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NBA conference semifinals preview

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 29: Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 29: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder takes a shot against Tayshaun Prince #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on April 29, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

After a flurry of Game 7s during the weekend, all the NBA playoff series reset to Game 1 with just eight teams' title hopes left alive. Here's a look at the other conference semifinals and which teams figure to advance to the conference finals.


No. 1 Pacers vs. No. 5 Wizards

It took them being pushed to the brink of an epic collapse, but Indiana might finally be righting its ship after a solid Game 7 victory over the Hawks on Saturday. Paul George (30 points in Game 7) and the Pacers took two-of-three meetings against Washington during the regular season and managed to keep point guard John Wall in check (13.7 points, 6.7 assists per game in the three meetings). If they truly are rounding into form as they appear to be, the Pacers will oust the Wizards in six games or fewer.


No. 1 Spurs vs. No. 5 Trail Blazers

The Spurs made yesterday's 119-96 Game 7 victory look easy, but the Mavericks gave them more trouble than they had in years. LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard must like what they saw in that respect. As experienced as the Spurs are, one never knows when their aging lineup will betray them. Portland, on the other hand, has a great mix of athletic scorers and physical defenders that should be problematic for the reigning Western Conference champions. Look for the Blazers to upset the top seed in six.

No. 2 Thunder vs. No. 3 Clippers

Both teams were tested on the court in the first round -- and the Clippers clearly were tested off it by their owner. Home court would seem to favor Oklahoma City, but each team went 1-1 at home against one another this season. Ultimately, the Thunder live and die with Russell Westbrook, who dominates the ball even on a team with reported league MVP Kevin Durant. Chris Paul and high-flying Los Angeles will make it a fun series, but Durant's excellent season will go on for at least another round as the Thunder win in seven.


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