NBA Playoffs Day 19: Game 2 Blowouts

As we did the other night, we’re joining the Cavs and the Raptors at halftime because I don’t get out of work in time for these 7:00 pm starts. Also, who cares about this series, anyway? Just kidding, I care about all of the series, but we do sort of know what to expect from it at this point. For instance, at halftime, it’s Cleveland 62, Toronto 48. Let’s head to Twitter to try and get a feel for what’s going on here…

See what I mean? We know what to expect from this series, right down to the Cavs having the same 14 point lead at halftime that they did in Game 1.

LeBron has 19 points to lead Cleveland, and Channing Frye has come off the bench to score ten. The Cavs are shooting 57.9% from the floor, and they’re a scorching 10-15 on their threes. Again, more of the same.

Not more of the same: Jonas Valanciunas leads the Raptors off the bench with 19 points! Kyle Lowry’s added 15 points, and you’d think this would be good news for the Raptors, but, DeMar DeRozan has scored justΒ one point on 0-7 shooting. Β Yuck!

Also, once again, it looks like the Cavs aren’t too worried about this one. Observe LeBron James messing around with the basketball before draining a three…

While we’re here, there was no Bonus for Tuesday’s games because I was at that Celtics game! What can I say about Isaiah Thomas that hasn’t already been said? Simply put, that was one of the most memorable individual performances I’ve ever seen, in one of the most most memorable games. Over the first half, I thought John Wall was going to have one of those games where he just wins it all by himself, and under normal circumstances, he did. Isaiah just outdid him, and it was awesome.

8:24 pm – All right, we’re back to Cleveland for the second half of Game 2 between the Cavs and the Raptors. Marv Albert and Brent Barry will narrate the action. How much do you want to bet that, like Game 1, the Cavs will win this game, 115-104?

8:26 – The second half is off to a horrendous start as it seems Kyle Lowry is injured underneath the basket. A reminder that things can always get worse. We solemnly go into a timeout. During the play, Serge Ibaka goaltended a shot from LeBron James, so our score’s Cleveland 64, Toronto 48 with 11:33 left in the third quarter.

8:29 – Looking at the replay, it seems that a falling Norman Powell careened right into Lowry’s knee. Lowry then dragged himself out of bounds to avoid any further contact with anyone. He walked off to the locker room with a limp, and as action continues, Cory Joseph is into the Raptors lineup to replace him.

8:30 – After Serge Ibaka sends LeBron to the ground with a hard hit, Tristan Thompson steps in and exchanges a few words with Serge. Meanwhile, Kyle Lowry is making his way back to the Raptors bench with an ankle injury, according to sideline reporter Kristen Ledlow. She reports he’ll test it out and see if he can get back into the game. After review, Ibaka gets called for a common foul.

8:33 – Kyle Lowry comes back into the game for the Raptors. Let’s see how effective he is going forward.

8:34 – Lowry immediately gets a layup, but he’s still hobbling around, as Marv Albert points out. Toronto trails, 66-52.

8:35 – Kyle Lowry gets called for a technical foul after he’s called for a foul slapping the ball away from Kyrie Irving. Lowry contends that it was a clean strip, but the refs don’t see it that way. Irving knocks down the technical free throw, plus the two he earned from the original foul, and the Cavs lead is 69-52. Lots of stuff is happening here to start the third, none of it good for the Raptors.

8:36 – LeBron James hits a three, tying him for second all time in NBA Playoff scoring with none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

8:37 –Β After Lowry’s fouled shooting a three, he knocks down his first two free throws, and before the third, the Cavs call a timeout with the score Cleveland 72, Toronto 56 with 8:52 left in the third quarter. Lowry deserves a hell of a lot of props for staying in the game, but he’s definitely struggling out there, despite how active he’s been since his return.

8:40 – Back from the timeout, Lowry knocks down his third free throw, and he’s up to 20 points, but the Raptors are down, 72-57.

8:43 – And with another three, LeBron is now in sole possession of second place on the NBA’s all time Playoff scoring list.

8:47 – Kyrie Irving finds Tristan Thompson all alone in the paint for one of the easiest dunks he’ll ever get. It leads to a timeout with the score Cleveland 85, Toronto 65 with 5:41 left in a third quarter that I am only half paying attention to.

Kyrie’s only shooting 4-15, but DeMar DeRozan’s at a lousy 0-8 from the field.

8:51 – DeRozan’s now 0-9 after missing a runner, but Serge Ibaka cleans up the mess with an offensive rebound and gets a bucket. Toronto’s down, 85-67.

8:59 – After Jonas Valanciunas tips the ball out of bounds, we’ll have a timeout with the score Cleveland 97, Toronto 73 with 2:40 left in the third quarter. The Cavs are pretty much openly dicking around with fancy passes as their lead continues to grow. The Raptors have started turning the ball over, and they look generally hopeless, I have to say.

9:01 – Back from the timeout, we learn that Kyle Lowry has limped back to the Raptors locker room.

9:03 – Not that it was in question, but, Kyle Lowry’s officially done for the night.

9:04 – The third quarter comes to an end without any Raptors field goals over the last four minutes and ten seconds, according to Marv Albert. As a result, the score’s Cleveland 99, Toronto 73. LeBron James is up to 36 points and seems to be genuinely delighting in ruining the Raptors season. Kyrie Irving, despite lousy 6-19 shooting, is up to 22 points and 11 assists. Meanwhile, the Raptors just lost their most important player to an injury, and their co-most important player is shooting 0-9.

9:07 – DeMar DeRozan kicks off the fourth quarter by making his first shot! Unfortunately, it’s still worth just two points, and the Raptors are down, 99-75.

9:12 – Another Raptors turnover as DeMarre Carroll steps out of bounds, and it’ll take us to another timeout with the score Cleveland 107, Toronto 79 with 8:53 remaining.

9:23 – The Cavs turn the ball over, and it’ll take us into a timeout. You know the game’s gotten bad when it’s turnovers, and not big baskets, that are sending us into timeouts. Anyway, it’s Cleveland 113, Toronto 90 with 5:09 left in the game.

9:29 – Iman Shumpert goes driving to the hoop for a layup, plus a foul, and finally it’s not a lousy turnover taking us into a timeout. Our score’s Cleveland 122, Toronto 97 with 1:39 mercifully remaining.

9:33 – Shumpert hits his free throw, and the Cavs lead goes up to 123-97. Marv Albert and Brent Barry are talking about volleyball movies, and I’m spending more time texting with the groom for the Bachelor Party I’m in charge with this weekend, than I am watching the game.

9:35 – The game comes to a close with a final score of Cleveland 125, Toronto 103. The 125 points set a Cavaliers franchise record for points in a Playoff game.

LeBron James had another great game, dropping 39 points on 10-14 shooting. That’s some efficient work. James also grabbed six rebounds, and shot 15-21 from the free throw line. Kyrie Irving added 22 points and 11 assists as the Cavs shot 54.1% from the floor, including an 18-33 effort from downtown.

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Jonas Valanciunas came off the bench to score 23 and grab 5 rebounds for the Raptors, and his fellow benchman, Cory Joseph, added 22 and 6. Kyle Lowry finished with 20 points and 5 assists, but he of course had to leave the game, and Raptors fans everywhere will hold their breaths until his status going forward is revealed.

I said this after Game 1, but, the Cavs just own the Raptors. Toronto has no answers for anything Cleveland throws at them, and everyone seems pretty resigned to an unfortunate Raptors fate.

9:43 – We’re whisked down to San Antonio for Game 2 between the Spurs and the Rockets. Game 1 was a surprising Rockets blowout, and the Spurs are looking to bounce back. Pau Gasol joins the starting lineup for San Antonio, replacing David Lee. Will this be more of the same like we saw up in Cleveland, or can the Spurs make the right adjustments to get themselves into this series?

9:45 – The Spurs take the opening tip, and Game 2 is underway at the AT&T Center.

9:46 – Kawhi Leonard knocks down a three, and the Spurs strike first. Trevor Ariza comes right back for a layup, and the Rockets are on the board, down 3-2.

9:52 – After Danny Green knocks down a three, we’ll head into our first timeout with the score San Antonio 19, Houston 16 with 6:22 left in a frantically paced first quarter. Obviously, this one’s off to a much better start for everyone than Game 1 was, but we already have a cause for concern…

9:55 – Back from the timeout, James Harden is still on the floor for the Rockets, but we’ll keep an eye on him.

9:58 – Ryan Anderson knocks down a transition three, and it’ll take us into another timeout as Anderson’s already up to ten points. The score’s San Antonio 25, Houston 19 with 3:32 left in the first quarter.

10:07 – David Lee finds LaMarcus Aldridge for a layup a mere 0.02 seconds before the first quarter expires, and it makes the score San Antonio 33, Houston 30 after one. Now this is more like it! Danny Green’s got nine points on 4-4 shooting to lead the Spurs, while Ryan Anderson has ten for the Rockets. The pace has been fast, and it seems like the Spurs are not so much disrupting the Rockets as they are just staying ahead of them. Nevertheless, it’s been awesome, but we’ll see if they can continue to hang at such a fast pace.

10:11 – Patrick Beverly kicks off the second quarter by getting to the bucket for a quick layup, plus a foul. He knocks down the free throw, and we’re tied at 33.

10:14 – Eric Gordon knocks down a shot, and we’ve got a timeout as the game continues in a fast paced, razzle-dazzle fashion. It’s San Antonio 39, Houston 37 with 9:19 left in the first half.

10:22 – The ball goes bouncing out of bounds for a timeout with the score San Antonio 50, Houston 46 with 5:50 left in the second quarter. After struggling in Game 1, LaMarcus Aldridge is contributing nicely for the Spurs here in Game 2.

10:32 – Tony Parker hits a three from the corner, and thanks in part to some sloppy possessions by the Rockets, the Spurs have been able to pull away to a double digit lead. It’s San Antonio 61, Houston 48 with 2:29 left until halftime.

10:40 – We’re here at halftime with a score of San Antonio 65, Houston 55. Kawhi Leonard’s been magnificent with 20 points and 5 assists on 7-9 shooting. Danny Green’s got 12 on 5-5 shooting, and Tony Parker’s added 11. Ryan Anderson has 15 points and 5 rebounds on 6-6 shooting to lead the Rockets, and Eric Gordon’s come off the bench to score 12. James Harden’s shooting just 1-9, and most surprisingly, has yet to attempt a free throw, but Houston is still well within shouting distance. Despite their deficit, the game is being played at their pace, which gives them a great shot at erasing this deficit if they can come out strong in the second half.

10:45 – I think it’s time for tonight’s episode of Today in Playoff History, brought to you by the scholars down at Basketball Reference!

It’s been a great bounce back for the Spurs so far tonight, but back in 1988, they suffered a first round sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, thanks to a 109-107 loss in Game 3.

Walter Berry came off the Spurs bench to lead them with 27 points and 7 rebounds, Frank Brickowski had 22 points and 7 boards, and Alvin Robertson had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists and 4 steals. However, 25 points, 5 rebounds and 11 assists from Magic Johnson led the Lakers to the close victory. He had help off the bench from Mychal Thompson who submitted 23 points and 9 rebounds, while James Worthy contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.

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10:58 – Kawhi Leonard cans a jumper to start off the second half, and the Spurs lead swells up to 67-55.

11:01 – A Spurs turnover leads to Clint Capella, of all people, taking the ball down the court for a layup, and that Spurs lead is starting to shrink. A timeout is called with the score San Antonio 71, Houston 65 with 9:22 left in the third quarter.

11:11 – James Harden misses a three, and then he’s sent to the floor due to an accidental elbow from LaMarcus Aldridge after they both chase after the rebound. It leads into my least favorite aspect of the Playoffs – a long video review, coupled with Reggie Miller’s running commentary. It ends up being a common foul. Also, Harden appears to be okay, and he has one or two things to say to Aldridge as both teams get set to continue the game.

11:18 – After James Harden draws one of those infuriating fouls as he’s shooting a three, we have a timeout with a score of San Antonio 82, Houston 76 with 2:48 remaining in the third quarter. When we return, Harden will have a chance to make this a one possession game with his three free throws.

11:22 – James Harden goes 2-3 from the line, and the Rockets have cut this down to a four point game, trailing, 82-78.

11:24 – James Harden finds Eric Gordon behind the arc for a three, and it’s finally a one possession game with the Rockets behind, 84-81.

11:25 – Jonathan Simmons gets a bucket along the baseline, and the Spurs get their lead to 86-81. Lou Willams then fights his way inside for a layup, and the Rockets get the deficit down to 86-83.

11:26 – After a Jonathan Simmons jumper to close out the quarter, the score’s San Antonio 88, Houston 83. The Rockets are right back in this one, even with James Harden shooting a disgusting 3-15 from the floor. If they can keep the pace to their liking, they’ll have an excellent shot at overtaking the Spurs and heading home to Houston with a 2-0 series lead.

11:30 – Tony Parker misses a short shot, but Manu Ginobili “flies in untouched” as an excited Kevin Harlan puts it, and tips in the miss. It’s the first basket of the fourth, and it extends the Spurs lead to 90-83.

11:33 – Tony Parker finds Pau Gasol with a great bounce pass for a big dunk! The Spurs are on an 11-0 run after the Rockets got to within one possession, and we’ll have a timeout. The score’s San Antonio 97, Houston 83 with 10:07 left in the game after a perfect start to the fourth quarter for the Spurs.

11:38 – Oh dear. Tony Parker is sitting on the ground by himself, holding his knee. Looks like he had an awkward landing after attempting a runner. It’ll bring us into a timeout with the score still San Antonio 97, Houston 83 with 8:42 to go.

11:41 – We’re back, and Tony Parker was indeed carried off the court after taking a few painful steps himself. Kawhi Leonard replaces him in the Spurs lineup.

11:50 – Kawhi Leonard knocks down a three, and we’re getting a virtuoso performance out of the MVP candidate tonight. As we go into a timeout, it’s San Antonio 111, Houston 88 with 4:54 remaining. Kawhi’s up to 34 points on 13-16 shooting.

11:55 – Another timeout with the score San Antonio 114, Houston 88 with 3:57 left in the ball game. At this point, we’re all holding our breaths, waiting for news on Tony Parker.

11:59 – Allie LaForce, our intrepid sideline reporter, tells us that the Spurs say that Tony Parker has a “left leg injury”, and that he will go in for an MRI tomorrow. Eek.

12:04 am – This one draws to a close with a final score of San Antonio 121, Houston 96. Kawhi Leonard finishes with 34 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists on 13-16 shooting. Pau Gasol, inserted into the starting lineup, ended the night with 6 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks.

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Ryan Anderson led the Rockets with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while James Harden struggled mightily, shooting 3-17 and ending up with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists.

As much as things went well for the Rockets in Game 1, they went equally as bad here in Game 2. The Spurs also made some nice adjustments, starting Gasol and getting a nice spark from Jonathan Simmons. Of course, Kawhi Leonard played much better as well, leading his team to an important victory, tying the series after these teams have swapped blowouts.

Obviously, Tony Parker’s status is looming over an otherwise successful night for the Spurs. If he’s lost, it’ll be a serious blow to a team that doesn’t have a ton of point guard depth. We’ll know more after tomorrow’s MRI, but for now, best of luck to the Spurs veteran.

Each of the series we heard from tonight have been built upon blowouts, but at least the Rockets and Spurs seem equally likely to hand out a shellacking. As for the Eastern half of tonight’s action, it certainly looks like the Cavs are still looking for a worthy challenger in the Eastern Conference.

Remember earlier when I mentioned a Bachelor Party? That’s this weekend, so I won’t be around to cover the Playoff action. On top of that, a cousin I’ve never met before is in town, so I’ll be meeting him tomorrow, and as a result, The Bonus will return next week. Hopefully nothing exciting or interesting happens in the NBA Playoffs between now and then, but I wouldn’t count on it. So, with that in mind, dear readers, keep watching, because it’s been a great Playoffs so far, and keep me in your thoughts this weekend as I try and survive what promises to be a lively bachelor party.

NBA Playoffs Day 17: Game 1 Blowouts

I went out for dinner tonight over at the Nashoba Club in beautiful Ayer, Massachusetts. If you’re ever in Ayer for some reason, definitely check out the Nashoba Club. Speaking of checking things out, let’s switch on TNT and Twitter and see how Game 1 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors are going.

Well then. Meanwhile, Charles Barkley is saying on TNT’s halftime show that he doesn’t even think the Raptors themselves believe that they can beat the Cavaliers. Jesus. Looks like it was a less than inspiring first half for the Raptors. In other news, I had a very inspiring Pastrami sandwich and a Wachusett Country Ale at the Nashoba Club for dinner.

Okay, we’re joining this on in progress at the start of the third quarter with the score Cleveland 62, Toronto 48. Our narrators are Marv Albert and Grant Hill. Let’s see if the Raptors can make any progress here in the second half.

8:23 pm – After Kevin Love is fouled shooting a three, he goes 2-3 from the line as Kristen Ledlow tells us that the Raptors led the league in double-digit comebacks during the year, and Marv Albert informs us that the Raptors did manage a 19-3 run during the first half. They’re obviously going to need more of the same as our score’s Cleveland 64, Toronto 48 to start off the third quarter.

8:26 – Jonas Valanciunas hits a little jumper, and the Raptors have this one within single-digits. It inspires the Cavs to call a timeout with the score, Cleveland 65, Toronto 56 with 9:29 left in the third quarter. This seems like a good time to scan the box score. Kyrie Irving has 16 to lead the Cavs, LeBron’s got 14, and Kevin Love’s contributed 13. For the Raptors, Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry each have 15, and DeMar DeRozan’s not far behind with 13.

8:34 – Tristan Thompson spins through the paint and then flings a pass to the corner to Kyrie Irving, who cans the three. It’ll bring us into a timeout with the score Cleveland 79, Toronto 64 with 5:56 left in the third quarter. The Raptors did briefly cut their deficit down toΒ seven, but that’s about as close as the Cavs seem willing to let them get.

8:42 – The Raptors have resorted to intentionally fouling lousy free throw shooter Tristan Thompson, trailing 85-69. He hits both of them, and the Raptors are now down, 87-69.

8:44 – LeBron just got fouled on his way to the hoop, couldn’t quite finish the layup, then galloped down the baseline into the crowd, and quickly grabbed a beer from an usher, and pretended to take a sip. Fantastic stuff from the king. Obviously, the only way it’d be better is if he actually drank the beer. Anyway, he hits two free throws, and the Cavs go up, 89-71.

8:49 – Well, the third quarter is over with the score Cleveland 96, Toronto 74. They seem to be in complete control of the game, in a free-flowing, beer drinking groove. You know you’re in trouble when the Cavs have reached “just fucking around” mode.

8:54 – Norman Powell knocks down a three to kick off the fourth quarter for the Raptors, but they’re in dire-ass straights, trailing 96-77.

8:56 – PJ Tucker hits a long jumper, and it’ll take us into a timeout as the Cavs look to put a halt to the wave of momentum the Raptors have suddenly built up to cut their deficit down to…sixteen. It’s Cleveland 98, Toronto 82 with 10:23 left in the ball game.

9:06 – Deron Williams gets to the hoop for a little runner, and we’ll take a timeout with the score Cleveland 106, Toronto 87 with 6:13 left in the game. Ugh.

We can probably start looking ahead to our next game – Game 1 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets, a marquee matchup if ever there was one. Can the well oiled Spurs machine find a way to subdue the Rockets free wheeling, three point shooting high powered attack? At the very least, it should be better than what we’re seeing in Cleveland, where the Cavs just flat out own the Raptors, and there’s just no way around it.

9:16 – Kevin Love hits a pair of free throws, and the Cavs lead has reached 20 points. It’s Cleveland 112, Toronto 92 as we have another timeout with 3:17 left in the game.

9:25 – DahntayΒ Jones throws down a mean dunk, then trash talks Raptors rookie Jakob Poetl, and somehow gets himself ejected with a pair of technical fouls.Β There’s 18 seconds left in the game. What the hell?

9:27 – This game comes to an end with a final score of Cleveland 116, Toronto 105, and it wasn’t even that close. I do not regret missing the first half.

LeBron James finished with 35 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Kyrie Irving had 24 points and 10 assists, and Tristan Thompson chimed in with 11 points and 14 boards. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors with 20 points and 11 assists.

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Well, the Cavs looked a lot better than they did in that first round series against the Pacers. They don’t seem to be worried about the Raptors at all, and the Raptors didn’t give them any reason to change their minds. As the Playoffs roll along, the Cavs just seem to get stronger and stronger. Unless the Raptors can find a way to put up a real fight, this is going to be a depressing series. At least it’ll be short.

Respect to Raptors writer Eric Koreen for the Simpsons reference. Give that man a Twitter follow if you haven’t already.

9:35 – We’re just getting ready for Game 1 between the Spurs and the Rockets, one of the most anticipated series of the Playoffs.

9:36 – Down in Studio J, Charles Barkley apologizes to the women of San Antonio…because now that he’s eaten churros, he now understands the excitement people feel about the city of San Antonio. Shaq is so vexed he gets up from the desk and walks away laughing.

9:38 – And we’re off to San Antonio for Game 1 down at the AT&T Center. Kevin Harlan and, sigh, Reggie Miller will narrate the action for us. For the second straight series, James Harden faces off against one of his fellow MVP candidates, this time San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard.

9:40 – The Spurs are gonna roll with David Lee in the starting lineup to begin the series.

9:41 – The Spurs win the opening tip, and this much anticipated series is underway! Kawhi Leonard gets the scoring started with a pull up, and the Spurs take a 2-0 lead. The Rockets quickly answer with a Clint Capella dunk, and we’re off to a fine start, tied at two.

9:42 – After a James Harden three, the Spurs call an early timeout with the score Houston 5, San Antonio 2 with 10:40 left in the first quarter. Apparently Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is displeased with David Lee’s less than stellar defense after that Harden three.

Hilarious.

9:48 – Damn, TNT shares a graphic that tells us that the last time anybody had 71+ free throws through the first five games of the Playoffs, as James Harden does this year, was all the way back in 1965 when none other than Jerry West pulled it off.

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Now THAT’s an All Star jersey!

9:50 – James Harden lobs up a pass to Clint Capella who is able to coax it into the hoop, and an angry Gregg Popovich calls another timeout with the score Houston 15, San Antonio 6 with 7:54 left in the first quarter.

9:58 – Pau Gasol takes a nice pass from Kawhi Leonard and goes storming through the paint. He’s fouled on his way to the hoop by Lou Williams, and he’ll get a couple of free throws, but first, we’ll have a timeout with a surprising score of Houston 28, San Antonio 13 with 2:21 left in the first quarter.

10:01 – What is this…

10:02 – Back from the timeout, Pau Gasol knocks down his free throws, and the Spurs trail, 28-15.

10:05 – The first quarter draws to a close, and the Spurs have started to look a little more like themselves. That being said, our score after one is Houston 34, San Antonio 23. We know the Spurs, and you have to think they’ll close the gap, especially with after a fairly encouraging end to the quarter. Kawhi Leonard’s got 10 points and 5 rebounds to lead the home team, and James Harden’s got 11 for the visitors. This marks the first time in these Playoffs that the Rockets have had a lead after the opening quarter.

10:10 – Lou Williams nails a three, and the Rockets start off the second quarter with a 37-23 lead.

10:13 – Patrick Beverly knocks down a three, and the Rockets are on a 19-4 run and are shooting 9-16 from downtown. That’s good enough to run any team off the floor, and here at the second quarter TV timeout, it’s Houston 47, San Antonio 25 with 8:59 left in the first half.

10:19 – Hey, check this out…

10:22 – Manu Ginobili knocks down a three, and he’s fouled! That’s the good news for the Spurs. The bad news is, as we head into a timeout, the score’s Houston 58, San Antonio 34 with 5:13 left in the second quarter, as the Rockets haven’t slowed down and are now up to 11-23 shooting from downtown.

10:26 – Back from the timeout, Ginobili knocks down the free throw to complete the four point play. They’re down, 58-35.

10:28 – We’re here at another timeout after Tony Parker turns the ball over. The score’s Houston 60, San Antonio 35 with 3:29 left until halftime.

10:35 – This is disappointing. -10 points, LeBron.

10:38 – So, we’re at halftime of a game that prompted Kevin Harlan to at one point exclaim, “I don’t believe what I’m seeing!” and Reggie Miller to describe the proceedings as, “An old fashioned, take you behind the woodshed beatdown.” As you might imagine, the score’s Houston 69, San Antonio 39.

Kawhi Leonard has 12 points and 9 rebounds, but the rest of his teammates have been scarcely heard from. James Harden has 16 points and 7 assists to lead the Rockets, Trevor Ariza’s right behind him with 15, and Ryan Anderson’s chipped in with 11 points and 5 rebounds.

Houston utterly dominated every aspect of the game. The Spurs seem disheveled, like they don’t know what hit them. Since they’re the Spurs, they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt, but, it certainly doesn’t seem like tonight’s the night for an epic San Antonio comeback. They head to the locker room facing the biggest halftime deficit in Spurs Playoff history.

10:44 – Since I got home late, we’ve only got one episode of Today in Playoff History, so let’s make it a good one.

Back in 1977, the Houston Rockets put the finishing touches on the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a 108-103 victory over the Washington Bullets, winning the series 4-2. For some reason, Houston was in the Eastern Conference back in those days. It’s just as perplexing as this first half was.

Phil Chenier led the Bullets with 21 points, while Elvin Hayes added 20 points and 8 rebounds. Mitch Kupchak chipped in with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Wes Unseld finished with 11 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists.

Rudy Tomjanovich led the Rockets with 26 points and 8 boards. Mike Newlin scored 21, and Moses Malone went for 14 points and 14 rebounds. The win sent the Rockets to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games.

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10:56 – Clint Capella gets an easy bucket to start off the second half, and the Rockets lead balloons up to 71-39.

11:03 – The Spurs get back to back threes from Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, and it’s enough to get Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni to call a timeout with the score Houston 73, San Antonio 45 with 8:02 left in the third quarter.

11:07 – James Harden makes an awesome pass to Clint Capella for a dunk, and the Spurs need another timeout with the score Houston 80, San Antonio 45 with 6:28 left in the third. Harden’s done an excellent job tonight drawing attention from defenders and finding people like Capella for easy buckets. Harden’s got 16 points and 12 assists so far, while Capella has really benefited from Harden’s fine passing, racking up 17 points and 10 rebounds on 8-10 shooting.

11:22 – Things are starting to get a little chippy. During some Kawhi Leonard free throws, Trevor Ariza and Jonathan Simmons mouth off to one another, and engage in some minor shoving. After Kawhi’s free throws, Nene sends Simmons to the floor with a big pick on everyone’s way back up the floor.

11:25 – RUCKUS! RUCKUS! RUCKUS!

After the third quarter comes to an end, the Spurs Dewayne Dedmon gets into it with Nene, and both teams square off a bit. An angry Dedmon is led away by his teammates, while Reggie Miller goes on his usual, “THIS IS PLAYOFF BASKETBALL! I LOVE IT!” rants.

Anyway, our score’s Houston 96, San Antonio 67. As you can see, not a whole heck of a lot has changed.

11:29 – We’re back for the start of the fourth quarter, and the refs are reviewing the ruckus, which means we get to hear even more from Reggie Miller! It is unenjoyable. Dedmon and James HardenΒ get technical fouls, and Nene is ejected for some strange reason.

Looking at the replay, Nene grabbed Dedmon’s throat, earning the ejection. Fair enough.

Patty Mills misses a technical free throw, and the Rockets lead remains 96-67.

11:35 – After another obnoxious replay of a foul committed on Lou Williams while he was shooting a three, Williams hits all of the free throws for the first points of the fourth quarter, and the Rockets lead is up to 99-67. This game is starting to become insufferable.

11:40 – We have a timeout with the score Houston 106, San Antonio 72 with 8:49 left in the game. I apologize for saying this was going to be a better game than the Cavs and Raptors.

11:45 – Oh man…

11:46 – Dewyane Dedmon just got ejected as he was about to shoot some free throws. Patrick Beverly sort of incited him into some trash talk, and the refs got fed up, slapping Dedmon with his second technical foul, an automatic ejection. Amazing stuff. Beverly hits the technical free throw, and the Rockets select David Lee to shoot the free throws that Dedmon were about to. Lee hits them both, and the Spurs trail, 112-78.

11:52 – We’re here at another timeout as this game draws closer to finally ending. It’s Houston 119, San Antonio 82 with 5:24 left in what has to be one of the most bizarre Playoff games I have ever seen.

11:55 – Legendary NBA superfan Jimmy Goldstein is sticking this one out to the bitter end…

11:59 – Jonathan Simmons takes it to the hoop for a layup, plus he’s fouled. Before he heads to the line, we’ll have a timeout with the score Houston 120, San Antonio 88 with 2:54 remaining.

12:01 am – TNT shows us some footage of the last time these two teams tangled in the postseason. It was back in 1995, and just before Game 1, Spurs center David Robinson was awarded that season’s MVP instead of Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon, who took it super personally and pretty much eviscerated Robinson and the Spurs throughout the six game series, on his way to a second straight championship with Houston. Legendary stuff.

12:07 – This one finally comes to an end with a final score of Houston 126, San Antonio 99. You expect this sort of behavior out of the Cavs/Raptors series, butΒ this was legitimately surprising.

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Kawhi Leonard finished the night with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists for the Spurs. A fine line, but he somehow didn’t make much of an impact on the game, and the rest of the squad was nowhere to be found as the Rockets really dominated the game. They got 23 points from Trevor Ariza, 20 points and 13 rebounds from Clint Capella, and 20 points and 14 assists from James Harden. They shot a ludicrous 22-50 from three point land, setting a franchise Playoff record for threes in a game, and last but not least, they had 30 assists on 40 baskets. It was pretty much a flawless victory against the team with the second best record in the league, and in their home court, nonetheless.

That was a wacky game, bringing an end to a wacky night of basketball. I missed the first half of the Cavs/Raptors game, but I feel like I didn’t really miss anything. Sorry, Raptors. As for tomorrow night, I’m going to Game 2 of the Celtics/Wizards series! Obviously, I won’t be writing a running diary, but, maybe I’ll tweet during the timeouts. It’s not like you’ll notice if there’s no running diary. We just went ten days without one, and nobody said a word. Anyway, keep enjoying these wild and wacky Playoffs, and we’ll see you later in the week.

NBA Playoffs Day 16: The Last Stand of Lob City

The Bonus is BACK!

It’s been a busy stretch for ya boy, and this is unfortunately not my real job, so, as much as I’d love to do nothing but watch the NBA Playoffs, it just isn’t possible. That being said, we’re back in full swing for now as the Conference Semifinals get underway.

Today we’ve got Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between my Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards, two teams that do not quite get along. I’m doing my part by wearing my Larry Bird jersey and my Larry Bird socks.

Later on, the final game of the first round: Game 7 between the Clippers and the Jazz in what could be the final stand for the Lob City Clippers.

1:00 pm – We’re welcomed to Boston for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals by Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Isaiah Thomas is back with the Celtics after attending his sister’s funeral yesterday, I don’t know how he’s doing it.

Both teams are here after wining their first round series in six games, and both teams didn’t look too sharp at times throughout their series. The Celtics, of course, lost the first two games of their series with the Bulls before winning four straight, while the Wizards struggled in Atlanta against the Hawks during Games 3 & 4. Making this matchup more enticing, these teams dislike each other for some reason, and they’ve shared many instances of chirping, pushing and shoving this season.

1:06 – The Celtics are sticking with their smaller lineup with Gerald Green starting. They’ve won four straight going with Green, who I am ready to anoint the 2017 NBA Finals MVP.

1:08 – The Wizards win the opening tip and quickly get the ball to Marcin Gortat in the paint for an easy hoop. They’re up 2-0 to start the game.

1:09 – Marcin Gortat makes a great bounce pass to Bradley Beal for a layup, and we’ve got our first time out already, as the Wizards are off to a quick start. It’s Washington 9, Boston 0 with with 10:14 left in the first quarter.

1:13 – With Marcin Gortat raising a lot of hell already, Celtics coach Brad Stevens inserts Amir Johnson into the game. Gortat immediately hits a floater over him, and the Wizards lead 11-0.

1:16 – Isaiah Thomas is fouled shooting a three. He hits his first free throw, and Boston crowd sarcastically erupts and starts chanting, “LET’S GO CELTICS!” Everybody’s in a bad mood. Thomas hits all three of the free throws, and the Celtics are finally on the board, trailing 16-3.

1:20 – After back to back threes from Isaiah Thomas, things are starting to look a little better, and as we go into a timeout, the score’s Washington 22, Boston 11 with 5:20 left in the first quarter. The Celtics are shooting 3-12 and are already being out-rebounded 12-2. Other than that, things are going just fine.

Also, apparently this happened…

I didn’t see how it happened, but he’s definitely down a tooth…

1:23 – Ah, the tooth got knocked out after he caught an elbow from Otto Porter. He went and picked up the tooth during the timeout and brought it back to the bench.

1:32 – The first quarter comes to a close with the score Washington 38, Boston 24. The Wizards are shooting 64% from the floor, led by Marcin Gortat with nine points. Meanwhile, Isaiah Thomas and Kelly Olynyk have combined for 22 of the Celtics 24 points. Outside of those two, the rest of the Celtics have combined to shoot 1-10.

1:37 – Jae Crowder knocks down a three to kick off the second quarter. The Celtics are 6-10 from three point line, which is keeping them in shouting distance as they trail, 38-27.

1:38 – Al Horford makes an awesome pass to Kelly Olynyk in the paint for a nice layup. It leads into a timeout with the score Washington 40, Boston 31 with 10:26 left in the first quarter. Kelly’s up to 12 points off the bench in what’s been one of the better stretches I’ve ever seen him play.

1:41 – Oh man, ABC shows awesome footage from the last time the Celtics and Washington, then called the Bullets, played each other in the Playoffs. It was back in 1984, and after the final buzzer of the final game, the two teams got into a big fight! Great stuff.

1:44 – More great stuff! The Celtics finish off a fast break with a three pointer from Marcus Smart, sending us into a timeout with the score Washington 40, Boston 37 with 8:45 left until halftime. Just after, Isaiah Thomas saunters out of the locker room with his tooth back in his mouth!. The Celtics have come all the way back to make this a one possession game with Thomas in the locker room for most of it.

1:49 – Oh no, Markieff Morris is on the ground and in pain after coming down on Al Horford’s foot after a shot attempt. We go to a commercial with him still down on the floor. Our score’s Washington 44, Boston 42 with 7:18 left in the first half.

1:52 – We’re back and Markieff Morris is at the free throw line so he can potentially remain in the game, but after he hits the free throw, the Wizards immediately foul Terry Rozier to get Morris out of the game. We’ll see if he ends up coming back, but he was definitely having a tough time walking on it as he went to the bench. Bad news for Washington as their thin up front.

1:53 – Morris is now seen hobbling to the locker room.

2:01 – Marcus Smart blocks a layup attempt out of bounds, and it’ll lead into a timeout with the score Washington 54, Boston 53 with 2:59 left in the second quarter.

2:09 – We’ve got a rousing “BULLSHIT!” chant after Al Horford is called for a loose ball foul. It was definitely a foul, but both Horford and the crowd are displeased. I am so glad that the Boston crowd still chants “BULLSHIT!” instead of the overwhelmingly lame, “REFS, YOU SUCK!” that you hear in so many other stadiums.

2:10 – We’re going to have a quick timeout with 28.7 seconds left in the half and the score Washington 64, Boston 58. Meanwhile, we’ve got some news for our next game…

All hands on deck for Game 7.

2:13 – Another quick timeout with 1.8 seconds on the clock and our score Washington 64, Boston 59. After Marcus Smart blocked a John Wall layup, coach Brad Stevens wanted to call a timeout and draw up a play for the final shot of the half.

2:15 – The Celtics do not score on the final shot of the half, and we go into halftime with the score Washington 64, Boston 59.

After falling behind 16-0, the Celtics have impressively made a game of it, getting a big shot in the arm from their often maligned bench, which came up big while Isaiah Thomas was in the locker room getting his tooth reinstalled. Speaking of Thomas, he’s got 19 points to lead the C’s, and Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to contribute 12 points.

Marcin Gortat leads the Wizards with 14 points and 10 rebounds, taking advantage of the Celtics lack of a big inside presence. John Wall has 13 points and 8 assists, and Bradley Beal also has 13. Kelly Oubre’s come off the bench to score ten.

What looked like a dreary afternoon is certainly looking up, both from the perspective of a Celtics fan, and someone who just wants to see a good-ass game. Both teams are really going at it, and we should be in for a great second half.

2:18 – It’s not just the return of The Bonus, it’s the return of Today in Playoff History!

Back in 1971, the Baltimore Bullets were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals, losing 118-106 in Game 4. Fred Carter led Baltimore with 28 points, but the Bucks got 30 from Oscar Robertson, 27 from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and 21 from Bob Dandridge. Now that’s a Big Three! ItΒ remains the Bucks lone championship. Of course, the Baltimore Bullets are now these Washington Wizards we’re watching this afternoon. I wish they were still the Bullets, and I certainly wouldn’t mind if they were still in Baltimore as well.

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2:32 – Al Horford corrals a pass from Avery Bradley and goes up for a dunk for the first bucket of the second half, cutting the Celtics deficit down to 64-61. In other news, Marcus Smart starts the second half for the Celtics, instead of Gerald Green.

2:33 – Bradley Beal hits a jumper to get the Wizards lead back up to five at 66-61.

2:35 – After John Wall gets stripped of the ball, the Celtics get a three pointer out of Isaiah Thomas, and they’re within two, trailing 66-64.

2:36 – Thomas knocks down a jumper, and we’re tied at 66. However, Otto Porter answers with a floater to put the Wizards back on top, 68-66.

2:38 – Al Horford wins a fight for a rebound and lays it in, tying us up at 68…

…but Otto Porter once again answers, this time with a three, and Washington leads, 71-68. Marcus Smart tries a three of his own, misses, but it’s rebounded by Jae Crowder who puts it in the hoop, and the Celtics trail, 71-70.

2:39 – After a wild fight for the ball under the bucket, which included some missed layups and blocked shots, the Celtics finally get control of the ball. They get it to Jae Crowder who knocks down a three, and the Celtics have their first lead of the game! It’ll bring us into a timeout with the score Boston 73, Washington 71 with 6:54 left in the third quarter.

2:43 – Kelly Oubre finishes off a fast break with a dunk, and we’re tied at 73.

2:44 – Jae Crowder hits another three! The Celtics go up, 76-73.

2:45 – Bradley Beal splits a pair of free throws, and the Wizards trail, 76-74. Isaiah Thomas follows it up with a pull up jumper, and he’s got 26 points, and the Celtics got a 78-74 lead.

2:46 – After a Marcus Smart steal, Avery Bradley knocks down a wide open three! We’ll have another timeout with the score Boston 81, Washington 74 with 4:45 left in the third quarter. The Celtics are shooting a robust 13-29 from three point land.

In other, unfortunate news…

2:50 – John Wall blocks an Avery Bradley layup, but the rebound goes to Al Horford, who finds Jae Crowder behind the arc for yet another three! It’s time for another timeout with the score Boston 91, Washington 80 with 2:24 to go in the third.

2:58 – A big third quarter for the Celtics comes to an end with the score Boston 95, Washington 80, after the home team outscored the visitors 36-16 in the quarter. In fact, after their disastrous first quarter, the Celtics have outscored the Wizards, 71-42.

3:01 – Jason Smith knocks down a jumper for the first points of the fourth quarter, but the Wizards have work to do, trailing 95-82.

3:03 – John Wall finishes a fast break by lobbing the ball up to Jason Smith, who coaxes it into the hoop. The Celtics take a quick timeout with the score Boston 95, Washington 84 with 10:48 left in the game.

3:14 – Bojan Bogdanovic knocks down a three, and suddenly, we’re back to a one possession game with the Wizards behind, 101-98. That’s followed by Al Horford cleaning up an Avery Bradley miss with a tip in, and the Celtics go up, 103-98.

3:16 – A Bojan Bogdanovic airball sends us into a timeout with the score Boston 106, Washington 99 with 5:41 left in the game. The Wizards have clawed back into this one, but they’re missing too many free throws as they try to get back into this one.

3:24 – We have a timeout afterΒ the ball goes bouncing out of bounds off the Celtics. The score’s Boston 116, Washington 105 with 2:46 left in the game. The Celtics have been able to maintain the hot three point shooting that got them back into the game in the first place to keep them ahead of the Wizards, who are putting up a worthy effort here in the fourth.

3:32 – A lively game comes to an end with a final score of Boston 123, Washington 111.

Isaiah Thomas, who was at a funeral yesterday, and lost a tooth early in this one, finished with 33 points and 9 assists. Jae Crowder added 24 points and 6 rebounds, and Al Horford orchestrated a lot of the offense, nearly earning a triple-double with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists. The Celtics tied a franchise Playoff record by hitting 19 threes.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27, and John Wall sprung for 20 points and 16 assists. Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Otto Porter chipped in with 16 & 11.

After falling behind 16-0, the Celtics caught fire, especially from three point territory, and pulled out quite a win to open the series. They also played some good defense on John Wall, forcing him into eight turnovers. Obviously, the Wizards missed Markieff Morris throughout the second half of this game, and if he ends up being lost for an extended time, they’re going to be in real trouble. Nevertheless, this series is off to a fantastic start, and it’ll be awesome to watch these two teams battle over the course of seven games.

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3:37 – We’re welcomed to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for Game 7 between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz. It’s sad to see this series come to an end. Watching these two teams battle it out has been a real joy. The Clippers are facing the prospect of not only seeing another Playoff run end prematurely, but potentially the end of this era, the most successful in their otherwise depressing franchise history. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and JJ Redick can all become free agents, so this is possibly the final game in their Clippers careers.

3:40 – Marc Jones and Hubie Brown will be our narrators for our second game this afternoon. I’ll take them over Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson all day, every day.

3:41 – The Jazz are wearing their dope green alternate jerseys. A good move for a Game 7. Like he did in Game 6, Austin Rivers will start for the Clippers, as they go with a smaller starting lineup.

3:42 – The Jazz win the opening tip, and Game 7 is underway over at the Staples Center.

3:43 – George Hill opens up the scoring with a jumper, giving the Jazz a 2-0 lead to start the game. Chris Paul answers with his own jumper, and we’re tied up at two.

3:46 – Joe Ingles traps Chris Paul in the corner, and the point god, as Paul’s been called lately, is forced to call a timeout with an early score of Utah 4, Los Angeles 3 with 9:04 left in the first quarter.

3:47 – Back from the timeout, we’re shown footage of the Clippers huddle, and needless to say, they’re already frustrated and kind of yelling at one another. Not a great sign.

3:48 – Luc Mbah a Moute draws the second foul on Rudy Gobert, and the Jazz big man heads to the bench early. Mbah a Moute makes his free throws, and the Clippers go up, 5-4.

3:50 – George Hill knocks down a three, and we have another early timeout with the score Utah 9, Los Angeles 5 with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter.

4:00 – Chris Paul takes it into the paint and hits a floater, and we’ll have a timeout with the score Utah 18, Los Angeles 15 with 3:56 left in the first quarter. As it’s been all series, I think we’re in for a close, low scoring affair here in Game 7.

4:03 – Beyonce, Jay-Z and Phillip Rivers are amongst the luminaries in attendance this afternoon at the Staples Center.

4:08 – We’re at the end of the first quarter with the score Los Angeles 24, Utah 24. It’s been more of the same we’ve seen all through this series. The Jazz grinding the pace down to a crawl and methodically searching for the best shot, while Chris Paul seems intent on having a big, heroic Game 7. He’s got nine points to lead the Clippers, and Gordon Hayward has seven for the Jazz.

4:13 – Rodney Hood battles through the paint for a layup, plus a foul. He misses his free throw, but he’s got the first points of the second quarter to put the Jazz on top, 26-24.

4:15 – Rudy Gobert is called for his third foul as he goes for an offensive rebound. He’s back on the bench, probably for the remaining ten minutes of the first half. The Jazz have been able to hang in without him so far, but can they keep it up until halftime?

4:17 – After an Austin Rivers layup, we’re heading into a timeout as the game remains close. It’s Utah 31, Los Angeles 28 with 8:47 left until halftime.

4:19 – Checking in on Markieff Morris and his ankle…

4:24 – George Hill hits a jumper, and the Jazz are on a 10-2 run, sending us into a timeout with the score Utah 41, Los Angeles 30 with 5:13 left in the first half. Of course, the Jazz are doing this with Gobert on the bench with his three fouls.

4:31 – DeAndre Jordan is wrapped up by George Hill on his way towards the hoop, and it’ll send us into another timeout with the score Utah 41, Los Angeles 32 with 2:17 left in what’s been a low scoring, Jazz paced first half.

4:35 – DeAndre Jordan goes 1-2 from the free throw line, and the Clippers trail, 41-33.

4:40 – The first half draws to a close with the score Utah 46, Los Angeles 39. The Clippers could use some more energy from people other than Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, who each have 11 points. Paul’s added five assists, and Jordan’s got 12 rebounds for a halftime double-double.

Derrick Favors, filling in off the bench for the foul troubled Rudy Gobert, has 10 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Jazz, who have controlled the game throughout the first half. It’s been a disappointing effort from the Clippers, especially with so much on the line for them. They scored only 15 points in the second quarter, and seem generally unexcited about things.

4:44 – It’s time for another exciting episode of Today in Playoff History!

Back in 2010, the Jazz closed out the first round of the Playoffs with a 112-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 6, winning the series 4-2.

Wesley Matthews led the Jazz with 23 points, and Carlos Boozer went for 22 points, 20 rebounds and 5 assists. Deron Williams added 14 points and 10 assists, and Paul Millsap came off the bench for 21 & 11.

Chauncey Billups, currently in the ESPN Halftime studio, led the Nuggets with 30 points and 8 assists. Carmelo Anthony had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, and none other than Joey Graham came off the bench for 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The win marked Utah’s last Playoff series victory. They’re now 24 minutes away from changing that.

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4:58 – Chris Paul is fouled by George Hill, and gets a ridiculous continuation call as he takes two more steps before laying it up and in. He misses the free throw, and the Clippers trail 46-41 to begin the second half.

5:02 – Rudy Gobert gets called for his fourth foul, and in comes Derrick Favors from the bench. Gobert has zero points in just eight minutes of action.

5:04 – Ah, here’s the lame “REFS, YOU SUCK!” chant from the Clippers fans after Boris Diaw knocks down a long two pointer, and is fouled by Paul Pierce. Any chant that requires a comma when writing it is lame as hell. Diaw knocks down his free throw, and the Jazz have opened up a 54-44 lead.

5:07 – Boris Diaw flips in a layup, and he’s fouled! Meanwhile, Chris Paul comes up hobbling a bit after the previous play, and things are starting to go down the drain for the Clippers. A timeout is called with the scoreboard reading Utah 58, Los Angeles 44 with 7:33 left in the third quarter.

5:11 – Boris Diaw hits his free throw, and the Jazz are on a 13-3 lead to open up the largest lead either team has had in this series. They’re up 59-44. By the way, Chris Paul is still in the game, and seems to be fairly fine.

5:19 – After Joe Ingles airballs a three pointer, we’ve got a timeout as the Jazz lead continues to grow. It’s Utah 71, Los Angeles 53 with 2:53 left in the third quarter. Things are starting to get dire for the Clips.

5:28 – In the final seconds of the third quarter, Joe Johnson attracts the attention of all of the Clippers, then makes a great pass to Rodney Hood who’s running down the baseline for a layup. It closes out the quarter with a score of Utah 79, Los Angeles 63. It’s been both disappointing and dispiriting for the Clippers, who are getting substandard performances from just about everyone on their roster, including Chris Paul, who is shooting just 6-15 for 13 points. There very well might be just twelve minutes remaining in the Lob City era.

5:33 – Rudy Gobert goes 1-2 from the line to get the first point of the fourth quarter, and his first point of the game. It extends the Jazz lead to 80-63.

5:37 – Rudy Gobert is called for his fifth foul. It’s been a lost afternoon for the big man, but it clearly hasn’t hurt his team. He returns to the bench.

5:39 – After Jamal CrawfordΒ lobs up a pass for a big slam from DeAndre Jordan, we have a timeout as the Clippers have shaved a little bit off their deficit. It’s Utah 84, Los Angeles 71 with 8:47 left in the game.

5:49 – Derrick Favors picks up his sixth and final foul, and it’ll take us to a timeout with the score Utah 96, Los Angeles 80 with 5:24 remaining. Favors finishes with 17 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench, filling in for Rudy Gobert, who has been in foul trouble himself.

5:55 – A kickball sends us into a timeout with the score Utah 98, Los Angeles 87 with 3:33 left in the game. The Clippers are trying to hang in there for one last run, but the Jazz still seem to be controlling the game. Still, there’s plenty of time left for something goofy to happen.

6:02 – After a jump ball, George Hill gets the ball on the floor and calls a timeout as he’s surrounded by a couple of Clippers. It’s Utah 102, Los Angeles 90 with 2:02 left in the game.

6:04 – Another timeout, this time after the Clippers force the Jazz into a shot clock violation. The score’s the same, and there’s 1:39 left on the clock.

6:06 – Rudy Gobert gets called for his sixth foul, and he’s finally fouled out of this one. He finishes with just one point and four rebounds in 13 foul plagued minutes.

6:10 – As the clock winds down, sans a Clippers comeback, Paul Pierce is receiving hugs and well wishes from his teammates on the bench, as his career will come to an end with this game.

6:11 – We’ve reached the end. Our final score from a stunned and solemn Staples Center: Utah 104, Los Angeles 91.

DeAndre Jordan finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Clippers, and Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score 20. Chris Paul, after a strong first quarter, finished with just 13 points and 9 assists on 6-19 shooting.

The Jazz were led by Gordon Hayward’s 26 points and 8 rebounds. Derrick Favors came off the bench for 17 points and 11 rebounds.

With the win, the Jazz move on to face the mighty Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. Obviously, that’s a tall task, but the Jazz have great depth and are really good at dictating the pace of the game. They should be able to put up a fine fight against the Warriors.

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As for the Clippers, they’re starting the offseason earlier than they expected, once again. They’ve been one of the defining teams of the 2010s, but their run with this crew could be over after today. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and JJ Redick, who was a non-factor throughout this series, can become free agents. They’ve never made it past the second round of the Playoffs, and have bowed out in the first round two years in a row. It could be time to blow it all up.

Furthermore, this game marks the end of Paul Pierce’s great career. I grew up watching him play for the Celtics, and needless to say, he’s one of my favorite players ever. I’m sure I’ll pen quite the opus about his entire career right here on The Bonus, but that’s a post for another time. Instead, we’ll leave you with this. As we’re back to continue our outlandish Playoff coverage, Paul Pierce walks off the court for the final time…