NBA Playoffs Game 1 Recaps + Baseball Report
Jim Hurley's Network® dominates the NBA Playoffs Sunday, going 3-1. The Heat (-9½) and Wizards (+4½) get W's, and the exciting Blazers/Rockets contest soars comfortably over 214½ (242)! Come back tonight for more winners!
THE NBA PLAYOFFS —
EASTERN CONFERENCE IS “UPSET CITY” WITH GAME 1 WINS BY THE WIZARDS, HAWKS & NETS PLUS WE TAKE QUICKIE PEEKS AT ALL THE FIRST-ROUND SERIES INCLUDING THE BLAZERS’ OT TRIUMPH AT HOUSTON …
THE BASEBALL REPORT: A TIP OF THE CAP TO ONE OF SUNDAY’S STARS AS SF RIGHTY HURLER TIM LINCECUM (AND REPLAY TOO!)TAKES CENTER STAGE IN THE NL WEST
By Jim Hurley
Now, tell us you really thought the first weekend of the NBA Playoffs was gonna be a stroll in the park for the Home Favorites!
The fact of the matter is more than half of the eight Game 1’s (five of eight, to be precise) played this past Saturday/Sunday wound up being outright wins for the road teams — Brooklyn, Atlanta and Washington were road warriors in the Eastern Conference lid-lifters — while Golden State and Portland pulled off Game 1 stunners in the West and so, ladies and gents, you’ve officially been indoctrinated into this year’s post-season.
Better yet, NBA Underdogs went 6-2 ATS (against the spread) overall this first weekend of play … were y’all banking on that?
Now please go ahead and fasten your seat belt before we go any further!
Here’s a chart version of the Game 1’s played this past weekend and then check out our commentary on the playoff openers (note all Home Teams in CAPS below):
|Golden St.||+7½||LA CLIPPERS||109-105|
On Sunday, it was …
WASHINGTON 102, CHICAGO 93 — Wizards lead series 1-0
Memo to the suddenly old-looking Chicago Bulls:
You’re not gonna use a hammer-and-tong approach on these Wizards, who overcame a 13-point third-quarter deficit and then outscored Chicago 18-6 over the course of the game’s final six minutes when Washington looked quicker, stronger and dare we say hungrier in this Windy City clash.
The Wizards shot 36-of-74 from the floor — that’s 48.6 percent — and how many Bulls’ foes shoot like that in a Game 1 of a playoff opener?
Gotta say that the lift given Washington by born-again C Nene (24 points and 8 rebounds) was a major part of this Sunday night tilt, but don’t sleep on fellow big man Marcin Gortat (15 points and 13 rebounds), who more than held his own up front against the likes of Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, who quietly finished with a combined 21 points and 19 boards.
The Wizards showed major gumption on the NBA road this year and — truth be told — we believed they’d get one of the first two games here in this series, but now you wonder if there’s enough drive/gusto to win Game 2 come Tuesday night … whatta you say, guys?
On Saturday, it was …
ATLANTA 101, INDIANA 93 — Hawks lead series 1-0
Someone tell the Indiana Pacers that the regular season is over … they don’t have to go skidding along the runway like this still!
In fact, the Pacers looked like lost souls in this one as 8-point home favorites with Frank Vogel’s squad nailing just 5-of-19 field-goal tries in the third quarter and finishing this Game 1 by netting only 34-of-81 FGs (42 percent) and guess C Roy Hibbert (8 points and 8 rebs in 30 minutes) still has not received his “wake-up call”.
If the Hawks wanted to shine a light on an X-factor in their favor here in Game 1, then look no further than F DeMarre Carroll, who registered 12 points and 10 boards (five of ‘em on the offensive end).
BROOKLYN 94, TORONTO 87 — Nets lead series 1-0
Let’s skip past all the trash talk and F-bombs (yes, said by the Raptors’ silly new GM) and get right to the straight facts here and that is Jason Kidd’s crew allowed veteran PG Deron Williams to take command after a rather spotty season as the former Illinois star poured in 24 points and had it going from the start, even though he got whacked in the face at one point and banged to the floor on a few other occasions.
The Nets did a splendid job bottling up Toronto G DeMar DeRozan (just 3-of-13 FG shooting for a quiet 14 points), who was no doubt bogged down by some playoff nerves, but if Brooklyn can stay in his grill for Game 2 on Tuesday night, then the Nets (a — 130-to-$100 betting favorite here despite being the #6 seed) could make this a short-and-sweet opening round.
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In the other Eastern Conference Game 1, it was…
MIAMI 99, CHARLOTTE 88 — Heat leads series 1-0
The big news here was Bobcats big man Al Jefferson heard something “pop” in his foot in the first quarter of this tilt in South Beach and, despite his decent stat line of 18 points and 10 rebounds, Jefferson was no factor at all here and could be done for the remainder of the set despite his proclamation to the contrary.
Now hear this …
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Plus, remember there’s Major-League Baseball on tap every day and so the time is just right to cash in big this spring as the NBA Playoffs and Baseball pounds out major profits!
WESTERN CONFERENCE —
On Sunday, it was…
SAN ANTONIO 90, DALLAS 85 — Spurs lead series 1-0
How about the fact the Mavericks missed 13 of their final 14 FG tries and were outscored 19-to-4 to end this game and yet there was TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley saying Dallas would be “fine” in Game 2 because neither Dirk Nowitzki nor Monta Ellis (a combined 8-of-28 from the floor for 22 points) played well in the opener and still Rick Carlisle’s club opened up a 10-point second-half lead … still, couldn’t anyone stop Tony Parker’s whirling dervish moves to the hoop that helped produce 21 points?
PORTLAND 122, HOUSTON 120 (overtime) — Trail Blazers lead series 1-0
Gotta admit that it appeared this game would go on all night long between the bogus foul calls — Dwight Howard’s sixth foul call was a phantom if there ever was one — and the overtime session. When they finally drew the curtain on this Game 1 the Blazers were all smiles as LaMarcus Aldridge scored a playoff franchise-record 46 points (he fouled out late), while we duly noted that G Damian Lillard scored so many key late-game hoops en route to a 31-point night.
Maybe the defensive heat applied to Houston’s James Harden (just 8-of-28 from the floor for 27 points) did wear down the bearded one late.
On Saturday, it was…
GOLDEN STATE 109, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 105 — Warriors lead series 1-0
It’s worth noting that the Las Vegas numbers-crunchers made the Clippers a prohibitive 4-to-1 betting favorite to cop this best-of-seven series, and nobody’s saying Doc Rivers’ squad is dead-and-buried just yet (Game 2 is tonight at Staples Center), but what’s the deal with G-State winning the board battle 48-to-42 and the Clips’ bench shooting a collective 8-of-30 from the floor — we think these bench guys should have gotten more flack following this one, don’t you?
OKLAHOMA CITY 100, MEMPHIS 86 — Thunder leads series 1-0
As it turned out, the only two betting favorites to win/cover in the Game 1’s of this past weekend’s NBA Playoffs were Okie City and Miami and the latter barely squeezed out the cover by a single point.
Okay, so nobody here is saying Kevin Durant and Company were world-beaters as OKC was outscored 31-13 in the third quarter before winning the final frame by 10 points, and while Durant rallied to the cause with 13 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter, a big shout-out goes to the board work of PG Russell Westbrook (10 rebs) and F Serge Ibaka (nine rebounds), who helped the Thunder win that stat category 51-to-41 while the Grizzlies did themselves no favors by shooting 2-of-11 from beyond the stripe — hey, we don’t care if it’s not “Memphis’ game” to shoot trifectas, they better hit a few more than two in tonight’s Game 2 or this series will get ugly fast.
THE BASEBALL REPORT
It’s safe to say that San Francisco RHP Tim Lincecum likes Petco Park in San Diego … we mean, he really likes it.
Lincecum threw his one-and-only no-hitter at Petco last July and following Sunday’s hang-on-for-dear-life 4-3 win, Lincecum now is the proud owner of a 14-6 record in 27 starts in this stadium.
P.S., his first win of the year came in Sunday’s instant-replay-aided victory as Lincecum’s Giants won a replay challenge when C Buster Posey tagged Padres’ Xavier Nady on a play at the plate that had been originally called safe.
In the end, Lincecum won his first game of this 2014 season — his stats weren’t great while allowing 3 runs and 7 hits with 3 walks in six innings of work, but if the Giants thought that maybe their two-time NL Cy Young Award winner wasn’t gonna be an important contributor to this year’s team, they can feel better especially after the Giants had scored two total runs in the first two games (both losses) of this NL West set.
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