What bettors need to know: Monday's NBA playoff action

Apr 29, 2012 |
New York Knicks at Miami Heat (-9.5, 184)

THE STORY: One game in, and it looks like any optimism the New York Knicks had about stealing a first-round series from the Miami Heat has been wiped away. Not only were the seventh-seeded Knicks thoroughly dismantled in a 100-67 Game 1 loss, they also lost their perimeter defensive stopper when Iman Shumpert went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The second-seeded Heat showed off their defensive prowess in Game 1, forcing 27 turnovers.

7 p.m. ET, TNT, SUN (Miami), MSG (New York)

New York came into the series with some confidence due to the way it finished the regular season. Carmelo Anthony was especially strong in April, averaging just under 30 points. With Anthony at a superstar level, Amar'e Stoudemire rounding back into shape and Shumpert and Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense, the Knicks at least expected to be competitive. But Anthony shot 3 for 15 and Chandler and Shumpert were each held scoreless in the opener. Baron Davis, who missed the first half of the regular season after back surgery, was limited to 17 minutes after experiencing stiffness in his back. New York ended up shooting 35.7 percent from the floor, with J.R. Smith the only player managing more than 11 points.

ABOUT THE HEAT: Miami put it away early on Saturday, outscoring the Knicks 57-29 in the second and third quarters to coast to the finish. LeBron James handled the bulk of the scoring in the first half and finished with 32 points on 10-of-14 shooting. But his most significant contribution may have come as one of the several players swarming Anthony and forcing him to catch the ball further away from the basket. The Heat scored 24 of the final 26 points in the second quarter and scored a franchise record 38 points off turnovers en route to the punishing win.


- Miami is 5-1 against the spread in its last six home games.
- The under is 7-0-1 in the last eight meetings between the two teams.
- New York is 19-7 against the spread in its last 26.


1. The Knicks have lost 11 straight playoff games dating back to 2001. It matches the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Memphis’ 12-game skid from 2004-06.

2. James has scored 30 or more points in 41 of his 93 career playoff games.

3. New York’s 67 points Saturday matched a franchise playoff low.

Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers (-9, 187.5)

THE STORY: The Orlando Magic pulled off a stunning victory in the series opener and look for a second consecutive road win when they play the Indiana Pacers on Monday. Sixth-seeded Orlando scored the game’s final 11 points while rallying for an 81-77 victory. Jason Richardson’s fifth 3-pointer of the contest represented the go-ahead shot. Third-seeded Indiana now faces the possibility of going down 2-0 despite Orlando being without Dwight Howard for the playoffs.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV

ABOUT THE MAGIC: There were a lot of naysayers about Orlando’s chances of winning this series and it didn’t take long for the Magic to point that out after winning the opener. Glen Davis, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds, was particularly vocal. “It is huge to go out there and get Game 1 in their place,” Davis said. “How their back’s against the wall and they’ve got to win Game 2. We’re trying to get every game we can. We’re not trying to slow down. We’re not trying to be complacent.” Richardson made five of Orlando’s nine 3-pointers and had 17 points along with Jameer Nelson.

Indiana shot just 34.5 percent in Game 1. The Pacers missed their final nine shots and went scoreless over the final 4:05. Forward David West scored a game-high 19 points and center Roy Hibbert blocked a career-high nine shots, one off the playoff record shared by Utah’s Mark Eaton (1985) and Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon (1990). Giving up home-court advantage was a disheartening development for the Pacers, who had played very well down the stretch. “In one game, you give up what you played all season for,” West said. “We talked about how good this team was, how dangerous they were in shooting the ball. They got us.”

- The under is 6-2 in Orlando's last eight road games.
- Orlando has covered in six of the last seven meetings between the two teams.
- Indiana is 1-10-1 against the number in its last 11 playoff games as a favorite.


1. The teams combined for only 63 second-half points in Game 1.

2. Pacers leading scorer Danny Granger scored 17 points in the opener, but was just 7-of-20 shooting and committed five turnovers.

3. Richardson connected on five or more 3-pointers three times in the regular season.

Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder (-6.5, 194.5)

It has taken just 47 minutes, 58 1/2 seconds for the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder to recreate the drama of last season's Western Conference finals. Kevin Durant's miracle shot with 1.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter gave the Thunder the win in Game 1, and they'll look to head to Dallas with a 2-0 lead when the teams renew acquaintances Monday night. The Thunder won just once in last year's conference finals.

TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, Fox Sports Oklahoma

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS: Dallas reached last year's finals by orchestrating a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks to upend the Thunder. Saturday night, it was the Mavericks on the receiving end of a stunning comeback as they failed to hold on to a late seven-point advantage. Dallas superstar Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 11 points in the final five minutes to keep the Mavericks ahead, was gutted. "It's tough. This is definitely as tough of a loss as you can get," he said. "But if a team can recover it, it's an experienced one and we definitely have a lot of older guys who have been through a lot."

ABOUT THE THUNDER: It wasn't the prettiest winning shot ever hit, but Durant and the Thunder will gladly take it. With the clock winding down and Oklahoma City down one, Durant took the ball to the free-throw line before uncoiling an awkward jumper that bounced high off the front of the rim before deflecting off the backboard and falling straight into the hoop. The shot left teammate James Harden impressed. "It was a great shot," Harden said. "It saved the game for us. I don't think we played well … but he saved us at the end." Durant, the three-time defending NBA scoring champion, finished with 25 points.

- The road time is 19-6-1 against the number in this matchup.
- Oklahoma City has dropped four straight against the spread
- The over is 4-1 in Dallas' last five road games.


1. Durant, Harden, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka combined to score 94 of the Thunder's 99 points in Game 1. Thabo Sefolosha had the other five.

2. The Mavericks had a final chance to win Game 1 but had no timeouts - forcing them to inbound from their own baseline - and couldn't get a shot off.

3. Jason Terry scored 20 points for Dallas but had zero in the second half.

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