NBA Daily Roundup
An NBA daily recap of 2014-15 NBA season games, all on one page. Bookmark this NBA game roundup page and hit it daily. Also read nba game previews and daily stat leaders, and watch daily NBA video highlights.
NBA DAILY FOR SUNDAY, MAY 24
Recaps of NBA games played Saturday
Curry, Golden State rout Houston 115-80 to take 3-0 lead
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- Stephen Curry scored 40 points and the Golden State Warriors made it look easy against Houston, beating the Rockets 115-80 on Saturday night to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals. The Warriors won the first two games by just five points combined. There would be no such drama in this one, with Curry leading them to a 26-point advantage in the second quarter...
Curry was unstoppable, making seven 3-pointers to break the NBA record for most 3s in the playoffs in a season with 64.
MVP runner-up James Harden finished with 17 points behind 10-of-11 free-throw shooting, but made just 3 of 16 shots as the Rockets dropped three straight for the first time all season. Dwight Howard, who played despite a knee injury suffered in Game 1, had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Draymond Green and Klay Thompson added 17 points apiece for the Warriors.
Reuters reports: After giving the Warriors a close contest in the first two games, the Rockets were never in the hunt on Saturday as guard James Harden had a poor offensive performance. He was only three-for-16 for 17 points.
The Houston Chronicle reports: Curry was a near non-factor during the game’s initial 12 minutes. He scored just three points on 1-of-2 shooting. Then 15 points on 3-of-5 shooting in the second period and a surreal 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the third, including a perfect 4-of-4 on 3s. Limited to only 4:24 of action in the fourth as the Warriors kept slapping around the Rockets, Curry totaled 34 of his co-playoff high 40 points in just two quarters. He was true, he was deadly, he was near-perfect. He ran circles around the Rockets, trash-talked embarrassed home fans, saluted remaining Warriors admirers after Toyota Center was only filled with trash, and hugged ex-Rockets/Warriors guard John Lucas after the barrage was over.
InsideHoops.com reports: This was a beatdown. And it was also a reminder how important James Harden is for the Rockets. If he's quiet, the team is probably going to get wrecked, as was the case Saturday night in Houston. He did seem passive, though. As did many Rockets. But that's partially their fault, partially the Warriors' doing. Having such floor control on both ends of the court that it was unclear how Golden State could even be contained. Which in Game 3 was not possible. Even with Harrison Barnes shooting 0-for-9. Didn't matter. Blowout win. Game 4 in Houston Monday.
NBA DAILY FOR SATURDAY, MAY 23
Recaps of NBA games played Friday
James leads Cavs to 94-82 win over Hawks, 2-0 series lead
The AP reports: LeBron James scored 30 points and the Cavaliers took total command of the Eastern Conference final even without injured star Kyrie Irving, beating the Atlanta Hawks 94-82 on Friday night for a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Ohio.
Cleveland pulled away with a dominating third quarter. James scored 11 points, the Hawks shot just 32 percent (7 of 22), and Cleveland led by as many as 20... Irving was scratched before the game because of an ailing left knee. Even so, the Cavaliers cruised to their second straight win in Atlanta.
James assumed many of the ball-handling duties, taking advantage of Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll being at less than 100 percent... Tristan Thompson was a beast on the inside, grabbing 16 rebounds to spark Cleveland to a 47-39 advantage... James had 11 assists and just missed a triple-double, also grabbing nine rebounds.
The Cavaliers finished 12 of 30 beyond the arc. Iman Shumpert knocked down four from long range and finished with 16 points.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with just 13 points. Carroll played a team-high 33:47 but managed only six points - 10 below his playoff average.
The AFP reports: DeMarre Carroll, who endured a scary knee injury late in game one, started and played 34 minutes. But the hawks saw forward Al Horford and guard Kyle Korver suffer injuries in the second half. Horford was sidelined just briefly, but Korver left with a sprained ankle and did not return.
Reuters reports: Dennis Schroder had a team-high 13 points for Atlanta, while Mike Scott notched seven rebounds.
NBA DAILY FOR FRIDAY, MAY 22
Recaps of NBA games played Thursday
Warriors hold off Harden, Rockets 99-98 to take 2-0 lead
The AP reports: OAKLAND, Calif. -- James Harden had Game 2 on his fingertips - and then he didn't.
Now the Golden State Warriors have the Western Conference finals in their grasp.
Stephen Curry scored 33 points before Harden lost the ball in the closing seconds, and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 99-98 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Harden rallied the Rockets from 17 points down in the second quarter and had a chance to finish off the comeback in the fourth. Instead, Klay Thompson harassed him and Curry came over to trap Harden, who lost the ball as time expired... Harden had 38 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Dwight Howard overcame a sprained left knee that slowed him down to finish with 19 points and 17 rebounds for a Rockets team headed home in a major hole.
The AFP reports: After stealing a Trevor Ariza pass, Curry hit a contested step-back jump shot, then drove left and threw a baseline bounce pass to a driving Andrew Bogut, who withstood a push from Howard and made a running shot for a 96-89 Warriors lead. But Harden's two free throws, a dunk and two more free throws pulled Houston within 99-96 with less than a minute to go. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he expected every game in the series to be a similar back-and-forth battle.
Reuters reports: Center Dwight Howard recorded 19 points and 17 rebounds after leaving Game One with a knee injury, his presence helping to ease Harden's workload in a fast-paced encounter. On the final play of the game, Harden pulled down a rebound and dribbled up the floor as the Rockets elected not to call a timeout. After receiving a pass back from Howard, he ran into a fatal double team that caused him to lose control of the ball and end up falling to the ground as the final buzzer sounded.
The AP reports: For the remaining playoff teams, just as important as their 3-point shooting is their passing. All four ranked in the top 10 in assists during the regular season, with the Warriors (27.4) and Hawks (25.7) leading the way per game. Where those passes end up is just as critical. Rockets coach Kevin McHale encourages players to shoot 3-pointers instead of long jumpers inside the arc. After all, it's simple math.
NBA DAILY FOR THURSDAY, MAY 21
Recaps of NBA games played Wednesday
Smith, James lead Cavs past Hawks 97-89 in Game 1
The AP reports: ATLANTA -- J.R. Smith knocked down a tough 3-pointer, then another. Turning toward the fans, their heckling transformed to groans, he blew off his right index finger and motioned toward his side, like he was holstering his pistol.
Yep, Smith was that hot.
While LeBron James led Cleveland with 31 points, it was Smith who ignited the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. He made eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points in a 97-89 victory over the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night... Making matters worse for Atlanta, DeMarre Carroll went down with a knee injury driving to the basket with 4:59 remaining... Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 27 points. But Atlanta didn't produce its usual balanced scoring, as two starters - Kyle Korver and Carroll - failed to reach double figures.
With Smith doing most of the damage, Cleveland outscored the Hawks 22-4 over the final 5 minutes of the third quarter and the first 2 minutes of the fourth. During that span, he made five 3-pointers and another jumper from just inside the arc, as well as throwing up a lob that Tristan Thompson dunked.
Reuters reports: Atlanta battled to a 51-51 tie at halftime but lost control in the third quarter where the Cavs took a seven-point edge at the end of the period.
Smith drained a trio of early three-pointers in the fourth to provide an 85-67 advantage that held up down the stretch.
The top-seeded Hawks, who have excelled due to tight teamwork all season, were pounded by Cleveland inside and outrebounded 49-37. The Cavaliers got double-doubles from Timofey Mozgov (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Tristan Thompson (14 points, 10 rebounds). Game Two is on Friday in Atlanta.
NBA DAILY FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 20
Recaps of NBA games played Tuesday
Warriors rally past Rockets 110-106 in Game 1 of West finals
The AP reports: OAKLAND, Calif. -- Down big at home, the Golden State Warriors went small.
It turned out to make a huge difference.
Stephen Curry hit two free throws in the final seconds to finish with 34 points, and the Warriors rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second quarter to beat the Houston Rockets 110-106 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
With the Rockets seemingly ready to rout the home team, the Warriors used a smaller lineup featuring 6-foot-7 Draymond Green at center and closed the first half on a 21-4 run. Shaun Livingston scored 14 of his 18 points in the quarter, helping Golden State go ahead 58-55 at halftime... Harden, the runner-up to Curry in the MVP voting, nearly brought the Rockets back without Howard in the fourth. Harden finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and four steals, but his late push fell short... Curry added six rebounds and five assists, and Green had 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists to boost the Warriors when they needed it most.
Ariza scored 20 points and Josh Smith had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Rockets.
Sports Illustrated reports: Curry scored 11 points and Harden had 10 in the fourth, as the Warriors tried to pull away and the Rockets refused to let them. Harden banked in runners over the outstretched hands of Green and center Festus Ezeli as well as those step-backs while Thompson was all but attached to him. Curry hit his dagger three in addition to sneaking free for a pair of wide open layups by moving without the ball. In the end it was Curry, making a pair of free throws for the Warriors’ final points that put the game just out of reach of Harden, who missed a last-gasp three just before the buzzer. Symbolic.
More from Sports Illustrated: If Harden or his fans have visions of him earning some measure of satisfaction by sending Curry home from the postseason, he will have to be even better than he was in Game 1. It doesn’t help that in Game 1 at least, he didn’t get the benefit of some of the foul calls he drew during the regular season. He stared in disbelief at referees Dan Crawford, Marc Davis, and Sean Wright on more than a few occasions when they declined to send him to the line after he drew—or created, depending on your point of view—contact on drives to the hoop. Harden shot six free throws, making five. If the Warriors limit him to similar production from the line for the rest of the series, the rest of the series may be brief.
The Houston Chronicle reports: The Warriors were in position to pull away, but Harden took over, scoring 21 second-half points to finish with 28 along with 11 rebounds, nine assists and four steals. When Smith hit a 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining, the game was tied. Stephen Curry, who had 34 points in the showdown of the MVP and the runner–up, and Harden exchanged buckets before Golden State came out a timeout and rolled. Harrison Barnes finished a cut with a dunk and scored on a tip before Curry put in a layup, a 3-pointer and another layup for an 11-point lead with two minutes remaining. The Rockets had one last run in them, and when Trevor Ariza stole a Green pass and hit a corner 3 with 14.6 seconds left, the Rockets were within two. For a moment, the Rockets even seemed to prevent the inbounds pass to Curry. But after Shaun Livingston got it in just in time, Curry made both free throws to seal the win.