Tonight in NBA Playoffs: Thunder, Mavericks Set for Primetime - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Tonight in NBA Playoffs: Thunder, Mavericks Set for Primetime

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tonight in NBA Playoffs: Thunder, Mavericks Set for Primetime
    The Associated Press
    Tonight in NBA Playoffs: Thunder, Mavericks set for primetime

    Kevin Durant wasn't in a celebratory mood following Oklahoma City's relieving blowout victory this week.

    Maybe because that's how the Thunder are supposed to win. Also, it could be due to the way the Dallas Mavericks crashed their party just a few days earlier.

    This Western Conference first-round series has shown varying results for Durant and his championship-chasing team, but the Thunder can separate from the pesky Mavericks with a win in Saturday night's Game 4 in Dallas.

    While third-seeded Oklahoma City holds a scoring advantage of 66 points through the first three games, sixth-seeded Dallas earned Monday's 85-84 win in Game 2 after Steven Adams' buzzer beater was waved off. Durant finished with 21 points and seven turnovers, making only 7 of 33 shots.

    What a difference three days makes (see full preview).

    Pacers seek to even series with Raptors
    Though the Toronto Raptors' All-Star guards were again far from lights-out shooting the ball, DeMar DeRozan's hot start and Kyle Lowry's strong finish put this first-round series back in their control.

    Jonas Valanciunas controlling the interior has been more of a constant and so has better defense over the past two games, both of which have left the Indiana Pacers in danger of falling into a 3-1 deficit on their home floor Saturday.

    DeRozan totaled 24 points through two games, hitting 10 for 37 from the field, after averaging 23.5 during the regular season. Lowry accounted for 29 - his season average was 21.2 - as he shot 7 for 26.

    Both were below 40 percent from the field again in Game 3, but DeRozan and Lowry had their best shooting and scoring nights of the series with 21 points apiece as Toronto won 101-85 on Thursday (see full preview).

    Can Clippers take 3-0 stranglehold?
    The Los Angeles Clippers may be known for alley-oops and offensive highlights, but their bench and defensive prowess are making a difference in this series.

    Though they've been largely neutralized after leading the Portland Trail Blazers into the postseason, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum hope to find their rhythm as the series shifts to a more comfortable setting at the Moda Center.

    After putting up one of the NBA's best home records over the final three months, the Blazers hope to avoid facing a third consecutive 3-0 series deficit Saturday night.

    Los Angeles' Lob City attack ranked sixth in offensive rating at 106.5 during the regular season, though the well-rounded club also finished second in field-goal percentage defense at 43.4 and fifth with 38 bench points per game.

    Those strengths have been more than glaring in this best-of-seven first round series as the Clippers held the Blazers to 88 points per game - well below their 105.1 season average - on 36.8 percent shooting in their two wins at Staples Center (see full preview).