The NBA Playoffs: Day 13: Live To Fight Another Day

Ty Lawson and the Nuggets race past the
listless Lakers to force Game 7
(Photo by the Associated Press)
#game7 #ArtestToTheRescue
The day did not start so good for the Lakers when they found out that Kobe Bryant had a stomach virus. Of course Bryant still played but he was limited. Kobe scored 31 points but he tired easily and he was hobbled defensively. He even committed a flagrant foul on Kenneth Faried that ignited a 15-4 run for the Nuggets. The day ended far worse for the Lakers when the Nuggets tied the series and forced a Game 7. Ty Lawson led all scorers with 32 points while Corey Brewer came of the bench to contribute 18 points in 19 minutes. Brewer was injured during the last game but he managed to outwork and outplay the likes of Gasol (3 pts) and Bynum (11 pts). The Nuggets were hot from the field as they made 10 of 20 three-point shots after shooting below 30% for the series. Game 7 will be in Los Angeles and Ron Artest (MWP) will be eligible to play for the Lakers. With the way Lawson and Faried are playing, the Lakers will need Artest to provide his physical presence and possibly scare Lawson from driving to the hoop due to the fear of receiving a head shot.

#asterisk #BadLuckBulls
The Sixers beat the Bulls in thrilling fashion to win the series in 6 games. On paper, it will be called an upset due to their regular season record but in reality, it was somewhat expected. The Bulls were unable to overcome their injuries to key players: Rose (ACL), Noah (sprained ankle) and Boozer (broken jumper and bruised self-confidence). Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton kept the Bulls in the game but they needed Boozer to be exceptional just like in Game 5 and that did not happen as Boozer shot 1-11 and scored 3 points. Andre Iguodala had his best scoring game of the series and he provided the winning sequence for the Sixers when he rebounded a missed freethrow then raced to the other side where he got fouled. He calmly sank both shots to give the Sixers the lead. The Bulls had no timeouts and with 2.2 seconds left, all CJ Watson could do was throw up a prayer which was not answered. The Sixers advanced to the next round to face the Celtics. Meanwhile, the Bulls finished a disappointing playoffs by limping to the finish line and they might miss the playoffs next year since Rose wont be back for a  year. Tough break for the Bulls.

#vintageKG #LuckoftheIrish
Kevin Garnett reminded the fans and the co-owner of the Hawks that he was the league MVP once. He erupted for 28 points and 14 rebounds plus he nailed a jumper to give the Celtics the lead with 30 seconds left. The Hawks had a chance to tie but Al Horford missed one free throw and that was the ballgame. KG was upset that people call him old and dirty and that sparked him into a scoring and rebounding frenzy. Al Horford playing in the series was a great story for the Hawks and he almost tipped the scales into their favor. Unfortunately, it was not enough. Horford also struggled with 7 turnovers and he was late on defensive rotations often as Garnett buried a bunch of jumpers on him. This loss will linger for the Hawks over the summer because they had the personnel advantage over the Celtics especially when Horford came back and started producing like an all-star. The Celtics had a very limited Ray Allen and Paul Pierce played with an injured knee for two games yet the Hawks were unable to capitalize on those. Suddenly, things are looking good for the Celtics as they will host the Sixers on Saturday with the Cs having home court advantage.  

#Tweet/Quote of the Night
"Thank you to their owner for giving me some extra gas tonight. My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth to know what he's talking about with X's and O's versus checkbooks and bottom lines." - Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics

#RandomStuff #stats
  • Bulls were the fifth number one seed to lose in the 1st round
  • Rondo's 10+ assists streak ended at 28 games (Stockton at 29)
  • Rookie, Kenneth Faried put up another double-double, his third in 6 games
  • James Harden was awarded the Sixth Man of the Year 
  • Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are game-time decisions for Game 6
  • East match-ups are Heat-Pacers and Celtics-Sixers
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