NBA: Mavericks, Pelicans and 76ers all seal their respective series

(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns qualified to the semifinals of the Western Conference playoffs as they beat the New Orleans Pelicans 115-109 in game 6. For the Suns, Paul shot 14-for-14 as he scored 33 points, he was 14 for 14 – the most field goals without a miss in an NBA playoff game as Deandre Ayton had 22 points for Phoenix on 10-of-12 shooting. For the Pelicans, Ingram led the scoring with 21 points and 11 assists, CJ McCollum and Hebert Jones both scored 16 points. With this result the Suns will now face the Dallas Mavericks in the next round of playoff fixtures.

''I had no clue,'' said Paul, the former Pelican who finished with 33 points and eight assists. ''I think maybe at halftime I said I might have to shoot a little more. But throughout the game, I was literally managing the game. I wasn't taking heat checks. I don't shoot enough to have heat checks.''

''I can't even say because he's done it so many times,'' Williams said. ''This is probably No. 1 because it just happened, and I knew how special New Orleans is to him. He cares deeply about the city and the fans and the children. It's probably No. 1 because it just happened,''

'It was really nice to have him back,'' Paul said. ''All that pressure they've been doing against us the whole series, especially the last three games, was tough. (Booker) was on that left wing, and I don't know if they forgot or didn't realize who he was, but I saw how they were shifted.''

''It caught me off guard, too,'' Booker said. ''You don't normally get clean looks like that.''

The Dallas Mavericks qualified to the semi finals of the Western Conference playoffs as they beat the Utah Jazz 98-96 in game 6. For the Mavericks, Doncic and Jalen Brunson each scored 24 points but the main reason they won was because Mavericks shot 56% (14 of 25) from 3-point range after halftime. For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell had 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as Bogdanovic finished with 19 points, but couldn't make the shot that would have won it. With this result the Mavericks will now take on the Suns in the 2nd round of playoffs.

''I like sharing the ball. If they're going to hit or blitz me, someone is going to be open,'' Doncic said.

''It was all about trust,'' Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. ''Luka did an incredible job knowing they were going to try and take the ball out of his hands.''

''Playing with Luka the past couple years, I should expect the ball when I'm not expecting it. The ball found me,'' Brunson said of his clutch 3-pointer.

''We have played a lot of games in the playoffs and still haven't got to the second round. But we feel like we can do something great this year, so we all expected to get this win,'' Finney-Smith said.

''I'm speechless,'' Mitchell said about failing to advance. ''It's on me. I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I just wasn't who I needed to be. I need to be better.''

The Philadelphia 76ers made it to the next round of playoffs as they beat the Toronto Raptors 132-97 to win the series 4-2. For the Sixers, Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds, Harden added 22 points and 15 assists as Tyrese Maxey scored 25 points, going 5 for 12 from 3-point range, and Tobias Harris had 19 points and 11 rebounds. For the Raptors, Chris Boucher had 25 points and 10 rebounds , Pascal Siakam fouled out with 24 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 19 and Scottie Barnes 18. With this result the 76ers now take on the number 1 seed from the East,  the Miami Heat, in the Eastern Conference semifinal playoffs.

''We weren't going back to Philly for a Game 7,'' Harden said

''They're good, they're deep, they're veterans,'' 76ers coach Doc Rivers said about the Heat. ''We've got to go play grown men, and we're looking forward to the challenge.''

We fought hard but we didn't get the outcome we wanted,'' Siakam said. ''We just have to go back and learn from it.''

''I thought we went through a tremendous amount this year,'' Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. ''They just kept fighting, kept playing, kept getting better and kept figuring it out.''

''At halftime I looked and we had great shots, and we were going to keep getting those,'' Rivers said. ''I told them `If we can rebound the ball, we can stretch this lead quickly.' That was quicker than I thought, obviously. We made every shot.''

Also read: NBA: Warriors prevail to the next round as the Bucks overcome the Bulls


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