NBA Playoffs – Day 12

Two teams move closer to the next round, while the Rockets bow out.

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Tonight promises to be another eventful evening of basketball. Starting us off is Game 5 between the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat, another series that has spent a lot of its time on NBA TV. It’s tied at two as the home team has one every game, and tonight’s match is down in Miami. The Hornets have been living life without one of their most important players, Nicolas Batum, but the rest of the squad did a good job stepping up to help them tie the series.

In the late game, the Warriors host the Rockets in Game 5 of their series, and they’ll of course be without the league’s MVP, Steph Curry. Nevertheless, they have a chance to put that series to an end, and the Rockets haven’t shown that they can really provide a consistent threat, even with Steph out. That being said, Jason Terry has guaranteed a win tonight, which is always hilarious. Hopefully the Warriors can send the Rockets packing, because, frankly, I’m tired of them being around. They’re a miserable team that’s no fun to watch, and it often seems like they don’t even like being around one another. Then again, the Rockets were down 3-1 to the Clippers in last year’s Playoffs, then won three straight to win the series, so it’s not like they haven’t been in this position before.

There’s a third game tonight, and it’s been banished to NBA TV. It’ll be Game 5 between the Clippers and the Blazers. I would much rather get to see this one, since that series is tied at two, and like I said, I’ve had enough of the Rockets. The Clippers are of course without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can remain competitive, or if this series is already over.

Before we begin, I know you’ve all been worrying about my external hard drive. I stepped on it the other day, and have been providing updates ever since. The store I took it to was unable to recover the data from it, so pour a little out on the ground for a fallen hard drive. Now, let’s get to basketball.

8:00 pm – We’re here in Studio J for the NBA on TNT!

8:03 – I just saw on the ticker that Nicolas Batum is expected to play tonight! He’ll be coming off the bench for the Hornets as they try and snag a win on the road.

8:09 – We’re down in Miami for Game 5 between the Heat and the Hornets! The winner of this game will take an important 3-2 lead in the series. Ian Eagle and Brent Barry will narrate the action for us this evening.

8:11 – The Heat control the opening tip, and we’re underway in Miami. The Hornets are wearing gross sleeved jerseys that say “Buzz City” and look like black pajamas. Anyway, Goran Dragic gets to the hoop and puts in a layup off the glass, putting the Heat up 2-0.

8:13 – Al Jefferson gets a bucket, and the Hornets are on the board, but they’re already down, 6-2.

8:14 – We’ve got our first time out as the Heat are off to a good start with the score Miami 8, Charlotte 2 with 10:03 left in the first quarter. The Heat dominated the two prior games down in Miami, and they’re off to a fast lead here.

8:23 – Frank Kaminsky hits a three, and the Hornets are on an 11-0 run to wipe away the Heat’s hot start. As a result, we’ve got a time out with 5:37 left in the first quarter and the score Charlotte 17, Miami 14. It’s the first time the Hornets have had the lead in any of the games played in Miami this series.

8:35 – Kemba Walker goes for a buzzer beating shot to end the quarter, and he’s fouled! It inspires a “REFS, YOU SUCK!” chant from the crowd, which is one of the lamest chants a crowd can do. Shame on you, Miami. A good ol’ fashioned “BULLSHIT!” chant would have sufficed. Anyway, Kemba Walker’s going to get two free throws here, and he knocks both of them down, giving us a score of Charlotte 28, Miami 25 after one quarter of action.

The Hornets did a great job responding after the Heat came out hitting their first five shots, reminding us of their big blowout wins in the first two games of the series. Hopefully we’re in for a closer game here tonight.

8:41 – Nicolas Batum hits two free throws for the first couple of points in the second quarter. It extends Charlotte’s lead to 30-25.

8:47 – We’ve got a time out as the Hornets have been able to stay ahead. It’s Charlotte 32, Miami 28 with 7:58 left in the first half. The Heat are struggling beyond the arc, shooting just 1-7 on three pointers, while the Hornets are at an excellent 5-10 from downtown.

8:52 – After Jeremy Lin unleashes a no-look pass to Marvin Williams for a layup, we have a time out with the score Charlotte 36, Miami 28 with 6:56 left until halftime. The Heat haven’t scored so far here in the second quarter, and they’re down to 33.3% shooting.

9:01 – We’ve got a time out as the Heat have woken back up with an 8-1 run, putting the score at Charlotte 43, Miami 38 with 3:20 left in the first half.

9:10 – We’ve made it to halftime with the score Charlotte 49, Miami 47. Both teams have had their hot streaks in this one, and both of them have had to fight back, which has gotten us to a one possession game at the halfway point. Al Jefferson has 10 points and 5 rebounds to lead the Hornets. Dwyane Wade has 14 for the Heat, and Luol Deng has contributed with 11. It’s been a solid battle here in Game 5, and hopefully it continues to be a close one in the second half.

9:15 – Time for our first episode of Today in NBA Playoff History! As always, thanks to the researchers over at Basketball-Reference for keeping all of this knowledge.

We’re sticking with the Heat and the Hornets as we travel back to April 27, 2001. There we find the Hornets finishing off a First Round sweep of the Heat with a 94-79 victory in Game 3, back when the First Round was still best of five. Eddie Jones had 22 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Heat, but the Hornets got 21 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists from Jamal Mashburn. Baron Davis also scored 21 for Charlotte, and PJ Brown chipped in with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

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9:28 – Al Jefferson works for a basket in the paint, scoring the first points of the second half and putting Charlotte up, 51-47. Goran Dragic answers with a layup, and it remains a two point game with Miami down, 51-49.

9:29 – Marvin Williams hits a three, and the Hornets lead goes up to 54-49.

9:30 – Joe Johnson answers with his own three, and the Heat trail 54-52.

9:31 – Frank Kaminsky knocks down a three, and the Hornets go back ahead by five at 57-52.

9:32 – Dwyane Wade knocks in a shot off the backboard, and the Heat cut their deficit down to 57-54.

9:33 – Goran Dragic works his way through the paint for a layup, and the Heat have this down to a one point game, trailing 57-56.

9:35 – Luol Deng knocks down a pair of free throws, and the Heat take a 58-57 lead.

9:37 – Dwyane Wade gets a layup despite having his back to the basket, and the Heat are on an 8-0 run, causing the Hornets to call a time out. The score’s Miami 60, Charlotte 57 with 6:01 left in the third quarter.

9:42 – Hassan Whiteside cleans up a missed shot from Joe Johnson, getting a bucket to put the Heat up 62-57. Whiteside’s got 8 points and 10 rebounds on the night so far.

9:43 – Al Jefferson hits a jumper, ending a 10-0 Heat run, and cutting the Hornets deficit to 62-59. Big Al’s got 14 points and 7 boards.

9:44 – Dwyane Wade hits a free throw, extending the Heat’s lead to 63-59.

9:45 – Cody Zeller runs the floor and gets a dunk to finish off a fast break. It cuts the Heat’s lead down to two, and they call a time out with the score Miami 63, Charlotte 61 with 2:56 left in the third quarter.

9:49 – Josh Richardson hits a long two pointer, and the Heat lead expands to 65-61. Kemba Walker answers with a three pointer, and the Hornets trail 65-64.

9:50 – Richardson gets the three points right back, hitting one from the corner to put the Heat ahead, 68-64.

9:53 – The third quarter comes to an end with the score Miami 70, Charlotte 65. The Hornets went cold for a prolonged stretch, but they’re only trailing by five points as the Heat were unable to build a substantial lead. Each team has had their hot and cold stretches, and it’s still anybody’s ball game as we head into the fourth quarter.

9:57 – During the break, a Josh Richardson two pointer was reviewed, and it turns out it was a three! Our amended score is Miami 71, Charlotte 65 as we begin the fourth quarter.

9:58 – Jeremy Lin spins his way to the hoop for a layup, scoring the first points of the fourth and cutting the Hornets deficit down to 71-67.

10:03 – We’ve got a time out with 7:27 left in the game and the score Miami 76, Charlotte 72. The Hornets are hanging in there, but they haven’t been able to put themselves in a position to get the lead here in the fourth quarter.

10:07 – Nicolas Batum knocks down a corner three for his first field goal of the night! More importantly, it cuts this down to a one point game, with the Hornets down 76-75. Hassan Whiteside answers by driving in for a layup, to put the Heat up 78-75.

10:08 – Marvin Williams hits a long two pointer, and it’s back to a one point game with Charlotte behind 78-77.

10:09 – Hassan Whiteside and Cody Zeller drag each other to the ground, with Whiteside called for a foul. It leads to a time out with the score still Miami 78, Charlotte 77 with 5:39 left in the game.

10:12 – Nicolas Batum knocks down a three! It gives the Hornets back the lead at 80-78.

10:13 – Hassan Whiteside goes 1-2 from the free throw line, cutting the Hornets lead down to 80-79. Meanwhile, Game 5 between the Clippers and Trail Blazers is underway out in Los Angeles. Once again, that series is tied at two, and LA will be without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

10:14 – Cody Zeller hits a couple of free throws, extending Charlotte’s lead to 82-79.

10:15 – Dwayne Wade hits two free throws, and the heat are with in one, trailing 82-81. Wade’s up to 21 points tonight.

10:17 – Luol Deng hits a corner three! It leads to a time out as the Heat have retaken the lead. It’s Miami 84, Charlotte 82 with 3:23 left in the ball game!

10:21 – Marvin Williams hits a three for the Hornets! They go back ahead, 85-84. Dwyane Wade quickly gets into the paint and hits a floater, and the Heat lead, 86-85. After Kemba Walker misses a layup, Wade nails a pull up, and Miami extends their lead to 88-85.

10:22 – Jeremy Lin hits a long two pointer, and the Hornets are down one at 88-87.

10:23 – The Heat turn the ball over, and the Hornets get the ball ahead to Courtney Lee for a layup, but Dwayne Wade comes flying in for the block! The Heat get the ball, and they call a time out with the score still Miami 88, Charlotte 87 with one minute left to play. It looked like Wade could have been called for goaltending on that last play, and Courtney Lee is pleading his case to the refs, but they ain’t going to listen.

10:25 – Oh man, that layup attempt definitely hit the backboard, and should have been a goaltend. Does any player get away with more malfeasance than Dwyane Wade does?

10:26 – Kemba Walker misses a shot, but Courtney Lee gets an offensive rebound, then knocks down a three! It makes our score Charlotte 90, Miami 88 with just 25.2 seconds on the clock!

10:28 – Goran Dragic shoots a three, but it’s blocked by Kemba Walker! Dwayne Wade gets the rebound, goes up with it, and it’s blocked by Courtney Lee! The Hornets have the ball, and the Heat foul them to stop the clock. Wade is extremely pissed off at the lack of a foul call on his shot attempt, but the Basketball Gods owed him one after he got away with that goaltend. Anyway, with just 2.6 seconds left, the Hornets have the ball, and a 90-88 lead.

10:31 – The Hornets to go inbound the ball, but the Heat pressure the pass, and the ball goes out of bounds! The refs are reviewing the play to see who’ll have the ball with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Looks like it should be Hornets ball, as Dwyane Wade appears to have gotten a hand on the ball while his foot was out of bounds.

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Dwyane Wade touches the ball with his foot out of bounds, giving the Hornets possession with 2.3 seconds left in the game.

10:33 – Okay, it’s going to be Hornets ball, and the refs added a little bit of time to the clock, so there’ll be 2.3 seconds to go.

10:34 – The Hornets inbound the ball to Cody Zeller, and after the Heat miss out on getting the steal, nobody fouls him, and time expires! Our final score: Charlotte 90, Miami 88. Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points and 8 rebounds, as the team shot 12-24 from three point land. Dwyane Wade had 25 points and 5 rebounds for the Heat, and Hassan Whiteside contributed with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Either team could have won that game, but the Hornets hit some big three pointers down the stretch, and they’ll get out of Miami with a 3-2 series lead, and a chance to clinch the series on their home floor in Game 6.

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10:42 – We’re out in Oakland for Game 5 between the Warriors and Rockets. Grizzled veterans Marv Albert and Mike Fratello will be our narrators. It doesn’t get much better than those two. The Warriors are looking to close out this series without Steph Curry, who is of course out with his MCL injury. Houston’s Jason Terry has guaranteed a win, so here’s hoping the Rockets lose by 45 points.

10:44 – The Rockets control the opening tip, and we’re underway in Oakland. Soon after, Klay Thompson cans a three for the first points of the ball game, giving Golden State a 3-0 lead.

10:45 – Draymond Green nails a three, and the Rockets already need a time out with the score Golden State 6, Houston 0 with 10:46 left in the first quarter. As you might imagine, the always loud Oracle crowd is already raising all sorts of hell with their trademark “WARRIORS!” chant.

10:47 – James Harden hits a three, and the Rockets are finally on the board, trailing 8-3 after giving up eight straight points to start the game.

10:53 – We have another Rockets time out with the score Golden State 23, Houston 14 with 5:39 left in the first quarter. The Warriors are shooting 9-11 from the field, while James Harden is the only Rocket who has hit a field goal, going 5-6 for 12 of their 14 points so far.

11:00 – I can’t explain it, but I have a feeling Dwight Howard is going to get ejected from this game. In other news, we have another time out with the score Golden State 30, Houston 16 with 2:51 left in the first quarter. The Rockets band is already assembling and playing lively ragtime music to try and lighten the mood and quell the panic.

11:07 – Trailing 35-18, the Rockets intentionally foul lousy Warriors free throw shooter Festus Ezeli. He cooperates by missing them both.

11:08 – With the Warriors still ahead, 35-18, after the Rockets commit a horrible turnover, Houston returns to intentionally fouling, this time sending Andre Iguodala to the line. He knocks both of his free throws down, and the Warriors are up 37-18, thanks to a 14-2 run.

11:11 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Golden State 37, Houston 20. Klay Thompson has 11 points to lead the Warriors, and Shawn Livingston is right behind him with 10. James Harden scored 18 points in the quarter, on 6-8 shooting, but the rest of the Rockets are a combined 0-15 from the floor, with their other two points coming from, ironically, a couple of Dwight Howard free throws.

11:15 – Michael Beasley hilariously misses a dunk, but Jason Terry, who guaranteed a win, remember, rebounds the ball and hits a floater for the first points of the second quarter, and the first Rockets field goal from someone other than James Harden. They trail 37-22.

11:19 – We’ve got a time out with the score Golden State 41, Houston 24 with 8:30 left until halftime. There’s not much to say about this one other than the Rockets are playing so horribly, they’ve literally made me laugh a couple of times.

11:26 – We have another time out with the score Golden State 48, Houston 28 with 5:58 left in the first half. A recent play that has summed up the “effort” for the Rockets: even though the ball was going out of bounds off the Warriors, Corey Brewer reaches out and grabs it as it goes by him, only he has his foot on the baseline, putting him out of bounds.

11:31 – Another time out with the score Golden State 48, Houston 30 with 4:39 left until halftime.

11:35 – FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Oh, never mind, it’s nothing, but double technicals are called on Dwight Howard and Draymond Green, after they each slap at each other after getting tangled up under the hoop. It puts Howard halfway to getting ejected!

11:37 – Time out with the score Golden State 52, Houston 37 with 2:26 left in the first half.

11:43 – Rockets coach JB Bickerstaff gets hit with a technical foul for some reason. Klay Thompson misses the technical free throw, but they lead 59-37.

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JB Bickerstaff was just having a tough time.

11:47 – We’ve reached halftime with the score Golden State 59, Houston 37. Shawn Livingston leads the Warriors with 14 points on 6-6 shooting. Klay Thompson has 13 points, and Draymond Green is working on a hefty stat line with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. James Harden is the only Rocket that has shown up tonight, scoring 25 of their 37 points. Jason Terry, who guaranteed a win, has 0 points on 0-3 shooting. Great stuff.

11:55 – Let’s take our minds off this terrible game with another episode of Today in NBA Playoff History!

We’re going to go back to April 27, 1991, and while this might cheer up the rest of us, it’s not going to help any Rockets fans because on that day, Magic Johnson dropped 21 dimes on them, leading the Lakers to a 109-98 victory in Game 2 of their First Round series. Magic finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds and those 21 assists, offsetting a 31 point effort from Houston’s Vernon Maxwell. Hakeem Olajuwon scored 23 and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Rockets, but James Worthy went for 29 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, and Vlade Divac added 23 points and 10 rebounds to compliment Magic’s fantastic effort.

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12:03 am – Oh yeah, there’s another game going on right now, and they just reached the end of the third quarter…

…I’d much rather be watching that game, even though this Warriors/Rockets game has been entertaining in a horrible way.

12:05 – Donatas Montiejuanas banks in a shot, and the Rockets score first in the second half, but they have a ton of work to do, down 59-39.

12:06 – We have a time out after Montiejunas knocks down a three, and suddenly, the Rockets are rampaging on a 5-0 run. It’s Golden State 59, Houston 42 with 10:41 left in the third quarter.

12:12 – James Harden runs right into Andrew Bogut, extending his arms into Bogut’s chest…and Bogut is the one that gets called for a foul. Whatever. I might be more riled up about it if the outcome of this game was even close to being in question.

12:17 – We have a time out as the Warriors are on an 8-0 run after Shawn Livingston gets a jumper to go down. It’s Golden State 69, Houston 45 with 7:05 left in the third quarter.

12:22 – Klay Thompson hits a three, and the Warriors are now on a 17-2 run to make the score Golden State 78, Houston 47 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.

12:27 – Time for a time out with the score Golden State 78, Houston 54 with 3:57 left in the third quarter.

12:37 – We’re here at the end of the third quarter and the score’s Golden State 89, Houston 59. There’s thankfully just one more quarter left, and then we don’t have to watch the 2015-16 Houston Rockets play basketball ever again.

12:39 – We have a final score out in Los Angeles!

As that tweet says, the Trail Blazers are now up 3-2 in that series, and can close it out at home in Game 6. You have to feel bad for the Clippers, who are without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but you also have to feel good for the Trail Blazers, a team that nobody even expected to make the Playoffs before the season started.

12:41 – Michael Beasley gets the Rockets the first points of the fourth quarter, cutting their deficit down to 89-61.

12:46 – James Harden knocks down a three, and he’s up to 35 points on the night. Unfortunately, that’s half of the Rockets output, and with 7:07 left in the game, the score’s Golden State 97, Houston 70.

12:55 – Another time out with the score Golden State 102, Houston 72 with 5:09 left in the game. Looks like the Rockets band has one more time out left in them before they throw in the towel and play “Nearer My God To Thee”.

12:59 – The Warriors take a time out with the score Golden State 104, Houston 74 with 3:26 left in the game, and let’s hand it over to the Houston Rockets band…

1:02 – Another time out with the score Golden State 106, Houston 76 with 2:41 left in the game. All of the random bench guys are in the game, with the exception of Dwight Howard, who is for some reason still out there. He’ll be the one that says, “Gentlemen, it’s been a privilege playing with you tonight,” to his teammates at the end of the game as they roll their eyes and slink off of the court.

1:09 – The final buzzer sounds, after Dwight Howard takes a three, you know, just for the hell of it. It misses, and our final score is Golden State 114, Houston 81. Klay Thompson led the way with 27 points for the Warriors, and Draymond Green finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. James Harden led, well, led is maybe the wrong word, but he was the only Rocket that managed to not embarrass himself, finishing with 35 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Dwight Howard, somehow managed to play 45 minutes in a blowout, and finished with 8 points and 21 rebounds, and yet still somehow found a way to be useless. I already feel bad for the team that he ends up on next season. Oh, and Jason Terry, who guaranteed a win, was not only hilariously wrong, he also finished with 0 points on 0-8 shooting. Amazing.

The Warriors came out strong from the start, making it clear that this series was going to be ending tonight, and thank goodness. That Rockets team was a joke, and it’s time for them to go away. Meanwhile, the Warriors wrap up the series with a 4-1 win, and will await the winner of the Clippers/Blazers series. Hopefully in the meantime, Steph Curry can get some much needed rest as he continues to recover from his injury.

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The Warriors wave goodbye to the lowly Rockets.

That’s it for tonight! The Hornets and Blazers moved closer to the second round, while the Warriors secured their spot in the Conference Semifinals, dispatching the lowly Houston Rockets from the Playoffs. The blowouts we’ve seen in these Playoffs have been hard to watch, but the one the Rockets just suffered through seemed well deserved. Now let us never speak of them again.

Author: tomeagher

Watching too much basketball.

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