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NBA Playoffs Journal, May 8
by Larry Ness - 05/08/2014
Home teams won both games on Wednesday, for the second straight night. The Pacers and Thunder each won, evening their respective series at one-all. Roy Hibbert, who had averaged 4.6 PPG and 3.3 RPG through his first eight postseason games this year, finally came through for Indiana, scoring 28 points (on 10 of 13 shooting), while grabbing nine rebounds and adding two blocks.
Despite Hibbert's big night, the Pacers found themselves down 77-74 with just under five minutes remaining, before a 6-0 spurt gave them a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Indiana held on for an 86-82 victory but failed to cover as a 4 1/2-point favorite. Washington's Gortat had 21 & 11 but of the Wizards' top-three scorers this postseason, only Beal played OK in Game 2 with 17 points. Wall and Ariza each scored just six points, Wall making only 2 of 13 FGs and Ariza making just 2 of 8.
Like Indiana, OKC evened its series at one-all with the Clippers but unlike the Pacers, the Thunder were able to earn the ATS win with a 112-101 victory. OKC was led by its two main (only) stars, as Durant just missed a triple-double (32-12-9) and Westbrook produced his third triple-double in his last five games (31-10-10). Paul had 17 and 11 assists for LA and Griffin had 15 (six rebounds) but sixth-man deluxe Crawford had just seven points on 2 of 13 shooting (including 1 of 7 on threes).
Home teams will take a four-game winning streak into Thursday's two contests but are still a modest 30-26 SU this postseason (.536) and 22-31-1 ATS (41.5% or minus-12.1 net games). Under players cashed both tickets last night but over bettors are still way ahead, as there have been 36 overs and 20 unders so far this postseason (64.3 percent in favor of the over). "Zig-Zaggers" just missed winning both games (Pacers were a half-point loser) but remain a profitable 26-15-3 ATS (plus-9.5 net games).
ESPN2 airs tonight's doubleheader with both home teams (Hand Spurs) leading 1-0, after dominating wins in Game 1. The Heat won their Game 1 by 21 points and tonight are favored by 7 1/2 points (total is 192). The Spurs won their Game 1 by 24 points and are favored by seven points, tonight (total is 208).