There's no bigger long shot in the NBA playoffs than the Atlanta Hawks.

To get another shot at LeBron James, the San Antonio Spurs may have to go through Dirk Nowitzki, then Dwight Howard and James Harden, and finally Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

The Los Angeles Clippers' conversion from NBA franchise to Doc Rivers Inc. can be traced to the summer night their new coach sat across from their freakishly athletic center at a trendy Japanese restaurant in West Hollywood.

One by one, the Milwaukee Bucks met with their coach one last time before packing up their belongings.

Kyrie Irving was already wearing his jacket and a Louis Vuitton backpack as he conducted his final postgame interview.

The Minnesota Timberwolves won nine more games than they did a season ago and saw Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio make it through the entire season without injury.

Lose a franchise player, trade away another star. Snag home-court advantage for at least one round in the playoffs?

Rodney Stuckey stood near his locker after what might have been his final home game for the Detroit Pistons.

The Memphis Grizzlies hoped Mike Miller would be healthy once they got to the postseason.

It's been two seasons since the Orlando Magic went through near-wholesale changes that included a franchise player's exit and bringing in a new general manager and coaching staff.

A look at the eight first-round series in the NBA playoffs:

The way Anthony Davis blossomed into an All-Star before he'd even turned 21 provided the Pelicans with hope for the future during an otherwise bleak season.

After starting off as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers wilted a bit after the All-Star break.

John Wall talks as fast as he plays. That makes him entertaining to be around, even when the ball gets thrown out of bounds, or when the sentences come out a bit funky.

The Denver Nuggets aren't accustomed to cleaning out their lockers in April.

This season was supposed to be the start of a "new era" for the Sacramento Kings, as owner Vivek Ranadive proclaimed over and over again when he took over last year.

LeBron James' jersey remains the most popular in the NBA.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - This might not be how Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson planned it, but playing the Miami Heat suits him just fine.

In the regular-season finale, a game that meant nothing, the Hawks accomplished one thing. They escaped uninjured.

In what civic leaders and elected officials called a game-changer and a new era for Milwaukee, former Sen. Herb Kohl announced the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to two New York hedge-fund investors for $550 million, and said he and the new ownership team each will commit $100 million toward a new, multipurpose arena.

Finally, the NBA playoffs are set.

The seismic event that needed to occur to make a new multipurpose arena and the Bucks' viability in Milwaukee seem more than plausible happened Wednesday.

The Golden State Warriors will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, with the best-of-seven series beginning at Staples Center on Saturday.

The message was made clear nearly a year ago when Michael Malone was hired as coach.

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Los Angeles Clippers played out the string of an 82-game regular-season schedule on Wednesday night, knowing before they tipped off against the Portland Trail Blazers that their playoff opponent had been set.

At Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City on Wednesday night

Will Barton dropped in a career-high 23 points as the Portland Trail Blazers topped the Los Angeles Clippers, 110-104, on Wednesday in the season finale for both teams.

Jordan Crawford netted a career-best 41 points and the Golden State Warriors will head into the postseason with momentum following a 116-112 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

The Phoenix Suns surpassed all their preseason projections. Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to earn a playoff spot in the brutal Western Conference.

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman beat a hasty retreat following Wednesday night's 136-130 double-overtime loss to Utah, making a direct exit toward the locker room while his players threw T-shirts into the Target Center crowd on fan appreciation night - the final night of a long season that seemingly refused to end.

Mike D'Antoni might have coached his last game with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Or he might return for the final guaranteed year of his contract.

Fresh legs beat fatigue.

Leaving the Trail Blazers' locker room following the regular-season finale, Wesley Matthews was wished well in the playoffs.

A season-ending victory proved meaningless for the Phoenix Suns, who will be remembered for having one of the best records in NBA history that wasn't good enough to make the playoffs.

On a day that was focused on the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks and the future of the organization, the team closed the book on the worst season in franchise history with a 111-103 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in front of an announced crowd of 13,111 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The NBA announced Wednesday that Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was suspended one game without pay for getting his 16th technical foul of the season.

Finally.

One play typified the Orlando Magic's approach to their season finale Wednesday night.

A long season that saddled the Memphis Grizzlies with a number of unexpected twists yielded a couple of desired results in the regular-season finale.

New York, NY (Sports Network) - The Miami Heat's quest for a three-peat begins Sunday.

The Dallas Mavericks poured heart and soul into Game 82, the finale of an overachieving season. They just couldn't get the payoff they wanted and felt they deserved.

And now begins the second season.

They rose as one, 12 strong, and exhaled before walking into the visitors' locker room.

Mike Conley corralled a Monta Ellis miss with seven seconds remaining in overtime and took off the other way. Like a running back, he put his head down, tried to split four Mavericks on a drive to the basket and drew a foul. Conley hit the subsequent free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime Wednesday to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to a 106-105 win over Dallas that clinched them the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Following a Dallas timeout, Ellis, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, hit the back of the rim on a jumper from the top of the key at the buzzer. Memphis (50-32), which began the season 13-17 while dealing with a plethora of injuries, finished 37-15 and will face the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round. The Grizzlies knocked off the Russell Westbrook-less Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals last season before getting swept by San Antonio in the West Finals. Zach Randolph had 27 points and 14 rebounds, Marc Gasol tallied 19 points, nine boards and nine assists and Conley added 22 points and five helpers in the triumph. Dallas (49-33), meanwhile, will clash with their in-state rival Spurs in the first round. Dirk Nowitzki netted a game- high 30 points in defeat.

For all that the Cavaliers endured this season, coach Mike Brown didn't want the final impression of this team to be the way it gave up over the last week after it was officially eliminated from postseason contention.

Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 118-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

Joakim Noah, the floor is yours.

The Timberwolves stepped to the threshold of their first winning season in nearly a decade and ... then fell back again, for the 14th and final time this season with a 136-130 double overtime loss to Utah on Wednesday night in a season that just refused to end.

Mike Conley corralled a Monta Ellis miss with seven seconds remaining in overtime and took off the other way.

Trey Burke tallied 32 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, helping the Utah Jazz to a 136-130 double- overtime victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the regular season finales for both teams.

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