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Celtics missing piece? ... Paul Pierce

As the young Celtics were swept by the Cavs, ESPN's Chris Forsberg wonders, would things have been "different if Boston had a battle-tested, trash-talking veteran like Pierce to anchor an inexperienced roster"? Boston's wistful wishing

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

Doc Rivers on Chris Paul: 'He's alive'

The flip answer aside, CP3 remains a game-time decision. And the Rockets? With Dwight Howard, Doc said, "They look bigger. ... You put Dwight Howard on the floor, you're a better defensive team. You're a better rebounding team."

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No MVP for Harden? No big deal

Houston's James Harden on not winning the MVP: "I got more better things to worry about and that's the Clippers."

Teammate Dwight Howard: "He's our MVP."

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Will Rockets continue success?

Any time the Rockets have won a best-of-7 series in 5 games or fewer, they have at least reached the NBA Finals. Houston topped Dallas 4-1 in the first round.

Clippers hope to keep sailing

In seven tries, the Clippers have never advanced past the conference semifinals. Is this the year?

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Rockets are looking for their 1st conference finals appearance since 1997; Clippers are looking for their 1st ever. Game 1 tonight 9:30 ET

Expect big game from non-MVP Harden

How will James Harden respond to getting only 25 of 130 votes for MVP? "Can you say [scoring] 50?" ESPN's Antonio Davis told SportsCenter. "He's going to go out and try to show people that he should have been in consideration."

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Rare Rockets sight tonight

The Rockets will make their first conference semifinals appearance since 2009. Houston has won only two playoff series in the last 18 seasons, and that includes its series this year against Dallas.

LeBron makes top 5 yet again

By finishing 3rd in this year's MVP voting, LeBron James joins Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with 10 consecutive top-5 finishes in MVP voting.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

Today's fun facts: When Tim Duncan entered NBA, LeBron was in 7th grade, Peyton Manning hadn't been drafted & Jameis Winston was 3 years old

Antonio Davis: Cavs over Bulls

Antonio Davis told SportsCenter that Derrick Rose is the key to the Cavaliers-Bulls series.

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MVP Voting results

Stephen Curry received 100 of 130 potential 1st-place votes for MVP. James Harden finished 2nd and had 25 first-place votes. LeBron James finished 3rd with the other 5 first-place votes.

  • 4th: Russell Westbrook
  • 5th: Anthony Davis
  • 6th: Chris Paul

Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

Curry's plays of the year

In honor of winning the MVP, SportsCenter looks back at Stephen Curry's most creative passes, dribbles and shots of the year.

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J.A. Adande @jadande

Using LAC-Spurs as case for playoff seeding changes is twisted logic. "What a great series! Let's make sure it never happens again!"

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Dwight Howard reacts to Harden not winning MVP: "All of us are pretty upset he didn't win, but our goal is to win the championship."

Pelton: 'Hack-A-Shaq' is not basketball

The numbers back up the Hack-a-Shaq technique. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said: “If someone has a weakness, you exploit it, so intellectually I don't feel bad about it, but sight-wise it's God-awful." Pelton: How to get rid of it

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee's best yet to come

Yes, the 54-point elimination vs. the Bucks was bad. But armed with long arms of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Michael Carter-Williams and Jabari Parker, the future's bright in Milwaukee. Bet on the Bucks

6 things you should know about the MVP

According to his sister, Stephen Curry's got odd taste in movies and is a numbers nerd. Sister knows best

Courtesy Sydel Curry