|< Prev||Next >|
An interesting couple of games were played out on Wednesday night in the NBA playoffs with giants LA Lakers and Boston Celtics in action. The Lakers, who were mauled in Game 1 by Oklahoma City Thunder, fell to another defeat in Game 2, this time with a margin of just 2 points. The Celtics on the other hand, had their 2nd 100 plus game in the postseason as they demolished the Philadelphia 76ers in their own backyard. The performance of the night came from Kevin Garnett who dominated on both ends of the floor, the kind of balanced brilliance that earned him the regular season MVP all those seasons ago.
Boston Celtics 107 - 91 Philadelphia 76ers
The Celtics took back home advantage in Game 3 of their Easter Conference semi-finals, taking the game by 16 points on the night. Match winning performances came from veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce who had 27 and 24 points respectively on the night. The 17 time NBA champions slowly but surely built a 25 point lead by the middle of the third quarter and never let the visitors in after that. Despite strong performances from Thaddeus Young and Jrue Holiday, the Celtics were too strong offensively to let anyone spoil their victory party. Boston's Mickael Pietrus spoke after the game, "We got into a great offensive rhythm and kept it going. Guys were making shots across the board and we just kept building and building our lead."
The Sixers were definitely not on their game, allowing the Celtics a lot of points in the paint as well as a great many offensive rebounds. They themselves failed to attack the basket on many occasions and stuck to perimeter shooting which never works in anyone's favour. Lou Williams said the Sixers didn't really pay attention to the details in this game and it showed as little mistakes on the floor accumulated to hurt them a great deal. Rajon Rondo gave us some stellar plays on the night with blind passes and unlikely buckets aplenty. He notched up an impressive 23 points and 14 assists on the night, as he pulled the game together for his team in green.
The Boston Celtics are proving to be strong opponents in these playoffs and the tantalizing trio of Rondo, Garnett and Pierce are really getting together and displaying class. Paul Pierce has shown true leadership by dishing out fabulous numbers despite carrying an injury and it's that kind of spirit that is steadily making Boston a strong competitor to represent the East in the NBA Finals.
LA Lakers 75 - 77 Oklahoma City Thunder
The Los Angeles Lakers fell to a second successive defeat at the hands of OKC to go down 2-0 in their Western Conference Semi-Final. Kevin Durant shot a game high 22 points in a clash that was filled with brilliant blocks, steals and some ridiculous turnovers. The Lakers led the game with a few minutes to go on the clock but a late surge from the home team saw them earn the last 9 points of the game to clinch the win. James Harden was a huge presence in the game today coming up with some of the most crucial defensive and offensive plays on the night to intimidate the visiting team, who despite having Kobe Bryant looked short on confidence.
OKC Coach Scott Brooks said, "They won't quit. That's not in their DNA . They're not wired that way and if they were, they wouldn't be here. We're not going to win every game but we're going to fight to the last second of the game and we did that tonight. "
The hosts have won all 9 of their playoff series after a 2 - 0 lead, and this goes back to their days in Seattle. Andrew Bynum gave a great account of himself, notching up 20 points but the absence of Kobe Bryant, despite the many fade-aways, created a huge vacuum between the two teams. Another notable performance in the OKC ranks came from Serge Ibaka who blocked 7 shots, an unsually brilliant tally, which epitomised the nature of the game.
The Lakers have to get their act together at the Staples Centre for Oklahoma aren't a team to be taken likely. They are known to pour their heart out in games and Lakers will find it hard to break that kind of spirit even if they are on their A game. These two playoff clashes have a great deal to offer and one can't wait to see how things unfold as the days go on.
Games on Thursday Night
Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers (1-1)
LA Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs (0-1)
- 20/05/2012 13:49 - NBA playoffs: San Antonio overcome early Clippers surge, Lakers fall at the final hurdle
- 19/05/2012 11:48 - NBA playoffs: Lakers claw back against Oklahoma, Boston slip up
- 18/05/2012 12:41 - NBA Playoffs: Miami dismantled by the Pacers, Parker leads Spurs to a 2-0 lead