Archive for the ‘ NBA Playoffs Blog ’ Category

Friday in Portland, the Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 99-98, eliminating Houston in six games from the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 13 rebounds in the win. But the play of the day was Damian Lillard hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it for the Blazers. Here are multi-angle video highlights of Lillard’s game-winning shot:

Jermaine O'Neal

Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal underwent an MRI earlier today that revealed a bone bruise of his right knee cap. He is listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s Game 7 of the team’s First Round series versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

O’Neal suffered the injury at the 9:39 mark of the 2nd quarter of last night’s 100-99 Game 6 victory when Clippers forward Glen Davis crashed into him.

Zach Randolph suspended for punching Steven Adams

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been suspended one game without pay for punching Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of Memphis’ 104-84 loss to the Thunder on Thursday, May 1, at FedEx Forum.

Randolph will serve his suspension on Saturday, May 3, when the Grizzlies visit the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 7 of their first round NBA playoff series.

To view the play, click on this link.

Frank Vogel not worried about suspensions after Game 6 scuffle

Indiana coach Frank Vogel says he doesn’t expect any discipline from the NBA after a scuffle late in the first half that prompted Pacers star Paul George to step off the bench.

Atlanta’s Mike Scott and Indiana guard George Hill got into it under the basket after a missed shot in Game 6 Thursday night, shoving each other in front of the Pacers bench. Replays showed George and a teammate taking a step onto the court, though they were quickly pushed back by the assistant coaches.

– Associated Press

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the Nets, who are now in trouble against the Toronto Raptors and must win Game 6 in Brooklyn tomorrow or they’ll be eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs:

The Nets traded their future for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to rise in these moments. They held press conferences and dedicated thousands of words to reiterate that these guys bring leadership, they bring the moxie that’s required during crunch time of pivotal playoff games.

The price for that luxury? Three first-round draft choices. As the team slogan indicates, the Nets were going “All In” on two aging future Hall of Famers.

But for an entire fourth quarter in the biggest game of the season Wednesday night, with the Nets staging a miraculous comeback behind Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic, Pierce and Garnett were just cheerleaders, bystanders.

When the Nets needed a big stop in the final minute, Jason Kidd never summoned Garnett. When they needed a big shot, Pierce never took off his warmup shirt. The result was a 115-113 loss in Game 5 for the Nets, in a roller-coaster of a game that ended when Andray Blatche threw a pass way off target for a turnover with one second remaining.

The Nets, the most expensive team in NBA history, plunged to the brink of elimination with that pass and with most of their playoff experience on the bench, falling into a 3-2 deficit in the first-round series heading into Friday’s Game 6 in Brooklyn.

On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets visited the Toronto Raptors for Game 5 of their first round playoff series. Although the Nets went wild in the fourth quarter, scoring 44 points, it wasn’t enough, and Toronto won 115-113 to take a 3-2 series lead.

Raptors fans have been loud, wild and engaged during the series, and even gathering in massive crowds outside Toronto’s arena to enjoy the action. While Nets fans back in Brooklyn tend to be on the… quieter side. The Nets are still new in Brooklyn, and while attendance is great, and tons of fans are terrific, some others are on the casual side of things. It’s a great situation — all that’s missing is a bit more loudness from some in the crowd.

Anyway, during last night’s game, Nets team website reporter Lenn Robbins was running the official Nets Twitter account as a guest of sorts, and one of his tweets called out Nets fans. Check it out:

Bold move, calling out the fans. But if it works, that’s all that matters.

The 2014 NBA playoffs are off to a great start. The first round isn’t even over yet, but there’s been classic, awesome, fun action. Enjoy some video highlights:

Spurs beat Mavs for 3-2 series lead

Tony Parker was nursing a sprained left ankle and playing a critical playoff game on no sleep only hours after the birth of his first child.

It was the perfect formula for a resurgent performance from the San Antonio Spurs point guard.

Parker had 23 points and five assists and San Antonio never trailed in a 109-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.

“Coming into the game I told him this is perfect for you,” Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. “This is what he does in situations like this where he doesn’t get a lot of sleep or is in a stressful situation. He always seems to play better. I somewhat expected it from him.

“He was really excited before the game. Obviously, he was really excited to have his son here and wanted to get this game really badly not only for his son but for the situation and the timing of it. He was really focused and it was good for us.”

Parker’s rebirth put San Antonio on the verge of closing out a tense series against its intrastate rival with Game 6 set for Friday in Dallas.

Vince Carter scored 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting for the Mavericks.

– Associated Press

Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin came off the bench to score 21 points and help the Houston Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-98 on Wednesday night to avoid elimination.

The Trail Blazers lead the first-round series 3-2 entering Game 6 on Friday in Portland.

A basket by Damian Lillard got the Trail Blazers within two points before James Harden stepped back and swished a 3-pointer to make it 103-98 with about three minutes left. The shot brought the crowd, which was clad almost completely in red shirts emblazoned with the words “Clutch City” on them, to its feet.

That started a 12-0 Houston run to close it out. Harden finished with 17 points and seven assists.

Houston finally slowed down LaMarcus Aldridge, limiting him to eight points, after he averaged 35.3 points in the first four games. Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 27 points and Lillard added 26.

– Associated Press

On Tuesday, the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 100-99 in overtime to take a 3-2 lead in their first round playoff series. Here are some video highlights of Russell Westbrook and Mike Miller:

Here’s some NBA video footage of John Wall and the Wizards, who on Tuesday eliminated the Bulls in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

Heat eliminate Bobcats from NBA playoffs

lebron james

LeBron James heard the cheers from the crowd as he lay on the court holding his right thigh and writhing in pain.

It only seemed to awaken the four-time league MVP.

James scored 19 of his game-high 31 points after sustaining a thigh bruise early in the third quarter, helping the Miami Heat earn a first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats with a 109-98 victory Monday night. He finished Game 4 10 of 19 from the field and had nine assists.

“It’s definitely sore,” James said. “I’m fortunate we were able to close out tonight and I can give it a little rest.” …

The Bobcats played without Al Jefferson, their leading scorer and rebounder who has been bothered by a foot injury since the first quarter of Game 1.

“If you take away the best offensive player from any team in the league it dramatically changes your team,” Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said.

Kemba Walker picked up the slack, playing tough throughout and finishing with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting…

Charlotte never won a postseason game as the Bobcats in franchise history.

– Associated Press

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times with an update on Bulls small forward Mike Dunleavy:

Entering Game 4 on Sunday, the odds were that Mike Dunleavy wouldn’t be able to replicate his 35-point performance from Game 3.

Then again, the odds were even worse that he would have a six-point clunker, a major reason the Bulls find themselves down 3-1 in the series after losing 98-89.

Dunleavy’s performance was partly because of a bruised left thumb he suffered when he took a charge Sunday. After the game, he had the hand in a cup of ice, but he said it wouldn’t affect him. He should be ready for Game 5 on Tuesday at the United Center.

“It’s my left [non-shooting] hand, and it’s not going to make a difference for me,” Dunleavy said.

Even with the team’s “X-factor” suspended, the Washington Wizards had a No. 42 sitting next to the bench. The 57-year-old with graying hair couldn’t box out or grab a rebound, but owner Ted Leonsis waved his red towel and egged on a cheering crowd that chanted “Free Nene!”

The Wizards did just fine without the suspended Brazilian forward. They scored the first 14 points and beat the Chicago Bulls 98-89 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

“I thought it was pretty hilarious that Ted had Nene’s jersey on,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “It kind of threw me off for a minute, but then I looked and seen it was Ted.”

Nene or not, the Wizards did what they’ve done all series: Take a quick lead and force the Bulls to use up energy trying to catch up. It was 15-8 in Game 3, 29-12 in Game 2, 19-13 in Game 1. Washington, seeking to win a playoff series for only the third time since the 1970s, can finish off the Bulls on the road in Game 5 on Tuesday night…

Trevor Ariza, getting some of the early looks that might have gone to Nene, scored a career playoff-high 30 points, making 6 of 10 3-pointers. Beal had 18 points, and John Wall added 15 points and 10 assists for the Wizards, who forced 16 turnovers and committed only six.

– Associated Press

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle Blog reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who took care of business and tied their first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday:

For the first time in their best-of-seven, first-round series against the Clippers, the Warriors started a small lineup in Game 4 at Oracle Arena – a move that allowed them to play quicker and with more assertiveness, freed Stephen Curry for offensive openings and tied the series with a with a resounding 118-97 victory.

With the series knotted 2-2 and shifting back to Los Angeles for Tuesday’s Game 5, the Clippers are suddenly the team pressing to make adjustments – a marked change from two days ago, when they appeared to have all of the answers and all of the momentum.

Draymond Green got his second career postseason start and his first this season – bumping David Lee to center and moving Jermaine O’Neal to the bench – and helped the Warriors grab a lead that the held for the game’s final 45 minutes, 54 seconds.

Using mostly a smallball lineup throughout the game, the Warriors’ offense showcased harmonious ball movement to create space for Curry’s game-changing shooting stroke and produced team-wide 55.4 percent shooting and 32 assists on 41 made field goals.

Washington Wizards forward-center Nene has been suspended one game without pay for head-butting and grabbing guard-forward Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls around the neck with both hands and attempting to throw him down, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, in which Nene received two technical fouls and was ejected from the game, occurred with 8:28 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Wizards’ 100-97 loss to the visiting Chicago Bulls last night at Verizon Center. Nene will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Wizards host Chicago.

To view video of the play, click on this link.

Tuesday in Toronto, the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 to tie their first round playoff series at one win apiece. In the win, DeMar DeRozan shot 9-of-21, with 12-of-14 free throws, finishing with 30 points. He did commit six turnovers; still, the all-star stepped up and helped his squad squeeze out a much-needed victory. Here are some DeRozan video highlights:

Tuesday in Chicago, the Washington Wizards beat the Bulls 101-99 in overtime to take a 2-0 series lead. Wizards guard Bradley Beal shot 9-of-20 for 26 points, 7 rebounds and two steals in the win. John Wall is the star guard in the Wizards backcourt, but Beal is on the rise. Here are some video highlights:

Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Wizards, who have played two NBA playoff games against the Bulls, both in Chicago, and won both. Nice position to be in:

The Washington Wizards had to wait six years to get back to the postseason. But they only needed two games to really get introduced to playoff basketball, with more physical play, short tempers and extreme rallies. In the intense cauldron of United Center — a place that has devoured more seasoned units — the Wizards refused to relent after watching a 17-point lead turn into a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, and didn’t crumble when they were betrayed by missed free throws and calls that went against them.

The Wizards have been through several ups and downs during the regular season, and they staged a game against the Chicago Bulls that matched those emotional oscillations. Relying upon the scoring of its youngest player, Bradley Beal, and the guile of Nene, Washington took a two-games-to-none lead in this best of seven series with a 101-99 overtime victory in which it outscrapped and outwilled the Bulls.

“I wanted our guys to be greedy,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said. “Nothing is guaranteed. We’ve got two wins, you’ve got to get to four. We have to continue to understand how we won these games and the way we went about it.”

Beal scored a game-high 26 points and Nene scored 17, with six coming in overtime, as the Wizards accomplished their mission of returning to Washington for Friday’s Game 3 with two wins. Grasping to a two-point lead in the closing seconds, Nene fouled out while contesting Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich on a driving layup, sending the former Wizard to the free throw line with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Watch this ridiculous, clutch, four-point play that Kevin Durant got for the Thunder against the Grizzlies in their first-round NBA playoff series. Memphis wound up winning the game in overtime, but check the video footage:

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