Posted Date: April 19, 2014

Nets’ Paul Pierce reacts to dagger jumper vs. Raptors: ‘That’s why they got me here’

Ben Golliver, Brooklyn Nets, Paul Pierce, Toronto Raptors

Paul Pierce absolutely took over down the stretch for the Nets, scoring nine points over four consecutive possessions in the game’s final three minutes to help deliver a 94-87 road victory over the Raptors in Game 1 of a first-round playoff series.

After sinking the fourth shot, a mid-range jumper over Patrick Patterson that gave Brooklyn a nine-point lead with less than one minute to play, Pierce stared down the Air Canada Centre crowd and thumped his chest on the way to the huddle.

“That’s why they got me here,” a mic’d up Paul could be heard saying. “That’s why I’m in here. That’s what I do. Best in the business. That’s what I do.”

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Posted Date: April 19, 2014

Clippers’ Blake Griffin fouls out, douses Warriors fan with water

2014 NBA playoffs, Ben Golliver, Blake Griffin, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers

After fouling out of a 109-105 Game 1 to the Warriors, Clippers forward Blake Griffin spilled water on a Warriors fan seated courtside as he reacted to a JumboTron replay of his sixth foul.

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Posted Date: April 20, 2014

NBA playoffs Day 1: Hawks upset Pacers; Warriors, Nets, Thunder win openers

2014 NBA playoffs, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto Raptors
Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert’s struggles continued in the Pacers’ Game 1 loss to the Hawks. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The 2014 NBA playoffs tipped off Saturday with a quadruple-header. The Point Forward has coverage of all four games: Nets-Raptors, Clippers-Warriors, Pacers-Hawks and Thunder-Grizzlies. Read on for analysis, highlights and more from a good opening day for the road teams and an alarming Game 1 performance from top-seeded Indiana.

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Hawks 101, Pacers 93

By Matt Dollinger

• The Pacers’ free fall from bona fide contender to blue-and-gold dumpster fire has been more abrupt than a Gregg Popovich interview. Did Evan Turner and Andrew Bynum throw off the team’s peerless chemistry? Did the players’ newfound success go to their heads? Did a team reliant on teamwork become selfish to a fault? Yes, yes and yes. Indiana came unhinged with an 8-10 March, and the Pacers have yet to recover. Many gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the slumbering No. 1 seed would wake up come playoff time, but Saturday’s Game 1 loss to the Hawks proved that the team’s issues are alive and well.

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Posted Date: April 19, 2014

Video: Drake cracks on Jay-Z during Game 1 between Raptors and Nets

Ben Golliver, Brooklyn Nets, Drake, Jay-Z, Toronto Raptors

Rapper Drake couldn’t resist diving into the ongoing war of words that has unfolded between the Raptors and Nets.

Appointed “Global Ambassador” of the Raptors last fall, Drake joined the TSN broadcast of Game 1 on Saturday, firing off a one-liner in the direction of rapper Jay-Z, who used to be a minority owner of the Nets.

“Jay-Z is somewhere eating a fondue plate,” Drake said. “It’s our time. We’ve got to keep it competitive. This is an ironic match-up.”

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Posted Date: April 19, 2014

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri curses Brooklyn at fan rally before Game 1 against Nets

2014 NBA playoffs, Ben Golliver, Brooklyn Nets, Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors
(Ron Turenne/Getty Images)

Toronto GM Masai Ijiri had some strong words for Brooklyn before Game 1. (Ron Turenne/Getty Images)

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri screamed “F— Brooklyn” while addressing a crowd of enthusiastic fans at the Maple Leaf Square outside the Air Canada Centre before the Nets’ 94-87 victory over the Raptors in Game 1 of a first-round playoff series. (You can watch the video here, but warning for strong language, obviously.)

Joined on the stage by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president Tim Leiweke, Ujiri made the comment after telling the crowd he was headed to the game. His New York City dis was met with loud cheers and screams from the assembled fans.

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