Following a chaotic start to the postseason, order has been restored in the 2014 NBA playoffs as the top four seeds have seized control of their respective conference semifinal series.
The two-time defending champion Miami Heat are just two wins away from their fourth consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, while perennial contenders the San Antonio Spurs are on the brink of their third straight trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Sunday's results could provide us a with a better idea of which teams those juggernauts could potentially meet in the next round.
Below, you'll find the updated postseason bracket and the latest odds for the upcoming Game 4s.
2014 NBA Playoff Bracket (as of Sunday, May 11 at 9 a.m. ET)
|Conference Semifinals||Conference Finals|
|(1) Indiana Pacers (Lead 2-1)|
|(5) Washington Wizards|
|(6) Brooklyn Nets|
|(2) Miami Heat (Lead 2-1)|
|(1) San Antonio Spurs (Lead 3-0)|
|(5) Portland Trail Blazers|
|(3) Los Angeles Clippers|
|(2) Oklahoma City Thunder (Lead 2-1)|
|Sun, May 11||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV|
|Game 4||Thunder at Clippers (-5)||3:30 p.m.||ABC|
|Game 4||Pacers at Wizards (-4.5)||8 p.m.||TNT|
|Mon, May 12||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV|
|Game 4||Heat (-2.5) at Nets||8 p.m.||TNT|
|Game 4||Spurs (-3.5) at Trail Blazers||10:30 p.m.||TNT|
What to Watch for on Sunday
Mother's Day will feature a pair of pivotal Game 4s as the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards each look to even their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers.
Both the Clippers and Wizards blew golden opportunities on their home floor on Friday night after stealing home-court advantage with Game 1 victories on Monday and suddenly find themselves in danger of falling behind 3-1.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook Get Thunder Back on Track
2013-14 MVP Kevin Durant and teammate Russell Westbrook combined to score 59 points in Game 3 to propel the Thunder past the Clippers and reclaim home-court advantage.
Durant scored 36 points on 14-of-24 shooting from the floor, and Westbrook was two rebounds shy of his second straight triple-double performance. But while the play of Oklahoma City's two stars is encouraging, the play of Serge Ibaka and the Thunder's bench has been huge and will continue to determine the outcome as the series wears on.
Ibaka scored 20 points on an ultra-efficient performance from the floor, and Reggie Jackson and Caron Butler each added 14 points off the bench in Game 3.
Yahoo Sports' Eric Freeman explains the impact and what it could mean moving forward:
Serge Ibaka went 9 of 10 from the field for 20 points (his best total of the postseason), missing just a corner 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and making a big impact on jumpers from the left elbow. Caron Butler and Reggie Jackson were also excellent off the bench, scoring 14 points apiece on 9 of 18 from the field. It was only the second time in the postseason the Thunder had five players score in double figures. That balance makes them virtually impossible to defend, especially when Durant and Westbrook play so well.
If Oklahoma City's role players can continue to shoot with confidence and complement the Thunder's two stars, the Clippers will be in trouble. With Game 5 in Oklahoma City and a potential series-clinching Game 7 there as well, the Thunder have officially taken the driver's seat in this series.
It'll be up to L.A. to make adjustments in Game 4 in order to avoid falling into a 3-1 series hole.
Pacers Figure Things Out
The Indiana Pacers still need two more wins to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year. Having won four of their last five playoff games, however, it's safe to say the East's top seed has snapped out of its extended funk that began after the All-Star break and carried over into the first round.
Indiana shut down Washington in Game 3, holding the Wizards to 33 percent shooting from the floor and an embarrassing franchise-low 63 total points.
Now, after surrendering 102 points to the Wizards in a Game 1 loss, the Pacers are allowing just 72.5 points in the previous two games, both wins.
"Listen, we don't worry about if we're looking good for TV. The other teams can do that, can fill that void with fancy basketball. We don't worry about that. We're OK with this. We can win games in the 80s."
The Pacers haven't been all that impressive from an offensive standpoint, but the revival of center Roy Hibbert has no doubt played a key role in Indiana's resurgence. After finishing with a laughable zero points and zero rebounds in Game 1, the 7'2" All-Star has combined to score 42 points and pull down 14 rebounds over the past two games.
If Hibbert can continue to gain confidence and impact the game on both ends of the floor, the Pacers will be awfully tough to eliminate this spring.
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