NBA playoff schedule 2014: Clippers and Warriors square off with distractions, Nets face Raptors

Thearon W. Henderson

The Clippers and Warriors square off for the first time since an audio recording of a man believed to be Donald Sterling made headlines with racially charged comments.

The four NBA playoff games on Sunday come with a bit of drama. On the hardwood, no team has a 3-0 advantage heading into the fourth game of the series. Unfortunately in some cases, the storylines go beyond the court.

Bulls vs. Wizards, Game 4

1 p.m. ET, ABC

The Chicago Bulls willed their way to a Game 3 victory and pulled themselves back into the series with the Washington Wizards, who lead it 2-1. Mike Dunleavy needed to score 35 points for the Bulls to hit the 100-point mark in the win on Friday, but the pressure is likely more on the Wizards.

Washington has the homecourt advantage but will be without big man Nene, who was hit with a one-game suspension after head-butting Chicago swingman Jimmy Butler and then earning an ejection in Game 3. Neither team is deep with offensive weapons, but it's Chicago that forced its way back into the playoff picture this season by scrapping without any dominant offensive player. They'll look to even up the series in a similar way.

Clippers vs. Warriors, Game 4

3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

The headlines have changed dramatically since the end of Game 3 of this playoff battle, a 98-96 win for the Los Angeles Clippers. Then, it was a controversial no-call on Stephen Curry's three-point attempt that had the attention. It's become about things less basketball-related since.

The reaction to Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racially charged comments will lead all storylines, and Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers has said his team's protest of their owner will be in their play. The Clippers lead the series 2-1 and will face a rowdy crowd in the ORACLE Arena. But on the court, the pressure is on the Warriors to figure out how to get Curry out of the defensive grips of Chris Paul, and how they can stop Blake Griffin.

Raptors vs. Nets, Game 4

7 p.m. ET, TNT

The Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets have figuratively and literally traded body blows in what's become perhaps the most physical of any first-round series so far. And it's only going to get more heated.

Kevin Garnett asked for more from the Nets faithful despite Brooklyn pulling off a 102-98 victory on Friday in the first game at Barclays Center. Round 2 in New York gives Nets fans another shot to be heard, but their involvement in Game 3 of the series, good or bad, didn't keep guard Joe Johnson from nearly matching Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan's 30 points -- Johnson scored 29 of his own. The key for Toronto is finding out who else can contribute if Brooklyn continues to swarm Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.

Rockets vs. Trail Blazers, Game 4

9:30 p.m. ET, TNT

The Portland Trail Blazers have worked their way to a 2-1 series lead, but the Houston Rockets earned their first win in Game 3 as they finally put the restraints on LaMarcus Aldridge's mid-range game. After that, not a whole lot has made sense in a series where the road team has won all three games.

Houston won the third game in overtime, 121-116, as James Harden scored 37 points on just 13-for-35 shooting. More surprisingly, Rockets coach Kevin McHale included little-used guard Troy Daniels in his eight-deep rotation, then got rewarded when the year-long D-League standout drilled a go-ahead three that pushed his team over the top. The Rockets will need more answers like that even if Aldridge is limited -- Blazers guard Damian Lillard continued to produce in the series with a 30-point, six-assist performance in Portland's loss.

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