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These are basketball rumors from two days ago. For the most recent stories click here.

After reading today's Basketball Rumors talk on the InsideHoops basketball forum where hardcore fans hang 24/7 talking hoops.

NBA Rumors for Sunday, April 20

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:30 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors Tim Duncan scored 27 points, and the San Antonio Spurs held the Dallas Mavericks to one field goal in the final seven minutes to rally for a 90-85 victory Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. The Mavericks also went scoreless for 5½ minutes during that stretch, their lone field goal coming as time expired. AP

Tony Parker had 21 points, and Manu Ginobili added 17. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tiago Splitter pulled down 11 rebounds for top-seeded San Antonio, which has won 10 straight against Dallas. Devin Harris scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who nearly pulled off a huge upset. AP

Referee Joey Crawford screamed twice at a pair of scoring officials during a timeout, telling them at one point to do their jobs. Crawford, who once ejected Duncan for laughing from the bench during a game against the Mavericks, was booed regularly by the fans. AP

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he looks forward to sideline reporter Craig Sager's return and "I promise I'll be nice." TNT's Sager is missing the NBA playoffs as he undergoes treatment for leukemia. So his son, Craig Sager Jr., filled in for Sunday's broadcast of San Antonio's playoff opener against Dallas, asking Popovich a few questions before the fourth quarter. AP

"You did a great job," Popovich said to him, "but I'd rather have your dad standing here." Popovich then shared this message for his father: "We miss you. You've been an important part of all of us for a long time, doing a great job. We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise I'll be nice." AP

Michael Beasley was designated as inactive for the Miami Heat's playoff opener Sunday against the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena. Beasley sprained an ankle during Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Philadelphia 76ers. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Beasley got in a workout Sunday and is closer to a return. South Florida Sun Sentinel

The NBA says referees missed a foul call late in the Warriors' Game 1 win that would have given the Clippers a chance to tie the score. Los Angeles point guard Chris Paul lost the ball out of bounds with 18.9 seconds left Saturday and Golden State leading 107-105. Rod Thorn, the league's president for basketball operations, said in a statement Sunday that the Warriors' Draymond Green should have been whistled for a foul, which would have given Paul two free throws. AP/CSN Bay Area

“A lot of people are writing us off, saying we really don’t have a chance,’’ Wizards All-Star guard John Wall said. “They say we don’t have experience, they have more experience and stuff like that, but all we can worry about is the Washington Wizards and our game plan.’’ The Bulls have a game plan, too, and it doesn’t involve playing the we-have-more-experience card. “I think they have a good mix of guys,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “When you look at Wall and [Bradley] Beal, they’re terrific. A guy like [Trevor] Ariza has been around. Nene has been around. [Andre] Miller has been in a ton of games. [Al] Harrington has been in a ton of games. So I think they have a good blend. The notion that they don’t have experience, I don’t think that’s reality.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

MAIN MORNING NBA RUMORS STORIES

nba rumors Two costly turnovers down the stretch cost the Clippers a chance to take control of their first round series with Golden State, losing Game 1 109-105. Chris Paul and Darren Collison couldn’t connect in transition with a chance to take the lead, and in the final 30 seconds, Paul lost the ball with a chance to tie. Orange County Register

Paul missed two free throws late, sealing the win for Golden State. Collison had a chance to give the Clippers one final shot at a tie, but he couldn’t corral a rebound before stopping out of bounds. The Clippers jumped out to a 12-1 lead, but once Golden State coach Mark Jackson elected to play his small-ball lineup, momentum swung. Orange County Register

nba rumors The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each had 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Nets beat the Raptors 94-87 Saturday in Game 1 of their first round series. Playing in his 137th career postseason game, Pierce connected on four of his five shot attempts in the fourth as the Nets kept the Raptors at bay. AP

The Air Canada Centre was bananas from the start Saturday, getting on the visiting Brooklyn Nets, the referees and even Nets coach Jason Kidd. And if that wasn’t enough, scores of people gathered outside at Maple Leaf Square were even more amped up after team president/general manager Masai Ujiri, throwing political correctness out the window, ended an address to the gathered fans in emphatic fashion. Toronto Sun

“F--- Brookyn,” yelled Ujiri, handing off the mic as he left the stage with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke, who dropped his head, perhaps thinking, ‘It’s on now.’ Since taking over last summer, Ujiri has repeatedly said he wanted the Air Canada Centre to be “a living hell.” He wants Toronto’s fans to be loud, proud and a distraction for opponents. Toronto Sun

The Nigerian-born Ujiri basically doubled down on his comment when he met the media at halftime, apologizing for his language before declaring, "You know how I feel. I don't like (the Nets), but I apologize." The incident, as with anything these days, was caught on video and quickly went viral, providing the series with a new slogan. Perhaps it also set the tone for a crowd that chanted “(Kevin Garnett) sucks” whenever the Nets center was involved in a play. NY Daily News

In the uncomfortable silence of the losing locker room, DeMar DeRozan sat slumped in his chair, still dressed in his uniform, not moving, staring at a post-game statistics sheet. He didn’t like what he was reading. He couldn’t really explain the thin numbers that defined his day. The all-star he was most of the season — the all-star he wants so badly to be — was nowhere to be found in the first NBA playoff appearance of his life, the first appearance for the Toronto Raptors since 2008. He didn’t make a difference. Toronto Sun

If counting properly, DeRozan didn’t take a single uncontested jump shot in the game. His teammates didn’t get him the ball. Most times he wasn’t open. He forced some shots. It was clear from the beginning, the Nets planned on taking him out of the game, maybe the series. It was accomplished far too easily in a Game 1 where the atmosphere should have tilted the playoff game in the Raptors favour. Toronto Sun

As crucial as the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will be to the Orlando Magic's rebuilding efforts — and, make no mistake, the lottery will be vital to the Magic — the team can't do anything more to enhance its chances for the annual pingpong-ball drawing. But there are several things the Magic can do to accelerate their rebuilding efforts. One pertains to Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris, Andrew Nicholson, Victor Oladipo, Kyle O'Quinn and Nik Vucevic. Simply put, those youngsters need to improve this offseason, and then those improvements need to translate onto the court in tangible ways during the 2014-15 season. "I'm going to be working on a little bit of everything," said Oladipo, a 6-foot-4 guard who just completed his rookie season. Orlando Sentinel

The Houston Rockets held their second postseason practice Saturday, continuing their preparation for Sunday's Game 1 with the Portland Trail Blazers. "Today was good, we were much more locked in," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said following Saturday's practice. "I think after everybody had a few days off, yesterday was a little ratty. A lot of bad passes, everybody was running around. We had a good practice today." Oregonian

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