Thunder 99 – Clippers 101
Despite a monster night from Kevin Durant, the Thunder were shocked by a late rally from the Clippers and the Western Conference Semifinals is now tied at two games apiece. And while the usual suspect for Los Angeles came up big, including 25 points from Blake Griffin and 23 from Chris Paul, it was Darren Collison who came off the bench and helped the Clippers fight back. Collison finished with 18 points on Sunday, 8 of which were in the final three minutes of play. That surge from the former Maverick and Pacer was what allowed the Clippers to creep back and edge out the 101-99 victory.
There is no denying that Oklahoma City outplayed Los Angeles throughout 40 minutes of this game. Kevin Durant couldn’t be stopped, as he finished with 40 points and 7 assists. Russell Westbrook also add 27 points of his own, though he and Durant were the only Thunder starters to score in double digits. Reggie Evans came off the bench with 10.
With the help of Westbrook and Durant, the Thunder were leading the entire game until 1:23 left in the final quarter. After both teams went relatively cold in the third, OKC scored 18 and LA only had 17, the Clippers outscored the Thunder in the fourth, 38-24. The series will now shift back to Oklahoma City for Game Five Tuesday. With where they sit now, the Thunder are at 5/1 odds and the Clippers are right behind at 12/1. Whoever is able to grind it out and win Game Five will certainly have an advantage throughout the remainder of this series.
Pacers 95 – Wizards 92
After a 22-point blowout win in Game Three over the Wizards, the Pacers had a much harder time in their Game Four victory. However, the 95-92 win in Washington was enough to give the Pacers a 3-1 series lead, as things head back to Indiana for what could be a decisive Game Five. The Pacers have slowly edged their way back and are finally looking like the team that we saw all season long. They now sit at 15/1 odds and the Wizards have dropped to 40/1 after the loss. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers before Game Five on Tuesday, for picks on what could be the final game of this series.
Paul George has carried the load for this Pacers squad throughout the playoffs. Sunday was no different, as he finished with 39 points and 12 rebounds. George also shot 7-10 from beyond the arc. Roy Hibbert has now scored double-digits in three straight games, as he finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds. The Pacers starters all put in a hefty amount of minutes and CJ Watson was the only player to score off the bench. If the Pacers can close it out in Game Five, they could get a bit of time to rest before they play in their second straight Eastern Conference Finals series.
The Wizards, who once looked like they could be the darlings of the NBA Playoffs, were led by Bradley Beal with 20 points. Trevor Ariza had 14 and John Wall added 12. Both teams were pretty even across the board, including shooting percentage, rebounds and assists. However, the Pacers made an extra five 3-pointers, which was a factor in the final score.
The Pacers worked all season to have important games on their home-court. Now they’ll have a chance to back it up and close out this series with a win on Tuesday night.