#1 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #4 Atlanta Hawks, CLE leads series 2-0 (7pm ET Friday, ESPN)
On April 20, the Cavaliers tied the NBA playoff record with 20 3-pointers in a game. Four days later the Golden State Warriors broke that record, despite losing Steph Curry to injury in the first half, by making 21. On May the Fourth (Be With You), the Cavaliers took back the record, hitting on 25 from downtown, a new NBA mark for regular or postseason, as they took down the Hawks 123-98.
The Cavs had 10 different guys hit at least one 3, as the team hit on 25 of 45, with JR Smith again leading the missile brigade by making 7 of 13 on hs way to scoring 23 points. Kyrie Irving hit on 4 of 5, and scored 19 points, Kevin Love hit 3 of 4 and scored 11 points to go with 13 rebounds, and LeBron James made 4 of 6 threes, leading all scorers with 27 points.
The Hawks were down 36 at the half, as Cleveland had already made 18 3-pointers, and God bless the Atlanta social media team, who kept their sense of humor throughout, at one point tweeting, “If you take away their 3’s we’re right in this…”
Afterward, the Hawks Paul Millsap (16 points, 11 rebounds) was at a loss. “What happened? Not a clue… it’s a lot of 3’s man. I mean – I’m speechless… I’m a man who believes anything is possible. And the impossible happened tonight.”
Do you think maybe LeBron and the Cavs have heard enough about the Splash Brother and the Golden State Warriors?
#2 San Antonio Spurs vs. #3 Oklahoma City Thunder, Series tied 1-1 (9:30pm ET Friday, ESPN)
After getting completely outclassed in Game 1, the Oklahoma City Thunder got off the mat on Monday to beat the Spurs 98-97, and take home court advantage as the series heads to OKC.
Up by just 1 point coming out of the half, the Thunder ripped off 8 straight points, including 6 from Kevin Durant, to take an 85-76 lead. Less than three and a half minutes later, however, the lead was again down to 1, thanks to a pair of Danny Green 3’s and Kawhi Leonard jumper. After buckets by Durant and Russell Westbrook made it 89-84, LaMarcus Aldridge erupted for 13 points in the final 3:25, hitting on 4 of 4 from the floor, and 4 of 4 from the line, but it wasn’t enough, though Dion Waiters very nearly joined a long list of NBA playoff goats whose botched inbound passes cost their teams the game. Coming out of a timeout with 14 seconds to play, Waiters lobbed one to Durant that was picked off by Green, but Patty Mills missed a potential game-winner from the corner.
Aldridge led all scorers 41 points on 15-of-21 shooting, but he didn’t get much help, as Kawhi Leonard made just 7 of 18, Tim Duncan made just 1 of 8, Tony Parker just 3 of 9, and Danny Green just 3 of 11. For the Thunder, it was Westbrook who led the charge, 29 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists, and Durant dropped 28-7-4, while Steven Adams was huge in the middle with a game-high 17 rebounds, and 12 points.