The second round of the 2013 NBA playoffs have been nothing short of incredible, with all four series tied up and anyone capable of advancing to the Conference Finals.
While the action takes a much-needed hiatus on Thursday, it resumes in full force on Friday, with the Miami Heat traveling to Chicago to face the Bulls, and the Golden State Warriors hosting the San Antonio Spurs.
Let’s take a closer look at these two contests, including where and when you can watch them, a short preview for each game, a prediction on the final scores and more.
Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls, Game 3, Eastern Conference Semifinals
When: Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, Ill.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Series Record: Bulls 1, Heat 1
After the Bulls shocked the world and stole Game 1 in South Beach, the Heat came back with a vengeance to even things up.
Which team will win this pivotal Game 3?
Tempers ran high for the Bulls, as both Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected for receiving two technical fouls, while Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague each received one.
It was certainly an emotional affair, and that could once again be the story when the action heads back to Chicago.
The Bulls have a chance to defend their home court and rally back from that humiliating defeat, perhaps with some additional firepower.
Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng, two contributors who have missed significant amounts of time this postseason, will also look to get healthy and back on the floor in this one—although there is no timetable for either of their returns.
Regardless of who is on the floor and who isn’t, this promises to be a much closer battle than Game 2. With the roar of the home crowd behind them, the Bulls will look to once again gain an advantage against Miami.
Prediction: Bulls 91 – Heat 90
San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors, Game 3, Western Conference Semifinals
When: Friday, May 10 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Series Record: Spurs 1, Warriors 1
This is shaping up to be one of the best series we’ve seen in a long time, as the aging Spurs look to hold on against a young and upcoming Warriors squad.
Unfortunately, San Antonio didn’t have enough left to mount another comeback on Wednesday night—as it did with an 18-2 run in the waning moments of Game 1—and ultimately fell to the Dubs, 100-91.
Stephen Curry gave Spurs coach Gregg Popovich nightmares leading up to this matchup, but Klay Thompson was the one that sunk the Spurs and evened up the series.
The sophomore sniper connected on 13 of his 26 shots, including a ridiculous 8-of-9 performance from beyond the arc.
Which team will win the series?
He finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds, and his performance proved to be the difference in the Warriors going home down 2-nil and having a legit chance to take a commanding lead before heading back to Texas.
It would be absurd to expect that sort of production from Thompson in Game 3, but he’s certainly going to be marked a bit tighter and boxed out a bit more carefully—opening up opportunities for another player to shine.
Don’t be shocked if the Warriors find another player to step up and take over on Friday night, as it seems anyone on that roster is capable of blowing up against the Spurs.
Prediction: Warriors 103 – Spurs 98