After a forgettable Game 3 performance, Kobe bounced back to show why he's one of the game's most dominant players, guiding the Lakers to a 3-1 series lead with a convincing victory in Utah Saturday. With a return to the Staples Center, L.A. will look to ride its momentum and put away the Jazz in Game 5.
Will the Heat take control?
After splitting the first two games in Atlanta, Dwyane Wade put the Heat on his shoulders Saturday, tallying 29 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a 107-78 rout against the Hawks. Miami, though, will need to continue its strong play at home in Game 4 if Wade and his teammates hope to take control of a series that's featured blowout wins by both teams so far.
Can CP3 do it again in Game 4?
Chris Paul got outplayed by Chauncey Billups in the first two games of the Hornets' first-round series with the Nuggets, but he wouldn't let his team fall behind 3-0 with a loss in Game 3. Instead, the fourth-year point guard led all scorers with 32 points, knocking down 11 of his 20 field-goal attempts while also dishing out 12 assists and grabbing five rebounds.
Can Kobe stay hot in Game 5?
Kobe couldn't buy a bucket against the Jazz in Game 3, shooting a dreadful 5-for-24 from the floor and finishing with only 18 points in an 88-86 loss. But last season's MVP returned to his usual form less than two days later, putting the Lakers on his back and leading L.A. to a Game 4 win with a game-high 38 points on 16-for-24 shooting.
Will Mr. Big Shot come through?
The straw that stirs the drink for the Nuggets, Billups has hit countless clutch shots over his career. But in the Nuggets' Game 3 loss in New Orleans, the veteran point guard shot just 3-for-10 from the field, doing most of his scoring at the free-throw line and finishing with 16 points. If Billups doesn't get off to a strong start in Game 4, the Nuggets could find themselves tied 2-2 with the Hornets.