Three NBA Playoff elimination games on Wednesday's bracket schedule and wouldn't you know it, the San Antonio Spurs were the team that escaped defeat by once again calling upon their dark powers. Instead of Sean Elliot, Mike Finley or Tim Duncan (!) hitting a big three to save their hides, it was Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal. David Stern should be on the phone this morning calling for an investigation to determine if in fact the Spurs have sold their souls to the Devil.
Unlike the black and silver zombies of Texas, the Denver Nuggets were knocked off by Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant had a slow start but when it mattered most, he was incredible. All the man-child did was drop 41 points on the Nuggets. Boom! ASU Sun Devil alum James Harden had 12 in the game and hit a huge three in the final minutes.
The Thunder await the winner of the San Antonio vs. Memphis series. Game 6 is Friday in Memphis. It will be very interesting to see how the young Grizzlies respond to blowing a game they had in the bag. Many teams, including the Phoenix Suns, were not able to mentally recover. The Thunder would probably prefer to face the older Spurs even if it means giving up home court advantage. But an OKC - Memphis series would be a blast.
In the East, LeBron James referred to the Philadelphia 76ers as "breakfast" before the game and the slam definitely got the attention of the young and feisty team from Philly. Unfortunately, being pissed off wasn't enough to beat the Miami Heat and stay alive in the playoffs. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 26 points but it was 20 from Mario Chalmers that pushed them over the hump in the 97-91 win. The Sixers got Elton Brand 17 field goal attempts, the most on the team, but went away from him late and instead opted for jump shots.
The Heat now advance to face the well-rested Boston Celtics in their bracket match up. The series tips off Sunday. Here's the full schedule, with all times Arizona:
Game 1: Sun., May 1 in Miami, 12:30 p.m., ABC
Game 2: Tue., May 3 in Miami, Time TBD, TNT
Game 3: Sat., May 7 in Boston, 5:00 p.m., ABC
Game 4: Mon., May 9 in Boston, Time TBD, TNT
Game 5: Wed., May 11 in Miami, Time TBD, TNT
Game 6: Fri., May 13 in Boston, Time TBD, ESPN
Game 7: Mon., May 16 in Miami, 5:00 p.m., TNT
A few months ago, Boston would have been everyone's favorite, now it seems that Miami is the team to beat.