Good afternoon, folks. Did anyone else suffer through four overtimes of basketball well after midnight? Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.
(1) Bucks – 123 @ (4) Celtics – 116 (MIL leads 2-1)
- Another dominant third quarter from the Milwaukee Bucks earned them a 2-1 series lead as Game 4 stays in Boston. The Bucks put up 40 points in the third period and outscored the Celtics by nine. If you remember from Game 2, Milwaukee pummeled Boston 39-18 in the third period that ultimately allowed them enough wiggle room to win the game. Game 3 was no different, as the Bucks came out of halftime looking aggressive behind Giannis Anteotkounmpo – who finished with 32 points on only 14 shot attempts (he shot 16-22 from the free throw line) to go along with 13 rebounds and eight assists. Unlike the first two games, where Antetokounmpo’s drives were met right at the rim with brick wall like sturdiness, he was shiftier and working in transition more often to draw the fouls he needed to be effective.
- Eric Bledsoe had a rough shooting night, knocking down only four of his 15 shot attempts for nine points. He shot 1-6 from deep, posted only four assists, and turned the ball over another four times. If it wasn’t for George Hill’s brilliant performance in the second half, Bledsoe’s poor night would have been a bigger deal.
(2) Nuggets – 137 @ (3) Trail Blazers – 140 (4OT) (POR leads 2-1)
- This game was pure madness. For us suckers who live on the East coast, this one didn’t even end until 2 a.m. and at one point I just wanted the damn thing to end. And after four extra periods, the Trail Blazers pull out a massive win to take the series lead with the Nuggets losing a heartbreaker.
- Nikola Jokic played 65 minutes. Jamal Murray added another 59. C.J. McCollum also hit 60 minutes and Damian Lillard topped out at 57. Even Enes Kanter – hobbled by several injuries – saw the court for 56 minutes.
- Rodney Hood hit the go-ahead game-winning shot with under 20 seconds left in the final overtime period to put the Blazers ahead in the series. Rodney Hood. Of all people (Hood has actually played exceptionally well in this round). Jokic finished with 33 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists while Lillard and McCollum combined for 69 points.
- Murray was great to start the game. He ended with 34 points – most of them coming in the first half – and played with incredibly active hands on defense. A slew of misses towards the end destroyed his field goal percentage (14-32 on the night) and he – along with 80 percent of the players on the court – was visibly exhausted once we hit multiple overtimes. However, he didn’t appear fazed by the right thigh injury he sustained in Game 2.
- Kanter, on the other hand, was hampered by injuries all game. The shoulder was bothering him early and you could tell from his squinting facial expressions he was in significant pain for a good chunk of the game. Near the end of the regulation, he was even walking with a noticeable limp. It also didn’t help that he was bodying with Jokic all game, who does not shy away from off-ball contact. The fact that Kanter made it all the way to 56 minutes is a borderline miracle. He posted 18 points and 15 rebounds.
- He said after the game that his shoulder is still in serious pain.”I will just go home and get some rest,” Kanter said. “I don’t know if I can play the next game but I will do my best to be out there with my teammates.” Game 4 will stay in Portland and tips off on Sunday.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||137-140 L (4OT) @ POR||34||14-32 (4-12)||9||5||1||0||4||+6||55|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||140-137 W (4OT) vs. DEN||18||8-16 (1-1)||15||0||3||1||2||+2||56|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||123-116 W @ BOS||9||4-15 (1-6)||1||4||0||0||4||-9||27|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||137-140 L (4OT) @ POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||137-140 L (4OT) @ POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||140-137 W (4OT) vs. DEN||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
8:30 (TNT): Warriors (Cousins-out) @ Rockets (GSW leads 2-0)