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Thursday NBA Notes: Kings stay in Sacramento, Combine Gets Underway, Heat, Grizzlies Advance

A busy day in the NBA is highlighted by an important ownership announcement and two close-out games in the second round of the playoffs.

Indeed.  Kings to remain in Sacramento
Indeed. Kings to remain in Sacramento

  • The big news out of the owners meeting in Dallas yesterday is that the Kings will be staying put; the owners voted against a proposal to relocate to Seattle, where deep-pocketed prospective owners Chris Hansen and Steve (Microsoft) Ballmer were waiting with an approved arena plan. Now the Maloofs will have to either keep the team or sell to a local Sacramento group headed by Vivek Ranadive. This is a pretty complex story which might have implications for the future of the Timberwolves, on which more later (today, hopefully).
  • The Heat overcame a big effort by an undermanned Bulls team to win game five and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • The Grizzlies held off the Thunder on the road in another close-out game five and advanced to the Western Conference Finals. I actually managed to stay awake for this one, and it was well worth it, as the Thunder stormed back from a double digit deficit with under three minutes left in the game and had a shot to tie in the last ten seconds. Kevin Durant missed a jumper to push his final shooting line to 5-21 on the night.
  • The game featured two notable plays: Tayshaun Prince finding the athleticism of his youth for this monster dunk and-1 in traffic, and the oddest 4 point play I've ever seen as a missed Derek Fisher 3-pointer is counted as good and a technical foul is called on Tony Allen from the Grizzlies bench because he (inadvertently) tossed his warm-up onto the floor as Fisher shot the ball.
  • The Chicago draft combine starts today, with 63 draft eligible prospects being poked and prodded. News should start filtering out through the day. One minor Wolves note already is that the Wolves met with Maryland center Alex Len last night (among other draft prospects apparently).
  • Fox Sports North has replaced our favorite Joan Niesen. His name is Phil Ervin, and here's his Twitter account. Just got to town and took in yesterday's Twins game from the looks of it. Good luck Phil.
  • Finally, apologies for any problems you have been having with the site over the last couple of days. Believe me, people are working to fix it. My sense is that there may be people who haven't slept over the past two nights trying to figure this out. Hopefully things will be resolved soon.
That's all for now. This, amazingly, is an open thread. Have at it.