With a series tied 1-1 and heading to a new court, it’s always interesting to see how the two teams will respond. On Thursday, two games of that magnitude were played. And it was the higher seed that prevailed both times in order to take a 2-1 series lead- a stranglehold over the entire thing that puts big pressure on the other team to overturn it. The Golden State Warriors blew out the Los Angeles Clippers 132-105 as Kevin Durant bounced back and had a monstrous 38 points. All those points came in just 29 minutes of basketball for him, too, showing he is paying attention to what has been said about him in the media yet again.
Ben Simmons had a similar sort of performance in his Philadelphia 76ers’ 131-115 win over the Brooklyn Nets, with the star scoring 31 points, the most he’s had in the playoffs to date to give them the commanding advantage in the series on hostile ground. He would miss just two of his shots all game from the field to lift them despite not having Joel Embiid on the night.
In the other game of the night, it was the San Antonio Spurs, an ‘underdog,’ that grabbed a 2-1 lead in their series with the Denver Nuggets with an 118-108 win in Texas. Point guard Derrick White had the game of his life, putting in 36 to give his seven seed team hopes of moving on to the next round. Nikola Jokic had 22 to lead Denver in the defeat.