2013 NBA Playoffs Daily Recap (5/7)

2013 nba playoffs
2013 nba playoffs
May 6 2013 Miami FL USA Miami Heat small forward LeBron James 6 dribbles as Chicago Bulls point guard Nate Robinson 2 defends during the second half in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena The Bulls won 93 86 Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports

The second round of the NBA Playoffs continued on Monday night. But while the Spurs-Warriors double overtime thriller was clearly the better game, there’s no question that the Bulls’ win over the Heat in Game 1 had everyone’s attention. Here’s the recap of the night’s action.

Chicago shocks Miami with 93-86 Game 1 win
Few people are giving Chicago a puncher’s chance against Miami in their second-round series, but based on the first game on Monday, that may change. The Bulls gave the Heat quite a surprise in Game 1, winning on the road, 93-86.

But it wasn’t just that Chicago won, rather, it was how they did it.

The Heat appeared to have control of the game late in the fourth quarter, with a three-point lead with only two minutes remaining. But the Bulls were hardly in a position to lay down and die as so many of Miami’s opponents have done this season. Chicago went on a 10-0 run to close out the game and grab home court advantage.

It was only fitting that guard Nate Robinson was the one who led the way in that drive. Robinson scored seven of those ten points and assisted on the other one. On the night, he had a game-high 27 points and nine assists as he continued his playoff tear.

Robinson has had a solid year, averaging 13 points per game this season. But ever since he’s been relied upon in the playoffs with all of the injuries the Bulls have sustained, he’s stepped his game up to another level. Never known as a particularly good shooter, Robinson is hitting more than 50% of his shots in this postseason while scoring 17 points per contest. It’s still early, but so far, Robinson has been one of the biggest surprises in this year’s postseason.

Lebron James nearly had a triple double in defeat (24 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists), but he didn’t get much help from the other two players in Miami’s triumvirate of stars. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for only 23 points, falling well short of the 38 they average.

For Miami, it’s not time to panic yet. But losing home court advantage after the first game is hardly encouraging. Game 2 turns into a must win of sorts and the Heat will have to do everything they can to stop Robinson and the Bulls.

Spurs mount large comeback for 2OT win over Warriors, 129-127
With a 16-point lead and only about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Golden State Warriors appeared to be in control of their opening series game against the San Antonio Spurs. But an 18-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Danny Green brought the Spurs all the way back.

To say that Golden State fell apart down the stretch would be an understatement. The Warriors missed eight of their final nine shots and added a couple of turnovers during the San Antonio comeback. While they couldn’t buy a bucket, the Spurs were red hot.

Still, the Warriors appeared to be in the driver’s seat late in the second overtime. A layup by Kent Bazemore with only three seconds left gave Golden State a 127-126 lead.

Manu Ginobili missed a jump shot at the end of the first OT, but got a chance to atone for that in the second extra period. With the Spurs trailing by one, Ginobili somehow found himself wide open outside the arc. A perfectly thrown inbounds pass later and the Spurs were celebrating after his three-pointer gave the team the win.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 28 points and Tim Duncan added 19 points and 11 rebounds. But it was Steph Curry who stole the show all night long with 44 points. The Spurs’ plan of using Kawhi Leonard on him on defense in the fourth quarter worked, though. The guard was frustrated and only scored six points in that period.

Ginobili, who had a subpar game to that point, had to be surprised when he found himself that wide open. He was only 5-20 in the game, but can be a deadly shooter. Leaving him open was clearly a defensive breakdown that cost Golden State the game.

The problem for Golden State at this point is their inexperience. How they respond in Game 2 after nearly having beaten the favored Spurs is everything. The encouraging thing is that after the San Antonio comeback, the Warriors didn’t wilt. They held their own with the Spurs in the first overtime and nearly had the game won in the second. Save those last few minutes in regulation, Golden State played with confidence the entire game and that should mean they can still give the Spurs a series after that deflating loss.

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Anson Whaley
Anson Whaley is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Mr. Whaley has also been a credentialed member of the media for various events. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');