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Recaps with analysis of every NBA game by the RotoWire staff.

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NBA Game Recaps for April 25, 2018
95
Indiana Pacers  at  Cleveland Cavaliers
Final  – April 25, 2018
98

James' Game-Winning Three-Pointer Lifts Cavs To Huge Win Over Pacers

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the visiting Indiana Pacers, 98-95, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday. The Cavaliers (3-2) and the Pacers (2-3) played a nail-bitting, exciting, down-to-the-wire contest that was decided in the final ball when LeBron James - who else? - sinked a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give Cleveland a huge win that puts them in front of the series. But the game itself didn't start very well for Cleveland, as Indiana jumped ahead to a 25-23 lead after the first quarter, and made it a seven-point game at the half time break (56-49) so it seemed as if the Cavs were going to suffer yet another home loss. However, the Cavs turned things around in the second half with an impressive third-quarter performance (32-17) and they closed things out in the fourth thanks to a majestic performance from LeBron. LeBron James was the undisputed star for the Cavaliers since he came close to a triple-double after finishing with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and one key block down the stretch. The only other two Cavs players who reached double-digits in scoring were Kyle Korver, who finished with 19 points on 5-9 from three-point range, and Kevin Love who contributed a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis was the best player for the Pacers and led the scoring with 22 points coming off the bench. Victor Oladipo filled the stat sheet after he ended with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and one steal. Thaddeus Young chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds. Lance Stephenson delivered a strong outing with 12 points and four assists off the bench.

Posted on April 25, 2018 at 10:20 PM ET

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

LeBron James was the undisputed star for the Cavaliers since he came close to a triple-double after finishing with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and one key block down the stretch. The only other two Cavs players who reached double-digits in scoring were Kyle Korver, who finished with 19 points on 5-9 from three-point range, and Kevin Love who contributed a strong double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Domantas Sabonis was the best player for the Pacers and led the scoring with 22 points coming off the bench. Victor Oladipo filled the stat sheet after he ended with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and one steal. Thaddeus Young chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds. Lance Stephenson delivered another strong outing with 12 points and four assists while coming off the bench.

Posted on April 25, 2018 at 10:20 PM ET

98
Washington Wizards  at  Toronto Raptors
Final  – April 25, 2018
108

Raptors Notch Critical 108-98 Victory Over Wizards in Game 4

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards, 108-98, at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday evening in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. The Raptors lead the series, 3-2. The Raptors (3-2) likely came in still smarting from blowing a fourth-quarter advantage in Game 4 on Sunday, which represented a golden opportunity to take a commanding and demoralizing 3-1 series lead on the Wizards' (2-3) home floor. With the series deadlocked as a result, Game 5 shaped up to be a pivotal battle that was likely to be contested wire to wire. That was indeed how matters played out, as after a see-saw first three quarters, the two clubs entered the final period with Toronto in possession of a slim one-point edge. The tug-of-war nature of the contest persisted until the 3:38 mark of the fourth quarter, when the hosts went on a back-breaking 12-0 run over the ensuing 2:58. That left them with an insurmountable 106-93 edge with 40 seconds left, allowing them to close out the double-digit victory. John Wall led the Wizards with 26 points, a total he supplemented with nine rebounds, nine assists, three blocks and one steal. Bradley Beal provided 20 points, four boards, three assists and one steal. Kelly Oubre, Jr. delivered 14 points, one rebound and one steal. Marcin Gortat generated a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double that also included two assists and one block. Otto Porter, Jr. managed nine points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Markieff Morris supplied six points, nine rebounds and one steal. DeMar DeRozan paced the Raptors with 32 points and added five assists and two rebounds. Delon Wright followed with a bench-leading 18 points and complemented them with five boards, one assist, two steals and one block. Kyle Lowry produced a 17-point, 10-assist double-double that also included two rebounds and three steals. Jonas Valanciunas accounted for 14 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal. Serge Ibaka continued to churn out very modest production, managing only three points, two boards and one assist. Jakob Poeltl went for nine points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal. The series now moves back to Capital One Arena for Game 6, which takes place on Friday evening.

Posted on April 25, 2018 at 9:49 PM ET

By Juan Carlos Blanco

After a see-saw first three quarters, the two clubs entered the final period with Toronto in possession of a slim one-point edge. The tug-of-war nature of the contest persisted until the 3:38 mark of the fourth quarter, when the hosts went on a back-breaking 12-0 run over the ensuing 2:58. That left them with an insurmountable 106-93 edge with 40 seconds left, allowing them to close out the double-digit victory. John Wall's 26 points, a total he supplemented with nine rebounds, nine assists, three blocks and one steal, led the Wizards. Bradley Beal provided 20 points, four boards, three assists and one steal. Kelly Oubre, Jr. delivered 14 points. Marcin Gortat generated a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double that also included two assists and one block. Otto Porter, Jr.'s line included nine points, four rebounds and two assists. Markieff Morris supplied six points, nine rebounds and one steal. DeMar DeRozan's 32 points, to which he added five assists and two rebounds, led the Raptors. Delon Wright followed with a bench-leading 18 points and complemented them with five boards, one assist, two steals and one block. Kyle Lowry produced a 17-point, 10-assist double-double that also included two rebounds and three steals. Jonas Valanciunas' contributions included 14 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Serge Ibaka managed only three points, two boards and one assist. Jakob Poeltl's line included nine points, three rebounds and two assists.

Posted on April 25, 2018 at 9:56 PM ET

99
Utah Jazz  at  Oklahoma City Thunder
Final  – April 25, 2018
107

Thunder Defeat Jazz, 107-99, to Avoid Elimination

By Oscar Heanue

The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Utah Jazz, 107-99, at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs on Wednesday night. Utah leads the series, 3-2. The Jazz (3-2) took a big first-half lead, holding the Thunder (2-3) to 12 second-quarter points to take a 15-point lead by halftime. With potential elimination on the line, Oklahoma City rallied back from down 25 in the second half, scoring 37 points in the third quarter and closing the gap by the beginning of the fourth. Russell Westbrook was the spark that ignited the Thunder's comeback, as he scored eight straight points with under six minutes left in the third to cut the lead to just 13. Foul trouble for Utah's Rudy Gobert also helped OKC cut the lead, as Gobert picked up five fouls in the first three quarters and was forced to spend time on the bench as a result. Westbrook finished the game with a team-high 45 points and 15 rebounds. The reigning MVP also dished out seven assists. Westbrook and fellow All-Star Paul George were the only Thunder players to score more than seven points, but with 34 from George, the duo combined to score 79 points in total. The Thunder did an excellent job controlling the ball throughout, committing only eight total turnovers on the night. The Jazz, meanwhile, committed 16 turnovers and shot just 40 percent from the field. Big men Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors both picked up five fouls in the game. Despite their struggles, the Jazz saw multiple excellent performances. Off the bench, Jae Crowder scored 27 points to lead the team. Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell, meanwhile, scored 23 points, making him the first rookie since David Robinson to score 20 or more in his first five playoff games Game 6 will be in Utah on Friday evening.

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 1:08 AM ET

By Oscar Heanue

Russell Westbrook scored 45 points to help his team avoid elimination on Wednesday night. Westbrook attempted 39 shots and pulled down 15 rebounds. He combined with All-Star teammate Paul George to score 79 of the team's 107 points. No other Thunder players scored more than seven points. Still, the team excelled, shooting 20-of-24 from the free-throw line and turning it over only eight times. The Jazz, meanwhile, turned it over 16 times as a team and saw big men Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors commit five fouls each. The team shot just 40 percent from the field in the loss. Still, rookie Donovan Mitchell excelled, scoring 23 points to lead Utah's starters. Mitchell became the first rookie since David Robinson to score 20 or more points in each of his first five playoff games. Off the bench, wing Jae Crowder scored a team-high 27 points.

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 1:19 AM ET

104
Minnesota Timberwolves  at  Houston Rockets
Final  – April 25, 2018
122

Rockets Close Out First Round

By Dan Bruno  

The Houston Rockets defeated the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves, 122-104, in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs on Wednesday evening at Toyota Center. The Timberwolves got out to a good start on the road, as they exchanged small leads with the Rockets through a close first quarter, and held a 26-25 lead to start the second. The Timberwolves kept the pressure on and pushed their lead to 10 mid way through the second quarter. The Rockets quickly battled back to make it a one-point game, but the T-Wolves closed the quarter strong and took a 59-55 lead into halftime. The Rockets flipped the switch in the third and outscored the Timberwolves, 30-15, to take an, 85-74, lead into the final frame. The Rockets could see the finish line and did not ease up in the fourth. They pushed their lead to 16 early in the quarter, and then to 20, with four minutes remaining. The Rockets cruised to the finish and closed out their first-round playoff series, 4-1. They will take on the winner of the Utah-Oklahoma City series in the second round. Clint Capela led the Rockets with 26 points, 15 rebounds, one assist and one block, in 33 minutes. James Harden followed up with 24 points, 12 assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks, in 37 minutes. Chris Paul was solid with 12 points, nine assists and five rebounds, in 34 minutes. Eric Gordon came up big with 19 points in 31 minutes off the bench. The Rockets shot 51 percent from the field, including 18-of-44 from long range. Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and one block, in 35 minutes. Jamal Crawford poured in 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, in 25 minutes off the bench. Jeff Teague added 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in 14 points and four rebounds, in 37 minutes. The Timberwolves shot 51 percent from the field, including 9-of-19 from long range.

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 12:40 AM ET      Updated on April 26, 2018 at 12:49 AM ET

By Dan Bruno  

Clint Capela led the Rockets, with 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting, 15 rebounds, one assist and one block, in 33 minutes. James Harden followed up with 24 points on 8-of-21 shooting, 12 assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks, in 37 minutes. Chris Paul added 12 points, nine assists and five rebounds, in 34 minutes. Eric Gordon chipped in 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 31 minutes off the bench. P.J. Tucker finished with 15 points, three rebounds and two assists, off the bench. Trevor Ariza tallied 16 points, four rebounds and three assists. Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 23 points on9-of-14 shooting, 14 rebounds, four assists and one block, in 35 minutes. Jamal Crawford poured in 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, in 25 minutes off the bench. Jeff Teague added 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins chipped in 14 points and four rebounds, in 37 minutes. Jimmy Butler was quiet, with eight points, five rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal, in 29 minutes. Derrick Rose added 12 points off the bench.

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 12:43 AM ET