The Conference Finals are a massive part of the NBA season and these games allow players the chance to create history while allowing fans to dream of end of season glory that is so close they can touch it yet so far that they may never get to see it. The Eastern Conference sees Miami Heat, with LeBron James building up some form, take on the Indiana Pacers, who have been regrouping of late. In the Western Conference, Oklahoma City Thunder are facing up to the loss of Serge Ibaka after injury as they attempt to take on the San Antonio Spurs, who are nursing an injury to one of their own star players, Tony Parker.
In front of 18,000 people in the Bankers Life Field House in Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers took a 1-0 lead over the Heat by a score of 107-96. The scoring by quarter ran 30-24, 25-21, 28-2625, 24-26 with the Pacers grabbing an early control of the game and not giving up from there. Dwayne Wade of the Heat may have grabbed the most points in the game, 27 but Paul George for the Pacers was the player celebrating 24 points and a win. With respect to the money line bet for the second game of the Conference Finals, bwin places Miami at 1.67 while they have the Pacers as 2.25. Bet365 is providing the Heat at 1.71 and Indiana at 2.20.
Spurs wow the home crowd in San Antonio
The AT&T Center in San Antonio in Texas also played host to just over 18,000 people and there was another home win. The Spurs defeated the Thunder by a score of 122-105. The quarter scoring ran as follows; 30-27, 37-32, 22-23 and 33-23. The top scoring player on the court was a Thunder player, Kevin Durant who grabbed 28 points but you can bet that Tim Duncan from the Spurs is much happier with his 27 points and victory than a higher points tally and defeat in the opening Conference Final game.
For the second game, bwin places the Spurs as 1.43 on the money line, with the Thunder being ranked as 2.90 outsiders. Bet365 is yet to price up their odds on the second Western Conference game but they are unlikely to be too far away from what bwin is offering.
Get the Conference dates in your diary
The dates for the Eastern Conferences Finals are:
- Sunday May 18th
- Tuesday May 20th
- Saturday May 24th
- Monday May 26th
- Wednesday May 28th
- Friday May 30th
- Sunday June 1st
With the exception of the first game, which is already passed, all of the games start at 8:30pm ET. Remembering that we are using BST in the UK, this means that the games will all be starting at 01:30 (on the date after the stated American date as the time will have gone beyond midnight). If you are planning on watching all of the games, this may get confusing but keep in touch with the dates and make sure you check in when the games are taking place.
The dates for the Western Conference Finals are:
- Monday May 19th
- Wednesday May 21st
- Sunday May 25th
- Tuesday May 27th
- Wednesday May 29th
- Saturday May 31st
- Monday June 2nd
The games all start at either 8:30pm or 9pm ET, so the same caveats apply for watching in the UK or Europe.
Losing the first game in the Conference Finals is annoying but it is no barrier to success, so there is definitely all to play for in the NBA Conference Finals of 2014 for all four teams.