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The Rockets are exactly who we thought they were

Good morning. We have that and more in Monday's NBA newsletter.

Good morning. Let's basketball.

KNEE DEEP: Stephen Curry slipped on sweat and hurt his knee right before halftime in Game 4. The game went to the break tied. Curry tried to warm up for the second half, but instead returned to the locker room, looking dejected. So, the rest of the Warriors smoked the moribund Rockets by 27 in the second half to go up 3-1 in the series. Curry has a sprained MCL; we await a clear prognosis. Here's Ethan Strauss on how The Other Warriors responded. And the incredible Marcus Thompson on the waiting game for Dub Nation.


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PIPE IT UP: How about another completely bonkers Celtics-Hawks game? Paul Millsap had a huge game, Isaiah Thomas had the regulation tying LAYUP (Brad Stevens y'all) and the overtime dagger three. And Marcus Smart? Man, Marcus Smart was on one, including an offensive assault and guarding Millsap down the stretch. Series is all tied up. Isaiah's kid is declaring that his dad is the greatest player ever. Paul Flannery has a piece on Smart coming later on Monday.

BROOMS READY: The Cavaliers swept out the Pistons despite four competitive games. J.R. Smith was real locked in. The Spurs did the same to the Grizzlies (without the competitive games). Dave Joerger was understandably emotional about the fire his underequipped, decimated team showed.


SAS 116, MEM 95 (Spurs win series 4-0)
GSW 121, HOU 94 (Golden State leads 3-1)
ATL 95, BOS 104 in OT (Series tied 2-2)
CLE 100, DET 98 (Cavaliers win series 4-0)


Heat at Hornets, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV (MIA leads 2-1)
Mavericks at Thunder, 8 p.m., TNT (OKC leads 3-1)
Clippers at Blazers, 10:30 p.m., TNT (LAC leads 2-1)

BYRON OUT: The Lakers decided to fire Byron Scott after all, after two of the most hotly pursued coaches signed up with other teams. We now have two teams officially amid coaching searches (Sacramento and L.A.). Houston is expected to join the party, possibly within a few days. New York might also get into the mix.

NEAT: Two Eskimos who love basketball went to a Warriors game. Via REDEF.

A TORRENT OF STUPIDITY: A reporter asked Draymond Green a really inappropriate question trying to compare the deadly Houston floods to Golden State's three-point shooting, and Draymond called that reporter out on it.

KD2DC: Everything you wanted to know about the possibility of Kevin Durant returning to D.C. to play for the Wizards.

BRIGHT FUTURE: 101 reasons for fans to be excited for the Suns' 2016-17 campaign.

GODLIKE: Mark Jackson had the best moment in broadcasting for 2016.

Happy Monday. See you next time.

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