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NBA Playoffs: Rockets Blow Lead, Lose to Clippers at Home

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Two road teams won to open their 2nd round series last night.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls raced out to an early lead in Cleveland last night and held off the Cavs to take a 1-0 series lead in their 2nd round match up. The Bulls shot the ball well most of the night, finishing 50% from the field overall and 10-18 from three. Mike Dunleavy was hot early and finished with 14 points on six shots, while Pau Gasol found his groove and went for 21. Derrick Rose was hyper-aggressive, taking 26 shots to get his 25 points, while Jimmy Butler also had 20 while guarding LeBron James.

The Cavs found points tough to come by, as the Bulls clogged the paint and dared them to shoot from the perimeter. The result was 7-26 from three for the Cavs, and 42% shooting overall. They were able to keep it relatively close throughout the 2nd half, but ultimately could not make enough shots to get a lead or win the game. The absence of Kevin Love seemed significant, as it meant one less player the Bulls had to pay attention to, which allowed them to help even more aggressively. The Cavs have some things to figure out, but on the other hand, the Bulls won't keep shooting like that either.

The Rockets should be embarrassed by the display they put on against a Clippers team without Chris Paul. They built an 11 point lead in the first half, only to see it all disappear in a hurry either side of halftime, and they really failed to make much of a game of it in the 4th quarter. Their defensive effort, especially in the 2nd half, was atrocious as the Clips put up 71 after halftime, with Blake Griffin dominating proceedings to the tune of a 26-14-13 triple double. The Rockets gave up 34 points off 24 turnovers, (with James Harden committing a remarkable 9 on his own), which was the story in the game.

Just a brutal loss for the Rockets, at home with the Clips missing their best player and coming off a hugely emotional game seven against the Spurs. I remarked in the first round that if the Rockets continue to turn the ball over like they have been, it might cost them later, and it certainly did last night.

Presented without comment:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">T-minus exactly two weeks until we find out if the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Twolves?src=hash">#Twolves</a> will get their wish and be in position to draft Okafor.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) <a href="https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/595568780853510144">May 5, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Today in History

1260: Kublai Khan becomes ruler of Mongol Empire
1494: Columbus sights Jamaica
1780: American Academy of Arts & Sciences founded in Boston
1847: AMA organized in Philadelphia
1861: Confederate troops abandon Alexandria, VA
1862: Mexican forces defeat French at Puebla
1891: Carnegie Hall opens in NYC
1925: John Scopes arrested in Tennessee
1936: Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa 
1944: Mahatma Gandhi released from prison
1945: Netherlands and Denmark freed from Nazi control
1961: Alan Shepard first American in space

For last year's musical birthday I went with Adele, who was born in 1988. This year we'll go with Blind Willie McTell, born in 1901 (d. 1959).

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