Month: May 2018

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets will look to finish off the Utah Jazz as they host them at the Toyota Center for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.  If that takes place and the Rockets advance to the Western Conference Finals, that will be the first time in Chris Paul’s career that will play in a Conference Finals.

SERIES RECAP:

Game 1 took place in Houston on April 29 as the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110-96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, pulled down eight rebounds, gave out seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.

The Houston Rockets hosted the Utah Jazz again for Game 2 on May 2 but this time, the Jazz snuck away with a 116 to 108 victory.  Joe Ingles had twenty-seven points in that game, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden recorded thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The series would shift over to Utah as the Jazz hosted the Rockets for Game 3 on May 4.  The Houston Rockets, however, got revenge as they defeated the Utah Jazz with a 113 to 92 score.  During that game, James Harden scored twenty-five points, pulled down four rebounds, gave out twelve assists, committed two steals and blocked one shot.  Eric Gordon also had twenty-five points, along with two rebounds and one steal.  Royce O’Neale had seventeen points, five rebounds, and one assist.

Game 4 would be held on May 6 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena as the Texas team defeated the Jazz, 100-87.  Chris Paul finished that game with twenty-seven points, along with twelve rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block while Donovan Mitchell recorded twenty-five points, nine rebounds, two assists, and four steals.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Dante Exum (hamstring; 8.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 48.3 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Ryan Anderson (coach’s decision; 9.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 43.1 FG%, 38.6 3P%)
Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would somewhat have control in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, keeping the Utah Jazz at forty percent.  Chris Paul, desperate for a Conference Finals appearance, would get hot for fifteen points while hitting three three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while P.J. Tucker earned himself ten points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  James Harden contributed with nine points which held a three-pointer late in the first period.  2016-2017 Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer, which he took in the second quarter.

On the other end of the court, both Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert scored eight points but Ingles earned six of his points from beyond the arc.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Gobert had five rebounds and two blocks.  Donovan Mitchell surprisingly had only two points but did manage to dish off six assists.  Missouri-native Alec Burks played fourteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points but it was the Houston team who went into halftime with a 54 to 46 lead.

The Jazz would make sure to hold it close, though, as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, keeping the home team to forty-eight percent.  Mitchell got extremely hot for twenty-two points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He dropped two three-pointers in the third quarter while recording three rebounds and three assists.  Royce O’Neale helped out with eleven points while Rudy Gobert had four rebounds and four points.  Burks collected ten more points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as Chris Paul responded hugely.  Paul chalked up twenty-six more points, giving the Rockets a 112-102 victory, winning the series 4-1.  Chris Paul finished the game with a playoff career-high forty-one points, along with seven rebounds, ten assists, and one steal.  Donovan Mitchell settled for twenty-four points, four rebounds, nine assists, and one steal.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers complete the sweep against the Toronto Raptors as they win, 128-93

The Cleveland Cavaliers complete the sweep against the Toronto Raptors as they win, 128-93

The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers as tonight marks the fourth game in their playoff series.  If that happens, it will be the second straight time that the Cavaliers sweep the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.  The odds will be against the Raptors as they have to face the Cavaliers and their fans at the Quicken Loans Arena.

SERIES RECAP:

The first game of this series took place on May 1 when the Cavaliers pulled out a 113-112 overtime victory over the Raptors in Canada.  During that game, LeBron James scored twenty-six points, grabbed eleven rebounds, dished off thirteen assists, committed one steal, and blocked two shots while DeMar DeRozan finished with twenty-two points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, and three blocks.

The second meeting was held on May 3 as the Toronto Raptors fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-128.  That matchup was also played at the Air Canada Centre as LeBron James recorded forty-three points in that game, along with eight rebounds, fourteen assists, and one steal.  DeMar DeRozan settled for only twenty-four points and three assists.

The series would shift over to Cleveland, Ohio, as the third game was played on May 5.  The home team would sneak away with a 105-103 win, thanks to the buzzer-beating floater made by LeBron James.  During that game, though, LeBron James had thirty-eight points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block while Kyle Lowry scored twenty-seven points, grabbed three rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed two steals.

INACTIVES:

Toronto Raptors:

Malachi Richardson (3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 53.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Rodney Hood (coach’s decision; 14.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.9 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Okaro White (3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Kendrick Perkins (3.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Cleveland Cavaliers would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot sixty-two percent from the field, limiting the Toronto Raptors to fifty-one percent.  J.R. Smith got hot for fifteen points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He also connected for three three-pointers while Kyle Korver contributed with thirteen points.  Korver also had three three-pointers as he shot eighty-three percent from the field.  Kevin Love saw to it that he got eleven points while recording two defensive rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.  LeBron James scored only ten points in the twenty-three minutes that he played but did manage to chalk up six defensive rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.  Jeff Green played the most minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

As for the home team, Jonas Valanciunas dropped ten points off the bench as he shot a high sixty-three percent from the field.  DeMar DeRozan earned himself nine points and five rebounds while four-time All-Star Kyle Lowry scored five points with a three-pointer early in the first quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds and seven rebounds while C.J. Miles chalked up six points.  Former Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka scored eight points which included two three-pointers.  Fred VanVleet played thirteen minutes off the bench as he received five points but it was the Ohio team who went into halftime with a huge 63-47 advantage.

The home team would close things out in the second half as they went on a 65-46 run, shooting fifty-seven percent from the field.  During that run, LeBron James would heat up for nineteen points while recording two defensive rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.  Love earned himself twelve points while drilling two three-pointers in the third quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds while Green contributed with eight points off the bench.  Delon Wright scored ten points off the Toronto bench but it was enough as the Cavaliers hold off the Raptors, 128-93, completing a sweep and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.  LeBron James finished the game with twenty-nine points, eight rebounds, eleven assists, two steals, and one block while Jonas Valanciunas had eighteen points, five rebounds, two assists, and three blocks (tying his playoff career-high).

The New Orleans Pelicans hold off the Golden State Warriors, 119-100, making the series 2-1

The New Orleans Pelicans hold off the Golden State Warriors, 119-100, making the series 2-1

The Golden State Warriors looked to take a commanding 3-0 series lead last night as they battled the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.  The first game was held on April 28 when the Warriors handed the Pelicans a 123-101 blowout loss.  During that game, Klay Thompson scored twenty-seven points, grabbed six rebounds, gave out two assists, and blocked two shots while Anthony Davis finished with twenty-one points, ten rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.  The defending champions would also win the second game by creeping away with a 121 to 116 victory.  Kevin Durant finished that game with twenty-nine points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks while Anthony Davis had twenty-five points, fifteen rebounds, five assists, two steals, and three blocks.

INACTIVES:

Golden State Warriors:

Patrick McCaw (back; 4.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.9 FG%, 23.8 3P%)
Damian Jones (1.7 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%)

New Orleans Pelicans:

Jordan Crawford (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44.4 FG%, 57.1 3P%)
Frank Jackson (foot)
Emeka Okafor (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 50.5 FG%)
DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles; 25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 47.0 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Alexis Ajinca (knee)

GAMETIME:

The game would be competitive at the beginning as the New Orleans Pelicans shot forty-nine percent from the field while the Golden State Warriors ending up shooting forty-four percent.  Both Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday scored fourteen points each while Mirotic connected for three three-pointers.  He also had seven defensive rebounds while Holiday had two three-pointers, five rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.  MVP-candidate Anthony Davis contributed with eleven points which held a three-pointer in the first quarter.  He also recorded seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals while Rajon Rondo had ten assists.  Solomon Hill played the most minutes off the bench as he earned nine points from beyond the arc.

On the other end of the court, Klay Thompson got hot for twenty points, which he scored all in the second quarter.  He collected nine of those points from behind the three-point line while pulling down five defensive rebounds.  Kevin Durant helped out with thirteen points as he shot fifty percent from the field.  Stephen Curry saw to it that he got nine points which included two three-pointers while Draymond Green had eight points, eight rebounds, and four assists.  He also had two three-pointers as he shot fifty percent from the field.  Andre Iguodala played sixteen minutes off the bench but was kept to just two points as the home team went into halftime with a 62 to 56 lead.

The Pelicans went on to close things out in the second half as they sparked up a 57 to 44 run, shooting fifty-one percent from the field.  During that run, Davis got extremely hot for twenty-two points as he shot a high seventy-seven percent from the field.  He also had eleven rebounds and two steals while Ian Clark had fourteen points off the bench.  Rondo was able to dish off eleven more assists while Mirotic had six rebounds and six assists.  Curry chalked up ten points for the Warriors but it wasn’t enough as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Golden State Warriors, 119-100.  Anthony Davis finished the game with thirty-three points, a playoff career-high eighteen rebounds, three assists, and a playoff career-high four steals.  Rajon Rondo also finished with a playoff career-high twenty-one assists.  Klay Thompson settled for twenty-six points, seven rebounds, and one assist.

The Boston Celtics take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they down the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-103

The Boston Celtics take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they down the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-103

Last night marked the second game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics in their playoff series.  The first game took place on Monday as the Celtics handed the 76ers a surprising 117-101 loss.  During that game, Terry Rozier scored twenty-nine points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out six assists, committed two steals, and blocked one shot while Joel Embiid had thirty-one points, thirteen rebounds, five assists, and one steal.  The 76ers will look to bounce back and tie the series up 1-1 as they battle the Celtics in Boston.

INACTIVES:

Philadelphia 76ers:

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee; 5.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.5 FG%, 33.5 3P%)
Justin Anderson (coach’s decision; 6.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 43.1 FG%, 33.0 3P%)
Jerryd Bayless (coach’s decision; 7.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%)
Markelle Fultz (coach’s decision; 7.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, 40.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Richaun Holmes (coach’s decision; 6.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 56.0 FG%, 12.9 3P%)
Furkan Korkmaz (1.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 28.6 FG%, 29.4 3P%)

Boston Celtics:

Jaylen Brown (hamstring; 14.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.6 APG, 46.5 FG%, 39.5 3P%)
Gordon Hayward (ankle; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Kyrie Irving (knee; 24.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.1 APG, 49.1 FG%, 40.8 3P%)
Daniel Theis (knee; 5.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.9 APG, 54.1 FG%, 31.0 3P%)
Abdel Nader (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.6 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Guerschon Yabusele (coach’s decision; 2.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 42.6 FG%, 32.4 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held very close at the beginning as the Philadelphia 76ers shot forty-six percent from the field while the Boston Celtics shot forty-three percent.  J.J. Redick ended up lighting the floor up with fifteen points which included three three-pointers in the first quarter.  Former Houston Rockets’ forward Robert Covington would help out with twelve points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He ended up recording two rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks, as well, along with two three-pointers.  Joel Embiid shot only thirty-three percent from the field but earned ten points in return while grabbing ten boards.  Ben Simmons was kept to just a free-throw while collecting three rebounds and three assists.  Marco Belinelli played thirteen minutes off of the bench as he earned six points.

As for the home team, Marcus Smart chalked up thirteen points on eighty percent shooting.  He connected for three three-pointers while putting up three defensive rebounds, two assists, and one steal.  Ohio-native Terry Rozier had himself ten points but shot only thirty-eight percent from the field.  Al Horford posted up seven points and nine rebounds while Jayson Tatum contributed with five points.  Jaylen Brown played the most minutes off of the bench as he received eight points but it was the Philadelphia team who went into halftime with a tight 56 to 51 lead.

The Celtics would come out of the locker room with a different mindset as they went on a 57-47 run in the second half, shooting forty-seven percent from the field.  During that run, Tatum got hot for sixteen points which contained a three-pointer in the third quarter.  Rozier made sure that he got ten more points while collecting five defensive rebounds and six assists.  As for the 76ers, both Covington and Embiid chalked up ten points each but it wouldn’t be enough as the Celtics hold on to win the game, 108-103, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.  Jayson Tatum finished the game with twenty-one points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block while J.J. Redick had twenty-three points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

Tonight will mark the second game between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets in their playoff series.  The first game was on Sunday when the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110 to 96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.  The Houston Rockets will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they host the Jazz at the Toyota Center.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jonas Jerebko (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.6 APG, 46.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Utah Jazz would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, limiting the Houston Rockets to forty percent.  Joe Ingles ended up scoring fourteen points on sixty-three percent shooting while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  Rudy Gobert would help out with thirteen points while grabbing one offensive rebound and eight defensive rebounds.  He also had one block while Alec Burks chalked up eleven points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  Donovan Mitchell would be limited to seven points while both Royce O’Neale and Derrick Favors scored six points each.  Jae Crowder played sixteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two three-pointers and a free-throw.

On the other end of the court, James Harden would get extremely hot for twenty-one points which included a three-pointer near the end of the second half.  He also had four rebounds, five assists, and one steal while Clint Capela saw to it that he had thirteen points on sixty-seven percent shooting.  Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chris Paul contributed with six points and one assist while P.J. Tucker had a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Eric Gordon played the most minutes off of the bench but was limited to just five points as the visiting team went into halftime with a 64 to 55 lead.

The Houston Rockets would attempt to make a comeback as they went on a 53-52 run in the second half, shooting forty percent from the field.  During that run, Paul would start to warm up with seventeen points, five defensive rebounds, two assists, and two steals while drilling two three-pointers.  Harden continued to put on a scoring display as he had eleven points, which included a three-pointer in the final quarter.  Eric Gordon had ten points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as the Utah Jazz crept away with a 116-108 win, tying the series up, 1-1.  Joe Ingles finished the game with a playoff career-high twenty-seven points, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden settled for thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.