This weekend produced some interesting action in the NBA Conference Semifinals, and not just with the scores. There’s only one team that could be considered a lock at this point, while the rest are still battling for position. Two more games are scheduled for today, and the results are going to paint a clearer picture of who might be advancing toward the championship game.
Suns Overwhelm the Nuggets
The Phoenix Suns went 4-0 against the Denver Nuggets and are setting themselves up for a great end-of-season run. The two teams played their final game of the best-of-seven series yesterday, with the Suns dominating the contest and the series. The 125-118 final score gave the Suns their advance in the semifinals, sending the Nuggets packing for the year.
The Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers met for Game 3 on Saturday, with the Jazz getting off to a 2-0 lead in the series. However, each of those victories was only possible with a last-minute effort, as the Clippers continued to deliver on offense and defense. Game 3 showed what happens when the Clips get organized, as they completely dominated the Jazz and took a 132-106 win.
The Jazz may have felt that they were unstoppable, but that level of confidence was too much. Paul George, Reggie Jackson, Kawhi Leonard and others were on fire, determined not to sink further in the series. The Clippers have a history of being able to bounce back from weak starts, and their run isn’t over yet. LA is favored in Game 4 today at -210 and they’ll show that the last win was anything but an accident. They’re getting -5 (-112) on an Over/Under of 223.5, which won’t be difficult to achieve. This is going to be a tighter game, so taking the Under might be a smarter option.
Nets And Bucks Battle For Position
The Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks are now tied at two each after the Bucks took Game 4 on Sunday, 107-96. That gave them two wins in a row to even the series and the two teams will meet again tomorrow night. This series is likely to continue to go back and forth, with both teams showing a level of determination that has made for some exciting basketball.
The Nets are going to be at a slight disadvantage tomorrow, as Kyrie Irving went down with a sprained ankle yesterday. The X-rays have come back negative, but it’s unlikely he’ll be in for Game 4, with the Nets, at a minimum, choosing to keep him out as they look to have him healthy if they advance. Brooklyn was already without James Harden, but his absence didn’t keep the team from winning the first two games. If Irving stays down, Kevin Durant is going to find himself in a tough spot, called on to carry the load for several key absences.
76ers and Hawks Back on the Court
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks played their Game 3 on Friday before getting to take a couple of days off. That game saw the Sixers jump out in front with a 2-1 lead in the series following an unexpected Game 1 loss, and Game 4 will provide a lot more of the same hot action. Philly won 127-111, but a comeback performance by the Hawks in tonight’s game can’t be dismissed.
The spread on the game is only 3 points in favor of the Sixers and Atlanta isn’t ready to throw in the towel. Philly is getting the benefit at -148 to Atlanta’s +123, but Atlanta is going to put up a fight. The Over/Under is at an average 225 (-110), and these two teams have had no trouble beating that mark this series. The Over makes sense, but watch the Hawks for the win.