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NBA Playoff Journal, April 26

   by Larry Ness - 04/26/2016

Playoff Journal (April 26)

On Monday afternoon it was reported that Curry will miss at least the next two weeks with a sprained right MCL. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 sprain, the lowest sprain possible. "From our perspective, relatively good news," Warriors GM Bob Myers said Monday. Curry is scheduled to be re-evaluated in two weeks, the team said. Then came this from Monday evening. Chris Paul fractured his right hand with 6:07 left in the third quarter of LA's Game 4 with Portland. He will be re-evaluated on Tuesday in Los Angeles but team sources indicated that surgery will likely be needed and that the normal recovery time for the injury is anywhere from three to six weeks. Barring a better prognosis from new X-rays after swelling has subsided, Paul is unlikely to return this season.

"It doesn't look good for him," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. Shortly after Paul suffered his injury, Blake Griffin suffered a left quad injury that limited him in the fourth quarter before he sat out the final 5:48 of the game."It's tough," Griffin said. "It's not easy dealing with injuries, especially this time of year." Rivers said there was a "50-50" chance Griffin would be available for Wednesday's Game 5. "It doesn't look good for him, either" Rivers said.

The Blazers pulled away in the 4th quarter of last night's game, outscoring the Clippers 32-20 in a 98-84 win which evened the series at two-all. Aminu scored a career high 30 points (added 10 rebounds) plus Mason Plumlee had a second straight strong game. After grabbing 21 rebounds and handing out nine assists in Game 3, he had 14 rebounds and dished out 10 assists last night. In Monday's other Game 4, the Hornets evened their series with the Heat at two-all with an 89-85 victory.

Kemba Walker scored a career playoff-high 34 points, while Lin added 21 points off the bench (he led all Hornets in Game 3's win with 18 points). The Heat again had MAJOR problems on the offensive end of the court. Miami won Games 1 and 2 at home while scoring 123 points (on 57.6% shooting) and 115 points (on 57.9% shooting) but after scoring only 80 points in Game 3 (on 34.2% shooting), the Heat didn't do much better in Game 4, scoring 85 points on 39.5% shooting.

With those two Game 4s "in the books," home teams went 9-7 SU (10-6 ATS) in this second set of 16 games (home teams being the lower-seeded team), after going 14-2 (11-5) in the first set of 16 games, where the higher-seeded team was at home. The first series to reach a Game 5 was Dallas/OKC and the Thunder eliminated the Mavs last night with a 118-104 victory. Westbrook had 36-12-9 and Durant scored 33, after his 19-point effort in Game 4. Starting center Adams had 15 & 10, just his second career playoff double-double, in his 23rd career postseason contest. The Mavs had SIX players reach double digits but they couldn't match the Thunder score-for-score.

Two more Game 5s are on tap Tuesday, as TNT covers both. Home teams are 24-9 SU so far, going 21-12 ATS (63.6%). Twenty-three of the 33 games have stayed "under " (that's 70%!) and "Zig-Zaggers" check in at 14-11 or plus-1.9 net games. The Pacers are at the Raptors at 6:05 ET, followed by the Celtics at the Hawks at 8:35 ET. Both series are deadlocked at two-all. Toronto is favored by points and Atlanta by points.

Wednesday's journal by 12 noon ET.

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