Good morning, LeBron James is a good role model

Elsa

King James outperformed Donald Sterling on Monday. Here's your Tuesday NBA newsletter.

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Good morning. Let's basketball.

LEBRON IS A GOOD ROLE MODEL: The King dropped 49 on Brooklyn to help cinch up a 102-96 win. The Nets were tough to knock out, though -- the game came down to the wire. Chris Bosh hit a vital three to lift Miami to its 3-1 lead. The Heat can clinch Wednesday at home.

LeBron had a chance at 50, which is a nice round number and James' career playoff best. But he couldn't hit the back-end of a meaningless pair from the line.

WILL BARTON GAME! This was actually a previously scheduled Damian Lillard Game -- Dame had 25 to lead the Blazers to a 103-92 win that prevented a sweep. But Will Barton scored 17 to give Portland a big spark. San Antonio's next game to clinch will come at home on Wednesday. Be sure to check out Ben Golliver's always vital Media Row Report for the full scoop.

Gregg Popovich scowled a bunch after the game, because of course.

TONIGHT: Don't leave us, sweet 'Zards ...

Wizards at Pacers, 7 p.m. ET, TNT | Indiana leads 3-1
Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT | Series tied 2-2

THE SADDEST RESOLUTION: The apparent end of the Wizards' season has been so very Wizards, writes Mike Prada.

IN CASE YOU'D FORGOTTEN: Donald Sterling is an incomparable arsehole. His interview with Anderson Cooper -- which overlapped with the beginning of Heat-Nets, which I'm sure the NBA found AWESOME -- included some pretty awful comments about Magic Johnson, some incredible lack of self-awareness and what Sterling apparently believed to be a sincere apology.

Unfortunately for him, Adam Silver nor Doc Rivers really thought it was much of an apology. Yep, the NBA made a statement to basically say "that was awful, and we're sorry anyone felt compelled to listen to this deranged man." 

Woj on why the NBA can blame itself for this embarrassmentA somewhat more sane interview with Shelly Sterling.

GOOD NIGHT, MIKE BROWN: The Cavaliers fired Mike Brown again, this time while hiring David Griffin as the general manager. Griffin, who took over in an interim role midseason, will get to hire his own coach. There are plenty of choice candidates, and Fear The Sword's Mike Mayer argues this was the right decision.

HOW TO properly react to a groin punch, by Dan Rubenstein. (No punishment for Serge Ibaka, by the way.)

LAKERS COUNTRY: A fancy NBA fandom map from the New York Times reveals that Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico and pockets of the Ohio River Valley are all Lakers Country.

TRUE GRIT: I wrote about research on grit, the Bulls' addiction to it and why that's not necessarily a bad thing.

AN INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG SAGER JR.

COMBINE! Here's a list of the prospects attending the 2014 NBA Draft Combine, via DraftExpress. The Combine begins Thursday.

Happy Tuesday. See you next time.

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