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Sunday, April 24th, 2011 at 9:11 am  |  65 responses

Post Up: Guess Who’s Back

Brandon Roy leads Blazers in comeback over Mavs; Grizz go up 2-0 on Spurs.

Indiana 89, Chicago 84

After three close and very winnable games, the Indiana Pacers finally pulled out a victory over the Chicago Bulls in Game 4, avoiding a sweep and living to play another day. It was obvious by their intensity that they weren’t ready to go fishing just yet. And sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.

The luck part came on a Derrick Rose sprained ankle.

On one of his signature drives to the basket, Rose inadvertently rolled his left ankle to the outside, incredibly finishing the shot before coming down in obvious pain and limping and motioning to the sidelines to take him out. After a timeout, Rose was taken to the locker room area but came back a short time later and tried to demonstrate that his ankle was fine by throwing down a vicious two-handed tomahawk jam off a backdoor cut, leaving Dahntay Jones in the dust.

But it was the only highlight of the night for Rose who was clearly favoring his ankle by shooting jumpers, all of which were just short.

True to form in this series, the Pacers almost suffered another epic collapse. After leading by 13 points with just over two minutes to play in regulation, the Pacers once again watched a large lead over the Bulls evaporate and they came within a just short 3-point attempt by Carlos Boozer off a broken out of bounds play to having all of the air in the Conseco Fieldhouse sucked out in a virtual vacuum.

But Boozer missed and the Pacers faithful can breathe again…at least until Tuesday night, anyway. —Bryan Crawford

Portland 84, Dallas 82

Rocky. Rudy. Roy?

Brandon Roy had been down. Brandon Roy had been counted out. Brandon Roy had even been reduced to tears because his role on his team—The Portland Trail Blazers—had been significantly diminished since coming back from arthroscopic surgery on both knees in January. There were even times, according to Roy’s post-game presser, that he didn’t even know if he was going to play basketball again.

But in one day, in one game, in one quarter, the whole world knew that the three-time All-Star still had the most important body part needed in sports: heart. Even if you hate the Portland Trail Blazers, if you love basketball, you stood up and cheered for Brandon Roy as he engineered an 18-point fourth quarter to cap an improbable 23-point second half comeback for an 84-82 victory over the Dallas Mavericks to even the series at 2-2.

It was meant to be, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was an epic collapse by Dallas, who for three quarters played outstanding basketball behind a 16-4 run that made it 64-41 on a three ball by Peja Stojakovic. Add to that the fact that Portland couldn’t buy a bucket at the start of the third and the stage was set for the Mavs to keep the fans quiet.

But then, when it mattered most, Roy went to work. It was like seeing a constant flashback, replayed over and over and over. Roy slashed into the lane for floaters, nailed step-back J’s and when he drained the 3-pointer, drew the foul and finished the And-1 to tie the game at 82, it was written.

Roy finished with a game-high 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 18. Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points to lead the Mavericks and Jason Terry added 13 off the bench.

Now that the Blazers have made it a series, they have to go back to Dallas. If the Mavs want to shake their supposed curse of the 2006 Finals, now is the time to do it. They absolutely need this win on Monday to avoid forever being considered only paper, regular season champs. On the other side of the fence, if Portland pulls out another win, they’ll only add to the lore of these and all future NBA Playoffs. Either way, as basketball fans, we win. —Maurice Bobb

Memphis 91, San Antonio 88

Confucius imparted a bit of wisdom on his deathbed. Live by the three, die by the three. I think he was talking about concubines, but whatever. The saying applies just as well to San Antonio’s performance Saturday.

Coming off a game in which they made 7 of 17 shots beyond the arc, the Spurs were just 2 of 15 from three in Game 3, leading to a listless 91-88 road loss to the Grizzlies.

The Grizz were hardly Terminator-level executors themselves (there were enough turnovers down the stretch to stock a Martha Stewart tea party), but they played well enough to win.

As usual, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol were the go-to guys for Memphis, scoring 25 and 17 points respectively. Z-Bo even hit a big three down the stretch, which is something I never thought I’d see in print, but, hey, more power to him right?

Mike Conley continued his consistent play with 14 points, 8 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, Tony Parker had more turnovers (6) than assists (5) and missed 9 of 14 shots, proving once again that his Finals MVP award should be right next to Halle Berry’s Oscar for Best Actress in the “Awards Under Contention” Hall of Fame.

Manu Ginobili continued his inspired play with 23 points and 5 assists despite an attempted rape in the third quarter at the hands of Tony Allen. Allen later fouled out, completing a karmic circle that I imagine made Bill Walton smile.

Bench play favored the Grizzlies, whose reserves outscored San Antonio’s 28 to 24. That and the interior play of Gasol and Randolph were the major advantages for Memphis, who won for the first time ever at home in the playoffs and now hold the advantage over San Antonio 2-1. —Patrick Crawley (@BasketballFiend)

Oklahoma City 97, Denver 94

Roughly sixty years of Playoff history suggests that Oklahoma City has already won its first round series with Denver. The Thunder won this one 97-94 and moved within a game of a surprise sweep with more scrap and less aesthetic pleasure than what we’re accustomed to, countering a low shooting percentage (36 percent) with a low turnover count (9), while relying on typical yeoman’s work from Serge Ibaka (22 points 16 rebounds).

Kevin Durant had a messy 26 points, needing 34 shots (22 from the field, 12 from the line) to get there, but his big assist to Ibaka in the final half-minute sealed the win—it was a star play, one that further separates from even flirting with the idea that he’s one-dimensional. Durant had never won a game in Denver entering this month; he’s now won there twice.

Russell Westbrook was present and accounted for in the first and fourth quarters, went missing in the middle two, and yet somehow almost pulled off a triple double (23 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists). For the Thunder to endure such poor shooting and still find a way to win a road playoff game says plenty about their maturation and development.

Denver started Arron Afflalo instead of Wilson Chandler, and he gave them an early boost. For the first time in the series, Denver’s bigs had a distinct advantage, with Nene, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen all in double figures while getting OKC’s bigs in foul trouble. It all went for naught. The Nuggets got nothing from its points, statistically or energetically, as both Lawson and Felton struggled. What resulted was just the third time they’ve scored less than 100 at home since late January.

So what was expected to be a long and eventful series has instead turned one-sided. Oklahoma City is looking more ominous with each win. —Todd Spehr

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  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    OMG, what a GREAT day of playoff basketball! I just LOVED some of the outcomes. *snickers*

  • http://Slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Allen (T-money and Phil) so what do u hv 2 say abt BRoy play last night?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Funny how many of these improbable series wins and comebacks have been done at the expense of a Nowitzki-led Mavs team. It’s not expressly his fault but I’m just saying…This must make Lionel Hollins look like a genius…tanking the last reg season games to get the matchup he wanted with the Spurs.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    If the Spurs lose to the grizz, can we stop saying Tim Duncan is better then Kobe? Thanks.
    Go BRoy, such a great player.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    than*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Mars

    CAN J.R. Smith get some love??? B.Roy make everybody feel bad about what they said. S o quick to respond on shyt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Who said Tim Duncan was better than Kobe other than Tarzan and JTaylor?

  • HAMMER

    Much props 2 my boy BRoy. That’s the player that we have been accustomed 2 c out here. Glad that we have been able 2 protect our homecourt. Now we gotta get 1 n Dallas…..As for my Bulls? Noah should have called a TO on that last play. He had nowhere 2 go. I cringed when I saw Booz hoist up that 3. But no shame. We still got a commanding lead and heading back 2 Chi. Gotta close em out tho on Tue. Im pretty confident that they will.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    SPOILER ALERT: The Spurs will roll off two straight wins, go back to Memphis and lose a close one in game 6, then win the series in game 7 at San Antonio. *golf clap for Grizzlies making it a series*

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    SLAM did…

  • ripslam

    Is Derrick Rose actually unable to dunk with one hand? I have never seen him do this.

  • HAMMER

    I really hate it when players r compared when they don’t even play the same position. Its pointless

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @James …they him higher than Kobe on the Top 500 didn’t they?

  • HAMMER

    It was crazy 2 c all them Bulls fan (real or not) pack Conseco Fieldhouse. It was a spectacle I haven’t seen since my Bulls would play the Hawks back @ The Omni. Crazy

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Yes they did.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    That 500 list was funny. Lebron has the top team in the league two years running. Fails in the playoffs twice, moves up 11 spots I believe it was. Kobe goes to 3 finals, two ships, and two finals mvp’s, and he moves up… 2 spots lol.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    @The Fresh Prince of Nsam:
    What’s going on, my good brother?
    One thing I have to say about Brandon Roy is, that he has real heart. REAL heart.
    Sometimes his pride works against him. Last night it worked for him.
    The Mavericks are in… “deep doo doo”. They can still win this series, but the momentum has shifted, obviously, and right now Rick Carlisle is being out coached, (that has happened to him frequently during his career) and if the Mavericks expect to win this series, they are not going to do it on Jason Kidd’s 3 point attempts all night. Yes, he has been making them lately, but in my opinion, that’s not going to get the job done.
    And, shout out @James-tha-Balla.
    I know you’ve expressed frustration and disdain towards myself and my comments in the past. I don’t care, though. I respect your hustle, and what it stands for. Good to see you up here, and I’m glad all seems to be well with you at this point. It HAS to be tough.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Thanks Phil, things are good. Home until the 9th so I thought I would do some upkeep on my commenting!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Aw come on SLAM. I mean, I get it, but then again I don’t….at all. what was Kobe ranked in the first place?

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    @James:
    Well, that’s good. Hope you’re getting your rest as well, man. I can’t even imagine…
    In the meantime, looks like our Lakers are rolling along. I say “our” because, the Lakers have been my team since Earvin, even though The King is my guy today.
    But anyways, they are looking pretty good, no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Philo………….you’re joking right???

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    And yes they are looking very good

  • A.

    @James the Balla: I would guess that it’s because of where Kobe is ranked. I think when you’re in the top 15 of ALL NBA PLAYERS EVER, well it’s not as easy to go up a spot as when you’re outside of those 1 – 15 spots. And let’s be honest, LeBron’s teams didn’t do much outside of the regular season, but to put all the blame on him is ridiculous. Dude is a monster on the court, and the numbers he puts up and his impact on games are undeniable. Rings aren’t everything. They are important but not everything, or else the top 15 spots would be populated by Celtics and…Robert Horry.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Phantom:
    Nah, the Lakers have been my team since forever.
    It’s just that when The King made his… kingly arrival, in high school, I’ve been on his bandwagon ever since.
    I would like to see the Heat win the Title, but if they don’t, I’d like to see Kobe get his 6th ring. I mean, he is Kobe. He is THE last of a breed that is now perilously endangered. He’s more than paid his dues.
    Even if he doesn’t win this year, that team is still young enough. Even if he doesn’t win, his basketball legacy still is secured throughout all of the history of The NBA.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Philo is a laker fan? wow that was one revelation. Lol. I deeply know he’s a Magic Johnson guy.. but still never came to my thinking.. Anyway nevermind. I love Magic Johnson too! GPGOAT. Also co-sign Philo about B-Roy. Glad to see my main man back! Hopefully for good for Brandon.
    And.. Long.. Live.. the king!!

  • Ziva

    A is right.

    The higher up you are, the hardest it is to move up a spot. Just consider the company Kobe is in!

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out @J.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Wow Philo that’s….boy oh boy I didn’t see that coming.

  • fourthree

    BRoy we see you. Dayuuuum! I’m rooting for the Mavs in this series but as a basketball fan how can you not be amazed at BRoy’s performance last night. Drivin, dishin, and the wet fadeaway Js. Definitely had me in my O face the last couple of minutes. Spectacular game for Roy and the Blazers. That being said the Mavs just didn’t get it done when it counted the most. This series and the Grizz vs Spurs series have been really really interesting. Gotta love playoff basketball..

  • Fat Lever

    I must have heard Boozer say at least 3 times, “GIMME THAT SH!T”. What would have been funny is when he took that 3 at the end of the game, if one of the Pacers said, “I’LL GIVE YOU THAT SH!T”.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Also concerning Roy, I’ll say this, which we also know and realize;
    Most old time great boxers, when they age, they slow down. Their reflexes are not as sharp. They become even a little punch drunken.
    But then, there is always that final stand. That magic moment once more. That last round, so to speak. There are those moments that conjure up memories of yesteryear, where that old, beaten fighter doesn’t look as such. Most who have the wherewithal produce one more golden gem.
    Enter Brandon Roy. Not saying that this is his last stand, but…
    And, shout out to Nate McMillan for taking that chance. I’ll tell my brethren, if Nate gets out of this round, in my opinion, it would be a career defining moment for him. (outside of coaching the Olympics)

  • JTaylor21

    Sure, a first rounds series that isn’t over yet erases a decade plus of offensive and defensive dominance. Typical kobe fanboy BS.

  • bashmo

    Did anyone notice that BONEHEAD timeout by Carlisle when Dallas was up 20? It ended up biting him in the ass, imagine if Portland got a good shot in the halfcourt, he would’ve had time to make a play. WHAT AN IDIOTIC TIMEOUT.

    But I gotta say, watching that whole sequence by Roy was special…you will rarely ever see a player take over a game like that, glad I was able to witness it.

  • Bruno

    the team that wins game 3 in a series tied 1-1 goes to win the series 70% of the times, is that right or does someone knows the correct stat??

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Phil, you’re a Lakers fan?

    I think the Lakers aren’t getting testes fully. When Portland knocks Dallas out of the playoffs, they will be tested a little more, but I say they wake up in the WCF. 4-2 against OKC.

    A and Ziva, I know it’s harder to move up. But if that is how it is, in order for Kobe to pass shaq let’s say, he has to win 7 more championships, 7 more finals mvp’s… no?

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    JTaylor, didn’t you say Kobe isn’t clutch, he isn’t top 10, and he wasn’t finals MVP because of game 7 last year against Boston? Wouldn’t that mean you judge Kobe on one game? No?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Stop the hypocrisy, JTaylor

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    @James:
    Agreed.
    And yes, I’ll finally concede after two years that I am in fact, a die hard Lakers fan. Predominantly because of Earvin. I loved Shaq and Kobe, too.
    I still hope The King wins, though…

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Is it Easter or April fools day?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Prince
    He should have played that way before and he wouldn’t have had to complain about his.minutes. dude is still selfish and a whined in many ways.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tim Duncan is old and on the decline. Does that mean he didn’t have a better career? Ridiculous. He is like four years older than Kobe. Plus he was all all world.defender most ohis career and regularly SWEPT the lakers. Y’all are tripping.

  • Ken

    Headline says Grizz up 2-0 on Spurs, but it’s 2-1. 2-0 would have been sweet. I’d love to see the Spurs lose in the first round two years in a row (Suns fan here).

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Duncan is two years older than Kobe. Also, Spurs only swept the lakers in 1999 and were swept by the Lakers two years later…I’m not saying your conclusion is wrong but your facts are screwed up.

  • Scruffz

    Just a few days ago people were ripping on Roy for being selfish. Then he has a great game and these people are nowhere to be seen. Got it.

  • http://slamonline.com The Ambassador

    So this was the Brandon Roy that Kobe and Artest say is so hard to guard, great game though now he must bring A game to Dallas so Portland has a chance of winning there because god knows Dirk,Terry, and Kidd are going to come out firing from all clyinders at home.

    Can anyone tell me where Kobe ranked in Slams 500!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    He was ranked #10

  • A.

    SWEEEEEEPPPPPP!

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Bye bye IAMORANGE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    And Duncan was like #7 or 8?

  • JTaylor21

    Bunch of sensitive thugs that need hugs.

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    By the way, like my man Kevin Garnett just said (after sweeping the Knicks) : “Happy Easter 2 Ya’ll” my Slamonline fam!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Lol, Sensitive Thugs. I’m not a thug, being a thug would do nothing but malign me as a person somewhat.

  • http://www.bet.com zoom

    The Knicks’ battled injuries the entire post season. A sweep by the Celts with the Knicks at full strength would have been impressive. This victory is not.

  • A.

    Like many people on here say. A win is a win, no matter how it’s earned. Injuries are part of the game.

  • http://www.bet.com zoom

    Sure a win is a win. There are impressive wins and there those that come with A LOT of help from the opposing team’s lack of health. The C’s win happens to be the latter.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Westbrook is the boss. If the Thunder keep getting contributions from guys like Ibaka and Harden, it’s over. Offensive sets leave a lot to be desired though.

  • Tyrant56

    Suns fans should shut the hell up and they lost in the 2nd round last year ass. also Timmy has 4 how many, nash got? thought so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    The Suns lost in Western Conference Finals to the Lakers, Tyrant…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Can’t believe Philo, is a Lakers undercover fan. LOL. Kobe should be ranked 5 or 6 on any top 500 list. Slam messed up, because I think they had Tim and Shaq over him. Shaq had 4 to 5 great years. After that he couldn’t stay in shape and got a 4th ring by Dallas choking or everyone is saying Shaq lucky he played with Kobe. If Spurs lose it does fall on Tim, no matter what. If Kobe loses to NO in 1st round this year, who gets blamed KOBE. So I am blaming Tim now. He needs to step up supposely best power forward of all time. Also I am still taking Karl Malone in my book. The Jazz teams would kill the Spurs teams, especailly the ones that lost back to back years to MJ. No disscussion, Slam needs to do a retraction, heck Bill Simmions even did a retraction about his dumb thoughts about Kobe. Kobe is depending on ring this year moves up alot in my book. BOOK IT!!!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Slams top 500 list, top 10
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Wilt Chamberlain
    3. Bill Russell
    4. Shaquille O’Neal
    5. Oscar Robertson
    6. Magic Johnson
    7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    8. Tim Duncan
    9. Larry Bird
    10. Kobe Bryant

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    Seed: That Jazz team, a year removed from losing to the bulls in the ’98 finals, actually got eliminated the next year by a Blazers team that got bounced by, guess who, a SPURS team with a sophomore Tim Duncan. Duncan may not have the offensive skills of Karl Malone in his peak, but he is significantly better than prime Malone when it comes to defense. GPFOAT means you hold it down on both ends on the floor well, and Timmy did that consistently.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Tim Duncan rated ahead of both Kobe AND Larry Bird?? Come the $!*@ on

  • Tyrant56

    meant the spurs

  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon L.

    It was great to see Roy come up big against the Mavs. Hopefully this will ignite the Blazers so they can advance to the next round.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Thanks for clearing that up Royal.
    I thought Duncan was four year older since he got drafted in I believe, 1997 after four years at Wake Forest, and while Kobe came straight into the league in 1996 from high school. But, I should have checked the stats. I was thinking about the Lakers getting swept by the Spurs and Utah, and for some reason thought it happened more than once, my fault.

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