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NBA Playoffs Continue

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The Rockets close out the Mavs and the Spurs go up on the Clippers.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Morning all, sorry for the late thread. Just a quick one today:

The Rockets closed out the Mavericks in game five at home last night, moving on to the 2nd round where they will face the winner of the Spurs-Clippers series. James Harden scored 28 and Josh Smith came off the bench for 20 as the Rockets held the Mavs to 38% from the field in their best defensive performance of the series.

Big questions for the Mavericks going forward now, as the trade they made at mid-season for Rajon Rondo did not work out, and he won't be returning to the Mavs. While they remained an elite offensive unit this season, their defense and rebounding cratered, and it's unclear how they will proceed from here. Dirk Nowitzki is no longer a game changing player, Monta Ellis has a player option, and Tyson Chandler is a free agent. Will they bring those players back? Go after other free agents? Keep things flexible for the summer of 2016? They owe their 2016 first rounder (top 7 protected) to the Celtics. Could be tough times ahead for the Mavs.

The Spurs somehow won last night, taking a 3-2 series lead against the Clippers, but I don't know how because I was asleep. It looks like their bench got hot from beyond the arc, and they were able to hold off a late Clippers rally that was ultimately derailed by a DeAndre Jordan offensive basket interference call in the last 10 seconds on a play that would have given the Clips the lead. Frankly I'm not sure how the Spurs are doing this, because every time I watch this series, with the exception of game three, the Clips look like the better team. They head back to San Antonio for game six on Thursday, where the Spurs will look to end it.

Nothing new in Wolves land.

Today in history

1429: Joan of Arc arrives at siege of Orleans
1707: Scottish & English Parliament accept Act of Union, creating United Kingdom of Great Britain
1852: First edition of Roget's Thesaurus published
1861: Maryland delegates vote against secession 
1862: New Orleans falls to Union forces 
1916: Easter Rising ends with Irish republicans surrender at Dublin Post Office
1945: U.S. troops liberate over 31K in Dachau
1967: Aretha Franklin releases "Respect"
1970: U.S. and South Vietnamese troops invade Cambodia
1991: Cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing over 100K
1992: Jury acquits L.A. police officers involved in Rodney King beating, riots break out in L.A.

Several good musical birthdays today, but we'll go with Duke Ellington, born in 1899 (d. 1974)

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