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Lowe: Why OKC-San Antonio III is no undercard

Even with record-setters at Golden State and royalty in Cleveland, Thunder-Spurs III is still main-event worthy (Game 1, Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET).

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Waste of time for Durant to return to Thunder next season? (1:47)
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FiveThirtyEight: Kevin Durant is about to meet his toughest opponent yet (1:50)
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The 'Purple Shirt Man' gets testy with Dwyane Wade (0:38)
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Did Richardson just bite the basketball? (0:16)
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Walker's layup brings team within two (0:43)
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Crawford misses potential game-tying shot (0:12)
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Portland crowd erupts when Jordan air balls free throw (0:37)
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Pacers go on 32-5 run late in game (1:04)
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Austin Rivers bloodied after being hit by elbow (0:33)
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Ray Allen's miracle 3 of 2013 (2:37)
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Curry hopeful of returning before May 9 target date (1:31)
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Welcome to Whiteside's block party (0:42)
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Steph Curry leads in street clothes (4:21)
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Stephen A., Skip like the Spurs to win in seven (2:04)
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Nichols to Durant: 'Show me' (2:21)
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'Explain Yourself' with Caron Butler (2:28)
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10 things you categorically missed when Jeff Teague found Paul Millsap for the easy lay-in (1:02)
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When Jordan defied logic, torched the Blazers and shrugged (2:49)

Now

Stein: Walton sees Lakers as his dream job

Marc Stein says at his core, Luke Walton is a Laker after spending 8-plus seasons there as a player.

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Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

As Steve Kerr also notes, Steph Curry hasn't even been on the court yet since suffering a right knee sprain in GAME 4 of the Houston series

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanESPN

Two more guys who have been invited to the NBA combine: Taurean Prince (Baylor) and Cat Barber (NC State).

Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

As Steve Kerr also notes, Steph Curry hasn't even been on the court yet since suffering a right knee sprain in Game 3 of the Houston series

Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

Steve Kerr on Steph Curry: "I'm not going to rule him out for Tuesday (Game 2 against Portland) but there's obviously not much of a chance."

Curry hopeful to return before target date

Steph Curry tells reporters he's optimistic he will be able to return to the Warriors before the two-week timetable he was given after spraining his MCL.

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Haywood: Walton has to sell Lakers on culture

Brendan Haywood says Luke Walton's record won't mean much to the Lakers' roster, but he can sell the team on Golden State's winning mentality.

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Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

The Hornets list Nicolas Batum, who didn't play in the second half of Game 6 with a left foot strain, as questionable for Sunday's Game 7 in Miami. Spencer Hawes (right knee sprain) is officially out.

Mike Mazzeo ESPN Staff Writer 

Raptors G DeMar DeRozan says this is by far the biggest game of his career.

Mike Mazzeo ESPN Staff Writer 

Raptors G DeMar DeRozan: "It's time to experience a new feeling that this franchise hasn't had in a while." Says Game 7 is like "life or death" and losing it two years ago "sucks."

boris diaw @theborisdiaw

Second round is starting tonight, at home. I'm sure the atmosphere will be crazy tonight at the arena with the best fans in the NBA!

Pick-and-roll could be key for OKC

Oklahoma City has been successful against San Antonio when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook operate in the pick-and-roll. How will the Spurs respond defensively? Kawhi the key

Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

J.A. Adande ESPN Senior Writer 

Damian Lillard is back in Oakland for the playoffs. Here's what he told ESPN's Doris Burke about how his hometown shaped him: "Growing up in Oakland, it just made me tough. You see a lot of things, you're around a lot of things. You've got to be able to handle it. You've got to take it in stride. Everybody's going through it, so you can't feel sorry for yourself. If something bad happens you can't be the guy that sticking out, uncomfortable. You're raised there, it prepares you to survive anywhere. You can handle any moment. That's how growing up in Oakland makes me feel."