That is, a last-second, 1-point heartbreak loss. The home team that wins that game ALWAYS wins the following game on the road. That heartbreak road loss just takes all the stuffing out of the loser.
Conversely, the road team that gets blown out in Game 2, having assured the split with a Game 1 win, ALWAYS wins Game 3 back at home.
Where is all this written: in the Book of Playoff Hoops? I dunno, but it’s gospel. Trust me, the Blazers will win Game 3 thanks to not having lost a close one tonight. The Suns will once again come out complacent, the Blazers will once again come out with fire in their eyes, and Nate will have made necessary adjustments. Maybe Rudy will even attempt a shot or two. (OK, that last part might be a stretch.)
Have no fear: this series is going seven games. That is, if Batum plays. If he’s out, then yes: it’s time for gloom, despair, and “wait’ll next year.”