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    GameChangers (04/21/14)

    John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
    By John Ewing
    A look at highlights from the most recent game from each NBA Playoff series utilizing Live ScoreCaster.



    Live ScoreCaster allows you to view current scores and play-by-play as well as live, updating projections from 50,000 simulations of the remaining time in each NBA game. Live ScoreCaster is totally free and available at PredictionMachine.com and for download on iTunes.

    It's been an exciting and dramatic last two days in the NBA Playoffs. Here are some highlights from the Live projections throughout each game. Click each matchup to view Live ScoreCaster chart that tells the story of that game.

    Clippers vs. Warriors

    Despite 51 fouls called in Game 1 of the Golden State/Los Angeles series, the NBA admitted that there should have been one more foul called.

    With 18.9 seconds left in the game, Warriors leading 107-105, Chris Paul turned the ball over after the play was reviewed and reversed. The only problem, Paul was fouled on the play but under existing rules since no foul was called on the floor, the referees could only use replay to determine possession.

    Leading by two points and with possession, the Warriors became 72 percent likely to win. Had the officials called the foul, Chris Paul goes to the line to shoot two free throws, assuming Paul ties the game, the Clippers' win percentage increases from 28 percent to 42 percent.

    Hawks vs. Pacers

    Atlanta used a decisive third quarter to upset top-seeded Indiana 101-93. The Hawks outscored the Pacers 30-16 in the third quarter. Atlanta's expected win probability increased from 50 percent to 88 percent.

    Nets vs. Raptors

    Brooklyn struggled with foul trouble and poor shooting from behind the arc but got a stellar game from Joe Johnson - 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists – to defeat the Raptors in Game 1. It is fitting that the Nets became the projected winner for good when “Iso” Joe made a two pointer with 4:54 left in the fourth.

    Grizzlies vs. Thunder

    Memphis trailed by 22 points at halftime and had just a 4 percent chance to win. The Grizzlies rallied in the second half to pull within two points with 8:45 to go in the fourth. Despite the big comeback, Memphis only had a 26 percent chance of winning.
    OKC responded with a 13-1 run that made the Thunder 99 percent likely to win.

    Spurs vs. Mavericks

    Dallas had a 10 point lead with 7:45 left in the game – the Mavericks were 88 percent likely to win. Then the Spurs defense tightened.

    San Antonio held Dallas scoreless for five and half minutes (15-0 run by San Antonio). The Spurs expected win probability increased from 12 percent to 81 percent during that span.

    Heat vs. Bobcats

    Despite the Bobcats leading for much of the first half, Miami was never less than 60 percent likely to win at any point in the game.

    The Heat used an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter to seal the game. Miami's expected win probability increased from 92.1 percent to 99.9 percent.

    Trailblazers vs. Rockets

    Portland was only the projected winner for 48 seconds in regulation but managed to beat the Rockets in overtime 122-120.

    Houston led by 13 points with 10 minutes remaining (96 percent likely to win) – in the last 15 postseasons teams that have lead by 13 points between 10-12 minutes left in the fourth had a 115-8 record (per ESPN Stats & Info).

    The Rockets also blew a six point lead in overtime when Houston was 85 percent likely to win.

    James Harden had a chance to tie the game in overtime but missed a jumper at the buzzer. Had the shot been good, Houston would have been 56 percent likely to win in the second overtime.


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