Pau Gasol with the dunk vs the Nuggets
Before I begin with today’s action. I was unable to put up my NBA Daily Blog yesterday since I went out before the Grizzlies vs Clippers game was finished and I was unable to blog it out. So, in this edition, we’ll also highlight Game 6 of their series (see post below).
The Los Angeles Lakers are moving on to the second round as they take Game 7 of their first round series against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center 96-87. The Lakers will now face the #2 seed the Oklahoma City Thunder. Game 1 will be in Oklahoma City on May 15.
Pau Gasol led the Lakers with a double-double 23 points and 17 rebounds with 6 assists and 4 blocks. Steve Blake off the bench added 19 points and 2 steals while shooting 5-6 from 3 point range. Kobe Bryant added 17 points and 8 assists. Andrew Bynum also finished with a double-double 16 points and 18 rebounds with 6 blocks. Metta World Peace who returned to the hardcourt after serving a 7 game suspension added 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Al Harrington off the bench also scored 24 points. Arron Afflalo scored 15 points. JaVale McGee pulled down 14 rebounds with 6 points and 5 blocks. Andre Miller pulled down 11 rebounds with 8 assists. Rookie Kenneth Faried pulled down 10 rebounds with 6 points.
In Boston, the Boston Celtics continue their playoff campaign into the second round, coming up with a come from behind Game 1 victory over their Atlantic Division rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers at the TD Garden 92-91. The Celtics trailed by 10 at the start of the fourth, but fought their way back and came up with a thrilling victory. Game 2 will be in Boston on May 15 as the Celtics would look to take a 2-0 series lead before the series shifts to Philadelphia. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with a double-double 29 points and 11 rebounds with 3 blocks. Paul Pierce added 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double 13 points, 12 rebounds and 17 assists with 4 steals. Ray Allen off the bench scored 12 points. Brandon Bass added 10 points and 4 rebounds. Andre Iguodala led the 76ers with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Evan Turner finished with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds with 4 steals. Spencer Hawes added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Rookie Lavoy Allen off the bench added 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Yesterday in Los Angeles, the Memphis Grizzlies force a winner take all Game 7 in their first round series as they defeat the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 at the Staples Center 90-88. Game 7 will be in Memphis on May 14 where the winner will face the top seeded team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Zach Randolph finished with a double-double 18 points and 16 rebounds with 3 blocks. Rudy Gay added 13 points and 6 rebounds. Mike Conley also scored 13 points with 4 rebounds and 9 assists. Tony Allen added 8 points, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Eric Bledsoe off the bench added 14 points and 6 assists. Chris Paul added 11 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals. Caron Butler and Kenyon Martin each scored 10 points.
In other news, LeBron James of the Miami Heat was named the 2012 NBA Most Valuable Player. James who won his third MVP award of his career (a back-to-back in 2009 and 2010 with the Cleveland Cavaliers) led the Heat with season averages of 27.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.2 steals leading them to a 46-20 record, good for 2nd place in the East. James also joins a lot of good company as he joins Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan as players who have won the MVP award at least 3 times in their careers. Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder finished second in the voting. While Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in the voting.
2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 14:06 PHT)
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz
SAN ANTONIO SPURS WINS SERIES 4-0
#4 Grizzlies vs #5 Clippers (Series tied 3-3)
Game 7: May 14, 1:00 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV
#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets
LOS ANGELES LAKERS WINS SERIES 4-0
#2 Thunder vs #3 Lakers
Game 1: May 15, 9:30 am PHT Channel TBD
#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WINS SERIES 4-0
#4 Celtics vs #8 76ers (Celtics lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 15, 7:00 am PHT Channel TBD
#2 Heat vs #3 Pacers
Game 1: May 14, 3:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV