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Playoff Edition Three Things to Know: Clippers comeback, Sixers third quarter make history

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The NBA playoffs are underway and there can be a lot to unpack in a series of intense games, to help out we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) Part Clippers’ comeback, part Warriors being bored, Los Angeles comes from 31 down to win. This is the “chicken or the egg” question: Was the Clippers 31-point comeback win more about the Clippers playing better or the Warriors just getting bored, missing shots, and playing poorly?

Like nearly everything in life, it’s not black and white, one or the other, it’s a little of both.

But know this: It was the greatest comeback in NBA playoff history. Think about that for a second. Greatest. Ever.

Golden State had been in control from the opening tip and the score was 94-63 with 7:30 left in the third quarter after a Kevin Durant dunk and-1 foul. Then it started — in the final 19.5 minutes of the game Los Angeles scored 72 points on 69.2 shooting and hitting 5-of-9 threes (for comparison, Indiana scored just two more points, 74, in its entire first playoff game).

On the other end, the Warriors went ice cold, shooting 29.6 percent and going 2-of-11 from three (18.2 percent).

Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr seems to get the chicken/egg credit/blame thing right to me: It starts with his team, but don’t take anything away from the Clippers. When most teams would have rolled over, they kept fighting through adversity.

“When I say we stopped playing, we stopped playing, like defense, offense, execution-wise we were not as engaged as we needed to be,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We got exactly what we deserved. The Clippers were great. They executed, they were hungry, they stayed connected. They were together.”

NBA Twitter blamed the Warriors — and had a moment of schadenfreude watching Golden State come apart.

Lou Williams was spectacular for the Clippers with 36 points and 11 assists on the night, once he got rolling it didn’t matter if the Warriors defended him well he just hit leaners going left, every contested shot seemed to fall. Williams got help from Montrezl Harrell, who had another big game in this series with 25, while Danilo Gallinari added 24.

Kerr took some criticism for his rotations through the end of the fourth. However, this is less about who was on the floor, and more about how the players on the floor took care of business. The players stopped caring.

The Warriors are still the better team and while the series is 1-1 heading to Los Angeles we know how this will all end. The Warriors won’t be bored enough to let this happen again… probably. These Warriors do have their issues.

And now they are down a man.

2) DeMarcus Cousins leaves the game with a leg injury and he appears done for the playoffs. DeMarcus Cousins finally make the playoffs. He had a bit of a rough outing defensively in his first game, but Cousins finally was playing games after mid-April as the starting center on the team favorited to go get a ring.

Three minutes into the second quarter of his second playoff game, Cousins made a hustle play trying to chase down a loose ball, took an awkward step, and went to the ground.

That is the same leg in which he had the torn Achilles, which had sidelined him at the end of last season and most of this one.

Multiple reports now say it looks like a torn quad muscle (it’s actually better for Cousins if it’s the muscle and not the quad tendon in terms of recovery). An MRI will come Tuesday, but the Warriors are not optimistic, reports Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

He didn’t return, and league sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area that there’s fear that Cousins might have torn his left quad. One source said the center’s prospects are “not good at all.”

“There’s a pretty significant quad injury,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss. “We’ll get an MRI tomorrow. But he’s going to be out for, I’ll just say a while.”

Not only does this mean the Warriors go to center by committee with Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney the rest of the way, but also it could be a blow to Cousins’ free agent opportunities this summer (depending on what the MRI finds).

3) Philadelphia makes history with 51-point third quarter to even series with Brooklyn. Two days before, fans in Philadelphia were booing the Sixers and streaming out of the stadium early in disgust at their team’s poor play. And those fans were right.

Two nights later, this was the reaction inside the Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers — and Ben Simmons in particular — attacked the basket from the start, used their superior athleticism, and were aggressive… and that still wasn’t enough because the Brooklyn bench was dynamic and the team was raining threes. It was a one-point game at halftime.

Then the Sixers came out in the third quarter and dropped 51. That ties the record for most points ever scored in a playoff game quarter. It was 28 more than the Nets scored in the frame, and the game was essentially over.

After three quarters the Sixers had scored 116 points and a 155 offensive net rating (points scored per 100 possessions). By early in the fourth it was garbage time.

Simmons had a triple-double of with 18 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds.

Joel Embiid added 23 points and 10 rebounds and was a +26 on the night. However, all most people were talking about was his elbow to the head of Jarrett Allen that earned him a Flagrant 1 (it could have been a Flagrant 2 and an ejection).

Embiid took this foul very seriously…

The series now shifts to Brooklyn and the Sixers are far from in the clear in this series. They have some real challenges, especially if they can’t stop the Nets bench, or offense in general.

Why does Kevin Durant respond on social media? “I’m qualified to talk about basketball”

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Every NBA player gets ripped on social media, even the guys who are not on social media. Most of the time players just ignore it, the way they ignore fans yelling stuff courtside or distant family asking them for money.

Kevin Durant, however, gets into it sometimes, even with national media members (and even had a burner account). Which always becomes a thing.

Why? Why not just ignore it? From Durant himself at practice Friday, via NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Because I have social media,” Durant said Friday… “I mean, I’m a human being with a social media account. I could see if I ventured off into like politics, culinary arts or music and gave my input, but I’m sticking to something that I know. You know what I’m saying? This is all I know. I’m actually talking about stuff that I know. I’m qualified to talk about basketball.

“So when I respond to something, especially if it’s about me personally, of course I’m going to tell you if you wrong about it. When I’m on the training table getting treatment on my calf and I see a tweet that come by and I disagree — I don’t talk to people because I’m worried about what they say, it’s just that I’m interested. So if you talking about in-game or the NBA Finals, they’re the same to me, you know what I’m saying?”

Durant seems to have more time on hands to get into these spats while he is out injured. Which likely will last into the start of the NBA Finals.

Does this mean the Drake/Durant beef is inevitable?

LeBron likes Instagram of Kyrie Irving in Lakers jersey, Internet goes berserk

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The Lakers landing Kyrie Irving in free agency this summer might be their best realistic option. It’s far, far from a lock — the Knicks, and yes Celtics, will make their pitch, too — but reuniting the pair that won a title in Cleveland is on the Lakers’ radar. (Insert your own, “you know who should coach this team” Tyronn Lue joke here.)

Fueling the speculation, LeBron James and Irving were seen hanging out together at a club in Los Angeles recently. Then Friday, this happened: Cuffthelegend posted this on Instagram and LeBron liked it.

View this post on Instagram

I like how this feels

A post shared by Savage Season 365 (@cuffsthelegend) on

(For the record, Cuffthelegend gets some stuff right, he’s not a guy who posts stuff out of nowhere.)

Of course, NBA Twitter and the web responded to this in its usual measured, thoughtful way. Some Lakers fans think the deal is done, others mock the idea altogether.

Two thoughts on Irving and the Lakers:

• Multiple reports say Irving is open to it. Irving also has a strong relationship with Kevin Durant, and Boston still plans to trade for Anthony Davis and then try to re-sign Irving (even if Boston fans are done with Kyrie). The only person who knows which way Irving is leaning right now is Irving, and there’s a good chance he changes his mind in the next five weeks anyway.

• If the Lakers are going to land a star free agent this summer, it will be because LeBron was an active recruiter. These elite players have options, and the Laker front office is not inspiring confidence of late, it will be on LeBron to win guys over.

 

Jeremy Lin: Milwaukee security guard asked for my pass to Raptors team bus

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Jeremy Lin has discussed people not believing he plays in the NBA.

It apparently still happens.

Lin, whose Raptors are playing the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals, via Bill Michaels Sports Talk Network:

After Game 2 in Milwaukee, I was trying to get to the team bus and one of the dudes in the Milwaukee arena just screams at me. He’s like, “Where do you think you’re going?!” And I’m like, “Uh, I’m trying to get to the team bus.” He’s like, “What?! Where’s your pass?” I was like, “I don’t have a pass. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have a pass.”

This happens in a lot of arenas, so I just kind of go with the flow.

It’s a fine line. Lin shouldn’t be profiled as a non-athlete because he’s Asian-American. Arena staffers should keep everyone safe by stopping unauthorized people.

PBT Podcast: What’s next for Boston, Philadelphia, Denver? (And some playoff talk)

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Will Kyrie Irving stay in Boston? If not, what is Plan B?

Is Jimmy Butler back in Philadelphia next season? If he is will Tobias Harris be back?

What are the next steps to turn Denver into a contender?

I get into all of those things with the wise Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (and Celtics Blog, and Real GM), we break down those three teams recently turned out of the playoffs. We also start off talking about teams actually in the playoffs, particularly Toronto’s comeback in the Eastern Conference Finals, and how those teams can take advantage against the Warriors with Kevin Durant out.

As always, you can check out the podcast below, listen and subscribe via iTunes at ApplePodcasts.com/PBTonNBC, subscribe via the fantastic Stitcher app, check us out on Google play, or check out the NBC Sports Podcast homepage and archive at Art19.

We want your questions for future podcasts, and your comments, so please email us at PBTpodcast@gmail.com.