By Telema Davies
An Overtime (OT) was needed as James Harden inspired the Houston Rockets in the playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. Going into Game 3 the Trail Blazers were in the lead with a 2-0 advantage and hoped to seal the third. But Harden and his Rockets team mates would have no such slide on their part in their visit to Portland.
James Harden broke out of his slumber from previous encounters with a career playoff-best 37 points narrowing the gap. Dwight Howard added another 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets. Portland trailed by as many as 11 points in the final quarter but Nicolas Batum hit a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left to tie the game at 110. Rookie, Troy Daniels hit a 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds left to complete a comeback in overtime in Portland with a 121-116 victory.
LaMarcus Aldridge had good outings in the first two games in Houston scoring more than 40 points for the Blazers. The All-Star forward was restricted to a mere 23 points after being shut down by Omer Asik in Game 3. The Blazers had Damian Lillard to thank as he romped a gracious 30 points on the night.
Nets Make it Black Friday for Raptors
It was a night that showed intent on the part of the Brooklyn Nets to take a 2-1 lead over Toronto Raptors. Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett brought a charge to their first playoff game in Brooklyn as the Nets held off the Raptors. The Nets won on the night with 102-98 for a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.
Johnson made the clinching free throws with 3.1 seconds left after Nets almost blew off a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. Deron Williams added 22 points and eight assists for the Nets, who will host game 4 on Sunday (tomorrow). Pierce had 18 points, and he and Garnett provided the game’s signature plays late in the second quarter in the New York suburb.
The Bulls go raging in Washington
The comeback streak continued through the night as Mike Dunleavy scored 35 points, one shy of his career-high. Jimmy Butler hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining, and the Chicago Bulls hung on for a 100-97 win over Washington Wizards. Last night’s victory trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in their Eastern Conference first round series.
Dunleavy went 12 for 19 from the field, including a career-high eight 3-pointers on 10 attempts for the Bulls, who will attempt to become the fourth team in NBA history to win a seven-game series after losing the first two in Chicago, Illinois. Dunleavy was the go-to guy for the Bulls after their offensive struggles in the opening series.
Game 4 comes up on Sunday in Washington as the Wizards will aim to stretch their lead in the run. Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards