Marquis Daniels was certainly prepared to play as he provided the spark to help the Celtics win their first game at home. The Celtics got 20+ points from three of their big four as Garnett, Pierce and Rondo all poured in the points.
LeBron James was unstoppable as he had 34 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists but did not receive a great deal of help from his partner in crime as Wade only added 18 points.
The Miami Heat overcame a large deficit and a monster game from Rajon Rondo to steal game two of the NBA Eastern Coference finals from the Boston Celtics.
The Boston Celtics got close but were unable to steal home court advantage as they lost game one in Miami. An offensively anaemic night for the Celtics, they were right in the game until the third quarter. But after that the Heat exploded in the fourth with LeBron James taking the game by storm.
LeBron finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds while completely blanketing Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett appeared to be the only offensive option for the Celtics at times an ended up with 23 points. However the Celtics for need him to be more aggressive as the Big Ticket gave up the ball in one on one situations at times. They have to be his every time the Heat leave him with single coverage.
The San Antonio Spurs fought back late to take a Game One victory at home over the dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder. On the verge of giving up home court advantage and losing their first game of the playoffs, the Spurs rode a tremendous Manu Ginobli to victory. Ginobli had 26 points off the bench in a encouraging return to form for the Spurs.
“(Ginobili) is just left-handed and crafty. He can get to the rim. He made plays in the fourth quarter, and we stopped moving the ball.”
— Oklahoma City’s James Harden
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but for one of the few times in his career, fell over in the 4th. After veteran Stephen Jackson was moved on to Durant, the long armed terror only managed to get up two shots in the final period. A poor return from a usually reliable performer. James Harden had 19 while playoff warrior Derek Fisher added 13 points
The Lakers post season came to a grinding halt as the Oklahoma City Thunder won the series 4-1., winning the final game 106-90. Russell Westbrook top scored for the Thunder with 27 points, while Kevin Durant added 25 points and 10 rebounds.
“Oklahoma (City) really blitzed us there at the start of the fourth. It was tough to watch to say the least. We had the game under control but this team (the Thunder) is very explosive all of a sudden they go on an 8-0 run.”
— Lakers guard Bryant.
This is no doubt a big step forwards for the Thunder. They have achieved what they did last year, and now have the chance to take this franchise to the next level. It would be be a huge achievement for this team to make it to the Finals. However, they face a more than difficult challenge in the San Antonio Spurs, almost the opposite to who they are. It will be veterans against youth in a hugely exciting Western Conference Final.
A certain Kobe Bryant did everything humanly possible to stave off elimination, scoring 42 points in his final playoff outing of the year.
The Miami Heat duo of LeBron and Wade heaped the pressure back onto the Indiana Pacers as they took Game Four in Indiana by 8 points. LeBron especially had a ridiculous evening, scoring 40 points, pulling down 18 rebounds and adding 9 assists and 2 steals on the side. Unbelievable. Dwyane Wade had 30 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
Danny Granger had 20 points to lead the Pacers in a losing effort.
“It comes down to this: yes, you can get the ball out of their hands and make other guys make plays but you get the ball out of one of those guys’ hands and it finds its way to the other guy. It’s not just like one superhero and a bunch of role players. You’ve got to worry about the other guy.”
— Indiana coach Frank Vogel
The San Antonio Spurs kept up their perfect record in the playoffs and posted a 18 game winning streak as they swept the Los Angeles Clippers. Winning 102-99 in LA, the Spurs were led by none other than Tim Duncan. Seemingly hell bent on adding another ring to his collection, Duncan scored 21 points and added 9 rebounds. Tony Parker filled out the usual suspects alongside Manu Ginobli who had 17 and 11 points respectively.
Chris Paul had a big game with 23 points and 11 assists, as well as 6 rebounds. Blake Griffin also had 21 points.
Is there really anyone more cold hearted than Kevin Durant? The man seems to have ice running through his veins during the last minutes of any game. He proved once again that there are few players better in the clutch as he knocked down the winning three over Ron Artest to lift his Thunder to yet another shocking victory over the Lakers.
Kobe Bryant did his best to change the result with 38 points and 8 rebounds while Durant and Westbrook led the wasy for the Thunder with 31 and 37 points respectively.
A 24-0 run from the veteran Spurs left the Clippers faithful wondering what could of been as the Spurs topped the Clips yet again to take a more than likely insurmountable 3-0 lead. 28 points from Blake Griffin however was a reassuring sight for the future. For now however, Tim Duncans 19 points and 13 rebound game, complimented by 4 assists, will come out on top. Still youthful guard Tony Parker added 23 points and 10 assists.
“We did not plan on being down that much in the first quarter, but we understood that they were going to make a run early, and we needed to sustain. We’ve been through enough of them to understand that’s how it goes. It was great poise by our entire team.”
— Spurs forward Tim Duncan
Whilst it looks likely that the Clippers will be leaving these playoffs in a sweep, this can be nothing but a positive season for this young team. Griffin playing against the master himself in Tim Duncan, in playoff time, is a huge learning experience for the young man.
It took a monumental effort from Kobe Bryant but the Lakers handed the OKC their first loss of the post season with a 96-99 win at the Staples Center.
Kobe had 36 points, 6 assists and 7 rebounds in one of him more complete performances of the playoffs. Andrew Bynum added 15 and 11 on a night where he saw limited touches.
“You’re not going to get a better look than a free throw against these guys.”
— Lakers coach Mike Brown
Kevin Durant led the way for the Thunder with 31 points while both James Harden and Russell Westbrook had 21 points apiece. Westbrook also handed out 9 assists.