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NBA Playoff Journal - Tues., Apr. 30

   by Larry Ness - 04/30/2013

NBA Playoff Journal (Tuesday, April 30)

We had two blowouts and one ‘barn-burner’ in last night’s three-game NBA schedule. The Nets didn’t break open their Game 5 with the Bulls unil the 4th quarter but their 33-18 advantage in the final period led to a 110-91 win. Brooklyn staved off elimination by ending a three-game slide in the series and now head back to Chicago for Game 6 on Thursday. Brook Lopez continued his excellent series, scoring 28 points and adding 10 rebounds (23.6 & 8.0 for the series) while D-Will chipped in 23 points and 10 assists. All five Chicago starters scored in double digits and while the Bulls shot 49.3 percent, they still lost by 19 points.

The Hawks opened a 57-40 halftime lead over the Pacers, much like in Game 3 when they took a 54-30 halftime lead. This score was much closer than Game 3’s 90-69 final but not close enough for Indiana or its supporters (read bettors), as the Hawks held off the Pacers to win 102-91. Horford was the star in Game 3 (26 & 16) but Josh Smith earned the ‘spotlight’ in Game 4 with 29 & 11. Let’s also not forget Kyle Korver, who has come off the bench the last two games (it's worked), as he had 19 points while converting 5-of-8 three pointers. The Pacers averaged 110.0 PPG in winning Games 1 & 2 at home but have now scored 69 and 91 points, while shooting 27.2% (Game 3) and 38.1% (Game 4), going a combined 11-of-48 (22.9%) on threes in the two games in Atlanta. The Hawks have now won 13 straight in Atlanta against the Pacers, going 11-2 ATS.

The Thunder and Rockets treated all viewers to a third straight ‘rollercoaster’ of a game last night. After a 120-91 Game 1 blowout by OKC, the last three games have been decided by three, three and two points. The games have been highlighted by huge swings, as the teams have traded HUGE runs. Last night’s game was no different and it came down to the final possession. OKC had a chance to win or send the game into OT on its last possession but Ibaka ‘short-armed’ a follow-up of a Jackson miss at the buzzer, as the Rockets escaped with a 105-103 win. Chandler Parsons had a ‘coming out party,’ just missing a triple-double with 27-10-8. Harden only scored 15 points and also made 10 turnovers, in a performance which almost cost his team the win. The teams meet Wednesday in OKC for Game 5.

Home teams delivered a PERFECT 3-0 SU and ATS evening, as did the over. Home teams are now 25-8 SU and 19-14 ATS, while overs and unders are right at “the Mendoza Line,” at 16-16-1. Those following the Zig Zag theory got to ‘stop the bleeding;’ with a 2-1 night, after losing NINE of their last nine plays. Doing the math, “Zig-Zaggers” are 11-14 ATS for the postseason, minus-4.4 net games. Two, Game 5s are on tap Tuesday night, both on TNT. It’s the Warriors at the Nuggets at 8:05 ET (Denver is minus-8 with a total of 211 1/2) and at 10:35 ET, it's the Grizzlies at the Clippers (LA is favored by 5 1/2 with a total of 179 1/2).

The Nuggets are down 3-1 in games and in danger of losing in the first round for the NINTH time in the last 10 postseasons. Can Karl get his team turned around? Denver escaped with a a two-point win in Game 1 but has then lost THREE in a row, as playing without David Lee and his 18.5 & 11.2, the Warriors have gone with a small lineup and shot “lights-out!”Read this & weep Denver's fans (or bettors). The Warriors shot 64.6 percent in Game 2 (including 14-of-25 on threes), 52.5 percent in Game 3 (including 8-of-20 on threes) and 55.7 percent in Game 4 (including 11-of-26 on threes). Curry’s averaged 30.0 PPG in the last thee games, leading a Golden St team which has averaged 118.7 PPG. Then again, Denver is a great home team and the Nuggets are desperate.

Most thought the the Clipper/Grizzlies series had a chance to go seven games, just like it did last year (Clippers won a Game 7 in Memphis). This series has seen the home team win all four games, going 3-1 ATS. It’s simple. Randolph and Gasol dominated in Memphis in Games 3 and 4, after being neutralized in Games 1 and 2 in LA. Does that scenario play itself out again back in Staples Center? We’ll see. I’ll be back with Wednesday’s journal at 2:00 ET.

Good luck...Larry

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