clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Horns in the NBA: First round of NBA Playoffs

The first round was brutal to the Texas alums, and now only KD and P.J. Tucker find themselves alive for entering the conference semifinals. 

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This week we revisit a drama-filled first round of NBA playoff action, which featured Kevin Durant exploding offensively to carry Golden State on into the second round. Elsewhere, other former Longhorns couldn’t provide quite as much of an offensive impact as various campaigns came to a close.


LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

  • (G1) Sat, 4/13 - Road win over the Denver Nuggets: 15 points (6-19), 8 rebounds, 1 assist
  • (G2) Tue, 4/16 - Road loss to the Denver Nuggets: 24 points (8-20), 8 rebounds, 3 assists
  • (G3) Thu, 4/18 - Home win over the Denver Nuggets: 18 points (8-17), 11 rebounds, 5 assists
  • (G4) Sat, 4/20 - Home loss to the Denver Nuggets: 24 points (10-18), 9 rebounds, 1 assist
  • (G5) Tue, 4/23 - Road loss to the Denver Nuggets: 17 points (7-13), 10 rebounds, 0 assists
  • (G6) Thu, 4/25 - Home win over the Denver Nuggets: 26 points (10-18), 10 rebounds, 5 assists
  • (G7) Sat, 4/27 - Road loss to the Denver Nuggets: 16 points (6-16), 11 rebounds, 4 assists

Aldridge rounds out one of the more threatening 7-seeds in recent memory, as the Spurs took a 2-seed, one that was eerily similar in roster structure to their own, to seven games behind 20 points and 9.6 rebounds per game from the center.

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

  • (G1) Sat, 4/13 - Home win over the Los Angeles Clippers: 23 points (8-16), 4 rebounds, 3 assists
  • (G2) Mon, 4/15 - Home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers: 21 points (5-8), 5 rebounds, 5 assists
  • (G3) Thu, 4/18 - Road win over the Los Angeles Clippers: 38 points (14-23), 4 rebounds, 7 assists
  • (G4) Sun, 4/21 - Road win over the Los Angeles Clippers: 33 points (12-21), 7 rebounds, 6 assists
  • (G5) Wed, 4/24 - Home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers: 45 points (14-26), 6 rebounds, 6 assists
  • (G6) Fri, 4/26 - Road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers: 50 points (15-26), 6 rebounds, 5 assists

Patrick Beverley did what many have done this season — he got under KD’s (thin) skin. But in spite of a Game 1 ejection induced by Beverly smack talk, Durant reminded us all who he is. He is arguably the best player in the NBA. Even generally speaking, scoring 35 points per game in the playoffs is mind-boggling, but it was Durant’s efficiency, as in 57 percent from the field, that slots him in amongst the top scorers ever, and he put that label on full display in closing out the Clippers with a playoff career-high 50 points.

The Warriors, on the other hand, gave basketball fans everywhere a reason to believe they may not run away with the three-peat, as losing twice to the 8-seeded Clippers is loose gravel to build from in round two.

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

  • (G1) Sun, 4/14 - Road loss to the Boston Celtics: 5 points (2-6), 8 rebounds, 2 assists
  • (G2) Wed, 4/17 - Road loss to the Boston Celtics: 8 points (3-7), 3 rebounds, 2 assists
  • (G3) Fri, 4/19 - Home loss to the Boston Celtics: 13 points (4-10), 7 rebounds, 2 assists
  • (G4) Sun, 4/21 - Home loss to the Boston Celtics: 13 points (5-12), 7 rebounds, 0 assists

I hoped that Turner would leap into America’s consciousness like a Damian Lillard or Jamal Murray, but he didn’t. The Pacers fell in just four games, an embarrassing sweep to a Celtics team that was still figuring things out. Turner’s stat line took the plunge hand-in-hand with the Pacers, as he averaged 9.8 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting at a 40-percent clip from the field and just 21 percent from three.

Cory Joseph, Indiana Pacers

  • (G1) Sun, 4/14 - Road loss to the Boston Celtics: 14 points (5-9), 2 rebounds, 1 assist
  • (G2) Wed, 4/17 - Road loss to the Boston Celtics: 6 points (3-6), 1 rebound, 0 assists
  • (G3) Fri, 4/19 - Home loss to the Boston Celtics: 5 points (2-4), 3 rebounds, 1 assist
  • (G4) Sun, 4/21 - Home loss to the Boston Celtics: 5 points (2-5), 1 rebound, 2 assists

Joseph was a key contributor in Game 1 and offered up some valuable points in the remaining games. But without Victor Oladipo, Indiana lacked the star power to topple the Celtics.

Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets

  • (G1) Sat, 4/13 - Road win over the Philadelphia 76ers: 2 points (1-4), 5 rebounds, 1 assist
  • (G2) Mon, 4/15 - Road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers: 9 points (3-4), 6 rebounds, 4 assists
  • (G3) Thu, 4/18 - Home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers: 15 points (4-5), 6 rebounds, 2 assists
  • (G4) Sat, 4/20 - Home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers: 21 points (7-11), 8 rebounds, 4 assists
  • (G5) Tue, 4/23 - Road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers: 8 points (4-8), 9 rebounds, 0 assists

Allen played his best basketball over the past two weeks, but it came with some bumps and bruises. From foul trouble playing devil’s advocate in Games 1 and 2 to getting hosed by a non-whistle in the final minutes of Game 4, it was an uphill battle. But the stat-line speaks for itself, as he put up 11 points, 6.8 rebounds, and shot at a 58-percent clip in his first-ever postseason.

Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic

DNP with injury.

D.J. Augustin, Orlando Magic

  • (G1) Sat, 4/13 - Road win to the Toronto Raptors: 25 points (9-13), 2 assists, 6 rebounds
  • (G2) Tue, 4/16 - Road loss to the Toronto Raptors: 9 points (1-6), 1 assist, 4 rebounds
  • (G3) Fri, 4/19 - Home loss to the Toronto Raptors: 7 points (3-7), 2 assists, 2 rebounds
  • (G4) Sun, 4/21 - Home loss over the Toronto Raptors: 8 points (3-6), 2 assists, 3 rebounds
  • (G5) Tue, 4/23 - Road loss to the Toronto Raptors: 15 points (4-9), 1 assist, 4 rebounds

The Magic endured both peaks and valleys with Augustin. Their peak, a Game 1 win courtesy of an Augustin buzzer beater. The valley — the remainder of a forgettable series.

P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets

  • (G1) Sun, 4/14 - Home win over the Utah Jazz: 11 points (4-8), 4 rebounds, 3 assists
  • (G2) Wed, 4/17 - Home win over the Utah Jazz: 16 points (5-8), 4 rebounds, 0 assists
  • (G3) Sat, 4/20 - Road win over the Utah Jazz: 12 points (3-11), 10 rebounds, 3 assists
  • (G4) Mon, 4/22 - Road loss to the Utah Jazz: 13 points (4-7), 6 rebounds, 0 assists
  • (G5) Wed, 4/24 - Home win over the Utah Jazz: 8 points (2-7), 9 rebounds, 1 assist

Tucker had an out-of-body first-round performance. He averaged 12 points and 6.6 rebounds, helping with a near sweep of the Jazz, despite struggles from guard James Harden.


Given how the first round played out, seeing one former Longhorn after another eliminated from the playoffs, only Durant and Tucker remain alive and well in pursuit of an NBA title. To that end, the two are set to see each other in the second round, set to begin on Sunday afternoon, as Durant’s top-seeded Warriors will welcome Tucker, Harden, and Chris Paul to Oracle.

The Warriors-Rockets series schedule is as follows:

  • Game 1 (at GS): Sunday, April 28, 2:30 p.m. CT, ABC
  • Game 2 (at GS): Tuesday, April 30, 9:30 p.m. CT, TNT
  • Game 3 (at HOU): Saturday, May 4, 7:30 p.m. CT, ABC
  • Game 4 (at HOU): Monday, May 6, 8:30 p.m. CT TNT
  • Game 5* (at GS): Wednesday, May 8, TBD, TNT
  • Game 6* (at HOU): Friday, May 10, TBD, ESPN
  • Game 7* (at GS): Sunday, May 12, TBD, TBD