There are still some things to wrap upfrom the Monta Ellis-Bogut trade and other Warriors related matters headinginto Fridays game against the Milwaukee Bucks.--- There are a lot of people wonderingwhy the Warriors also acquired the retired T.J. Ford in the RichardJefferson-for-Stephen Jackson trade that included a pick.Heres my understanding: the tradewould have worked salary-wise whether Ford was included in the deal or not. TheWarriors took on Fords salary, a little over 1 million, because getting theSpurs pick was worth it from Golden States point of view.As far as the Spurs, they could very well be a luxury tax team and would be penalized a dollar-for-dollar amount at the endof the season. So, by moving Ford to the Warriors, they take more than 1million off their books now, but also will save themselves another million inpenalty money down the road.Moving Ford also gives the Spurs moreroster flexibility in terms of possibly adding a player down theline.As for the Warriors, theyre notexactly on the hook for all of Fords salary anyway. Insurance will take careof most of it.--- Warriors general manager Larry Rileysaid the team, doctors and Stephen Curry are still working on a course ofaction for the rest of the season regarding his injured anklefoot.It is possible and some would sayexpected that the Warriors will soon announce they are shutting Curry downfor the rest of the season. In the short term, Riley said earlier this weekthat Curry would definitely not play in either of this weekends games vs.Milwaukee on Friday and at Utah on Saturday.--- At this point the Warriors will haveat least three picks and possibly four in the upcoming 2012 NBA draft. TheWarriors now own San Antonios conditional first round pick, which would be theNo. 27 overall pick right now.The Warriors also have the New JerseyNets second-round pick, which would be the No. 36 pick overall right now. Andthey also own the worst of Atlantas two second-round picks, which at thispoint would fall between the Nos. 45 and 50 picks.Of course, the most important pick forthe Warriors is their own. If the Warriors wind up with a top-seven pick in thedraft, they will keep the pick. If the Warriors end up with the No. 8 pick orworse, the pick will be conveyed to Utah.
LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.
Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.
The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.
The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.
The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.
Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.
Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.
Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.
Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.
Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.
The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.
Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.
The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.
Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.
Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.
Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.
Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.
But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.
A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.
He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.
The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.
Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.
Neil Olshey makes it clear: Festus Ezeli will not be on the roster next season.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) April 25, 2017