The end is near for a couple of NBA teams following deep runs this season. The Conference Semifinals are putting up a fight, but it won’t be long before someone has to bow out. For now, the action continues with an Eastern Conference matchup tonight and a Western battle tomorrow.
Celtics Need Help
The Boston Celtics come into this duel after losing Game 1 of the series against the Philadelphia 76ers 119-115. Now, playing at TD Garden, they’ll try to equalize the battle. At the moment, the Tatum-Brown duo continues to work its magic, with each easily able to put up between 20 to 30 points in total. They’ll have to turn up the heat tonight to keep the pressure on the Sixers.
Malcolm Brogdon is a more than important player for Boston since he almost always scores between 10 to 20 points in total. Marcus Smart continues to be effective in all aspects of the game, contributing points, rebounds and assists when it’s his turn to play.
Philadelphia already managed to steal the field factor, thanks to the enormous victory achieved in Game 1. Now the goal of the roster is to complete another presentation. They might have to do it without Joel Embiid, who is dealing with a knee injury. Embiid, who just won the NBA MVP award, could play, but he still won’t be 100%.
James Harden is in on-fire mode facing the Celtics. He proved it in Game 1 by converting 45 total points. Tyrese Maxey is the second sword of the 76ers, when Embiid isn’t present, but he’ll still be good for 20 to 30 points.
The Sixers haven’t lost a game yet in the playoffs, despite coming close a few times. However, Boston is getting the most support tonight. Embiid will play through the pain and lead the Celtics to break Philadelphia’s streak.
The Suns Gasp For Air
The Phoenix Suns come somewhat beaten into Game 3 of their battle with the Denver Nuggets after losing the first two games they played in Colorado. Now, they need to recover emotionally and physically if they want to add their first victory to stay alive.
The Nuggets are in good shape heading into this third game after clearly beating the Suns in both games. They took Game 1 by a score of 125-107 and followed that with a 97-87 victory on Monday. It’s now expected that the franchise will try to hit again and add a win that will allow it to practically liquidate its rival.
Kevin Durant and Devin Booker will try to keep that from happening. They’ve both been vocal about the Suns’ losses so far and can be expected to come out with everything they have. The job will be particularly difficult, as Chris Paul is still dealing with a groin injury.
Jamal Murray had a great Game 1 for Denver after scoring 34 points in total. However, he then underperformed and only recorded 10 points in Game 2. Aaron Gordon has helped keep things together for the Nuggets and will play another key role in the upcoming game.
Things are going to get tougher for Denver. Phoenix has beaten them five times in six games at home and the Nuggets have a tendency to score fewer points on the road. As a result, and with Durant and Booker fired up, the Suns take the win.