A solid 0 for 2 day on predictions for Scott Howard. I assume it was just pure spite on the Rockets and Celtics part.
Rockets 99 Lakers 87 – Who needs Yao Ming? Not the Rockets apparently as they evened the series at 2-2 in a blow-out win over the Lakers. Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 34 to lead Houston and this game was only even remotely close when the Rockets packed it in during the 4th quarter. It’s never easy for the Lakers to win when Kobe Bryant scores only 15 points (1 more than Shannon Brown…really…Shannon Brown) and Lamar Odom lays a complete egg (2 points). One of the real interesting sub-plots to keep an eye on the rest of the series will be the Rockets without Yao. Whether or not they can pull off the miracle upset, which would set-up a David Stern-mortifying Rockets-Nuggets conference finals, I think Houston’s got to do something with Yao Ming. Due to his latest season-ending injury, Yao hasn’t finished the year healthy since his 2nd year in the league. That being said I think it’d be tough to sink a long-term extension into him during the summer of 2010. Game 5 of this series is Tuesday in LA…if the Rockets can manage to pull that one off I’m done making predictions for the balance of the playoffs.
Celtics 95 Magicians 94 – If Game 4 of this series made any point clear, it is that Big Baby Davis is somehow clutch. Davis hit a pair of jumpers in the final 32 seconds, including a 21-footer at the buzzer, to help the Celts even this series at 2-2. For the Magicians on the other hand, consider this a massive opportunity blown. With a chance to take the commanding 3-1 lead, Orlando shot 5 of 27 from three (18.5%) – including 0-5 from perennial SoD favorite J.J. Redick. Although I’ve been firmly against Boston having any chance in this series since about Game 5 of the Bulls series, you’ve got to wonder whether this was a momentum shifting game. Garnett or no, most of these Celtics have won a championship. The Magic on the other hand have about as much pressure-packed playoff experience as the BCS commissioners (see what I did there? BCS joke!). It’ll be interesting to see if the Magic can quell the Celtic momentum in Game 5.
The Cavs and Nuggets get to finish off their sweeps tomorrow, and I’ll be bringing a little Cavs-Hawks running diary. Because anytime a championship-caliber team goes for a 2nd round sweep over a wildly over-matched opponent it screams running diary.