Good morning, thanks for the heart attack, Raptors

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How do you give up a 26-point second half lead at home and still win? BALTCHE. That and more in our NBA newsletter.


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Good morning. Let's basketball.

HOME COOKING: What the heck? The home teams all won on Wednesday? That's ludicrous. Here's our What Happened Last Night feature, leading with Paul Flannery's discovery of the Bonkers Playoff Game clause in the NBA constitution.

BONKERS: All three games were good, but Toronto-Brooklyn took the Bonkers designation. The Raptors led by 26 in the third, but Brooklyn raged back. Kyle Lowry held them off as long as he could until ... Blatched.

Toronto mocked the Nets faithful with cloying "Brooooooklyn" chantstagged the Brooklyn Bridge and sold mean-spirited buttons, all on a day another video of their mayor smoking crack made the news. Toronto!

But if Brooklyn wants to exact revenge on Toronto, they need just mock the everlasting heck out of this young Raptors fan here, who goes in for a celebratory smooch and ... yeah. Not happening, buddy. As Kevin Harlan might say, "Rejected!"

Dirk Nowitzki did work in San Antonio, but the Spurs came away with the victory to go up 3-2. Tiago Splitter, everyone!

For the first time all series, Portland's offense down the stretch wasn't totally unstoppable. Houston's defense, led by Dwight Howard, was excellent and Jeremy Lin provided a huge spark as the Rockets pulled to within 3-2 in the series.

TONIGHT: Three more games, all three of them with elimination on the line.

Pacers at Hawks, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV | Atlanta leads 3-2
Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. ET, TNT | Memphis leads 3-2
Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT | L.A. leads 3-2

MIKE D. IS OUT: Mike D'Antoni resigned as coach of the Lakers on Wednesday after just under two years on the job. He was miffed the team wouldn't pick up its 2015-16 option for him, so he elected to avoid being a lame duck coach in 2014-15. We'll have more on him later this morning. Silver Screen And Roll reactsWoj pitches Derek Fisher as a replacement.

POST-STERLING: A few more Donald T. Sterling links for you.

I wrote about that despite the NBA's just decision, we haven't even broached the bigger issue here.

Bethlehem Shoals and Myles Brown on Silver's decision at GQ.

There are an estimated 200 million reasons it's better for the Sterling clan that the Clippers aren't sold until immediately after Donald dies. Tax loopholes, everybody!

Dave D'Alessandro wrote probably the best, most bleak column on the Sterling affair.


ABRAMS ALERT: Jonathan Abrams, the best profiler in NBA writing, on the resurrection of Jermaine O'Neal, a very worthy subject.


WHY JOEY CRAWFORD INTERRUPTED KEVIN DURANT'S FREE THROWS: It's not "because it's Joey Crawford," surprisingly.

IS RUSSELL WESTBROOK TO BLAME? Tom Haberstroh looks at the data.

SIXTH MAN JAMAL CRAWFORD: Cheers to Jam for his second such award. No votes for Luke Babbitt, though?!

EARLY ENTRY: Here's your full list of early entry candidates for the 2014 NBA Draft.

PAC MAN BACK: As rumored, the Hawks' new logo is a blast from the past.

AGING WITH GRACE: Good piece by Evan Hall on the twilight of Vince Carter.

SPORTS JEOPARDY! I hereby announce my candidacy to be the editor of the Sports Jeopardy! hub here at SB Nation.

WEEKEND READING: The great Curtis Harris of Pro Hoops History released his Master's thesis on the contested origins of hoops.

Happy Thursday. See you next time.


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