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Links: Spurs and Thunder keep rolling towards likely Western Conference Finals matchup

Phew, that was like, almost a close call.
Phew, that was like, almost a close call.

Ok, so I found no Wizards-related links this morning, and I actually looked, too. So here's an All-NBA Playoffs edition of links:

  • Remember yesterday when I wondered how the Clippers would win one game against the Spurs? Well, I looked pretty dumb after the first quarter yesterday, when San Antonio was already down by 22. But alas, 'twas not to be for the Clips, as the Spurs woke up on offense and bared down on defense, beginning the second half on a 24-0 run and eventually winning 96-86 to seize a 3-0 series lead. So after the Thunder stormed back from a 13-point deficit to beat the Lakers 103-100 (including a "hero ball," game-winning three-pointer from Kevin Durant with less than 14 seconds to play) and take a 3-1 series lead, it looks like we can expect a Spurs-Thunder matchup in the Western Conference finals. That could be one of the more fun NBA playoff series in recent memory. Recaps from both of yesterday's games: [Daily Dime | Ball Don't Lie | Spurs-Clippers (SB Nation, SI, AP) | Thunder-Lakers (SB Nation, SI, AP)]
  • More from Tom Ziller on how the Spurs rode their defense to a Game 3 win.
  • It was clear in Game 3 of Spurs-Clippers which team's core had been together for a decade and which has been together for one lockout-shortened season. [ESPN Los Angeles]
  • After last night, the Clippers know what it feels like to be on the other side of a historic comeback.
  • Blake Griffin is an unquestioned star in the NBA, but he needs to grow up a bit if he's ever going to help lead the Clippers to a title.
  • Griffin would do well to take notes from future Hall of Famer he's matched up against this series. [The Point Forward]
  • I ask again, how old is Tim Duncan?? [Sporting News]
  • Chris Paul still wasn't quite himself against the Spurs. [TrueHoop]
  • Explain how it's fair that the Spurs, perhaps the most consistently excellent team of the past 15 years, got a guy like Kawhi Leonard with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft? Or are the Spurs such a well-run organization that pretty much any player they select is destined to flourish? [SB Nation]
  • J.A. Adande has some cool insight here on Duncan's long-forgotten forgotten knee injury and how Gregg Popovich's judgment is still paying off for the Spurs.
  • The Thunder also used a little D to key their Game 4 win. [TrueHoop]
  • Brian Kamenetzky offers his five takeaways on the Lakers after their Game 4 loss. [Land O' Lakers]
  • Kobe Bryant wants Pau Gasol to shoot more. [ESPN Los Angeles, Yahoo! Sports]
  • I still think the "Russell Westbrook and Durant dress up like hipster buffoons during their postgame press conferences" shtick is amusing, but are we going to have to put up with this when these guy are approaching 30? It's gotta get old eventually, right? Just not yet...
  • Sure, there's like a billion playoff games at Staples Center the last few days, but I'm thinking of flying out to L.A. just to get some of those free Krispy Kremes.
  • Erik Spoelstra and Dwyane Wade aren't still beefing because they both "come from a place of purity." Like, totally, d00d. [SB Nation, ESPN]
  • Guess who had something to say about the Spoelstra-Wade spat? Ozzie Guillen! Yaayyyy...
  • Danny Granger plans to keep on being physical with LeBron James. [ESPN]
  • Lance Stephenson apologized for making a choking gesture late in the third quarter of the Pacers' convincing Game 3 win over the Heat. Asked to comment, Bron Bron pulled his patented, "*name of nondescript player* who?" move. [SB Nation, Heat Index]
  • Greg Oden has had the same noninvasive knee surgery that helped extend the careers of Kobe, Gilbert Arenas (kinda-sorta Wizards reference!!) and Alex Rodriguez. [ESPN]