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Thursday, 01 May 2014 11:10

Wednesday Night Recap - Spurs Regain Form, Toronto Holds on, and the Rockets Keep the Series Alive

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Tony Parker's efforts give Spurs 3-2 series lead, the Raptors nearly blow a 26 point lead, and the Rockets finally slow down LaMarcus Aldridge. 

Game Five Western Conference Quarter Finals: SAN ANTONIO SPURS 109, Dallas Mavericks 103 After nearly seeing a 20 point third quarter lead evaporate in their game four win, San Antonio was able to hang on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center.  Five Spurs scored 15 points or more, including Tiago Splitter's 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. Vince Carter continued his assault on the three point line for the Mav's, connecting on 7-9, to go along with his team leading 28 points. San Antonio was able to do just about anything they wanted to on offense, scoring 54 of their 109 points inside the paint, while also turning the ball over a mere five times. Dirk Nowitzki was finally able to get on track with 26 points and 15 rebounds. He had previously struggled with his shot, shooting 41% through the first five games. The game was close throughout, with a Carter three closing the Spurs lead to four points with three minutes remaining. Tony Parker, coming off of having the birth of his first child hours earlier, returned Carter's three with one of his own, closing Dallas' chances for good. If the Spurs hope to move on to the next round as soon as possible, they will have to do it in Dallas Friday night.  Game Five Eastern Conference Quarter Finals TORONTO RAPTORS 115, Brooklyn Nets 113

The Raptors hung on by the skin of their teeth in what was nearly a miraculous comeback by Brooklyn. Leading 91-69 heading into the fourth quarter, the Nets nearly brought the series back to Brooklyn up 3-2. At one point, the deficit was as high as 26 points. Joe Johnson and Kyle Lowry put on an epic duel for their respective squads. Johnson scored thirty points, including many tough fourth quarter baskets, while Lowry went off for a playoff career high 36 points, including going 6-9 from deep. With the Raptors up 113-108 and ten seconds remaining, things got interesting. Amir Johnson inexplicably fouled Alan Anderson on a made three pointer, and Anderson's ensuing made free throw put the score at 113-112. After DeMar DeRozan connected on two free throws to put the score at 115-112 with six seconds remaining, the Nets Andray Blatche was sent to the charity stripe. Blatche made the first but missed the second, and with Shaun Livingston flying in from the wing to tip the ball, Blatche found himself with the ball and time winding down. His pass to Deron Williams, however, sailed into the backcourt for a violation, ending the game.  Thankfully for Jonas Valanciunas, the pass from Blatche back to Williams was not tipped. Williams had fired a desperation heave that nearly went in, but was blocked by Valanciunas. Had the refs determined that Blatche's pass had indeed been tipped, Williams shot would have counted as goaltending, and the Nets would most likely have ended the game as winners. The Nets, seemingly having difficulty nailing down a consistent playoff rotation, sent 11 players into action Wednesday night. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were expected to deliver when playoff time hit, but neither had any sort of momentum building tonight. Pierce scored 10 points in 24 minutes of play, while Garnett put in two baskets in 11 minutes of play. After seeing his regular season minutes limited in hopes of increasing his workload during the playoffs, Garnett has managed to average under 20 minutes per game this postseason. Play resumes in Brooklyn Friday night as the Nets look to stay alive.

Game Five Western Conference Quarter Finals HOUSTON ROCKETS 108, Portland Trail Blazers 98

Dwight Howard continued his great series - where he has averaged 26 points and 14 rebound per game - scoring 22 points and hauling in 14 rebounds. This game was a must win for the Rockets, who now trail the series 3-2, going back to Portland.

Jeremy Lin, whose dissapointing effort in game four left him sleepless, came off the bench to score 21 points. Starting point guard Pat Beverley was dealing with a 101 degree fever, so Lin's efforts were much needed.

A James Harden step back three with just more than three minutes remaining gave Houston the 103-98 advantage. That continued an 8-0 run for the Rockets, as they went on to close the game out.

LaMarcus Aldridge, who had averaged 35 points before last night, was limited to just 8 points on 12 shots. 

Portland was led by Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews, who had 26 and 27 points, respectively.

Game six is set to be played Friday night in front of a raucous Portland crowd, who have seen their team go 31-10 this season at the Rose Garden.

Thursday's Matchups Game Six Eastern Conference Quarter Finals Indiana Pacers (-1, 187) @ ATLANTA HAWKS 7 PM ET, NBATV Series 3-2 ATLANTA The final score was somewhat respectable, but make no mistake about it, the Pacers were demolished in what most would consider a statement game. The Pacers are in shambles all around. The only thing that may save them is if Larry Bird decided to lace up the sneakers one last time. Prediction: ATLANTA 94, Indiana 89 Game Six Western Conference Quarter Finals Oklahoma City Thunder (-2.5, 184.5) @ MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 8 PM ET, TNT Series 3-2 MEMPHIS Tuesday's one point Memphis win was quite shockingly the fourth overtime finish out of the five games played thus far. Even though the Thunder, playing as a two seed, are facing the seventh seed Grizzlies, Memphis' play easily constitutes that of a contender.   Prediction: MEMPHIS 98, Oklahoma City 95  Game Six Western Conference Quarter Finals Los Angeles Clippers (-1.5, 209.5)) @ GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 10:30 PM ET, TNT Series 3-2 Los Angeles Coming off of the immediate bizare, embarassing, and disgusting Donald Sterling controversy, the Clippers were able to ride raw emotion into 10 point game four win. Despite shooting 47% from the field, the Warriors were outmuscled by DeAndre Jordan's 25 points and 18 rebounds. These teams are so evenly matched that home court advantage may make the final difference in the series.  Prediction: GOLDEN STATE 112, Los Angeles 105

Cory Prescott

Cory Prescott is the Editor at Large for Boston Celtics coverage on CLNS Radio. 

Cory is a graduate of Susquehanna University, graduating with a degree in Communications - Journalism.  While at Susquehanna, Cory spent three years as the sports editor for the school's weekly newspaper.  He also worked for the Crusaders Athletics Communications Department.

Following graduation, Cory spent time writing for the Maine Hockey Journal, as well as Boston Sports Then & Now, in addition to his own blog, Brain Freeze.

A native Mainer, Cory has been residing in Boston for the past few years.

Follow Cory on twitter @CLNS_Prescott.