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NBA roundup: Nash optimistic he'll play Sunday

The SportsXchange

The availability of injured players for the playoffs is a key component of many teams' postseason chances. The Los Angeles Lakers got some good news Friday, when guard Steve Nash participated in practice.

He's hoping he can play in the Lakers' playoff opener against San Antonio on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Friday was the first time he practiced since March 30. He has been sidelined with hip and hamstring soreness.

"Mentally, I'm chomping at the bit. Physically, I'm getting there," Nash said, according to the Times. "I'm very optimistic that I'll play on Sunday. I just don't want to over-promise and get ahead of myself."

Coach Mike D'Antoni said Friday that Nash would be a game-time decision on Sunday. D'Antoni also said he might start Steve Blake alongside Nash in the backcourt.

---Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, who has been sidelined for a week with a sprained ankle, and is hoping to play in the team's playoff opener Saturday against Golden State.

According to the Nuggets Twitter account, "Faried says sprained left ankle is improving. Asked if he will play in Gm 1 Saturday, he said: 'Hopefully.'"

---Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah could miss all or part of the first round of the NBA playoffs because he is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

The Bulls' first round series against the Brooklyn Nets starts Saturday.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said that Noah might not play, calling him day-to-day.

---The Maloof family wrote in a letter to the NBA this week urging the league to approve their deal to sell the Sacramento Kings to a Seattle group.

The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that the letter, dated April 17, said that the offer from a Sacramento group to buy the team from the Maloofs and keep it in Sacramento is "significantly more uncertain than, and significantly deficient economically as compared to, our existing, binding agreement" with the offer made by the Seattle group, headed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen.

-- The NBA draft order was determined after four random drawings were held to break ties with teams finished with identical records.

The NBA draft will be held on Thursday, June 27.

The results of the drawings were as follows: Detroit (29-53) won a tiebreaker with Washington. Philadelphia (34-48) won a tiebreaker with Toronto. Houston (45-37) won a tiebreaker with Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers then won a won a tie-breaker with Chicago. The Los Angeles Clippers (56-26) won a tiebreaker with Memphis.
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