The Celtics Are 1 Game Away From Extinction; Stephen Curry & Ty Lawson Go Berserk

Sometimes in the NBA Playoffs, two squads will matchup and eventually it’ll become so obvious who the better team is that even the players just have to give in. The Knicks and Celtics have reached that point, and they got there in the early moments of the second half during New York’s 90-76 Game 3 win. Carmelo Anthony was lighting people up on his way to 26 points, and whenever he took a break, J.R. Smith (15 points) responded with fadeaways and pull-ups. Then there was Raymond Felton (15 points, 10 assists), exploding down the lane as if someone was taunting him with a pizza underneath the rim. … On the other side, Boston’s offense was worse than Rajon Rondo‘s Urkel glasses. They couldn’t score, couldn’t make shots, and compounded the problems by coughing the rock up 17 times. They scored 45 second half points and that was an improvement on the first two games. … New York was simply waiting on the clock to run out when J.R. Smith lost his mind and randomly threw an elbow at Jason Terry‘s face in the second half. JET responded with one of those typical “I’m gonna kill him… hold me back, though… I’M GONNA KILL HIM… HOLD ME BACK!” dances. Smith was ejected, and later Doc Rivers said he wished he was playing (translation: “I would’ve smacked him”).

The Denver and Golden State shootout ended the only way it could’ve. Down four, Wilson Chandler banged a three, then nearly tied Jarrett Jack up before the Warriors called time. The Nuggets somehow forced a five-second violation (!) to get one chance in the last 10 seconds to win. Too bad Ty Lawson — who was an animal all night — dribbled out of bounds. Denver did get one more shot at it after Golden State hit a freebie, and unbelievably Andre Iguodala was thisclose to banging a half-court shot for the win. In the end, the Warriors get the 2-1 lead after the 110-108 W. In the loss, Lawson had 35 points and 10 assists, and was a missile all night getting to the rim. There was one play in particular where he countered a Steph Curry triple with a crossover and layup on the other end that might’ve taken three seconds at the most. On the other side, Curry might’ve been even better, finishing with 29 points and 11 assists. He also got a big boost from Jack, who was pushed into the starting lineup and finished with 23 points and seven dimes. Jack warmed up with a couple of pull-ups to start the game, and then when he got isolated against JaVale McGee early, put a nasty double crossover on him that had the big fella ready to lose his feet before Jack finished in the lane. … Keep reading to get an update on Russell Westbrook’s injury…

Dwight Howard put in 25 points and 11 rebounds. Pau Gasol had a triple-double. And yet it didn’t matter as the Lakers were blown out at home 120-89 by San Antonio to fall down 0-3. Because they’re piling bodies up in the trainer’s room, the Lakers had Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris both starting in the backcourt, and while Goudelock somehow found a way to score 20 (and get some MVP chances in the process, which is technically true if we’re counting the D-League) as Morris had 24 of his own, that duo is a far cry from Bryant/Nash. Tony Parker took advantage, cutting the Lakers up and leading the Spurs to 61 percent shooting. … The Lakers started unraveling during a third quarter run that saw the Spurs hit 10 of 13 shots. The best moment came in a confrontation between Tim Duncan (26 points, nine boards) and Howard. With Superman growing frustrated, TD played the refs like a flute, flopping and drawing an offensive foul. Howard picked up a tech and then had to leave because of the foul trouble. The Big Swim was chilling at the scorer’s table when Howard walked by, clearly saying to him, “That’s some bullshit. That’s some bullshit.” What did Duncan do? He had the biggest grin on his face. … Unless you’re swimming in money and haven’t come up for air yet like Aaron Rodgers, you probably heard about Russell Westbrook losing his invincibility. The meniscus tear is very much a give-n-take injury in that no one outside of the people in that locker room know exactly how severe it is. Reports indicate it’s a very small tear, which means the doctor could clean it up and Westbrook might be able to come back in a few weeks. A full recovery would take much longer. Will Westbrook play on through the pain after getting it cleaned up? Will he opt instead to sit it out until he’s 100 percent? No one is quite sure. We just hope we don’t have to hear anymore arguments that Patrick Beverley‘s play was dirty. That’s just stupid. But either way, if we’re Beverley, we’re steering clear of Kendrick Perkins, who’s already ready to fight any Houston fan that wants to try him. The injury just sucks all the way around, from OKC, which now needs to field a probable starting lineup with Reggie Jackson that saw 19 minutes all year together, to Russell Westbrook to even the people who love watching him play.

And the NBA Development League announced its All-D-League Teams. The First Team is made up of Goudelock (also the MVP), Jerel McNeal, Tony Mitchell (also the Rookie of the Year), Demetris Nichols and Brian Butch. The Second Team is the Spurs’ Cory Joseph, Kris Joseph, Tim Ohlbrecht, Travis Leslie and Damion James. And finally the Third Team is Justin Holiday, DaJuan Summers (Los Angeles Clippers), D.J. Kennedy, Chris Wright and Jerome Jordan. … Keep reading to see which fools took up arms against Jerry Stackhouse…

Turns it it CAN get worse for the Bucks. J.J. Redick and coach Jim Boylan are not on speaking terms. That’s good to know, especially since this is the guy you might be giving $40 million to this offseason. … It’s hard to argue that any team in the league had a more disappointing season than Minnesota — you can argue about the Lakers… not sure who else. So it’s no surprise changes will be made, from the on-court product (good chance Nikola Pekovic never suits up for them again) to the front office. But no one expected this. Old head coach Flip Saunders is expected to return as the team’s next president of basketball operations. The two sides are currently negotiating a deal that could run through 2018 and be worth more than $9 million over the full five years. That means David Kahn would be kicked to the curb after four legendary seasons. Minnesota fans are ecstatic. Everyone else, not so much. We’ll need a new whipping boy. … And it looks like there were more than a few NBA players watching that horrendous Brooklyn/Chicago tilt on Thursday night. Jerry Stackhouse was getting mocked by Mo Williams and Jared Dudley on Twitter yesterday afternoon for filling the NBA Playoffs with air balls. Our take: you must be spending too much recreational time with the Honey Badger if you’re mocking Stack. That man is like the Bane of the NBA. Stackhouse didn’t have to put his fists up this time. He just dropped that Ether on Twitter…

We’re out like KAAAAAAHHHNNNN.

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