The NBA Conference Semifinals are heating up, just as had been predicted. Sports gamblers have a lot to consider as all of the series still in play are tied at two games apiece. There is a lot of action remaining, and the competitions are reaching a new level of ferocity as the remaining teams battle to advance. Only the Phoenix Suns have already secured their place in history, eliminating the Denver Nuggets in a straight four-game sweep.
The Hawks Find Some Relief Against the Sixers
The Philadelphia 76ers took a surprise loss in the first game of the series when the Atlanta Hawks pulled off a win. However, the Sixers went on to advance 2-1 by taking the next two games, leading to Game 4 and a strong performance by both teams last night. The Hawks showed that they are still in the running, though, edging out a win to even the series up.
The Hawks, with their 103-100 win, got the job done when they needed to. Joel Embiid wasn’t able to give his all, dealing with an injured knee, but Trae Young stepped up to work overtime. Despite a sore shoulder, he put up 25 points, including the go-ahead shot with just over a minute left in the game. That was followed by a brick wall that kept the Sixers out of the zone, and another bucket for the Hawks with seconds left solidified the win.
Clippers Ready to Advance
The past couple of years have been interesting for the LA Clippers, and they’re ready to leave their mark on basketball. They have had trouble overcoming the Utah Jazz in their semifinals series, but have managed to just barely miss getting all of the wins. The series is now tied at two each after the Clips turned up the heat again last night, completely overpowering the Jazz.
Kawhi Leonard (31 points), Paul George (31) and Marcus Morris Sr. (24) made sure the Clippers took the win, despite Leonard having taken a nasty fall late in the game. He was removed with about 4 minutes on the clock, but the damage to the Jazz had already been done. The Clippers won by a decisive 118-104, and they’re ready for Game 5. They’ll get that chance when these two teams return to the court tomorrow night.
Bucks and Nets to Battle Tonight
The Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets are also at two games each after the Bucks tied things up this past Sunday. The Nets host tonight’s game at Barclays Center, and the Bucks are going to continue to rally. They’ve taken the last two games, with Giannis Antetokounmpo accounting for 34 of the Bucks’ 107 points this past weekend. Game 5 should provide a hint at what is coming from the Bucks for the rest of the postseason.
The Nets will be able to count on Kevin Durant, but it is still not clear if James Harden will be able to take the court. He went down with an ankle injury in the last game and was initially ruled out for tonight. However, the Nets have upgraded him to questionable and he will now be a game-time decision. Given the way the Bucks have been playing lately, they are favored even if Harden’s in the game, and are getting -190 to the Nets’ +155. The spread sits at 4 points, which won’t be an issue tonight. The Over/Under of 217.5 (-110) seems a little low by most standards; however, these two teams haven’t been putting up great numbers. They have barely cracked 200 points in previous games, and only reached 169 in Game 3. This one, however, is likely to go over as the battle intensifies.