After an uneventful pair of Game One’s on Monday, things got quite interesting as two teams tied their respective series up on Wednesday night. Here is a recap of the Pacers and Wizards, and the Clippers and Thunder games.
Wizards 82 – Pacers 86
The story of Roy Hibbert has been quite the mystery this postseason. After a nonexistent performance in Game One, where Hibbert was blanked in both points and rebounds, he came back with a season and playoff-high 28 points in Game Two and was the main factor in the Pacers 86-82 win. Along with 28 points, Hibbert was able to pull down 9 rebounds as the Pacers evened the series up at one game apiece. You would think that with Hibbert’s exceptional performance, the Pacers would’ve ran away with this one. However, Marcin Gortat was nearly as big for the Wizards, putting up 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and he helped them stick around throughout the entire game. This shows that the Wizards can hang with the Pacers in this series and it’s going to take efforts like this from Hibbert and the rest of the Pacers team if they want to get a game in Washington now that the series shifts back to D.C. on Friday for Game Three. The Pacers will hope to get more from Paul George, who has been carrying this team throughout the playoffs but only put up 11 points on Wednesday, and also David West, who was the Pacers only starter to not get into double digits for scoring. To go along with Gortat, the Wizards got 14 points from Nene, who has continued his resurgence during the playoffs, and 17 from Bradley Beal, who has proven to be a leader for this team. John Wall, who is typically the go-to option for Washington, finished with just 6 points and was -7 while on the court. The mystery remains as to what to expect from Hibbert next. However, if the Pacers want to improve their current standing at 25/1 odds to win the NBA Championship, he’ll have to continue playing like he did tonight. As for the Wizards, they also stand at 25/1 and they continue to play well and look like a legit threat in this series.
Clippers 101 – Thunder 112
On the same day that Kevin Durant received his first MVP award, the Thunder were blown out by the Clippers on their home court in Game One. On Wednesday, the final score wasn’t as lopsided, but the Thunder were still able to salvage a game with a 112-101 win. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Kevin Durant was just one assist shy of a triple-double of his own, tallying 32 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Despite scoring 63 of the Thunders 112 points, OKC also got needed production from Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha, who both had 14 points. Chris Paul came back to earth after a scorching hot Game One performance. He had a modest 17 points, and JJ Redick led the Clippers with 18. The Clippers x-factor throughout the playoffs has continually looked to be DeAndre Jordan. On Wednesday, Jordan had just 7 points and 8 rebounds, and he was -21 while on the floor. It’s important to keep in mind that in the series against the Warriors, Jordan seemed to always follow up mediocre games with huge performances. We’ll have to see if he can continue that trend as the series shifts back to Los Angeles on Friday night for Game Three. You can check back with sportspicks.com handicappers before Friday night’s action for insight into both of the games played that night. The Clippers have now moved ahead of the Thunder to win the NBA Championship this year. Los Angeles now sits at 5/1, while Oklahoma City has dropped to 17/2.