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2014 NBA Playoffs: Thunder and Pacers Take 2-1 Series Leads

Both of our games played on Friday resulted in 2-1 series leads for the away team. However, both games had quite a different story. Here is a look at how the Pacers and Thunder each got wins in Game Three action on Friday night.

Pacers 85 – Wizards 63
With as much as their team has put them through in recent months, Pacers fans will find it hard to get too excited about back-to-back wins. However, a 22-point victory over Washington in Game Three is a good way to get back in their good graces. For the second game in a row, Roy Hibbert was a major factor for Indiana. After finishing with 28 in a Game Two win, Hibbert came back with 14 points in Game Three. Paul George, as he typically does, led the way with 23 for Indiana. George also put in 42 minutes of playing time, the most of any other player on Friday night. Bradley Beal continued to lead the Wizards, as he finished with 16 points in 40 minutes. John Wall also put in 40 minutes, in which he scored 15 points. Trevor Ariza added some much welcomed play for the Wizards, putting up a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. However, the Wizards shot just 32.9% from the field and they only had 10 assists as a team. In comparison, Indiana shot 41.9% from the field and had 20 assists. The Pacers also forced 17 turnovers from the Wizards, while only committing 9 of their own. Despite their big loss in Game Three, the Wizards are already favored by 4.5 to win in Game Four. Keep in mind that the Pacers are also 4-15 against the spread against teams with a winning record since the All-Star break. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers before Game Four for more insight and detail into the Game Four matchup.

Thunder 118 – Clippers 112
Much like the Pacers, the Thunder have now won two games in a row to make up for their home loss in Game One. This series is shaping out to be the case of two All-Stars for each team facing off against one another. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 59 on Friday, while Blake Griffin and Chris Paul had 55. Both teams are also getting production off their bench, including 14 apiece from Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson for the Thunder, and 20 from Jamal Crawford for the Clippers. This game was neck-and-neck throughout the first three quarters and the Clippers headed into the fourth with a 4-point lead. However, the Thunder would outscore LA in the final quarter, 32-22, as they effectively outplayed the Clippers on their home-court. Both teams will now get ready for Game Four as things stay in Los Angeles. Much like the Wizards, the Clippers will be the favorites heading into Game Four despite a loss in Game Three. However, the Thunder are 4-1 against the spread in games played in Los Angeles during the last five meetings. The Thunder will be looking to take a stranglehold on the series before things head back to Oklahoma City for Game Five. However, the Clippers will be hoping to tie things up so they aren’t playing for their lives on the road next week.