The weekend in hoops was one big game of anything you can do, we can do better. The Thunder pull to within 2-1, then tie at 2-2? The Boston Celtics will see that with their own two-game win streak at home. That theme carried over into this weekend’s five best plays.
Just became no one has won on the road yet doesn’t mean either of the three games was devoid of drama. Games in Boston went from 24- and 18-point leads to single-digit nailbiters that had Celtics’ fans not-so-quietly wondering how much the league had on Miami winning the series. Rajon Rondo came to save the day, though, and it was incredible. Back in OKC, Kevin Durant and Co. were doing their own damage with clutch fourth-quarter buckets that reminded me of his ads last summer where he’d barnstorm anywhere to get a game in. KD was back doing it all just to stay in the game, and series. It, like all these plays, worked to perfection.
Honorable mention: Kevin Garnett rips off a set of pushups. KG got knocked to the floor in Game 3 so hard we wondered if the elder statesman had broken his hip. In case anyone was wondering about his calcium intake, he ripped off a set of knuckle pushups in the middle of the dead ball. Will KG become the next George Foreman entrepreneur and come out with a line of knuckle-assisted push up trainers in retirement? We don’t know. After getting the series back to 2-2, he’s not retired quite yet.
5. The play doesn’t seem as big a deal now that everyone knows the ending of Game 4, but Mario Chalmers’ dime to Dwyane Wade was enormous in the game’s final six minutes. Once down 18, the game went tied and you just knew everyone was about to pin this one on the refs in Boston. Because Wade handles the ball so much, it’s easy to forget that Chalmers can be so dangerous with his vision, and not just when he’s attacking (as he’s had to do more of since Chris Bosh was injured).
4. Paul Pierce put what looked to be a foot down on Miami’s throat in Game 4 on Sunday with this hoop. The off-balance three off just his right foot came after drawing the foul on Dwyane Wade and put the C’s up 18 in the second quarter. What makes this so remarkable is how as Pierce gets older, he nonetheless finds ways to score with moves than only a veteran with everything to lose (last season with the Big Three?) would try.
3. Serge Ibaka wasn’t missing anything in Game 4’s win for Oklahoma City on Saturday. The whole arsenal â€” from jumpers, teardrops to hooks â€” was dusted off for use. So defenders had to show him more respect than usual outside of 15 feet and when Tim Duncan took two uneasy hops to the baseline while giving Ibaka the middle, Ibaka flushed with a nasty cup dunk.
2. Kevin Durant had an incredible run in the final seven minutes of Game 4 against San Antonio, scoring 16 points. He had a floater on Manu Ginobili, an oop on Stephen Jackson and an and-one on Tony Parker you’d be crazy to try to reenact.
1. The best pure play of the weekend is not even close. And that’s appropriate in the sense that Miami’s Udonis Haslem wasn’t even near Rajon Rondo in Game 3 after the Celtics’ guard ball-faked him all the way to Key Biscayne.
What was the best?
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