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Leading Off

May 18, 2015
May 18, 2015

Table of Contents
May 18, 2015

INBOX
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
NBA PLAYOFFS
  • Through Sunday, Blake Griffin had more triple doubles this postseason (three) than the rest of the league combined (zero). He's always been known as a scorer and a rebounder, but he's become a threat as a passer. Per SportVU, Griffin is averaging 70.4 passes per game in the playoffs, trailing only John Wall and Derrick Rose. His 6.9 assists per game are tops among power forwards and centers, and they are generating 17.0 points. (That's more than 2014--15 MVP Stephen Curry's.) Griffin has truly become a threat all over the court.

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Leading Off

PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY BILL SMITHBanker's Hour It was a bad weekend for buzzers in the playoffs: They were constantly being beaten by some of the NBA's biggest names. It started last Friday in Chicago, where Derrick Rose went a long way toward putting three injury-plagued seasons behind him by banking home a 26-foot three-pointer as time expired to give the Bulls a 99--96 win over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal. The shot capped a 30-point night for Rose and gave Chicago a 2--1 series lead, an advantage that would be gone after some more last-second heroics on Sunday.PHOTOINSET BY KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI EPA[See caption above]PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY NED DISHMAN NBAE/GETTY IMAGESNothing But the Truth After the Verizon Center decibel level fell back to airport tarmac levels, 37-year-old Paul Pierce was asked if he called glass on the buzzer-beating fadeaway he buried to beat the Hawks 103--101 last Saturday in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semi. Said the Wizards forward known as the Truth, "I called, 'Game!'" It wasn't Pierce's first playoff buzzer beater--he had two while with the Celtics—but it was right up there on the drama meter, especially considering that Washington had blown a 21-point lead in the second half.PHOTOINSET BY CURTIS COMPTON ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION/TNS/LANDOV[See caption above]PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY JESSE D. GARRABRANT NBAE/GETTY IMAGESKing High, Flush With the Cavaliers nursing a two-point lead over Chicago in Game 4 on Sunday, LeBron James was called for an offensive foul with 14 seconds remaining. Derrick Rose tied the game at 84 with a layup five seconds later ... which left James more than enough time to atone for his foul and make some buzzer-beating magic of his own. With 1.5 seconds left he took an inbounds pass and, with Jimmy Butler in his face, drained a 21-footer to tie the series at two games apiece. Afterward James revealed that he was supposed to inbound the ball but called his own number instead. Good decision--he didn't use the backboard but took the shot to the bank.PHOTOINSET BY NAM Y. HUH AP[See caption above]