In a busy Saturday of NBA playoff action, the Oklahoma City Thunder took a 3-1 lead in their series with the Dallas Mavericks, the Indiana Pacers tied things at 2-2 with the Toronto Raptors while both the Portland Trail Blazers and the Charlotte Hornets finally got a win in their series, perhaps making things interesting.
Toronto Raptors 83 Indiana Pacers 100 (Series tied at 2-2): Game 4 had the Pacers in control from pretty early in the fourth as the Raptors showed abysmal defending and even worse shooting, finishing with 26.7% from three despite launching 30 attempts. The Pacers finally got Paul George (19 points) the help he needed, as Ian Mahinmi had a career night with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists while George Hill was almost perfect, hitting 9-for-11 from the field to finish with 22 in a rare aggressive night for him.
Miami Heat 80 Charlotte Hornets 96 (Heat lead series 2-1): Not playing with Nicolas Batum opened up new opportunities for the Hornets, winning a playoff game for the first time since the Bobcats were born and for a first time since 2002 including Charlotte Hornets history. Jeremy Lin scored 18 points in 26 minutes off the bench showing what it means to give him the ball. Kemba Walker scored 17 on 4-for-19 from the field and Frank Kaminsky, playing in the lineup, finished with 15 points. The Heat looked nothing like the team from the first two games, held to just 34.2% from the field, led by 19 points from Luol Deng.
Oklahoma City Thunder 119 Dallas Mavericks 108 (Thunder lead series 3-1): Kevin Durant got ejected as the Mavs campaign against the cheap shots of Thunder worked. But it didn’t stop the Thunder from winning both games in Dallas, heading back home with a 3-1 lead. Enes Kanter missed just one of 13 shots to score 28 points and Russell Westbrook added 25 to go with his 15 assists. Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points, but while the Mavs shot well, they sent the Thunder to the line 17 more times than they went there, getting outscored by 10 points in free throws.
Los Angeles Clippers 88 Portland Trail Blazers 96 (Blazers lead series 2-1): The Blazers come back to life as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum finally got going, combining to score 59 points on 50% from the field. Chris Paul had 26 for the Clippers and Jamal Crawford finished with 19, but Blake Griffin has been disastrous for them besides a dunk or two, finishing with 12 points while shooting just 5-for-16 from the field.