Three games are on the schedule tonight in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. This has been a surprising postseason so far, as two teams look to close out the series on Monday and move on to the conference semifinals.
Nets Hope To Avoid Sweep vs. Celtics
The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will play Game 4 of their Eastern Conference playoff series tonight at Barclays Center. The Nets were the preseason favorites to win their first-ever NBA title in 2022. However, they now find themselves on the verge of being sent on vacation without winning a single game in the postseason.
Boston took a 3-0 series lead after Saturday’s 109-103 victory. Jayson Tatum had 39 points, six assists and six steals in Game 3. Jaylen Brown contributed 23 points and five assists for Boston as they shot 50% from the field.
The Celtics welcomed the return of center Robert Williams, who came back after a long absence with a torn meniscus. He played 15 minutes in the game, which means the Celtics are entirely healthy heading into Game 4. Ben Simmons expected to make his season debut and play in Game 4 for Brooklyn. However, he has ruled himself out of tonight’s action with back pain.
Boston will again shut down Durant and Irving with their stifling defense to sweep the series and move on to the next round.
Sixers Can Close Out Series At Home
The Philadelphia 76ers play Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night at home. Philadelphia leads the series 3-1 after the Raptors won in overtime on Saturday 110-102. Pascal Siakam took over the game for Toronto, scoring 34 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Gary Trent Jr. added 24 points in the victory.
Philly failed to complete the sweep on the road after outshooting the Raptors. James Harden led them with 22 points, and Joel Embiid had 21. The Sixers are the best shooting team in the playoffs, shooting 49.2% overall and 45.2% from three-point range. They are still in control in this series, but Toronto won’t just roll over and seems to have the momentum coming into this matchup.
The Sixers will get a close win on their home floor to take the series.
Jazz Look For Second Road Win in Dallas
The Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks are tied in their Western Conference playoff matchup. The competition now moves back to Dallas for Game 5. Utah avoided losing their third straight in the series with their 100-99 victory at home on Saturday. They led by as many as 16 points in the first half before Dallas came all the way back to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gobert scored on an alley-oop with eleven seconds remaining to give the Jazz the victory and tie the series at 2-2.
The Mavericks were without Luka Doncic for the first three games, and he returned on Saturday to score a game-high 30 points. He added ten rebounds and four assists as the Mavs came up just short. Jalen Brunson scored 23 and pulled down five rebounds in Game 4. He has averaged 29.8 points, 4.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds in Doncic’s absence.
Dallas will get the win at home to take a 3-2 series lead.