The Wizards week of rest continues as they practice for a yet to be determined opponent. In the meanwhile, first-round NBA playoff games continue. Let's a quick look at what happened on Tuesday.
James Harden scored 28 points and dished eight assists while Josh Smith added 20 points off the bench to lead the Rockets to their first second-round appearance since 2009 when their team looked very different than it does today. Back then, Yao Ming was their franchise player while Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) was his partners in crime.
For the Mavericks, Monta Ellis led all scorers with 25 points. With this playoff series loss, the Mavericks have failed to get to the second round since they won the championship back in 2011. I'm on the outside looking in, but I'm wondering whether it's time for this team to start moving this team in a new direction -- meaning whether they should rebuild. After all, Dirk Nowitzki's getting closer to his retirement day though he did score 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the losing effort.
Tim Duncan turned back the hands of time on Tuesday, where he scored 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished 4 assists to lead the Spurs in a 111-107 win over the Clippers. San Antonio now has a 3-2 series lead. Six Spurs players scored in double figures for the night.
For the Clippers, Blake Griffin scored 30 points and dished 7 assists, while Chris Paul had a double double. The key stat that made the difference in the game was three-point shooting. L.A. was only 1 of 14 from the three-point line while San Antonio was 11 of 23 from deep.
Game 6 will be in San Antonio on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
ICYMI, Kevin Love could be out for the rest of the playoffs
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love suffered a dislocated shoulder in their Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics when he got tangled up with Kelly Olynyk. Their GM David Griffin said earlier this week that he will probably not return in the postseason which is a huge blow, but I do agree with Fear the Sword's David Zavac that Cleveland can still win the NBA title despite Love's absence. Just remember that that doesn't mean that I'm rooting for the Cavs. I'm just acknowledging the fact that they're still capable of winning it all.
Wednesday's playoff games
There are two games on tonight.
- First, the Atlanta Hawks will host the Brooklyn Nets in a crucial Game 5 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT. Both teams are currently tied, 2-all. Atlanta's offense hasn't been playing at the level I was initially expecting coming into the series. And I wasn't exactly expecting Deron Williams to have an out-of-body experience in Game 4 to lead the Nets to a big overtime victory on Monday. I'm going to hedge my bets and say that the winner of this game will win the series. Given that this game involves the Wizards' second-round opponent, it is our Game of the Night.
- Second, the Memphis Grizzlies will host the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their series at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT. With Mike Conley out due to facial fractures in Game 3, it will make things a bit harder for Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, and friends to officially punch their tickets for a second-round series against the Golden State Warriors. But with home court advantage on their side, I expect that they will seal the deal tonight. But if the Grizzlies want any chance of winning (or more like avoid a sweep at their expense) against Golden State, Conley's going to have to return at some point in the second round.