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NBA Playoffs 2014 Round 1, Game 1 Recap, Highlights, Stats & More: Playoff Season In Full Swing

NBA
NBA Playoffs 2014
Game 1, Round 1
19-20 April 2014
BY NISAR KHAN

The NBA Playoffs got underway this weekend and there was no shortage in surprises. From Pierce inspiring the Nets over the Raptors, to Pacers' pandemonium and the late, nail-biting thrillers. Playoff season is in full swing...


Starting in Brookyln as the Toronto Raptors fell short up against the Nets, and ending with an absolute thriller in Houston between the Rockets and Trail Blazers.

Here, you'll find recaps from each game, with full scores, information, and the key stats like highest points and rebounds.

Paul Pierce Inspires Nets To Raptors Win In Playoffs' Opener

Score: Brooklyn Nets 94 - 87 Toronto Raptors
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Tip-off: Saturday 19th April 2014, 5:30pm BST (12:30pm ET)
Highest points: Deron Williams (BKN), Joe Johnson (BKN), 24 pts.
Highest rebounds: Jonas Valančiūnas (TOR), 18 rebs.
Highest assists: Kyle Lowry (TOR), Greivis Vasquez (TOR), 8 asts.

Paul Pierce scored nine points in the final quarter to sink the Toronto Raptors as the Nets' Playoff experience came into full effect.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson were joint highest scorers with 24 points each, with Nets' point-guard "setting the tone", as coach Jason Kidd described it, scoring 18 points in the first half.

Paul Pierce broke into this week's power rankings for his efforts that helped to halt the Raptors and their simmering momentum.

A hotly contested opening game saw no shortage in effort from the Raptors, as Kyle Lowry added 22 points, while Jonas Valanciunas scored 17 pts and picked up 18 boards.

The Raptors evened things out around two minutes into the final quarter, tying the game at 67, before a three-pointer by Jonas Vasquez would give the Raptors a 77-76 lead five minutes in.

However, Nets would break away with former Celtics' Garnett and Pierce assisting a turnaround jumper by Garnett, helped with a three by Pierce and basket from Johsnon to give Nets an 82 - 76 lead.

From then on in, Pierce adding a few more buckets around Vasquez's three pointer, and Brooklyn's six free throws within 22 seconds, they took the opening game of the series.

Brooklyn Nets' substantial investment in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce proved pivotal for the Nets in the game, as combined with Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, proved to be a winning combination. Can it go all the way?



Klay Thompson Helps Warriors Take Early Lead Over Clippers

Score: Golden State Warriors 109 - 105 Los Angeles Clippers
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Tip-off: Saturday 19th April 2014, 8:30pm BST (3:30pm ET)
Highest points: Chris Paul (LAC), 28 pts.
Highest rebounds: DeAndre Jordan (LAC), 14 rebs.
Highest assists: Chris Paul (LAC), 8 asts.

The Golden State Warriors persevered through an unsteady start, with Klay Thompson scoring 22 points, to outdo the Clippers in their homecourt at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

In a game that went down to the wire, whereby the game was tied at 18 different occasions. With a mere 90 seconds left on the clock, the teams were tied at 105 points.

Blake Griffin, who scored 16 points, was fouled out late in the game after suffering to contain the Warriors. The Clippers forward was limited to four minutes of play in the first half after getting into early foul trouble.

A fast, back-and-forth game between two powerful Californian teams made for an entertaining ball game that should bring about a very exciting series.

Clipppers' errors were exemplified with a total of 17 turnovers in the game.


Warriors vs. Clippers Game 1: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction
GETTY IMAGES

Hawks Slow Down Pacers To Highlight Indiana Difficulties

Score: Atlanta Hawks 101 - 93 Indiana Pacers
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana, IN, USA.
Tip-off: Saturday 19th April 2014, 12:00am BST (7:00pm ET)
Highest points: Jeff Teague (ATL), 28 pts.
Highest rebounds: DeMarre Carroll (ATL), Paul George (IND), 10 rebs.
Highest assists: Jeff Teague (ATL), Paul George (IND), 5 asts.

For a #1 seed, Indiana performed like the complete contrary. 

After a close game throughout, the Hawks would fly away late to take the important win over Indiana at the Fieldhouse.

Hawks' Jeff Teague turned on the style to demolish the Pacers' plans and leave them with a whole grasp of nagging questions.

As the first half drew to a close, Kyle Korver threw up a putback shot with seconds remaining, meaning the game went into the halftime break tied at 50 - setting up for a well-contested second half, at least that's what was thought...

Atlanta Hawks came out a much better team in the second while the opposite could be said for the Indiana Pacers. Hawks ended up leading 60 - 58 with 8 consecutive points before opening up a game-changing 14 - 0 run.

It was a sudden blur to a demise in their game plan when they trailed 74 - 58, and Atlanta Hawks controlled the game thereon. 

Their performance was worryingly inconsistent for the best home performers in the league as they struggled to get back to single-digits, before Stephenson hit one from beyond the arc to make the game into more of a formality at least.

Pacers will hope for drastic changes in Game 2, with the Hawks bringing a bigger fight than what was anticipated.



Thunder Strikes Early For Oklahoma City Over Memphis

Score: Memphis Grizzlies 86 - 100 Oklahoma City Thunder
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Tip-off: Saturday 19th April 2014 / Sunday 20th April 2014 (US/UK), 2:30am BST (9:30pm ET)
Highest points: Kevin Durant (OKC), 33 pts.
Highest rebounds: Zach Randolph (MEM), 11 rebs.
Highest assists: Mike Conley (MEM), 11 pts.

Kevin Durant, crowned NBA's scoring Champion again, was the cornerstone of the Thunder's home win in a convincing win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the midst of the game Thunder had a 25-point lead, though the Grizzlies would not be tamed into a complete blowout.

The game, though, was put back out of reach over five minutes with Kevin Durant torching them with 11 points to help them win 14 points ahead.

Thunder pulled through an uncomfortable third quarter to bounce back and take the win strongly in the fourth.

Russell Westbrook, whose absence lead to Grizzlies knocking out the Thunder in the previous round, found his much needed form with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Zach Randolph made important contributions to the Grizz alas in vein though, getting into foul trouble that stopped the extension of his 21 points and 11 boards.

Can Oklahoma go all the way with Durant making a surge for MVP?



Spurs Top Mavs As Texas Tandems Collide

Score: Dallas Mavericks 85 - 90 San Antonio Spurs
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX, USA.
Tip-off: Sunday 20th April 2014, 6:00pm BST (1:00pm ET)
Highest points: Tim Ducan (SAS), 27 pts.
Highest rebounds: Tiago Splitter (SAS), 11 rebs.
Highest assists: Tony Parker (SAS), 6 asts.

'The Big Fundamental' Tim Duncan opened the playoffs by dispatching fellow Texas veteran Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks to better their NBA Finals' runner-up success last year.

Scoring 27 points, Tim Duncan also overcame an injury scare to continue the game for the Spurs, with his teammate Tony Parker adding 21 points. The other member of the trio, Manu Ginobli, added 17 points to Spurs' topping total at the AT&T Center.

Trailing by 10 points, the Spurs, Duncan scored nine points going 4-5 from the paint in the final quarter to put the Spurs ahead.

Mavericks' top scorer Devin Harris, added 19 points to Dallas' total of 85 points, as they pushed Spurs far and almost stunned them with a big upset.

Heat Sizzle Fierce Bobcats

Score: Charlotte Bobcats 88 - 99 Miami Heat
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, USA.
Tip-off: Sunday 20th April 2014, 8:30pm BST (3:30pm ET)
Highest points: LeBron James (MIA), 27 pts.
Highest rebounds: Al Jefferson (CHA), Chris Andersen (MIA), 10 rebs.
Highest assists: Kemba Walker (MEM), 6 asts.

A game Charlotte Bobcats may have momentarily lead against the Miami Heat on their homecourt, but they were undoubtedly beaten by last season's Champions.

Topping the stats was LeBron James who scored 27 points against the Bobcats.

Dwyane Wade got into his renowned Playoff form, with his improvin health allowing him to add 23 points.

The game was based, essentially, on two significant runs in either half to outdo Bobcats' first half lead and take the game firmly away. 

Al Jefferson, scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds, suffered a strained plantar fiscia following a mis-footing in the first quarter. He was treated with two injections which allowed him to continue playing.

On Sunday, #LeBronVsBird reached Worldwide trends on Twitter, as LeBron James passed Larry Bird for No.8 on the NBA's all-time playoff scoring ranks. "The King" passed the Celtics' legend with his final point of the game.

Miami HEAT were not exactly cruising throughout though, leading 72-65 after a very close third quarter.

Eventually, Miami found their stride, and were more than a few steps ahead as they closed in on victory.



Washington Turn On The Magic In Chicago

Score: Washington Wizards 102 - 93 Chicago Bulls
Location: United Center, Chicago, IL, USA.
Tip-off: Sunday 20th April 2014, 12:00am BST (7:00pm ET)
Highest points: Nene (WAS)L 24 pts.
Highest rebounds: Marcin Gortat (WAS), 13 rebs.
Highest assists: Bradley Beal (WAS), 7 asts.


Nene put on a marquee performance for the Washington Wizards, dominating the Bulls with 24 points in an inspired comeback.

Trailing 13 points to the Bulls, Nene, along with Trevor Ariza's 18 points and a magical Bulls performance, would help their side to win by a nine-point margin.

In their first playoff appearance since 2008, the Wizards were the victors after an 18 - 6 run in the final six minutes of the game to win emphatically.

Nene opened up his dream game with a dunk from the opening session after Wizards' opening tip. Down the stretch, the Wizards really got going.

Joakim Noah set up some jitters for the Wizards, along with Butler tying it with free throws. Although this wouldn't last - Nene and Gortat scored to open up a four point margin.

With 34 seconds left, Marcin Gortat hit a pair of free throws and a jump shot to give Wizards the all-important lead.

Wizards vs. Bulls: Game 1 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2014 NBA Playoffs

Blazers Leave Rockets Out Of Fuel Late

Score: Portland Trail Blazers 122 - 120 Houston Rockets
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, TX, USA.
Tip-off: Sunday 20th April 2014/Monday 21st April 2014 (US/UK), 2:30am BST (9:30pm ET)
Highest points: LaMarcus Aldridge (POR), 46 pts.
Highest rebounds: LaMarcus Aldridge (POR), 18 res.
Highest assists: James Harden (HOU), 6 asts.

Portland Trail Blazers won in overtime in Houston, after LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 46 points and also broke the franchise playoff record.

Although being fouled out late in overtime, Aldridge's contributions had been pivotal for his side, while Damian Lillard scored the vital final five points, including a pair of free throws, to edge out the Rockets.

To add to his 45 points, Aldridge contributed a hefty sum of 18 rebounds and two blocks - an emphatic game.

James Harden, although scoring 27 points, missed the opportunity to tie it with his jump-shot from the buzzer, while missing a three-point attempt in the play prior.

There was a whopping total of 79 free throws - a physical game to say the least.

Twenty seconds after Lillard's three-point play in the final minute and free throws from Garcia and Howard gave the Rockets' a slender 120 - 119 lead with less than half a minute left on the clock.

Patrick Beverley re-injured the right knee that kept him out of action in previous weeks, coincidentally on the same play where Aldridge fouled out for the offense on the young point-guard.

Lillard, finishing with 31 points, made the final two free-throws in overtime to complete the thriller, as the Blazers returned to the playoffs with an enormous win.



-------------------------------

Well, that's all from the first phase of the playoffs. Game 1, Round 1 - check.

The best of the eight games was Rockets vs. Blazers - a late, nail-biting thriller to culminate the first part of the NBA Playoffs, you've got to love overtime in these situations.

Bobcats started with optimism, Pacers are poised with questions, Wizards are looking magical, Spurs are well-oiled again, California is witnessing a great playoff series... and more.

Playoff season is in full swing.


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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport: NBA Playoffs 2014 Round 1, Game 1 Recap, Highlights, Stats & More: Playoff Season In Full Swing
NBA Playoffs 2014 Round 1, Game 1 Recap, Highlights, Stats & More: Playoff Season In Full Swing
Reports, recap, stats and more from the eight games featured in Game 1 of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs.
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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport
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