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Paul George: Thunder Finish Won’t Dictate Free Agency Decision

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As the Oklahoma City Thunder battle to secure a playoff spot, Paul George said it’s not “championship or bust” for him as he evaluates this season with regard to his future free-agency decision.

“As I told [ESPN’s] Rachel [Nichols], I can see myself being here,” George said. “I’ve been happy here, I’ve been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates. Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I’ve enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So my answer is still the same. I’m not going to let the playoffs or how we finish this season persuade or indicate where I’m going to this offseason. I’m going to put everything into this and again, I can definitely see myself being here.”

George, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has remained consistent in praising the Thunder organization since it traded for him last July. But with the Thunder’s season going through some considerable ups and downs, and now the possibility of missing the postseason altogether in play, George attempted to alleviate some of the pressure.

“This is our first year together. This is Year 1 for this group,” he said. “We’ve got a chance to win it all, but realistically it takes time for things to build and chemistry to mesh. Just for everybody to be on the same page. So this wasn’t a championship or bust coming into this for me. It was just an opportunity to see what it’s like being here and just to naturally fall in love with it. And it’s been that. It’s been a lot of love here.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Antetokounmpo’s Late Tip-in Wins Game for Bucks to Even Series

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Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points in Sunday’s Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics, but it was his offensive rebound and tip-in off a Malcolm Brogdon miss that gave the Bucks a lead with 5.1 seconds left, and ultimately a 104-102 win.

“At the end of the day in the playoffs, we know we have the best player on the floor,” Brogdon said of Antetokounmpo. “So we rely on him, and he comes through.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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John Wall Helps Wizards Even Series After Beal Fouls Out Late

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An infuriated Bradley Beal held his head in disgust and was literally hopping mad at officials who called his sixth and final foul with 4:58 remaining in Game 4 after Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan ran into him chasing down an offensive rebound.

With the game and potentially their season hanging in the balance, the Washington Wizards managed to overcome the loss of their leading scorer and what they believed were “soft calls” by the officiating crew to even their best-of-seven series with a 106-98 win over the Raptors. Washington finished the game with a 14-6 John Wall-fueled run to win extend its postseason home winning streak to eight.

Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN

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Spurs’ Parker, Ginobili Make Playoff History with Win Over GSW

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Before the start of the NBA playoffs, no other player age 40 or older had scored double figures off the bench in a postseason game. Manu Ginobili has now done that twice, and has earned win No. 132, giving him and Tony Parker the most playoff wins together of any teammates in NBA history.

“Of course, the feeling of the last quarter was great because we were all doing good,” Ginobili said after scoring 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting to help San Antonio defeat the Warriors 103-90 and force Game 5 on Tuesday in Oakland, California.

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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