Monday was a three-gamer that saw the Hornets beat the Heat (tied 2-2), the Thunder close out the Mavericks and the Blazers tie their series with the Clippers at 2-2. The news of the night was a right-hand injury to Chris Paul, who left in the third quarter and didn’t return. He has a third metacarpal fracture in his right hand, leaving the rest of his playoff run in doubt. Sigh. CP3 caught his hand in Gerald Henderson’s jersey on a defensive play and that was all she wrote. I’ll be surprised if Paul plays again this postseason, but we’ll have to wait and see what the doctors say. Blake Griffin also aggravated his quad injury and now sounds 50/50, at best, for Game 5. And lost among all the bad news that Monday brought, Al-Farouq Aminu and Steven Adams had career nights.
So in one day we lost Stephen Curry (sprained knee), who will likely sit out a couple weeks after a freak accident, and CP3 (broken right hand), who was also hurt on a freakish play, while Blake Griffin and Enes Kanter also spent time in the locker room. Austin Rivers and Shaun Livingston should be picked up in all fantasy playoff formats. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
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Blazers 98, Clippers 84
The story of the night was Chris Paul’s broken right hand, which could shut him down for the remainder of the playoffs. If the Clippers come through and beat the Blazers without CP3, they’ll go up against the Warriors (or Houston) next, so things aren’t looking good. I’m so bummed that two of the three most exciting point guards in the league are down and out (Stephen Curry being the other one), but injuries are a big part of playoff hoops. Especially this year.
The Blazers got a huge night out of Al-Farouq Aminu, who went off for a career-high 30 points with 10 rebounds, three blocks and six 3-pointers on 11-of-20 shooting. Mason Plumlee added just two points, but 14 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks on 1-of-6 shooting. Plumlee has been crushing for three straight games. Moe Harkless had 12 points, seven boards and two steals, while Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum both struggled. Lillard was 4-of-15 for 12 points, six boards, six dimes, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers, and McCollum was 6-of-13 for 19 points and two 3-pointers. Off the bench, Ed Davis came through with four points, 12 rebounds and four assists in just 18 minutes, Allen Crabbe hit all five of his shots and two 3-pointers for 12 points, and Gerald Henderson struggled with four points on 1-of-9 shooting.
The Clippers got 17 points and seven boards out of Blake Griffin, but he went to the locker room with a knee/quad problem and it was clearly bothering him while he was sitting on the bench at the end of the game. Consider him very iffy for Game 5. DeAndre Jordan had just seven points, but also had 15 rebounds, two steals and four blocks, and Paul had 16 points and four assists in 25 minutes before possibly seeing his season end. J.J. Redick, who is bothered by a bruised heel, had eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, and Jeff Green finally broke loose for 17 points, five boards and three 3-pointers. Austin Rivers, who will be a hot pickup in playoff fantasy leagues, hit just 1-of-7 shots for four points and three dimes, and Jamal Crawford hit just 4-of-15 shots and a 3-pointer for 12 points, five boards, two assists and four steals. Game 5 is Wednesday in L.A. at 10 p.m.
Al-Farouq Aminu – 11-of-20, six treys, 30 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks – career night.
Moe Harkless – 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals in 24 minutes.
Mason Plumlee – Just 2 points, but 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 blocks. Rolling!
Damian Lillard – 4-of-15, 2 3-pointers, 12 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal and block.
C.J. McCollum – 19 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, 2 3-pointers.
Ed Davis – 18 minutes, 2-of-8 shooting, 4 points, 12 rebounds, 4 dimes.
Allen Crabbe – 27 minutes, 5-of-5 shooting, 2 3-pointers, 12 points, 2 boards.
Gerald Henderson – 1-of-9 shooting, 4 points. Yuck.
Blake Griffin – 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 3-pointer, and aggravated quad injury.
DeAndre Jordan – 7 points, 15 boards, 2 steals, 4 blocks, 1-of-6 free throws.
Chris Paul – 16 points, 4 dimes, season possibly over (broken right hand).
J.J. Redick – 3-of-13, 2 3-pointers, 8 points, dealing with heel injury.
Jeff Green – 31 minutes, 3 3-pointers, 17 points, 5 rebounds – Finally.
Austin Rivers – 1-of-7 shooting, 4 points, 3 assists. Pick him up in playoff leagues!
Jamal Crawford – 4-of-15 shooting, 1 3-pointer, 12 points, 5 boards, 4 steals.
Hornets 89, Heat 85
The Heat found themselves in an 18-point hole early, fought their way back to make it a game late, and then succumbed to the Hornets in Charlotte to see the series tied at 2-2. Marvin Williams disappeared again, Al Jefferson and Frank Kaminsky were quiet, and Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin went off for the Winning Hornets. Williams was particularly annoying, following up his 12-point, 14-rebound performance with zero points and seven rebounds on 0-of-5 shooting in 37 minutes. He missed all 10 of his shots in Game 2 and was 1-of-7 in Game 1. So if you throw out Marvin’s solid effort on Saturday, he’s 1-of-22 for two points in his other three games. It doesn’t even seem possible that he’s been this bad after a surprisingly successful season. Kaminsky was almost just as bad, but the Hornets were saved by 34 points on 13-of-28 shooting from Walker, and Lin hit 6-of-10 shots for 21 points in 34 minutes. Of course, Lin was a popular DFS play with Nicolas Batum sitting out again with his strained foot. Maybe Batum will be ready for Game 5, and maybe he won’t. Walker scored 11 straight during a crucial stretch in the final stanza and Courtney Lee hit a couple free throws with 4.6 left on the clock to seal the win. Lin did most of his best work in the first half to keep his team in the game before the break.
The Heat got a nice game from Joe Johnson, who led the way with 16 points, seven boards and four 3-pointers, while Luol Deng, Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade all played fairly well in the loss. The Heat didn’t get much from their bench, as Justise Winslow scored eight in 27 minutes, and Josh Richardson hit just 1-of-7 shots for three points in 31 minutes. Ouch. The Heat, without Chris Bosh, were dominated in the paint by Charlotte by a 44-30 count. The Heat also went on a 17-1 run to help make up for the 18-point deficit, but were never able to retake the lead. Dwyane Wade left briefly to have his ankle re-taped but looked good and said after the game that he is fine. Game 5 is set for Wednesday night at 8 p.m. back in Miami.
Marvin Williams – 0-for-5, zero points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block.
Al Jefferson – 4-of-12 shooting, 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block.
Frank Kaminsky – 1-of-5 shooting, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block.
Kemba Walker – 13-of-28, 2 threes, 34 points, 1 assist, 3 steals, 2 blocks.
Courtney Lee – 11 points, 4 rebounds, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer.
Jeremy Lin – 6-of-10 and a 3-pointer for 21 points, 3 assists, 2 steals off bench.
Joe Johnson – 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 4 3-pointers.
Luol Deng – 4-of-14, 2 3-pointers, 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists.
Hassan Whiteside – 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks in 25 minutes.
Goran Dragic – 5-of-10, 2 3-pointers, 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 TOs.
Dwyane Wade – 4-of-11, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks in 33 minutes.
Justise Winslow – 27 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 3-pointer in 27 minutes.
Josh Richardson – 31 minutes, 1-0f-7 shooting, a three, 3 points, 4 boards, 2 dimes, 1 block.
Thunder 118, Mavericks 104
The Thunder got 36 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on 13-of-23 shooting and might have had a triple-double if the Thunder didn’t pull Russell Westbrook near the end after things got chippy. Kevin Durant hit 11-of-24 shots and three triples for 33 points and seven boards, and Steven Adams went off for 15 points, 10 boards and a block. He had a playoff career high in points and notched his second playoff double-double in 23 games. With those three rolling, Serge Ibaka was invisible and finished with just two points and three rebounds in 30 minutes. Andre Roberson made some big plays late and finished with six points, and Dion Waiters came off the bench for 11 points and three 3-pointers. Enes Kanter was also quiet, playing just 12 minutes and finishing with five points, no rebounds and no blocks. He took a Justin Anderson knee to the ribs and went to the locker room, so watch for news on him, too. Ouch. The Thunder will now take on the Spurs with Game 1 taking place at San Antonio on Saturday in what should be a very entertaining series. And it should be more of the same for Kanter in that series, as he shouldn’t have the same success against the Spurs that he enjoyed in most of the games against the Mavericks, if he’s healthy enough to play. Anderson was a one-man wrecking crew, as he also put a nasty shot on Westbrook’s grill during a late loose ball.
The Mavs played their last game of the season and got 24 points and three 3-pointers from Dirk Nowitzki, and Zaza Pachulia came through with 12 points, seven boards and nine assists. Starters Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews were disappointing, but starter Justin Anderson came through with 14 points, four rebounds, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers in just 24 minutes. Dwight Powell came through off the bench with 16 points and nine rebounds, but there was no way to see it coming, although David Lee and Salah Mejri were both out with injuries. Enjoy your vacation, boys.
Serge Ibaka – 0-of-4, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block. Bounce-back coming.
Kevin Durant – 33 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 3 3-pointers.
Steven Adams – 15 points, 10 boards, 1 block in 38 minutes.
Russell Westbrook – 36 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 3 3-pointers.
Andre Roberson – 6 points, 2 steals, 2 blocks in 31 minutes.
Enes Kanter – 12 minutes, 5 points, zero rebounds, zero blocks. Will struggle vs. Spurs.
Dion Waiters – 22 minutes, 11 points, three 3-pointers.
Dirk Nowitzki – 24 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 3 3-pointers.
Zaza Pachulia – 12 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block.
Raymond Felton – 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists. Disappointing.
Wesley Matthews – 3-of-13, 3 3-pointers, 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal.
Justin Anderson – 14 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 3-pointers, 5-of-10 shooting.
Dwight Powell – 6-of-7 shooting, 16 points, 9 rebounds.
Devin Harris – 30 minutes, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal.
J.J. Barea – 25 minutes, 8 points, 4 assists.