Day Ten: NBA Playoff Capsules

Monday night might be remembered as the day the San Antonio Spurs finally rode off into the sunset. Yes, Memphis still has to win one more game and San Antonio is the type of veteran team that will not go away simply because it is down 3-1. But seeing Gregg Popovich pull his players in the middle of the fourth quarter knowing the daunting task ahead of his team might say more than the rout the Grizzlies put on the former champions. It might not be time to coronate a new “perennial contending” team quite yet though. Dallas took care of business at home after its collapse in Portland and Denver staved off elimination.

Day Ten details below…

Game four: (1) San Antonio vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies, FedEx Forumgrizzlies_logo

  • Final Score: Grizzlies 104, Spurs 86
  • The Spurs led by two at the half and looked like they would be able to tie the season series. But then the Grizzlies increased their defensive intensity and got out on the break, making San Antonio look flat out old at times. Memphis had all the energy and confidence seemed to multiply as the team pulled away from the number one seed in the West.  
  • Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley: 15 points, 7 assists, 1 turnover. 
  • Spurs point guard Tony Parker: 23 points, 9-12 field goals (19 points, 7-7 in first half), 1 assist.
  • Key Stats: Memphis had five players score in double figures including Darrell Arthur off the bench. Arthur had 14 points and was +13 for the game. … Shane Battier has been a part of every Memphis Grizzlies playoff game. … The Spurs had 17 turnovers to the Grizzlies 8. … Tim Duncan scored only six points to go with seven rebounds.
  • “They put their foot on our neck and they never let up,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
  • “We haven’t accomplished anything yet. We made a little noise and got everybody excited, but we still have to win one more game,” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said.
  • Memphis leads the series 3-1. Game Five is Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on NBATV in San Antonio. 

Game five: (3) Dallas Mavericks vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers, American Airlines Centermavs_logo

  • Final Score: Mavericks 93, Trail Blazers 82
  • No one was sure if the Mavericks would be able to recover after losing a 23-point lead in Game Four. But Dallas showed a ton of resolve, methodically pulling away to secure the Game Four victory. The Mavericks did the things that got them that lead this weekend, attacking the offensive glass and getting out on the fast break.
  • Mavericks center Tyson Chandler: 14 points, 8-12 free throws, 20 rebounds, 13 offensive rebounds.   
  • Blazers guard Andre Miller: 18 points, 7 assists.
  • Key Stats: The Mavericks held a 20-9 advantage on offensive rebounds led by Chandler’s effort on the glass. … Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and added eight rebounds. … Dallas got a big boost from their point guards as Jason Terry scored 20 points off the bench and Jason Kidd added 14 assists. … Gerald Wallace had 16 points and nine rebounds, but also added four turnovers.
  • “I know how bad it feels, because it’s tough when we’re playing defense and you give up an offensive rebound because you know you have to play another 24 seconds. And it’s tiring in the Playoffs,” Mavericks center Tyson Chandler said.
  • “We didn’t deserve to win this game tonight. They were the aggressors,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.
  • Dallas leads the series 3-1. Game Six is Thursday; time and TV are to be announced.

Game four: (4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (5) Denver Nuggets, Pepsi Centernuggets_logo

  • Final Score: Nuggets 104, Thunder 101
  • The Nuggets staved off elimination as Russell Westbrook’s game-tying 3-pointer missed. The Nuggets had a 10-point lead with just under three minutes left and had to hold off a furious rally from the Thunder to avoid the sweep.
  • Nuggets guard Ty Lawson: 27 points, 8-16 field goals.   
  • Thunder guard Russell Westbrook: 30 points, 12-30 field goals, six rebounds, five assists
  • Key Stats: Denver finally got big contributions from the team’s acquisitions in the Carmelo Anthony trade. Danilo Gallinari had 18 points and Raymond Felton add 11 off the bench. … No player on Denver had more than one turnover and the team had just eight for the game. … Kevin Durant also poured in a monster game with 31 points. However in the first half, Durant and Westbrook appeared to vent their frustrations with each other as the team was struggling to pull away. … Serge Ibaka added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
  • “Coach says when I attack, it fuels the team. Everyone was talking about us being swept. There was a lot of emotion involved in this game. It was the biggest game of my life right now, so I just wanted to come out and just play strong. And we all did,” Nuggets guard Ty Lawson said.
  • “We knew going into this series that every game was going to be tough. Trust me, we didn’t go into this series thinking we were going to sweep this team,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
  • Oklahoma City leads the series 3-1. Game Five is Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. on TNT at Oklahoma City. 

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily