Brooklyn eliminates Boston to face Milwaukee, Denver and Phoenix take advantage in NBA play-offs
The expected shock between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Brooklyn armada will take place in the second round of the NBA play-offs. Tuesday night, the Nets eliminated Boston (4-1) by winning Game 5 of the series (123-109) to join the Bucks, who had swept Miami (4-0). It has been seven years since the Nets had gone this far in the play-offs.
Author of a triple double (34 pts to 10/17 shooting, 10 rebounds, 10 pts), James Harden led the charge of the New Yorkers, well supported by Kevin Durant (24 pts) and Kyrie Irving (25 pts) . The all-star trio, who had made very little progress in the regular season due to a succession of injuries, are starting to show all the damage they are capable of.
“It doesn’t happen that often to see three of the best scorers in history on the same team. «
« We don’t want to take this time spent together for granted, Irving thought. It is not so often in the culture of our sport to see three of the best scorers in history on the same team. «
Tuesday, while the Celtics remained within reach at the start of the fourth quarter (97-89), the three accomplices each scored an award-winning basket in the space of one and a half minutes to create a final gap (107-91).
In this armada, there is not much room for Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, who will only be entitled to one minute of play on Tuesday, 6 accumulated over the entire series.
In Boston, the absences of Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Robert Williams will have weighed too heavily. Jayson Tatum brought his usual share (32 pts, 9 rebounds) but Marcus Smart was blocked on shooting (5/17 including 1/10 with three points). Evan Fournier recorded 18 points and 6 rebounds, but only shot 1/5 behind the arc in what could be his last game in the green jersey. The Frenchman is at the end of his contract and will be free to sign up wherever he wants this summer.
The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, are in great difficulty, now led (2-3) against Phoenix. Deprived of Anthony Davis, the reigning champions completely sank in Arizona on Tuesday (85-115) under the blows of Devin Booker (30 pts). LeBron James (24 pts) and his partners will play Game 6 on the brink of elimination on Thursday.
But the Suns also have big concerns because their leader Chris Paul again injured his right shoulder. Released in the third quarter, the leader withdrew for the fourth.
Lillard on fire but Portland led
In Denver, the Nuggets took the advantage (3-2) over Portland after a crazy night, in double overtime (147-140). Nikola Jokic (38 pts, 11 rebounds, 9 pd) and his partners however had to draw from the depths of their resources to cope with a Damian Lillard on fire (55 pts, 10 pd). « It is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen in the play-offs », praised his trainer, Terry Stotts.
Twice, the leader of the Blazers equalized in the dying seconds to snatch overtime, then the second, on shots at three stratospheric points. With twelve award-winning baskets (out of 17 attempts), he set a record in the history of the play-offs and his performance was hailed by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant on social networks. The previous record (11) was owned by Klay Thompson since 2016.
But in the second « extra time », the Nuggets ended up gaining the upper hand thanks to another shot behind, signed Michael Porter Jr from the left corner after a long pass from Jokic, 1’30 from the final siren, while Portland hadn’t scored a single point in the last three minutes. Denver could stamp their ticket to the second round in Game 6 Thursday in Portland.