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Basketball: NBA Playoffs 2013 Round 1 – Game 1

April 26, 2013
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We are officially in the business end of the season where 82 games fade to the back and it’s all now about the team that notches up 16Ws. Who will be getting a new piece of bling on their fingers, can anyone take the championship away from the Miami Heat who ended the season with a league best 66 wins, and will the LA Lakers show they are more than a team who just sneaked into the playoffs? All that and more will keep us on the edge of our seats as we get rolling with NBA Playoff Basketball!

For now let’s get into how all the Game1s of the first round went.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers

With Danny Granger injured for almost all of the season Paul George has come up for the Pacers throughout the season and come playoff time he got things started with a 23 point 11 rebound 12 assist triple-double. George’s first playoffs triple-double led the Pacers to a 107-90 victory over
the Hawks. Only shooting 3-13 from the field, George scored the bulk of his points on the charity strip going 17-18 from the line. This win came as a great sign for a Pacers team who seemed to slack off at the end of the regular season as their coach, Frank Vogel, chose to rest his stars. Well consider the rest a good move as the Pacers announced their playoffs presence with a bang. With a 48-32 advantage on the boards, the Pacers dominated the inside. Hawks forward Josh Smith finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Pacers lead series 1-0

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

The Knicks are looking to do more than win a Division Title this season as they come across fellow Atlantic Division competitors the Celtics in their quest to a Championship. Carmelo Anthony who has been the man to light the fire back into New York basketball, led the Knicks past the Celtics 85-78 scoring 36 points. Anthony not popular for efficiency shot 13-29 but made the shots that mattered down the stretch as the Celtics just couldn’t seem to get things going in the fourth only managing 8 points in the period on 3-11 shooting. Jeff Green top scored for the Celtics with 26 points who did themselves no favours committing 21 turnovers. The almost zero impact from the Celtics bench also was no help, with the Knicks bench scoring 33-4 and out rebounding the Celtics’ 19-6. As well as the Celtics have played without Rajon Rondo his playoff heroics are sure to be missed in what looks to be a tough first round for last season’s Conference Finalists. Knicks lead series 1-0

Chicago Bulls vs. Brooklyn Nets

Deron Williams is finally back in the playoffs and so are the Nets in their first season in Brooklyn, coming against a Bulls team that has faced are hard time this season with multiple injuries throughout. Williams had 22 points; the Nets finished with six players in double digits and shot 56%
from the field to beat the Bulls and their heralded defence 106-89. With Joakim Noah struggling with injury it was up to Carlos Boozer to do the heavy lifting finishing with 25 points and 8 rebounds in 45 minutes of play. The lack of defensive inside presence for the Bulls was not more telling than in the 56-36 points in the paint discrepancy. The Bulls looked nothing like the team that beat the Nets 3-1 during the season series allowing an average of 88points. The Nets finished the third quarter with 89 points. Nets lead series 1-0

Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets

In a series that pitted two of the fastest up and down young teams in the league it was a 37 year old that made all the difference. 13 season veteran Andre Miller sank the go-ahead layup for the Nuggets leaving the Warriors little to no time for a good look as the Nuggets opened their playoff
campaign with a W. Miller finished with a playoff career-high 28 points, with 18 of those coming in the last quarter. With home-court advantage and a league best 38-3 record at home for the Nuggets this could be the best opportunity Miller has ever had to get past the first round in his career. The Warriors not only lost a close game but also their All-Star Forward/Centre David Lee to injury in the fourth quarter. Stephen Curry shot an uncanny 7-20 to finish with 19 points while two-guard Klay Thompson top scored for the Warriors with 22 points on 10-19 shooting. The Nuggets didn’t have their best game either as Ty Lawson’s 12 points was their next highest point behind Miller. The Nuggets shot under 19% from beyond the arc, 64% at the free-throw line, where out rebounded 55-45 and out assisted 27-16, but they still got the win even without starters Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried. Nugget lead series 1-0

Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

It couldn’t be written any worse for James Harden on his return to Oklahoma, as his Rockets team looked mediocre against Western Conference top seed and last season’s finalists Thunder. Kevin Durant and the Thunder welcomed back their last years sixth man of the year with a 120-91 blowout in game one of the Rockets return to the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season. For a team who lives by the 3 pointer they sure died from it in this one, going 8-36 from beyond the arc. Between foul trouble and horrible all round shooting this was just not going to be the Rockets night. The Thunder led by as much as 35 points at a stage. Thunder lead series 1-0

LA Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs

In an opportunity to redeem themselves from a very underwhelming season, the Lakers opened their playoffs against the veteran Spurs. The Spurs old horses weren’t about to let that happen though as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 53 points beating the Lakers
91-79. For 19 minutes on the floor Ginobili played like the Ginobili of… old shooting 3-5 from 3 and 6-13 overall with no visible ill effects from his hamstring injury that bothered him during the regular season. Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol’s length inside did not have the desired outcome in
the greater scheme of the game as Howard finished with 20 points 15 rebounds and Gasol 16 points 16 rebounds. The Lakers only led for just over 2 minutes in the beginning of the game as the Spurs cruised to victory the rest of the way. Even with a better overall shooting performance versus the Spurs by the Lakers, they couldn’t get over their ball handling as they committed 18turnovers. Spurs lead series 1-0

Memphis Grizzlies vs. LA Clippers

Coming in as one of the best defending teams in the league the Grizzlies would be expected to win the battle in the paint. And with The Clippers known as Lob City a toss-up of a match-up was expected in the post as these two teams met for the second consecutive time in the first round after
last season’s 7 game series ended up with the Clippers moving on. But what prevailed not many would have expected with the Clippers only making a single dunk and beating the Grizzlies to the boards which ended up in a 112-91 score beating in the game overall. Chris Paul conducted the
Clippers with 23 points and 7 assists leading a double figure performance by seven Clipper players. The Clippers out rebounded the Grizzlies 47-23. Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol and forward Zach Randolph combined for a total of 6 rebounds. Clippers Lead series 1-0

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

No one who isn’t in the Bucks locker room is giving them a chance in this series and for good reason. Reason in this particular game came from the usual suspect, LeBron James. James took the fewest shots he has ever taken in a playoff game and ended up with 27 points, going 9-11 from the field and leading the Heat on a 110-87 rout of the Bucks. The Heat shot 56% overall, out rebounded the Bucks 46-31 and kept them to only 42% shooting for the game. Guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combined for more than half of the Bucks total ending with 26 and 22 points respectively. James also had 10 rebounds and 8 assists for his Heat team that didn’t play as perfectly as the score line would suggest, committing 19 turnovers which led to 22 points. But the bench production from the Heat smoothed things along as they finished 43-25 against the Bucks’ reserves. Heat lead series 1-0

Image source: Billboard

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