The Miami Heat took a 2-0 series lead against the Charlotte Bobcats with a 101-97 win tonight. The Bobs made it interesting again, storming back late to get an opportunity to tie the game with 10 seconds left, just to watch Dwyane Wade strip Chris Douglas-Roberts and effectively end the game.
But after the game, all the conversation circulated around Josh McRoberts elbow to the throat of LeBron. Called a common foul on the floor, the discussion for the next few days will revolve around the nature of the foul – flagrant or nah?
Game 3: Sat. April 26, Miami at Charlotte, 7 p.m., ESPN
We’ve been here before, right? Dallas and San Antonio duking it out in the postseason? One of the more vintage series of the playoffs took an interesting turn Wednesday night, as eighth-seeded Dallas clobbered their long-standing nemesis, 113-92. Monta Ellis led a balanced Mavs attack with 21 points (Dirk, Shawn Marion and Devin Harris all contributed more than 16 points), while Manu Ginobili (27 points) was the only Spur to ever find a rhythm.
Game 3: Sat. April 26, San Antonio at Dallas, 4:30 p.m., TNT
The Portland Trailblazers take a 2-0 series lead over the Houston Rockets back to Portland after beating the Rockets 112-105. LaMarcus Aldridge is beginning to look like he’s making “the leap” from reserve All Star to franchise cornerstone after scoring 43 points, making Aldridge just the third active player to score 40+ in back to back playoff games (joining Kobe and LeBron).
Had he scored two more points Aldridge would have joined only Michael Jordan as the only players in the last 25 years to score 45+ in back to back playoff game, and this just a few days after joining a club that housed only Wilt Chamberlin. Aldridge is using this series as his coming out party and then some, scoring in just about every way possible, off pick and roll, pick and pop, post ups and isolations on the wings have all been a part of Aldridge’s arsenal. Much credit Blazers Coach Terry Stotts for going small and surrounding LMA with shooters and finding inventive ways to get Aldridge the ball in space so that double teams have become moot.
On the other side of the coin, James Harden is playing like he’s can’t wait for the season to end so he can get ready for the Drew League. Harden shot just 6-19 on his way to 18 points, and wasn’t able to draw the kind of fouls he’s accustomed to in order to up that point total. Harden has just plain looked out of sorts, and seems to be focusing on getting fouled too much, rather than attacking to score the ball.
It’s a shame that Harden barely showed up because Dwight Howard played the kind of first half that made Laker fans everywhere burn a few #Stay12 signs, scoring 25 points in the half. Unfortunately Howard wasn’t able to keep up that pace, scoring just seven points in the second half while he was saddled by foul trouble. Houston now travels to Portland down 0-2 in the series without Tracy McGrady on the other team to make a comeback seem even remotely possible. Without an answer for Aldridge the Rockets look done, and so too does Kevin McHale’s time as a head coach in Houston.
Game 3: Fri. April 25, Houston at Portland, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
GIF: Point Forward