NBA: Boston Celtics reach their first NBA final since 2010
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics made history by reaching their first final since 2010 as they beat the Miami Heat 100-96 in game number 7. For the Celtics, Eastern Conference finals MVP Jayson Tatum led the way with 26 points, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each added 24. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler led the scoring with 35 points in what became their season finale. Bam Adebayo added 25 points as Kyle Lowry scored 15 points. With this result they will now face the Golden State Warriors in an historic NBA Final 2022.
The Boston Celtics will have a tough task against Steph and co as they will be the clear favourites in the final. With Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown on song it will be an interesting watch to see. The Warriors are back for more and thirsty for more success and are thoroughly qualified to raise the trophy for a fourth time since 2015. Their veteran trio is championship-tested and along with that Steve Kerr has managed to infuse youth and quickness to make for a winning combination. Meanwhile, this Celtics team is also trying to add to the franchise trophy case, one that’s bigger than the Warriors and that of everyone else other than the Lakers. Jayson Tatum is on the verge of superstar status and Jaylen Brown has proven to be a very capable sidekick. Both are superb two-way players and, along with Marcus Smart, make Boston an elite defensive combination which has won them so many matches this season
''This is amazing,'' Smart said. ''We finally got over the hump.''
''To get over the hump with this group, it means everything,'' Tatum said.
''It's just one of those really tough moments,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''You can't prepare for it. ... It's one of the worst feelings in the world to address your locker room after a game like this.''
''Our focus is getting four more,'' Udoka said.
''The road that we took to get here, not a lot of people believed in us,'' Tatum said. ''We took the toughest route. It looked out.''
'The Boston Celtics did what they came out here to do in this series,'' Butler said.
''Today was the biggest test,'' Brown said. ''Not just of the year, but of our careers.''
NBA: Miami Heat force game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals
(Basketball news) The Miami Heat played out their skin to force game 7 as they beat the Boston Celtics 111-103. For the Heat, Butler scored 47 points - a career playoff high and one of the best performances by a player facing elimination in NBA history as Lowry finished with 18 points and 10 assists. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum had 30 points and nine rebounds for them, and White came off the bench to score 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as Jaylen Brown scored 20 points. With this result Miami get home advantage in the crucial game 7 to decide the winners of the Eastern Conference and the finalist who will play the Warriors.
Jimmy Butler’s performance was reminiscent of LeBron James in 2010 where he scored 45 points in a Game 6 in Boston to the first of the Heat's back-to-back NBA titles, Butler was even more clutch as he scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to top him and send the series back to Miami. With a victory at home, the Heat would advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. On the other hand, the Celtics are trying to reach the finals for the first time since 2010, two years after the Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen won their record equaling 17th NBA title which was a record since then.
''It's incredible,'' Lowry said ''It's incredible to have a guy like him next to me. I've played with some great players, and he's one of the best.''
''This is the way it should be, with these two teams. It should have gone seven games,'' Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''I'm just really thrilled that our group gets an opportunity to compete in a Game 7 in front of our home crowd.''
''He came out from the jump and kind of put his imprint on the game,'' White said. ''That's just who he's been his whole career, constantly attacking and doing what he does to help his team win. We knew it was coming, and we've got to do a better job in Game 7.''
''It's no secret: It's Game 7, trip to the NBA Finals, a lot on the line,'' Tatum said. ''We know what's at stake. We know how much this means to everybody.''
''I get it, people can easily draw the comparisons between the two,'' Spoelstra said. ''That's a different era. That's a different team. I want our guys to embrace this moment.''
NBA: Mavericks force game 5 as Celtic drew the series level
(Basketball news) The Dallas Mavericks were on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference standings but somehow managed to force a game 5 against the Golden State Warriors as they beat them 119-109. For the Mavericks, Doncic had 30 points and 14 rebounds, it was the 10th double-double in his 14 games this postseason for Doncic, who also had nine assists. Dorian Finney-Smith had 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Bullock added 18 points on 6-of-10 - all 3-pointers. Jalen Brunson had 15 points and Maxi Kleber was 5-of-6 shooting overall for 13 points. For the Warriors, Curry had 20 points as Jonathan Kuminga had 17 points from the bench.
''Just got to finish the game. A win is a win,'' said Doncic, who was 10-of-26 shooting with only three made 3s but got plenty of help from his supporting cast.
'Everybody in that locker room felt like we had more basketball to play,'' Finney-Smith said. ''We just wanted to get the win anyway. ... Feel like we came out desperate in that first half.''
''It was almost like an ego win (for Dallas). You come out and really have nothing to lose. So that confidence started early,'' Stephen Curry said. ''And we really didn't do anything to slow it down, and then that's when the avalanche starts. You tip your hat to them.''
''Just made the decision to see if we could pull off a miracle, but it wasn't meant to be,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Dallas was great tonight. They deserved to win. This is the conference finals. This is how it's supposed to be.''
''I still believe we can win. Swept or not swept, if you lose, you lose,'' Doncic said. ''Got to go game by game.''
The Boston Celtics tied the series 2-2 in the Eastern Conference finals as they beat the Miami Heat 102-82. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum scored 31 points as Payton Pritchard had 14 points for them, Derrick White added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Robert William finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. For the Heat, Victor Oladipo led the scoring with 23 points, their starting five of All-Star Jimmy Butler (six points), Kyle Lowry (three points), P.J. Tucker (no points), Max Strus (no points) and Bam Adebayo (nine points) were a combined 7 of 36 shooting. They go to Miami for game 5 tomorrow.
''Obviously, we knew how important this game was,'' Tatum said. ''Everybody just had to come up with a different sense of urgency.''
'Just got to muster that same energy when we came off a win as well as a loss,'' Udoka said. ''This is a three-game series now. Can't always just flip the mindset when we come off a loss and get a little desperate.''
''They came out and jumped us,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''We're not making any excuses. They outplayed us tonight for sure. We never could get any kind of grip on the game.''
''It's a part of the playoffs. You learn to adapt,'' Adebayo said. ''Guys being out, guys playing half, guys playing 20 minutes in the game, just depends. You've just got to find a way to win.'
NBA: Miami Heat draws first blood in the Eastern Conference final
(Basketball news) Miami Heat drew first blood against Boston Celtics in the first game as they beat 118-107. For the Heat, Butler scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half as Tyler Herro scored 18 and Gabe Vincent added 17 points while Max Strus scored 11 and Bam Adebayo added 10. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum led the scoring with 29, they were without starters Marcus Smart (foot) and Al Horford (health and safety protocols). Jaylen Brown added 24 for Boston, which got 18 apiece from Robert Williams III and Payton Pritchard. They will play the next game on 19th May in the FTX Arena in Miami.
''Jimmy Butler is an elite competitor,'' Spoelstra said. ''There's a lot of guys in this league that are playing basketball. He's competing to win. That's a totally different thing and he does that as well as anybody in this league.''
''We won three quarters other than that, but obviously that one is going to stand out,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''We semi-bounced back in the fourth and started to play well again and matched their physicality, but 39-14 on 2-for-15 is tough to overcome.''
''I continued to play basketball the right way: Shoot the ball when I'm open, attack, hit the open guy,'' Butler said. ''Honestly, it was a team effort.''
''It wasn't anything different that they did,'' Udoka said. ''They just came out and imposed their will.''
''Our energy shifted,'' Adebayo said. ''That was the biggest key.''
''Other than the third quarter, I think we won every other quarter,'' Pritchard said. ''Obviously, we try not to let that happen next time.''
NBA: Last years finalist Phoenix Suns lose to Denver Nuggets as both the Bulls and Knicks win
(Basketball news) The match between the Suns and Nuggets was a story of two halves, ultimately the Denver Nuggets came out on top as they used lockdown defence and clutch 3 point shots to start off their campaign with a 110-98 victory. Last year's MVP Nikola Jokic started off the campaign with 27 points and 13 rebounds on 13 of 22 shooting from the field as he was too much for the Suns defence to handle, on the other hand Mikal Bridges top scored with 16 points as Chris Paul and co couldn’t get themselves in a groove in the second half
Knicks edged out Celtics 138-134 after playing two overtimes, in what was an enthralling game between these two historical franchises. Evan Fournier in his first match for the New York Knicks scored a career high with 32 points and also hit the game winning three pointer with 56 seconds left in the second overtime. Earlier Jaylen Brown scored 46 points to inspire his team to make a comeback in the fourth quarter as they were down by 11 points, subsequently Brown broke the franchise record for the highest number of points scored on the opening night but ultimately his efforts went in vain as they lost by 4 points in the end. Last year’s most improved player Julius Randle top scored for the Knicks with 35 points, 9 assist and 8 rebounds to help inspire them to a historic victory.
The Chicago Bulls won 94-88 against the Detroit Pistons, this season the Bulls have made significant changes to their roster adding the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. These players made their debut and did not disappoint as they scored 17 and 12 points respectively but all the headlines were grabbed by their franchise cornerstone for years Zach Lavine who top scored with 34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assist. Jerami Grant did his best to inspire a comeback but his 24 points wasn’t enough for them as the Bulls defeated the Pistons for the eight consecutive time.
In tomorrow's matches, the two next generation superstars Trae Young and Luka Doncic go head to head as Hawks take on the Mavericks. Last year's surprise package Hawks will be looking to continue from where they left off from last season as they made it to the Eastern Conference finals under coach Nate McMillan in his first full season. For the Mavericks they will be heading into a new era as coach Rick Carlisle will not be in there for the first time since the 2007-08 season as they have appointed former Dallas player Jason Kidd as their new head coach.
The Miami Heat will play their first match against defending champions Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat will have a renewed vigour and passion to make this year's final after a disappointing season last year, this season Miami have added some extra firepower in the form of former NBA champion Kyle Lowry and also Victor Oldapio who was added to their roster last season will come back from a recurring injury. Miami mainstays Jimmy Butler and along with Bam Adebayo will be hoping that they inspire them to go all the way and win a NBA championship together. This season the Heats have been portrayed as the dark horse for the Championship by the former players and experts.
Last year's Western Conference Finalist LA Clippers will take on Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are coming off good form after beating the Lakers and will hope to repeat the same against their city rivals. For Clippers, the task in hand will be difficult as their talisman Kawhi Leonard will be out for quite some time as he suffered an ACL injury in the Western Conference Finals. All the onus will be on Paul George to lead the franchise before Kawhi Leonard comes back.
The other significant results were:
- Trail Blazers 121 - 124 Kings
- Jazz 107 - 86 Thunder
- Spurs 123 - 97 Magic
- Grizzlies 132 - 121 Cavaliers
- Pelicans 97 - 117 76ers
- Raptors 83 - 98 Wizards
- Hornets 123 - 122 Pacers
- Timberwolves 124 - 106 Rockets