GameChangers (05/01/14)

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.

After each NBA Playoff game we breakdown some highlights from the Live projections throughout each game. Click each matchup to view Live ScoreCaster chart that tells the story of that game.

Raptors vs. Nets

Toronto led by as many as 26 points and had a 22 point lead heading into the fourth quarter. At the start of the final quarter the Raptors were 99.8 percent likely to win.

Toronto blew the lead and almost the victory by allowing Brooklyn to tie the game with just over a minute remaining. In a tied game, Toronto was just 52 percent likely to win. Brooklyn was never able to complete the comeback and take the lead. Had the Nets led at any point in the final minute and a half, Brooklyn would have become the projected winner.

Bad Beat
Toronto was the projected winner for the entire game and was projected to cover the spread for almost the same amount of time. The Raptors were projected to easily cover the three point spread by double-digits until Brooklyn fought back to tie the game with just over three minutes remaining. Notwithstanding blowing a large lead, Toronto still had an opportunity to cover in the games closing seconds. With four seconds remaining, Andray Blatche intentionally missed a free throw, all Toronto had to do is rebound the ball, Brooklyn most likely fouls and the Raptors have two shots to at least get a push if not a cover.

Spurs vs. Mavericks

San Antonio never trailed and were always greater than 60 percent likely to win. The Spurs took a 3-2 series lead with a 109-103 victory.

Despite trailing by double-digits at various points in the game including the fourth quarter, Dallas was within four points with less than three minutes remaining. Following a Vince Carter three pointer, the Mavericks had a chance to make it a one possession game but Dirk Nowitzki missed a jumper. Had Dirk's shot been good, the Mavericks' expected win probability increases from 19 percent to 37 percent.

Instead, following the miss, Tony Parker made a three pointer to extend San Antonio's lead to 101-94 and the Spurs became 92 percent likely to win.

Rockets vs. Trail Blazers

Houston staved off elimination to force Game 6 with a 108-98 victory over Portland. The Rockets were the projected winner for the entire game.

Portland got within two points on a Damian Lillard basket with less than four minutes left in the fourth, which gave the Trail Blazers a 32 percent chance of winning. James Harden hit a three pointer on the next possession and the Trail Blazers expected win probability dropped to 17 percent.

Had Harden missed the shot and Portland managed to tie the game, the Trail Blazers odds of winning would have increased to 45 percent.