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- Thunder-Grizzlies Game 1 Playoff Preview (Automated Insights) April 23, 2014Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder begin their playoff journey in Game 1 against Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder had the upper hand in the season series, going 3-1 while averaging 100.5 points per game and giving up 93.5 points per game.
- Thunder-Grizzlies Game 2 Playoff Preview (Automated Insights) April 23, 2014The Oklahoma City Thunder took Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies and are a Game 2 win away from taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are looking to get back on track by pulling even with the Thunder. The Thunder seemed to have all the answers against the Grizzlies in Game 1, beating them 100-86. Kevin Durant was the game's high scorer in the big win, as he recorded 33 points.
- Grizzlies-Thunder Game 3 Playoff Preview (Automated Insights) April 23, 2014After splitting the first two games, the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to FedExForum for Game 3 of the opening-round series. The Grizzlies can win two games in a row after taking Game 2 on the road. The Grizzlies just barely beat the Thunder in Game 2, winning 111-105. In the victory, Mike Conley earned his second double-double of the playoffs with 19 points and 12 assists.
- Charles Barkley says Wizards will sweep Bulls after Game 2 OT win: 'This is O-V-E-R' (Ball Don't Lie) April 23, 2014After trailing by 10 points with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and by six with just under four minutes remaining in regulation, the Washington Wizards came back to beat the Chicago Bulls, 101-99 , in overtime to finish off an impressive road sweep at United Center. Randy Wittman's crew will head back to the nation's capital brimming with confidence and holding a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Bulls will travel east knowing that if they don't figure out a way to scratch out some more points against the Wizards' defense, they might not be long for the postseason. At least one prominent national basketball commentator isn't banking on Tom Thibodeau and company finding that solution before Game 3 on Friday . Hall of Famer and Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley pronounced Chicago dead on arrival during TNT's post-game discussion of the Wizards' Game 2 win. Here are Sir Charles' comments, as dutifully transcribed by Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog : [Barkley] said John Wall “is learning to be a point guard instead of just a tornado out there.” He said Bradley Beal “has arrived.” And then he said this. “I will tell you this: whoever plays that team in the second round is gonna have their hands full.” “Are you saying this one is over then?” ["Inside the NBA" studio host] Ernie Johnson asked. “This is O-V-E-R in a 4-0 sweep,” Barkley said. “It is flat-out over. [The Bulls] can’t beat them. They can’t score enough. Ernie, I told you all season, this was the third-best team in the Eastern Conference when they’re healthy. They’re fully healthy, Wall and Beal are terrific. Nene is the key. He’s a nightmare matchup for most guys. “They’re gonna sweep the Bulls,” Barkley went on. “This series is a wrap. Whoever they play in the next series, whether it’s Indiana or Atlanta, they’re gonna have their hands full, because this team, they’re deep. They’ve got veteran leadership. They went out and got Andre Miller for leadership. Trevor Ariza’s been deep in the playoffs. Their two best players are [young]. They’re the key. Wall is growing up before our eyes, Beal can flat-out just shoot with anybody. But with the guys coming off the bench, this is gonna be a sweep.” To be fair, Barkley's within his rights to crow a bit — as he said, he's been touting Washington as the East's third-best team (when healthy) for months , and he was one of relatively few national pundits to pick Washington to beat Chicago in the East's 4-vs.-5 first-round matchup. (For the record, none of us here at BDL picked the Wiz, nor did Woj or Spears . Such haters.) And the odds of a comeback are certainly stacked against the Bulls. Only 16 teams in NBA history have come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a postseason series — the 15 on this list and last year's Memphis Grizzlies, who came back to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers, and only three teams have come back to win a series after dropping the first two games on their home court. With all due respect to Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah and third-place finisher in Coach of the Year voting Thibodeau, this year's Bulls don't have Wilt, West and Elgin, like the 1968-69 Los Angeles Lakers did, or prime Hakeem Olajuwon, like the 1993-94 Houston Rockets did, or 26-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, like the 2004-05 Dallas Mavericks did. They're in serious trouble, and in the case of this particular emergency, they can't break open the glass and pull out a Hall of Fame offensive force to pull them out of it.
- Durant looking for answers against Tony Allen (The Associated Press) April 22, 2014Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen's defense. Durant scored 36 points, mostly against Allen, in Oklahoma City's loss to Memphis in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series. It wasn't a typical Durant performance, though - he made just 12 of 28 shots, and his usual smoothness and efficiency were absent as the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 111-105 in overtime Monday night to tie the series at a win apiece. Durant, the NBA's scoring champion, went on the defensive Tuesday afternoon.
- Grizzlies Beat Thunder to Even Series April 22, 2014Zach Randolph scored 25 points, and Mike Conley had 19 points and 11 assists as the visiting Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-105, in overtime to even their first-round Western Conference playoff series at 1-1.
- N.B.A. Game of the Week: Grizzlies at Suns April 14, 2014Locked in a battle for the final Western Conference playoff berth, Memphis and Phoenix will clash on Monday.
- Grizzlies Close In on Berth April 14, 2014Mike Conley had 24 points, lifting the Memphis Grizzlies past the host Los Angeles Lakers. Memphis moved a game ahead of idle Phoenix for the final Western Conference playoff berth.
- Having Close to 50 Wins May Not Be Good Enough in West April 6, 2014Four teams in the N.B.A.’s Western Conference are chasing 50-win seasons, but there are only three playoff berths available as the regular season winds down.
- For Phoenix, Record Guarantees Nothing March 23, 2014The Phoenix Suns, who have a 40-29 record after a win on Friday, could be on the outside looking in when the Western Conference playoffs begin in the N.B.A.