WATERCOOLER CHAT: NBA PLAYOFFS HEATING UP

The NBA Playoffs are really starting to heat up as most of the first round is nearing an end

Boston and Chicago kicked last night off with a bang.  These teams are at each other’s throats.  The Bulls had a comfortable 9 point lead in the 4th quarter, and then blew it, letting Boston comeback.  However, Boston’s sharpshooter, and key end-game guy, Ray Allen, fouled out midway through the 4th quarter.  They would need others to step up if they wanted to win.

Paul PierceWell, one guy did step up, BIG TIME.  That man… Paul Pierce. He hit a clutch shot to send them game into overtime, and a key shot to put the Celtics up 2 with just 4 seconds to play.  The Bulls had one last chance.  They inbounded to Brad Miller, who drove the lane and was hammered on a layup.  He would have two free throws to tie the game.  But… he missed the first one, had to FORCE miss the second one, and the crowd erupted as the Celtics came back to win Game 5 and take a series lead.  Pierce finished the night with 26 points, and is definitely the city’s favorite guy today. Game 6 is in Chicago, where it’s do or die for the Bulls.  Boston 106, Chicago 104.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks looked to finish off San Antonio on the Spurs homecourt.  Dallas has caught fire at just the right time, and San Antonio appears to have faded when it really matters.  Plus, the Spurs are without their star 6th man, Manu Ginobili.  Tim Duncan did what he could do, putting up 30 points, but this game belonged to Dirk Nowitzki.  He was a monster out there, scoring 31 points, and nabbing 9 rebounds, as the Mavericks went on to win Game 5 and close out for the series.  They await the winner of the Denver/New Orleans matchup, which will most likely be Denver.  Now THAT will be a fantastic matchup.  Dallas 106, San Antonio 93.

And finally, the Portland Trailblazers needed to prevent being eliminated on their homecourt last night by the Houston Rockets.  Many favored Portland in this series, but Yao  and the Rockets have really turned it on and jelled at the right time.  Even their 2nd year point guard, speedy Aaron Brooks out of Oregon, is doing a terrific job steering the ship.  Brooks had a nice game with 13 points and 5 assists, but the Blazers wanted it more last night.  LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy piled it on, each scoring 25 points as the Blazers sailed to a victory.  Now, the series heads back to Houston for a crucial Game 6.  Portland 88, Houston 77.

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