OAKLAND, California (AP):Golden State rolled into the second round of the NBA playoffs without injured superstar Stephen Curry, thoroughly embarrassing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday to clinch the series 4-1.Klay Thompson scored 27 points with seven 3-pointers and Draymond Green added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, who will face the winners of the Los Angeles Clippers-Portland Trail Blazers series.Portland lead that series 3-2 after winning at Los Angeles, while Charlotte won narrowly at Miami to also take a 3-2 series lead.Golden State, without their MVP Curry, relied on his fellow ‘Splash Brother’ in Thompson to set the tone from the opening tip. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven threes in consecutive playoff games, while Shaun Livingston scored 16 points for his third double-digit performance in three games.deep defendingJames Harden scored 25 of Houston’s 37 first-half points on the way to 35 points, but the Rockets had no chance with a one-man show against the deep defending champions.Portland’s C.J. McCollum scored 27 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 108-98 win at the Clippers.Damian Lillard added 16 of his 22 in the fourth quarter when Portland pulled away, and the Trail Blazers capitalised on the absence of injured Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to beat Los Angeles.The Blazers are up 3-2 and could close it out tonight in Portland. If Game 7 is needed, it would be tomorrow at Staples Center.Maurice Harkless added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Mason Plumlee had 10 points and 15 boards for Portland.J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 19 points.Charlotte’s Courtney Lee sank a 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left to put the visitors ahead to stay, and the Hornets beat Miami 90-88 in Game 5.The Hornets have won three straight games in the series, and will take a 3-2 lead into a potential Game 6 clincher tonight.Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points, while Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each had 14 for Charlotte.Dwyane Wade scored 25 for Miami, while Luol Deng scored 15, Joe Johnson added 13 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now In last week’s newsletter, I made note of the idea that humans live around 4,000 weeks, an idea that caused one of my relations to confront her aversion to Mondays, the very reason I initially did the math. This newsletter is also about time, and even though the idea here is equally important, it won’t be so heavy.We don’t spend enough time with our dream clients to effectively serve them. We spend too few hours face to face, and we spend too much time communicating to each other in mediums incapable of producing the outcomes we want, helping them solve their problems, and in doing so, winning their business.As markets are pulled in two directions, super-transactional or super-relational, the transactional approach of reducing friction, compressing the sales cycle, and eliminating as much real communication as possible is seductive. The super-transactional approach looks like more money faster, and without the messy and challenging work of engaging with human beings. In the business-to-consumer market, this is the Holy Grail. The super-transactional approach isn’t the best decision in many business-to-business markets, especially companies with a customer intimacy model, one in which they create value by solving problems.The metric I am more interested in capturing is hours spent in discussions with the prospective client, a number that may indicate whether the approach is not super-relational. Many believe that a complex B2B sales should take as few as two hours and a series of emails, and why wouldn’t they when their prospective clients give them so little of their time? (If you want to learn to control the process, gaining the meetings you need to do good work, check out The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, and email me your receipt so I can send you the workbook).No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. My best guess is that a competitive displacement takes more hours, as does any complex sales (one in which the client is something they don’t often decide, and one of real importance). Instead of trying to reduce the hours you spend with your dream, you should be increasing that time, something that would do more to reduce the time it takes you to win their business—and a better choice than trying to avoid spending time with them, or allowing them to avoid spending time with you.I write this knowing that it’s fashionable now to believe that relationships aren’t meaningful or that one shouldn’t worry about anything but competency, but this is to misunderstand human behavior, including the fact that we don’t even know our subconscious minds, let alone another person’s. I am pushing back against the idea of prioritizing efficiency in sales over effectiveness.All things being equal, relationships win. All things being unequal, relationships still win. Your job is to make all things unequal by creating value.