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Cavs confident with Pacers series evened

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Indiana Pacers are in no better position to pull off a historic upset in this first-round playoff series with the Cleveland Cavaliers than when they awoke Sunday morning.

The Pacers had a chance to put the Cavs, at the time reeling with playoff inexperience and the crushing weight of expectations with LeBron James, squarely behind the eight ball in this series by winning Game 4.

But Indiana fell behind by a huge deficit in the first half for the second consecutive game, erased it in the third and early fourth quarters again, but couldn't sustain the momentum. Kyle Korver and James made enough plays down the stretch for the Cavs to win, 104-100, tying this series at 2-2 with Game 5 on Wednesday in Cleveland.

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Rockets aim to close out Timberwolves

HOUSTON -- There was an undeniable inevitability in the Houston Rockets finally unleashing their full potential offensively, with the only legitimate ambiguity being exactly when it would happen.

That moment arrived without warning in the third quarter of Game 4, with Houston producing a 50-point outburst that staggered the Minnesota Timberwolves and gave the Rockets control of their Western Conference first-round playoff series. Houston used that eruption to propel it toward a 119-100 victory on Monday night at the Target Center, giving the Rockets a 3-1 lead in the series. It also gave Houston the opportunity to conclude the series at Toyota Center in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

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Down 3-1, Thunder look to stave off Jazz

Oklahoma City was built this offseason around three All-Stars with the hopes of contending for the Western Conference crown.

The Utah Jazz started the year 18-26 without center Rudy Gobert. But Gobert returned and the Jazz rolled off 11 straight wins into Valentine's Day with the help of a surprise rookie of the year contender.

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Pressure on Raptors after Wiz tie series

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors appeared to have control of their first-round series against Washington Wizards when they won the first two games.

They also thought they had Game 4 within their grasp, and yet the series is tied 2-2.

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Commission: Bring back prep-to-pros

NEW YORK (AP) The commission proposing reforms to college basketball wants 18-year-olds to be eligible again for the NBA draft, and the NBA Players Association would make that deal today.

Change will take longer than that.

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Warriors hold off Spurs to advance

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Kevin Durant drove coast-to-coast just before halftime for a monster two-handed slam.

Klay Thompson swished a turnaround fadeaway as the halftime buzzer sounded and scurried for the tunnel hands raised high in triumph. Stephen Curry, in street clothes, hopped up and down on his injured left knee celebrating wildly with his Splash Brother.

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76ers take out Heat to reach 2nd round

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Kevin Hart laughed as he tried to floss dance with a kid as they were both egged on by rapper Meek Mill. Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie awkwardly waved his arms around the way any 60-something-year-old man would attempting to look hip next to star entertainers.

This postseason potpourri of comic, ex-con and champion unfolded on the sideline of another 76ers' romp.

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Heat to wait on Wade, look to improve

MIAMI (AP) If there was any reason for solace in the Miami Heat locker room after the final game of the season in Philadelphia, it was this: They knew they lost to a better team.

The Heat were good. They weren't great.

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Smart sparks Celts to 3-2 lead on Bucks

BOSTON (AP) Al Horford has been the Celtics' quiet leader this postseason, and Marcus Smart might be the kindling Boston was missing in back-to-back losses in Milwaukee.

The duo was reunited for Game 5, and together, they helped put the Celtics on the verge of closing out their first-round series.

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Westbrook gets fine, tech; no suspension

NEW YORK (AP) Russell Westbrook has been fined $10,000 and assessed a postgame technical foul for initiating a confrontation with Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert on Monday.

The league made the announcement Tuesday.

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