Two games in the NBA Playoffs on Thursday night. We’ve got video highlights and a recap for both match ups here. You can check those all out below. Recaps courtesy Sports Illustrated.
Miami Heat 94 – Brooklyn Nets 82
Heat lead series 2-0
Strange as it sounds, missing shots worked wonders for the Miami Heat.
And after the Brooklyn Nets went nearly 2 minutes – a basketball eternity – without the ball down the stretch, the two-time defending NBA champions would soon find themselves two wins from another trip to the Eastern Conference finals.
”To be able to get some stops like that at the end, and then execute, it’s something that’s critical in this series,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Dwyane Wade had 14 and Ray Allen scored 13 for the Heat, who tied a franchise record with their eighth straight playoff victory. They’ll go for No. 9 on Saturday night, when the best-of-seven series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3.
For the second straight game, Miami had five players in double figures.
”That’s what our team is all about,” James said. ”We don’t really care who scores.”
Mirza Teletovic set a Nets playoff record with six 3-pointers, on his way to a 20-point night off the bench. Shaun Livingston scored 15, and Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson each added 13 more for the Nets.
Deron Williams was 0 for 9 from the field, the worst shooting night of his career.
”That one hurt,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. ”We were right there. We gave ourselves, on the road, an opportunity against the world champs. We let the game slip away. That one possession when they got four offensive rebounds, it didn’t lose the game for us.”
It was three rebounds, but no matter. It was still a backbreaker for the Nets.
Teletovic scored inside with 3:39 left to get Brooklyn within eight. For the next 100 seconds, Miami kept possession.
James missed a 3-pointer, and Allen – who led Miami with eight rebounds – maneuvered his way around four Nets to grab the rebound. James missed again, and Wade grabbed that board. James missed a layup, but Bosh controlled that board.
And finally, almost mercifully, Wade found James for a layup with 1:59 remaining. The lead was 10, the outcome decided.
”That was a killer,” Johnson said.
Wade had just six points in the game’s first 37 minutes, then eight more in the next three, setting the tone for a grind-it-out fourth quarter from Miami.
”You’ve got to do the little things until you get your opportunity,” said Wade, who finished with seven rebounds and seven assists. ”That’s what I was able to do.”
The Heat led 79-77 when Brooklyn’s Marcus Thornton missed a 3-pointer with 6:21 left – which, had it gone down, would have had the Heat facing a fourth-quarter deficit for the first time in these playoffs.
But it missed. And that’s when the Heat found separation for the first time all night, at the most critical point.
James was in trouble with less than 4 seconds on the shot clock and still found a way to get a bounce pass out to Mario Chalmers in the left corner for a 3-pointer. James passed on the fadeaway, deciding it would be a bad shot, and made the decision to send the ball to Chalmers.
”Just get it there,” James said he was thinking.
He got the pass there, Chalmers made the shot, and after a stop on the ensuing Brooklyn trip, Allen hit from the same spot as Chalmers for an 85-77 lead.
”As the game wore on we started picking up the pace,” Allen said. ”We started to getting how we play basketball.”
Teletovic kept the Nets afloat. He made his first four 3-pointers, needing less than six minutes to do so after checking in for the first time late in the opening quarter. He had 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc by halftime alone, a boost that Brooklyn definitely needed.
And his shots came at big times. Of Teletovic’s five 3s in the first half, three broke ties. His sixth 3 of the game, late in the third, tied the game at 61.
But in the end, Miami was too much.
”This series is far from over,” Johnson said.
NOTES: Trying to save a loose ball in the third quarter, James leaped over a row of people sitting along one sideline, then ran about 10 more rows deep into the stands. … Mason Plumlee had three first-half fouls for the Nets, matching the entire Heat total. Brooklyn didn’t take any free throws until the third quarter. … Miami went scoreless for the game’s first 3:32, its longest drought to open a home game since Feb. 26, 2005 – 443 contests ago. … Nets F Kevin Garnett, who went scoreless in Game 1, had four points but led everyone with 12 rebounds.
San Antonio Spurs 114 – Portland Trail Blazers 97
Spurs lead series 2-0
Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points, Tony Parker had 16 points and 10 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 114-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night for a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Nicolas Batum scored 21 points for Portland. Damian Lillard had 19 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 10 rebounds, but Portland again struggled to score against San Antonio’s suffocating defense.
The Trail Blazers host Game 3 on Saturday night.
Portland found a snake in its locker room before the game and seemed rattled in the first half before finding its footing in the fourth quarter.
Lillard’s 18-foot jumper pulled the Blazers within 92-80 with 9:17 remaining and his driving layup a minute and half later cut the margin to 94-84. Batum, who was 1 for 5 on 3-pointers in Game 1, hit his third of the game to cut the lead to 99-91 with 5:37 remaining.
The Trail Blazers had a chance to close within seven inside 5 minutes, but Leonard blocked Wes Matthews‘ layup from behind to maintain the Spurs’ advantage at 102-93.
Parker followed with a jumper in the lane on Lillard, and Leonard and Ginobili hit back-to-back 3s to put San Antonio up 110-93 and put the game out of reach.
The Blazers kept pace with the Spurs early by pushing the ball to create a better start than in Game 1. Batum’s 3 gave Portland its first lead of series at 7-4 with 9:47 remaining in the first quarter.
The lead lasted for 16 seconds as Leonard’s 3 tied the game.
San Antonio soon turned the strategy against Portland, using the quicker pace to force turnovers and find open shooters.
Boris Diaw scored six straight points to ignite a 23-8 run that gave San Antonio a 54-36 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Spurs had 17 fast-break points in the first half compared to two by the Trail Blazers.
Matthews was clearly frustrated, taking his mouthpiece out and looking upward in frustration before glaring at his teammates.
Matthews responded by scoring 10 straight points in the third quarter while San Antonio went scoreless for 4 minutes, pulling Portland within 81-69 with 2 minutes remaining in the third.
After losing 116-92 in the opener, Portland was sparked by greater activity by Robin Lopez, who had six rebounds and a blocked shot in the opening six minutes. He struggled once Diaw entered the game.
NOTES: Portland’s Thomas Robinson found the snake two hours before tipoff when he reached for a bag in his locker. The team initially thought it was a baby rattlesnake, but stadium officials later determined it was a non-venomous snake. The snake was estimated between 3 to 4 feet in length. . Spurs general manager R.C. Buford was honored before the tip after being awarded NBA Executive of the Year on Wednesday. Buford, who won the award for the first time in his 12th season as the team’s general manager, received a rousing ovation from the sell-out crowd. . Parker had to towel off after having beer spilled on his left leg when he tumbled into the courtside seats 2 minutes into the game.