Denver wins, Golden State leads 3-2 headed home for Game 6
The Nuggets extended their stay in the playoffs Tuesday night, beating the Warriors 107-100 with Andrew Bogut scoring two. measly. points. In a chippy game, he did contribute a tough “payback” shove to Kenneth Faried that seemed to drive most of the post-game discussion from both teams. I get the passion, tension, and physicality of the playoffs. What I don’t get is whining about it after. Also, was Stephen Curry’s injury impeding him from his usual numbers, or was it his youth in a tough road playoff game? He’s been averaging more than 27 points in this series, had 15 points in Game 5, and most jarring scored a lone 3-pointer. It goes without saying, but Curry’s gotta cook to close this thing out.
Griffin’s ankle sprain difference in gruff Grizz-Clippers series
As Blake Griffin dealt with an ankle sprain, the Grizzlies and Clippers provided the same amount of physical play we’ve been seeing during this war of attrition. Chris Paul was productive driving inside during the first half (Memphis couldn’t stop him without fouling for a while, but they figured it out), Zach Randolph was dominant on both sides of the ball. But Griffin’s absence was felt, and even with 35 points, Paul and the Clippers couldn’t hang. If Griffin’s not closer to 100 percent for Game 6, Memphis might end it at home on Friday.
Contrary to how it feels, Nets and Rockets still alive
On Monday, the Nets and Rockets both avoided watching tonight’s Hawks/Pacers game from the couch as Houston avoided the broom, and Brooklyn officially made this a series at 3-2. Brook Lopez and Deron Williams both dropped double-doubles (28-10 and 23-10, respectively) and were able to get it done in regulation.
I can’t imagine having to watch the Nets and their halftime entertainment much longer. I catch most of these games at work, and we get the actual feeds from site, so I see the halftime entertainment instead of a halftime show from the studio. Monday’s entertainment was a guy speed-painting a picture of Deron Williams. Hipster halftimes are the worst.
After Andre Miller’s Game 1 heroics against Golden State, Monday’s Thunder/Rockets is my favorite early playoff moment. I didn’t think Houston had any fight left after two painful losses, but they persevered 105-103 . . . and now to travel to Oklahoma City Wednesday to face elimination once more. Chandler Parsons was HUGE with 27 points and 10 boards, and made up for an extremely mediocre game from James Harden.
Hawks defend home court, series stuck at 2-2
Josh Smith went off against the Pacers Monday, dropping big buckets and defending Paul George (no easy task), with both players finishing with fat statlines, but the Hawks eventually walking away with the win.
Four big questions for Wednesday’s action
Who has the better chance to avoid going home? The Celtics and Rockets are both in must-win situations on the road, with playoff-crazed fans poised to MAKE SOME NOISE. It will be a wrap for both teams tonight.
Will Josh Smith be able to follow up on his phenomenal performance Monday night? And force the Pacers and Paul George to keep up offensively in Indiana? He was too tough in Game 4, but I’m not convinced that the Pacers are willing to give up the W at home. Atlanta will need more than a red hot Smith to win its first road game of the postseason.
What does Indiana’s home cooking consist of? I’ve heard they’re big on corn dogs, but that’s not confirmed. Doesn’t seem like a good pre-game meal.
But really, will the Knicks blow it? It’s been 13 years since the Knicks have won a playoff series. The proud Boston Celtics have had their horror film, final-jolt-from-the-killer-at-the-end moment. Not even another J.R. Smith meltdown will derail this hot team.