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Spurs-Rockets featured largest Game 1-to-Game 2 turnaround in decades


The Rockets ran all over the Spurs in Game 1, winning by 27. James Harden picked apart San Antonio in transition and the pick-and-roll. The Spurs’ bigs couldn’t keep up, as Houston generated easy looks at the basket and open 3-pointers.

It was total domination.

“We haven’t won anything so far,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said the following day.

San Antonio proved him prophetic last night, winning Game 2 by 25 to even the series. Everything we thought we understood one game into this series flew out the window.

The 52-point swing was the largest from Game 1 to Game 2 in 22 years and fourth-largest ever.

The Magic beat the Celtics by 47 in Game 1 of the 1995 first round then lost to Boston by seven in Game 2. That 54-point swing was the last time fortunes changed so dramatically from Game 1 to Game 2.

In the 1956 division semifinals, the St. Louis Hawks beat the Minneapolis Lakers by one in Game 1 then lost by 58 in Game 2. The 1973 conference finals featured the Celtics beating the Knicks by 26 Game 1 and then losing to Boston by 33 in Game 2. Those 59-point swings are tied for the largest ever between Game 1 and Game 2.

Here’s every series with a 40-point swing between Game 1 and Game 2:


As you can see, several of those swings include a massive blowout and a reasonably close outcome. In Spurs-Rockets, each team earned a big win.

This is just the eighth time in NBA history, including last year’s NBA Finals, a team won a playoff game by 25 then lost the next game in the series by 25:

2017 second round: SAS 1, HOU 1 Game 1: HOU 126, SAS 99 Game 2: SAS 121, HOU 96
2016 NBA Finals: CLE 4, GSW 3 Game 2: GSW 110, CLE 77 Game 3: CLE 120, GSW 90
2016 conference finals: GSW 4, OKC 3 Game 2: GSW 118, OKC 91 Game 3: OKC 133, GSW 105
2008 first round: CLE 4, WAS 2 Game 2: CLE 116, WAS 86 Game 3: WAS 108, CLE 72
1982 conference finals: PHI 4, BOS 3 Game 4: PHI 119, BOS 94 Game 5: BOS 114, PHI 85
1980 conference semifinals: LAL 4, PHO 1 Game 4: PHO 127, LAL 101 Game 5: LAL 126, PHO 101
1973 conference finals: NYK 4, BOS 3 Game 1: BOS 134, NYK 108 Game 2: NYK 129, BOS 96
1972 conference finals: LAL 4, MIL 2 Game 4: MIL 114, LAL 88 Game 5: LAL 115, MIL 90

Where do San Antonio and Houston go from here? The Rockets, if they didn’t know it already, learned they can’t rest on their laurels. The Spurs can’t feel secure in their turnaround, not after Tony Parker‘s injury.

After two decisive victories, this series is anything but decided.

DeRozan has 29, Raptors win 11th straight, beat Mavs 122-115

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TORONTO (AP) — DeMar DeRozan made the game-winning basket in overtime and the Toronto Raptors rallied to match the longest winning streak in franchise history, extending their season-best run to 11 by beating the Dallas Mavericks 122-115 on Friday night.

DeRozan scored 29 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors won for the 18th time in 19 games. Kyle Lowry got the night off to rest as the Raptors played the second game of the back-to-back.

Delon Wright had 15 points and Fred VanVleet scored 14, helping Toronto improved to an NBA-best 29-5 at home.

Dallas had won three of four. Harrison Barnes scored 27 points for the Mavericks, Dennis Smith Jr. had 19 and J.J. Barea 18.

Up 84-78 to begin the fourth, Dallas stretched its lead to 101-93 on a jump shot by Barnes with 5:43 remaining, but four points from DeRozan cut it to 101-97 with 4:32 left.

Toronto kept coming, pulling within two on a pair of free throws by DeRozan and, after a Dallas turnover, tying it at 106 on DeRozan’s jumper with 1:15 to go in regulation.

Each team turned the ball over before Barnes missed a jumper with 24 seconds left and VanVleet grabbed the rebound. After a timeout, DeRozan let the clock wind down before driving and kicking to Serge Ibaka, who missed a potential game-winning shot. DeRozan also missed before the buzzer, sending it to overtime.

VanVleet and Dallas’ Dwight Powell each made a 3 in overtime before DeRozan drove for the tiebreaking basket with 53 seconds left.

Valanciunas sealed it by making five of six at the free-throw line in the final 10 seconds.

Toronto also extended its franchise-record streak of games with 100 or more points to 22.


Kevin Durant has fractured ribs, out a couple of weeks

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The injury bug is hitting the Warriors hard — not with anything that seems like it will last into the playoffs, but it’s still a concern.

Stephen Curry (ankle) and Klay Thompson (fractured thumb), Draymond Green is just returning to the rotation (along with David West and Jordan Bell), and now this — Kevin Durant is going to be out a couple of weeks.

What incomplete means is it is nondisplaced, or to use the slang it is a cracked rib. The bone was not moved out of place and does not need to be reset.

The good news for Warriors fans about all these injuries are they should heal up in a couple of weeks and the Warriors should be fully loaded for bear come the playoffs. And no doubt this team knows what it needs to do to win, it can get back into its groove quickly.

So long as we’re not talking about all these injuries in the second week of April, Warriors fans do not need to worry.

Baseline jumper gives Dirk Nowitzki 11,000 made baskets in NBA

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We need to savor these final years — potentially final games — of Dirk Nowitzki‘s career. The future Hall of Famers is one of the great pure shooters, and probably the greatest shooting big man, in NBA history.

The Maverick’s star hit another milestone Friday night, 11,000 made NBA baskets. Only eight others have reached that mark, and Nowitzki did it with a high arc baseline jumper.

The man is a marvel.

Dallas was up 60-54 on Toronto at the half.

Report: Jazz to sign David Stockton, son of Utah legend John Stockton, to 10-day contract

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The Utah Jazz have been on a roll — they have gone 20-2 of late — but the point guard ranks are getting thin. Ricky Rubio has a knee contusion that may keep him out for a game or two, and his backup Raul Neto is out with a fractured wrist. This is where the Jazz are making a smart move, bringing in a 10-day contract guy for depth and getting a look at him.

That guy? David Stockton. Son of Hall-of-Famer and Jazz legend John Stockton. Via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

G League guard David Stockton, son of Utah Jazz legend John Stockton, is signing a 10-day contract with the team, league sources told ESPN. Stockton, 25, is expected to join the Jazz today, sources said.

Stockton, who played his college ball at Gonzaga like his father, has spent most of this season with the Reno Big Horns and averaged 16.3 points and 5.2 assists a night. Watching him in Summer League, Stockton is a smart, floor general kind of point guard who knows how to run a team. He is not as athletic as most of the guys he has gone up against, but he knows how to compensate.

However long this lasts, it’s good to see a Stockton in a Jazz uniform again.