NBA Playoff Recap 5/25: LA-Phoenix Series Gets More Interesting; All tied at 2

GAME FOUR

1st-seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns

(106-115)

Both teams started off sluggish. Like Game 2, Alvin Gentry’s zone defense was seen early in the game. And as always, the Lakers would try to make it look futile. The Lakers went to the paint mercilessly using their height to their advantage. They were also hoisting jumpers. Ron Artest leads the Lakers with 6 points in the 1st. Kobe Bryant played facilitator, with some 3 assists. The Suns defense was a bit useless, but their offense was perfect. Grant Hill had 6 points, followed by Jason Richardson with 5 points. Channing Frye still continued his icy-slump in the 1st. We’ll talk more about him later. Both teams were locked at 23 apiece after the 1st Quarter.

The 2nd Quarter was like a bonanza for the Suns. Their explosive bench, went out fiery. And when I say bench, I mean the likes of Jared Dudley, Louis Amundson, Leandro Barbosa, Goran Dragic and Channing Frye. Jared Dudley starts the 2nd, with a three at 11:43. Leandro Barbosa comes next, Louis Amundson follows and then Goran Dragic. Finally, the main story is all about Channing Frye. He broke out from his icy-slump. On the other hand, Kobe Bryant fried some of his Kobe Beef on the court. He scored 15 points in the Quarter alone. The Suns dominated the 2nd Quarter with 41 points. Mostly coming from the 5 bench producers mentioned above. The Lakers would trail after 2 Quarters with a 64-55 Suns lead.

As always, Kobe Bryant will deliver anytime for the Lakers. He scored 16 3rd Quarter points. Only 2 players from the Suns’ team had field goals.Namely, Robin Lopez and Amar’e Stoudemire. Robin Lopez made 2 tip shots. And Amar’e pretty much was everywhere. He was shooting on different angles on the court. Steve Nash and Goran Dragic also contributed in the free throw line. The Lakers would make the game alot more interesting after 3.

The Suns’ bench was inevitable for the Lakers, both on defense and on offense. Their defense was quite great, and their production went to another level. They scored a combine 54 points throughout the game. The Suns would later orchestrate an 18-6 run. Behind, Jared Dudley’s and Leandro Barbosa’s back-to-back threes. At the end of the game, the Lakers would lose all hope. The Suns tie the series with a 115-106 victory.

Kobe Bryant garnered some attention with his 38 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists performance. For some reason, he has been dishing out the ball more often now. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom followed Kobe’s performance with 15 points apiece. As mentioned earlier, the Second Five or the Phoenix Suns’ bench combined for a 54-point performance. Amar’e Stoudemire, who had a 42 point, 11 rebound performance during Game 3, finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash had 15 points and 8 assists.

The series now heads back to the City of the Angelic. Game 5 is set on Thursday. Don’t miss it!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

2) Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 9th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (87-97)

Well, the Cavs had a lot of momentum after taking home-court advantage back in Game 3. But, a point guard from Kentucky would change all of that. More details of that later. The Celtics were a little bit sloppy at first, but energy and some transition plays helped them out. The Cavs had significant help from no other than LeBron James, who finished 22 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Shaq, another factor for the Cavs, had 17 points in the game. The other Cavaliers weren’t really producing at their level, shooting a mere 36%. Rajon Rondo scored 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists to end the 1st half. He would later end with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. (I’m not lying on the 18 rebounds. And he’s a featherweight – 170 pounds.)

2nd-half story, the Cavs made up for their 1st-half plays by coming back with a 27-20 point ratio during the 3rd, reducing the lead to two. The Celtics and the Cavs swapped runs during the 4th. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett both scored 18 points. Paul Pierce still plays cold, shooting 3/8 from the field, ending with 9 points. In the end, the story is still Rondo. Celtics tie the series at 2 games apiece. If Rondo keeps this up, the Celtics should’nt worry about their future. Go Celtics!

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (107-101)

The Spurs find themselves on a not too common “Do or Die” situation with the Phoenix Suns. Tony Parker has finally started for the Spurs in Game 4 and became productive during the 1st half. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were going down low at the paint, combining for a 10/14 during the 2nd quarter. The Suns‘ bench on the other hand, made some key threes and timely buckets to cut the Spurs lead. Channing Frye, Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley to name a few.

Steve Nash rocking the “Cyclopse” look.

And as always, this series is physical. So, the SunsSteve Nash (pictured) receives an elbow from the SpursTim Duncan. He went back to the locker room and acquired 6 stitches before returning to the game. Speaking of Tim Duncan, he finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Manu Ginobili scored 15 points but he made up for it with 5 steals. Despite the injury, Steve Nash would still score on floaters and would pass to Amar’e Stoudemire for some key jumpers. But, the Spurs still never gave up. George Hill gets the hoop plus the harm for a 4-point play that would cut the lead to 2. The Spurs would need to foul now. They find Grant Hill, unfortunately for the Spurs, he would make both free throws. Manu Ginobili misses a three at the other end, and the Suns taste the sweetest revenge against the Spurs.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Elsa/Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Ronald Martinez/NBAE/Getty Images

4) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 5th, 2010

7th-seed San Antonio Spurs vs. 3rd-seed Phoenix Suns (102-110)

The Bear and the Widowed Wife fighting over a loose-ball.

The San Antonio Spurs started pretty well on both defense and offense. They had fast hands, they avoided fouling, and they were making shots. The Spurs ended the opening-quarter with 30-21 lead over the Suns. During the 2nd Quarter, the Suns had significant help from their second-unit. Jared Dudley, Channing Frye and Goran Dragic to name a few. The Suns shocked the Spurs in the 2nd, as they tied the score to 41 apiece.

During the 2nd half, Channing Frye went HOT. He shot 5/6 3-pointers. But, Tim Duncan had a decent night, he scored 29 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Tony Parker, who I think should’ve started the game, ended up with 20 points and 7 assists. Manu Ginobili struggled from the field, shooting 2/8 from close and 2/5 from far, but he dished out 11 assists to be the leading passer in the game.

But the Phoenix Suns won’t give-up. They gave it all they got to have a 2-0 series lead during the 4th-Qtr. At the end, Amar’e Stoudemire scored 23 points and taking 11 rebounds with the help of Steve Nash and Jason Richardson, who scored 19 points apiece. Add 6 assists for Steve Nash. And Grant Hill also gave some help to his team with a score of 18 points.

Phoenix gains a 2-0 series lead , dammit! I say Spurs are winning the series.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Barry Gosage/NBAE via Getty Images

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