Welcome to the daily Full Court Press playoff edition, where we recap all of the day’s NBA action. Check back every night if you missed any NBA action and come back tomorrow for more NBA playoff fun.
April 17th, 2018
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers
100-97 Cavaliers, Series tied 1-1
Next Game: Game Three, Friday 4/20 @Indiana
The Cleveland Cavaliers evened up the series with the pacers on the heels of a dominant performance by LeBron James. James outscored the entire Pacers’ team in the first quarter 20-18; they led 33-18 at the end of the first. James even scored the first 13 of the game after being held scoreless in the first during game one. The Pacers came back, though, cutting Cleveland’s 18 point lead to four with 3:43 left but they couldn’t complete the comeback. LeBron James looked like himself, scoring 46 points with 12 rebounds and five assists.
Victor Oladipo wasn’t the same star that he was during game one. Oladipo still had a solid game scoring 22 with six assists but turned it over six times. He couldn’t get it going from deep, shooting 2-8. Myles Turner had a great game and should have been utilized more in my opinion. He scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds. Darren Collison had a solid outing, putting up 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds. This game showed us that no matter how well Indiana Pacers, LeBron James can win a game whenever he wants.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz
102-95 Jazz, Series tied 1-1
Next Game: Game Three, Saturday 4/21 @Utah
Midway through the third quarter, the Jazz held control, with a nine-point lead. All of a sudden, the Thunder took control, taking a 10 point lead at the end of the third. They got whatever they wanted; the Thunder hit every shot. It seemed like more of the same as game one. In the fourth, the Jazz flipped a switch and took command of the game. They outscored the Thunder 28-16 in the fourth quarter.
Donovan Mitchell had a second great playoff game, scoring 28 points with six rebounds. 13 of his points came in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gobert was a menace on defense as always. Along with his inside defense, he scored 13 points, grabbed 15 boards and blocked three shots. Derrick Favors was also dominant inside, putting up 20 points and 16 rebounds. Ricky Rubio was fantastic running the offense; he scored 23 points, dished nine assists and grabbed seven rebounds.
Paul George was unable to ride the same success he had in game one; his shot selection was poor. He scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, but he shot a poor 28.6% from the field and 33.3% from three. Russell Westbrook neared a triple-double with 19 points, 13 assists, nine rebounds, and four steals. This Thunder team just isn’t the same when their stars aren’t playing well; their big three shot a combined 32.9%. The fundamentally sound Utah Jazz came out on top today. Utah got the all-important split heading into Salt Lake City for game three.
Past Full Court Press Editions
- Full Court Press: Jrue Holiday’s 33 Leads The Pelicans Over Portland (4/17/18)
Houston Rockets vs Minnesota Timberwolves
102-95 Jazz, Rockets lead series 2-0
Next Game: Game Three, Saturday 4/21 @Minnesota
Just as I expected, the Rockets blew this game wide open, taking a commanding 2-0 series lead heading to Minnesota. The Wolves actually held a nine-point lead in the first but it was all Rockets from there on out. James Harden actually struggled mightily, he put up 12 points, seven assists, and four rebounds on 11.1% shooting. This shows you just how good this Rockets team is. Chris Paul stepped up in his place, scoring 27 points and dishing eight assists. Off of the bench, Gerald Green scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as well. Clint Capela grabbed 16 rebounds and his impact on defense was as great as ever. This Rockets team, despite being led by superstars, is truly a team-first squad.
Karl-Anthony Towns can’t seem to figure out Clint Capela. He only scored five points and grabbed 10 rebounds, shooting 22.2% from the field. This man just seems disengaged and uninterested, like he doesn’t want to be on the court. Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins weren’t much better; they combined for 24 points on the night. The Wolves’–a team known for their good offense and atrocious defense–leading scorer was Nemanja Bjelica who scored 16. This Timberwolves team is clearly no match for the Rockets even on an off night.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.