2014 NBA playoff schedule: Pacers, Thunder, Clippers try to take back home-court advantage

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Three higher seeds will hit the road, including Kevin Durant and the Thunder.

If we accept the ridiculous premise that a playoff series doesn't truly start until the road team wins a game, then the only one that hasn't started is the one involving the Heat and Bobcats. Seven lower seeds have stolen home-court advantage, and on Thursday three higher ones will try to take it back.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers, Game 3

7 p.m. ET, NBA TV, series tied 1-1

Have the Pacers found themselves? They had a dominant third quarter in Tuesday's 101-85 win, outscoring the Hawks 31-13. Part of Indiana's early-season identity was keeping things close up until halftime and then pulling away, but it had been a while since we'd seen this team even resemble the one we saw a few months ago. The Pacers shot 12-for-16 in the third quarter and ended the period on an 11-0 run. Paul George looked like a superstar on both ends again, finishing with 27 points on 9-for-16 hooting, plus 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Luis Scola scored 20 points in 19 minutes.

Of course, after the game the world found out about a scuffle between Pacers guards Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson. Things remain a bit crazy in Indiana, and there's no telling how the team will respond on the road.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 3

8 p.m. ET, TNT, series tied 1-1

The Grizzlies showed on Monday why they were the team that nobody wanted to face. They traded baskets with the Thunder for 53 minutes and won a 111-105 overtime classic. Kevin Durant had 20 points after halftime and the shot of the year, Kendrick Perkins capped an Oklahoma City rally with a putback to force overtime -- really, we have evidence -- but Memphis withstood it all and won in a hostile environment.

Now the Thunder have to win in a place where nothing comes easy, against a defense that made OKC work for every point they got in Game 2. This should be fun.

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers, Game 3

10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, series tied 1-1

The first two games at Staples Center had just about nothing in common. In the opener, Blake Griffin played only 19 minutes due to foul trouble, and the Warriors earned a 109-105 win. Griffin erupted for 35 points on 13-for-17 shooting in Game 2, and the Clippers annihilated Golden State 138-98.

Oracle Arena is going to be nuts, but the Warriors are going to need more than the energy of the crowd to win this one. Los Angeles made a powerful statement on Monday.

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