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NBA news gathered from around the net.

Rockets Take 3-2 Lead Over Jazz

Tracy McGrady had 26 points and a career-high 16 assists, and the Rockets beat the Jazz 96-92 on Monday night to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Yao Ming scored 21 points, sealing the victory with two free throws with 11 seconds left. Yao also grabbed 15 rebounds, the last one in the closing seconds after Deron Williams missed a desperation 3-pointer.

Back home after two lethargic losses in Utah, the Rockets rediscovered their shooting touch, going 35-for-75 from the field (47 percent) and 12-for-24 from 3-point range. They also outrebounded Utah 42-39.

The Rockets can clinch their first postseason series victory since 1997 in Game 6 on Thursday in Utah. Utah dominated the first two games there and hasn't lost to Houston at home since March 2005.

Via Yahoo!

Cavs Win In 4, Southeast Division Swept

As expected, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the injury riddled Washington Wizards 97-90 on Monday, completing the team's first ever sweep in franchise history.

Washington's loss, however, meant that every team representative from the Southeast Division has been swept in the opening round.  Chicago took care of Miami, and Detroit defeated Orlando.

LeBron James was close to a triple double, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, while Antawn Jamison again tried to carry his team, matching James' 31 points.

The Wizards were without two All-Stars, Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, throughout the entire playoffs, making their chances of advancing a long shot at best.

The Cavaliers will now play the winner of the New Jersey-Toronto series, which the Nets lead 3-1 and have an opportunity to close out Tuesday in Toronto

Via RealGM

Nesterovic: Raptors Not Mentally Prepared For Playoff Basketball

After two lopsided losses in New Jersey in which Toronto looked nervous and overwhelmed, Raptor center Rasho Nesterovic, who won a championship with the Spurs, said his team might not have been mentally prepared for the challenge of playoff basketball.

"We just didn't play like we should," Nesterovic said at practice Monday. "If you're not ready, teams are going to jump on you early. That's what they did from the beginning.

"We were kind of thinking that we were ready, but we probably weren't."

Via Globe And Sports

Stern Thinking About NBA Sponsored League In China

NBA commissioner David Stern sees more of a need for new pro basketball teams in China than in North America.

"I think 30 teams is a nice, round number, and I would not be recommending to the NBA owners to expand," Stern said on Monday.

"We will see in the next couple of years, coming out of the Beijing Olympics, the possibility of some joint venture between the NBA and someone in China about an NBA-sponsored and-branded league in China."

Stern added that "an NBA of China" is closer to happening than what he called a 20-year plan for having five franchises in Europe, and that, "domestically, we have enough teams."

Via Rocky Mountain News

No Decision Yet From 'Zo

Alonzo Mourning explicitly said that he has not decided whether or not he will retire but it appears as though a decision will be coming soon.

"Before we start the interview, I want to let you all know, I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to play next year," Mourning said Monday.

"We'll see what the future holds," Mourning said. "There's so many other opportunities out there in life for me, besides the game of basketball, that I'm truly looking forward to. I really am looking forward to a lot of other opportunities. I think I can make a decent living outside the game of basketball."

Via ESPN

Bowen, Duncan, Kobe, Camby And Bell Named To All-Defensive Team

Bruce Bowen and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs  highlight the 2006-07 NBA All-Defensive Teams, the NBA announced today. Duncan leads all players with his 10th selection, while his teammate Bowen, the leading vote-getter, earns his seventh appearance.

Also selected to the First Team is 2006-07 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets at  center, his third such honor.

Rounding out the  First Team are guards Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, who earns his seventh selection, and Raja Bell of the Phoenix Suns, making his first appearance on an All-Defensive team.

Bowen?s and Duncan?s defense helped the Spurs hold opponents to 90.1 ppg (first in NBA) and .433 from the field (third). San Antonio has finished in the top five in both categories in each of Duncan?s 10 seasons. Camby led the NBA in blocks (3.30 bpg) to go along with 11.7 rpg (tied for fourth in NBA).  Bryant ranked 17th in steals with 1.44 per game, while Bell often matches up against the opposition?s best offensive player.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Chicago teammates Ben Wallace and Kirk Hinrich, New Jersey?s Jason Kidd, Detroit?s Tayshaun Prince and Minnesota?s Kevin Garnett.

Via RealGM

Magic: ''We Have To Do Some Creative Financing''

The Orlando Magic will look to sign a top free agent such as Vince Carter during the summer and perhaps also sign a point guard.

"We have to do some creative financing," Magic General Manager Otis Smith said.

"I don't think it will be as uneventful as last summer," Smith said. "We just need a couple pieces here and there. We're not that far away."

Via Orlando Sentinel

Dirk: "All We Can Do Is Come Out Swinging"

Following the Mavericks' Game 4 loss, Dirk Nowitzki was asked about the confidence level of the team facing a 3-1 deficit.  

"Look in the locker room right now," Nowitzki said. "Everyone is very disappointed. Obviously, we just lost a tough, tough game.

"All we can do is come out swinging. We know this team won't give up. We have a lot of pride, a lot of heart.

"Come out swinging. That's the only thing we've got."

Via Dallas Morning News

Graham's Future In The NBA In Doubt?

Joey Graham came into the playoffs as the starting small forward for the Raptors, but was replaced by Andrea Bargnani.

Graham, might not even be good enough to stay in the NBA when his contract expires after next season, suggests the Toronto Star.

Via Toronto Star

No Team USA For Wade

Playing for the U.S. basketball team almost certainly won't happen, because shoulder surgery almost certainly will.

Dwyane Wade's season might have come to an end Sunday when the Bulls swept Miami in the first-round playoff series, but his difficult year will continue as he addresses injuries to his left shoulder and knee.

Wade, who dislocated his left shoulder and tore his labrum Feb. 21, returned to play nine of the Heat's final 10 games, but will likely still undergo surgery to repair the shoulder. That will require four to six months of rehabilitation, which would rule him out of playing in the Olympic qualifier this summer.

''My plan is, right now, it's surgery, so I can't say what I'm going to do with [Team USA],'' Wade said. ``My main thing, for me, is health, and it's for my team more so than anything.''

Via Miami Herald

Davis, Warriors One Win Away From Historic Playoff Upset

Behind Baron Davis, the Warriors roared from behind for a 103-99 victory Sunday night to take a 3-1 lead over the Mavericks.

Carter, Jefferson Combine For 50, Nets Take 3-1 Lead Over Raptors

Heat Sweep Makes History

Upcoming Awards Announcement Dates Schedule Released

Nash's 23 Dimes Guide Suns To 3-1 Lead

Arenas Puts Wizards On Notice

"Going into next summer it is going to be either this team is going where I think it can go or is it my time to move on?" said Gilbert Arenas.

Boston Has Little Leverage On Telfair Trade Talks

Sources: Nets Will Probably Shop Jefferson

Wolves Shopping Garnett?

Bargnani Expected To Start Game 4, Ford Questionable

Sloan Says No Truth To Kirilenko Trade Rumors

Bulls Sweep Defending Champs

The Bulls sweep the Heat! Ben Gordon scored 24 points to lead Chicago to the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Mitchell Mum On Change To Lineup

Mitchell's Kidd Talk Stirs Controversy

Heat Hopes To Avoid Elimination

Pat Riley stood in the center circle of Miami's locker room and challenged his players to join him for a sparring session

Johnson: 'I've Got To Do A Better Job'

Arenas Vows To Come Back 'Better Than Ever'

Grant Hill Mulling Over Retirement

Grant Hill said he plans on taking a few months off to see how he feels before deciding his future

Okur, Jazz Even Series With Rockets

Finley, Horry Rain '3's' On Nuggets, Spurs Take 2-1 Series Lead

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