NBA

NBA conference playoff finals: Game 3 round-up

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As the conference finals head into the latter stages, we take a look at all of the action from the East and West where both games have flipped and the road side in the first two games now has a chance to play in front of their own fans.

Games one and two for the Oklahoma City Thunder did not produce the results that were required for playoff glory, but they were missing key man Serge Ibaka with what was originally defined as a playoff ending calf injury.

However, Ibaka made a remarkable recovery to take his place in the OKC line up in Game three, and what a difference it made. Not only did his mere presence help rally the Thunder who were 2-0 behind in the series, but he hit 15 points as the home side came back with a 106-97 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Ibaka was taken out with 3:17 remaining in the fourth to huge cheers from the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant also returned to better form, with Westbrook ending on 26 and eight rebounds and MVP Durant scoring 25 with 10 rebounds for a double-double.

In the first two games, it was the Spurs' Tony Parker who exploited the gaps left behind by Ibaka's absence, but with the towering Congolese back in the action, San Antonio could not find their rhythm quite like the previous matches.

With Game 4 in Oklahoma on Tuesday night, the Thunder can level the series and make it all to play for with another strong performance on home soil.

In the Eastern conference final it was the Miami Heat who came out victorious, meaning both home sides were victorious in Game 3. LeBron James was the top scorer with 26 points and five rebounds as Miami ran out 99-87 winners on the night.

Having started the better of the teams in the first, the Pacers were 21-14 ahead as the second quarter began, but after going 37-22 ahead they were unable to keep it together as the Heat then went 77-50 in the rest of the match.

Such a strong lead the Pacers would not have envisaged dropping, but drop it they did as the scoring power of their opponents proved too much to handle. Along with James' 26, Dwayne Wade scored 23 and Ray Allen added 16 in the second half which included four 3-pointers in the final quarter.

Paul George had 17 for Indiana, with Roy Hibbert on 16, but it could not stop the Heat from overturning a 15 point deficit in the end. The Heat can now go within one game of the series if they beat the Pacers on Monday night.

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Topics:
Eastern Conference
Western Conference
NBA Playoffs
NBA

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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