After a pair of closeout Game Sixes, the stage is set for the Western and Eastern Conference Finals. But before we dive into that, here is a look at how the Thunder and Pacers advanced.
Pacers 93 – Wizards 80
The Wizards have had quite the run over the last few weeks, upsetting the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and then pushing the Pacers to a sixth game in their current series. However, Indiana was just far too much for Washington to handle on Thursday night, as the Pacers notched the 93-80 win. The Pacers played great in the first half and at one point had a 16-point lead. The Wizards would fight back to narrow the gap, but Indiana then shut things down and held Washington to just 17 points in the final quarter. David West had 26 points to lead the way for the Pacers on 13 of 26 shooting. Lance Stephenson added 17 and Paul George had 12, while Roy Hibbert and George Hill both put in 11. Hibbert also had 7 rebounds, though many think that he’ll still need to be more effective if the Pacers hope to have a chance with Miami. Marcin Gortat followed up his monster 31-point Game Five effort with 19 on Thursday and, despite being out of the playoffs, the Wizards big man has made a name for himself during these playoffs. Bradley Beal, who has also emerged as a star, had 16 and Nene had 15.
Now it’s time for the showdown everyone has been waiting all year for. The Pacers and Heat will once again meet up in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game One is on Sunday, so you can check back with sportspick.com handicappers before tipoff. The Pacers will have their work cut out for them, as they sit at 12/1 odds to win the NBA Championship and the Heat are at 6/5.
Thunder 104 – Clippers 98
After so much controversy that happened in the closing seconds of Game Five, the Clippers came out huge in the first quarter in Game Six and outscored the Thunder, 30-16. However, Oklahoma City, led by Kevin Durant, would outscore Los Angeles in the final three quarters, including 32-26 in the fourth. Durant finished with 39 points and 16 rebounds in the 104-98 Thunder win, as he was by far the most dominant player on the court all night long. Durant was 10-10 from the free throw line and 5-8 from beyond the arc, while shooting 12-23 overall from the field. Russell Westbrook had 19 points and Reggie Jackson came off the bench and put in 14 of his own. For the Clipps, Chris Paul tried to make up for his five turnovers in Game Five, by leading the way with 25 points. Blake Griffin was had 22 points and DeAndre Jordan led the team with 15 rebounds.
Maybe equally as exciting as the Pacers and Heat matchup in the East will be the Conference Finals series between the Spurs and Thunder. These two teams met in the 2012 Conference Finals, a series in which the Thunder won and went on to lose to Miami in the NBA Finals. The Spurs would make it to the finals last year, where they also lost to Miami. This year the Spurs currently sit at 2/1 odds to win the NBA Championship, while the Thunder are right behind them at 5/1. Game One of the Western Conference Finals will be on Monday in San Antonio.