Miami closed out the Charlotte Bobcats in four games last night, using a big third quarter run to put the series away as they can now rest and prepare for the winner of the Nets-Raptors series, which is currently tied at two with game five scheduled for Wednesday.
The Heat were simply too much for the Bobcats, who were not helped by the absence of low-post threat Al Jefferson. Lebron James keyed the decisive Heat run, scoring 19 of his 31 after getting a thigh bruise early in the third quarter. From down two at halftime, the Heat went up 13 at the end of three, and cruised from there. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 29.
Congratulations to the Bobcats (next year, back to the Hornets), for making the playoffs and taking a step forward with their organization. They have managed to clear out most of their bad contracts, and now have some promising pieces to build around. Hopefully the fans in Charlotte will have some enjoyable times over the next few seasons.
The Hawks took a 3-2 series lead over the disintegrating Pacers with a 107-97 win in Indianapolis that wasn't that close. The Hawks simply could not miss from three, especially in the 2nd quarter when reserve wing Mike Scott made all five threes he attempted. Meanwhile, the Pacers offense looked horrible. It added up to a 41-19 quarter and a 21 point halftime lead for the Hawks as boos rained down on the home team. The Hawks stretched the lead to 30 in the third quarter before the Pacers made the inevitable cosmetic run to make the final score look respectable. The Hawks will try to close it out at home.
Finally, the Spurs hung on in Dallas 93-89 after building a 20 point lead in the third quarter behind the scoring of Boris Diaw who finished with 17 and Manu Ginobili who finished with 23. A furious run by Dallas keyed by Dejuan Blair, who was ejected for kicking Tiago Splitter eventually got the game tied at 87, but Diaw hit a three that ultimately was enough when Monta Ellis was unable to convert a potential game tying shot in the final seconds. Two hotly contested games in Dallas send the series back to San Antonio tied at 2 games a piece.
Tonight brings us three more games in this relentless playoffs:
Wizards at Bulls
7:00 pm Central
The Wizards will try to close this one out on the road after their stellar performance in game four. They won both games in Chicago to start the series, and now the Bulls are on the precipice. Nene will be available for the Wizards after his one game suspension.
Grizzlies at Thunder
8:00 pm Central
This finely balanced series returns to Oklahoma City for a crucial game five. The last three games in this series have all gone to overtime, with the Thunder escaping game four after trailing by five late in regulation. Tony Allen has been the star of this series, aggressively effecting the game at both ends and making Kevin Durant work for everything. A playoff tradition at this point, Scott Brooks is getting criticized for his lack of creativity on offense. This should be a great one.
Warriors at Clippers
9:30 pm Central
Another series that is tied 2-2 headed into game five, even more hangs over tonight's tilt at Staples Center. It appeared that Donald Sterling's racist comments not only upset the Clippers (and everyone else) but also might have distracted them during game four, when they came out flat and Golden State raced out to a big lead that they never relinquished. What will happen tonight, back in L.A.? Will the fans show up? Will the Clippers be mentally prepared to play?
- Adam Silver is scheduled to publicly address the Sterling situation today at 1:00 pm Central. Whether he will announce sanctions, either temporary or permanent, is unknown.
- Mark Jackson, Warriors coach, suggested that fans should not show at Staples Center in protest. Seems unlikely, but we'll see.
- The Timberwolves have been eerily silent since the Adelman presser. Flip went on the radio a couple of times after that, but nothing recent on the coaching search, no comment at all from Taylor on Sterling.
1707: Act of Union between Scotland and England creates United Kingdom of Great Britain
1852: First edition of Roget's Thesaurus published
1861: Maryland's legislature votes against secession from Union
1945: U.S. forces liberate 30,000 prisoners at Dachau concentration camp
1991: Cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing over 100,000.
1992: Police officers acquitted of beating Rodney King; riots in L.A. follow