Game 3 between the Nets and Raptors in Brooklyn saw more hard fouls, cheap shots and general dislike trending between the clubs. Hold the phone, though. Did you guys see Rihanna?
Toronto’s 102-98 loss to the Nets came compliments of another high turnover night, TDot getting outscored 58-43 in the second to third quarters and Kyle Lowry’s foul-ridden night. Joe Johnson’ 29 points on 17 shots didn’t help, either. The Raptors have to find a silver lining in whittling Brooklyn’s 15 point lead to two late in the fourth. Deron’s been in Utah mode in two of three games, though. He could be the difference between the Nets winning and losing in Game 4.
Game 4: Sun. April 27, Toronto at Brooklyn, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Chicago’s Mike Dunleavy turned on the offense with a playoff career-high 35 points against the Wizards. The Bulls forward jacked up ten three-pointers, connecting on eight of them.
Jimmy Butler had himself a busy night, too. After locking horns – almost literally – with Nene early in the fourth quarter (leading to an ejection and possibly a looming suspension for Nene.) Butler found himself at the center of the action once again, this time with the game on the line. With 25 seconds to go, Butler did what few Bulls have been able to do so far in the series: knock down a clutch shot.
His 3-pointer ultimately stood up as essentially the game-winning play, but not without a comedy of errors – including a boneheaded foul by Tony Snell, a last-play fail by the Wizards, and botched in-bounds plays on both sides – to finish off the game.
Game 4: Sun. April 27, Chicago at Washington, 1:00 p.m. ET, ABC
The Houston Rockets had their backs against the wall, and they went to desperate measures to avoid going down 0-3 to the Trail Blazers in Portland, winning in overtime 121-116. Not only did Houston coach Kevin McHale insert Omer Asik into the starting lineup to combat the LaMarcus Aldridge outburst from the first two games, but he also went to seldom used rookie Troy Daniels.
Seldom doesn’t do Daniels’ rare appearance justice, as the rook played in just five games all season for a total of just 75 minutes. Doesn’t matter though because Daniels hit three three pointers, including the biggest shot of the game with just 11 seconds to go, a three that put the Rockets up for good.
“It’s a dream come true.” Daniels said after the game. “On to the next one.”
Game 4: Sun. April 27, Houston at Portland, 9:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV