No Nene, no problem. It looked as though the Bulls had possibly swung the momentum in their favor after Game 3, but even without their third leading scorer in the playoffs, the Wizards jumped out to a 10-point first quarter lead in Game 4 and never really looked back.
Led by Trevor Ariza’s playoff-career high 30 points, Washington proved once again that they’ve simply got Chicago beat for talent. The Bulls did manage to cut a 20-point deficit down to 8 on the back of Taj Gibson’s 32-points, but a couple of well-executed possessions by the Wizards down the stretch helped cement their 3-1 series lead going back to the United Center.
With all eyes focused on the Clippers in the midst of the Donald Sterling dilemma, the Warriors may have been the ones under more pressure. Trailing 2-1 in the series, they were the brink of going down 3-1 again LAC if they couldn’t pull out a win against Los Angeles. Thankfully for Mark Jackson, Stephen Curry finally found his shot, putting up 33 points as the Warriors defeated the Clippers 118-97 to tie the series at 2-2.
Klay Thompson also chipped in 15 for GSW, but none more impressive than the two that came from this dunk on “Big Baby” Davis.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Words by S. Cadet
The Nets were a quarter away from a 3-1 series lead. Then the squad put up a horrible fourth quarter in their 87-79 loss. All credit goes to Toronto’s defense throughout the game for seeing them through a blown early lead. Double teams from the weak side rendered Joe Johnson useless while Shaun Livingston and Deron Williams coughed up the rock five times each.
Dwayne Casey kept his lineup short as Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined for 46 points to Deron and Shaun’s paltry 19. Toronto also took much better care of the ball to the tune of only 10 turnovers to Brooklyn’s 16. The Raptors’ defense down the stretch can’t be understated. Great rotations, charges and other unforced errors limited the Nets to 12 fourth quarter points on 3-17 shooting. The Raptors have the juice now heading into Wednesday’s Game 5 up north.
For the third time in four games the Rockets and Trailblazers needed overtime to decide a victor, and for the third time in four games it was the Blazers. The 123-120 victory gives Portland a 3-1 series lead which has historically been a death sentence, despite only scoring seven more points than the Rockets in the series.
James Harden continued to struggle, shooting 9/21 for 28 points, which actually brings his series average up to just 34% from the field.
With the win, the Blazers are one win away from winning their first playoff series, their first since 2000, the longest drought in the league.