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NBA Playoffs: Miami’s Wade to shine in low scoring 3-2 series triumph

Robbie Purves | May 10, 2016

Oklahoma City Thunder @ San Antonio Spurs

  • NBA Conference semi-finals
  • Wednesday, May 11th
  • Tipoff: 01:00 BST
  • AT and T Center, San Antonio

Thunder to falter in high scoring face-off

It was conceivable that game four would be Kevin Durant’s last game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena as a Oklahoma City Thunder player. With San Antonio Spurs arriving possessing a 2-1 series lead, the stage was set for Spurs to take a 3-1 advantage back to Texas.

Spurs Thunder Basketball

However, Durant dominated the game, registering a career playoff high 41 points, that led OKC to a 111-97 victory that evens the series at 2-2 and puts immense pressure on San Antonio to perform in game five.

The teams have averaged 203.75 points per game throughout the series and Coral have them 12/5 to register a tally between 195-205.

This series has been truly fantastic and given NBA fans some memorable moments. We’ve seen LaMarcus Aldridge dominate scoring, team basketball executed with ruthless efficiency, and of course superstars Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook and Durant dominate at times.

A Spurs offensive collapse will not be allowed to happen again by five-time NBA championship winning coach Gregg Popovich. Leonard had 21 points coming into the last quarter but missed all his shots in the fourth. Aldridge who has been so dominant in this series was almost silent, and Tim Duncan finished scoreless for the first time in his 19-year-career.

However, Spurs were only beaten once at home in the entire 82 game regular season and will come into the clash as favourites.

Miami Heat @ Toronto Raptors

  • NBA Conference Semi-Finals
  • Thursday, May 12th
  • Tipoff: 01:00 BST
  • Air Canada Centre, Toronto

Miami to lead series 3-2 in low scoring clash

The series is currently tied at 2-2 after the Miami Heat’s 94-87 game four triumph at the American Airlines Arena over Toronto Raptors.

Cavaliers Heat Basketball

This is the first time Miami have ever been forced into three overtime games in a series, the second most in an NBA Playoff. Heat totally dominated in the paint in game four, scoring 54 – their second highest in the post season this campaign.

With just 12.6 seconds left, Dwyane Wade made an overtime-forcing bucket on his way to 30 points. The evergreen Wade has now registered two consecutive 30 or more point playoff performances – the first time since April 2010.

Wade will not let his team go down without a fight, single handedly forcing the Heat offence into gear at times. Miami have thankfully moved away from the dreadfully slow, isolation-heavy offence and have deployed a quicker passing system thanks to coach Erik Spoelstra.

The Floridian side have lost four of their last five visits to Canada including the regular season, but can be buoyed by the fact they have won at least one road game in 18 consecutive series, an NBA Playoff record.

Raptors were just 12 seconds away from a series win, but coach Dwayne Casey couldn’t draw up a play that worked. Casey needs to become a little more creative, as Raptors seemed out of ideas against Miami and the coach himself said: “I feel we let it slip away.”

The encounters have been low scoring affairs with the teams averaging just 188.25 points per game and are 5/2 to score between 186-196.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors

  • NBA Conference semi-finals
  • Thursday, May 12th
  • Tipoff: 03:30 BST
  • Oracle Arena, Oakland

Curry to spark points frenzy in Oakland

Steph Curry scored 40 in Golden State Warriors’ sensational overtime win to stretch a series lead over Portland Trail Blazers to 3-1.

Warriors Wizards Basketball

Reigning MVP Curry wasn’t in sparkling form early in the game, getting off to one of the worst three point shooting starts of his career.

However, overtime arrived and showed the world why he is the game’s best after four weeks out. Curry came off the bench to score 17 of his 40 points in a dramatic OT triumph – the most overtime period points ever scored. Coach Steve Kerr said:“I figured he’d find his stroke and make a few shots, but I mean, that was crazy.”

Trail Blazer’s Damian Lillard scored 36 after scoring 40 in the last encounter and with both sides possessing this sort of fire power, and Curry likely to play more minutes, the clash looks to be a potential points-fest. The sides are 6/4 to finish the game with over 221 points.

The series can now be won with a Warriors triumph in Oakland. Golden State lost just twice in 39 games in the regular season at home and are unbeaten during the playoffs in Oakland.

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