The NBA Playoffs started Saturday and since then there have been three overtime games. Interestingly enough, the visiting team has won each of those games. The first game featured the Portland Trail Blazers upsetting the Houston Rockets on Sunday 122-120 to take a 1-0 series lead. The second was the Memphis Grizzlies beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-105 in Game 2 yesterday to tie their series at 1-1. While Tonight’s game featured the Washington Wizards beating the Chicago Bulls 101-99 to take a surprise 2-0 series lead. Let’s look at the first game.
Trail Blazers 122
(54-28, 23-18 away)
(54-28, 33-8 home)
What Happened: The Rockets squandered a 13 point lead with 10 minutes left in the 4th Quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge also scored a Blazers playoff record 46 points along with 18 rebounds while Damian Lillard added 31 of his own. The last time two teammates recorded numbers that high in a playoff game was in 1992 when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen combined for those numbers respectively. There was a questionable sixth foul called on Rockets center Dwight Howard, but by the same token he did miss a lot of key free throws late in the game.
What This Means: Houston isn’t in trouble yet. They should take Game 2 tomorrow and even this series up.
(50-32, 23-18 away)
(59-23, 34-7 home)
What Happened: Memphis scored a huge upset. It almost was taken away from them when likely MVP Kevin Durant scored on a 4-point play with 13.8 seconds left. Despite that setback the Grizzlies were able to hold on in overtime thanks to 25 points by Zach Randolph and 19 points along with 12 assists for Mike Conley. As a result the 7th seeded Grizzlies head back to Memphis having snatched home court for the Thunder.
What This Means: The Thunder should be fine, but keep in mind what happened last year. After winning Game 1 the Thunder lost Games 2, 3, 4, and 5 to get eliminated in last year’s Western Conference Semifinals. Kevin Durant needs to win Games 3 and 4 with extreme prejudice otherwise the #2 seed the Thunder earned was worthless.
(44-38, 22-19 away)
(48-34, 27-14 home)
What Happened: The Bulls decided to take a page from Houston’s playbook and blow a double-digit fourth quarter lead. As a result the Wizards were able to fight back and take a 2-0 lead back to Washington. Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls while Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 26.
What This Means: Stick a fork in Chicago they are done. I never would have thought the Wizards would score this upset, but maybe they might be able to make some noise in these Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Stay Classy Everyone!