Full Court Press: Pacers Blow Out Cavaliers, Force Game Seven

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Apr 27, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Domantas Sabonis (11) celebrates a made three point basket in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game six of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Domantas Sabonis (11) celebrates a made three point basket in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in game six of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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 27th, 2018

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Toronto Raptors vs Washington Wizards

102-92 Raptors, Raptors win series 4-2

The Toronto Raptors finally ended this series, breathing a sigh of relief. It looked like the series would go a dreaded game seven where the Raptors would have to fight it out. The Raptors trailed by 53-50 at half; they were 0-23 in playoff games where they trailed at the half before today. The Raptors pulled away at the end behind a great effort from Kyle Lowry. He led the team in scoring with 24 and added six points and six boards. DeMar DeRozan only scored 16 points but the rest of the team supplemented. Four players scored in double digits and eight players scored at least seven points.

The Wizards fought well in this series. They overcame poor chemistry and defense to put up points and steal two wins from the one-seeded Raptors. Bradley Beal led all scorers with 32 points but turned the ball over six times. As a team, the Wizards turned the ball over 14 times. John Wall added 23 points, eight assists but four turnovers. The rest of the Wizards did not provide much help. Washington looks to the offseason and to remedy one of the worst constructed rosters in the NBA.

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Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers

121-87 Pacers, Series tied 3-3 

Next Game: Game Seven, Sunday 4/29 @Cleveland

The Indiana Pacers forced game seven in a commanding blowout win over the Cavaliers. This game was close in the first quarter. From there Indiana put their foot on the gas and never took it off. They led by as much as 36 points in the fourth quarter. Victor Oladipo got back to his dominating ways, recording his first playoff triple-double. He recorded 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. Domantas Sabonis continues his excellent series, adding 19 points and six rebounds off of the bench. The Pacers’ attack was balanced and efficient: they shot 15-30 on threes and seven players scored in double figures. If Indiana plays like this on Sunday, the Pacers could make history.

LeBron James wasn’t as aggressive as he usually is, scoring 22 points on 43.8% from the field. He added seven assists and five rebounds as well. Only Rodney Hood (12) and Jeff Green (13) scored in double figures. This Pacers’ defense is incredibly stout; Cleveland couldn’t find any offense outside of James. If Cleveland can’t find offense besides James and the Pacers play well again, LeBron could be in for his first first-round exit ever.

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz

97-86 Jazz Series tied 3-3

Next Game: Game Seven, Sunday 4/29, @Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Thunder fought valiantly but could not top the Utah Jazz, leaving the playoffs. This game was tightly contested in the end; OKC got many offensive rebounds at the end and couldn’t hit a shot. Utah led by 13 in the fourth and nearly coughed up that lead. Donovan Mitchell ended off his stellar series with his best game yet, scoring 38 points. Rudy Gobert dominated the middle (I feel like I write that every time) with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks. This Utah team may have had less star power than Oklahoma City but their fundamental basketball came through.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are never going to go far in the playoffs with their current formula. Russell Westbrook scored 46, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished five assists. However, he shot the ball 43 (!!!) times and turned it over five times. Steven Adams scored 19 and grabbed 15 boards. Nobody else scored in double figures for the Thunder. Paul George had more turnovers (six) than points (five). The Thunder are an absolute mess fundamentally and technically. I don’t care how many stars you have, you’re never going to win like that.

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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.

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