After a pair of series were tied up on Wednesday night, the complete opposite happened on Thursday as both the Heat and the Spurs got wins to go up 2-0. Here’s a look at how those games unfolded.
Nets 82 – Heat 94
If anyone thought the Heat were going to show any rust in their series against the Nets, they have been proven completely wrong. The Heat are now 6-0 in this years playoffs and are ahead of the pack at 6/5 odds to win the NBA Championship. The Nets were 4-0 against the Heat this year in the regular season, but they haven’t been able to find an answer for LeBron James, Chris Bosh or Dwyane Wade. James followed up his Game One performance with 22 on Thursday, while Bosh chipped in with 18 and Wade had 14. Brooklyn outscored Miami in the first quarter 30-15, but they would simmer down over the next two quarters and go ice cold in the fourth. They scored only 15 points in the final quarter, as the Heat quickly pulled away for a 12-point win. Mirza Teletovic came off the bench to lead the Nets with 20, while Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson both had mediocre nights with 13 apiece. While the low scoring efforts from Pierce and Johnson are certainly worth noting, it is even more concerning that Deron Williams had zero points in 37 minutes of play. Williams was 0-9 from the field and a team low -18 while on the court. The Nets, who now sit at 35/1 odds to win the NBA Championship, will hope to turn things around on Saturday when the series shifts back to Brooklyn. Be sure to check in with sportspicks.com handicappers for insight into this game before it tips off.
Trail Blazers 97 – Spurs 114
The Spurs must’ve been woken up with their scare in the Conference Quarterfinals against Dallas, because they haven’t even let the Blazers get close in either of the first two games. After a 116-92 win on Tuesday, the Spurs followed it up with another big win, 114-97, on Thursday. The Blazers started the playoffs red hot, scoring over 100 points in their first four games. However, they have failed to cross that mark in their last four, three of which were losses. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 20 points and Tony Parker had 16 points and 10 assists. Nicholas Batum led the way for Portland with 21 and Damien Lillard had 19. LaMarcus Aldridge, who was huge against Houston, followed up his 32-point 14-rebound Game One performance with 16 and 10. While all of the Spurs starters had a positive plus/minus point differential, every starter on the Blazers found themselves on the negative side of things. Though it took them a bit longer to heat up, San Antonio has looked equally as dominating as Miami in the Conference Semis. They sit at 14/5 favorites now that they have a 2-0 series lead. As for the Trail Blazers, they have dropped to 35/1 favorites. The Blazers will hope to get things back on the right track when things shift back to Portland on Saturday, while the Spurs try and take a stranglehold on the series as they try and reach their second straight Western Conference Finals.