Late Thunder comeback edges Lakers
From Elias: The Thunder rallied from an 80-71 deficit entering the fourth quarter to beat the Lakers 103-100. This was only the third time that the Lakers have lost a playoff game in which they had led by nine-or-more points entering the fourth quarter. In Game Four of the 1983 Finals, the Lakers lost, 115-108, to the 76ers, after having led, 93-82, entering the final quarter, as Philadelphia completed a four-game series sweep; and in Game Four of a 1987 Western Conference Semifinals series, the Lakers lost, 129-121, to the Warriors in Oakland, after having led, 102-88, entering the fourth quarter.
Durant and Westbrook look like Jordan and Pippen
From Elias: Russell Westbrook scored 37 points while teammate Kevin Durantadded 31 in the Thunder’s 103-100 win at Staples Center. It was the first time two teammates scored at least 30 points in a playoff road win over the Lakers since June 12, 1991, when Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan scored 32 and 30, respectively as the Bulls wrapped up their first NBA title with a win in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the Great Western Forum.
Top two scorers, Kobe and Durant, meet in the playoffs
From Elias: Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant faced off in only the fifth playoff series in NBA history matching the players who finished first and second in the league’s scoring race that season. The four previous instances, with the scoring champion listed first:
1951 West Semis George Mikan (Lakers) Alex Groza (Olympians)
1993 East 1st Round Michael Jordan (Bulls) Dominique Wilkins (Hawks)
1995 NBA Finals Shaquille O’Neal (Magic) Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets)
1997 NBA Finals Michael Jordan (Bulls) Karl Malone (Jazz)
Thunder give Lakers their biggest Game 1 loss since 1998
From Elias: The Thunder defeated the Lakers by 29 points in Game 1 of their playoff series on Monday. That’s the Lakers’ largest margin of defeat in Game 1 of a postseason series since a 35-point loss to the Jazz in Game 1 of their 1998 series. Utah went on to sweep Los Angeles in that series.
Sixers set playoffs record with third straight win by just a point
From Elias: The 76ers defeated the Celtics by one point on Monday after Boston won the first game of the series by the minimum margin. And Philadelphia won Game 6 of their first-round series against Chicago by one point. The 76ers are the first team in the history of the NBA playoffs to play three consecutive games decided by a single point. The only other NBA playoff series in which the first two games were both decided by the minimum margin was the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, when Orlando and Cleveland split the first two games (and the Magic eventually won the series in six games).
Rondo matches Oscar Robertson in playoff triple-doubles
From Elias: Rajon Rondo scored 13 points in a 17-assist, 12-rebound performance in the Celtics’ 92-91 win over the 76ers. It was the eighth postseason triple-double of Rondo’s career, matching Oscar Robertson’s playoff total. Rondo has recorded more triple-doubles over the past four postseasons than all other NBA players combined (7).
Lawson helps Nuggets extend series
From Elias: Ty Lawson scored 32 points and handed out six assists in the Nuggets’ win against the Lakers, his third game with 25 or more points and at least five assists in the series. The only other player since the 2004 playoffs who had three 25/5 (points/assists) games versus the Lakers in one postseason series was Deron Williams in the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals.
Garnett has big series clinching game; first since Shaq to have such stats
From Elias: Kevin Garnett had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots on Thursday night, helping the Celtics eliminate the Hawks in the first round. Garnett was the first player to reach those three statistical levels in a series-clinching win since Shaquille O’Neal registered 28 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for the Heat in Game Six of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Pistons.
Sixers set NBA record with series win over the Bulls
From Elias: The 76ers defeated the Bulls, 79-78, and won their opening-round series in six games. Philadelphia was only 29-for-73 (.397) from the field and was out-rebounded, 56-33. No other team in NBA history won a playoff game in which it recorded a field-goal percentage under 40.0 percent and had at least 20 fewer rebounds than its opponent.
It was the third game in the series in which the winning team scored fewer than 80 points, tying a shot clock-era record. There were also three such games in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals between the Pistons and Pacers, a series Detroit won in six games.
Grizzlies win without a made 3-pointer, first time since Lakers in 1997
From Elias: The Grizzlies defeated the Clippers, 92-80, despite missing all six of their three-point field-goal attempts. They were the first NBA team in 15 years to win a playoff game by at least 10 points while not making a field goal from beyond the arc. That had last been done by the Lakers, in a 104-84 victory over the Jazz in the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals.