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Stephenson admits 'scuffle' with Turner

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Pacers guard Lance Stephenson acknowledged Wednesday that he and Evan Turner got into a practice "scuffle" last week before Game 1 against Atlanta but denied the two threw any punches.

Coach Frank Vogel and Indiana's players concurred with Stephenson's version of events, though the descriptions were different. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Turner had to be "dragged out of practice" last week after the argument and that fists were flying.

Turner denied that, saying simply that they got tangled up but that there was no fight. Vogel and All-Star center Roy Hibbert said every team has similar scrapes during practice but neither considered it a fight.

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Suns PG Dragic named NBA's most improved

PHOENIX (AP) Goran Dragic, whose breakout season helped the Phoenix Suns make a remarkable transformation, has been named the NBA's most improved player.

The 6-foot-3 Slovenian, who turns 28 in two weeks, flourished under first-year coach Jeff Hornacek's double-point guard system, teaming with Eric Bledsoe to form a dynamic backcourt.

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Jackson reiterates he won't coach Knicks

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate has already been eliminated.

Phil Jackson won't be hiring himself to coach the Knicks.

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Wizards rally past Bulls in OT, lead 2-0

CHICAGO (AP) This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed.

Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 points in overtime and the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 101-99 Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series. Game 3 is Friday at Washington.

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DeRozan's 30 help Raptors tie Nets at 1

TORONTO (AP) DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

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Popovich wins NBA Coach of Year award

(AP) -- The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals.

Some coaches would try to brush off the disappointment of letting a title slip through their fingers and refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

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Jefferson in walking boot, plans to play

MIAMI (AP) Al Jefferson was still in his walking boot when the Charlotte Bobcats arrived for their shootaround hours before facing the Miami Heat in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series.

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says the team was planning to have Jefferson participate in at least some of Wednesday morning's shootaround, but not in anything involving contact. Jefferson was diagnosed with a plantar fascia strain in his left foot Sunday, when the Bobcats lost the series opener.

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Harden hoping for more efficient Game 2

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden missed 20 shots, including two in the final seconds of Houston's Game 1 loss to Portland in overtime.

Now the key word for the Houston star entering Game 2 on Wednesday night is better; he must play better, and the Rockets must be better when it comes to their ball movement.

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Mavs need Dirk to bounce back vs. Spurs

(AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki missed from several of his usual spots as Dallas blew a lead in the fourth quarter of its playoff-opening loss to San Antonio.

The Mavericks star even flubbed a glorified layup, the most surprising of all the misses when Dallas went without a meaningful basket for the final 8 minutes of the 90-85 loss to the Spurs.

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Warriors eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) For all the problems he had facing the Clippers' smothering trap defense in Game 2 of their playoff series, Warriors guard Stephen Curry hopes to see more of it.

So, too, do the rest of his Golden State teammates.

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