Wizards down Raptors in Toronto to open playoffs (AFP)

The Washington Wizards, led by a strong performance from Paul Pierce, held on for a 93-86 overtime win over Toronto on the Raptors' home floor on Saturday to open the NBA playoffs. The Wizards squandered a lead that stretched to as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but allowed the Raptors to score just four points in overtime to seal the victory in the opener of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series. In the extra session they limited the Raptors to just 2-of-9 shooting from the floor, 0-of-4 from three-point range.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 18, 2015 at 3:18 pm

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Wizards-Raptors Preview (The Associated Press)

The Raptors, who lost a Game 7 heartbreaker to Brooklyn in the first round last year, will try to advance for just the second time in their 20-year history when they face the Washington Wizards. Game 1 is Saturday in Toronto. ''This is the ultimate goal, to get to this point and build from here on out,'' guard DeMar DeRozan said Friday. We can't make steps back, we've got to keep going forward and continue to get better.'' It's been 14 years since Toronto's only postseason triumph, a five-game victory over the New York Knicks in April 2001.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 18, 2015 at 11:00 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 18, 2015 at 7:43 am

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NBA-National Basketball Association roundup (Reuters)

The NBA will begin testing for human growth hormone next season, the league and National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday. Beginning in 2015 training camps, NBA players will be subject to three random, unannounced HGH tests each year -- two during the season and one in the offseason -- and players also will be subject to reasonable-cause testing, the league and union said. - - Carmelo Anthony said Thursday that he briefly second-guessed returning to the New York Knicks in free agency last July, when he signed a five-year, $124 million deal, shunning offers from the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers in the process. - - Florida coach Billy Donovan made his interest in NBA positions known at the end of the college basketball season, and a good friend might just make room for him in Oklahoma City as the Thunder sit out the postseason.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

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Anthony, Knicks try to move on from franchise's worst season (The Associated Press)

There were times, Carmelo Anthony acknowledges, he wondered if he made the right decision to stay in New York. The team went 17-65, with its All-Star forward on the bench for the final two months after knee surgery. The Knicks will have a top-five pick and around $25 million to spend this summer, so Anthony is looking only in one direction after what he called a season that was ''definitely challenging.'' ''But for me, I'm the one that's got to face it,'' he said. Free agency opens a few days after that, with the Knicks well-positioned to spend after team President Phil Jackson gutted the roster in his first full season in charge.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm

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Bucks return to respectability with surprise playoff trip (The Associated Press)

Chicago native Jabari Parker has a good idea of how challenging it might be for Milwaukee to face his hometown Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs, even if he's just a rookie. The Bucks might stand an even better chance against their Central Division rivals if their star forward wasn't hurt. What Milwaukee has done this year to return to respectability is noteworthy for the personnel changes made during the course of the season and just how far the franchise has had to climb to get back to the playoffs.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm

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Let the championship chase begin: it's NBA playoff time (The Associated Press)

New Orleans and Brooklyn are in. ''It's like a new beginning,'' Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. Stephen Curry and the top-seeded Warriors will face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in a best-of-seven series starting Saturday after New Orleans snapped San Antonio's 11-game winning streak Wednesday night.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 16, 2015 at 1:49 am

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Jackson has 24, Pistons beat Knicks 112-90 to close season (The Associated Press)

The Detroit Pistons finished their season on a high note while the New York Knicks completed their worst season ever. Reggie Jackson had 24 points and 11 assists in the Pistons' 112-90 victory on Wednesday night. Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each had 17 points for Detroit. Caron Butler had 14, and Greg Monroe, Anthony Tolliver and Jodie Meeks each had 10.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 15, 2015 at 10:38 pm

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The awful 2014-15 New York Knicks, set to ‘One Shining Moment’ (Video) (Ball Don’t Lie)

The 2014-15 New York Knicks, thankfully, play their last game of the season on Wednesday night. In tribute, a Twitter user by the handle of “ World_Wide_Wob ” has decided to cobble together a series of Knick highlights from this season, set to the tune of “One Shining Moment.” It is both very sad and very funny. This video is not hi-definition. As no 2014-15 Knick highlight video should be: Sigh. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] As you know, the Knicks entered the 2014 offseason with plenty of questions pulling on their cuff, and they started the season with playoff aspirations despite Michael Jordan’s death knell of an endorsement . Within hours of the team’s opening night loss to the Chicago Bulls, a team that at one point had the Knicks down by 33 points, team president Phil Jackson described the team with a weird amalgamation of both New York and Los Angeles-ese . Later in the season, with his (mostly) inherited team falling apart, Jackson outright admitted to initial failure . Carmelo Anthony was lost for the season following his dutiful All-Star Game appointment . Alexey Shved took a shot (?) that nobody quite understood . Phil Jackson defended his offense against the barbs of the NBA’s lead office . Jackson didn’t seem to mind going on the record, with that $60 million contract in place, in tampering with college underclassmen . The Knicks gave the basketball gods heartburn , people. And they may not even finish with the worst record in the NBA . Bloody hell. (Hat-tip to Matt Moore at CBS Sports for making us giggle .) - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 15, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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The NBA prepares to tank one final time in 2014-15 (Ball Don’t Lie)

There we were, thinking that we were done with talking about tanking for a while. Ready for the playoffs. Ready for spring. Ready for the NBA’s draft lottery to remind us that there are no guarantees after losing games on purpose. Then Joseph Goodman had to go and remind us of this on Tuesday night: I hope people fully understand the weirdness of tomorrow’s game between Heat and Sixers. Both teams want to lose for the same draft pick. — Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) April 15, 2015 Thanks a lot, pal. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] In 2010, Heat president Pat Riley happily sent a future first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for in the sign-and-trade deal for LeBron James. Riley didn’t have to, but the move made it easier for James to make a specific amount of money and for Cleveland to earn a trade exemption. LeBron helped gift Miami with four straight Finals trips, four seasons of MVP-level play, and two NBA titles before leaving the adoring thousands that bothered to show up for the first quarter high and dry in his return to Cleveland. The Heat, besotted by injury and illness, are now out of the playoff picture in the team’s first post-LeBron season. On Wednesday night, they’ll take on the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers picked up the rights to Miami’s future first-rounder last August because the Minnesota Timberwolves, for some reason, wanted Thaddeus Young as part of the return for Kevin Love – whom the Cavaliers badly wanted to acquire. Cleveland sent the future pick to the Sixers in the three-way deal. Philadelphia wants to lose on Wednesday in order to bump up its own lottery odds. If they fall to Miami and New York wins, the Sixers will have tied the Knicks for the second-worst record in the NBA. Wednesday really is no different from any other game the Sixers have played since October, 2013. Miami? They went into this season with legitimate playoff aspirations. They’ll now be forced into chucking a game so as to finish with the 11th-worst record in the NBA, as the pick they owe Philadelphia is protected through the top ten picks. If the Heat win and the Brooklyn Nets lose (don’t put anything past that embarrassing franchise) to Orlando, there will be a coin flip to determine who will receive the “10th” designation when it comes to lottery odds. If the Heat lose that 50/50 coin flip, they will fall to 11th. If lottery odds hold up, the Heat’s pick will then go to the 76ers, a 37-win season gone to waste. And if the Lakers’ lottery luck doesn’t go their way, the Sixers will also pick up Los Angeles’ pick if it falls out of the top five. The Lakers are currently working with the fourth-worst record in the NBA, four games “up” on fifth placed Orlando. The Lakers could actually try to win on Wednesday! Of course, because these are the Philadelphia 76ers, there is even more incentive to want to lose to Miami on Wednesday. Again, there are no guarantees with the lottery – Miami could end up with the top pick in this year’s draft or drop down to 14th (sending the pick to Philly along the way) regardless of what happens on Wednesday night – but the 76ers might prefer Miami keeps the selection this season. The pick is protected through the top ten picks again in 2016, but unprotected in 2017. Miami’s potential 2015-16 starting lineup looks rather fearsome right now, but Dwyane Wade will turn 35 midway through 2016-17; with Goran Dragic and Chris Bosh all in their early-to-mid-30s that season. If Luol Deng stays a Heat, he will be the oldest 32-year old in NBA history in 2017. A bounce-back year for Wade this season, typically-sound work from Deng, a third of the year with Dragic and a mostly-healthy first half of the season from Chris Bosh wasn’t enough to put the Heat in the playoffs in 2015, and the East can’t help but improve between now and 2017. The Sixers might prefer to take a chance on the Heat being even worse than 11th in 2017. Or, the Sixers could glom onto it now, take in the Lakers’ pick, and enter 2016-17 (because they’re most assuredly missing the postseason next year) with seven stout lottery picks (Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, their own next two lottery picks, plus Miami and Los Angeles’ selections) dotting the roster. A tank in full. Meanwhile, New York is hoping to lose on Wednesday to Detroit, as rumors about Greg Monroe’s seemingly inevitable Knick future swirl. From Marc Berman of the New York Post : “We are well aware the Knicks have cap space and we will sit down with them at the appropriate time,’’ [Monroe’s agent David] Falk told The Post in a 25-minute phone interview from his Washington office. “Now is not the appropriate time.’’ Falk’s sentiment suggested the Knicks have a legitimate shot. League executives told The Post in February that of all the free agents on the Knicks’ radar, Monroe has the best chance of coming to New York. Subsequently, an unnamed NBA executive was quoted in a recent published report saying it’s “about as close to a done deal as you can get.” The Knicks are hoping Minnesota loses to the desperate Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday so it can tie the Wolves for the worst record in the NBA. The Pistons are also hoping to lose to New York while pining for a Denver win over what could be a resting Golden State team in order to tie for the seventh-worst record in the league this season. Charlotte? They can win without hurting lottery odds, so heads-up on the spoiler alert as they take on the Toronto Raptors (who are hoping for the East’s third seed), even though significant members of the Hornets’ rotation will sit due to legitimate injury . Sacramento and Los Angeles, secure in their suckiness and in no danger of hurting lottery odds, will actually attempt to play competitive basketball against each other on Wednesday, though nobody wants to see that. No, we’d rather watch the 76ers and Heat try to figure things out new and creative ways of screwing things up in the final game of their season. Pat Riley’s probably going to make his guys wear jai alai scoops. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on April 15, 2015 at 10:57 am

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