NBA 2012 Playoffs: Thank You, Los Angeles & Lakers Special Recaps
Day 24 of the 2012 NBA Playoffs consisted of a Game 5 for the Eastern Conference Semifinals and a Game 3 for the Western Conference Semifinals. In the first matchup, the Boston Celtics took on the Philadelphia 76ers for another home game for Boston, as they try to take the game to regain home court advantage. The second matchup was the one-win-away Oklahoma City Thunder taking on the might-be-last-hurrah Los Angeles Lakers in a deciding game to see whether the Lakers will win or lose. Either way, they go back home. Let’s see what went down.
(4) Boston Celtics vs (8) Philadelphia 76ers
Quick Breakdown of the Game
The Sixers started the first quarter strong, but the Boston Celtics hung in there with an eight-point effort from Greg Steimsma. For the Sixers, Jrue Holiday led the 27-point first quarter with seven points, two rebounds, and three assists. After one quarter, the Sixers led by four, 27-23. The Celtics and the Sixers played quite an even game in the second period. The Celtics did not allow the Sixers to go on big runs and they exectuted on both ends of the floor very well. At the end of two, the Celtics trailed the Sixers by three, 50-47. The Celtics just played their hearts out in the second half. The third quarter was very critical for them. The Celtics took their first lead since the first quarter at 15-14, with less than six minutes left to go in the third period. The Celtics scored two more baskets off of turnovers to push their lead up to six. They ended the third quarter leading the Sixers by nine, 75-66. The Celtics went on a big push in the fourth quarter and they managed to hold a 16 point lead with less than seven minutes to go. Although the Sixers tried to fight and come back in the game, the Celtics did their best to not allow them to bring the lead to single digits. The Celtics won the game by 16, 101-85, and they take a 3-2 series lead heading back to Philadelphia for Game 6.
Philadelphia 76ers Top Performers
Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes scored 10 points each. Evan Turner had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Lavoy Allen went 6-6 shooting off of the bench and he ended up with 12 points. Elton Brand scored 19 points on 8-13 shooting.
Boston Celtics Top Performers
Greg Steimsma was 5-5 from the field and scored 10 points off the bench. Paul Pierce scored 16 points on 3-7 shooting, but 9-9 from the charity stripe. Kevin Garnett scored 20 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Brandon Bass had a great game with 27 points on 9-13 shooting. Rajon Rondo recorded his usual double-double with 13 points and 14 assists.
What to Dwell On?
Can the Sixers survive Game 6 to force a Game 7? Or will the Celtics move on?
(2)Oklahoma City Thunder vs (3) Los Angeles Lakers
Quick Breakdown of the Game
The first quarter started out slow between these two teams. The score was pretty low for the first couple minutes of the game. Andrew Bynum picked up two early fouls and was forced to go to the bench. Kobe Bryant picked up two fouls, as well, but Mike Brown let him stay in the game. Fortunately for the Lakers, he did not pick up his third and he went for 15 points in the first period. At the end of the first period, the Thunder led the Lakers by five, 26-21. The Lakers played together and kept up with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City was able to draw a flagrant foul as well as a couple critical fouls, but the Lakers stuck with them. The Lakers outscored the Thunder by two, 30-28, and at the end of two, the Thunder still held the lead by three, 54-51. The third quarter was pretty much controlled by the Thunder. Russell Westbrook took some shots and made some shots. He drew two and-one plays and converted. Kobe Bryant went off in the third quarter as well. He led the Lakers to sticking with the Thunder. At the end of three, the Lakers trailed the Thunder by six, 83-77. The Thunder went on a 10-0 run in the first two and a half minutes of the game and they led the Lakers by 16. The Thunder went on to win the game by 16, 106-90. The Thunder move on to face the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals and a sweet goodbye to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers Top Performers
Andrew Bynum scored 10 points on 4-10 shooting. Metta World Peace scored 11 points on 4-5 shooting. Pau Gasol recorded a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Kobe Bryant scored 42 points on 18-33 shooting.
Oklahoma City Thunder Top Performers
James Harden scored 17 points on 6-10 shooting from the bench. Russell Westbrook recorded 28 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Kevin Durant recorded a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
What to Dwell On?
Will the Western Conference Finals be a challenge more for the Thunder or the Spurs?