Thunder 131, Mavericks 102 – The Thunder won this one easily and things got chippy, as Raymond Felton had a complaint just about every time he was touched. OKC righted the ship and now leads the series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Saturday at 8 in Dallas on ESPN. J.J. Barea, David Lee and Dirk Nowitzki played through their injuries, while Deron Williams (hernia) was out for Dallas. Russell Westbrook somehow had 26 points, 15 assists and zero rebounds, making him the first player to post such a line since Rod Strickland back in the day, if I heard the television crew correctly. And you have to go back to 2014 to find a game when Westbrook didn’t have a rebound in a game.
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Serge Ibaka – 7-of-9 shooting, 2 treys, 16 points, 6 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks.
Kevin Durant – 11-of-25 shooting, 3 treys, 34 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal.
Russell Westbrook – 26 points, 15 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, two 3-pointers, ZERO rebounds.
Andre Roberson – Played 24 minutes for 5 points, 5 boards and one 3-pointer.
Enes Kanter – Playoff-high 21 points, game-high 8 rebounds, a steal, block and 3-pointer.
Dion Waiters – Quietly hit 7-of-11 and four 3-pointers for 19 points and nice line.
Dirk Nowitzki – 16 points, 6 boards, 5 assists, a steal, 2 blocks with a bum knee.
Zaza Pachulia – 19 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds. Mjeri eating his minutes.
Raymond Felton – 18 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, a 3-pointer filling in for Deron.
J.J. Barea – 15 points, 7 assists, a 3-pointer, 5 turnovers in return from groin injury.
Wesley Matthews – 6-of-13 shooting, three 3-pointers, 22 points, 5 boards, 2 steals. Finally!
Devin Harris – 23 minutes, 5 points, 2 assists. Barea’s return hurts him.
Justin Anderson – 19 minutes, 12 points and a 3-pointer.
David Lee – Returned from foot injury with 6 points in 17 minutes.
Salah Mjeri – 14 minutes, zero points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, zero blocks. Ouch.
Raptors 101, Pacers 85 – The Raptors dominated the Pacers in Indy for Game 3 and were never in jeopardy of losing, retaking the home-court advantage in the process. Paul George got loose for 25 points and 10 rebounds, but they limited the rest of the Pacers, as only George Hill and Myles Turner hit double figures. Turner started the second half over Lavoy Allen and came through if you played him. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 21, Jonas Valanciunas just missed a double-double and DeMarre Carroll finally broke out with 17 points, three 3-pointers and a big defensive effort for the Raptors. Game 4 is Saturday at 3 on TNT in Indy with the Raptors leading 2-1.
DeMarre Carroll – 17 points, 5 rebounds, three 3-pointers, a steal, block and great D.
Jonas Valanciunas – 9 points, 14 rebounds, 1 block. Cooled off, but wasn’t terrible.
Kyle Lowry – 21 points, 8 assists, four 3-pointers on 8-of-21 shooting.
DeMar DeRozan – 21 points, 2 steals, good defense. Missed both his 3-pointers.
Patrick Patterson – Cooled off with 7 points, 4 boards, a steal, block and 3-pointer.
Cory Joseph – 24 minutes, 10 points, 4 assists. Having a nice series.
Bismack Biyombo – 21 minutes, 6 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block.
Norman Powell – Played just three minutes for two points. Ouch.
Paul George – 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, a steal, block and trey on 6-of-19.
Ian Mahinmi – 7 points, 4 boards, 1 block – His back is bothering him.
George Hill – 13 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, two 3-pointers. Has to be better.
Monta Ellis – 3-of-9 shots, no 3-pointers, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal.
Myles Turner – 17 points, 8 boards, 3 blocks on 7-of-12 shooting. Starter in Game 4?
Solomon Hill – 28 minutes, but just 8 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, two 3-pointers.
Rockets 97, Warriors 96 – The Warriors looked out of sorts without their floor general and were on the verge of getting blown out in the first half, but Marreese Speights got hot and the Warriors closed on an 9-0 run for a 55-48 deficit at halftime. Dwight Howard wasn’t happy in the first half and picked up a technical foul, but also played his best half in recent memory, while James Harden racked up 17 points in the first half. Draymond Green missed all four of his shots and scored just one point before the break. The Dubs were only down seven and Chuck Barkley guaranteed a Warriors win at halftime (he was wrong), while Speights was the Warriors’ leading scorer with 14.
The second half saw the Rockets hold the lead until very late and the Warriors just never went away. There was a controversial out of bounds call where I thought the ball appeared to go off Michael Beasley’s thumb, but the Rockets were given the ball up one point with less than 20 seconds remaining. When Houston finally inbounded the ball with 14.4 left on the clock it was stolen by Shaun Livingston and the ball ended up in Ian Clark’s hands, who put away a layup for a one-point Warriors’ lead with just 10.6 second remaining. Then Harden brought the ball up the court, pushed off of Iguodala and buried an open J from just inside the free throw line with 2.7 seconds left in the game and the Rockets up one. Harden's shot turned out to be the game-winner when Green then dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds to seemingly end the game. But the Rockets almost blew the ensuing inbounds pass with one second left on the clock, as Livingston nearly made a steal that might have led to the game-winning layup. But he couldn’t come up with it. The Warriors lead the series 2-1 and are hoping to get Curry back for Game 4, which is in Houston on Sunday at 3:30 on ABC.
Donatas Motiejunas – 31 minutes, 14 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 threes. Wow.
Trevor Ariza – 3-of-12, 7 points, 5 boards, 3 steals, 1 block, one 3-pointer.
Dwight Howard – 13 points, 13 boards, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1-of-6 free throws.
Patrick Beverley – 4-of-12, 2 threes, 10 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, 0 steals.
James Harden – 35 points, four 3-pointers, 8 boards, 9 assists, 2 steals. Nice.
Michael Beasley – 21 minutes, 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal off bench.
Jason Terry – 22 minutes, 2-of-10 shooting, two 3-pointers, 6 points.
Clint Capela – Played just 5 minutes and didn’t score.
Draymond Green – 3-of-9, 9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 7 turnovers. Yuck.
Harrison Barnes – 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, one 3-pointer. Ouch.
Andrew Bogut – 15 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks.
Shaun Livingston – 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals in 30 minutes. Solid.
Klay Thompson – 7-of-20, 0-of-7 from downtown, 17 points, 8 boards, 2 steals.
Marreese Speights – Just 18 minutes, but playoff career-high 22 points, 4 boards, three treys and a block.
Ian Clark – 21 minutes, 11 points, 5 rebounds, one 3-pointer, and two huge hoops.
Andre Iguodala – 33 minutes, 2-of-5, a big 3-pointer, 7 points, 4 boards, 3 assists and a block.
There are conflicting reports about Nicolas Batum and his sprained ankle. The Hornets say he’s out for Game 3, while other reports have him out for the series. I think the latter is the most likely scenario, but we’ll have to wait and see.
CLE @ DET 7 ESPN – LeBron James has beefs to settle with Stanley Johnson and Marcus Morris, and it will be interesting to see how the Pistons do at home. They’ve played the Cavs pretty well for the most part, but Cleveland was able to put them away in Games 1 and 2 without any major issues. With LeBron fired up and mad, the Pistons could find themselves in a 3-0 hole after Friday night.
ATL @ BOS 8 ESPN2 – We’re still waiting to see if Dennis Schroder can play through his ankle injury, while the Celtics have to find someone who can score. The Hawks have played lock-down defense both inside and on the perimeter, and I just don’t know how Boston is going to muster enough offense to win. Isaiah Thomas will likely have to go nuts for it to happen. Evan Turner might start over Jared Sullinger, who looks like he might be on a Big Mac diet.
SAN @ MEM 9:30 ESPN – The Spurs are on cruise control and the Grizzlies are too banged up to hang in this one. It would be fun to see Gregg Popovich pull a regular-season move and bench all his starters, but it’s not going to happen at Memphis.