Celtics vs. 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have never been swept by the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, and now that record has been broken. The Celtics closed out their sweep, and took advantage of a Sixers team without Ben Simmons.
The Sixers were fighting not to get swept, and they came out of the gates ready to play. They were playing through a very aggressive Joel Embiid, and keeping the Celtics offense in check. By the end of the first half, the Sixers were up by one and looking to grow their lead. The Celtics were no doubt going to be making a run, and it was up to the Sixers to keep up with them. The Sixers kept the game within three until there were 2 minutes left in the third. The Sixers had just seen Tobias Harris go into the locker room after a tough fall, and did not seem to have the energy to keep up with the Celtics. This is when Jayson Tatum started catching fire, and was draining his threes and pull up jumpers. He ended the game with 28 points and pretty much ended the Sixers playoff run with his third quarter explosion. The Celtics closed out the game with a red hot Jayson Tatum, and Kemba Walker,32 points, who had been playing great the entire series. The Sixers tried to get something going but Embiid, 37 minutes and 30 points, seemed gassed after having the offense run through him, and there was no other star to help make the offense run. This is where the Sixers really miss Ben Simmons, and would probably make this series more interesting if he was on the floor.
Final Score: BOS 110 PHI 106
BOS wins series 4-0
Clippers vs. Mavericks
After the news came out that Kristaps Prozingus was going to be missing this game with left knee soreness, the Clippers seemed poised to take a 3-1 lead over the Mavs.
The Dallas Mavericks were undermanned, and the Clippers took advantage. They jumped out to a 10 point lead after the first quarter, and were up 55 to 37 at one point in the second quarter. This was the elite Clippers team that was projected to win the Western Conference, and had two elite wings that they combined with a great group of role players and a suffocating defense. The Clippers had a commanding lead, yet it seemed as though had fallen asleep. The Mavs were able to crawl back within 8 points with a great game from Luka Doncic, 43 points. It seemed like the Clippers were going to crush this run after half, yet the Mavs kept coming and timely buckets from Luka, Tim Hardaway, and Seth Curry helped get them an 8 point lead by the end of the third. The Clippers seemed to have finally woken up, and Kawhi Leonard, 32 points, and Lou Williams, 36 points, both started cutting the Mavs lead, but the Mavs kept pushing and forced an OT that no one had seen coming. In overtime, the lead kept shifting back and forth and when Marcus Morris hit a dagger three with 9 second left it seemed as though the game was over. The Mavs had faith in their young superstar Luka Doncic who had made so many game winning shots in the Euro league, and it seems like he can do it in the NBA. Doncic hit a step back three as time expired to even the series and give his team hope.
A thrilling performance from the Mavs that showed their resilience and fight. The Clippers are a great team, but can’t give up a 20 point lead especially in the playoffs. This series will continue to be one of the wildest and most interesting, and I can’t wait for game 5.
Final Score: DAL 135 LAC 133
Raptors vs. Nets
The Brooklyn Nets surprised everyone in the regular season by being competitive without KD or Kyrie. The postseason was a different story, when they ran into the Toronto Raptors.
The Brooklyn Nets were not expected to win any game this series, and keeping this game competitive was their goal. It was only a seven point game by the first quarter, and it seemed like the Nets might be able to keep this game interesting. They also held the lead to 9 points by half, and it seemed like they might have a good game. The Nets had a great game from Caris Levert, 35 points, but no one else on the team scored more than 15 points. This lack of offensive production had been a problem, as well as a very weak defense. The Raptors took advantage of this and went to town in the third quarter. They opened up the lead to 19 points by the end of the third, and had scored 119 points. The Raptors didn’t need to play their starters, and Kyle Lowry only had 9 minutes. The bench continued this rout of the Nets, and secured a huge victory that pushed the Raptors into the second round.
Final Score: TOR 150 BKN 122
TOR wins series 4-0
Nuggets vs. Jazz
After two blowout losses, the Nuggets were going to come out with a fight and it was up to the Jazz to stop the Nuggets and pull out to a commanding lead or let the series even up.
This game started just as the first game of the series, and it was a battle for the lead. Both teams were making their shots and Denver only had a 3 point lead at the end of the first quarter. This same theme continued, as the Jazz narrowed the lead to a single point at the end of a half of play. In the third quarter, the Jazz started making their threes and taking command of the game. Running through their two guards Mike Conley, 26 points, and Donovan Mitchell, 51 points, the Jazz took an 8 point lead at the end of the third. The Nuggets would not be silenced, and begin crawling back into the game, and were closing in at the last minute. Trading buckets as the game was ending, Jamal Murray, 50 points, was not able to get a controversial call on his drive to the basket and let the game slip.
Both the Jazz and Nuggets got great games from their young guards, but Denver was not able to even the series making it much harder for them to advance.
Final Score: UTH 129 DEN 127
Top Image: Celtics Wire/Justin Quinn