This is the NBA Playoff Hangover. We’re going to recap all the important games and talk about the hijinks that went on during or after. Here ya go.
The pool is getting thinner. Only two games tonight. And they were very important Game 5s.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images.)
#3 TORONTO RAPTORS 92 @ #6 MILWAUKEE BUCKS 89
EAST 1st Round * Game 6 * RAPTORS WIN the series, 4-2
Once again, this was not a pretty game. But the Raptors kept banging from outside the arc. In the third quarter, they got molten hot and three straight threes raised the lead to 25 points. It looked all but over.
But the well went dry for the dinosaurs. The Bucks came back slowly but surely. The lead was down to 13 going into the fourth quarter. And then for six minutes, all the Toronto players couldn’t buy a bucket even though I’m sure they could buy all the houses and cars they wanted to. The Bucks were all exhausted, particularly Giannis Antetokounmpo, but old man Jason Terry made a three that gave Milwaukee the lead, 80-78. They missed a bunch of free throws in the fourth (nine in total) but that was a 34-7 run that could’ve been backbreaking for Canada.
It wasn’t. The Raptors dug in and stayed with the tired deer. Cory Joseph made a go-ahead three with 1:27 left. Then DeMar DeRozan drove in with a ballsy dunk to boost the lead to five. The Bucks were down by seven before Serge Ibaka questionably fouled Khris Middleton on a three. The free throw troubles continued and Middleton only made two of them.
DeRozan tried to drive in for a quick lay-up but was seemingly fouled by JET. But there was no whistle and the ball went off DeMar. Terry would follow up with a three that would cut the lead to two. Then with 16.5 seconds left, DeRozan would split his foul shots. It was a three-point lead by the Raptors and the Bucks tried to look for a three. Eventually, Giannis took the concession dunk to cut the lead to one. DeRozan would make both foul shots to put the lead back to three. The Bucks, with no timeouts left, had 3.1 seconds left to get a shot but they never got one off as Tony Snell seemingly panicked and threw the ball away. The Bucks are done and the Raptors are moving on to a date with the ones that eliminated them last season, the Cavs.
Antetokounmpo ended with a tired 34 points as he played all but 1:21 in this game. DeRozan led the Raptors with 32 points. This year, the Raptors had their number but now the Bucks have a rising star in Giannis and they could be dangerous in the years to come.
(VIDEO CREDIT: Michael Jackson’s VEVO.)
#2 SAN ANTONIO SPURS 103 @ #7 MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 96
WEST 1st Round * Game 6 * SPURS WIN the series, 4-2
(PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images.)
Memphis sank their three-pointers early. They led by 10 in the third as they tried to withstand a rejuvenated Tony Parker and the cyborg-like Kawhi Leonard.
The Spurs continued to dig in and they scored 11 straight as LaMarcus Aldridge finally started making baskets. Still, Memphis led by seven after Mike Conley made three foul shots. But that lead dissipated as Leonard made six straight robotic points.
A David Lee (remember him?) lay-in gave the Spurs a 94-92 lead with two minutes left. Then Parker made a clutch jumper to give them a four-point lead. Aldridge mistakenly fouled Conley behind the arc with the Spurs up six with 28.7 seconds left. Conley made the first two foul shots but missed the third. The rebound went to Leonard then Parker broke away for a lay-up and clinched the series. The Grizzlies admirably kept up with the Spurs but San Antonio just had too much.
Kawhi finished with 29 points and Parker had a retro game with 27 points. Conley led the Grizz with 26 points. While we wonder about the future of grit-and-grind, we’re going to see a battle in Texas as the Spurs move on to face the Rockets in the West semis. *
(PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images.)
This one’s for Kawhi Leonard, who actually had this quiet statline:
29 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals.
See you in the second round, homeslice.
WATCH THIS PLAY
(VIDEO CREDIT: Raptors Republic.)
DeMar DeRozan throws this down at the clutch. They survived the Bucks in six games. But what a ballsy dunk.
Follow Rey-Rey on Twitter at @TheNoLookPass for all tweets about the NBA. Also, check out his podcast, Rey-Rey Is Fundamental.