#NBAPlayoffs Roundup: May 5, 2015

Today’s action from the 2015 NBA Playoffs saw the road teams victorious, with Chicago upending Cleveland and the Clippers ending strong against the Rockets.




Game Capsules from The Sports Network:

May 5, 2015:
Chicago 99, Cleveland 92
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - After the Chicago Bulls blew one big lead, Jimmy Butler helped ensure they didn't surrender another. Derrick Rose had 25 points and five assists, Butler added 20 points and six helpers and the Bulls held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-92 on Monday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. After blowing a 16-point lead in the first half, Chicago used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to build another healthy cushion. Cleveland charged back and trimmed the deficit to two in the fourth quarter with 5:21 left. Butler, though, split a pair of free throws and nailed a 3-pointer before Pau Gasol's jumper gave the Bulls a 94-86 lead with 3:26 to go. The Cavs never got closer than four the rest of the way. Butler scored seven of Chicago's last 11 points. Game 2 is Wednesday in Cleveland. Gasol netted 15 of his 21 points in the second half to go with 10 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy supplied 14 points and seven boards for third- seeded Chicago, which was 10-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Bulls defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in six games to reach the semis. Chicago received a minor scare late in the game when Rose began to grab his shoulder, but he never left the contest. The Cavs played their first game this postseason without starters Kevin Love and J.R. Smith. Love is out for the rest of the playoffs after having his shoulder yanked from his socket by the Boston Celtics' Kelly Olynyk in Game 4 of Cleveland's first-round series. Smith is suspended for the first two games after striking Boston's Jae Crowder in the face during Game 4. Kyrie Irving posted 30 points and six assists, while Smith's replacement, Iman Shumpert, provided 22 points for the second-seeded Cavs, who swept the Celtics in the East quarterfinals. LeBron James tallied 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but was held to just 9-of-22 shooting by Butler and committed six of Cleveland's nine turnovers.





LA Clippers 117, Houston 101
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Paul watched from the sideline as his teammates stole homecourt advantage in the Western Conference semifinals. There was no shortage of Clippers stepping up in the series opener, with six scoring in double figures in a 117-101 victory over the well-rested Rockets. Paul gamely fought through a hamstring strain in Game 7 against the Spurs on Saturday and banked in the game-winning runner to cap an epic series and send the Clippers into the second round. The injury forced Paul out on Monday's game, and while he was surely missed -- the Clippers turned it over 23 times -- Doc Rivers' bunch accepted the challenge of playing without their All-Star point guard. Blake Griffin recorded his third triple-double of the playoffs with a monster performance of 26 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists. Jamal Crawford chipped in with 21 points off the bench, Matt Barnes added 20 and J.J. Redick scored all 17 of his points in a second half completely controlled by Los Angeles. Even Austin Rivers, plugged in as a starter for Paul, netted 17 points for the Clippers, who can take a commanding series lead when these teams meet again Wednesday. James Harden, on the same day of learning he finished second to Stephen Curry in MVP voting, checked in with 20 points and 12 assists but turned it over nine times and went nearly 18 minutes without a field goal in the second half.




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