NBA Playoffs 2015: 34 Pac-12 alums set to chase 2014-15 NBA title
The chase for the Larry O'Brien Trophy begins anew on Saturday, and once again, a bevy of Pac-12 alums will be chasing an NBA championship.
In fact, 34 players who hail from the Conference of Champions are on rosters heading into this weekend's playoff openers. Here's how our alums are doing through the first few days of playoff action.
#1 Atlanta Hawks vs. #8 Brooklyn Nets
Atlanta holds a 1-0 series lead on Brooklyn going into Wednesday's Game 2, but Nets center Brook Lopez made his presence felt in the loss for Brooklyn, His 17 points off 6-of-7 shooting tied him for the team high in points.
#2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. #7 Boston Celtics
The 2nd-seeded Cavs nabbed a 13-point win over Boston in Game 1 of this series, and UCLA product Kevin Love was a force. His double-double (19 points, 12 rebounds) helped pace Cleveland to the 113-100 win. The man who kept Boston in the game, though, was Isaiah Thomas. Thomas poured in 22 points in 32 minutes off the bench.
#3 Chicago Bulls vs. #6 Milwaukee Bucks
Chi-town has stormed out to a 2-0 lead on Milwaukee after Tuesday night's Game 2 win, and both Taj Gibson and Aaron Brooks are helping off the bench. In Game 1, the USC/Oregon pair combined for 21 points in the team's 103-91 win. On the other sideline, Jerryd Bayless and O.J. Mayo have been contributing off the bench.
#4 Toronto Raptors vs. #5 Washington Wizards
A thrilling Game 1 north of the border went the way of D.C. this past weekend, but DeMar DeRozan was one of several who helped the Raptors battle back and force overtime in the 93-86 Wizards win. DeRozan led all Toronto starters with 15 points and led all players with 11 boards.
#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #8 New Orleans Pelicans
Can we have a deep, honest discussion about Klay Thompson? The WSU standout has already posted 47 points across Golden State's two series-opening wins in Oakland. Meanwhile, Andrew Bogut has been a glass machine, pulling down 14 rebounds in both Games 1 AND 2. For the Pelicans, Quincy Pondexter certainly did his part to try to keep New Orleans competitive in a back-and-forth Game 1, scoring 20 points while snagging 9 rebounds and dishing 6 assists in the losing effort.
#2 Houston Rockets vs. #7 Dallas Mavericks
Houston started three Pac-12 alums in their 118-108 series-opening win over Dallas, with James Harden, Jason Terry and Trevor Ariza combining to score 52 points in the Rockets win. Richard Jefferson didn't score in limited minutes off the bench for Dallas.
#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #6 San Antonio Spurs
The Clip show cruised to a 15-point home court win over San Antonio to begin this series, with Matt Barnes contributing 8 points and 5 boards to the victory. Aron Baynes had 5 points in 20 minutes off the bench for the Spurs.
#4 Portland Trail Blazers vs. #5 Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizz pounded out a 100-86 win over Portland in Game 1, though their only Pac-12 product - Jordan Adams - only saw 1 minute of action. Memphis managed to silence Robin Lopez, holding him to 2 points and 5 boards, while Cal product Allen Crabbe scored 7 off the bench.