what he can do,” Lowry said of DeRozan. “He did an unbelievable job of attacking, being aggressive.”

Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Lowry had 14 for the Raptors, who outrebounded the Nets 52-30. It was Valanciunas’ second straight playoff double-double.

“There was no way we were going to lose that game,” Amir Johnson said. “It was a must-win for us.”

Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.

Clippers Destroy Golden State

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Blake Griffin scored a career playoff-high 35 points without a foul and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way in routing the Golden State Warriors 138-98 Monday night to even their first-round series at a game apiece.

Chris Paul added 12 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, who started the game on a 14-4 run and kept on going, maintaining a sizeable double-digit lead through the final three quarters. They finished with a franchise record points for a playoff game.

All the foul trouble that plagued Griffin and Paul in the Clippers’ four-point loss in Game 1 belonged to the Warriors this time.

Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter, when the Warriors never got closer than 25 points, while playing with four fouls. Klay Thompson finished with seven points – 15 under his average – and four fouls.

 

 

Terelle Pryor to Compete

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Terrelle Pryor is heading to Seattle.

The Raiders traded the 6-foot-5, 211-pound quarterback to the Seahawks, FOX Sports NFL insider Alex Marvez has confirmed. Pro Football Talk first reported the news. The Seahawks surrendered a seventh-round pick for Pryor, according to multiple reports.

Pryor, who was a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft, had one year left on his rookie deal worth $765,000.

The Raiders, who were set to begin offseason training activities, were likely to release Pryor if they didn’t get a deal done. Now, Pryor will compete with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to back up Russell Wilson.

Sherman….. Bout to get Paid$$$

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The Seattle Seahawks and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman are hopeful to reach a deal before next month’s NFL Draft that could make Sherman the highest paid player at his position.

Sources report that the contract will be worth more than $13 million per season, surpassing the one year, $12 million deal Darrelle Revis just signed with the New England Patriots.

Sherman, who was a fifth round pick in 2011, is due to make $1.4 million in 2014 – the final season of his current contract.

The NFL Draft is May 8-10.

The Seahawks are also looking to re-sign safety Earl Thomas who is entering the final year of his contract and due to make $4.6 million.

Quarterback Russell Wilson, who is one of the lowest-paid starting quarterbacks in the league and the third-highest paid signal caller on the Seahawks roster at $662,000, has two years left on his rookie deal. Under the collective bargaining agreement, he cannot renegotiate until after the 2014 season.

Knicks Fire Woodson…Jackson Making Changes

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Mike Woodson was fired as coach the New York Knicks on Monday after his team fell from division champions to out of the playoffs in one season.

Phil Jackson, in his first big move since becoming team president in March, said in a statement “the time has come for change throughout the franchise.”

The dismissal comes shortly after the Knicks completed a 37-45 season that began with their belief they were a serious contender.

Instead, they started poorly, making Woodson’s job security practically a season-long distraction. A late surge wasn’t good enough for a postseason spot or another year for Woodson.

Jackson has won an NBA-record 11 championships as a coach. He has repeatedly said he’s not interested in returning to the bench, so he will have to hire someone before he turns his attention to the roster. The team said the coaching search begins immediately.

Jackson said he has a “tremendous amount of respect” for Woodson and the team “owes a great deal of gratitude” to him and his staff. Jackson called this an “extremely difficult” season and said “blame should not be put on one individual.”

“But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond,” he added.

Woodson, a former Knicks first-round draft pick, was hired as an assistant coach before the 2011-12 season, then engineered an 18-6 finish after replacing Mike D’Antoni on an interim basis the following March to capture a playoff spot. Given a multiyear deal two months later, he then led them to a 54-28 record last season and the Knicks’ first Atlantic Division championship since 1994.