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Basketball: NBA Playoffs 2013 Round 1 – Game 3

May 7, 2013
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With only two of the series being tied and all the others being home-court locks, a few teams were looking forward to playing back on their own courts to get their first W’s and their playoffs campaigns on the roll.

Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks

After being blown out in both games in Indiana the Hawks were looking forward to getting back home were they have an amazing 12-0 record against the Pacers in their last 12 games. But after Game 1 and 2s dominance one would think that a different court wouldn’t make much difference, well it did. Al Horford looked to be on a personal vendetta to show that his team were much better than their two displays in Indiana. Horford had a monster 26 point 16 rebound game leading his Hawks to a 90-69 rout of the Pacers. The Hawks were all business from the get-go, allowing a franchise low 30 points by halftime as they led 54-30. The Pacers on the other hand looked a completely different team, shooting 4-25 from 3s and a dismal 27% overall from the field. David West top scored for the Pacers with 18 points. Pacers lead series 2-1

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

No team wants to go 3-0 down in a playoff series, since we all know that no NBA team has ever come back from such a deficit. So with that on the line the Celtics were looking to play the basketball that had rewarded their franchise with all those banners in the rafters… Carmelo Anthony had plans of his own. By halftime Anthony had helped his Knicks to a 16 point lead over the Celtics with the game finishing 90-76 to the Knicks and Anthony with a game high 26 points. Jeff Green was once again the only bright light for the Celtics finishing with 21 points,  9rebounds and 4 assists as the Celtics once again failed to reach 80 points in this series. It wasn’t all good for the Knicks as Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith got himself into trouble and out of the game with a flagrant 2 foul on Jason Terry which would later get him suspended from Game 4. Knicks lead series 3-0

Brooklyn Nets vs. Chicago Bulls

After snatching a road game it was time for the Bulls to bring things back to Chicago and hopefully hold court. And sure enough in an ugly, stingy, scrappy Game 3 the Bulls came off best, beating the Nets 79-76. In another poor shooting performance it was clear that the Nets generally do well when Deron Williams does, after he shot 5-14 for 18 points and the Nets as a whole made 35% of their field shots. Carlos Boozer top scored for the Bulls with 22point and had the most boards in the game with 16 rebounds. For the Nets it was centre Brook Lopez who also had 22 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and dismissed 7 blocks. Bulls lead series 2-1

Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors

Not much can guard against a hot Stephen Curry as the Nuggets already knew but with a sprained ankle maybe that would slow him down, and it didn’t. Curry went 4-7 from 3 and 8-17 overall from the field to lead the Warriors to a close 110-108 win over the Nuggets. Curry finished with 29 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. A 13 point lead and a playoff career-high 35 points from guard Ty Lawson wasn’t enough to get the Nuggets back home-court advantage. Lawson also had 10 assists. The Warriors continued their excellent shooting going just under 53% from the field after going a NBA playoff high 65% in Game 2. With such great shooting the Warriors will look to their 23 tournovers as to why they struggled in this one as they attempt to go 3-1 in Game 4 in the Golden State. Warriors lead series 2-1

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets

Russell Westbrook was out for the first time in his career, it was all on Kevin Durant and sure enough the Rockets gave him every opportunity to succeed. Durant had 41 points in yet another game that the Rockets could have won but ended up losing 104-101. After coming back from a 26 point deficit and leading very late in the fourth, how late you ask? The Rockets were up by 2 with less than a minute left in the game. Durant was having none of it though as he managed a 3 pointer to get the Thunder a lead that they held on too. James Harden’s 30 points 8 rebounds 6 assists game could not match that of Durant’s, who added 14 rebounds to his career-high equal 41 points. Rockets’ max-contract off-season acquisition Jeremy Lin pulled another worthless performance going 1-6 finishing with 2 points and 1 assist as he only played for 18 minutes suffering from a bruised chest in Game 2. Thunder lead series 3-0

San Antonio Spurs vs. LA Lakers

Back in the Staples Centre it was time for the Lakers to show that they were not just a fizzled out disappointment of a team that was crippled this whole season by everything from front office dynamics to on court miss matches. But the veteran Spurs weren’t about to let-up, not by a long
shot. Instead the Spurs gave the Lakers a 120-89 beating which was a record margin for a loss by the Lakers in the playoffs at home. Tim Duncan led the Spurs charges with 26 points and 9 rebounds. The Lakers big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol great performances were not enough as the
Lakers simply needed more healthy bodies scoring points than they had available. The Spurs bench outscored that of the Lakers 46-9, which was probably helped by the fact that the Spurs had double the number of bench players active. Howard finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Gasol had an 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists triple-double. Spurs lead series 3-0

LA Clippers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

For a team that had the best defense in the league the Grizzlies sure did not take care of business inside during Games 1 and 2 in LA. Zach Randolph would not let that continue back in Memphis. Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies with a 27 point 11 rebound performance, as the Memphis team finally found their inside presence beating the Clippers 94-82. Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol got back to his great defence inside allowing the Clippers only 26 points in the paint versus the Grizzlies 40. Chris Paul finished with 8points on 4-11 shooting in 35minutes of basketball he would sure like to put behind him. With great match-ups at almost all the positions this series is looking to once again go all the way to 7. Clippers lead series 2-1

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks were hoping a change of scenery would maybe change their fortunes in this series. They got closer, but unfortunately they were still playing a Heat team who have a hard time folding in tough situations this season. In this game it was Ray Allen who stepped up amongst the ever present Heat bench players, to lead the team from South Beach to a 104-91 victory over the Bucks. Allen came off the bench to finish with 23 points with 5 threes that set a record for most 3-pointers in NBA playoff history. Going only 1-12 from the field, Dwayne Wade finished with 4 points but did well to fill up his stat line with 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks. LeBron James had a rather quiet game, by his standards, with a 22 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds performance and Chris Bosh grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. The Bucks had a better performance as a team in this one with 6 players getting into double figures but, will look to simply just not get swept. Heat lead series 3-0

Written By: Lebuhang Ramollo (@RA_Mollo)

 

Image source: Bleacher Report

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