April 4,2019 at 1:00 PM
4/21/2019 1:00 PM
Pacers Host Celtics in Game 4, Down 0-3
The Indiana Pacers play host to the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoffs at Banker's Life Fieldhouse on Sunday. The Celtics (3-0) looked to be in big trouble coming into the postseason but their stellar form is hard to overlook. One has to wonder if it's just their opponent but in any case, Boston is performing extremely well right now. The one thing that carried this team in the regular season was their top-10 defense and that's obviously what's buoyed them here. While they haven't won any game by more than 10 points, they've held Indiana below 100 points in all three fixtures. That says a lot about the maturity of this team and it's clear they're ready for a postseason grind. They do have quite the mountain ahead of them though, as they look poised to face an even more dominant Milwaukee Bucks team in the second-round. If they can somehow pull off an upset in that series, this club is officially back. The Pacers (0-3) are unlucky to be in such a big hole, as they've been competitive in all three games. The simple fact is that this team just doesn't have enough offense to compete against an elite defense like this. In fact, Indiana hasn't scored more than 96 points in any game this series and the loss of Victor Oladipo (knee) is obviously playing a huge factor in that. Bojan Bogdanovic can only do so much, especially with players like Myles Turner and Darren Collison struggling mightily. They need more from those guys and they simply won't win any games in this series unless those two provide at least 30 points between them. Dating back to the regular season, Boston has won six-straight games over Indiana.
April 4,2019 at 3:30 PM
4/21/2019 3:30 PM
Clippers Host Warriors in Game 4, Down 2-1
The Los Angeles Clippers play host to the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs at Staples Center on Sunday. The Warriors (2-1) had one of their worst losses in franchise history when they blew a 30-point lead in Game 2 but Game 3 quieted any doubters they once had. In fact, Golden State won that Game 3 by 27 points and led by double-digits for the entirety of the second half. With DeMarcus Cousins injured, Kevin Durant went into full takeover mode. That's a scary sight for any opponent, especially when one of the best scorers of all time takes 20-plus shots. Without Cousins, this is essentially the team that won titles in three of the last four years and it seems pretty clear that the loss of the big man really won't affect this team too much. The Clippers (1-2) were projected to get swept in this series but a road win in Game 2 is a victory in its own right. The only problem with that win is that it woke up a sleeping bear. That was crystal clear in the Game 3 beatdown and this might be the Clippers last opportunity to win a game in this postseason. They simply need more from their starters, with Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell carrying the load in the first three games off the bench. You simply can't rely on your bench to do everything and Los Angeles needs some better performances from players like Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Dating back to the regular season, Golden State has won five of their last six games over Los Angeles. In fact, four of those victories have been decided by double-digit margins.
April 4,2019 at 7:00 PM
4/21/2019 7:00 PM
Raptors and Magic Collide in Pivotal Game 4
The Toronto Raptors take on the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on Sunday evening in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. The Raptors lead the series, 2-1. The Raptors (2-1) took one on the chin back in Game 1, but they've looked much more like themselves since that point. First, they made sure to notch a victory on their home floor by trampling the Magic (1-2), 111-82, in Game 2. Then, Toronto's most recent success came in a 98-93 win in Game 3 on Friday night in Orlando. Pascal Siakam paced the Raptors with a 30-point, 11-rebound double-double that also included four assists. Kawhi Leonard followed with 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and one steal. Danny Green poured in 13 points. Kyle Lowry generated 12 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, one steal and one block. The Raptors will continue to be without OG Anunoby (abdomen) on Sunday. Terrence Ross led the Magic with 24 points, supplementing them with three rebounds, one assist and two steals. Nikola Vucevic posted 22 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and one steal. Jonathan Isaac furnished 14 points, seven rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks. Aaron Gordon contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and one steal. The Magic will come into Sunday's game without any short-term injuries to report.
April 4,2019 at 9:30 PM
4/21/2019 9:30 PM
Thunder Looking To Even The Series After Big Win In Game 3
The Oklahoma City Thunder play host to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs, at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday evening. After going down 2-0 on the road in Games 1 and 2, the Thunder rebounded in Game 3 on Friday, as they closed the game strong to ensure a much-needed win. Russell Westbrook bounced back from a poor performance in Game 2, with a stellar outing in Game 3, as he tallied 33 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and a block in the win. Paul George also came up big in Game 3, with 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and a steal, while Dennis Schroder added 17 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals, in 32 minutes off the bench. Markieff Morris gave a boost off the bench, with seven points, six rebounds and a steal, in 15 minutes. The Thunder shot 48 percent from the field, in Game 3, which was much better than Games 1 and 2, where they shot around 40 percent. The Thunder were indeed much better at home than on the road during the regular season, while the same applies for the Trail Blazers, meaning it can be expected that home court will play a big part in the results. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard has been great so far in the series, averaging 30.3 points, 5.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds over three games so far. He has also been efficient, shooting 45 percent from the field, including 42 percent from deep. C.J. McCollum has also played well so far, averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists over the first three games. Enes Kanter has been critical in filling the void left by Jusuf Nurkic's absence, as he has given the Blazers an inside presence, averaging 15.0 points and 9.3 rebounds per game so far in the playoffs. Turnovers have been a problem for Portland in the series, as the Blazers gave up 16 in each of the first two games and 18 in Game 3. They will definitely need to take better care of the ball to have their best shot at coming out on top of this series.