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Playoff Journal -- May 23

   by Larry Ness - 05/23/2012

The Heat played their best game of the 2012 playoffs last night, rolling over the Pacers, 115-83. As expected, LBJ had 30-10-8 (his 45th career 30-point playoff game) and Wade added 28 points. Battier got the start and chipped in 13 while the Heat bench got plenty of work (due to the blowout) and contributed 34 points. Miami shot 61.4 percent from the floor, including 9-of-16 on threes. It marked a franchise-best single-game shooting percentage for Miami in the postseason and is the best of any team in the playoffs this season.

The Pacers were riding pretty high after holding Miami to 75 points each, in both Game 2 and 3 but they haven't been ready for prime time, since. Indiana's leading scorer, Danny Granger, took just six shots (had 10 points) while the team's other four starters combined to make only 14-of-41 FG attempts (34.1 percent). To add insult to injury, Granger left with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and departed the arena in a walking boot, while West left with what the Pacers called a left knee sprain at the end of that period.

Game 6 is set for Indiana on Thursday and the early number is Miami minus-three (total is 181). The Western Conference finals open Sunday in San Antonio, with the Spurs favored about 2-to-1 over the Thunder in the series. It's San Antonio minus-5 1/2 with a total of 204 1/2 in Game 1. Game 6 of the Boston/Philadelphia series (Celtics lead 3-2) goes tonight (8:00 ET on ESPN), with Philly favored by 1 1/2 points (total is 175 1/2).

Home teams are doing well in the second round, going 12-7 SU and 11-8 ATS (were 29-15 SU but just 23-20-1 ATS in the 1st round). Over bettors continue to make inroads, as last night's game went over, meaning over bettors have cashed in EIGHT of the last nine games (exception being SA/LAC Game 3 on Saturday). It's now 12 overs and seven unders this round, after 27 of 44 games went under in the first round.

"Zig Zaggers" were 4-0 ATS to open the second round but lost both plays last Thursday. However, it was a good weekend for "Zig Zaggers," as they went 5-1 Friday-Sunday before going 1-2 the last two nights. Still, it's 10-5 ATS in the second round for those following the Zig Zag theory, after they finished the first round at 16-19-1, after starting 5-1). The current postseason record stands at 26-24-1 ATS, or minus-0.4 net games (Wednesday's play is on the 76ers).

Good luck...Larry

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