NBA 2012 Playoffs: Day 15 Recaps
Day 15 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs consisted of a great Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. The second game of the night was a Game 7 in Los Angeles as the Denver Nuggets looked to close out the Lakers and hold off Kobe’s hopes of winning a sixth NBA championship ring.
(4) Boston Celtics vs (8) Philadelphia 76ers
Quick Breakdown of the Game
The Philadelphia 76ers took charge in the early moments of the first quarter, but Boston did not let up. Towards the end of the quarter, the Celtics and Sixers were exchanging shots. At the end of one, the Sixers led the Celtics by 10, 28-18. The Celtics played better in the second quarter. Philadelphia was only held to 19 points in the quarter, while the Celtics managed to score 24. Going into halftime, the Sixers led by five, 47-42. The third quarter was a close one, but the Celtics managed to outscore the Sixers by one, 25-24. At the end of three, the Celtics trailed the Sixers by four, 71-67. In the fourth quarter, the Celtics defended the ball better than the Sixers and the Celtics performed in the clutch. In the last moments of the game, the Celtics were up by one and the Sixers had a foul to give. Rondo got the ball from the inbound, ran into backcourt, and dribbled out the last 3.4 seconds of Game 1. The Sixers lost to the Celtics by one, 92-91, taking a 1-0 series lead.
Philadelphia 76ers Top Performers
Lavoy Allen contributed with 12 points on 5-7 shooting from the bench. Spencer Hawes scored 15 points and 8 rebounds. Evan Turner recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Igoudala led the Sixers with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Boston Celtics Top Performers
Lavoy Allen contributed with 12 points on 4-10 shooting from the bench. Paul Pierce recorded 14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics in points by scoring 29 points and managed a double-double with 11 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had a phenomenal night recording a triple-double. He scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and bagged in 17 assists.
What to Dwell On?
The Sixers worked very hard in Game 1 and could have possibly won the game, but the Celtics, given their experience, fought very hard to win. Can the Sixers steal Game 2 in Boston?
(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs (6) Denver Nuggets
Quick Breakdown of the Game
The game was very close in the first quarter, but the Lakers had the upper hand and the led the Nuggets by one, 25-24. The Lakers surged on in the second quarter. Kobe shared the ball which gave the other Lakers a chance to score, which they did very well. The Lakers led the Nuggets heading into halftime by six, 48-42. The Lakers started off playing very well in the third quarter and obtained a large lead. The Lakers seemed like they were a little confident and the Nuggets took charge and at the end of three, the Nuggets only trailed by one point. The fourth quarter was great for the Los Angeles Lakers. There were quite a few great plays from Metta World Peace and defense and Steve Blake on offense. Metta ripped balls away for a couple of possessions, but Steve Blake hit some big threes to give the Lakers a lead, half way through the period. Bynum was able to give the Lakers a seven point lead with less than three minutes to go. A minute later, Andrew Bynum added two to the lead after hitting two clutch free throws. Aaron Afflalo was able to hit a three to cut the Lakers lead to five, but Kobe Bryant hit a three of his own to bring the lead back up to eight. The Lakers take the nine point win, 96-87, and move on to the Western Conference Semifinals to face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Denver Nuggets Top Performers
Aaron Afflalo recorded 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ty Lawson and Al Harrington scored 24 points each.
Los Angeles Lakers Top Performers
Metta World Peace, on his first game back, scored 15 points, with 3 steals and 2 blocks. Kobe Bryant recorded 17 points and 8 assists. Steve Blake contributed 19 points on 5-6 shooting from three point land. Andrew Bynum recorded a double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Pau Gasol led the Lakers in points with 23 and grabbed 17 rebounds.
What to Dwell On?
The Lakers moved on to face the Thunder in round 2. If the Nuggets gave the Lakers trouble, forcing Los Angeles to a Game 7, do you think they will survive the energetic Oklahoma City Thunder?