Good afternoon, folks, and a Happy Easter. Jamal Murray has led his Nuggets to a tied series heading back to Denver. Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.
(3) Sixers – 112 @ (6) Nets – 108 (PHI leads 3-1)
- Jared Dudley continues to be the focal point of this series and I would just like to know how the hell we got to this point four games into an NBA playoff series in 2019. The Brooklyn Nets forward has been beefing with Ben Simmons since the series began but on Saturday it was Dudley and Jimmy Butler who got ejected. Joel Embiid fouled Jarrett Allen hard in the third quarter, which Dudley did not appreciate and responded by bumping Embiid. Butler then shoved Dudley – and consequently referee Ed Malloy – into the stands along with Ben Simmons. D’Angelo Russell, of all people, came in to play peacemaker. Butler and Dudley were quickly ejected and Embiid was hit with a Flagrant 1 despite doing his best to immediately removed himself from the situation.
- The scrum was the highlight of the event, but the game itself ended in tremendous fashion. Mike Scott buried a go-ahead triple with under 20 seconds left as the two teams went back-and-forth down the stretch. Embiid finished with 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks for Philly while Caris LeVert dropped in 25 points, five rebounds, and six assists for Brooklyn. The Sixers now take a commanding 3-1 lead heading back home.
(2) Nuggets – 117 @ (7) Spurs – 103 (Tied 2-2)
- Well, well, well. Would you look at that? Jamal Murray played his best game of the series by a mile and the Nuggets outclassed the Spurs in San Antonio. The other day, I wrote about how Murray had to take his game to the next level if the Nuggets wanted to proceed in these playoffs. He did just that in Game 4, pouring in 24 points on 8-14 shooting in addition to six assists and just one turnover. Derrick White was limited to only eight points on 3-8 shooting for the Spurs.
- The game kicked off with San Antonio building a 12-point first quarter lead and thoughts of “here we go again…” bounced around my brain. The Nuggets were missing solid looks and making the tough ones, which ironically kept them in the game. It wasn’t until the second quarter when they finally hit a groove for the first time all series. Denver would outscore San Antonio 69-45 in the second and third quarters combined. Nikola Jokic posted 29 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. It was the Nuggets first win in San Antonio since 2012. We got ourselves a series.
(1) Bucks – 119 @ (8) Pistons – 103 (MIL leads 3-0)
- Blake Griffin made a surprise appearance for the first time this series after it was initially thought he would miss the entire first round. The Bucks still beat the Pistons by 16. Griffin managed 27 points, seven rebounds, and six assists for Detroit but the game was already decided by the second quarter. Milwaukee is just an absolute juggernaut right now. There isn’t a thing Griffin or Andre Drummond or the ghost of Tayshaun Prince can do to save them. Giannis Antetokounmpo was even in foul trouble for the majority of the afternoon but 20 points from Khris Middleton and another 19 from Eric Bledsoe results in a 3-0 series lead for the Bucks.
- This has been the only non-competitive series of the playoff so far. Can we just skip Game 4?
(4) Rockets – 104 @ (5) Jazz – 101 (HOU leads 3-0)
- James Harden began this game missing his first 15 shot attempts. He still finished with 22 points and a 3-0 series lead over Utah.
- The Jazz employed the same tactic to defend Harden as they had in the first two games: ride his back, force him right, and make him shoot in the middle of the floor. It resulted in the MVP candidate shooting 3-20 from the field and 2-13 from deep. It was one of the worst shooting nights of his career, but he made up for it with 10 assists, six steals, and – most importantly – the win. 14 of his 22 points came when his team needed them the most, in the fourth quarter. Utah executed it’s game plan as best as it could and still lost at home.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||117-103 W @ SAS||24||8-14 (3-5)||2||6||0||0||1||+15||33|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||119-103 W @ DET||19||8-19 (0-4)||6||5||2||0||4||+7||29|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||117-103 W @ SAS||0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||-1||1|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||117-103 W @ SAS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TODAY IN THE NBA
1:00 (ABC): Celtics @ Pacers (BOS leads 3-0)
3:30 (ABC): Warriors (Cousins-out) @ Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) (GSW leads 2-1)
7:00 (TNT): Raptors (Meeks) @ Magic (TOR leads 2-1)
9:30 (TNT): Trail Blazers (Labissiere, Kanter) @ Thunder (Diallo-out, Noel, Patterson) (POR leads 2-1)