Warriors (1) 96, Rockets (8) 97
The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 97-96 at the Toyota Center on Thursday night with James Harden scoring the game-winning points with just two seconds left on the clock.
Harden's spin move and step back jumper gave the Rockets their first win of the series and ensured the matchup will at least go to a game five - defying many people's predictions of a whitewash following two fairly comfortable wins for the Warriors to open the series.
Houston's All-Star point guard scored 35 points all told on the night and added nine assists and eight rebounds, whilst Dwight Howard (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Donatas Montiejunas (14 points, 13 rebounds) had their best games of the series as the Rockets took advantage of Stephen Curry's absence from the Golden State lineup.
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The Western Conference eighth seed began strongly and was up by as much as 17 points in the first half as Curry's ankle injury kept him off the court for a second straight game.
The Warriors, though, were able to come back and, until Draymond Green saw an inbound pass bounce off his foot and out of play on the final possession, had a chance to make it 3-0.
Marreese Speights led Golden State with 22 points off the bench. Klay Thompson finished with 17 and, again deputising for Curry, Shaun Livingston had 16 points.
The two teams meet again in Houston on Sunday when the Warriors will hope to welcome back the MVP-in-waiting.
Thunder (3) 131, Mavericks (6) 102
Kevin Durant bounced back from the worst shooting performance of his NBA career to score 34 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder regained control in their series against the Dallas Mavericks.
The 2014 MVP was 11-of-24 from field goal range and added nine points from the charity stripe as the Thunder dictated the pace on the road in Dallas.
Russell Westbrook finished with a 26 point, 15 rebound double-double and Enes Kanter put up a playoff-high 21 points from the bench. Alongside 19 and 16 points from Dion Waiters and Serge Ibaka respectively it was a good shooting night for the Thunder who shot 58 percent as a team.
Although the Mavericks welcomed back J.J. Barea (15 points, seven assists) and David Lee (six points) to the rotation for game three of the series, they were unable to match Oklahoma City and trailed from tip to buzzer.
Dirk Nowitzki, playing through a bruised knee, scored 16 points for Dallas whilst Wesley Matthews led the way for the Texas franchise with 22 points.
Raptors (2) 101, Pacers (7) 85
The Toronto Raptors reclaimed home court advantage in their series against the Indiana Pacers courtesy of a dominant 101-85 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Canadian franchise's backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were the catalysts for victory, both players finishing the night with 21 points. Having combined for just 15 made field goals on 63 attempts through the first two games, they were 15-of-40 in game three alone.
DeMarre Carroll added 17 points while Cory Joseph was the only other Raptor in double figures with 10 points off the bench.
Toronto was in dominant form from the off and jumped out to a 42-24 lead in the second quarter. Scoring a season-low 36 points in the first half, the Pacers were unable to find a response and never led by more than two points.
Once again, Paul George led Indiana, finishing the game with 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Rookie Myles Turner (17 points) and George Hill (13 points) were the only other Pacers in double digits.