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'Melo plans to opt out, wants to return

(Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) Carmelo Anthony said he wants to stay in New York, and said he wants to win.

It will be up to Phil Jackson to convince him that he can do both.

With the Knicks' season over and Anthony missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, he can begin thinking about his future. He plans to become a free agent in July and wants to be someplace where he can compete for championships.

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Pacers rule out C Bynum for 1st round

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Top-seeded Indiana won't have Andrew Bynum for its first-round series against Atlanta.

Coach Frank Vogel said Thursday that he believes the Pacers' oft-injured center could still work his way back for the playoffs. But he won't be available for the first round, which opens Saturday in Indianapolis.

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Heat aiming for third straight title

MIAMI (AP) LeBron James was standing at his locker and chatting a few days ago when the conversation turned to which teams out there the Miami Heat might fear entering these playoffs.

James quickly gave his answer.

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Reconfigured Bulls prep for postseason

CHICAGO (AP) Lose a franchise player, trade away another star. Snag home-court advantage for at least one round in the playoffs?

It's not the way the Chicago Bulls mapped it out at the start of the season. But here they are, holding the fourth seed and hosting John Wall and the Washington Wizards in Game 1 of their first-round series Sunday after going 48-34.

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Blazers survive adversity, surge to 5th

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) After starting off as one of the hottest teams in the NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers wilted a bit after the All-Star break.

The low point came on March 25 when the Blazers fell 95-85 at Orlando. The loss capped a 4-9 stretch for Portland.

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Mavs G Ellis set to be key for playoffs

DALLAS (AP) Monta Ellis had just missed a jumper that could have lifted Dallas out of a matchup with top-seeded San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs.

His reaction to playing a team the Mavericks haven't beaten in more than two years was typical of the confident guard: simple, understated, defiant.

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Long shot Hawks brace for Pacers

ATLANTA (AP) There's no bigger long shot in the NBA playoffs than the Atlanta Hawks.

Only the 15th team in the last two decades to make the postseason with a losing record, the Hawks (38-44) get started Saturday against the top seed in the East, the Indiana Pacers.

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Love's plans key to Wolves' offseason

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kevin Love sat in front of his locker after the Minnesota Timberwolves' season came to a close, his sixth year in the NBA and his sixth without a trip to the playoffs.

Love hung his head and stared at the floor while reporters asked questions about this particularly disappointing season. His body language is more a personality quirk than a referendum on Love's happiness or unhappiness with the only team he's played for, but nevertheless it projects a dour image that makes Timberwolves fans very nervous.

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Lakers' future uncertain after 55 losses

LOS ANGELES (AP) Although one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles Lakers history mercifully ended Wednesday night in San Antonio, the drama around the 16-time NBA champions is never finished.

The Lakers headed into yet another eventful offseason after finishing 27-55, the most losses in club history and the franchise's worst winning percentage since 1958.

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Suns join list of best to miss playoffs

PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns are the "best team not to make the playoffs."

That's the title first-year coach Jeff Hornacek bestowed on his overachieving squad after it finished a remarkable turnaround season. But despite 48 wins, the Suns are staying home when the real fun begins.

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