Advertisement

NBA playoffs: Thunder even series with Rockets; Heat win to advance

Thunder guard Dennis Schroder drives for a layup against the Rockets in Game 4 on Aug. 24, 2020.
Thunder guard Dennis Schroder drives for a layup against the Rockets in Game 4 on Monday.
(Kim Klement / Associated Press)

Dennis Schroder scored a career playoff-high 30 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 15 points down in the third quarter to beat the Houston Rockets 117-114 on Monday to even the first-round Western Conference playoff series at two wins apiece.

Chris Paul scored 26 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who won despite allowing 23 three-pointers.

James Harden had 32 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds for Houston. Eric Gordon scored 23 points and Danuel House added 21 for the Rockets, who won the first two games of the series.

Former Thunder star Russell Westbrook sat out for Houston again with a strained right quad. The All-Star point guard has not played in the series.

Advertisement

The score was tied at 60 at the half. The Thunder shot 47.8% and the Rockets 47.7% before the break.

Houston made its first eight three-pointers to start the third quarter. The Rockets led 93-80 before Schroder made a three-pointer and Houston’s Austin Rivers was called for a foul away from the shot. Oklahoma City’s Nerlens Noel made the free throw, and that sequence sparked a 12-0 run for the Thunder. Schroder hot a deep three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Oklahoma City climbed within 93-92 at the end of the third.

Harden made a three-pointer with 16.3 seconds to play to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 113-111, but Schroder made two free throws with 15.8 seconds to go to give the Thunder control for good.

Advertisement

Heat 99, Pacers 87: Goran Dragic scored 23 points and fifth-seeded Miami completed a first-round sweep of Indiana. Tyler Herro had 16 points and Bam Adebayo added 14 points and 19 rebounds for the Heat, who made it out of the first round for the first time since 2016.

Victor Oladipo had 25 points and Myles Turner added 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who have dropped four straight postseason series to the Heat since 2012.

Miami’s bench outscored Indiana’s depleted reserves 38-3.

Heat guard Jimmy Butler left the game in the first quarter with a left shoulder strain. He returned after halftime and finished with six points in 23 minutes.

Advertisement

Bucks 121, Magic 106: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, Khris Middleton finally came alive with a huge fourth quarter and Milwaukee beat Orlando to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA playoff first-round series.

Receive SMS texts about the Lakers, Clippers and the rest of the NBA and text back with your questions.

Middleton scored 18 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 rebounds after being held to one field goal in the first three quarters on 1-of-9 shooting.

Wesley Matthews added 12 points for the Bucks, who can close out the Magic on Wednesday.

Advertisement

“It’s just intensity and attention to detail,” Matthews said after the game. “Game 1 we came out a little flat. Credit the Magic, they made shots. We had to pick up our intensity.”

Nikola Vucevic continued his strong play for the Magic, finishing with 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Terrence Ross had 19 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Milwaukee has now won three straight after losing the series opener to the eighth-seeded Magic.

The top-seeded Bucks led by three entering the fourth quarter before Middleton came alive. He scored 11 points during an 18-2 run on three 3-pointers and a mid-range jumper off an inbouds play to help the Bucks build a 102-83 lead as the Magic went cold from outside.

Advertisement

Antetokounmpo finished the game 14 of 21 from the field, but did most of his damage inside the paint where he was 12 of 14.

Heat 99, Pacers, 87: Goran Dragic scored 23 points and the fifth-seeded Miami completed a first-round sweep of Indiana.

Tyler Herro had 16 points and Bam Adebayo added 14 points and 19 rebounds for the Heat, who made it out of the first round for the first time since 2016.

Victor Oladipo had 25 points and Myles Turner added 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who have dropped four straight postseason series to the Heat since 2012.

Advertisement

Miami’s bench outscored Indiana’s depleted reserves 38-3.

Dragic’s layup at the end of the third quarter gave the Heat an eight-point lead and the Pacers never mounted a serious comeback in the fourth.

Indiana cut the lead to 91-85 with 3 minutes left, but the Heat got three offensive rebounds on one possession before Herro scored on a driving layup.

Heat guard Jimmy Butler left the game in the first quarter with a left shoulder strain. He returned after halftime and finished with six points in 23 minutes. Butler said the shoulder was bothering him before the game.


Advertisement