Two teams force a Game Seven with wins on Friday and another team was able to advance to the Western Conference semis with a last second buzzer beater. Here’s a look at the Game Six action from Friday.
Raptors 83 – Nets 97
Deron Williams had one of his best games of the series, as the Brooklyn Nets were able to beat the Raptors, 97-83, and force a final Game Seven on Sunday. The Nets were up by as many as 20 on Friday night, and Williams led the way with 23 points. However, there was a scary moment for the Nets in third quarter, when Williams drove to the net and then went down with what looked like an ankle injury. Williams appeared to be fine and didn’t go to the bench, but it could be something keeping in mind for Game Seven. As for the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan led the way with 28 points and tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter when Toronto outscored the Nets, 24-18 in the final period. However, the Nets had a huge 60-point first half, where every point was needed since they tallied just 37 in the second. Of the 34 points that the Nets scored in the first quarter, 22 of them came in the paint. This is something they will want to continue rely on when things shift back to Toronto on Sunday. The Nets now sit at 40/1 odds and the Raptors are at 50/1 to win the NBA Championship.
Spurs 111 – Mavericks 113
It would take a 37-point fourth quarter, but the Mavericks were able to mount a final comeback to force a Game Seven on Sunday. Monte Ellis led the way for Dallas with 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 22. All of the Spurs starters scored in double digits, and Tony Parker led the way with 22. This game went back and forth, as the Mavericks outscored the Spurs 34-26 in the first quarter. But after being outscored 29-18 in the third, the Mavs found themselves down heading into the final quarter. It would take a ferocious comeback from Ellis and Nowitzki, including some clutch 3’s, and we are now looking at yet another Game Seven that will make the top seed in the West defend their home court. There are five Game Sevens in this first round, more than any playoff in history. And since we are just in the First Round, we can hope there will be more to come. The Spurs still sit at 5/2 to win the NBA Championship and the Mavs are at 95/1.
Rockets 98 – Trail Blazers 99
It looked like we could be facing yet another Game Seven, but Damien Lillard had other plans when he sank a buzzer beating 3-pointer to send the Rockets home after Game Six. The Rockets outscored the Trail Blazers by just two in the first half and looked to have things under control with just a few minutes left. However, Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge would lead a rush in the final minutes, which was capped by the game winner from the second-year player. Aldridge finished with 30, after being quieted in Game Five. This series was a perfect opportunity to see a great inside battle between Aldridge and Houston’s Dwight Howard. Howard finished with 26, to go along with 7 rebounds. The Rockets were led by James Harden, who finished with 34. Aside from the game winner, Lillard would score 22 total, including 6-10 from behind the arc. Despite being one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship when the season started, this is a disappointing exit for the Rockets. As for the Blazers, they will now get an extra few days of rest while other teams in the West finish out Game Sevens in the coming days. Once the series are set, you can check in with sportspicks.com handicappers to find odds with who will advance. The way things sit now, the Blazers are at 30/1 odds to win it all.