NBA Daily Roundup
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NBA DAILY FOR WEDNESDAY, APR. 23
Recaps of NBA games played Tuesday
Pacers bounce back to rout Hawks and even series at 1-1
The AP reports: INDIANAPOLIS -- When the Indiana Pacers needed a lift, Paul George stepped up. All over the court, over and over again.
George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Pacers used a big second-half run to rally for a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
George Hill scored each of his 15 points in the second half, helping top-seeded Indiana earn a split of the first two postseason games at home. George also had four steals and blocked a shot while helping keep Hawks point guard Jeff Teague in check... Indiana limited the Hawks to 33 second-half points and dominated the third quarter. Next up is Game 3 on Thursday in Atlanta, where the Pacers have only two wins since December 2006 -- though one of those closed out last year's first-round playoff series in six games... George was 9 for 16 from the field, including a 5-for-7 performance from 3-point range. He also went 4 for 4 at the line. According to ESPN Stats & Information, it was the first time that George had shot better than 50 percent from the field since March 14, snapping a career-long 16-game streak. He also was the first NBA player in 859 playoff games -- dating to New Jersey's Jason Kidd in 2003 -- to fill up the boxscore with at least 27 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and a blocked shot, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
ESPN.com reports: Luis Scola quite literally saved the Pacers in the first half. Indiana was having trouble manufacturing offense until Scola came off of the bench and hit his first four attempts from the field. Scola finished with 20 points and seven rebounds... The Hawks combined for 4-of-11 shooting for 9 points against Paul George as their primary defender. George forced seven turnovers when he was the primary defender. - Paul George was also 9-of-16 shooting on Tuesday, first time since March 14 he shot better than 50% from the field (16 games).
DeMar DeRozan scores 30 as Raptors drop Nets, even up series
The AP reports: TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan put his playoff jitters aside and turned in an All-Star performance for the Toronto Raptors.
DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-95 on Tuesday night, evening their first-round playoff series at one game apiece.
A first-time All-Star this season, DeRozan struggled in his postseason debut on Saturday. He went 3 for 13 from the field and scored 14 points in Toronto's 94-87 loss. On Tuesday, DeRozan eclipsed that total in the fourth quarter alone, scoring 17 of Toronto's 36 points... DeRozan made nine of 21 shots and went 12 for 14 at the free-throw line, hitting nine of 11 attempts in the final quarter... Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Lowry had 14 for the Raptors, who outrebounded the Nets 52-30. It was Valanciunas' second straight playoff double-double... Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.
ESPN.com reports: Jonas Valanciunas' 7-foot frame was a constant problem for the Nets' smaller defenders. He thrashed Brooklyn on the boards, finishing with his second double-double of the series. After an up-and-down season, Valanciunas is finding consistency down low... The Raptors won, despite turning the ball over on 24% of their possessions Tuesday. They are the sixth team in the last 15 seasons to win a playoff game with a turnover percentage of at least 24 percent. NBA teams are a combined 6-38 in such games. The Raptors grabbed 50% of their missed shots Tuesday, which ties the highest offensive rebounding percentage the Nets have allowed in any game since April. 10, 2011 (Raptors).
Bradley Beal, Nene star as Wizards cap rally in OT to go up 2-0
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed.
Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 points in overtime and the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 101-99 Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series. Game 3 is Friday at Washington.
"We've got to come out like we're down 0-1 or 0-2," said Beal, who scored 11 in the fourth quarter... D.J. Augustin led Chicago with 25 points but cooled off late in the game with Ariza guarding him. Taj Gibson had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Noah added 20 points and 12 boards, but the Bulls find themselves in a huge hole after dropping two at home... John Wall had 16 points and seven assists for Washington.
ESPN.com reports: When the Wizards needed it most, Bradley Beal put them on his back. Chicago built a 10-point lead with just less than seven minutes left in the fourth. Beal then calmly collected nine points as the Wizards closed regulation on a 14-4 run to send the game into overtime... Washington punched first by building a 17-point lead with about two minutes left in the first quarter. It had to know that wouldn't last, as Chicago returned the punch and slowly chipped away, eventually taking the lead. The reeling Wizards then missed 11 free throws in the second half (5-16), but they made them when they had no other choice, going 4-4 in OT to hold the contest.
NBA DAILY FOR TUESDAY, APR. 22
Recaps of NBA games played Monday
Grizzlies withstand Thunder's rally in regulation to notch OT victory
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nothing rattled the Memphis Grizzlies.
Not squandering a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 19 seconds of regulation. Not Kevin Durant's 20 points after the third quarter. Not even giving up an improbable game-tying putback that forced overtime.
The Grizzlies remained steady and took care of business in the extra period. Zach Randolph scored 25 points to help Memphis defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-105 in overtime on Monday night and tie their first-round playoff series at one game apiece... Mike Conley added 19 points and 12 assists for the Grizzlies, who executed their game plan perfectly and put themselves in position to take control of the series in Game 3 Thursday night in Memphis... Oklahoma City's stars put up big numbers, but they worked for everything they got. Durant had 36 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just 12 of 28 shots and had just eight points at halftime and 16 through the first three quarters. Russell Westbrook scored 29 points for Oklahoma City, but he made just 11 of 28 shots. Serge Ibaka added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who shot just under 40 percent from the field.
ESPN.com reports: Tony Allen is the soul of Grit 'N' Grind, but Z-Bo is its beating heart. Even after Kevin Durant hit his crazy, fallaway 3-pointer, Marc Gasol had fouled out and Kendrick Perkins sent the game into overtime, Randolph (25 points) wouldn't let his team quit... Kevin Durant (36) and Russell Westbrook (29) combined for 65 Pts in the Thunder loss. It's the most combined points by teammates in a playoff loss since... Westbrook (43) and Durant (28) combined for 71 in the Thunder's Game 4 loss to the Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals.
Blake Griffin, Clippers rout Warriors to even playoff series at 1-1
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- After getting knocked down in their playoff opener, Blake Griffin and the Clippers answered with a dominant performance in shutting down the Warriors as soon as the game began.
Griffin scored a career playoff-high 35 points without a foul and Los Angeles led all the way in a 138-98 rout Monday night to even their first-round series at a game apiece... Chris Paul added 12 points and 10 assists for the Clippers, who started the game on a 14-4 run and kept on going, maintaining a sizeable double-digit lead through the final three quarters. They finished with franchise records for points and largest victory margin in a playoff game... Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 24 points in the third quarter, when the Warriors never got closer than 25 points, while he played with four fouls. Klay Thompson finished with seven points -- 15 under his average -- and four fouls. Andre Iguodala, who fouled out of Game 1, and Jermaine O'Neal had four points and three fouls each.
ESPN.com reports: Blake Griffin scored a playoff career-high 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting, dominating any and every defender in his way. Thus far, the Warriors have no answer for him. He's averaging more than one point per minute (51 points, 49 minutes) in the series... The Warriors turned the ball over on 26% of their possessions Monday, their highest in any game since Feb. 27, 2002 (Nuggets).
NBA DAILY FOR MONDAY, APR. 21
Recaps of NBA games played Sunday
Tim Duncan scores 27 points, lifts Spurs past Mavericks in Game 1
The AP reports: SAN ANTONIO -- The Spurs rode the wide shoulders of Tim Duncan to victory.
The Mavericks were not going to let San Antonio beat them with 3-pointers, and they did not want Tony Parker using the lane as his personal playground. So the veteran Duncan overcame a brief injury scare to score 27 points. The Spurs held Dallas to one field goal in the final seven minutes to rally for a 90-85 win Sunday in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. The Mavericks also went scoreless for 5½ minutes during that stretch, their lone field goal coming with less than a second remaining.
San Antonio won despite going 3 for 17 on 3-pointers and getting only 23 points from its normally potent bench... Parker had 21 points, and Manu Ginobili added 17. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tiago Splitter pulled down 11 rebounds for top-seeded San Antonio, which has won 10 straight against Dallas.
Devin Harris scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who nearly pulled off a huge upset.
ESPN.com reports: The Spurs are 147-45 (.766)in games which Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili each score at least 15 points (Regular Season and Playoffs combined)... The Mavericks produced only four points on seven Monta Ellis drives Sunday, all by Ellis. According to NBA.com player tracking, the Mavericks averaged an NBA-best 12.5 points off of Ellis drives (averaged 10.1 drives per game).
Heat use 18-4 run in 4th quarter to seal Game 1 win vs. Bobcats
The AP reports: MIAMI -- Each of the last two Miami championship runs has been highlighted by moments where a sharpshooter enters a game and immediately provides a surprise spark.
James Jones got his turn Sunday.
And the lift he brought, combined with the expected playoff showings from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, have the Heat off and running in these playoffs. James scored 27 points, Wade added 23 and the Heat rode two big runs -- one late in the first half, the other down the stretch -- to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series. Miami trailed for much of the first half, but rallied and has now topped Charlotte 17 straight times... Kemba Walker scored 20 points for the Bobcats, who started fast behind Jefferson -- who was diagnosed with a strained left plantar fascia after a misstep in the first quarter, and got a pair of injections just to continue playing... Jefferson still finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds -- yet in what can't be a real exciting sign for Charlotte, he left the arena in a walking boot.
ESPN.com reports: LeBron James passed Larry Bird for 8th on the NBA's all-time career playoff scoring list... The Heat are 15-0 against the Bobcats since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in South Beach back in the summer of 2010, their best record against a single opponent during that span. Miami is 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 10.5 points per game against Charlotte this season. LeBron averaged 37.8 points per game in those contests and put up a career-high 61 points in the last meeting between the teams back on March 3rd.
Nene leads way as Wizards grab Game 1 from Bulls
The AP reports: CHICAGO -- Nene started thinking about how it would all unfold in the middle of the night. No way could he have scripted it any better than this.
Nene dominated with 24 points, Trevor Ariza scored 18, and the Washington Wizards rallied from 13 down to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-93 in their playoff opener on Sunday night.
John Wall scored 16 in his postseason debut. Marcin Gortat added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and the fifth-seeded Wizards pulled out the victory even though they looked like they were ready to be blown out... Washington shot 49 percent and outrebounded Chicago 45-39 with Nene setting the tone inside. He hit 11 of 17 shots and grabbed eight rebounds.
Andre Miller came on strong down the stretch, scoring eight of his 10 points in the fourth, and the Wizards pulled this one out even though Wall and Bradley Beal (13 points) combined to shoot just 7 of 25. Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin each scored 16 points, and Butler had 15. But after posting more wins since Jan. 1 than any other Eastern Conference team, the Bulls find themselves in a hole.
ESPN.com reports: Andre Miller got off to a slow start in the first half, looking surprisingly rusty for a vet (but also one who's never been out of the first round of the playoffs). But early in the fourth quarter, once the Wizards had built momentum in the third, Miller scored eight of his 10 points on an array of crafty moves. .. Nene scored a game-high 24 points, including 7-of-13 on field goals outside of 10 feet. He set a career high in makes (7) and attempts (13) from that distance.
LaMarcus Aldridge's 46 points lead Blazers over Rockets in OT
The AP reports: HOUSTON -- LaMarcus Aldridge had just fouled out late in overtime after scoring a career-high and franchise playoff-record 46 points when he went to Portland teammate Damian Lillard with a simple message.
"I said: `Take it over," Aldridge said.
Lillard did just that, finishing with 31 points and making the go-ahead free throws in overtime to lift the Trail Blazers to a 122-120 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night in a thrilling first-round series opener. Aldridge fouled out with about a minute left in overtime and Lillard, who was making his playoff debut, scored Portland's next five points and put the Trail Blazers on top by one point with a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left... James Harden and Dwight Howard each scored 27 points for Houston, and Howard grabbed 15 rebounds.
ESPN.com reports: Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patrick Beverley and Robin Lopez all fouled out of a tight playoff game that spilled over into a heated overtime period. This series will be fun... In the second half, the Trail Blazers' Nicolas Batum was the primary defender on James Harden, limiting him to one field goal in seven attempts, including 0-for-4 in overtime. In the first half, Harden shot 2-for-9, including 2-of-7 when guarded by Wesley Matthews.
NBA DAILY FOR SUNDAY, APR. 20
Recaps of NBA games played Saturday
Nets claim opener from Raptors as Deron Williams scores 24
The AP reports: TORONTO -- The Brooklyn Nets made a case for the important of playoff experience in their opening victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each had 24 points, Paul Pierce scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and the Nets beat the Raptors 94-87 Saturday in Game 1 of their first-round series.
Playing in his 137th career postseason game, Pierce connected on four of his five shot attempts in the fourth as the Nets kept the Raptors at bay... Shaun Livingston scored 10 points and Kevin Garnett had five as the Nets won despite making 4 of 24 3-pointers... Kyle Lowry scored 22 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Raptors... Greivis Vasquez had 18 points for the Raptors and DeMar DeRozan had 14 in his playoff debut, making three of 14 field goal attempts.
ESPN.com reports: The Raptors had no answer for "Iso" Joe Johnson this afternoon. The Nets dealt with foul trouble, struggling veterans and an abysmal showing from beyond the arc (3-for-24), but Johnson was the steady hand, leading Brooklyn with 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists. .. Paul Pierce struggled in the early going, but in the fourth quarter, "The Truth" suited up. Nine of Pierce's 15 points came in the fourth, in the form of run-stoppers, crowd-silencers and late daggers.
Klay Thompson leads way as Warriors top Clippers in Game 1
The AP reports: LOS ANGELES -- The Golden State Warriors stumbled out of the gate, missing their first eight shots while falling behind by 11 points and forcing coach Mark Jackson to call two timeouts to steady his young team.
Stephen Curry glanced at the clock and realized there was still plenty of time left to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers.
Klay Thompson scored 22 points, spiking the ball as time expired, and Golden State beat Los Angeles 109-105 after getting Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in foul trouble in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Saturday... David Lee had 20 points despite his own foul trouble and Curry scored 14 for the Warriors, who rallied in the third when Griffin and Paul were on the bench together... Paul led the Clippers with 28 points, and J.J. Redick added 22 points in 30 minutes. Griffin finished with 16 points, fouling out with 48 seconds left and the game tied at 105. DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
ESPN.com reports: The Clippers scored 42 paint points, shooting 51% in the restricted area (18-for-35) and 25% outside the restricted area (3-for-12). During the regular season, the Clippers shot 68% in the restricted area, second best in the NBA... Klay Thompson scored 14 of his 22 points on catch and shoot shots, going 5-for-8 from the floor on such plays. Thompson averaged 9.1 points per game on catch and shoot shots in the regular season, best in the NBA.
Hawks take 1-0 lead as Pacers' late-season swoon continues
The AP reports: INDIANAPOLIS -- Atlanta's Jeff Teague demolished the Pacers' grand playoff plan.
As his teammates set up around the 3-point line, Teague simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly.
The Pacers didn't have an answer.
Teague scored a playoff career-high 28 points, Paul Millsap added 25 and the eighth-seeded Hawks won their first road playoff game in three years, shocking top-seeded Indiana 101-93 to take a 1-0 lead in the first-round series... Paul George had 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while Lance Stephenson finished with 19 points and seven rebounds and George Hill added 12 points. But the Hawks' ability to spread the floor essentially nullified All-Star center Roy Hibbert, who had eight points and eight rebounds, and David West, who had eight points and three rebounds.
ESPN.com reports: Roy Hibbert has not shot well for the Pacers leading into the postseason, and continued to be a non-factor in Game 1. Hibbert was 4-for-9 from the floor Saturday and has not made a shot outside the paint since April 4 (0-for-13 in six games)... After the game was tied at halftime, the Hawks broke it open in the third quarter, outscoring the Pacers 30-16. Twelve of those thirty points came in the paint on 6-of-9 shooting (8-of-18 for 16 points in the paint during the rest of the game).
Kevin Durant scores 33 as Thunder handle Grizzlies in Game 1
The AP reports: OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant put a dazzling end to Memphis' gritty comeback.
The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the league's scoring champion, got hot. He scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Memphis 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
The Thunder already were regaining control in the fourth quarter before Durant took over. He scored 11 points in a 5-minute, 21-second surge that stretched Oklahoma City's lead from seven points to 14 and put the game out of reach... Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder.
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Marc Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis might have stolen the game if not for a miserable first half.
ESPN.com reports: The Grizzlies had a horrible first half shooting against the Thunder, making just 12-of-48 shots from the field. That field goal percentage of 25% was a franchise-low for Memphis in any half... The Grizzlies missed their first 18 shots from outside the paint Saturday before hitting their last attempt of the second quarter. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 23-3 outside the paint in the first half, making up most of Memphis' 22-point halftime deficit.