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    NBA notes: Finals format changed

    The change means the Finals will follow the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds.
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/File
    The change means the Finals will follow the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds.

    The 2-3-2 NBA Finals format is following David Stern out of the league.

    NBA owners unanimously voted Wednesday to return to the 2-2-1-1-1 format, believing the travel inconveniences that teams faced when Stern became commissioner nearly 30 years ago no longer exist.

    Beginning with the 2014 Finals, the higher-seeded team will host Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower seed gets Games 3, 4 and 6, following the same format the NBA uses in all other rounds.


    The current format was instituted in 1985, Stern’s first full year in charge, in part to ease the amount of cross-country travel with the Celtics and Lakers frequently meeting for the championship. But critics felt it gave an edge to the lower-seeded team.

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    ‘‘There certainly was a perception . . . it was unfair to the team that had the better record, that it was then playing the pivotal Game 5 on the road. So this obviously moves that game back to giving home-court advantage to the team with the better record if it’s a 2-2 series,’’ Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.

    The vote came during Stern’s final preseason meeting with his board of governors.

    Owners also voted to add an extra day between Games 6 and 7.

    The league’s competition committee recommended the change last month. The 2-2-1-1-1 was used in all but one finals from 1957 to 1984.

    Cavs pick up contracts


    The Cavaliers picked up the fourth-year contract options on All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and forward Tristan Thompson.

    The team also exercised the third-year options on guard Dion Waiters and forward Tyler Zeller. All of the moves were expected and came one week before Cleveland opens the 2013-14 season at home against Brooklyn.

    The options on Irving and Thompson are for the 2014-15 season. The Cavs can offer both players contract extensions starting next summer. Irving will make about $7.5 million next season and Thompson about $5.4 million.

    Kings’ assistant resigns

    Sacramento Kings assistant coach Brendan Malone has resigned. The team did not disclose why.

    Malone is the father of new Kings coach Michael Malone. He has 27 years of NBA experience, including a stint as an assistant to Chuck Daly on two championship teams in Detroit. Malone also was the first head coach of the Toronto Raptors.


    Michael Malone said in a statement that he was thankful to have his father on staff to help him transition into his new role. He says his father ‘‘will always be an invaluable source of counsel on all matters basketball and otherwise.’’

    Chris Jent will assume Brendan Malone’s responsibilities as the lead assistant.