The NBA Playoffs rumble on and last night saw three intriguing games that each provided their own talking points.
The Brooklyn Nets produced another dominant display in beating the Boston Celtics 130-108, taking a 2-0 lead in that series, while the Dallas Mavericks did likewise as they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers once again, this time by 127-121.
However, second seed in the West, the Phoenix Suns couldn’t follow suit in their game as the Los Angeles Lakers regained parity in their series thanks to an important 109-102 win in Phoenix last night.
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Davis Back With A Bang For Lakers
Lakers forward Anthony Davis had received some criticism for being anonymous in the first game between the two, which the Suns won, but the forward returned to form with a bang last night.
“I wanted to make sure that I made a statement this game.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 26, 2021
Davis connected for 34 points, 7 assists and 10 rebounds and he was ably supported by Dennis Schroder (24 pts, 3 assists, 3 rebounds) and LeBron James (23 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds).
It was a solid first quarter start by the Lakers that laid the foundation for the win, as they led the Suns by six at the end of that first quarter. The lead remained the same at half time and by the end of that game, the six point gap had become seven as the Lakers landed a crucial win.
They now travel back to Los Angeles knowing that two wins on their home court would put them in a very strong position in the series.
Devin Booker put up 31 points for the Suns in defeat, but guard Chris Paul only played 23 minutes chiefly due to an injury picked up in the first game of the series.
His status for the double-header of games in Los Angeles is not yet known.
Brooklyn Demolish Celtics Once Again
In the first game last night, the Brooklyn Nets took a 2-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics with a dominant display.
The Nets raced into a 14-point lead in the first quarter and by the end of the second, had extended that to 24 points. That became 27 points by the end of the third quarter as Kevin Durant, Joe Harris and James Harden all scored 20 or more points.
The Celtics never got close to the Nets and they will know they face a huge task to progress even with the next two games being in Boston.
In the late game, the ailing Los Angeles Clippers went down 127 to 121 to the Dallas Mavericks, the second home reverse for the LA side and a result which makes the Mavs the clear favorites to progress from this series.
Tim Hardaway Jr with 28 points and Luka Doncic, who added 7 rebounds and 7 assists alongside his 39 point haul, were the inspiration for Dallas as they produced a stirring third quarter to take a nine point lead in the game, which they manage to hang on to in a tight fourth quarter.
Not even a 41 point haul from Kawhi Leonard could get the Clippers over the line and their playoff record now extends to five successive defeats, following last season’s capitulation from 3-1 up in their series against the Denver Nuggets.
Coach Ty Lue has been heavily criticised in the wake of the defeat by some on social media.
Ty Lue after getting swept: pic.twitter.com/JSN2tEgJjp
— Free 🇵🇸 (@vertvsworld) May 26, 2021
Tonight’s Games And Odds
Looking ahead to tonight’s games, we finish the second match in each series this evening, starting with the early game in Philadelphia as the 76ers take on the Wizards.
The 76ers have won every encounter between the two teams this season and were easy winners in the first game of the series. They are -360 on the moneyline to win the game tonight with BetRivers PA.
After a narrow win in the first game of the series, the Atlanta Hawks can take a big step towards the conference semifinals with another win over the New York Knicks tonight.
Trae Young connected for 32 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in that game and he will likely be their focal point of attack tonight.
The Knicks though are the slim favorites in this one with BetRivers having them -132 to win the game, compared to the Hawks at +110.
The final game of the night sees the Utah Jazz trying to strike back after their surprise opening game loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The bookmakers are very confident on the Jazz striking back this evening, with the Jazz rated -435 to win the game, while the Grizzlies are +340 to repeat their first game success, both with BetRivers PA
Whatever happens tonight, it is surely going to make the third game in each of the series hugely important in the context of qualifying for those conference semifinals.