Here’s what happened on day six of the 2017 NBA Playoffs:
CLE 119 – IND 114, CLE leads series 3-0
For a brief moment it seemed like the Pacers were going to extend this series.
Indiana was moving the ball around and getting easy shots, while on the other end, Cleveland was firing blanks. They led by as much as 26 points, 72-46, and were up 74-49 at the break.
Then halftime ended.
The Cavs opened the third with a 13-3 run that got them within 15 points, 77-62. Triples by Jeff Teague and Lance Stephenson pushed the Pacers lead back to 20, 87-67, but it wasn’t enough. LeBron James rained fire from downtown and reduced his side’s deficit to five, 89-64, before Stephenson charities ended the third, 91-84.
Paul George had a mini 6-2 burst to start the fourth, 96-86, but it was all Cavaliers after that. A bench unit with James as the only starter got the lead for good at 105-104, and the defending champions never looked back after that.
James finished with a monster 41-13-12 triple-double, while five other Cavs scored at least 12 points. And the team managed the run with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving sitting the entire fourth too.
Indiana drew 36 points, 15 boards, and nine dimes from George. Jeff Teague addd 15 points and seven dimes. The problem is, they stopped moving the ball in the second half, as if they expected Cleveland to throw in the towel. They didn’t, and the Pacers had no answer for a locked-in LeBron and co.
MIL 104 – TOR 77, MIL leads series 2-1
The Milwaukee Bucks opened with a 32-12 first quarter, effectively ending this game as soon as it started.
The Bucks led from start to finish on their homecourt, stymying the Raptors’ offense en route to the win. Six from their side scored in double-figures, led by Khris Middleton’s 20. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 on 7-of-10 shooting, plus eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.
Milwaukee shut down DeMar DeRozan. He scored eight points, but all came from the foul line, in contrast to his 0-of-8 mark from the field. Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 13 points on a 4-of-10 clip. Toronto shot 33.8 percent as a team, and they failed to break 20 points in a quarter until the fourth, when the game was already decided.
MEM 105 – SAS 94, SAS leads series 2-1
Bully ball was back in effect for Team Grit ‘N Grind.
The Grizzlies moved Zach Randolph back into the starting lineup, and the adjustment led to the Grizzlies picking up game three.
Prior to the match, the focus was going to be on the whistles of the refs. Memphis was whistled for three more fouls, 24-21, and got the stripe less again, 20-28. However, they made 18-of-20 from the line, compared to 16-of-28 for the Spurs.
Then of course, Randolph was beasting. He put up 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds. Gasol added 21 points too, on an 8-of-14 clip, with six boards and three dimes. Mike Conley top-scored with 24 markers and eight assists.
Kawhi Leonard scored 18, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 and 11 caroms. But the rest of the team’s normal rotation failed to produce, a problem highlighted by Tony Parker’s 0-point, 0-of-4 shooting night. The Spurs sat down most of their stars in the fourth quarter.
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