Heading into their second-round matchup with the Miami Heat, the Brooklyn Nets had to be feeling pretty good. They swept LeBron and company in the regular season series and had to have been thinking about putting an end to the Heat's dreams of a three-peat.
But that all came crashing down fast. Miami jumped out to a 2-0 series lead (they blew out the Nets 107-86 in Game 1), before Brooklyn bounced back with a Game 3 victory. In last night's Game 4, the Heat were back on the warpath, defeating the Nets 102-96 to take a 3-1 series lead. And of course, King James reigned supreme, shooting 16-24 and setting a Heat playoff record with 49 points.
Here's some video of LBJ's history-making performance:
Move over, LeBron — there's a new king of the NBA.
Yesterday, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant was named the NBA's 2013-14 Most Valuable Player. It's KD's first MVP after finishing second in voting in 2012 and 2013 behind LeBron. This year, Durant earned 119 first-place votes out of a possible 125. James came in second and Blake Griffin of the Clippers was third. Joakim Noah (Bulls) and James Harden (Rockets) rounded out the top five.
The first round of the NBA playoffs came to an end this weekend with five — count 'em, five! — Game 7s. In case you missed any of the action, we've got you covered with capsule recaps of every game, featuring video of the biggest moments and clutch performances!
After the Oklahoma City Thunder's Game 5 loss on Tuesday, the number two seed in the West was on the verge of a first-round postseason exit. And if that weren't enough, an Oklahoma newspaper called Kevin Durant "Mr. Unreliable."
Last night, the Thunder — and Durant — silenced their critics (at least for now) by defeating the Grizzlies, 104-84.
Game 6 ended in regulation for the first time after four straight overtime contests. But a quick conclusion to a game is be expected when a superstar takes control. And that's what Kevin Durant did last night. Durant dominated the Grizzlies, putting up 36 points and 10 rebounds and leading his team in a must-win game.
Check out this clip of every one of his Game 6 points:
There was some history made in Oklahoma City last night. It was Game 5 of the Thunder-Grizzlies first-round playoff series, and for the fourth straight time the teams went to overtime. The last four games of the series has required bonus basketball, which is a first in NBA history.
OKC stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been huge for the Thunder in forcing OT in two of those four games. And the team needed some superstar magic again last night.
With the clock ticking down, Memphis was up 90-88. As Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, Jr. dribbled at the top of the arc, Westbrook stuck his hand in, stole the ball, and had a clear lane to the net and a tie game. So of course, he went up for the jam:
Yesterday, commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life after Sterling was caught on tape making racist remarks. Once the punishment was announced, the Clippers put up a simple message on their website: We Are One. The NBA quickly followed the Clippers lead by releasing a powerful 30-second TV spot during last night's games that reinforced the message that the NBA stands together:
Over the weekend, a recording surfaced of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments about African Americans. Since then, the NBA, its players, coaches, owners, and fans have called on new commissioner Adam Silver to punish Sterling.
In a news conference this afternoon, Silver announced Sterling’s punishment: A lifetime ban and a $2.5 million dollar fine.
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”
Effectively immediately, Sterling cannot attend NBA games or practices and is barred from making any business decisions involving the team. The fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association.