National Basketball Association
Defending NBA champion Golden State, seeking a third title in four seasons, faces season wins leader Houston in a playoff showdown between a powerhouse Warriors squad and a Rockets team assembled to beat it.
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors will face the Houston Rockets for a place in the NBA finals after the Western Conference heavyweights wrapped up series wins on May 8.
LeBron James led the way as the Cleveland Cavaliers wrapped up a series sweep with a ruthless demolition of the Toronto Raptors on May 7 to book their place in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
Serbian-born basketball coach Igor Kokoskov has been hired to lead the US team Phoenix Suns, becoming the first head coach in National Basketball Association history born outside North America.
"I have been preparing for this for 18 years and I'm not afraid of any challenge," Kokoskov, 46, told the Serbian daily Vecernje novosti on Friday.
The Utah Jazz started strong then held their nerve to beat the top-seeded Houston Rockets 116-108 on May 2 and level their NBA playoffs second-round series at one game apiece.
Terry Rozier and Al Horford scored 26 points each as the Boston Celtics routed the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 in game seven to book their spot in the second round of the NBA playoffs
Greek star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, including the decisive tip-in with five seconds remaining, to give the Milwaukee Bucks a 104-102 NBA playoff victory over Boston on April 22.
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday combined to post one of the greatest duo performances in NBA history as the New Orleans Pelicans beat Portland 131-123 to sweep the Trail Blazers from the playoffs.
DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points as the Toronto Raptors overwhelmed the Washington Wizards 130-119 to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference NBA playoff series April 17.
Forget LeBron James making his eighth consecutive trip to the NBA finals -- the Cleveland Cavaliers star might have trouble just getting out of the opening round of the playoffs.