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NBA Playoffs open thread (April 28th)

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Two games tonight. Two! And look how hyped Mark Cuban is.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

DAL @ HOU

When: 8 p.m.

Where: TNT

Houston leads 3-1

SAS @ LAC

When: 10:30 p.m.

Where: TNT

Series tied 2-2

Only two games tonight, both Western Conference match-ups. First, the Dallas Mavericks take on the Houston Rockets in Game 5, which could see the Rockets advance with a win. Dallas managed to avoid a series sweep this weekend, but the series has been a disaster for the Mavericks, who had bet on Rajon Rondo to lead them on a playoff run, only to find that Rondo wasn't exactly cool playing for Rick Carlisle or the Mavericks. Dallas must now put their faith in J.J. Barea (who, to his credit, seems to only play effectively for Dallas) and Raymond Felton (yikes). Monta Ellis will have to continue to put up big scoring numbers, while hoping James Harden can be (somewhat) limited offensively again. Unfortunately for Dallas, I don't think they have a comeback in them. Expect Houston to advance.

After Dallas and Houston wrap things up, the San Antonio Spurs take on the Los Angeles Clippers what is, as they always say, the pivotal Game 5. This has been one of the most competitive series of the first round, but San Antonio could be heading into this game up 3-1 if not for Austin Rivers, who finished with 16 points on 7-8 shooting (I know, I can't believe it either). Doc Rivers had taken criticism for his moves as general manager, and trading for his son hadn't exactly worked out until the last game. Rivers has made this match-up a series, but I'm leaning towards San Antonio to take Game 5, and then wrap the series up at home in Game 6.