Lionel Ritchie famously sang “Easy like Sunday Morning” on his hit song “Easy”. Well for the teams who played this weekend, it was anything but easy.

 

Three Game 4’s were played on Sunday, each filled with thrills and different circumstances.

 

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Cavs vs Pacers

The Cavs visited the Pacers in Game 4 looking to complete a first round sweep for the third year in a row and for the fifth year in a row for LeBron James. As probably expected, they did so, but like most if this series, they had to earn it.

 

Now, they didn’t have to come back from a 25 point halftime deficit like they did in Game 3, but this game featured momentum swings at every turn, but this time, it was the Pacers who made the comeback push.

 

After three quarters, the Cavs were up 11, but by the end of the game, they would only prevail by four points, 106-102.

 

A clutch three from LeBron, in addition to his 33 points, helped to seal the sweep for the Cavs while Kyrie Irving added 28 points of his own.

 

The sweep isn’t the story here though because we assumed the Cavs would win this series. The real story after the game is what Pacers’ star Paul George would do this offseason with his free agency.

 

George was asked by a reporter post game what were his thoughts regarding this and of course he gave the politically correct answer if I haven’t even started to think about it yet, but there certainly is a lot to think about.

 

With the new rule regarding players who are entering free agency after having played a certain amount of seasons with their original team while also making an All- NBA team that same year being able to get money that exceeds the possible max offer, George has over $200 million reasons to stay in Indiana. But the question is what’s more important, the money or the wins?

 

(NBC Chicago)

Celtics vs Bulls

This Game 4 matchup was a little different from the Cavs and Pacers. The Bulls, at home, held a 2-1 series lead, but the fact that they were home didn’t mean much when you realize the fact that the road teams had won every game in this series up to this point.

 

Game 4 was much of the same.

 

Getting off to a 30-18 lead after the first, the Celtics held a possible Bulls’ comeback for a 104-95 win on the road to even the series at two games a piece.

 

Isiah Thomas was his usual self late in the game when the Bulls actually took the lead in the third, scoring or assisting on several possessions in a row to give the Celtics the lead back for good.

 

Al Horford would finish the Bulls off late in the final frame with a pair of dunks and layups that would seal the deal for the Celtics.

 

Now, with the series tied and Game 5 heading back to Boston, we will see if the road trend continues or if the Celtics can take control at home.

 

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Thunder vs Rockets

This was the most intriguing, exhilarating and nail-biting game of the day.

 

Much like the series so far, this game was filled with high emotion and action that came down to the final seconds.

 

The usual suspects stepped up with Westbrook notching his third straight triple-double (35 pts, 14 rebs, 14 asts) and James Harden scoring 16 points with 7 rebounds and 8 asts), but this closely contested contest was defined by the play of the role players in the end.

 

After leading by four after the first, the next two quarters would feature each team scoring the same amount of points in each, giving the Thunder the same four point lead entering the fourth.

 

The final quarter featured a Rockets surge that brought them up to a four point lead of their own with just about 20 seconds left in the game and Steven Adams at the line. Down two possessions with less than a shot clocks worth of time left, Adams purposely missed the free throw and rebounded it. He then kicked it out to Westbrook who shot it from 36 feet and nailed a three to cut the Rocket lead down to one at 108-107 with 18 seconds left.

 

Instead of fouling right away, the Rockets inbounded the ball and played keep away for about seven seconds that ended in an and-one by NeNe, who didn’t miss a shot all game, for two of his 28 points on the night. After sinking the free throw, the lead increased to four and would stay there after a tip in by the Thunder and a pair of free throws by the Rockets, giving Houston a 3-1 series lead.

 

Were you watching this weekend? Comment below or find me on Twitter @phenombc3