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Portland Trail Blazers Clinch Playoff Spot

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Or.) -- The Portland Trail Blazers are headed back to the NBA playoffs for the second straight season.

With a 109-86 victory over the Phoenix Suns Monday night, the Trail Blazers clinched a playoff spot and will now seek to claim the Northwest Division title.

Seemingly from the start, Portland set out to dominate the game. The Trail Blazers led by 27 at the end of the third period, and five players finished with double digit points.

"I'm not even sure the last time we even won a division title," said Damian Lillard, who scored 19. "I'm sure it's been tough having OKC around. If any year there was a great opportunity, it's this year. We just need to keep playing, focus on ourselves, and everything will work out like it's supposed to."

Portland currently has a 6.5 game lead over the Thunder for the Northwest Division and the two teams will face off on April 13.

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Eagles Sign Miles Austin to One-Year Deal

Scott Boehm/Getty Images

(PHILADELPHIA, Pa.) -- The Philadelphia Eagles have signed wide receiver Miles Austin to a one-year deal, according to NFL Network.

The deal is worth $2.3 million, with an opportunity to earn $700,000 in incentives, according to Ian Rappaport of NFL Network.

Austin, 30, played 12 games last season for the Cleveland Browns, where he caught 47 passes for 568 yards and two touchdowns. 

Injuries have hampered the receiver over the past four seasons as he has missed 15 games due to various ailments.

The move is a bit of a homecoming for Austin, who is a native of New Jersey and alumnus of Monmouth University.

If Austin makes the final roster, he is expected to serve as the backup to Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, and Riley Cooper.

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Scoreboard Roundup 3/30/15

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA:  Boston Celtics 116 (33-41) – Charlotte Hornets 104 (31-42)

Los Angeles Lakers 113 (20-53) – Philadelphia 76ers 111 (18-57)

Atlanta Hawks 101 (56-18) – Milwaukee Bucks 88 (36-38)

Toronto Raptors 99 (44-30) – Houston Rockets 96 (50-24)

Memphis Grizzlies 97 (51-24) – Sacramento Kings 83 (26-47)

Utah Jazz 104 (33-41) – Minnesota Timberwolves 84 (16-58)

Portland Trail Blazers 109 (48-25)  Phoenix Suns 86 (38-37)

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning 5 (47-23-7; 101pts) – Montreal Canadiens 3 (47-22-8; 102pts)

Vancouver Canucks 4 (44-27-5; 93pts) – St. Louis Blues 1 (46-23-7; 99pts)

Chicago Blackhawks 4 (46-24-6, 98 pts)  Los Angeles Kings 1 (37-25-14, 88 pts)

Calgary Flames 5 (42-28-7, 91 pts)  Dallas Stars 3 (37-30-10, 84 pts)

Edmonton Oilers 4 (23-40-13, 59 pts)  Colorado Avalanche 1 (35-29-12, 82 pts)

Buffalo Sabres 4 (21-47-8, 50 pts)  Arizona Coyotes 1 (23-46-8, 54 pts)

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Falcons Fined $350K & Lose NFL Draft Selection

Football Texture/iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The National Football League fined the Atlanta Falcons $350,000 on Monday for piping in crowd noise during home games at the Georgia Dome over the past two seasons.

The Falcons will also have their fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft taken away. If they have multiple picks in that round, the league will dock the highest selection.

“What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business,” Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank said in a statement. “Anytime there are actions that compromise the integrity of the NFL or threaten the culture of our franchise, as this issue did, they will be dealt with swiftly and strongly.”

The NFL also suspended Falcons president Rich McKay from the league’s competition committee from April 1 through at least June 30.

“The Falcons and all of our other businesses are built upon a foundation of values that drive our decision making,” said Blank. “The issue was a clear failure in that regard. I apologize for any embarrassment this situation has caused the NFL, our fans and our Falcons players and associates.”

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Browns GM Ray Farmer Suspended Four Games

NFL(NEW YORK) -- The National Football League suspended Browns general manager Ray Farmer without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season on Monday for sending text messages to team personnel during games in 2014. The league also fined Cleveland $250,000.

Farmer’s suspension will begin on the midnight of the Sunday before the Browns’ Week 1 contest and concludes following the team’s Week 4 game. During the ban, Farmer won’t be allowed to deal with team business or permitted to be at the team’s facilities or games.

“I respect the league’s decision and understand that there are consequences for my actions,” Farmer said in a statement. “Accountability is integral to what we are trying to build and as a leader I need to set the right example. I made a mistake and apologize to Jimmy Haslam, Mike Pettine, our entire organization and our fans for the ramifications. Learning is a big part of who I am and I will certainly be better from this situation.”

According to ESPN, Farmer texted an assistant coach and an unnamed team representative on the sideline that dealt with use of personnel and in-game strategy. 

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Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Not Concerned over Contract Situation

Kevin Casey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While Quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and even Joe Flacco are among the highest paid players in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson remains one of the best bargains in the league at $1.5 million, which he'll make next season. It's one of the lowest salaries for a starting quarterback in the NFL, let alone a Super Bowl champion.

Still, with one year left on his current deal, Wilson isn't worrying about a new deal just yet.

“In terms of my contract, I don’t really talk about that kind of stuff,” Wilson told the Everett Herald. “I love the game of football. I love playing the game of football. I try to put my best foot forward and I want to be the best to ever play the game. That’s the way I look at it."

"I’ve been fortunate enough to win a lot of games at such a young age and to be able to play with some great guys and have some great comeback wins and win a Super Bowl, and go to back to back Super Bowls," he continued. "It’s been special. So that’s what I focus on. I focus on the next opportunity that I have. The rest will come."

In just three NFL seasons, Wilson is already considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

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ESPN: Georgia State Guard R.J. Hunter to Enter NBA Draft

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With Georgia State's end-of-season run still fresh in everyone's mind, ESPN reports guard R.J. Hunter will enter the 2015 NBA Draft.

Hunter will reportedly hold a news conference on Tuesday to make the decision official.

Hunter had a very productive collegiate career during his three seasons at Georgia State as he's the leading scorer in school history. While his shooting numbers were down, Hunter did average a career-high 19.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. In three seasons at Georgia State, Hunter averaged 18.4 points while shooting .423% from the floor and .354% from the three-point line.

The 14th seed in the tournament this season, Georgia Tech had one of the most memorable upsets of the year when they beat 3rd seeded Baylor.

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Hornets' Al Jefferson Will Not Be at Full Strength for the Rest of the Season

NBA via Utah Jazz(NEW YORK) -- As the Charlotte Hornets fight for there playoff lives with the regular season winding down, they'll have to do it with one of their best players feeling less than 100%.

Head coach Steve Clifford announced that center Al Jefferson will not be fully healthy for the remainder of the season.

“Al is not going to be 100 percent here the rest of the year. He is just not,” Clifford told The Charlotte Observer.

The team's anchor, Jefferson underwent an MRI a couple weeks ago after injuring his knee and calf. No structural damage was found, but Jefferson hasn't been the same player since.

Charlotte has gone 1-5 since and Jefferson has averaged just 15.3 and 7.3 rebounds per game, both below his season averages.

With just ten games left in the regular season, the Hornets are fighting with the Nets, Celtics, and Pacers for the eighth and final playoff spot. Just one game separates the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, held by the Nets, and the 11th spot in the East, occupied by Charlotte.

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Craig Sager Suffers Leukemia Recurrence

National Basketball Association(NEW YORK) -- NBA Broadcaster Craig Sager has suffered a recurrence of his Leukemia, according to his son.

Sager's son shared the news via his Twitter feed:

We wanted to ensure he was taken care of & that we knew what the next steps were before we shared this #SagerStrong pic.twitter.com/IhUM2nK8yl

— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) March 29, 2015

Sager, 63, was diagnosed with the cancer last April and returned to broadcasting on March 5 after being cleared to work by doctors.

The broadcaster has since cancelled his plans to be part of the NCAA tournament coverage and NBA playoffs as he undergoes further treatment.

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Mariners Prospect Passes Away After Boating Accident

Major League Baseball

(NEW YORK) -- Victor Sanchez, a 20-year-old prospect of the Seattle Mariners, lost his life from injuries sustained in a February boating accident, according to the team.

Sanchez reportedly suffered a double skull fracture and brain hematoma after being struck in the head by a propeller while swimming in the Venezuelan coastal town of Campano.

"The Seattle Mariners are saddened to learn of the passing of Victor Sanchez," said Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik through a team statement. "Victor was a tremendous young man and a wonderful teammate. He was a very talented player who was close to fulfilling his promise as a major leaguer. He will be missed by his teammates and the coaches and staff at the Mariners. The entire Mariners organization sends our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time."

Sanchez pitched a 4.19 ERA last season, while earning a 7-6 record for the Mariners Double A club.

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