By Kirill Semenov
The postseason of the National Basketball Association is in full swing, with several Game 3 match ups scheduled for tonight.
Last night, three pivotal games were played. Having carried its late season struggles into the postseason, the East top-seeded Indiana Pacers fell to the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks 98-85. The Hawks took control in the third quarter, and never looked back. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, who scored only 18 points in all three games on a measly 7-of-25 from the floor, talks about his offensive struggles.
“I have to watch the film, but I haven’t been playing to the best of my ability. I’m just rushing my shots in the paint, I have to take my time, keep working at it. There’s still a lot of basketball left,” he said.
After walking all over Golden State in a 40-point blowout in Game 2, Thursday’s game could not have been any closer for the LA Clippers, despite Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin, who combined for 46 points and 30 rebounds. With the ball in Steph Curry’s hands with 7.8 seconds to go in the fourth and the Warriors down by two, Curry’s signature step-back jumper followed and resulted in an air ball, after being contested by LA’s Chris Paul. Despite the loss, Golden State’s point guard says there’s time to turn things around.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s not over. Still plenty of time for us to get control of the series back. Obviously, it’s a must-win Game 4 on Sunday. We’ve already won in LA, we’ve shown we can do that – we want to allow that to be an opportunity for us to get over the hump, but we got to take care of Sunday.”
In another Western Conference matchup, the number two seed Oklahoma City falls to seven seed Memphis last night. The Grizzlies defense allowed only 36 points in the first two quarters. Russell Westbrook’s four-point play with less than a minute left tied the game at 85 and sent it to overtime, where the home team held on to a lead to win it 98-95. OKC’s Kevin Durant, who logged almost 50 minutes on the floor and scored 30 points, but struggled from beyond the arc (0-8), says it was just an off game shooting the ball.
“It’s their typical defense, they’ve been playing it all season. We need to move the ball a little better, i think our turnovers are pretty good, we aren’t turning over a lot, but we missed some shots tonight. We missed some shots that we like.”
Three games will be played tonight. Toronto will face the Nets in Brooklyn. With the series tied 1-1, Game 3 will be pivotal. Chicago will play Washington on the road trailing two games to none and Houston will play the Blazers in Portland. It’ll be interesting to see if Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge can continue his video game-like performance (44.5 points averaged in the postseason) and give the Blazers a commanding lead in the series.
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