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Upsets were rare in NBA playoffs first round. Until last weekend.


(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Day 1 of the NBA playoffs was not kind to the home team. The Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. The Atlanta Hawks ended an eight-game road losing streak in the playoffs by beating the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Day 2 was not much better for the home crowd. The Portland Trailblazers got the win at the Toyota Center over the Houston Rockets and the Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.

Five teams with home-court advantage were on the losing side in the eight series-opening contests. Last season, when none of the lower seeds won the opening game of the playoffs.

“It doesn’t really matter if you are home or away,” said Bulls forwad Taj Gibson after the loss. “Any given night someone can get beaten [sic]”

It does matter, though. According to WhoWins, the lower seed is 2-20 in Game 2 after winning Game 1 on the road and have won just 45.5 percent of the opening series. So while every (under)dog has its day, don’t expect them to have another one so quickly after.

More on the NBA playoffs:

Wizards win first Game 1 since beating Dr. J in 1986

Ginobili should win sixth man of year

Griffin flips out after fouling out

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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