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2014 NBA Playoffs: Spurs and Raptors Go Up 3-2, Rockets Beat Portland

Here is a look into NBA Playoff results from Wednesday night.

Mavericks 103 – Spurs 109
Dirk Nowitzki had his best game in the Mavericks series against the Spurs, but it wasn’t enough as San Antonio was able to outscore Dallas in the first half and maintain the lead throughout the game. Nowitzki finished with 26 points and 15 rebounds, in an effort that demonstrated just how important this game was to Dallas. Now down 3-2, the series will head back to Dallas for Game Six on Friday. Unfortunately for Dallas, who was once up 2-1 in the series, they’ll have to win the next two games if they hope to advance to the Western Conference semifinals. For San Antonio, Tony Parker led the way with 23 points. Four of the five Spurs starters scored in double-digits, as did Manu Ginobili off the bench. The x-factor for San Antonio on Wednesday just might’ve been the play of center Thiago Splitter, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Vince Carter continued his resurging series push, as he led the Mavs with 28 points off the bench, and Monte Ellis also had 21. However, no other Mavericks player was able to get into double-digits, which hurt them down the stretch. The Spurs have once again moved up to the second-best odds in the league to win the NBA Championship at 5/2. The Mavs are now second to last, at 65/1.

Nets 113 – Raptors 115
The Brooklyn Nets have been one of the best teams in the NBA in 2014, but after two straight losses to Toronto, they now find themselves on the brink of elimination. After their 113-115 loss, the Nets are now down 2-3 in the series, as things will head back to Brooklyn for Game Six on Friday night. Kyle Lowry had a monster game with 36 points, including 6-9 from three-point range. DeMar DeRozan chipped in with 23, including going 12-13 from the free throw line. The Nets were led by Joe Johnson, who had 30, but they got minimal input from anyone else on the team. One key to note here was that Paul Peirce and Kevin Garnett were -31 and -15, respectively, while on the court. On the other hand, Mirza Teletovic came off the bench and was +31, as he put in 17 on Wednesday night. The Nets might have to change their strategy if they hope to pull out a win on Friday. If they don’t, they could have an interesting offseason with some aging players. Despite leading the series, the Raptors are still at 50/1 to win the NBA Championship, while the Nets are at 25/1. You can check back with sportspick.com handicappers on Friday night before tipoff in Game Six.

Trail Blazers 98 – Rockets108
Houston was finally able to keep the Trail Blazers under 100 points of scoring, and the end results was a 108-98 win in Game Five. The Rockets still find themselves down 3-2 in the series, but they know that they have extended their lives for at least one more game, which will be on Friday in Portland. Dwight Howard finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Chandler Parsons also chipped in 20 points. Jeremy Lin came off the bench and scored 21 of his own in 31 minutes of play. James Harden had his quietest game of the playoffs thus far, scoring just 17 points. The Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge, who started the series with two monster games scoring above 40, had his first game in single digits by scoring just 8 points and only grabbing 8 rebounds. The Rockets will look to contain Aldridge again on Friday, as this obvious seemed to be a factor into their success. Both of the Rockets starting guards scored more than 20 on Wednesday, as Damian Lillard finished with 26 and Wesley Matthews had 27. The Rockets have fallen all the way to 100/1 odds to win the NBA Championship. However, just one win could get things turned around and advancing to the second round could be the breath of fresh air they need to recharge their batteries. However, the Blazers now sit at 25/1 and they are hoping they can close things out on Friday night.