NBA Playoff Nightcap: May 12th Edition

He (still) got game  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Good morning.  Thanks for waking up with Bright Side of the Sun - I'm the morning guy Scott Howard and I'll be taking you up until something way more interesting is posted. Don't worry though, I brought you a donut and some coffee.  You see it there on your desk?  Good - I'll take care of you.  

Since there was only one game last night I decided to add a game that happened May 11th....but in a different year.  Who doesn't love trips down memory lane, right?  Today's entry comes to us from 17 years ago and was just Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Color me surprised at the events of last night.  Now I know the Celtics are nothing to sneeze at by any means but I can't say I expected them to win again in Cleveland - particularly by 32.

Tuesday May 11th Playoff Results:

Boston Celtics 120 Cleveland Cavaliers 88 (Recap): I'll open with this - Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer called this the "worst performance - considering the stakes - in the 40 year history of the franchise."  Yikes.  Considering Tuesday night began a best of three series with two games in Cleveland, the Cavs had to like their chances to take down Boston and begin preparations for Orlando.  Yet after a promising first quarter which the Cavs closed up by 3, things began to fall apart.  Boston outscored the Cavs by 9 points in the second quarter, 11 in the third, and blew the doors off with a 15 point separation in the fourth to seal a big victory.  The story of the game for Cleveland was the struggles of LeBron James (insert King-related pun)  who was a dismal 3/14 from the field and scored just 15 points.  In fact, in the shock of all shocks, James was actually booed by the Quicken Loans faithful as he exited the floor.  Boston on the other hand stole a big road win behind 25 from Ray Allen, 21 from Paul Pierce, and 18 from Kevin Garnett.  As a team the Celtics shot 55% from the field while holding the Cavs to just 41%.  Game 6 is Thursday in Boston and Kevin Garnett certainly appreciates the urgency of the situation:

"We cannot come back here," Garnett said. "We have to think this is our Game 7 coming up and we cannot afford to have the best team in the league have a Game 7 on their floor. Just not possible."

As brutal as Cleveland looked last night I whole heartedly agree with KG's sentiment.  Not to sound like a tool, but the MVP isn't going to have several bad games in a row.

1993 Phoenix Suns 98 1993 San Antonio Spurs 89 (Recap):  Fresh off their tremendous comeback series win over the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns strolled into the second round preparing to face the 49-win San Antonio Spurs.  Though the Suns had just one day off from their series win (as opposed to 3 for the Spurs) it didn't show in the 9 point victory.  Phoenix got off to a hot start, outscoring the Spurs 32-19 in the first quarter.  San Antonio tightened things up the rest of the way but was never able to take the lead.  Kevin Johnson led the Suns effort with 25 points and 7 assists, but it was his boastful enthusiasm about his own abilities that got him headlines:

"To be honest, I don't think there is a point guard in the league better than me," he said.  "Before there was Magic.  And in the last couple of years there was Stockton, Price, Hardaway and those guys.  I'm a much more complete player than I've been in the past."

KJ certainly is not shy.  Richard Dumas chipped in 21 for the Suns and now that his drug problem is behind him it's almost safe to say he has a bright future with the Suns.  Go ahead and hook him up with a long term extension...he definitely won't "blow" through it.  David Robinson led the Spurs with 32 points in the losing effort.

Conference Semifinals Series Standings:

(1) Lakers v. (5) Jazz: 4-0 Lakers win series

(3) Suns v. (7) Spurs:  4-0 Suns win series

(1) Cavaliers v. (4) Celtics:  3-2 Celtics

(2) Magic v. (3) Hawks: 4-0 Magic win series

Wednesday May 12th Playoff Game:

Absolutely nothing.  You'll have to live without Scott Howard for a day.  Go ahead and see what Stiles is up to.  The Diamondbacks are playing the Dodgers but you really are better off doing anything other than that (unfortunately I'm attending the game).  

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