OAKLAND, Calif. - The Golden State Warriors have earned their optimism fair and fervently this time.
For a brief moment Wednesday night, the armor was lifted and, with the right eyes, you could see into Dwyane Wade's soul - observe the working parts that motivate one of the toughest competitors in professional sports.
SAN ANTONIO - Surprise, surprise, the Los Angeles Lakers made it to the Western Conference finals.
Brendan Smith netted the game-winning goal late in the second period, part of a four-goal burst which lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks to even this Western Conference semifinal at one game apiece. Damien Brunner, Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula also lit the lamp for the Red Wings, who recovered nicely following Wednesday's series-opening 4-1 loss. Henrik Zetterberg posted two assists and Jimmy Howard stopped 19 shots for the win. Patrick Kane registered the lone goal and Corey Crawford made 26 saves for the Blackhawks, who saw their eight-game win streak against Detroit ended. Game 3 shifts to Joe Louis Arena on Monday.
MIAMI - The rivalry has simmered for a year.
Unlike the New York Knicks, Lance Stephenson didn't want to go back home.
MINNEAPOLIS - Dave Joerger is the lead assistant for coach Lionel Hollins with the Memphis Grizzlies. They open play in the Western Conference finals on Sunday in San Antonio.
CHICAGO - Fresh on the job, Flip Saunders, the Minnesota Timberwolves' new president of basketball operations, worked the room when NBA executives, coaches, scouts and 60 prospects in the June draft gathered in Chicago for three days last week.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Bobcats are on their way to becoming the Charlotte Hornets.
Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill has been cleared to participate in Saturday's pivotal Game 6 of the team's Eastern Conference semifinal series with the New York Knicks.
Two young employees at Tibco Software Inc. recently challenged the head of the company to a pull-up contest, and Vivek Ranadive didn't hesitate to accept.
Dwyane Wade would have been in Chicago for a Heat playoff game Friday night if he hadn't helped eliminate the Bulls with a big fourth quarter two nights early.
As Derrick Rose continually dominated the Miami Heat's ball boys during pregame warmups at AmericanAirlines Arena, it became increasingly clear that the Chicago Bulls were largely playing for the future these past two weeks.
Trey Burke thought he had it all.
Pistons fans will have to wait a little while for ESPN's Bad Boys retrospective.
The New York Knicks staved off elimination against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, but now have to find a way to keep the series going when Game 6 shifts back to Indianapolis Saturday night.
The Miami Heat could have to wait until Monday before learning their opponent in the Eastern Conference finals.
When he was asked to name the NBA teams he felt were the best fit for him, Otto Porter Jr. never hesitated in mentioning the Cavaliers. In fact, it was the first team out of his mouth. Yet he won't be meeting with General Manager Chris Grant or anyone from the team's traveling party during this week's NBA combine.
New 76ers president of basketball operations and general manager Sam Hinkie might not look the part, with his small, unathletic frame covered in tan pants, a button-down dress shirt and a blue sport jacket.
Regardless of what happens this summer, the Bulls' biggest offseason addition will be the youngest most valuable player in NBA history.
MILWAUKEE-Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew will interview for the Milwaukee Bucks vacant coaching position Monday, a league source confirmed Friday.
There's a thought that Indiana post player Cody Zeller would have gone in the top five of last year's NBA draft.
They were globally insignificant and, on the whole, an object of civic ridicule. There had been so much failure and futility, so much shameful history, so many years of shoddy product peddled by an infernally inept ownership.
Not many were calling Victor Oladipo a potential top-10 draft pick when he was a freshman defensive specialist at Indiana.
One might assume that Heat guard Dwyane Wade was happy to see the Knicks push the Pacers to a sixth game in their series, because it guaranteed an extra two days of rest for Wade before the start of the Eastern Conference finals, now set for Wednesday.
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson held a press conference Friday to announce the deal to keep the Kings in the city has been completed.
When the Memphis Grizzlies continue their unheralded postseason journey in the Western Conference Finals, they'll be facing a bear of a task in the San Antonio Spurs.
OAKLAND, Calif. - There was no need for metaphors on this night, no greater meaning gained from hyperbole.
The Maloof era in Sacramento, at times spirited and uplifting, at times dismal and depressing, appears to have come to an end.
OAKLAND, Calif. - It all proved to be too much: the injuries, the minutes, the machine that is the San Antonio Spurs. Will simply wasn't enough.
Gold T-shirts were all over the building, worn over tank tops and underneath the uniforms of police officers. The noisy support was there during the best of times. The crowd at Oracle Arena tried just about everything.
SEATTLE - The last unresolved question over the fate of the Sacramento Kings was answered Thursday night when it was reported that the Maloof family had reached a deal to sell the team to a Sacramento group led by Vivek Ranadive.
LOS ANGELES-The strong relationship between Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro and owner Donald Sterling could mean Del Negro will be back with the team in 2013-14.
It all proved to be too much: the injuries, the minutes, the machine that is the San Antonio Spurs. Willpower simply wasn't enough.
Before Game 3 of the Bulls-Heat series at the United Center, Scottie Pippen presented the honorary game ball.
The Maloof family has reportedly reached an agreement to sell the Kings one day after it was announced the franchise will stay in Sacramento.
Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs are headed back to the Western Conference finals for the second straight season and for the eighth time in the past 15 years.