Wizards 102 – Pacers 79
After watching Roy Hibbert control the paint the last two games, Marcin Gortat was the big man in the middle that had the largest impact in the Wizards 102-79 win over the Pacers on Tuesday night. Gortat, who has averaged just 9.4 points her game during his career, exploded for 31 points and 16 rebounds as Washington pulled closer to evening this series up. The series is still at 3-2 in favor of Indiana, but the Pacers would’ve loved to close things out without having to go back to Washington on Thursday. John Wall was also big in the win, as he scored a playoff career-high 27.
The Pacers were miserable on offense. David West led the way with 17 and Paul George added 16. However, those were the only two players for Indiana to score in double digits. Hibbert, who had looked to be getting back into form over the last few games, finished with just 4 points and 2 rebounds in 25 minutes on the court.
The Wizards were dominant on the boards, obviously thanks to Gortat, as they outrebounded the Pacers, 69-23. Of those 69 rebounds, 18 of them were on the offensive glass, as the Indiana was simply unable to keep Washington out of the paint.
With their recent successes, the Pacers had improved to 10/1 favorites to win the NBA Championship. However, the last team to lose a playoff game on their home court by more than 20 points (the Pacers lost by 23) was the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000. That certainly isn’t a good stat to consider as the Pacers move forward in the playoffs.
The Wizards are still at 200/1 odds to win it all. However, they did what they needed to do in order to extend this series. Now they’ll go back home in hopes of forcing a decisive Game Seven. Sportspicks.com handicappers will have the odds to Game Six before tipoff, as well as Game Seven if necessary.
Clippers 104 – Thunder 105
The Los Angeles Clippers came out firing on all cylinders in Game Five, scoring 34 points in the first quarter. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to keep up that pace and the Thunder were able to outscore them the rest of the game, including a lopsided 25-18 fourth quarter.
No points in this game were more important than the final three that Russell Westbrook scored with just 6.4 seconds left. Westbrook, who led the way with 38 on the night, nailed three free throws with just over six seconds left on the clock, after being fouled on a desperation shot. Before Westbrook had a chance to take that last shot, Kevin Durant also made a 3-pointer and hit another layup with just 17 seconds left. Including the clutch five in the final minute of play, Durant would finish with 27 points and 10 rebounds on the evening.
The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin, who had 24 points and 17 rebounds. Chris Paul was equally as productive with 17 points and 14 assists. Even Matt Barnes got in on the action, getting a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The only starter to not score in double digits for the Clippers was DeAndre Jordan, who failed to score a single point on the night. Jordan was only on the court for 20 minutes of the game, as the Clippers tried to match the high intensity and speed of Durant, Westbrook and the rest of the smaller Thunder team. Nonetheless, it’s imperative that Jordan is more productive if the Clippers hope to win in Game Six.
Things will now head back to LA for Game Six, as the Thunder look to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The loss in Game Five has to be a heartbreaker for the Clippers, but they aren’t completely out of it yet. They still sit at 10/1 odds to win the NBA Championship and a win on Thursday would make for a potentially wild Game Seven back in OKC.