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Clippings: Recapping Day 8 of the NBA Playoffs

And then there were 13.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Four Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

The Eastern Conference seems to have collectively decided that the playoffs don’t start till the second round, but the Western Conference continues to deliver drama in spades. Here’s our regular look at the rest of the postseason, and a reminder that clicking on each team name will take you to that SB Nation site for further coverage.

Milwaukee 121, Orlando 106

The Magic have given the Bucks a much tougher series than expected, and they’re the only underdog to have even taken a game in the East thus far, but it’s an uphill battle. Orlando can give a “phenomenal” effort, in the words of head coach Steve Clifford, but one hot fourth quarter from Khris Middleton — who had been essentially nonexistent for the first three games — is enough to put the Magic away.

The actual game itself didn’t seem to matter too much to either team, and the horrific video of police officers shooting Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin was all Milwaukee could focus on before and after the game. Bucks guard Sterling Brown is currently involved in a police brutality case in the city of Milwaukee, so this issue already resonates deeply with the Bucks. George Hill had the strongest comments about police brutality and the NBA’s role in addressing it.

Oklahoma City 117, Houston 114

Another West series is tied at two. It looked like the Rockets were going to take control of their first-round series after hitting their first eight threes of the second half and building a 15-point lead, but the Thunder chipped away little by little. Their three point guards (Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schröder) handled the offense while Luguentz Dort kept James Harden in check. This Schröder finish around the basket to seal the game is truly a thing of beauty.

Miami 99, Indiana 87

Credit to the Pacers for coming to play in the bubble, even if they were without Domantas Sabonis and Jeremy Lamb. Nate McMillan-coached teams don’t lack for effort, but this one did lack a little talent, and it resulted in Indiana’s second straight first-round sweep. Goran Dragic appears to have made himself some money this offseason, as he seamlessly transitioned into the starting lineup and was Miami’s leading scorer and second-leading assist man in this round.

Lakers 135, Portland 115

The Lakers went up 15-0 before the Blazers cracked the scoreboard, leading by double digits the rest of the way, and look far removed from the team that was listless offensively in the Game 1 loss. L.A. celebrated Mamba Day in appropriate fashion, donning the Black Mamba jerseys that Kobe Bryant helped design with a patch commemorating his daughter Gianna. At one point in the first quarter, the Lakers were even up 24-8. LeBron James was outstanding once more, and this series finally looks like a traditional 1-8 matchup.

Today’s Playoff Games

Time Away Home TV Series
Time Away Home TV Series
3:30 p.m. Milwaukee Miami TNT MIA 2-0
6:00 p.m. Houston Lakers ESPN Game 1

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