2012 NBA Playoffs

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The 2012 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2011–12 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat defeating the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. LeBron James was named NBA Finals MVP.

Except for the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz, the playoffs featured the same teams from 2011; all 8 from the East were the same as last year. They also all had records over .500, the first time since 2005. The Clippers made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, while Utah made it for the 5th time in the last 6 years, it was their first without Jerry Sloan as head coach since 1988.

The Indiana Pacers opened the playoffs at home for the first time since 2004, while the Memphis Grizzlies earned home-court advantage for the first time in franchise history. For the fourth time since 2006, a division winner (in this case the Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics) opened the playoffs on the road.

The defending champions Dallas Mavericks were swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder 4–0, becoming the third defending champion to be swept in the First Round after the Philadelphia Warriors in 1957 and Miami Heat in 2007, and second after Miami to be done so in a 7-game series. It was the first time the Mavericks were swept in a 7-game series, and only their second sweep since 1990.

The New York Knicks lost their 13th straight playoff game in Game 3 against the Heat, breaking Memphis' record from 2004–06 for the longest playoff losing streak.

The 8th-seeded Philadelphia 76ers defeated the 1st-seeded Bulls 4–2, becoming only the 5th team in NBA history to do so. Following the Grizzlies' 2011 upset of the 1st-seeded Spurs, this marked the first time in straight seasons an 8th-seed upset a #1 seed. The 76ers suffered the same fate as the Grizzlies, forcing the next series to a Game 7 but losing on the road.

Game 7 of the Lakers–Nuggets series ensured a 13th straight postseason with at least one Game 7 played. The last without one was the 1999 NBA Playoffs.

The Spurs became the fourth team and first from the West to go 8–0 through the playoffs' first two rounds following the 2003 change in the first round format to 7 games. The Heat in 2005, Cavs in 2009 and Magic in 2010, also went 8–0 through the first two rounds. In addition, all 3 lost Game 1 of their Conference Finals. The Spurs broke this trend by defeating the Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. By winning 20 straight games, they set an NBA record for the longest winning streak carried over from the regular season to the playoffs, which was broken with the Game 3 loss, and finished a win short of tying the longest unbeaten playoff run in a single postseason.1 They ended up losing the series 4–2 after leading 2–0.

The Chicago Bulls were eliminated after losing Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to injuries, and the New York Knicks lost to the Miami Heat while losing Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert to knee injuries. The Heat were not immune, losing Chris Bosh for most of the playoffs en route to their championship. Commissioner David Stern initially said there was no connection between the injuries and the lockout that compressed the regular season to 66-game in 124 days; however, he backed off those comments a week later, saying more research was needed.23

Format

The 6 division winners and 10 other teams with the most wins from each conference qualified for the playoffs. The seedings are based on each team's record; however, a division winner is guaranteed to be ranked at least fourth, regardless of record.

Tiebreak procedures

The tiebreakers that determine seedings are:

  1. Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division
  2. Head-to-head record
  3. Division record (if all the tied teams are in the same division)
  4. Conference record
  5. Record vs. playoff teams, own conference
  6. Record vs. playoff teams, other conference (only in 2-way tie)
  7. Point differential, all games

If there were more than two teams tied, the team that wins the tiebreaker gets the highest seed, while the other teams were "re-broken" from the first step until all ties were resolved. Since the three division winners were guaranteed a spot in the top four, ties to determine the division winners had to be broken before any other ties.4

Playoff qualifying

Eastern Conference

Seed Team Record Clinched
Playoff berth Division title Best record
in Conference
Best record
in NBA
1 Chicago Bulls 50–16 March 24 April 12 April 24 April 26
2 Miami Heat 46–20 April 3 April 15
3 Indiana Pacers 42–24 April 13
4 Boston Celtics 39–27 April 14 April 18
5 Atlanta Hawks 40–26 April 16
6 Orlando Magic 37–29 April 15
7 New York Knicks 36–30 April 19
8 Philadelphia 76ers 35–31 April 23

— = Did not achieve

Western Conference

Seed Team Record Clinched
Playoff berth Division title Best record
in Conference
Best record
in NBA
1 San Antonio Spurs 50–16 April 8 April 14 April 23
2 Oklahoma City Thunder 47–19 April 1 April 7
3 Los Angeles Lakers 41–25 April 13 April 24
4 Memphis Grizzlies 41–25 April 18
5 Los Angeles Clippers 40–26 April 16
6 Denver Nuggets 38–28 April 21
7 Dallas Mavericks 36–30 April 19
8 Utah Jazz 36–30 April 24

— = Did not achieve

Los Angeles Lakers clinched #3 seed over Memphis Grizzlies based on winning Pacific Division.

Dallas Mavericks clinched #7 seed over Utah Jazz based on head to head record (3–1).

Bracket

Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage belongs to the team with the better regular season record, regardless of seed. (If two teams with the same record meet in a round, the tiebreakers used are head-to-head and record vs. opposite conference.) Teams with home court advantage are shown in italics in the chart below.

First Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
                       
1 Chicago* 2
8 Philadelphia 4
8 Philadelphia 3
4 Boston 4
4 Boston* 4
5 Atlanta 2
4 Boston 3
Eastern Conference
2 Miami 4
3 Indiana 4
6 Orlando 1
3 Indiana 2
2 Miami 4
2 Miami* 4
7 New York 1
E2 Miami 4
W2 Oklahoma City 1
1 San Antonio* 4
8 Utah 0
1 San Antonio 4
5 L.A. Clippers 0
4 Memphis 3
5 L.A. Clippers 4
1 San Antonio 2
Western Conference
2 Oklahoma City 4
3 L.A. Lakers* 4
6 Denver 3
3 L.A. Lakers 1
2 Oklahoma City 4
2 Oklahoma City* 4
7 Dallas 0

Eastern Conference

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4)

First Round

(1) Chicago Bulls vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers

April 28
1:00 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 91, Chicago Bulls 103
Scoring by quarter: 24–28, 18–25, 24–26, 25–24
Pts: Elton Brand 19
Rebs: Elton Brand 7 , Jrue Holiday 7
Asts: Andre Iguodala 5 , Evan Turner 5
Pts: Derrick Rose 23
Rebs: Joakim Noah 13
Asts: Derrick Rose 9
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 21,943
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Jason Phillips, Michael Smith,
May 1
8:00 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 109, Chicago Bulls 92
Scoring by quarter: 25–28, 22–27, 36–14, 26–23
Pts: Jrue Holiday 26
Rebs: Lavoy Allen 9
Asts: Holiday, Turner, Williams 6 each
Pts: Joakim Noah 21
Rebs: Joakim Noah 8
Asts: Hamilton, Noah 5 each
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 22,067
Referees: Greg Willard, Courtney Kirkland, Rodney Mott,
May 4
8:00 pm
Chicago Bulls 74, Philadelphia 76ers 79
Scoring by quarter: 20–19, 19–21, 21–11, 14–28
Pts: Carlos Boozer 18
Rebs: Carlos Boozer 10
Asts: Richard Hamilton 7
Pts: Spencer Hawes 21
Rebs: Thaddeus Young 11
Asts: Jrue Holiday 6
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,381
Referees: Joe Crawford, Tony Brothers, Eric Lewis,
May 6
1:00 pm
Chicago Bulls 82, Philadelphia 76ers 89
Scoring by quarter: 15–24, 27–20, 21–20, 19–25
Pts: Carlos Boozer 23
Rebs: Taj Gibson 12
Asts: Boozer, Watson 4 each
Pts: Spencer Hawes 22
Rebs: Andre Iguodala 12
Asts: Jrue Holiday 6
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,412
Referees: Dan Crawford, Dick Bavetta, Marc Davis,
May 8
9:30 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 69, Chicago Bulls 77
Scoring by quarter: 16–17, 10–18, 22–22, 21–20
Pts: Jrue Holiday 16
Rebs: Spencer Hawes 14
Asts: Jrue Holiday 4
Pts: Luol Deng 24
Rebs: Carlos Boozer 13
Asts: C. J. Watson 7
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 22,093
Referees: Ken Mauer, Bill Kennedy, Leon Wood,
May 10
7:00 pm
Chicago Bulls 78, Philadelphia 76ers 79
Scoring by quarter: 22–24, 18–24, 23–15, 15–16
Pts: Deng, Hamilton 19 each
Rebs: Luol Deng 17
Asts: C. J. Watson 10
Pts: Andre Iguodala 20
Rebs: Spencer Hawes 10
Asts: Andre Iguodala 7
Philadelphia wins series, 4–2
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,362
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Ron Garretson, Sean Wright,

The Bulls came into the playoffs as the first overall seed for the second straight year. The 76ers, meanwhile, came into the playoffs as the team with the worst record in the playoffs. The Bulls made quick work of the 76ers, winning Game 1. However, with the Bulls leading by 12 with 1:20 to go in the fourth, Derrick Rose tore his ACL and he was ruled out for the playoffs, putting the Bulls championship hopes in serious jeopardy. The 76ers took the next three games to put the Bulls in the brink of elimination. In Game 3, Joakim Noah was injured when he stepped on Andre Iguodala's foot, ruling him out for the next two games. The Bulls staved off elimination by winning Game 5 at home. In Game 6, with the Bulls up 1 with 7 seconds to go, Ömer Aşık missed two crucial free-throws. Iguodala managed to rebound the ball and sprinted to the other side of the court. He got fouled by Aşık while going for a shot. Iguodala gave the 76ers the lead by making the free-throws. The Bulls, who were out of timeouts, had one last chance to force a Game 7 but C. J. Watson's halfcourt heave bounced off the back of the rim, giving the 76ers the series. They advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2003. The Bulls, meanwhile, became the fifth first-seeded team to be upset by the eighth-seed.

Regular-season series

Chicago won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

February 1, 2012
Chicago Bulls 82, Philadelphia 76ers 98
March 4, 2012
Chicago Bulls 96, Philadelphia 76ers 91
March 17, 2012
Philadelphia 76ers 80, Chicago Bulls 89

Last Playoffs meeting: 1991 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Chicago won 4–1).

(2) Miami Heat vs. (7) New York Knicks

April 28
3:30 pm
New York Knicks 67, Miami Heat 100
Scoring by quarter: 18–24, 13–30, 16–27, 20–19
Pts: J. R. Smith 17
Rebs: Carmelo Anthony 10
Asts: Carmelo Anthony 3
Pts: LeBron James 32
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 8
Asts: Mario Chalmers 9
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,621
Referees: Dan Crawford, Ed Malloy, Gary Zielinski,
April 30
7:00 pm
New York Knicks 94, Miami Heat 104
Scoring by quarter: 24–27, 23–26, 22–25, 25–26
Pts: Carmelo Anthony 30
Rebs: Carmelo Anthony 9
Asts: Baron Davis 6
Pts: Dwyane Wade 25
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 8
Asts: LeBron James 9
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,684
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bennie Adams, Bill Spooner,
May 3
7:00 pm
Miami Heat 87, New York Knicks 70
Scoring by quarter: 19–19, 17–21, 22–16, 29–14
Pts: LeBron James 32
Rebs: Chris Bosh 10
Asts: LeBron James 5
Pts: Carmelo Anthony 22
Rebs: Tyson Chandler 15
Asts: Baron Davis 3
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Attendance: 19,763
Referees: Mike Callahan, David Guthrie, Eddie F. Rush,
May 6
3:30 pm
Miami Heat 87, New York Knicks 89
Scoring by quarter: 18–20, 26–18, 17–26, 26–25
Pts: LeBron James 27
Rebs: Chris Bosh 9
Asts: Dwyane Wade 6
Pts: Carmelo Anthony 41
Rebs: Amar'e Stoudemire 10
Asts: Anthony, Smith 4 each
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Attendance: 19,763
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Derrick Collins, Tom Washington,
May 9
7:00 pm
New York Knicks 94, Miami Heat 106
Scoring by quarter: 24–28, 20–27, 23–26, 27–25
Pts: Carmelo Anthony 35
Rebs: Tyson Chandler 11
Asts: Mike Bibby 6
Pts: LeBron James 29
Rebs: LeBron James 8
Asts: LeBron James 7
Miami wins series, 4–1
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,754
Referees: Greg Willard, James Capers, John Goble

The Heat defeated the Knicks in Game 1 by 33 points. Game 2 was much closer, even without Knicks' starting rookie guard Iman Shumpert who suffered an ACL injury the previous game, but the Heat still won by 10. In Game 3 in MSG, the Heat found themselves on the wrong end in the first half, trailing by as much as 11 points, before closing the half with a 7–0 run. The Heat led by 2 after the 3rd quarter. However, LeBron James quickly sparked an 8–0 run to start the 4th quarter, giving them a 10-point lead. The Knicks never recovered. James himself outscored the Knicks in the fourth, 17–14. By losing Game 3, the Knicks set a new league record by losing 13 straight playoff games, their last win coming April 29, 2001, in their series versus the Raptors.5 In Game 4, Knicks' starting guard Baron Davis injured himself in the third quarter and had to be carried off the court on a stretcher. But led by Carmelo Anthony's 41, the Knicks won 89–87, escaping a sweep as Wade's potential series-winning 3 missed at the buzzer. In Game 5, the Knicks started strong but Miami took over the rest of the way. The Heat led by 11 at the end of the first half. The Heat never squandered the lead, effectively sealing the game and the series with a 3-pointer by Battier that gave the Heat a 14-point lead with a minute left in the game. The Knicks were led by Anthony's 35. Amar'e Stoudemire, meanwhile, was plagued by foul trouble. He fouled out with about 4 minutes left in the game.

Regular-season series

Miami won 3–0 in the regular-season series:

January 27, 2012
New York Knicks 89, Miami Heat 99
February 23, 2012
New York Knicks 88, Miami Heat 102
April 15, 2012
Miami Heat 93, New York Knicks 85

Last Playoffs meeting: 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals (New York won 4–3).

(3) Indiana Pacers vs. (6) Orlando Magic

April 28
7:00 pm
Orlando Magic 81, Indiana Pacers 77
Scoring by quarter: 21–22, 30–22, 13–19, 17–14
Pts: Nelson, Richardson 17 each
Rebs: Glen Davis 13
Asts: Jameer Nelson 9
Pts: David West 19
Rebs: Roy Hibbert 13
Asts: Darren Collison 5
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,165
Referees: Ken Mauer, David Jones, Leon Wood,
April 30
7:30 pm
Orlando Magic 78, Indiana Pacers 93
Scoring by quarter: 21–24, 23–18, 13–30, 21–21
Pts: Glen Davis 18
Rebs: Glen Davis 10
Asts: Nelson, Redick, Richardson 3 each
Pts: Granger, Hill, West 18 each
Rebs: Roy Hibbert 13
Asts: David West 4
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,165
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Bill Kennedy, Gary Zielinski,
May 2
7:30 pm
Indiana Pacers 97, Orlando Magic 74
Scoring by quarter: 23–14, 21–24, 32–17, 21–19
Pts: Danny Granger 26
Rebs: Roy Hibbert 10
Asts: Paul George 4
Pts: Glen Davis 22
Rebs: Quentin Richardson 10
Asts: Jameer Nelson 5
Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 18,846
Referees: Dan Crawford, Bennie Adams, Bill Spooner,
May 5
2:00 pm
Indiana Pacers 101, Orlando Magic 99 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 22–19, 24–25, 27–17, 16–28OT: 12–10
Pts: David West 26
Rebs: David West 12
Asts: Darren Collison 9
Pts: Jason Richardson 25
Rebs: Glen Davis 11
Asts: Jameer Nelson 11
Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: 18,846
Referees: Mike Callahan, Ed Malloy, Violet Palmer,
May 8
7:00 pm
Orlando Magic 87, Indiana Pacers 105
Scoring by quarter: 19–28, 28–22, 24–19, 16–36
Pts: Jameer Nelson 27
Rebs: Glen Davis 8
Asts: Jameer Nelson 5
Pts: Danny Granger 25
Rebs: David West 8
Asts: Darren Collison 6
Indiana wins series, 4–1
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,165
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Marc Davis, David Guthrie,

The Pacers were considered the heavy favorites in the series as the Magic would try to defeat the Pacers without Dwight Howard. The Magic defied the odds in Game 1, as the Pacers went scoreless in the final 4 minutes of the game, allowing the Magic to go on an 11–0 run to finish the game and take a 1–0 series lead. The Pacers quickly took revenge, winning the next two games at home and on the road by an average of 19 points. Game 4 was close, with the game going to overtime. However, George Hill hit two free-throws with 2 seconds left to give the Pacers a 3–1 lead in the series. Game 5 was close throughout the first three quarters, with Magic taking a two-point lead heading to the 4th quarter. However, Indiana outscored the Magic 36–16 in the fourth to give the Pacers the series victory 4–1.

Regular-season series

Orlando won 3–1 in the regular-season series:

January 24, 2012
Orlando Magic 102, Indiana Pacers 83
January 29, 2012
Indiana Pacers 106, Orlando Magic 85
February 4, 2012
Orlando Magic 85, Indiana Pacers 81
March 11, 2012
Indiana Pacers 94, Orlando Magic 107

Last Playoffs meeting: 1995 Eastern Conference Finals (Orlando won 4–3).

(4) Boston Celtics vs. (5) Atlanta Hawks

April 29
7:00 pm
Boston Celtics 74, Atlanta Hawks 83
Scoring by quarter: 18–31, 17–18, 18–16, 21–18
Pts: Garnett, Rondo 20 each
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 12
Asts: Rajon Rondo 11
Pts: Josh Smith 22
Rebs: Josh Smith 18
Asts: Joe Johnson 5
Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 19,292
Referees: Mike Callahan, Marc Davis, John Goble,
May 1
7:30 pm
Boston Celtics 87, Atlanta Hawks 80
Scoring by quarter: 24–24, 17–20, 20–22, 26–14
Pts: Paul Pierce 36
Rebs: Paul Pierce 14
Asts: Kevin Garnett 5
Pts: Joe Johnson 22
Rebs: Josh Smith 12
Asts: Johnson, Smith 5 each
Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 19,308
Referees: Scott Foster, Ed Malloy, Scott Wall,
May 4
7:30 pm
Atlanta Hawks 84, Boston Celtics 90 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 19–17, 19–23, 20–20, 22–20, OT: 4–10
Pts: Joe Johnson 29
Rebs: Marvin Williams 11
Asts: Jeff Teague 6
Pts: Paul Pierce 21
Rebs: Rajon Rondo 14
Asts: Rajon Rondo 12
May 6
7:00 pm
Atlanta Hawks 79, Boston Celtics 101
Scoring by quarter: 19–32, 22–32, 22–26, 16–11
Pts: Josh Smith 15
Rebs: Josh Smith 13
Asts: Josh Smith 5
Pts: Paul Pierce 24
Rebs: Allen, Bass, Garnett 5 each
Asts: Rajon Rondo 16
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Joe Crawford, Tony Brothers, Pat Fraher,
May 8
8:00 pm
Boston Celtics 86, Atlanta Hawks 87
Scoring by quarter: 21–15, 19–25, 24–26, 22–21
Pts: Garnett, Pierce 16 each
Rebs: Bass, Garnett 7 each
Asts: Rajon Rondo 12
Pts: Al Horford 19
Rebs: Josh Smith 16
Asts: Josh Smith 6
Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 19,319
Referees: Dan Crawford, David Jones, Tom Washington,
May 10
8:00 pm
Atlanta Hawks 80, Boston Celtics 83
Scoring by quarter: 23–20, 18–27, 22–20, 17–16
Pts: Josh Smith 18
Rebs: Horford, Smith 9 each
Asts: Jeff Teague 6
Pts: Kevin Garnett 28
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 14
Asts: Rajon Rondo 8
Boston wins series, 4–2
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Bill Kennedy, Eric Lewis,

The Hawks had homecourt advantage for the series despite being the lower seeded team by having the better season-record of the two; the Celtics took the 4th-seed by winning their division title. The Hawks won Game 1 by nine points, but the Celtics took the next three games, pushing the Hawks to the brink of elimination. Games 2 and 3 were close victories for the Celtics with Game 4 being a blowout victory for them. Game 5 in Atlanta was a close one. In the final seconds, with the Hawks up by one, Rajon Rondo stole an inbound pass, giving the Celtics a chance to finish off the Hawks. However, Josh Smith stripped a Rondo pass intended for Kevin Garnett, letting the Hawks survive and force a Game 6. In Game 6, Garnett led the Celtics to an 83–80 victory and advance. The Hawks had a chance to tie the game through free throws. However, Al Horford missed his first free throw that could have cut the lead to one. It was the Hawks' only miss at the free throw line the entire night. He made his second to cut it to one and the Hawks quickly fouled Paul Pierce. Pierce made both free throws to extend Celtics' lead to 3. With a chance to tie the game, Jeff Teague fumbled a pass, sealing the Hawks' demise.

Regular-season series

Boston won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

March 19, 2012
Boston Celtics 79, Atlanta Hawks 76
April 11, 2012
Atlanta Hawks 86, Boston Celtics 88
April 20, 2012
Boston Celtics 92, Atlanta Hawks 97

Last Playoffs meeting: 2008 Eastern Conference First Round (Boston won 4–3).

Conference Semifinals

(2) Miami Heat vs. (3) Indiana Pacers

May 13
3:30 pm
Indiana Pacers 86, Miami Heat 95
Scoring by quarter: 23–20, 25–22, 22–28, 16–25
Pts: Hibbert, West 17 each
Rebs: David West 12
Asts: Darren Collison 6
Pts: LeBron James 32
Rebs: LeBron James 15
Asts: LeBron James 5
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,600
Referees: Scott Foster, Tom Washington, Sean Wright,
May 15
7:00 pm
Indiana Pacers 78, Miami Heat 75
Scoring by quarter: 17–21, 16–17, 28–14, 17–23
Pts: David West 16
Rebs: George, Hibbert 11 each
Asts: Danny Granger 3
Pts: LeBron James 28
Rebs: LeBron James 9
Asts: LeBron James 5
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,828
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bennie Adams, Ed Malloy,
May 17
7:00 pm
Miami Heat 75, Indiana Pacers 94
Scoring by quarter: 26–17, 17–26, 12–26, 20–25
Pts: Mario Chalmers 25
Rebs: Ronny Turiaf 8
Asts: Mario Chalmers 5
Pts: George Hill 20
Rebs: Roy Hibbert 18
Asts: George Hill 5
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,165
Referees: Dan Crawford, Tony Brothers,
May 20
3:30 pm
Miami Heat 101, Indiana Pacers 93
Scoring by quarter: 18–25, 28–29, 30–16, 25–23
Pts: LeBron James 40
Rebs: LeBron James 18
Asts: LeBron James 9
Pts: Danny Granger 20
Rebs: Roy Hibbert 9
Asts: Paul George 5
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,165
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Mike Callahan, Bill Kennedy,
May 22
8:00 pm
Indiana Pacers 83, Miami Heat 115
Scoring by quarter: 20–26, 20–23, 17–27, 26–39
Pts: Paul George 11
Rebs: Roy Hibbert 12
Asts: Paul George 3
Pts: LeBron James 30
Rebs: Mario Chalmers 11
Asts: LeBron James 8
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 20,097
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Jason Phillips, Greg Willard,
May 24
8:00 pm
Miami Heat 105, Indiana Pacers 93
Scoring by quarter: 21–28, 30–25, 28–16, 26–24
Pts: Dwyane Wade 41
Rebs: Dwyane Wade 10
Asts: LeBron James 7
Pts: David West 24
Rebs: Paul George 10
Asts: George Hill 5
Miami wins series, 4–2
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 18,165
Referees: Scott Foster, Marc Davis, Ken Mauer,

Even though the Heat won the regular season series, 3–1, this playoff series was expected to be a close one. In Game 1, the Heat took a major blow when Chris Bosh got injured in the first half. He was expected to be out for the rest of the series. However, LeBron and Wade took over in the second half to give the Heat the win, 95–86. In Game 2, the Heat started strong, at one point taking a 9-point lead. The Pacers answered that by outscoring the Heat 28–14 in the third quarter to take an 11-point lead going to the fourth quarter. The Heat would comeback, taking a 72–71 lead with 4:11 to go. However, with LeBron and Wade missing key chances, the Pacers tied the series with a 78–75 win. Game 3 marked one of the worst playoff games for Wade, as he scored just 5 points on 2/13 shooting. Without Wade's contribution, the Heat found themselves down in the series 2–1 as the Pacers blew out the Heat 94–75. Before Game 4, the Heat regrouped and refocused on the series. The result was a 101–93 victory over the Pacers in Game 4 to tie the series at 2. LeBron scored 40 in the game, to go along with 18 rebounds and 9 assists. Wade recovered from his terrible Game 3 performance by scoring 30. In Game 5, it was the Pacers who took the major blow when Danny Granger got injured in the second quarter by stepping on LeBron's foot. He tried to come back in the third quarter but he aggravated his injury after fouling James. Then, after the third period, West left the game with a knee injury. Without Granger and West, the Pacers were unable to stop the Heat, as the Heat won 115–83 to take a 3–2 series lead, putting them a win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. In Game 6, West and Granger started for the Pacers despite their injuries. The Pacers started strong, even taking a 19–8 lead in the first quarter. However, the third quarter was decisive, with the Heat outscoring the Pacers 28–16 to take a 79–69 lead going to the fourth quarter. Led by Wade's 41 and LeBron's 28, the Heat never looked back as they won three straight, 105–93, to take the series, 4–2.

Regular-season series

Miami won 3–1 in the regular-season series:

January 4, 2012
Indiana Pacers 83, Miami Heat 118
February 14, 2012
Miami Heat 105, Indiana Pacers 90
March 10, 2012
Indiana Pacers 91, Miami Heat 93
March 26, 2012
Miami Heat 90, Indiana Pacers 105

Last Playoffs meeting: 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Indiana won 4–2).

(4) Boston Celtics vs (8) Philadelphia 76ers

May 12
8:00 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 91, Boston Celtics 92
Scoring by quarter: 28–18, 19–24, 24–25, 20–25
Pts: Andre Iguodala 19
Rebs: Evan Turner 10
Asts: Andre Iguodala 6
Pts: Kevin Garnett 29
Rebs: Rajon Rondo 12
Asts: Rajon Rondo 17
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Greg Willard, James Capers, David Jones,
May 14
7:00 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 82, Boston Celtics 81
Scoring by quarter: 21–25, 15–13, 21–11, 25–32
Pts: Jrue Holiday 18
Rebs: Spencer Hawes 10
Asts: Andre Iguodala 7
Pts: Ray Allen 17
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 12
Asts: Rajon Rondo 13
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Dan Crawford, Jason Phillips, Michael Smith,
May 16
7:00 pm
Boston Celtics 107, Philadelphia 76ers 91
Scoring by quarter: 28–33, 32–16, 29–17, 18–25
Pts: Kevin Garnett 27
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 13
Asts: Rajon Rondo 14
Pts: Thaddeus Young 22
Rebs: Evan Turner 8
Asts: Jrue Holiday 9
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,351
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Mike Callahan, Eric Lewis,
May 18
8:00 pm
Boston Celtics 83, Philadelphia 76ers 92
Scoring by quarter: 24–12, 22–19, 17–28, 20–33
Pts: Paul Pierce 24
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 11
Asts: Rajon Rondo 15
Pts: Iguodala, Turner 16 each
Rebs: Lavoy Allen 10
Asts: Louis Williams 8
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,411
Referees: Scott Foster, Bill Kennedy, Bill Spooner,
May 21
7:00 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 85, Boston Celtics 101
Scoring by quarter: 27–23, 23–24, 16–28, 19–26
Pts: Elton Brand 19
Rebs: Evan Turner 10
Asts: Jrue Holiday 7
Pts: Brandon Bass 27
Rebs: Bass, Garnett 6 each
Asts: Rajon Rondo 14
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Ken Mauer, Ed Malloy, Rodney Mott,
May 23
8:00 pm
Boston Celtics 75, Philadelphia 76ers 82
Scoring by quarter: 19–22, 17–11, 20–27, 19–22
Pts: Paul Pierce 24
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 11
Asts: Rajon Rondo 6
Pts: Jrue Holiday 20
Rebs: Elton Brand 10
Asts: Holiday, Williams 6 each
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 20,403
Referees: Joe Crawford, James Capers, Ron Garretson,
May 26
8:00 pm
Philadelphia 76ers 75, Boston Celtics 85
Scoring by quarter: 20–20, 13–21, 19–14, 23–30
Pts: Andre Iguodala 18
Rebs: Thaddeus Young 10
Asts: Jrue Holiday 9
Pts: Garnett, Rondo 18 each
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 13
Asts: Rajon Rondo 10
Boston wins series, 4–3
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers, Mike Callahan,

The Sixers came off fresh of an upset over the injury-laden Bulls. Both the Celtics and the Sixers clinched their first round series on the same day. In Game 1, Rondo had another triple-double, but the Sixers held a 10-point lead with 10:53 left in the fourth quarter. However, the Celtics eventually came back, winning Game 1 by a point to take a 1–0 series lead. On the final possession, the Sixers were unable to foul a speedy Rondo, who dribbled off the clock. Game 2 saw the visitors lead for most of the game. With the Sixers leading 78–75 with 12 seconds to go, the Celtics squandered a chance to tie the game, as Garnett was called for an offensive foul. The Sixers would then hit their final four free-throws to tie the series at 1 going back to Philadelphia. In Game 3, the Sixers held their last lead with 9:09 left in the second quarter as the Celtics would takeover the rest of the game to lead them to a 2–1 series advantage. In Game 4, the Celtics would lead by as much as 18 in the third quarter. Facing the prospect of trailing 1–3 in the series, the Sixers would eventually come back to take the game from the Celtics and tie the series going back to Boston. Game 5 saw Brandon Bass score 27 points, including 18 in the third quarter as the Celtics blew out the Sixers, 101–85, to push them a win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Before the start of Game 6, Allen Iverson presented the game ball, prompting huge cheers from the crowd. It was enough to motivate the Sixers to defeat the Celtics 82–75 to force a Game 7. Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, including two huge free-throws with 31 seconds to go to put the game away. Game 7 was a tight contest, with the two teams going back-and-forth. Paul Pierce fouled out late in the fourth quarter. But Rondo had his second triple-double of the series, including a huge fourth quarter that helped the Celtics advance to the Conference Finals to face the Miami Heat.

Regular-season series

Philadelphia won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

March 7, 2012
Boston Celtics 71, Philadelphia 76ers 103
March 23, 2012
Boston Celtics 86, Philadelphia 76ers 99
April 8, 2012
Philadelphia 76ers 79, Boston Celtics 103

Last Playoffs meeting: 2002 Eastern Conference First Round (Boston won 3–2)

Conference Finals: (2) Miami Heat vs. (4) Boston Celtics

May 28
8:30 pm
Boston Celtics 79, Miami Heat 93
Scoring by quarter: 11–21, 35–25, 15–26, 18–21
Pts: Kevin Garnett 23
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 10
Asts: Rajon Rondo 7
Pts: LeBron James 32
Rebs: LeBron James 13
Asts: Dwyane Wade 7
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,912
Referees: Dan Crawford, Ed Malloy, Jason Phillips,
May 30
8:30 pm
Boston Celtics 111, Miami Heat 115 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 24–18, 29–28, 22–35, 24–18, OT: 12–16
Pts: Rajon Rondo 44
Rebs: Brandon Bass 10
Asts: Rajon Rondo 10
Pts: LeBron James 34
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 11
Asts: LeBron James 7
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 19,973
Referees: Ken Mauer, James Capers, Tom Washington,
June 1
8:30 pm
Miami Heat 91, Boston Celtics 101
Scoring by quarter: 28–30, 14–25, 21–30, 28–16
Pts: LeBron James 34
Rebs: LeBron James 8
Asts: Mario Chalmers 6
Pts: Kevin Garnett 24
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 11
Asts: Rajon Rondo 10
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Scott Foster, Mike Callahan, Rodney Mott
June 3
8:30 pm
Miami Heat 91, Boston Celtics 93 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 23–34, 24–27, 21–12, 21–16, OT: 2–4
Pts: LeBron James 29
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 17
Asts: Dwyane Wade 6
Pts: Paul Pierce 23
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 14
Asts: Rajon Rondo 15
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bill Kennedy, Greg Willard,
June 5
8:30 pm
Boston Celtics 94, Miami Heat 90
Scoring by quarter: 16–24, 24–18, 25–18, 29–30
Pts: Kevin Garnett 26
Rebs: Kevin Garnett 11
Asts: Rajon Rondo 13
Pts: LeBron James 30
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 14
Asts: Chalmers, Wade 3 each
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 20,021
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Ron Garretson, Derrick Stafford,
June 7
8:30 pm
Miami Heat 98, Boston Celtics 79
Scoring by quarter: 26–16, 29–26, 19–19, 24–18
Pts: LeBron James 45
Rebs: LeBron James 15
Asts: LeBron James 5
Pts: Rajon Rondo 21
Rebs: Brandon Bass 7
Asts: Rajon Rondo 10
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 18,624
Referees: Dan Crawford, Tony Brothers, Tom Washington
June 9
8:30 pm
Boston Celtics 88, Miami Heat 101
Scoring by quarter: 27–23, 26–23, 20–27, 15–28
Pts: Rajon Rondo 22
Rebs: Rajon Rondo 10
Asts: Rajon Rondo 14
Pts: LeBron James 31
Rebs: LeBron James 12
Asts: Mario Chalmers 7
Miami wins series 4–3
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 20,114
Referees: Joe Crawford, Mike Callahan, Scott Foster

This series marked the third straight year that the Heat and Celtics faced each other in the playoffs. They faced each other in the Eastern Conference First Round in 2010 (won by the Celtics, 4–1) and in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2011 (won by the Heat, 4–1). In addition, Wade and LeBron faced the Celtics for the third straight year in the playoffs. The LeBron-led Cavs also faced the Celtics in 2010 only to be defeated 4–2, which led to James' arrival on the Heat. In Game 1, the Celtics started poorly, scoring only 11 points in the first quarter. The Heat had a 10-point lead after 1. The Celtics were hot in the second, scoring 35 points en rout to tying the game at halftime. Behind a big second half, the Heat eventually defeated the Celtics 93–79 to take a 1–0 series lead. Game 2 was very different, with the Celtics starting very strong. Midway through the second quarter, a Rondo jumper extended their lead to 15. However, the Heat cut it to 7 at halftime. Miami had another big 3rd quarter. With the Celtics up 71–66 with 4:24 left in the third, a block by Wade on Allen ignited a 15–4 run by the Heat to end the quarter, as they took a 6-point lead heading into the fourth. The fourth quarter was close. With Miami leading 99–96 with 34 seconds left, Allen made a 3 to tie it. It eventually sent the game to OT, with James missing two chances to win the game. Miami eventually won 115–111 to take a 2–0 series lead. Rondo led the Celtics with a career-high 44 points, along with 8 rebounds and 10 assists. There was controversy in regards to the officiating as the Heat shot 18 more free throws, the Celtics committed 33 fouls to the Heat's 18, as well as a play in overtime in a tie game where Rondo was hit in the head by Wade and no foul was called, leading to a fast break dunk for Udonis Haslem. In Game 3, the Celtics got strong performances from Rondo, Garnett, and Pierce. LeBron was also hot in the first quarter, scoring 16 points and making 7 of his first 9 shots. However, despite this performance, the second and third quarters were decisive, with the Celtics outscoring the Heat a combined 55–35 in the two quarters as they had an 85–63 lead heading into the fourth. Miami made a comeback, hitting 3's and dunks to cut the lead to 8. However, Boston held on for a 101–91 victory to make it 2–1. Game 4 was the same story, with the Celtics hitting several 3's and putting on a lead as big as 18. Miami tried another comeback in the third and fourth quarters. Unlike Game 3, they took the lead. Boston answered back, holding a 3-point lead in the final minute before James hit a 3 to tie it with 36 seconds left. This led to the second overtime game of the series. It was a low-scoring affair in OT, with both teams only making one field goal. With 4:22 left, Pierce fouled out, giving Miami a big chance. However, James fouled out with 1:51 left. The Celtics still held a 2-point lead in the dying seconds, but Wade missed a potential game-winning 3 at the buzzer, giving the Celtics a 93–91 win to tie the series going back to Miami. Celtics proceeded to lead the series, 3–2, with a 94–90 win in Game 5. In the game, Bosh returned for the first time since he got injured in Game 1 of the Heat-Pacers series but was not much of a help on the offensive end. He came off the bench in the game and scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 14 minutes played. With the Celtics leading by 1 with less than a minute to go, Pierce knocked down a crucial three-pointer that gave the Celtics the lead for good. The Heat prevented a celebration from happening in Game 6 with a 98–79 blowout win at Boston to send the series back to Miami for a seventh and deciding game. James had one of his best playoff games, scoring 45 points and getting 15 rebounds, 30 of his 45 came in the first half alone. In Game 7, the Celtics started strong. In the second quarter, Garnett picked up his third foul, giving the Heat a chance to try and take a lead. However, Bass led a run that pushed the Celtics' lead to 11. The Celtics would still have a 7-point lead at halftime. The third quarter was decisive once again, letting the Heat tie the game going to the fourth quarter, which was even more decisive. With the Celtics leading by 1 with 8 minutes left, James had a dunk that gave the Heat the lead. It was soon followed by Bosh's third three-pointer of the night (a career-high three 3 pointers) that gave the Heat the lead for good. The Celtics never recovered as the Heat booked a return trip to the Finals with a 101–88 Game 7 win in Miami.

Regular-season series

Boston won 3–1 in the regular-season series:

December 27, 2011
Boston Celtics 107, Miami Heat 115
April 1, 2012
Miami Heat 72, Boston Celtics 91
April 10, 2012
Boston Celtics 115, Miami Heat 107
April 24, 2012
Miami Heat 66, Boston Celtics 78

Last Playoffs meeting: 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Miami won 4–1).

Western Conference

First Round

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Utah Jazz

April 29
1:00 pm
Utah Jazz 91, San Antonio Spurs 106
Scoring by quarter: 22–28, 25–26, 23–31, 21–21
Pts: Paul Millsap 20
Rebs: Jefferson, Millsap 9 each
Asts: Jamaal Tinsley 5
Pts: Tony Parker 28
Rebs: Tim Duncan 11
Asts: Tony Parker 8
May 2
7:00 pm
Utah Jazz 83, San Antonio Spurs 114
Scoring by quarter: 17–28, 11–25, 25–34, 30–27
Pts: Howard, Jefferson 10 each
Rebs: Enes Kanter 10
Asts: Gordon Hayward 4
Pts: Tony Parker 18
Rebs: Tim Duncan 13
Asts: Tony Parker 9
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 18,581
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Tony Brown, Bill Kennedy,
May 5
10:00 pm
San Antonio Spurs 102, Utah Jazz 90
Scoring by quarter: 30–28, 22–22, 23–18, 27–22
Pts: Tony Parker 27
Rebs: Tiago Splitter 8
Asts: Manu Ginóbili 10
Pts: Harris, Jefferson 21 each
Rebs: Favors, Jefferson, Millsap 11 each
Asts: Harris, Hayward 5 each
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 19,911
Referees: Ken Mauer, James Capers, Leon Wood,
May 7
8:00 pm
San Antonio Spurs 87, Utah Jazz 81
Scoring by quarter: 22–19, 28–23, 18–16, 19–23
Pts: Manu Ginóbili 17
Rebs: Stephen Jackson 6
Asts: Tony Parker 3
Pts: Al Jefferson 26
Rebs: Paul Millsap 19
Asts: Devin Harris 7
San Antonio wins series, 4–0
EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 19,911
Referees: Scott Foster, John Goble, Jason Phillips,

The Spurs were touted the heavy favorites in the series, following their 10-game winning streak to end the regular season and their 3–1 season series victory over the Jazz. They quickly worked their way through the Jazz, scoring 31 points in the third quarter to blow the game open. They eventually won Game 1 106–91. In Game 2, the Spurs shot 10 three-pointers and shot more than 50% as they blew out the Jazz 114–83 to take a 2–0 series lead. Game 3 was close throughout the first half, with the Spurs leading only by 2 after the first half. However, the Spurs blew the game open in the second half and won by 12 to take a 3–0 lead in the series. The odds were stacked against the Jazz as no team in NBA history have managed to win a series after trailing 3–0. Notably, before Game 4 had even been played, Jazz forward Al Jefferson commented that he didn't think any team would defeat the Spurs6 In Game 4, it seemed like the Spurs would complete the sweep when they had a 21-point lead. However, the Jazz eventually cut the lead to just 4 with 49.4 seconds left in the fourth. However, Tony Parker and Manu Ginóbili eventually sealed the series by stealing the ball and scoring on a basket respectively. The Spurs eventually completed the sweep, winning Game 4 by 6.

Regular-season series

San Antonio won 3–1 in the regular-season series:

December 31, 2011
Utah Jazz 89, San Antonio Spurs 104
February 20, 2012
San Antonio Spurs 106, Utah Jazz 102
April 8, 2012
Utah Jazz 104, San Antonio Spurs 114
April 9, 2012
San Antonio Spurs 84, Utah Jazz 91

Last Playoffs meeting: 2007 Western Conference Finals (San Antonio won 4–1).

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks

April 28
9:30 pm
Dallas Mavericks 98, Oklahoma City Thunder 99
Scoring by quarter: 26–22, 25–26, 22–21, 25–30
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 25
Rebs: Shawn Marion 8
Asts: Kidd, Terry 5 each
Pts: Russell Westbrook 28
Rebs: Kendrick Perkins 8
Asts: Russell Westbrook 5
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Joe Crawford, Tony Brothers, David Guthrie,
April 30
9:30 pm
Dallas Mavericks 99, Oklahoma City Thunder 102
Scoring by quarter: 24–32, 26–25, 27–22, 22–23
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 31
Rebs: Shawn Marion 8
Asts: Jason Kidd 7
Pts: Russell Westbrook 29
Rebs: Kevin Durant 10
Asts: James Harden 5
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Ken Mauer, James Capers, Zach Zarba,
May 3
9:30 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 95, Dallas Mavericks 79
Scoring by quarter: 32–26, 18–15, 25–16, 20–22
Pts: Kevin Durant 31
Rebs: Serge Ibaka 11
Asts: Kevin Durant 6
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 17
Rebs: Shawn Marion 10
Asts: Jason Terry 6
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,640
Referees: Greg Willard, Marc Davis, David Jones,
May 5
7:30 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 103, Dallas Mavericks 97
Scoring by quarter: 26–24, 21–23, 21–34, 35–16
Pts: James Harden 29
Rebs: Kevin Durant 11
Asts: Russell Westbrook 6
Pts: Dirk Nowitzki 34
Rebs: Vince Carter 8
Asts: Jason Kidd 8
Oklahoma City wins series, 4–0
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 20,533
Referees: Scott Foster, Bill Spooner, Sean Wright,

The Mavericks came into the playoffs only as the 7th-seed, one of the lowest placements for a defending champion. Game 1 was a very close affair, with both teams going back and forth in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. However, Kevin Durant scored on a one-handed jumper with just about 1 second remaining. The Mavs still tried to win but Shawn Marion failed to get a shot off at the buzzer, giving the Thunder a one-point victory and a 1–0 series lead. Game 2 was also a close one but the Thunder held on and managed to squeak a 102–99 win and 2–0 series lead over the defending champs. In Game 3, the Mavs were no match for the Thunder, with the Thunder eventually blowing out the defending champs 95–79 to send the Mavs into the brink of a sweep. In Game 4, it looked as if the Mavs would stave off elimination when they led by 13 at the end of the third quarter. However, the Thunder outscored the Mavs 35–16 in the fourth and held on for a 103–97 victory over the Mavs. Following the sweep, the Mavs became just the 3rd defending champion to be swept in the first round.

Regular-season series

Oklahoma City won 3–1 in the regular-season series:

December 29, 2011
Dallas Mavericks 102, Oklahoma City Thunder 104
January 2, 2012
Oklahoma City Thunder 87, Dallas Mavericks 100
February 1, 2012
Oklahoma City Thunder 95, Dallas Mavericks 86
March 5, 2012
Dallas Mavericks 91, Oklahoma City Thunder 95

Last Playoffs meeting: 2011 Western Conference Finals (Dallas won 4–1).

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Denver Nuggets

April 29
3:30 pm
Denver Nuggets 88, Los Angeles Lakers 103
Scoring by quarter: 14–27, 26–23, 24–27, 24–26
Pts: Danilo Gallinari 19
Rebs: Faried, Miller 8 each
Asts: Andre Miller 7
Pts: Kobe Bryant 31
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 13
Asts: Pau Gasol 8
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Scott Foster, Derrick Collins, Ron Garretson,
May 1
10:30 pm
Denver Nuggets 100, Los Angeles Lakers 104
Scoring by quarter: 25–32, 23–23, 26–26, 26–23
Pts: Ty Lawson 25
Rebs: Kenneth Faried 10
Asts: Andre Miller 8
Pts: Kobe Bryant 38
Rebs: Hill, Gasol 10 each
Asts: Pau Gasol 5
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Pat Fraher, Tom Washington,
May 4
10:30 pm
Los Angeles Lakers 84, Denver Nuggets 99
Scoring by quarter: 14–30, 25–25, 26–17, 19–27
Pts: Kobe Bryant 22
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 12
Asts: Bryant, Sessions 6 each
Pts: Ty Lawson 25
Rebs: Faried, McGee 15 each
Asts: Ty Lawson 7
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 19,155
Referees: Dan Crawford, Jason Phillips, Michael Smith,
May 6
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Lakers 92, Denver Nuggets 88
Scoring by quarter: 26–28, 19–23, 25–20, 22–17
Pts: Kobe Bryant 22
Rebs: Jordan Hill 11
Asts: Bryant, Gasol 6 each
Pts: Danilo Gallinari 20
Rebs: Faried, Miller 7 each
Asts: Ty Lawson 6
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 19,155
Referees: Greg Willard, David Jones, Bill Kennedy,
May 8
10:30 pm
Denver Nuggets 102, Los Angeles Lakers 99
Scoring by quarter: 26–23, 23–20, 27–22, 26–34
Pts: Andre Miller 24
Rebs: JaVale McGee 14
Asts: Lawson, Miller 8 each
Pts: Kobe Bryant 43
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 11
Asts: Ramon Sessions 6
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Joe Crawford, Tony Brothers, Zach Zarba,
May 10
10:30 pm
Los Angeles Lakers 96, Denver Nuggets 113
Scoring by quarter: 20–30, 25–24, 23–36, 28–23
Pts: Kobe Bryant 31
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 16
Asts: Kobe Bryant 4
Pts: Ty Lawson 32
Rebs: Kenneth Faried 11
Asts: Afflalo, Gallinari 7 each
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 19,770
Referees: Ken Mauer, Ed Malloy, Rodney Mott,
May 12
10:30 pm
Denver Nuggets 87, Los Angeles Lakers 96
Scoring by quarter: 24–25, 18–23, 26–21, 19–27
Pts: Lawson, Harrington 24 each
Rebs: JaVale McGee 14
Asts: Andre Miller 8
Pts: Pau Gasol 23
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 18
Asts: Kobe Bryant 8
L.A. Lakers wins series, 4–3
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Mike Callahan, Bill Spooner,

The Lakers won the opening game 103–88 after Andrew Bynum had a triple-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots. The blocked shots broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's franchise record of nine, and tied the NBA playoff record set by Mark Eaton and Hakeem Olajuwon. Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and Pau Gasol added 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.7 The Lakers then won a close Game 2 but the Nuggets proceeded to blow out the Lakers in Game 3 99–84 to prevent the Lakers from taking a commanding 3–0 lead. Game 4 was close but Sessions and Blake hit pivotal 3's to put the Lakers in the lead for good and take a 3–1 series lead. Before Game 5, Bynum said that "Close-out games are actually kind of easy."8 The Nuggets responded by taking Game 5 102–99. The game saw the Lakers erase a 90–75 deficit with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter. In Game 6, Bryant played despite having a stomach illness, but still managed to score 31 points. However, with little contribution from Gasol and Bynum, the Nuggets forced Game 7 with a 113–96 blowout win over the Lakers. The Lakers won the series 4–3, and avoided becoming the ninth team in NBA history to be eliminated after blowing a 3–1 series lead. Gasol had 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, Bynum had 16 points and a playoff career-high 18 rebounds, and Steve Blake scored a playoff career-high 19 points in a 96–87 win in Game 7. The Lakers blew a 16-point lead in the second half before Gasol put the Lakers ahead for good with a tip-in basket with 6:30 left. Kobe Bryant sealed Denver's fate by hitting a 3 with 48.3 seconds left to put the Lakers up 8. Denver had 19 turnovers in the game and shot just 7-of-27 shooting in the fourth quarter. Returning from his seven-game suspension, Metta World Peace scored 15 points, while Bryant had 17 points, and 8 assists.9

Regular-season series

Los Angeles Lakers won 3–1 in the regular-season series:

December 31, 2011
Denver Nuggets 89, Los Angeles Lakers 92
January 1, 2012
Los Angeles Lakers 90, Denver Nuggets 99
February 3, 2012
Los Angeles Lakers 93, Denver Nuggets 89
April 13, 2012
Denver Nuggets 97, Los Angeles Lakers 103

Last Playoffs meeting: 2009 Western Conference Finals (Los Angeles Lakers won 4–2).

(4) Memphis Grizzlies vs. (5) Los Angeles Clippers

April 29
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Clippers 99, Memphis Grizzlies 98
Scoring by quarter: 16–34, 23–24, 25–27, 35–13
Pts: Nick Young 19
Rebs: Reggie Evans 13
Asts: Chris Paul 11
Pts: Rudy Gay 19
Rebs: Marreese Speights 9
Asts: Mike Conley 8
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 18,119
Referees: Greg Willard, Eric Lewis, Tom Washington,
May 2
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Clippers 98, Memphis Grizzlies 105
Scoring by quarter: 26–23, 21–28, 22–24, 29–30
Pts: Chris Paul 29
Rebs: Blake Griffin 9
Asts: Chris Paul 6
Pts: Rudy Gay 21
Rebs: Zach Randolph 8
Asts: Mike Conley 6
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 18,119
Referees: Ken Mauer, Ron Garretson, Sean Wright,
May 5
4:30 pm
Memphis Grizzlies 86, Los Angeles Clippers 87
Scoring by quarter: 22–23, 24–27, 25–14, 15–23
Pts: Rudy Gay 24
Rebs: Marc Gasol 10
Asts: Mike Conley 8
Pts: Chris Paul 24
Rebs: Reggie Evans 11
Asts: Chris Paul 11
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 19,060
Referees: Derrick Stafford, John Goble, Rodney Mott,
May 7
10:30 pm
Memphis Grizzlies 97, Los Angeles Clippers 101 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 26–32, 19–19, 19–18, 23–18, OT: 10–14
Pts: Mike Conley 25
Rebs: Zach Randolph 9
Asts: Mike Conley 8
Pts: Blake Griffin 30
Rebs: Chris Paul 9
Asts: Griffin, Paul 7 each
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 19,167
Referees: Mike Callahan, James Capers, Scott Wall,
May 9
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Clippers 80, Memphis Grizzlies 92
Scoring by quarter: 22–36, 20–21, 23–20, 15–15
Pts: Mo Williams 20
Rebs: Blake Griffin 11
Asts: Chris Paul 4
Pts: Marc Gasol 23
Rebs: Zach Randolph 10
Asts: Mike Conley 6
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 18,119
Referees: Scott Foster, Bill Spooner, Gary Zielinski,
May 11
9:00 pm
Memphis Grizzlies 90, Los Angeles Clippers 88
Scoring by quarter: 25–16, 17–22, 24–28, 24–22
Pts: Marc Gasol 23
Rebs: Zach Randolph 15
Asts: Mike Conley 9
Pts: Blake Griffin 15
Rebs: Reggie Evans 10
Asts: Chris Paul 7
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 19,060
Referees: Dan Crawford, Marc Davis, Jason Phillips,
May 13
1:00 pm
Los Angeles Clippers 82, Memphis Grizzlies 72
Scoring by quarter: 16–13, 23–25, 16–18, 27–16
Pts: Chris Paul 19
Rebs: Kenyon Martin 10
Asts: Chris Paul 4
Pts: Gasol, Gay 19 each
Rebs: Zach Randolph 12
Asts: Mike Conley 5
L.A. Clippers wins series, 4–3
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 18,119
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bill Kennedy, Monty McCutchen,

The Clippers rallied to win Game 1 in one of the largest comebacks in playoff history. Trailing by as many as 27, and down 95–71 with 9:13 left, the Clippers held the Grizzlies to just one field goal the rest of the game and pulled off an improbable 99–98 victory before a stunned, sold-out crowd of 18,119 at FedExForum.10 In Game 2, the Grizzlies avenged their embarrassing Game 1 loss by winning a close Game 2 to even the series going to Los Angeles. In Game 3, the Clippers survived a late Grizzlies rally in the final minute as Rudy Gay's 3 missed at the buzzer to give the Clippers an 87–86 victory and a 2–1 series lead. Game 4 was close, with the game going to overtime. With Chris Paul's heroics, the Clippers managed to win Game 4 and take a commanding 3–1 series lead. Back at home for Game 5, the Grizzlies tried to stave off elimination, at one point taking a 24-point lead in the third before the Clippers cut the lead again. However, the Grizzlies made sure there would be no collapse, using a 7–1 run in the final 1:44 to win Game 5 92–80. Facing elimination on the road, the Grizzlies gathered themselves, storming back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to win Game 6 90–88, to force a decisive Game 7. In Game 7, the Clipper bench outscored their Grizzlies counterparts, 41–11, and it was enough as the Clippers won on the road to advance to the semifinals against the Spurs.

Regular-season series

The Clippers won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

January 26, 2012
Memphis Grizzlies 91, Los Angeles Clippers 98
March 24, 2012
Memphis Grizzlies 85, Los Angeles Clippers 101
April 9, 2012
Los Angeles Clippers 85, Memphis Grizzlies 94

Last Playoffs meeting: This is the first meeting between the Clippers and Grizzlies.

Conference Semifinals

This is the first playoffs that the city of Los Angeles has both teams participating in the Conference Semifinals. The last time the Lakers and Clippers were in the Conference Semifinals was 1974, when the Clippers franchise was the Buffalo Braves. Also, another team based out of Staples Center, the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings, participated in the 2012 NHL playoffs. As a result of these 3 teams sharing one arena, Games 3 and 4 of the Thunder–Lakers and Spurs–Clippers series were played back-to-back on May 18–19 and 19–20 respectively, to avoid scheduling conflicts.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (5) Los Angeles Clippers

May 15
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Clippers 92, San Antonio Spurs 108
Scoring by quarter: 29–29, 20–28, 23–30, 20–21
Pts: Eric Bledsoe 23
Rebs: Griffin, Jordan 9 each
Asts: Chris Paul 10
Pts: Tim Duncan 26
Rebs: Boris Diaw 12
Asts: Tony Parker 11
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 18,581
Referees: Scott Foster, Derrick Collins, Ron Garretson,
May 17
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Clippers 88, San Antonio Spurs 105
Scoring by quarter: 21–29, 21–17, 25–32, 21–27
Pts: Blake Griffin 20
Rebs: DeAndre Jordan 7
Asts: Chris Paul 5
Pts: Tony Parker 22
Rebs: Parker, Duncan 5 each
Asts: Parker, Ginóbili 5 each
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 18,581
Referees: Ken Mauer, Ed Malloy, Leon Wood,
May 19
3:30 pm
San Antonio Spurs 96, Los Angeles Clippers 86
Scoring by quarter: 11–33, 32–20, 26–8, 27–25
Pts: Tony Parker 23
Rebs: Tim Duncan 13
Asts: Tony Parker 10
Pts: Blake Griffin 28
Rebs: Blake Griffin 16
Asts: Chris Paul 11
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 19,060
Referees: Derrick Stafford, Tony Brothers, Tom Washington,
May 20
10:30 pm
San Antonio Spurs 102, Los Angeles Clippers 99
Scoring by quarter: 26–21, 25–26, 23–28, 28–24
Pts: Tim Duncan 21
Rebs: Tim Duncan 9
Asts: Tony Parker 5
Pts: Chris Paul 23
Rebs: DeAndre Jordan 8
Asts: Chris Paul 11
San Antonio wins series, 4–0
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 19,060
Referees: Joe Crawford, James Capers, Bill Spooner,

The Spurs won their last 14 games coming into this series. They were also well prepared because they were able to sweep their previous opponent, the Utah Jazz. Meanwhile, the Clippers were coming off a tough seven-game series against the Memphis Grizzlies and had to play Game 1 just 2 days after the Game 7 ended. Game 1 was close as the teams were tied coming into the 2nd quarter. However, the Spurs quickly took control in the 2nd and 3rd quarters as they defeated the Clippers, 108–92, and took a 1–0 series lead. Game 2 then saw a Spurs team taking control in the second half to defeat the Clippers and take a 2–0 lead. Going to Los Angeles for a back-to-back Games 3 and 4, the Clippers looked confident to defeat the Spurs, as they quickly took a 40–16 lead with 9:17 to go in the 2nd. However, the Spurs quickly cut the lead to 7 with 36.4 seconds before the half, with the half ending with a 10-point Clipper lead. Then, with the Clippers holding on to a 12-point lead with 9:39 to go in the 3rd, the Spurs unleashed a ferocious 24–0 run to take a 69–57 lead with 2 minutes to go in the 3rd. The Clippers never got closer than seven down the stretch as they watched the Spurs take a commanding 3–0 lead. Game 4 was a close one, with the Clippers leading for much of the fourth quarter before the Spurs took the lead on a Duncan hook shot. Then, in the final moments of the game, Paul made several mistakes, a bad pass and an off-balanced jump shot that missed, that ultimately led to Clippers' demise. Following Parker's free-throw that extended the Spurs' lead to 3, the Clippers had one last chance. However, out of timeouts, the Clippers were forced to take a long inbound pass. Mo Williams managed to catch the ball but was unable to get a shot off as the Spurs completed the sweep of the Clippers. The Spurs became just the fourth team to go 8–0 through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Regular-season series

San Antonio won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

December 28, 2011
Los Angeles Clippers 90, San Antonio Spurs 115
February 18, 2012
San Antonio Spurs 103, Los Angeles Clippers 100
March 9, 2012
Los Angeles Clippers 120, San Antonio Spurs 108

Last Playoffs meeting: This is the first meeting between the Spurs and Clippers.

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers

May 14
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Lakers 90, Oklahoma City Thunder 119
Scoring by quarter: 23–30, 21–29, 24–39, 22–21
Pts: Bryant, Bynum 20 each
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 14
Asts: Steve Blake 4
Pts: Russell Westbrook 27
Rebs: Kevin Durant 8
Asts: Russell Westbrook 9
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Greg Willard, Tony Brothers, David Guthrie,
May 16
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Lakers 75, Oklahoma City Thunder 77
Scoring by quarter: 22–21, 23–27, 18–12, 12–17
Pts: Bryant, Bynum 20 each
Rebs: Pau Gasol 11
Asts: Kobe Bryant 4
Pts: Kevin Durant 22
Rebs: Kevin Durant 7
Asts: Kevin Durant 5
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Rodney Mott, Jason Phillips,
May 18
10:30 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 96, Los Angeles Lakers 99
Scoring by quarter: 15–23, 32–27, 23–19, 26–30
Pts: Kevin Durant 31
Rebs: Serge Ibaka 11
Asts: Thabo Sefolosha 4
Pts: Kobe Bryant 36
Rebs: Bynum, Gasol 11 each
Asts: Bryant, Gasol 6 each
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 18,997
Referees: Joe Crawford, Marc Davis, Zach Zarba,
May 19
10:30 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 103, Los Angeles Lakers 100
Scoring by quarter: 24–29, 22–27, 25–24, 32–20
Pts: Russell Westbrook 37
Rebs: Kevin Durant 13
Asts: Russell Westbrook 5
Pts: Kobe Bryant 38
Rebs: Andrew Bynum 9
Asts: Bryant, Sessions 5 each
May 21
9:30 pm
Los Angeles Lakers 90, Oklahoma City Thunder 106
Scoring by quarter: 21–26, 30–28, 26–29, 13–23
Pts: Kobe Bryant 42
Rebs: Pau Gasol 16
Asts: Metta World Peace 5
Pts: Russell Westbrook 28
Rebs: Kendrick Perkins 11
Asts: Durant, Harden, Westbrook 4 each
Oklahoma City wins series, 4–1
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Scott Foster, John Goble, Tom Washington,

Much like the Spurs-Clippers series, the series featured a team that swept their first round opponents and another team that were coming off a tough seven-game series. As such, the Thunder had the advantage in Game 1. The result was a convincing 29-point blowout by the Thunder to the Lakers. The Thunder quickly took control through the first three quarters and stretched their lead to as high as 35. Game 2 was much closer, with the Lakers shocking the Thunder by leading by 7 with 2 minutes to go that would seemingly tie the series at 1. However, the Lakers would fail to keep the lead, with the Thunder eventually going on a 9–0 run to take a 2–0 series lead. In Game 3, the Lakers collaborated on both ends to prevent the Thunder from taking a 3–0 lead putting them back into the series. Game 4 saw the Lakers start strong, taking a 10-point lead at halftime. They were able to have a 13-point lead in the fourth. However, Thunder outscored the Lakers 25–9 the rest of the way to take a 3–1 series lead, putting the Lakers into the brink of elimination. With the score tied at 98, Russell Westbrook committed a crucial turnover when he slipped and lost the ball. However, Pau Gasol's pass was taken by Durant, setting up Durant's 3-pointer that gave the Thunder the lead for good. The Lakers still had one last chance to tie but Kobe Bryant's three missed, with Harden hitting two free-throws to effectively seal the deal. In Game 5, Lakers were able to keep the game close throughout the first three quarters before the Thunder closed the series on a flurry, starting with two threes by Kevin Durant. The Lakers were not able to respond as they watched the Thunder take the series, 4–1, to send the Lakers back home for the second straight season in the Conference Semifinals.

Regular-season series

Oklahoma City won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

February 23, 2012
Los Angeles Lakers 85, Oklahoma City Thunder 100
March 29, 2012
Oklahoma City Thunder 102, Los Angeles Lakers 93
April 22, 2012
Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Los Angeles Lakers 114

Last Playoffs meeting: 2010 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles Lakers won 4–2).

Conference Finals: (1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (2) Oklahoma City Thunder

May 27
8:30 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 98, San Antonio Spurs 101
Scoring by quarter: 18–24, 29–22, 24–16, 27–39
Pts: Kevin Durant 27
Rebs: Kevin Durant 10
Asts: Russell Westbrook 5
Pts: Manu Ginóbili 26
Rebs: Tim Duncan 11
Asts: Tony Parker 6
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 18,581
Referees: Joe Crawford, Marc Davis, Greg Willard,
May 29
9:00 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 111, San Antonio Spurs 120
Scoring by quarter: 22–28, 22–27, 32–37, 35–28
Pts: Kevin Durant 31
Rebs: Serge Ibaka 10
Asts: Russell Westbrook 8
Pts: Tony Parker 34
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Tony Parker 8
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 18,581
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers, Ron Garretson,
May 31
9:00 pm
San Antonio Spurs 82, Oklahoma City Thunder 102
Scoring by quarter: 24–22, 17–32, 19–24, 22–24
Pts: Parker, Jackson 16 each
Rebs: Ginóbili, Leonard, Blair 6 each
Asts: Gary Neal 5
Pts: Kevin Durant 22
Rebs: Kendrick Perkins 8
Asts: Russell Westbrook 9
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Dan Crawford, Derrick Stafford, Bill Spooner
June 2
8:30 pm
San Antonio Spurs 103, Oklahoma City Thunder 109
Scoring by quarter: 26–26, 17–29, 28–20, 32–34
Pts: Tim Duncan 21
Rebs: Kawhi Leonard 9
Asts: Parker, Ginóbili 4 each
Pts: Kevin Durant 36
Rebs: Kendrick Perkins 9
Asts: Kevin Durant 8
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Ken Mauer, James Capers, Ed Malloy,
June 4
9:00 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 108, San Antonio Spurs 103
Scoring by quarter: 26–21, 26–23, 29–28, 27–31
Pts: Kevin Durant 27
Rebs: Kendrick Perkins 10
Asts: Russell Westbrook 12
Pts: Manu Ginóbili 34
Rebs: Tim Duncan 12
Asts: Manu Ginóbili 7
AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 18,581
Referees: Scott Foster, Mike Callahan, Tom Washington,
June 6
9:00 pm
San Antonio Spurs 99, Oklahoma City Thunder 107
Scoring by quarter: 34–20, 29–28, 18–32, 18–27
Pts: Tony Parker 29
Rebs: Tim Duncan 14
Asts: Tony Parker 12
Pts: Kevin Durant 34
Rebs: Kevin Durant 14
Asts: Durant, Westbrook 5 each
Oklahoma City wins series 4–2

This series would mark only the second time in the last seven years that the top two seeds from the Western Conference faced each other in the Conference Finals. Game 1 would be close, with the Thunder taking a 9-point lead going to the fourth, looking poised to give the Spurs their first loss of the postseason. However, the Spurs took control on both ends in the fourth quarter to stay perfect in the playoffs. In Game 2, the Spurs started strong, at one point in the third quarter taking a 22-point lead. The Thunder would try to climb back in the fourth quarter, eventually cutting the lead to 6 in the fourth quarter. However, the Spurs would answer every run, en route to a 120–111 win over the Thunder and a 2–0 series lead. Manu Ginobili sealed the deal by hitting a three-pointer that extended the Spurs' lead to 10 with about a minute and a half to go. With the win, the Spurs extended their 2012 playoff record to 10–0. This win also marked the Spurs' 20th consecutive win, tied for the 3rd longest winning streak in NBA history. It is also the longest winning streak that was carried from the regular season and into the playoffs. In Game 3, the Spurs were no match for the Thunder. Behind their thunder blue home crowd, the Thunder blew out the Spurs, 102–82, to give them their first 2012 postseason loss. Game 4 was much closer. In the fourth quarter, Kevin Durant scored half of his 36 points as the Thunder tied the series with a 109–103 win over the Spurs. In Game 5, the Thunder started strong, at one point in the second quarter taking a 13-point lead. The Spurs would still come back in the second half. Fueled by two threes from Ginobili, the Spurs took the lead back. However, the Thunder eventually outscored the Spurs 25–12 for the rest of the quarter to take a 9-point lead heading to the fourth quarter. After a Harden 4-point play that gave the Thunder another 13-point lead, things began to unravel as the Spurs staged an 11–0 run through the next 4 minutes to bring them back into the game. Then, with the Thunder holding on for a 103–101 lead with 28 seconds left, Harden came up big by hitting a crucial three-pointer to give the Thunder a 5-point lead. The Spurs would not give up. Following a Ginobili layup shot that cut the lead to 3, a fullcourt press by the Spurs forced a Thunder turnover, giving them a chance to tie the game. However, Ginobili missed a three-pointer that sealed a 3–2 lead for the Thunder. In Game 6, the Spurs dominated early, outscoring the Thunder by 14 in the first quarter and holding a 15-point lead at halftime. Their largest lead of the game was 18. However the Thunder rallied in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Spurs 32–18. With a few clutch shots by Derek Fisher and James Harden, the Thunder booked a trip to the Finals with a 107–99 comeback win over the Spurs. With this, the Thunder will move on to the NBA Finals, their first time since moving the franchise from Seattle.

Regular-season series

San Antonio won 2–1 in the regular-season series:

January 8, 2012
San Antonio Spurs 96, Oklahoma City Thunder 108
February 4, 2012
Oklahoma City Thunder 96, San Antonio Spurs 107
March 16, 2012
San Antonio Spurs 114, Oklahoma City Thunder 105

Last Playoffs meeting: 2005 Western Conference Semifinals (San Antonio won 4–2 over Seattle, the predecessor to Oklahoma City)

NBA Finals: (W2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (E2) Miami Heat

June 12
9:00 pm
Miami Heat 94, Oklahoma City Thunder 105
Scoring by quarter: 29–22, 25–25, 19–27, 21–31
Pts: LeBron James 30
Rebs: Udonis Haslem 11
Asts: Dwyane Wade 8
Pts: Kevin Durant 36
Rebs: Nick Collison 10
Asts: Russell Westbrook 11
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Monty McCutchen, Derrick Stafford, Ed Malloy
June 14
9:00 pm
Miami Heat 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 96
Scoring by quarter: 27–15, 28–28, 23–24, 22–29
Pts: LeBron James 32
Rebs: Chris Bosh 15
Asts: Wade, James 5 each
Pts: Kevin Durant 32
Rebs: Perkins, Westbrook 8 each
Asts: Russell Westbrook 7
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Attendance: 18,203
Referees: Dan Crawford, Tony Brothers, Tom Washington
June 17
8:00 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 85, Miami Heat 91
Scoring by quarter: 20–26, 26–21, 21–22, 18–22
Pts: Kevin Durant 25
Rebs: Kendrick Perkins 12
Asts: James Harden 6
Pts: LeBron James 29
Rebs: LeBron James 14
Asts: Dwyane Wade 7
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 20,003
Referees: Joe Crawford, James Capers, Ken Mauer
June 19
9:00 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 98, Miami Heat 104
Scoring by quarter: 33–19, 16–27, 26–33, 23–25
Pts: Russell Westbrook 43
Rebs: James Harden 10
Asts: Russell Westbrook 5
Pts: LeBron James 26
Rebs: James, Bosh 9 each
Asts: LeBron James 12
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 20,003
Referees: Scott Foster, Mike Callahan, Bill Kennedy
June 21
9:00 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Miami Heat 121
Scoring by quarter: 26–31, 23–28, 22–36, 35–26
Pts: Kevin Durant 32
Rebs: Kevin Durant 11
Asts: Russell Westbrook 6
Pts: LeBron James 26
Rebs: LeBron James 11
Asts: LeBron James 13
Miami wins NBA Finals series, 4–1
American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 20,003
Referees: Dan Crawford, Monty McCutchen, Derrick Stafford
Regular-season series

Tied 1–1 in the regular-season series:

March 25, 2012
Miami Heat 87, Oklahoma City Thunder 103
April 4, 2012
Oklahoma City Thunder 93, Miami Heat 98

Last Playoffs meeting: This is the first meeting between the Heat and Thunder, or its predecessor, the Sonics.

Statistic leaders

Category High Average
Player Team Total Player Team Avg. Games played
Points LeBron James Miami Heat 45 LeBron James Miami Heat 30.3 23
Rebounds Paul Millsap Utah Jazz 19 Josh Smith Atlanta Hawks 13.6 5
Assists Rajon Rondo Boston Celtics 17 Rajon Rondo Boston Celtics 11.9 19
Steals Jason Kidd Dallas Mavericks 7 Jason Kidd Dallas Mavericks 3.0 4
Blocks Andrew Bynum Los Angeles Lakers 10* JaVale McGee Denver Nuggets 3.1 7

* Tied NBA Playoffs Record

References

  1. ^ Latzke, Jeff (1 June 2012). "Sefolosha sparks Thunder to 102–82 win over Spurs". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Zillgitt, Jeff (May 15, 2012). "NBA deals with postseason trauma as stars go down". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Stern suggests shortened training camp may be reason for injury trend". SportingNews.com. May 9, 2012. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ "2011–2012 Conference Regular Season Standings". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. April 15, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ Associated Press. "James, Heat pull away to lead 3–0 over Knicks". SI.com. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ Devine, Dan. "Al Jefferson can't see anyone beating Spurs". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Bynum's triple-double leads Lakers past Nuggets". SI.com. Associated Press. April 29, 2012. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ McMenamin, Dave (May 9, 2012). "Lakers want to end series Tuesday". ESPNLosAngeles.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Pau Gasol-led Lakers top Nuggets in Game 7; Metta World Peace adds 15 points in return". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Clippers rally from 27 down to stun Grizzlies in Game 1; Caron Butler breaks hand". ESPN.com. April 29, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012. 

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