Jason Smith cleared to play
Jason Smith is playing for the Washington Wizards in Game 6 of their opening-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks. The front-court reserve left the previous game with a sprained left knee and did not return. After getting extensive treatment over the last two days, he's been cleared to play. Smith's return ensures that starting center Marcin Gortat won't be forced to play additional minutes, allowing the Wizards to stay in their normal rotation.
Rajon Rondo out for Game 6
If the Chicago Bulls are to extend their postseason, they almost certainly will have to do it without Rajon Rondo. Rondo has a fractured right thumb, and coach Fred Hoiberg says the veteran guard is a "long shot" to play Game 6 against the Boston Celtics on Friday. Since Rondo injured his hand in Game 2, Boston won three straight. Rondo was a standout at both ends in the first two games, both Chicago victories on the road. He averaged 11.5 points, 10.0 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals.
LA Clipp. 25.4.17
Rivers to return in Game 5
The Clippers will be getting reserve guard Austin Rivers back for Game 5 against the Utah Jazz. Coach Doc Rivers said his son's minutes would be restricted when the first-round series resumes on Tuesday night at Staples Center. The younger Rivers has been sidelined since March 30 with a strained left hamstring. He averaged career highs of 12.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the regular season.
The Clippers are without Blake Griffin for the rest of the playoffs after he injured his right big toe in Game 3.
Nurkic ruled out for Game 4
Jusuf Nurkic won't play for the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Monday. Nurkic missed the final seven games of the regular season and the first two playoff games at Golden State because of a nondisplaced fracture in his right leg. He returned for Saturday's 119-113 Portland loss in Game 3, and Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters that Nurkic was tender after the game but did not do further damage.
Gold. St. 22.4.17
Durant out for Game 3
Golden State's Kevin Durant won't play in Saturday's Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers because of a strained left calf. It was the second game of the Warriors' first-round series with Portland that he has missed because of the injury.
The Warriors will also be without coach Steve Kerr because of an illness. Mike Brown will serve as acting coach.
Rondo out indefinitely with broken thumb
The Bulls announced Rajon Rondo was out indefinitely hours before they dropped Game 3 on Friday, tightening their first-round series after Chicago took the first two at Boston. Coach Fred Hoiberg sai said Rondo was injured swiping for the ball in the third quarter of Game 2. He either hit the ball or Boston center Kelly Olynyk's elbow, but stayed in the game. Rondo was able to run in practice on Thursday but did not have any contact. Picking up the ball was painful. X-rays confirmed the fracture, and surgery is not required
J.R. Smith questionable for Game 3
J.R. Smith is listed as questionable for Game 3 on Thursday night at Indianapolis as the Cavaliers look to take a 3-0 lead over the Indiana Pacers. Smith, who hurt his leg at some point in the first half of Game 2, said he'll "absolutely" be ready for Game 3. However, the Cavs aren't willing to go that far just yet and will likely wait until game time before clearing him. Smith said an MRI "came back fine" and that treatment should help him heal.
Gold. St. 19.4.17
Kevin Durant missed Golden State's practice Tuesday because of a strained left calf and was listed as questionable for Wednesday's Game 2 against Portland. The Warriors, who won Game 1 on Sunday, also listed Shaun Livingston as questionable with a sprained right index finger and bruised hand, while forward Matt Barnes is questionable with a sprained right ankle and foot.
Gobert suffers knee injury
Utah center Rudy Gobert has been diagnosed with a left knee hyperextension and bone contusion after his collision 17 seconds into the Jazz's playoff opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tests revealed no ligament damage. The team says he will continue to be re-evaluated. No timetable for his return was given.
Gobert sprains knee
Utah center Rudy Gobert sprained his left knee in the series opener against the Los Angeles Clippers on the first play of the game Saturday night. A Jazz spokesman says Gobert has been taken from Staples Center to have an MRI for precautionary reasons. The matchup between Gobert and Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was expected to be a key to the best-of-7 series. Gobert averaged 14.0 points and 12.8 rebounds in the regular season.
Nurkic's return still uncertain
Portland center Jusuf Nurkic's availability for the opening game of the Trail Blazers' playoff series against the Golden State Warriors remains uncertain. Nurkic has missed seven games with a non-displaced right leg fracture. There had been speculation the Bosnian could return for the playoffs. He was seen shooting during warmups for the past two regular-season games, and he's walking with no apparent limp. But Portland coach Terry Stotts said Friday that his status for the first-round opener in Oakland on Sunday was "undetermined." He said it would likely be a game-day decision.
Allen out indefinitely
Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen is out indefinitely with a strained calf muscle in his right leg as his team gets ready for its Western Conference playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs. The 35-year-old was injured Wednesday as his team closed the regular season with a 100-93 loss to the Dallas Mavericks and the Grizzlies announced that he will be continually re-evaluated. Allen averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 71 games this season.
New York 13.4.17
Noah may need surgery
Joakim Noah has a right rotator cuff injury and the New York Knicks say team doctors have recommended offseason surgery for their suspended center. It's the latest bad news in a season full of it for Noah, who while recovering from knee surgery was suspended 20 games by the NBA for violating the anti-drug policy. The Knicks say Wednesday that Noah was injured in January and an MRI showed the injury, but he continued to play through it. Another MRI this month showed no improvement and surgery was recommended, though there has been no decision or a timeline for his return to the court.
LeBron to miss regular-season finale
LeBron James will sit out Cleveland's regular-season finale, resting a strained right calf in preparation for the playoffs. James did not play in Monday's loss at Miami and general manager David Griffin confirmed Tuesday the three-time NBA champion will also miss Wednesday's game against Toronto. Cleveland is also without center Tristan Thompson, who has a sprained right thumb.
Raul Neto hurts left ankle
Utah guard Raul Neto sprained his left ankle and had to leave the Jazz's game Saturday night against the Portland Trail Blazers. Neto was injured early in the second half and had to be helped from the court. He did not return. Details about the injury were not immediately available. Neto was returning after missing five games with a groin injury and had started the second half.