With three Game 6s tonight, this could be the last night of the First Round! Three teams are looking to advance to the Conference Semifinals, and three others are looking to force a Game 7.
The first game has been banished to NBA TV and ESPNews. I knew I didn’t have NBA TV, but imagine my surprise when I discovered I didn’t have ESPNews. Oh well. It means I’ll be missing out on Game 6 between the Raptors and the Pacers. The Raptors are up 3-2 after their come from behind victory the other night. If they’re going to advance to the second round tonight, they’ll have to do it on the road in Indianapolis. Each team has snagged a win on the other’s home floor, and Paul George has already said that he’s willing to play the entire 48 minutes, so that one could be a memorable game, which I will unfortunately not be able to see.
As for the games I do get to see, first there’s Game 6 between the Heat and the Hornets. The Heat are the higher seeded team, but they’re down 3-2 and are facing elimination on the road in Charlotte. After getting killed in the first two games, the Hornets have won three straight to put the Heat on the brink. The good news for the Heat is that if there’s a Game 7, it’ll be on their home floor, but they’ve got to get themselves there first. As for the Hornets, they’ll be without reserve center Spencer Hawes for tonight, and possibly beyond, after he sprained his MCL in Game 5.
Later in the night, it’s Game 6 between the Clippers and Trail Blazers. LA has of course suffered injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Game 4, and were unable to survive without them at home in Game 5. Now, they’re up in the rowdy Moda Center in Portland, looking to stay alive and force a Game 7. They might be facing the biggest challenge of the night, and a defeat would mean another disappointing Playoff loss for Los Angeles, a round earlier than usual.
8:00 – We’re here in Charlotte for Game 6 between the Heat and the Hornets. We’re on ESPN tonight, so Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are on my TV. The Lakers should hire Mark Jackson as their next coach, and the Rockets should bring Jeff Van Gundy back to Houston, just to do a public service to basketball watchers everywhere. Then, Doug Collins can leave the ESPN studio and do color commentary with Mike Breen. There, I just made watching basketball on ESPN a hundred times better.
8:06 – One quarter is down over in Indianapolis…
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) April 30, 2016
8:10 – Hassan Whiteside wins the opening tip, and the Heat have the ball to start the game.
8:11 – Luol Deng hits a jumper, and Miami scores first, but Kemba Walker comes right back with a layup, and this one starts off tied at two.
8:20 – Kemba Walker gets to the hoop for a nifty layup, and the Heat call the first time out of the ball game with the score Charlotte 18, Miami 11 with 5:07 left in the first quarter. Walker’s on fire early, and he’s been aggressively attacking the basket to help get the Hornets off to this early lead.
8:26 – Another time out as the Heat have scored seven straight points, tying us up with the score Charlotte 18, Miami 18 with 3:14 left in the first quarter.
8:33 – Allen Iverson sighting! He’s courtside checking out this Game 6. Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are distracted by his presence, and are talking more about him than they are the actual game.
8:34 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Miami 27, Charlotte 24. Luol Deng has 11 points for the Heat, who are shooting 63.2% from the floor. Kemba Walker’s scored nine for the Hornets to help keep this one close.
8:41 – Halftime in Indianapolis!
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) April 30, 2016
8:42 – Kemba Walker gets all the way to the hoop for another nice layup, scoring the first points of the second quarter, cutting the Heat lead down to 27-26.
8:46 – We’ve got a time out as this game continues to remain close. The score’s Charlotte 34, Miami 33 with 8:36 left until halftime.
8:54 – Time out with the score Miami 44, Charlotte 38 with 6:09 to go until halftime. The Heat are doing a good job on defense, particularly with Justise Winslow guarding Jeremy Lin. So far, the rookie has held Lin to 0-6 shooting.
9:02 – Another time out with the score Miami 52, Charlotte 44 with 2:57 left in the first half. The Heat’s defense has continued to hold the Hornets off, while their offense remains over 60% shooting.
9:13 – We’re here at halftime with the score Miami 59, Charlotte 50. Luol Deng has 16 points to lead the Heat, and Dwyane Wade has scored 13. Miami’s found the hot shooting they had back in Games 1 & 2, as they’re at an even 60% for the game. They’re also out-rebounding the Hornets, 23-11, and it’s helped them get their lead up to nine. Kemba Walker leads the Hornets with 15 points, and Cody Zeller has come off the bench to contribute 12 points, but they’ve got some work to do, or else they’ll be headed back down to Miami for a Game 7.
9:19 – It’s time for Today in NBA Playoff History! Big thanks to the gate keepers over at Basketball-Reference for guarding all of the important basketball knowledge.
Back on April 29, 1992, the first Playoff series in Miami Heat came to an end with a 119-114 defeat against the Chicago Bulls, who finished them off with a 3-0 sweep. Current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan dropped 56 points on the Heat in that game, and I’m sure he wishes he could get out of his courtside seat and drop another 56 on Miami right now. Jordan added five rebounds and five assists, and Scottie Pippen added 31 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists for the Bulls, who overcame a spirited effort from Miami’s first Playoff team. Glen Rice scored 25 points and grabbed 6 rebounds for Miami, and Rony Seikaly went for 22 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to best another legendary evening game from MJ.
9:30 – Al Jefferson works his way to a hook shot in the paint, and it’s good enough for the first points of the third quarter, cutting the Hornets deficit down to 59-52.
9:31 – They’re heading into the fourth quarter over in Indianapolis!
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
9:38 – We’ve got a time out with the score Miami 64, Charlotte 57 with 6:47 left in the third quarter. The Hornets have stepped up their defense as they try and close the gap, but they’re going to have to start hitting some more shots if they’re going to take the lead.
9:46 – The Heat take a time out as the Hornets are creeping closer and closer to them. It’s Miami 69, Charlotte 64 with 4:31 left in the third quarter.
9:50 – Al Jefferson works around Hassan Whiteside for a layup, plus he’s fouled! He misses the free throw, but it’s a one possession game with the Hornets trailing 69-66.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
9:51 – Goran Dragic hits a jumper, but Jefferson comes back with another basket, keeping it a three point game with the Hornets now behind 71-68.
9:54 – Dragic leans in with a runner to put the Heat up 73-68.
9:58 – We’re here at the end of the third quarter with the score Miami 75, Charlotte 70. The Hornets ramped up their defense, and the crowd got behind them, and they’ve got a good chance to take this game away from the Heat as we enter the fourth quarter. As for Miami, after shooting 60% in the first half, they’re down to 48.4% after going cold in the third quarter to allow the Hornets back into the game.
10:02 – Nicolas Batum has apparently hurt his ankle and is doubtful to return to the game. Unfortunate news for the Hornets as they try to take charge of this game.
10:03 – Jeremy Lin gets us our first bucket of the fourth quarter,his first of the game, and it makes it a three point game with the Hornets down 75-72.
10:04 – Udonis Haslem knocks down two free throws, extending the heat lead to 77-72.
10:05 – Kemba Walker goes in for a tough layup, and it cuts the Hornets deficit down to 77-74. Dwyane Wade follows it up by hitting his first bucket of the second half to put the Heat back up five at 79-74.
10:07 – Courtney Lee sneaks in to tip in a miss, and it’s his first basket of the game, and we have a three point game again. It doesn’t last long, as Hassan Whiteside gets a hook shot in the paint to put Miami ahead, 81-76.
10:08 – We have a final score out of Indianapolis, and we’re going to have a Game 7!
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
…we also have a time out here in Charlotte with the score Heat 81, Hornets 76 with 7:45 left in the game. Charlotte’s playing hard, but they can’t keep trading baskets with Miami if they’re going to make a move towards the lead.
10:11 – BREAKING NEWS FROM BEYOND THE PLAYOFFS!
OFFICIAL: Lakers Announce Agreement With Luke Walton to Become New Head Coach: https://t.co/FNUOe1uCZ0
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 30, 2016
That’s probably the first good news the Lakers have had in three years. Walton of course coached the Warriors during the first half of the season while their head coach, Steve Kerr, recovered from back surgery. I’ve always liked Walton, and he certainly earned a head coaching job. He used to play for the Lakers, and won two championship with them, so you’d think I wouldn’t like him, being a Celtics fan and all, but he’s the son of Bill Walton, so he’s got immunity.
10:15 – The Heat are starting to pull away from the Hornets, and we have a time out with the score Miami 85, Charlotte 76 with 6:05 left in the ball game. Things are starting to go awry for the Hornets, and they even just got called for a five second violation after being unable to inbound the ball in the allotted time.
10:20 – Kemba Walker knocks down a step-back three! It leads to a time out as the Hornets are knocking on the door once again. It’s Miami 85, Charlotte 81 with 4:45 on the clock. Walker’s up to 30 points on the night.
K3MBA!!!!!! Hornets cut it to 4! pic.twitter.com/DNMJv58Aa8
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 30, 2016
10:26 – Hassan Whiteside just fouled out for the Heat, and they’ll be without their defensive anchor for the rest of the game. They’re ahead 90-83 with under three minutes remaining. Whiteside finishes with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.
10:29 – Kemba Walker drives baseline for a reverse layup! He’s scored 12 in a row for the Hornets, and he’s made it a two point game! It’s Miami 90, Charlotte 88 with 1:33 remaining! Can the Hornets finally take a lead after lurking down the stretch, or will the Heat hold them off?
10:32 – We have another time out after the Heat get called for a shot clock violation. There’s 1:16 left in the game, and the score’s still Miami 90, Charlotte 88.
10:33 – Dwyane Wade knocks down a three! It’s his second of the fourth quarter, after not hitting one since December. Ridiculous. It leads to a time out with the score now Miami 93, Charlotte 88 with just 46 seconds to go.
10:36 – Kemba Walker dumps it off to Al Jefferson for a bucket in the paint, and the Hornets now trail 93-90. Wade follows that up by hitting a jumper for the Heat! It leads to a time out with the score Miami 95, Charlotte 90 with 19.5 seconds left. Bonus points because he’s been yelling back and forth with a ridiculously dressed fan sitting in the front row.
10:38 – Kemba Walker gets to the hoop for a layup, but it’s blocked by Wade! The replay shows, that, as usual, he got away with a foul after hitting Walker on the head after the block. This is why people think he’s a dirty player. I’d be more angry, but the ridiculously dressed courtside fan is being super obnoxious and won’t stop yelling at Wade, who just personally put away the home team. Sit down, courtside fan.
10:40 – This game comes to an end with the final score Miami 97, Charlotte 90. Dwyane Wade took over the game down the stretch, like all of the great ones do, finishing with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks, not to mention some trash talking with the Purple Shirt Guy, as Twitter has immediately started to call him. PSG is probably 100% responsible for the Hornets loss, fueling Wade’s fourth quarter by pissing him off. Hopefully he gets banned from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. Oh, and Luol Deng scored 21. For the Hornets, a fantastic effort from Kemba Walker went for naught. He scored 37 points and dished out 5 assists, but Charlotte fell short thanks to Wade’s stellar play, and the Purple Shirt Guy. Both teams now head back to Miami for Game 7 on Sunday.
10:41 – Oh man, not much time to breathe, as we’re suddenly in Portland for Game 6 between the Trail Blazers and the injury depleted Clippers! We already know there’ll be two Game 7s, are we in for one more? Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown will narrate.
10:44 – The Blazers fans start off the game with a rousing “BEAT LA!” chant. While I applaud their enthusiasm, that chant really needs to be reserved for the Lakers. Anyway, the Blazers win the opening tip, and we’re underway!
10:45 – The Clippers are wearing their awful black alternate jerseys, while the Blazers have on their Rip City jerseys, which would be great if they didn’t have sleeves.
10:46 – Coach’s son Austin Rivers gets to the hoop for a layup, and the Clippers score first and take a 2-0 lead.
10:47 – CJ McCollum gets a layup, and the Blazers are on the board, trailing 4-2.
10:53 – Oh dear, Austin Rivers gets inadvertently hit with an Al-Farouq Aminu elbow right in the nose, and there’s blood all over his face. Obviously, the Clippers can’t afford any more injuries, so this is a very unfortunate turn of events. It leads to a time out with the score Los Angeles 11, Portland 9 with 6:46 left in the first quarter. Hopefully Rivers is okay, but that was definitely a lot of blood.
10:56 – We’re back, and Rivers was helped off to the locker room with the trainer holding a towel up to his face.
11:04 – We have a time out as the Clippers have seemed deflated since the Austin Rivers injury. It’s Portland 22, Los Angeles 17 with 2:51 left in the first quarter.
11:12 – Here at the end of the first quarter, it’s Portland 24, Los Angeles 24. The Clippers responded well after the Blazers had taken the lead, and it’s all even after one. Damian Lillard has come out strong for Portland, scoring 14 points as he seems intent on this series ending tonight.
11:17 – Jeff Green hits a one handed turnaround near the baseline, and the Clippers score first in the second quarter to take a 26-24 lead.
11:19 – CJ McCollum spins his way from the baseline to the paint for a layup, plus he’s fouled! Before he’ll get a chance to shoot his free throw, we’ll have a time out with the score Los Angeles 30, Portland 28 with 9:04 left until halftime.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
11:23 – McCollum hits his free throw, and it’s a one point game with the Blazers behind 30-29.
11:25 – Sideline reporter Lisa Salters tells us that Austin Rivers is getting stitches on two cuts that he suffered during the first quarter incident. He’s also probable to return to the game. Meanwhile, we have another time out, as Portland has retaken the lead. It’s Trail Blazers 36, Clippers 34 with 6:24 left in the first half.
11:33 – Austin Rivers returns to the Clippers with 11 stitches on two different cuts around his left eye.
11:36 – Tied at 37, the Blazers intentionally foul lousy free throw shooter DeAndre Jordan to send him to the free throw line. Meanwhile, Rivers is off the bench and back into the game. Jordan goes 1-2 from the line, and the Clippers go up, 38-37.
11:39 – We’ve got a time out with the score Portland 42, Los Angeles 40 with 3:15 left until halftime. I have to hand it to the Clippers, they’re doing a great job hanging in there in the face of all of their injuries, and being in a tough place for a road team to play. Will they be able to keep it up?
11:43 – More intentional fouling to send DeAndre Jordan to the free throw line. He air-balls the first one, much to the delight of the fans. He misses the second one as well, and the Blazers maintain their 42-40 lead.
11:44 – Now the Clippers take a time out, likely to remove DeAndre Jordan from the game to put an end of the intentional fouling. It’s still Portland 42, Los Angeles 40 with 2:18 remaining until halftime.
11:51 – CJ McCollum makes a great move to get to the hoop for a layup with 0.6 seconds left on the clock. It takes us into halftime with the score Portland 50, Los Angeles 48. Damian Lillard still has 14 points, and CJ McCollum is right behind him with 11. Mason Plumlee, who’s having a great series for Portland, has 6 points and 11 rebounds already. Jamal Crawford has come off the Clippers bench for 22 points on 7-10 shooting as he tries to keep his team in the game. It’s been a great first half so far, and the Clippers aren’t going down easily. Let’s see if one of these teams can take control in the second half.
11:57 – Time for another exciting episode of Today in NBA Playoff History!
The Blazers have a chance to close out this series tonight, but back on April 29, 2001, they were expelled from the First Round of the Playoffs with a 99-86 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, finishing off a sweep. Damon Stoudamire and Steve Smith, who we’ve seen announcing games for TNT during these Playoffs, each scored 25 points for Portland. However, Shaq went for 25 points and 15 rebounds for LA, and Kobe Bryant had 22 points and 9 assists to help finish off the Trail Blazers.
12:09 am – Maurice Harkless hits a three from the corner for the first points of the second half, giving the Blazers a 53-48 lead.
12:10 – Austin Rivers gets into the paint and hits a floater, despite the fact that his left eye is basically shut. It keeps the Clippers within three, trailing 53-50.
Stitched up and gettin’ buckets. 💪🏀https://t.co/dJpWbTgNpA
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 30, 2016
12:11 – Rivers misses a floater this time, but DeAndre Jordan tips it in, and it’s a one point game with the Clippers behind 53-52. On the next possession, Rivers gets a steal, gets it up to Luc Mbah a Moute under the hoop, who pump fakes, draws a foul and gets the bucket. He hits his free throw, too, and the Clippers go ahead, 55-53.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
12:13 – JJ Redick nails a three, and the Clippers have scored ten straight points to take a 58-53 lead.
12:14 – Al-Farouq Aminu cans a three, and the Blazers put an end to the Clippers run and trail 58-56. On the next possession, Damian Lillard knocks down a three of his own, and the Blazers go back on top, 59-58.
12:15 – Austin Rivers gets back into the paint for another floater, but Maurice Harkless answers with the Blazers third straight three, giving them a 62-60 lead. After that Damian Lillard goes baseline for a nifty reverse layup, extending Portland’s lead up to 64-60 as the home team is suddenly on an 11-2 run.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
12:17 – Austin Rivers nails two free throws to make it a two point game with the Clippers trailing 64-62. One of his cuts also seems to be opening back up a little bit.
12:18 – Maurice Harkless hits another three! It’s his third of the quarter, and the Blazers go up 67-62!
12:19 – None other than DeAndre Jordan hits two free throws, cutting the Clippers deficit down to 67-64. Harkless answers by going baseline for a layup, but Jamal Crawford takes it to the hoop for the Clippers, and they keep it a three point game, down 69-66.
12:20 – DeAndre Jordan gets a nice looking layup off of a nice pass from Austin Rivers, but Al Farouq-Aminu knocks down yet another Trail Blazers three, and they go ahead 72-68.
12:21 – We have a time out with the score still Portland 72, Los Angeles 68 with 5:05 left in what’s been a great third quarter so far. The Blazers have gotten hot from three point territory, hitting six so far in the quarter, but the Clippers aren’t going away as both teams fight for control of the game.
12:24 – Austin Rivers gets to the hoop for a layup, and it’s a two point game with the Clippers behind 72-70.
12:25 – Rivers takes it to the paint for another layup! We’re tied up at 72 and Rivers is playing really well here, despite the eleven stitches that are surrounding his left eye.
12:26 – Damian Lillard draws a foul against Austin Rivers as he’s shooting a three. Lillard hits all three free throws, putting the Blazers up, 75-72.
12:27 – DeAndre Jordan hits a little shot in the paint, keeping the Clippers close as they now trail 75-74. On the next possession, Austin Rivers nails a three! The Clippers take the lead at 77-75.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
12:28 – Damian Lillard cans a three! Portland’s back on top, 78-77! Jamal Crawford gets a jumper to answer and put the Clippers on top, 79-78.
12:29 – Jamal Crawford misses a floater, but DeAndre Jordan slams it home! The Clippers take a three point lead at 81-78.
12:33 – Ndamukong Suh sighting! The Miami Dolphins star is in the front row taking in this here basketball game. He just witnessed Austin Rivers go 1-2 from the free throw line to extend the Clippers lead to 82-78.
12:34 – Damian Lillard misses a three, but Allan Crabbe rises up and tips it in! It makes it a two point game with the Blazers trailing, 82-80.
12:35 – Whew, we’ve reached the end of what had to have been one of the best quarters of the Playoffs so far. The score’s Los Angeles 82, Portland 80. Austin Rivers scored 14 points in the quarter, despite having one of his eyes basically shut. Meanwhile, the Blazers got hot from downtown and both teams got into a great offensive rhythm. Are we going to have a third Game 7, or will the Blazers pull back ahead and close this one out?
12:39 – CJ McCollum goes 1-2 from the line for the first point of the fourth quarter, cutting the Clippers lead in half as the Blazers now trail, 82-81.
12:40 – Gerald Henderson knocks down a jumper, and the lead goes back to the Blazers at 83-82. Austin Rivers gets the lead back for the Clippers with a strange little hook shot in the paint, and they go up, 84-83.
12:41 – CJ McCollum hits a pair of free throws, and the Trail Blazers go up, 85-84.
12:42 – Jeff Green goes 1-2 from the line, tying us up at 85.
12:44 – Alan Crabbe cans a three, and the Clippers call a time out. It’s Portland 88, Los Angeles 85 with 8:41 left in the ball game.
12:47 – JJ Redick hits a jumper, and it’s a one point game again, with the Clippers trailing, 88-87.
12:49 – Ed Davis puts the ball in the hoop, extending Portland’s lead to 90-87.
12:50 – After Jeff Green misses a three, the Blazers go on the fast break, finishing it off with a layup from Al-Farouq Aminu! It gets the Trail Blazers lead up to 92-87.
12:53 – We’ve got a time out with the score Portland 95, Los Angeles 89 with 5:07 remaining. The Blazers have built up their largest lead of the game, and we’re entering a key stretch, as the Clippers continue to fight to keep their season going.
12:57 – CJ McCollum knocks down a three, and the Clippers need a time out with the score Portland 98, Los Angeles 91 with 4:50 left on the clock. It’s certainly not over, but the Blazers are making all of the big shots, while the Clippers have become cold from the field.
— NBA (@NBA) April 30, 2016
1:02 – DeAndre Jordan twists his ankle after stepping on Mason Plumlee’s foot, and he’ll leave the game as he hobbles off to the bench. Everyone’s getting hurt on the Clippers.
1:03 – JJ Redick hits a jumper, and it’s a three point game with the Clippers trailing, 98-95.
1:04 – We’ve got a time out with the score Portland 98, Los Angeles 95 with 2:45 remaining. The Clippers are wounded, but have Playoff experience, while the Blazers are a young group, looking to advance to the next round. Can they close it out?
1:07 – Mason Plumlee misses two free throws, but in the fight for the rebound, Paul Pierce hits it out of bounds, and the Blazers keep the ball.
1:08 – CJ McCollum knocks down a three! It leads to a Clippers time out with the score Portland 101, Los Angeles 95 with 2:27 remaining. I just realized that if the Trail Blazers hold on, this might turn out to be Paul Pierce’s last game. Damn.
1:11 – DeAndre Jordan comes back into the game for the Clippers. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard hits two free throws for the Blazers, and they lead 103-97.
1:12 – JJ Redick gets a reverse layup along the baseline, and it’s a two point game as we go under a minute remaining with the Clippers down, 103-101.
1:13 – Damian Lillard misses a tough runner, and the Clippers call their final time out with the score Portland 103, Los Angeles 101 with 39.5 seconds left in the game.
1:14 – Jamal Crawford gets in the paint, goes for a layup, misses, but he’s fouled! He’ll have a chance to tie the game at the line with 32.1 seconds remaining.
1:15 – Crawford hits the first free throw…and nails the second one! Portland calls a time out, as LA’s on an 8-2 run to make our score Portland 103, Los Angeles 103 with 32.1 seconds to go.
1:16 – During the time out, ESPN flashes back to Damian Lillard’s series winning three in Game 6 of the the 2014 First Round against Houston. Are we about to see something similar?
1:17 – CJ McCollum misses a shot in the paint, but Mason Plumlee is fouled going for the rebound! He’ll have two free throws with 14.7 seconds remaining. Remember, the Clippers are out of time outs.
1:18 – Plumlee hits the first free throw…and knocks down the second one! Now the Clippers have a chance to tie.
1:19 – Jamal Crawford goes to the hoop for a layup…and it’s no good! Plumlee grabs the rebound, and he’s fouled with 1.5 seconds on the clock! Plumlee misses his first free throw, but makes the second…
1:20 – Paul Pierce throws a long pass to Austin Rivers who launches a three from half court…and it’s short! The Blazers win, 106-103!
That does it for the game, and the series. Once again, the final score: Portland 106, Los Angeles 103, as the Blazers take the series, 4-2. Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 28 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. His backcourt mate, CJ McCollum, scored 20, and Mason Plumlee finished with 9 points and 14 rebounds. Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with a Playoff career high 32 points off the bench. Austin Rivers finished 21 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 11 stitches in a gutsy performance. DeAndre Jordan added 15 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough, as the Clippers couldn’t overcome the loss of their two best players, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin.
With the win, the Trail Blazers move on to the second round to take on another team dealing with life without their injured star, the Golden State Warriors. They’re in much better shape than the Clippers were, but it could be a competitive series. The Blazers were one of the teams that gave the Warriors one of their nine losses during the regular season. They’ll at least be a more worthy opponent than the Rockets were. As for the Clippers, it’s another disappointing end to what’s been a slew of disappointing Playoff exits since Chris Paul hit the scene. It will be interesting to see if they shake up the roster this summer, or if they come back with the same core next season for another, and hopefully healthy, Playoff run.
The First Round didn’t come to an end tonight, and we’ll have two Game 7s this weekend, along with the start of the Conference Semifinals, making for what should be another exciting and eventful weekend of basketball.