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Tuesday, Nov 19th

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NBA playoffs: Miami falter in the absence of Bosh, San Antonio steam roll the Clippers

The Indiana Pacers brought themselves back into their NBA playoff series against the Miami Heat, tying it 1 -1 in Game 2 at Miami. After being largely dominated in Game 1, The Pacers came good as a cohesive unit, to restrict high flying Miami to just 75 points, taking advantage of a poor effort from the bench as well as the absence of Chris Bosh from the deadly trinity. In the other game of the night, the San Antonio Spurs beat their opponents, LA Clippers, with a comfortable 16 point margin to take a 1 -0 lead in their Conference Semi-Final series.

Indiana Pacers 78 - 75 Miami Heat

dejected_wadeEven though Dwayne Wade and Lebron James combined to outscore all four of the double digit players on Indiana's court put together, they failed to help their team win. Indiana was helped greatly by the absence of Chris Bosh for Miami and on a night where the bench was expected to step up and fill in the spaces, more than ever, there was only vacuum. The Indiana Pacers fought hard in this game, never letting Miami out of their sight, even though they threatened to pull away as Wade and James were getting hot. The turning point came in the final 2 and a half minutes where Miami failed to bucket any of there 7 attempts. Lebron himself missed 2 freethrows with just under a minute to play and Miami trailing by 1. He spoke after the game, "You hope for them to go in. The last two didn't go for me. The game is not lost or won with those two free throws but I definitely want to come through for my teammates. I'll get an opportunity again. I know I'll be at the line again."

The Pacers were rewarded for their team effort which combined with an apathetic Miami bench helped them level the series 1-1. Guard, George Hill, who added 15 points on the night, said, "We stayed together. Great team effort. Everyone was counting on each other, depending on each other, communicating. We knew they were going to make shots. They're great players but we figured they're capable of missing some, too, and they missed the ones we really needed them to miss the most." David West starred for Indiana, shooting 5 of 13 from the field, but mostly coming good in the crunch moments. He also added 10 rebounds to his tally on the night. It was a rough night for both teams but the stars aligned for Indiana in the tough moments, giving them a crucial advantage as they host Game 3 and 4 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. 

LA Clippers 92 - 108 San Antonio Spurs 

Tim Duncan stole the show in Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-final between LA Clippers and San Antonio Spurs. The former MVP posted a game high 26 points to help Spurs win the game with considerable ease and take a 1 -0 lead in their semi-final series. Contributions came from all ends of the court for Spurs with the likes of Manu Ginobli (22), Daniel Green (15) and Kawhi Leonard (16) coming good on the night. Tony Parker was cold from the paint but had 11 assists on the night, playing provider for his in form team mates. The LA Clippers proved to be Spurs' hardest test in these playoffs in the first half but quickly lost the breathe in their lungs, having played 6 times in 11 days, one can see why.

Clippers were led by Eric Biedsoe who didn't even start the game for the visitors. Chris Paul had a night similar to Tony Parker, posting 6 points and 10 assists. Blake Griffin slammed in some mammoth dunks but they failed to intimidate a San Antonio side that has won its last 15 games. The team had the weekend off to them and with recharged batteries, it came as no surprise that the hosts dominated their opponents and took the early advantage in this playoff series.

As the next two games head to Indiana, one doesn't have to talk up Indiana's chances in hushed tones anymore for it is now more than a reality. The Pacers have the opportunity to grab the series from the scruff of its neck and upset the Eastern Conference favourites. The Heat on the other hand need to ensure that their bench comes good and both James and Wade need to make crunch moment points for this series is no more a foregone conclusion and a lot of critical moments are to be expected in this one. However, one still expects Miami to come good and represent the East in the NBA Finals.

With a comfortable win in Game 1 and their winning streak unscathed, one expects San Antonio to go on and take Game 2 as well on thursday. The Spurs are favourites to take over the Western Conference this time around for the Lakers seem to be going from bad to worse. Tim Duncan and the lads will be tested in the upcoming days and we'll know whether they are the new fad or will they eventually fade. 

Games on Wednesday Night

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)

LA Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (0-1)

NBA Playoffs: Lakers mauled in Game 1, Celtics lose home advantage

NBA's two biggest franchises, the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers, found themselves biting the dust as their opponents defeated (in the case of the Lakers, dismantled) them in the early stages of their Conference Semi-Finals. Both Philadelphia and Oklahoma took a siginificant advantage on winning their respective clashes last night, something that would give them more than a fighting chance to upset their opponents. Oklahoma took a 1 -0 while Philadelphia drew level 1-1 but snatching away home advantage from their hosts.

Philadelpbia 76ers 82 - 81 Boston Celtics

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Game 2 between the 76ers and Celtics, saw another 1 point victory, but this time the winners were the visiting team, Philadelphia. Jrue Holiday returned to his scoring self with a game high 18 points to lead his team to 1 - 1 tie in this best of 7, Eastern Conference semi-final. Philadelphia led for most of the 48 minutes on court, in a game that failed enthrall offensively until the fourth quarter. Ray Allen came off the bench for the home team, leading them to a final dash in the fourth, which saw them bucket 65% of their field goal attempts. The Celtics did take the lead in the final period, but the time span was brief as a game winning layup from Evan Turner, allowed Philadelphia to slid back to the top with moments to go.  

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NBA playoffs: Clippers move forward in postseason, Miami take 1-0 lead against Indiana

The LA Clippers became the final team to book a place in the Conference Semi Finals defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 of their playoff series. The Clippers bench came to the team's rescue in the final quarter to ensure a smooth transition into pastures largely unknown to the franchise. The Miami Heat on the other hand took charge of their Conference Semi Final against the Indiana Pacers with a 9 point victory at home. A strong first half performance from the visitors was offset by dessimation from the deadly duo of Dwayne Wade and Lebron James to give Miami the victory. 

LA Clippers 82 - 72 Memphis Grizzlies

19 points and 9 assists from Chris Paul aided by a strong performance from the bench ensured that the LA Clippers took Game 7 of their playoff series against the Grizzlies by 10 points. The game began with a weak first quarter for both teams, failing to get any shooting rhythm going and the defence dominating on both ends of the floor. But the sharp shooters on both ends got into their grove from the onset of the second quarter and we had a really intriguing encounter in our midst. The Clippers saw their 10 point lead slashed down to one at the end of the first half.

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Miami's LeBron James wins 2011-12 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award

lebron_james_mvpLeBron James of the Miami Heat is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2011-12 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award, the NBA announced today. James earns the honor for the third time in four seasons and becomes the first player since Michael Jordan to win at least three MVPs.

James totaled 1,074 points, including 85 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 voters that consisted of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote. For the third consecutive season, the NBA and Kia Motors America gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 120 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received.

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NBA Playoffs: Boston win Game 1, Lakers move to Conference Semis

Two of the most successful franchises in the NBA were in action last night. The games, one each in the East and West were witnessed in two different rounds of the playoffs. Both the Lakers and the Celtics came out on top as was expected but they came extremely close to almost giving it all away. While one of the losing teams, Philadelphia, live to fight at least another 3 games against the Celtics in their round 2 series, Denver Nuggets exit the post season with their heads held high falling narrowly short of conquering the LA Lakers.

Philadelphia 76ers 91 - 92 Boston Celtics

Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo were red hot in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals helping Boston to a comeback win against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers. KG shot a season high 29 points while also picking up 11 rebounds in a game that Philadelphia led for most periods. In fact a late rally in the fourth quarter which saw Boston score 23 of 30 points was the the only period which the team in Green genuinely dominated. Andre Igoudala kept his good form going notching up a team high 19 points as well as 6 assists but his efforts were cancelled out by the last ditch efforts from the Boston team. None of the regular season games were close encounters between these two teams and one felt that Philadelphia would take this one as they come out of the blocks much quicker but Boston reduced the deficit with a strong patch of play at the end of the first half and then finally in the middle of the 4th quarter.

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