A lot has happened these past few days in the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Let's take a look back at what happened.

Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards

roy hibbert nene may 2014Game 3 saw the series shift to DC, and the Washington Wizards fans were happy to have their team back in town. The fans made their presence felt during an ugly first half of basketball.

The Wizards jumped out to a 15-10 lead before Paul George and Lane Stephenson led the Pacers on a 7-0 run. John Wall hit a buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter to tie things going into the second period.

Indiana continued to grind things out, putting the brakes on Washington’s fast break offense. For their part, the Pacers hit on only one of their first nine attempts from the field in the second quarter. The Wizards grew their lead to seven midway through the period thanks to the cold shooting of Indiana.

The pace remained slow and points were at a premium. On this night, itt was Paul George who was able to breakthrough for his team on the offensive end. George finished the half with 12 as Indiana took a 35-34 lead into halftime.

After John Wall connected with Bradley Beal on an alley-oop, the crowd was on its feet expecting to fuel another Wizards run. Instead, it was the Pacers who responded, going on a 12-0 run.

From there, the Pacers defense really put the squeeze on Washington. After forcing seven turnovers in the first half, Indiana forced five Washington turnovers in the third quarter on their way to 18 turnovers for the game. Indiana grew their lead in the final period and won going away to take the 2-1 series lead.

In Game 4, Indiana was looking for that knockout punch early. Instead, it was Washington that was throwing haymakers. After a tight first quarter, Washington scored the first 12 points of the second period. Indiana’s first bucket of the second quarter finally came with 7:30 remaining. The Wizards would take a 55-38 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, Paul George scored 13 points, including four threes to help the Pacers claw their way back into the game. Roy Hibbert also returned to a shade of his former self, scoring 10 points in the third and finishing the game with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Indiana pulled within one with 8:30 left in the fourth quarter but a series of missed shots, offensive fouls, turnovers and a shot clock violation prevented them from getting closer. With six minutes remaining, the Washington lead had swelled back to nine points. But Indiana refused to go quietly.

Paul George kept Indiana in the game with his hot shooting in the second half. With Indiana down two, Paul George hit two free throws to give the Pacers their first lead since a 27-26 lead at the start of the second quarter. Those free throws kicked off an 8-2 run that had Indiana up, 94-91.

With the ball and a three-point lead, the Pacers threw the ball away with 23 seconds left. The turnover was Indiana’s 19th of the game. That gave the Wizards the ball and a chance to tie the game. Al Harrington failed to connect on his drive but the rebound was turned over by Indiana and Bradley Beal was fouled with nine seconds remaining.

Beal hit one free throw before missing the second which was rebounded by the Pacers. After a George HIll free throw, the Pacers held a three-point lead. On the ensuing possession, the Wizards didn’t even get a shot off, instead throwing the ball away with the game.

Indiana completed the improbable comeback to win, 95-92. Paul George was the hero in this one, scoring 28 of his game and career playoff-high 39 points in the second half.

Pacers lead the series, 3-1.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

clippers thunder game 4 may 2014On Friday night, the Thunder faced the Clippers in Game 3 of their playoff series at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Fitting that this game was being played so close to Hollywood because the stars came out for this one. Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant dueled while Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook went big play for big play with one another. This game was why so many NBA watchers were hoping for this series and looked towards it with so much anticipation.

Durant put in 36 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists while Griffin had 34 points with eight rebounds and four assists. Chris Paul had 21 points and 16 assists while Westbrook finished with 23 points and 13 assists to go along with eight rebounds. With the stars effectively cancelling each other out, it was up to the role players on each team to step up to claim the win for their team.

Serge Ibaka had 20 points on 9-10 shooting from the field for Oklahoma City while DeAndre Jordan finished with a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double. The Clippers held a four-point advantage heading into the final period, but used a 10-2 run to take a slim four-point lead.

A Caron Butler three put the Thunder up two with less than six minutes remaining. It was a lead that the Thunder would not surrender. OKC took Game 3 by a final of 118-112

In Game 4, the Thunder came out determined to impose their will on the Clippers. That they did, jumping out to a 17-4 lead. Durant and Westbrook combined for 21 in in the first quarter and the Thunder led by as many as 22 before taking a 32-15 lead into the second period.

In the second quarter, the Clippers used a 12-2 run to pull within four points of the Thunder before Oklahoma City closed the half on an 18-9 run. The Thunder lead hovered around 15 for most of the third quarter and even when the Clippers were able to trim it to eight points thanks to Blake Griffin, the Thunder were still able to hold a 75-63 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Thunder expanded their lead to 16 on a Reggie Jackson jumper with 9:20 to play. The Clippers then went into overdrive. L.A. used a 25-8 run to pull within one with less than three minutes to play. A Blake Griffin and-1 tied the game at 94 with 1:45 remaining. Jamal Crawford then gave the Clips their first lead of the game with a three with 1:18 to play.

Blake Griffin got the most important rebound of the game after Westbrook missed a driving layup with 37 seconds left. Griffin tossed the ball to Crawford, who connected with Darren Collison on the break who sank the layup to give the Clippers a four-point lead. Collison scored 12 of his 18 points in the final quarter.

After the Thunder used their final timeout, Westbrook streaked into the lane and hit a layup with 27 seconds remaining. On their ensuing possession, the Clippers passed around, content to dribble down the clock. The Thunder were instructed not to foul, letting the Clippers dribble around only lightly contested.

Collison dumped the ball into Griffin at the rim, but Griffin missed the layup and Ibaka collected the rebound with seven seconds left. Without a timeout, the Thunder rushed upcourt for the final shot. Westbrook took a 26-foot jumper that bounced off the rim as the clock expired.

The Clippers tied up the series, 2-2.

Miami Heat vs Brooklyn Nets

lebron james paul pierce may 2014Game 3 in Brooklyn saw Miami trying to take a commanding 3-0 series lead while the Nets were desperate for a win on their home floor. LeBron James came out scorching for the Heat, scoring 16 points in the opening quarter as the Heat held on to a one-point lead going into the second period.

In the second, Miami lead by as many as five points, but the Nets were able to keep things close thanks to a pair of threes from Joe Johnson. James was held in check during the second quarter, scoring only two free throws as the Nets were able to take a 51-49 lead to halftime.

In the third quarter, it was the Nets hot shooting from beyond the arc that busted the game open. The Nets hit four threes in the quarter, including three from Mirza Teletovic to open up a 14 point lead on the Heat.

In the fourth, the Nets put the Heat to bed with five more threes and vastly improved play from Deron Williams. Williams rebounded admirably from his goose egg in the points column Game 2 to score nine points and dish 11 assists in helping his team to the 104-90 win.

Heat lead, 2-1.

San Antonio Spurs vs Portland Trail Blazers

tony parker spurs blazers may 2014In Game 3, the Blazers were back at home in front of their raucous crowd hoping to use that boost to get their first win in their series against the Spurs. The Spurs had other ideas.

Early in the first, San Antonio set the tone picking and popping the Blazers to death, hitting on mid-range jumpers from all over the place. With the Blazers up 13-12 thanks to great interior play from LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs went on an 8-0 run to assume a lead that they would not relinquish.

In the second quarter, the San Antonio bench continued the good work of the starters, getting threes from Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills during a 13-3 run that extended the Spurs lead to 18. Parker and Tim Duncan combined for Spurs last 12 points of the period as San Antonio closed the half with 60-40 lead.

In the third quarter the Blazers opened the half up with a 17-4 run, keyed by hot shooting from Nicolas Batum to get within seven points at 57-64. From there the Spurs bench once again outscored the Blazers to get the San Antonio lead back up to 83-69 headed into the final quarter.

In the fourth, Duncan, Parker and Leonard combined for a 10 point run that put the Blazers down 22 with just 7:43 to play. That effectively sealed Game 3 for the Spurs as they went on to win, 118-103.

It was the third straight double-digit victory for the Spurs in this series. The Spurs reserves outscored the Blazers bench 40-6. Though both the Spurs and the Blazers finished with five players in double-figures, it was the depth of San Antonio’s bench that provided the fuel for the blowout.


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