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At less than two minutes into the last quarter, the Atlanta Hawks led by 13 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers who were looking for another sweep to get into the Eastern Conference Finals. Paul Millsap was on fire, the rest of the Hawks were clicking and it seemed that they would take this series to Cleveland once more. And then, Kevin Love started warming up. By halftime, Atlanta’s lead was cut to only two.
It did not take long for the reigning Eastern Conference Champs to take the lead in the third quarter, riding Love’s insane three-point shooting and a bit of that trademark LeBron James do-it-all. Thanks to great play from Atlanta’s bench point guard Dennis Schröder, the game never ran away from the Hawks. Unfortunately for them, thanks to some strong offensive and defensive play from LeBron, this one remained out of their reached as the Cavs clinched another Eastern Conference Finals.
Over the weekend, the other Eastern Conference Semifinal got even more complicated as the Toronto Raptors stole a game in Miami, against the Heat. They are now leading the series 2-1 with another game to be played in Florida. During Saturday’s game, the two teams’ starting centers Jonas Valanciunas and Hassan Whiteside both got injured and probably won’t play for the rest of the series.
Due to the fact that the Cavs just swept the Hawks and they will have days of rest before the Eastern Conference Finals, we cannot really see either the Heat or the Raptors beating them. But hey, weirder things have happened.
In the West, things are even more complicated. The San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder are exchanging blows like they are in a Rocky movie and we are just waiting to see who will come out of this contest alive. At times it seems that the Spurs have too much experience for the OKC to overcome and other times, Durant and Westbrook seem like too much. The series is tied at 2-2 at the moment and if anyone says they know how things will go from here, they are lying.
In the other Western Conference Semifinals, the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Golden State Warriors in the first game played in the City of Roses.Steph Curry did not play and the Warriors put up quite a fight, but Damian Lillard was rolling and there was no stopping him. If the Blazers take another game tonight, things are going to get even more difficult to predict.
One thing is for sure, the NBA playoffs are great this year!