The Indiana Pacers celebrate as they advance to the second round of the playoffs.
This is my 50th blog entry since I returned to blogging last month. So let’s get it on with today’s NBA Daily Blog.
For the first time since 2005, the Indiana Pacers advance to the second round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs as they win their first round series in Game 5 against the Orlando Magic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 105-87. The Pacers will face the winner between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks with the Heat leading the series 3-1 and Game 5 to be played tomorrow in Miami. Meanwhile for the Magic, they will face a uncertain off-season with key players entering their final contract years which includes superstar Dwight Howard and with coach Stan Van Gundy on the ropes to stay as head coach for the Magic.
Danny Granger led the Pacers with 25 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Darren Collison off the bench added 19 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. George Hill added 15 points and 6 rebounds. David West added 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Roy Hibbert added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Paul George added 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 27 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Glen Davis added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ryan Anderson added 14 points and 4 rebounds. J.J. Redick off the bench scored 12. Jason Richardson scored 8.
In Atlanta, the Atlanta Hawks keep their playoff hopes alive with the win in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics at Phillips Arena 87-86. Game 6 will be played in Boston on May 11as the Celtics have an opportunity to advance to the second round at home. Al Horford led the Hawks with a double-double 19 points and 11 rebounds with 3 steals and 3 blocks. Jeff Teague added 16 points, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Joe Johnson added 15 points, 4 assists and 2 steals. Marvin Williams also scored 15 points with 4 rebounds. Josh Smith also finished with a double-double 13 points and 16 rebounds with 6 assists. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with each scoring 16 points. Pierce also added 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Garnett also added 7 rebounds. Ray Allen off the bench added 15 points and 4 assists. Brandon Bass added 14 points and 7 rebounds. Rajon Rondo finished with a double-double 13 points and 12 rebounds with 5 rebounds and 5 steals.
In Chicago, the top-seeded Chicago Bulls force a Game 6 in their first round series against the Philadelphia 76ers with the victory in Game 5 at the United Center 77-69. Game 6 will be played in Philadelphia on May 11 as the 76ers have one more chance of advancing to the second round, this time on their home floor. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Carlos Boozer finished with a double-double 19 points and 13 rebounds with 6 assists. Taj Gibson off the bench added 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Rip Hamilton and Ronnie Brewer each scored 6. Brewer also added 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Lou Williams scored 13 off the bench. Spencer Hawes finished with a double-double 11 points and 14 rebounds with 2 blocks. Andre Iguodala added 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
In Los Angeles, the Denver Nuggets win a thriller as they win Game 5 of their first round series against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center 102-99. The Nuggets snap a 9 game playoff road losing streak and force a Game 6 back home in Denver on May 11. The Lakers had a chance to send the game into overtime but Kobe Bryant missed a three in the end game. Andre Miller off the bench led the Nuggets with 24 points and 8 rebounds. JaVale McGee finished with a double-double 21 points and 14 rebounds with 2 blocks. Arron Afflalo added 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Danilo Gallinari added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Rookie Kenneth Faried added 10 points and 9 rebounds. Ty Lawson added 9 points, 8 assists and 3 steals. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 43 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Andrew Bynum finished with a double-double 16 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Barnes off the bench added 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Pau Gasol added 9 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 blocks. Ramon Sessions also scored 9 points with 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 13:39 PHT)
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz
SAN ANTONIO SPURS WINS SERIES 4-0
#4 Grizzlies vs #5 Clippers (Clippers lead series 3-1)
Game 5: May 10, 9:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Lakers lead series 3-2)
Game 6: May 11, 10:30 am PHT Channel TBD
#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WINS SERIES 4-0
#1 Bulls vs #8 76ers (76ers lead series 3-2)
Game 6: May 11, Time and Channel TBD
#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Celtics lead series 3-2)
Game 6: May 11, Time and Chnnel TBD
#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic
INDIANA PACERS WINS SERIES 4-0
#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 3-1)
Game 5: May 10, 7:00 am PHT on ESPN