The second round has a lot to live up to after one of the best first rounds in NBA playoff history. The first few games had some lopsided victories as these teams felt each other out. Here is my recap of the first two games in each series of the second round.

(1) Indiana Pacers vs (5) Washington Wizards

roy hibbert marcin gortat may 2014Prior to Game 1, Washington had not won in Indiana since April 2007. The Wizards came out of the gate looking to make a statement and opened up an early lead thanks to back-to-back threes from Trevor Ariza. Ariza finished the period with 11 as the Wizards opened up a 28-15 lead after one.

In the second quarter, the Pacers opened up on an 11-0 run but the Wizards answered the call with a 9-2 run of their own. The Wizards ended the half up by 13.

Washington shot 5-21 in the third quarter and Indiana climbed back in thanks to relentless effort from David West and Lance Stephenson. Indiana went on a 10-0 run while Washington went cold, missing 12 straight shots in the third period.

Early in the fourth quarter, Washington was able to extend their lead back to 10 thanks to Bradley Beal. When Beal followed Drew Gooden tip-in with a 3, the Wizards extended their lead to 90-78. Beal scored 14 of his 25 points in the final period.

The Pacers were able to tighten things up by hitting four 3-pointers in the final 40 seconds while fouling Washington Immediately on the inbound. Fortunately for Wizards fans, each and every free throw was made and all those dramatic 3s by Indiana really did was make the final score look closer than the game really was.

Washington drew first blood with the 102-96 win. Roy Hibbert was worse than a non-factor for the Pacers in Game 1; he was a negative-factor, not netting a single point or rebound despite playing 18 minutes and committing five fouls. It was just more of what we had come to expect from Hibbert in these playoffs.

In Game 2 he came to play. Hibbert awoke from his slumber to score a season-high 28 points and rip nine rebounds in a return to the form that garnered him All-Star status not three months ago. Hibbert had seven points and three rebounds in the opening period as the Pacers controlled the pace of the proceedings.

This game remained close throughout with neither team taking more than a three point lead in the second quarter. A Marcin Gortat jumper with 8:13 left in the third quarter gave the Wizards their biggest lead to that point at 53-48. Lance Stephenson went off for 10 points in the third as the Pacers led by four headed into the final period of play.

The Washington bigs took over to start the fourth with Gooden, Nene and Gortat all contributing. Washington took a brief lead before a Hibbert slam tied things once again. The Pacers led by three with 2:57 remaining when the Wizards were overcome with a sense of urgency.

They felt they had to go for three subsequently missing three straight attempts and failing to convert in five straight possessions. A pair of David West free throws iced the 86-82 win for Indiana.

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs (3) Los Angeles Clippers

kevin durant thunder clippers may 2014After an underwhelming offensive performance from Chris Paul in the Clippers opening series, you just knew that he would eventually bust out. He didn’t waste any time doing so, going off in the first quarter of Game 1 against the Thunder. Paul had 17 points on 6-7 shooting including 5-5 from three-point land. Behind Paul’s stellar play, the Clippers built a 39-25 lead by the end of the first quarter.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Thunder had no answer for the team passing of the Clippers. LA ended the half with 69 points, the most ever allowed by a Thunder team in one half of play during the playoffs.

Already up 15 in the third quarter, the Clippers went on an 11-0 run that seemed to destroy the Thunder’s will to compete in this game. Chris Paul continued to torch OKC from distance, connecting on his first eight attempts from 3. LA utterly dominated in this one, shooting better than 50 percent from the field and from 3. Final score: 122-105.

Prior to Game 2, Kevin Durant received MVP trophy in an energetic pre-game ceremony in front of the hometown fans. He then proceed to go off for 17 in the opening quarter. The Thunder went on a 13-1 run in the middle of the quarter to open up a 25-18 lead.

The Clippers, once down 11 in the second quarter, found themselves only down six with 6:19 remaining in the half. LA then went on a 12-5 run to take the lead late in the first half, thanks to some nifty passing and shooting from a now perpetually hot Chris Paul.

The Thunder scored the last five points in the half before a lighting outage caused a brief delay before the final 27 seconds could be played. Oklahoma City led, 61-56, at the half.

In the third quarter the Thunder took control, opening up a 20-point lead on the Clippers after going on an 11-0 run. Russell Westbrook notched his third triple-double of these playoffs with a 31-point, 10-assist and 10-rebound performance.

Try as they might, LA couldn’t crack the Thunder defense to keep up with the scoring as OKC held on to their lead and walked away 112-101 winners.

(2) Miami Heat vs (6) Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets  vs Miami Heat: Game TwoAfter Brooklyn’s Game 7 victory over the Toronto Raptors, the team traveled directly to Miami for the start of their series against the Heat. Judging from their performance in Game 1 they might have had their energy confiscated at customs.

In Game 1, Miami was the fresher looking team, connecting on backdoor cuts and running their offense to perfection. LeBron James both scored and passed out of the post early as James, per usual, acted as the focal point for ball movement on offense for Miami.

With LeBron on the bench in the second quarter, the Heat went on 10-0 run to build a 32-24 lead. That would stand to that point as their largest lead against the Nets in a game all season. The Nets would use an 11-2 run, keyed by a pair of Joe Johnson 3s, to pull within five of the Heat. A Deron Williams 3 at the buzzer got the Nets within three points at the half.

The Nets still trailed the Heat by only three with 7:28 left in the third before Miami blew things wide open, going on a 15-2 run. By the end of the quarter, the Heat held a 79-66 advantage and the Nets looked exhausted.

In the fourth quarter, the Heat closed things out for the 107-86 victory. Miami outscored Brooklyn 52-28 in the paint in Game 1. And KG was no help to the Nets down low on this night. This was the first time in his career that Kevin Garnett failed to score a point in a playoff game.

In Game 2, the Nets came out looking a bit fresher than in Game 1. Shawn Livingston set the pace for the Nets on offense early, scoring eight points in the opening period. Brooklyn used a late 7-2 run to take a five point lead into the second quarter.

Miami battled back to tie the game early in the second quarter before Mirza Teletovic hit three straight 3-pointers for Brooklyn to keep the lead for the visitors. LeBron scored the final eight points for the Heat in the half but it wasn’t good enough to overcome the force that is Mirza Teletovic. Teletovic’s last 3 gave him 15 points in the first half and secured a 46-45 lead for the Nets at the half.

Deron Williams was held scoreless in the first half and those expecting to see him bust out of his funk were sorely disappointed. Williams couldn’t buy a bucket, but his alley-oop to Mason Plumlee got him his sixth assist and the Nets retook the lead at 53-51.

Ray Allen’s 10 points in the quarter kept Miami close and LeBron’s athletic layup gave the Heat the lead headed into the final period. Dwyane Wade made an appearance, scoring eight straight points for the Heat and Miami claimed a 79-73 lead with 7:49 left to play.

A Marcus Thornton layup pulled the Nets within two points before the Nets missed five straight shots on four possessions. The cold spell was enough for Miami as the Heat closed out the game for the 94-82 win.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs (5) Portland Trail Blazers

lamarcus aldridge tony parker spurs blazers may 2014In Game 1, the Blazers came into San Antonio as the underdogs, but retaining the services of two of the most buzzed about young players in the first round in Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Unfortunately for Portland, Lillard and Aldridge combined to go 2-10 from the field in the first quarter. Tony Parker looked ageless, scoring 13 points in the first quarter as San Antonio opened up a 29-16 lead after one quarter.

The Spurs benched came up big in the second quarter, scoring 15 points in the first four minutes of the period. San Antonio ran away and hid in the quarter finishing the period up by 26 points.

The Spurs never let up and despite maintaining a 20-plus point lead, the San Antonio starters remained in the game until only three minutes remained. In the end, the Spurs won 116-92
In Game 2 Portland hung close with the Spurs early.

Kawhi Leonard led the way for the Spurs early scoring 14 points in the opening quarter. The Blazers refused to yield, keeping pace with the uncharacteristically high scoring spurs on this evening. Portland trailed 29-26 at the end of the quarter.

The Spurs blew the game wide open in the second quarter thanks to some great team passing. The Spurs were one of the most pass happy teams in the league, averaging 25 assists per game during the regular season. In the first half, the Spurs netted a whopping 18 assists. S

an Antonio went on a 21-4 run sparked by hot shooting from Boris Diaw and Marco Belinelli. Parker closed the half out for the Spurs scoring eight of his team’s final 10 points as San Antonio built a 70-51 lead.

The Spurs maintained their lead through the third quarter, but the Blazers got together for one last run before it was all said and done. Portland pulled within nine after a fast break bucket by Nicholas Batum with 6:52 left in the game. It was the first time the Blazers were within ten points of the Spurs since the nine minute mark of the second quarter.

The Blazers looked primed to execute one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the NBA, until the Spurs put their collective boot on their neck. San Antonio ripped off one last 10-0 run to ensure the outcome.

Spurs took a two games to none lead with a 114-97 win as the game shifts to Portland for Games 3 and 4.


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