By John Harris |@jhbasketball
Bench key as Clippers take Game 7 in Memphis:
The Memphis Grizzlies thought they’d done all the hard work in this series, bringing LA back home after a topsy-turvy 6 games where they’d actually outscored the Clippers overall. Chris Paul scored 19pts and showed his chippy side, getting into several scrapes with Grizz big man Zach Randolph when covering him on the switch. Blake Griffin had a quiet game as he struggled with a knock to his knee but the real story was the LA bench, who outscored their Memphis counterparts 41-11 to power LA to their biggest win of the series and a match-up Tuesday night with the well-rested San Antonio Spurs. Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol had 19pts apiece for Memphis but the no-show from their second unit caused too many problems for Lionel Hollins’ team.
“I came in here expecting to win.”- Chris Paul
Lebron and Wade combine for 61 in comeback win:
Four Pacers hit double figures as Indiana came into Miami and nearly spoiled Lebron James’ MVP presentation in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semis. The Pacers led early and went into the 4th with the scores tied and a great chance to steal one on the Heat’s floor until LBJ and Wade took over. They combined for 22 of Miami’s 25 4th quarter points as the Heat survived the loss of Chris Bosh to an abdominal strain and held on to keep their home advantage in the series. Pacers’ star Danny Granger had a game to forget with 7pts on 1-10FG and without him Indiana struggled in the clutch. Game 2 is in South Beach on Tuesday night.
Cavs’ Kyrie Erving reported as NBA’s top rookie:
Former Duke Blue Devil Kyrie Erving will be named the league’s top rookie later after averaging 18.5ppg in his first season out of Durham. The overall top-pick in last year’s draft reinvigorated the Cavaliers franchise after the loss of Lebron James, and had them competing for playoff position until a dip in team performance halfway in killed their postseason hopes. After stand-out Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio went down with a season-ending injury Irving was widely expected to take home rookie honours and the Cleveland fans will be excited to see if he can lift the franchise to greater heights next season.
Agree with Irving being ROY? Who will win the Heat-Pacers series? Let us know in the comments!
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