The NBA Playoffs were back in action on Wednesday night. After two nights of conference semifinal match ups that have been complete duds, we finally got some better games to watch. We also seen one of the league’s best defensive big men finally find his rhythm in a big time win.
If you missed any of the NBA Playoffs on Wednesday night, you can catch the video highlights, as well as a quick recap article below. Scroll down for all the information. Recaps courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
Indiana Pacers 86 – Washington Wizards 82
Series tied 1-1
Roy Hibbert broke out of his playoff funk with a season-best 28 points and nine rebounds, leading the Indiana Pacers to an 86-82 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night that tied the Eastern Conference semifinals at 1-1.
It was a stark contrast to Hibbert’s abysmal, scoreless showing in Monday night’s loss – and most of this year’s playoffs.
But after hearing 48 hours of constant criticism and continual questions, Hibbert responded with the kind of game Indiana desperately needed. He made his first four shots, dominated the middle and produced big basket after big basket.
Game 3 is Friday in Washington.
Washington took a 77-74 lead with 5:01 left in the game. Indiana scored six straight and never trailed again.
Washington had won all four of its previous road playoff games – three at Chicago and Monday night in Indy.
But Hibbert refused to let it happen again Wednesday.
He scored the first five points, blocked two shots and altered a handful of others on a night Indiana needed every contribution he could give.
Hibbert’s one-handed dunk cut the deficit to one with 7:57 left, and it was a nifty stop-and-go layup that got the Pacers within 77-76 three minutes later. That basket ignited the decisive spurt.
Paul George‘s steal on the ensuing possession led to a George Hill layup that gave Indiana a 78-77 lead and Hibbert’s inside presence opened the lane for George to drive for a two-handed dunk to give the Pacers an 80-77 lead.
All the Wizards could muster after that was an alley-oop layup by Gortat and a long 3-pointer from Beal that got the Wizards within 84-82 with 11 seconds to play.
But David West made two free throws and Hibbert, fittingly, grabbed the final rebound of the game to seal the win.
Hibbert, who had become the biggest target of jokesters and ex-NBA players, wasted no time trying to change his image. After finishing with no points and no rebounds for the second time in four playoff games, the 7-foot-2 All-Star opened the game with a 17-footer and a three-point play.
Washington survived that opening flurry, tying the score at 23 after one quarter, then taking the lead and holding it for most of the second.
The Wizards pulled out to a six-point lead early in the third, but Indiana used a 15-3 spurt to turn a 53-48 deficit into a 63-56 lead with 3:55 to go.
Washington steadily closed the gap, getting within 68-64 at the end of three, tying the score at 69 when Drew Gooden made 1 of 2 free throws with 9:56 to go and retaking a 71-69 the lead on Nene’s 20-foot jumper with 9:10 left. The Wizards went up 77-74 on Beal’s 15-foot pullup jumper with 5:01 to play, but Hibbert and George answered with the six straight points and the Pacers held on.
Notes: Hibbert was 10 of 13 from the field and made all eight of his free throw attempts. … Nene went to the locker room in the first quarter after apparently hurting his left leg or ankle but returned early in the second and finished with 14 points. … George Hill had 14 points for the Pacers, who limited Washington to 5 of 21 on 3-pointers.
Oklahoma City Thunder 112 – Los Angeles Clippers 101
Series tied 1-1
Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, MVP Kevin Durant fell one assist short and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-101 on Wednesday night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.
Westbrook had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double in his past five playoff games. Durant had 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists before leaving the game with 1:21 remaining. According to information provided to the Thunder by the Elias Sports Bureau, no pair of teammates has had triple-doubles in the same playoff game.
Game 3 will be Friday in Los Angeles.
The Clippers made 15 of 29 3-pointers in Game 1, but just 9 of 27 in Game 2.
Durant scored 17 points in the first quarter on 7-for-11 shooting to help the Thunder take a 37-28 lead. Paul, who scored 17 points in the opening quarter of Game 1, went scoreless in the first quarter of Game 2 and watched most of the period from the bench with two fouls.
The Thunder led 46-40 when both Westbrook and coach Scott Brooks were called for technical fouls. Westbrook felt he was fouled on a drive against DeAndre Jordan and didn’t get the call. The Clippers made both free throws, then Paul made a 3-pointer to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 46-45. The Clippers went ahead when Griffin connected on a mid-range jumper with just over 4 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Thunder closed the half strong and took a 61-56 lead. Durant had 21 points and Westbrook 19 at the break as Oklahoma City shot 53.3 percent from the field.
Oklahoma City got an offensive boost from an unlikely source – Sefolosha, a defensive stopper. He hit a mid-range jumper, then dunked after a steal by Westbrook to give the Thunder a 78-66 lead. Sefolosha dunked again, then got a steal that led to a 3-pointer by Westbrook and gave Oklahoma City a 90-73 advantage.
Sefolosha scored 12 points in the quarter to help the Thunder take a 94-77 advantage into the fourth.
Westbrook clinched his triple-double with 1:21 remaining when he was credited with an assist after a pass to Sefolosha, who took two dribbles on his drive to the basket.
Notes: A power surge took out much of the arena’s lighting with 27.2 seconds left in the first half. The coaches agreed to finish out the half with the limited lighting. The power returned, but halftime was extended briefly to give the lights the necessary 15 minutes to return to full brightness. … Rapper Jay-Z attended the game. … 2K Sports has announced that Durant will be the lone player on the cover of NBA 2K15. He shared the cover of 2K13 with Griffin and Chicago’s Derrick Rose. Miami’s LeBron James was on the cover of 2K14. … Commissioner Adam Silver presented Durant with the MVP trophy before the game, and he held it up for the fans to see. … Thunder C Steven Adams was called for a technical foul with 9:17 remaining for falling on Paul after a pump fake and knocking him into the Thunder bench. Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford was issued a technical with 7:28 to play, and Paul was given one with 2:24 remaining.