May 12, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Two games on Monday night in the NBA — and we have our first closeout game.
Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets (Heat lead series 2-1). Can the Brooklyn Nets replicate what they did to beat Miami in Game 3? The Nets hit 15-of-25 from three and hit 11-of-18 on threes above the break — that will be tough to do again. What the Nets can do again is get great play off its bench and count on Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce to make plays. The Nets can be aggressive in transition again. For Miami, someone other than LeBron James needs to show up and play like the game matters, that was not the case on Saturday night.
San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
(Spurs lead series 3-0). The Trail Blazers look done. NBA teams have won all 108 best-of-seven series when leading 3-0, according to WhoWins. In fact, most of those series ended in sweeps. If Portland wins Game 4 at home to extend the series, that would be a nice accomplishment — one more win in front of a loyal home crowd — before bowing out in Game 5 in San Antonio. To get that bonus victory, the Trail Blazers must better defend Tony Parker, who’s averaging 26.0 points and 8.3 assists per game in the series.
- PBT Extra: Did Chicago make the right move in firing Thibodeau? 22
- Bulls front office on Tom Thibodeau firing: “We probably wouldn’t be sitting here if we won a championship” 11
- Bulls fire Tom Thibodeau 61
- Dwight Howard: “I’m still a champion. And I won’t let anyone tell me anything different.” 71
- Rockets had an excellent season. Are they content with that? 23
- Harden struggles, Warriors role players step up leading team to Finals for first time in 40 years 42
- Dwight Howard hit with suspension-triggering technical foul 7
- PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ improved defense helps them to Finals 8