After two days of moderate chaos in the NBA playoffs, the favorites once again had their way on Day 4. As always, make sure to click on each team’s name for further coverage from that SB Nation site.
Miami 109, Indiana 100: Duncan Robinson was undrafted and was on a two-way contract with Miami last year. Now he might be the best shooter still alive in the NBA Playoffs. Robinson made three 3-pointers in the first 75 seconds of the game, and the Pacers were forced to play catch up essentially the rest of the way. Robinson finished with seven threes, the Heat had four players in double figures, and they take a 2-0 lead heading into Game 3.
Houston 111, Oklahoma City 98: It looked like the Thunder finally figured out a way to attack the Rockets defense. Former Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shook off a rough series opener and found his spots all over the floor en route to 31 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 on free throws. Fellow former Clipper Chris Paul wasn’t so fortunate, still struggling to generate offense against switches. While SGA was plus-7 in 37 minutes, Paul was minus-36 in his 36 minutes, which doesn’t even seem physically possible. Houston went on 17-0 run in the fourth quarter, mostly with James Harden on the bench, to erase a three-point lead and take a 2-0 series lead. Remember, the Rockets are doing this without Russell Westbrook.
Milwaukee 111, Orlando 96: The Bucks rebounded from a disastrous first game by tightening up on the defensive end. They forced the Magic into 34.8% shooting from the field and an even worse 21.2% on threes. Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like the reigning (and future) MVP again, scoring 28 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. Orlando got within single digits late in the fourth, but this was never really in doubt for Milwaukee.
Lakers 111, Portland 88: 111 was apparently the magic number Thursday. The Lakers finally found some shooting to match their stifling defense. Anthony Davis played like he did two years ago against the Blazers in the playoffs, dominating both ends of the floor, as the Lakers evened the series against Portland. L.A. was up by double digits the entirety of the second half, and the biggest news item was Damian Lillard leaving the game early with a dislocated finger. He’ll be back for Game 3, but he probably shouldn’t try to steal extra possessions from LeBron James anymore.
Today’s Playoff Games
|3:30 p.m.||Milwaukee||Miami||TNT||MIA 2-0|
|6:00 p.m.||Houston||Lakers||ESPN||Game 1|
More news for Friday:
- The 2020 NBA Draft Lottery was held Thursday, and the Minnesota Timberwolves won the first pick in the draft. As a reminder, the Clippers traded their first-round pick to New York in the Marcus Morris Sr. deal.
- During the lottery broadcast, commissioner Adam Silver said the league will likely delay the start of next season into at least 2021 with the hopes of getting fans back into arenas.
- That schedule means free agency will also be delayed.
- Heading into Game 3, the Clippers are keeping an eye on Dallas’ role players.
- The Clippers are partnering with CAA to sell the naming rights to their new arena in Inglewood.