NBA Playoffs on Sling TV: Buzzer-Beaters Here, There & Everywhere

May 11, 2015 by Robb Todd


LeBron James couldn’t let Derrick Rose and Paul Pierce have his spotlight for long. The King nailed a shot at the buzzer Sunday night to lift the Cavaliers over the Bulls, 86-84, and tie the series at 2.

Consider it returning a favor. Rose banked in a 3-pointer for the win Friday night – and, no, he did not call glass.

“I was supposed to take the ball out,” James said. “I told Coach there was no way I’m taking the ball out unless I could shoot it over the backboard and go in. So I told him, ‘Have somebody else take the ball out.’ The play that was drawn up, I scratched it. I just told Coach, ‘Just give me the ball. We’re either going to go into overtime or I’m going to win it for us.’”

Pierce’s game-winner was sandwiched between those other two on Saturday night. Like Rose, he also used the backboard to lift his team victory, 103-101. The shot left the Hawks trailing the series, 1-2. And, also like Rose, Pierce did not call bank.

“I called, ‘Game!’” Pierce said.

Despite all that excitement, there’s a different sort of excitement in Memphis. The Grizzlies find themselves up against the favored Golden State Warriors, 2-1.

The Memphis tandem of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol has bullied the Warriors inside.

“We understand what our strengths are,” Gasol said, “and of course at the end of games, we’re not going to panic. We might not play great or we might not make the shot, or we might make mistakes or may get really slow, but we’re going to stay in the moment and we’re going to try to get stops.”

Meanwhile, the Clippers have been sending a message to the rest of the league that they are not to be trifled with. After dropping Game 2 against the Rockets, L.A. has responded with back-to-back blowouts and lead the series 3-1.

“They beat the hell out of us,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said after Sunday night’s 128-95 loss, which included a 43-point third-quarter effort by L.A.

It seemed a foregone conclusion to everybody who does not live in Tennessee that the Clippers would be facing the Warriors in the next round. But perhaps the message Chris Paul & Co. are really sending is this: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO WE PLAY.

If (when?) the Clippers close it out against Houston on Tuesday, it will be the franchise’s first appearance in the conference finals.

“That’s not what we want to achieve,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. “We want to win nine more games.”

Here’s this week’s TV schedule:

Monday, May 11
All times eastern
Washington at Atlanta, 8pm (TNT)

Game 4

Golden State at Memphis, 9:30pm (TNT)

Game 4

Tuesday, May 12
Chicago at Cleveland, 7pm (TNT)

Game 5

Los Angeles at Houston, 9:30pm (TNT)

Game 5

Wednesday, May 13
Washington at Atlanta, 8pm (TNT)

Game 5

Memphis at Golden State, 10:30pm (TNT)

Game 5

Thursday, May 14
Cleveland at Chicago, 8pm (ESPN)

Game 6

Houston at Los Angeles, 10:30pm (ESPN)

Game 6 if necessary

Friday, May 15
Golden State at Memphis, TBD (ESPN)

Game 6 if necessary

Atlanta at Washington, TBD (ESPN)

Game 6 if necessary

Sunday, May 17
Memphis at Golden State, TBD

Game 7 if necessary

Chicago at Cleveland, TBD (TNT)

Game 7 if necessary

Los Angeles at Houston, TBD

Game 7 if necessary

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