We now know that the NBA’s first round of playoffs will have a second Game 7 to come following Monday night’s happenings. A late, very costly turnover from former Oklahoma City man Russell Westbrook helped the Thunder forge a path to a deciding winner-takes-all final match up with the Houston Rockets. Down two points (102-100) with less than ten seconds to go, Westbrook through a pass out-of-bounds, virtually ending any hopes they had of mounting a comeback. Chris Paul was instrumental in OKC’s victory, scoring 15 of his 28 in the fourth quarter to give them one more shot at advancing.
James Harden led all scorers with 32. In the early game of the day, the second round series between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks got underway. The #1 seed once again fell into a 1-0 hole as Jimmy Butler starred in his best-ever playoff game by scoring 40 points. The 115-104 win was also keyed by some impressive shooting from Goran Dragic, who was able to put up 27 of his own. Miami allowed 40 of the Bucks’ points in the first quarter and then averaged giving up just over 20 the rest of the way home. Khris Middleton, and not Giannis, was Milwaukee’s top man on the evening, and he had ‘just’ 28 in the loss. Of course, the Heat need not be too excited just yet. The Bucks also fell behind to fellow Floridians Orlando before surging back to win four straight.
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