Sunday, May 27, 2012

NBA West and East Finals are Set!

The San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder have simply rolled through this postseason. There's the 18-game winning streak that has the Spurs flirting with history. Seventeen combined playoff games and just one loss. The Thunder sending home the last two NBA champions, and no other playoff teams besides these two that can boast a series sweep.

The matchup of Russell Westbrook vs Tony Parker is very interesting.

 Sunday, May 27, 2012

Game 1:
Oklahoma City 47-19 (Road: 21-12)    8:30pm ET
San Antonio 50-16 (Home: 28-5)

Heat-Celtics in East finals

It's a rematch: Miami and Boston will meet in the playoffs again, this time with a spot in the NBA finals at stake.

Boston's 85-75 win in Game 7 over Philadelphia on Saturday night earned the Celtics a trip to Miami, where the reigning East champion Heat will host Game 1 of this year's conference title series Monday night.

Boston took the regular-season series from Miami 3-1, though the last of those meetings was in the final game of the season and came on a night where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all sat out for Miami, while Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen got the evening off for Boston.

The lineups will look more normal Monday, though Bosh will remain sidelined because of a strained lower abdominal muscle.

It'll be a quick turnaround for Boston, with Game 1 in Miami starting about 46 hours after Game 7 against the 76ers ended. The Heat finished off their East semifinal series against Indiana on Thursday night, took Friday off and held a light practice Saturday - focusing on themselves and not starting to work in details either the Celtics or the 76ers.

New Big 3 vs Old Big 3 + Rondo

Game 1: May 28 8:30pm EDT @MIA (TV: ESPN)

Rondo leads Celtics to 85-75 Game 7 win over 76ers

Rajon Rondo leads the Celtics with 18 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds in Game 7 against the 76ers to to an 85-75 victory and into an Eastern Conference finals matchup with the Miami Heat.

The Celtics will open the third round of the NBA playoffs in Miami on Monday night.

Bouncing back from his worst game of the playoffs and snapping out of a 32-minute slump in which he had just two assists and five points - Rondo scored nine straight Boston points after Paul Pierce fouled out to help the Celtics turn a three-point edge into a double-digit lead.

Rondo had 11 points in the fourth quarter, including his first 3-pointer in five games, made all four of his free throws down the stretch and grabbed his 10th rebound in the final minute - chucking it over his head and into the frontcourt to help the Celtics dribble down the clock.

Andre Iguodala scored 18 points, and Holiday and Elton Brand had 15 apiece for the 76ers, who eliminated the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in the first round but couldn't do the same with the Celtics.

Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Boston, and Ray Allen hit a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers after missing his first five attempts.

The Celtics will now face the actual NBA MVP LeBron James along with Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat. Miami advanced to the conference finals by eliminating the Indiana Pacers in six games.

Miami beat Boston in five games in the conference semifinals last year. In 2010, the Celtics eliminated the Heat in the first round and then knocked James and the Cavaliers out in the second - his final game with Cleveland before defecting to Miami.

This will be an interesting matchup!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Boston Celtics 101-85 win over Philadelphia

In the East, Brandon Bass scored 27 points to spark the Boston Celtics to a 101-85 win over Philadelphia and move within one victory of a place in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Bass found his shooting touch in the third quarter, where he scored 18 points to net a playoff career high and help the Celtics pull away from the 76ers.

"When you're on a team with a point guard like Rajon Rondo, the ball just happens to find you," Bass said. "We have to come out (in Game Six) with the same defensive approach."

The Game Five win gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven second-round series.

Kevin Garnett added 20, while Rajon Rondo tallied 13 points and 14 assists for Boston, who trailed early but outscored the 76ers 54-35 in the final two quarters.

Elton Brand lead Philadelphia with 19 points. Game Six is tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers 106-90

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers with a 106-90 rout that sent them to their second consecutive NBA Western Conference finals.

Westbrook scored 28 points, Durant added 25 points and 10 rebounds. While Kobe Bryant scored 42 points for the Lakers.

After getting eliminated by Los Angeles in 2010 and Dallas in 2011 before both of those teams went on to win it all, the Thunder knocked both out on their way to the West finals for the second straight year.

They'll face the top-seeded Spurs in the West finals on Sunday night in San Antonio.

After Westbrook's pair of three-point plays fueled a 14-3 burst that put Oklahoma City ahead to stay late in the third quarter, Durant hit two 3-pointers as the Thunder scored the first 10 points of the fourth to push their lead to 93-77.

James Harden added 17 points as Oklahoma City's bench outscored the Lakers' 35-5. The Thunder also had a 30-6 edge in fast-break scoring. The Lakers were outrebounded 51-35 and had only three offensive rebounds, two from Gasol and none from Bynum.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Finally the Lakers comes alive

Bryant made 18 free throws without a miss, scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers rallied late for a 99-96 victory, cutting the Thunder's second-round series lead to 2-1. Tempers flared in the second quarter when Westbrook furiously attempted to prevent World Peace from tying him up for a jump ball. World Peace's knee came down on Westbrook's leg during a brief skirmish including Jordan Hill, and both Westbrook and World Peace received technical fouls.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Garnett leads Celtics past 76ers, 92-91

Kevin Garnett scored 29 points - his most in the regular- or postseason this year - and added 11 rebounds to help Boston maintain home-court advantage in the best-of-seven, second-round series. Game 2 is Monday night in Boston before the series shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.

Lakers Beat Nuggets 96-87 in thrilling Game 7

LOS ANGELES (AP) Pau Gasol had 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, Metta World Peace scored 15 points in his return from a seven-game suspension, and the Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Denver Nuggets for a thrilling 96-87 victory in Game 7 on Saturday night to win their first-round series. Steve Blake scored a playoff career-high 19 points and Kobe Bryant had 17 points and eight assists for the Lakers, who blew a 16-point lead in the second half before surviving a finale with wild momentum swings and furious physical play. With Gasol leading an emotional effort, the Lakers narrowly avoided becoming the ninth team in NBA history to blow a 3-1 series lead. Andrew Bynum had 16 points and a career playoff-high 18 rebounds for Los Angeles, which will open the second round Monday night in Oklahoma City against the second-seeded Thunder. Ty Lawson and Al Harrington scored 24 points apiece for the sixth-seeded Nuggets, who committed 19 turnovers and managed just 7-of-27 shooting in the fourth quarter. Arron Afflalo scored 15 points in just the third Game 7 in franchise history for the Nuggets, who have lost in the first round in eight of the last nine postseasons - but never with this much excitement.