Thunder, Pacers, Spurs win home playoff games

Thunder, Pacers, Spurs win home playoff games
April 24, 2013, 10:45 pm
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The NBA playoffs continued with three games Wednesday night and the home teams won again, improving to 6-0 overall:

Spurs 102, Lakers 91

Los Angeles just can’t manufacture enough points to come back from double-digit deficits as their two leading scorers, C Dwight Howard and PG Steve Blake, only had 16 points as San Antonio took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.

Player of the game: PG Tony Parker had a game-high 28 points on 9-for-20 shooting, seven assists and no turnovers for San Antonio.

Turning point: The Lakers were within 10 points for most of the third quarter, but the Spurs went on a 13-4 run to blow it open in the fourth behind two jumpers from PF Tim Duncan and a three-pointer by SF Matt Bonner.

Trending downward: Blake, a University of Maryland product, and PG Steve Nash combined to make 10 of 23 shots for 25 points but their statuses are in question going forward because of injuries.

Next: Game 3 is in Los Angeles on Sunday (TNT, 7 p.m. ET)

Thunder 105, Rockets 102

Oklahoma City blew an 89-74 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, withstood a 21-2 run from Houston which went to a zone defense and regained the lead behind clutch shooting and playmaking of SF Kevin Durant to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.

Player of the game: SG James Harden was dominant in a losing effort but didn’t have much help on the offensive end. The former Thunder standout had a game-high 36 points. He only made 9 of 24 shots but was 17-for-20 from the foul line. Harden also had 11 rebounds and six assists.

Turning point: Rockets SG Carlos Delfino buried a three-pointer that gave them a 95-91 lead with 3:27 left, but the Thunder went on a 10-2 run, punctuated by three-pointers from Durant and SG Thabo Sefolosha. Durant registered the assist on Sefolosha’s shot, finding him open at the top of the key.

Trending downward: Rockets PG Jeremy Lin went 3-for-7 for just seven points, had three assists and four rebounds in only 20 minutes of play. He was no match for Thunder PG Russell Westbrook, who for 29 points, four assists, four steals and five rebounds.

Next: Game 3 is in Houston on Saturday (ESPN, 9:30)

Pacers 113, Hawks 98

Atlanta was hit with three technical fouls and appeared to come unhinged in defeat, but even as Indiana takes a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series there’s hope. The Pacers have lost 11 games in a row, dating to 2006, in Atlanta.

Player of the game: Pacers SF Paul George, who slumped in the final weeks of the regular season, is catching fire at the right time. He led all scorers with 27 points on 11-for-21 shooting, had eight rebounds and four steals.

Turning point: The Pacers went on a 15-1 run, led by PG George Hill with nine points during that stretch, to put game away. The Hawks had been in range, down 95-85 with 8:15 left.

Trending downward: Atlanta’s bench was ineffective. G Shelvin Mack and F Anthony Tolliver led with five points each, and they played a combined 12 minutes.

Next: Game 3 is in Atlanta on Saturday (ESPN, 7)

Thursday's games

There are three Game 3s on tap, starting with the Miami Heat playing at the Milwaukee Bucks (TNT, 7). The Heat lead the series 2-0. The Chicago Bulls got the split on the road to open their series with the Brooklyn Nets and return home tied at 1 (NBATV, 8:30).  The Memphis Grizzlies return home down 2-0 to the Los Angeles Clippers for the late game (TNT, 9:30).