Celtics bounce back as Warriors take a 2-0 series lead in the finals
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics bounced back in game 2 when they beat the Miami Heat 127-102 as the series is now levelled at 1-1. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown each had 24 as Grant Williams scored 19 points, Payton Pritchard and Al Horford each had 10 for them. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler had 29 points in 32 minutes as Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladipo each scored 14 points, and Tyler Herro added 11 points. The 25-point halftime lead was the biggest by the Celtics in any road playoff game, topping a 22-point edge at the break at Chicago in 2009. With this result the series is on a knife's edge as both teams head to Boston tomorrow to play game three, which could be a crucial match for both the teams.
''Guys have pride and looked at a golden opportunity that we kind of lost (in Game 1) and thought we could do much better,'' Udoka said. ''And we did that tonight.''
''We were pretty confident,'' Pritchard said.
''This only counts as one,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''That's what the experienced players in the locker room and staff understand. We don't like it. They played extremely well. You have two really good teams and we just have to figure some things out.''
''It's a loss, whether you lose by one or by 20,'' Vincent said. ''It's regroup, go back to the drawing board and get ready for Game 3.''
''They came out,'' Heat centre Bam Adebayo said, ''and hit us in the mouth.''
''I got to get my rest, got to get my health back, got to watch and see some things and come out and execute in this game,'' Smart said.
''It has to hurt,'' Butler said. ''They tried to embarrass us. They did embarrass us. ... Overall, we just have to be better.''
The Golden State Warriors have taken a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference final as they beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-117. For the Warriors, Curry scored 32 points with six 3-pointers and eight more rebounds, Looney had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds, Jordan Poole scored 23 points off the bench, Andrew Wiggins had 16 and Klay Thompson added 15 points for a second straight game. Golden State scored 62 points in the paint. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 42 points and shot 12 for 23 and shined in a game of brilliant shotmaking. The Warriors finished 56.1% from the floor. In the first half alone, Dallas edged Golden State 52.3% to 51.2%, including a remarkable 55.6% to 53.3% from 3-point range.
''I feel honoured just to be a part of the ride,'' Looney said.
''We have that attitude and spirit that we're never out of it,'' Curry said.
''We know how good they are as a third-quarter team,'' Dallas forward Reggie Bullock said. ''It's just something that slipped away from us as the game continued to go on.''
''Against someone that good you're just trying to limit the easy stuff,'' Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
''It's the Warriors. They have a great team. They're a championship team. We've got to adjust our defence,'' Doncic said. ''... We were up 19, so it's a tough situation. But we can't look back. What happened, happened. So we've got to move on.''
''We're on the road against one of the best teams in the league. It happens. They held serve,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. ''We've seen this in Phoenix so now we have to go back and just focus on Game 3.''
Kerr asked his team to settle down. ''I told them that if we developed some poise in the second half, that the game would come to us,'' he said. ''But I thought we were so scattered in the first half. Maybe emotionally more so than anything. Dallas came out and just punched us.''
Warriors win against Mavericks in the Western conference finals
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors produced an empathic performance to beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 in game 1 of the Western Conference finals. For the Warriors, Curry had 21 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as Wiggins added 19 points, making six of his first eight shots on the way to shooting 8 for 17. Jordan Poole also scored 19 off the bench and Thompson scored all of his 15 points after halftime.. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 20 points but shot just 6 for 18 and 3 of 10 from deep as Jalen Brunson scored 14 points but missed all five of his 3s. With this result the Warriors take the lead in a best of seven series as they now face them on 20th May in the Chase Arena in San Francisco.
The Warriors reached five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19 but missed the playoffs the past two years before this run as they look ever determined to get to the NBA finals this year. Luka Doncic appeared to be nursing some kind of injury which he might have sustained during the intense 7 game series against the Phoenix Suns. Doncic, who was averaging 31.5 points in the playoffs, was a tall task for the Warriors defence to manage him but they were up for the task as they had already handled two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of Denver in the first round, then Ja Morant early last series before his knee injury. The Mavericks need Luka Doncic fit and firing as their first final since 2011 rests on his shoulders.
''Just make him work, that was the main thing,'' Wiggins said.
''A great job. That's it,'' Doncic said. ''They did a great job.''
''They did a really good job. Wiggins picked him up full court,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. ''They went box-and-one, they went zone. We understood coming into the series that we were going to see that. We'll go back and look at the video and see what we can do better.''
''I thought Wiggs was fantastic,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in this league. ... It's important to make him work. He's so good. Any great player in the league you're trying to limit the damage that they do.''
''It is how we play,'' Curry said. ''When you have that ability to create separation like we did in the third quarter, it's a fun way to play.''
''I didn't have a field goal in the first half but that will never discourage me,'' Thompson said. ''I will always hunt my shot.''
''It was great to be back. I missed being out there with the guys,'' Kerr said. ''Amazing atmosphere here at Chase and we're excited to keep going.''
''We would like to play our pace but the Warriors have a unique pace, they're going to get out and put a lot of pressure on your defence in transition,'' Kidd said. ''We have to be cautious of that. We don't want a track meet.''
NBA: The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks make the Conference finals
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics knocked out the defending Champions as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the final game 7 decider 109-81. For the Celtics, Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and Boston set a Game 7 record with 22 3-pointers as Jaylen Brown scored 19 points and Marcus Smart added 11 crucial points. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists but he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter as Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. With this result, the Celtics will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in that series at Walt Disney World.
''As much as it hurt to lose Game 5, I was looking forward to that challenge,'' Tatum said. ''I believe in myself, I believe in this team. I expected to play the way I did and for us to respond the way we did.''
''For me it was like, they're encouraging it, I might as well take advantage,'' Williams said. ''Each one as time went on got more comfortable.''
''Shots that I usually make weren't going in. That's basketball. That's sports,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. There's a winner. There's a loser. You've just got to live with it.'
''This is what we played for, why we played the season out, to have home-court advantage in a Game 7,'' Udoka said. ''If you believe in the basketball gods, those things matter.''
Brown said their coach has been the catalyst to put them in this position. ''We didn't want it to be over. We didn't overcome all the stuff we did during the regular season for that to be it. .. At the end of the day, we wanted to come out, leave it all out there. I think we did.''
The Dallas Mavericks produced the upset of the season when they beat the best team in the NBA in game 7 as they took the series 4-3 with a 123-90 blowout victory over the Phoenix Suns. For the Mavericks, Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 as both of them were the first teammates to have at least 20 points in a half in Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston did it for the Knicks in 1997. Doncic finished 12 of 19 from the field, including 6 of 11 on 3s. He also got some help in Dinwiddie who had 21 points in the first half with 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. For the Suns, Booker finished with 11 points and shot 3 of 14 while Paul had 10 points and four assists as they shot just 37.9% from the field. With this result the Dallas Mavericks are going to face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
''A lot of people said it would be a blowout,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a grin. ''They were right.''
''We played all season to be in this situation,'' Suns guard Chris Paul said. ''It didn't work out for us.''
''I can't get this smile off my face,'' Doncic said. ''I'm just really happy. Honestly, I think we deserved this.''
''It's still kind of shocking,'' Dinwiddie said
''That group has a lot of character and integrity and I know how bad they wanted it,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''We just could not execute tonight. Couldn't make a shot early, that messed with us a little bit and Dallas played their tails of from start to finish.''
''You could see some of the pressure was on them early,'' Kidd said. ''They missed some shots they normally make.''
NBA: Warriors reach the Western Conference final, Celtics force game 7
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors reached the Western Conference finals after they clinched a 110-96 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Klay Thompson had 21 and nine rebounds as Poole scored 27 points off the bench and Andrew Wiggins added 17 points. For the Grizzlies, Dillion Brooks scored 30 points while Desmond Bane had 25 points as they were without their star Ja Morant for this all important game. With this result the Warriors reach their first conference since 2019 and will either face Mavericks or the Suns in the final.
''When we doubled him, I hit the ball, l was going for the ball. Obviously, you don't want to see anybody get hurt, I'm not even that type of player,'' Poole said. ''I respect everybody. Obviously hopefully he gets better and we can see him out there next game. ''
''He's getting evaluated now. Nothing further. We just watched the replay,'' Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. ''He was going after a dribble and Jordan Poole actually grabbed his knee and yanked it, which kind of triggered whatever happened, so I'm actually going to be very curious to see what happens after that.''
''I've been through a tough knee injury, and I don't think there's any malicious intent from Jordan,'' Thompson said. ''I don't even think he's strong enough to affect somebody's knee. But we're not out there trying to hurt people or trying to club people in the back of the head on a fast break. We play the game the right way and I'm going to have his back.''
''The shot selection was much improved,'' Kerr said
''We were just too frenetic to start off the game,'' Kerr said.
The Boston Celtics produced an emphatic performance under pressure as they forced game number 7 against the Bucks when they won 108-95 in game 6. For the Celtics, Tatum scored 46, he scored 16 of Boston's 26 fourth-quarter points as Jaylen Brown added 22 points, Marcus Smart had 21 points, seven assists and no turnovers.. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists as Jrue Holiday scored 17 points and Pat Connaughton had 14 points as they combined for 75 of the Bucks' 95 points. The Bucks had won all eight of their potential series clinchers in Budenholzer's four-year tenure but this marked the first time the Bucks had lost a possible clincher since a Game 7 defeat subsequently against Boston in a 2018 first-round series.
''I wasn't going to leave anything out there and have any regrets,'' Tatum said. ''Just trying to do what it took.''
''I don't think anybody's won two games in a row in this series,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''Now, it's the final. You've got to go and find a way to get that fourth win and win the series. I think everybody in sport looks for that game. That college feel. That NCAA feel, where if you lose your season's done, if you win, you keep going. It's exciting.''
“Tonight will be the first night since that game that I'll get some sleep,'' said Marcus Smart
''They were tougher than us in that fourth quarter of Game 5,'' Tatum said. ''That was in the back of my mind. That was in the back of everybody's mind, that we couldn't get beat on those kind of plays. Our season was on the line.''
''He went into another mode right there,'' Smart said. ''We'd seen it in his eyes.''
''We had the right resolve,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''We talked about it after that game. We let an opportunity slip away (Wednesday) but we still had a chance to make it a better story, I guess.''
NBA: Celtics level the series and Warriors win against the Grizzlies
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics leveled the series as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-108. For the Celtics, Horford and Jayson Tatum scored 30 points. Horford had 16 points and Tatum 12 in the fourth quarter alone to help the Celtics outscore the defending NBA champions 43-28. Both Jaylen Brown and defensive player of the year Marcus Smart had 18 points each. For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists as Jrue Holiday scored 16 points but shot 5 of 22. With this result, game 5 becomes very important as both the teams head to Milwaukee on 11th May.
''I usually just kind of go about my business,'' said Horford, who finished with a career playoff-high 30 points. ''I do get excited, but I guess you kind of pick your spots, your moments. This was an emotional game.''
“We love Al,'' said Boston's Marcus Smart. ''Best vet we've ever had. Best vet I've ever had. He comes in, never changes whether things are going bad or good. He's going to be him, and nine times out of 10, it's going to work out in our favor.''
''I played a terrible Game 3 and we almost had a chance to win,'' Tatum said. ''That was really the toughest part, was knowing that. I was really eager to get back and ready to play.''
''I don't really know what he said to me, but the way he was looking at me and the way he was going about it, really didn't sit well with me,'' Horford said. ''At that point, I think something switched with me in the game.''
''We all understood the importance of this game,'' Horford said. ''We felt at the end of Game 3 we were in position to win the game, and we didn't. I was just really locked in. I understood at that moment what we needed to do as a group. I really just did whatever it took tonight. It was one of those types of nights.''
''Down the stretch, they made shots,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''They executed well. They were disciplined.''
The Golden State Warriors are one game away from reaching the Western Conference finals as they beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101-98. For the Warriors, Curry converted eight free throws over the final 45.7 seconds on the way to 32 points as Poole scored 14 off the bench, Andrew Wiggins added 17 points in a well fought victory for them. For the Grizzlies, Tyus Jones had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists as they missed injured All-Star Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks returned from a one-game suspension and struggled mightily, missing a 3-point try with 53 seconds left and finishing 5 for 19 with 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds as Jaren Jackson top scored with 21 points. With this result, the Warriors take a 3-1 lead and have a chance to seal the series on 11th May.
''Obviously there's butterflies, because again you're going into the game with a certain mindset and it's a big game. Every game that we play at this point in the year, it's huge,'' said Brown, who agreed Sunday to become the Sacramento Kings' new coach after this postseason run.
''So to have that kind of thrown at you, you've got to switch gears because I know what my responsibilities are going in as Mike Brown the assistant coach, and it changes.'
''His head coaching record for a Warrior playoff game I think is undefeated,'' Klay Thompson said. ''We did miss Steve a lot, just his voice, his presence, but we've been here before, 2017 when Mike took over and we rolled off a lot of wins, so I reflected on that a lot.''
''Nothing we figured out, it was just don't let the first three quarters influence the fact that we still had a chance to win the game,'' Curry said. ''Shoot the shots you think you can make, play aggressively, and take care of the ball. We did all of those things.''
''It's a tough one. It's a tough pill to swallow. It felt like we were leading the whole game,'' Jones said. ''It felt like we were in a good position. It felt like we put ourselves in a good position to win a ballgame and things didn't go our way down the stretch.''
''He forced a couple. Trying to get his groove back,'' Jenkins said. ''Obviously he's been off for a couple of days. But when he was playing with force under control, I loved the playmaking that he had.''
NBA: Suns beat the Mavs as Heat take a 2-0 lead against the Sixers
(Basketball news) The Phoenix Suns are two games away from reaching the Western Conference finals as they beat the Dallas Mavericks 129-109. For the Suns, the 12-time All-Star Chris Paul scored 28 points, including 14 in another spectacular final period as Booker led the Suns with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. For the Mavs, Luka Doncic scored 35 points on 13-of-22 shooting as Reggie Bullock added 16 points. With this win the Suns head to Dallas in game 3 tomorrow.
''You've just got to lean on the work,'' Paul said. ''It all goes back to work. You can't cheat the game. You've got to do the strength and conditioning, you've got to lift, you've got to get your rest, you got to get your shots up.
''You guys tell me, you're watching the same thing,'' Booker said. ''It impresses us every time we see it, but it doesn't surprise us. It's just the will to win.''
''We have good players,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''I'd love to sit here and tell you I'm moving the chess pieces around, but we have good players who can knock down shots.''
''He had a great game, but no one else showed,'' Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. ''We've got to get other guys shooting the ball better. We can't win with just him out there scoring 30 a night. Not this time of the year and playing the best team in the league.''
''The mood is fine,'' Doncic said. ''I think a lot of players, it's the first time in this situation. They've got to win four, so it's not over yet. We are going to go back home, our crowd is amazing.''
The Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-103 as they took a 2-0 lead in the series. For the Heat, Adebayo scored 23 points, Butler had 22 points and 12 assists, as Victor Oladipo scored 19 points on his 30th birthday and Tyler Herro added 18. For the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey scored 34 points, as they got 21 from Tobias Harris and 20 from James Harden. The 76ers' franchise has never recovered to win the series after going 2-0 down in a playoff series. The question going into Friday will revolve around whether Embiid could be ready for Game 3. The league's scoring champion and MVP finalist is recovering from an orbital fracture and concussion and has, not surprisingly, been big-time missed by the 76ers
''It's always nice to win,'' Butler said. ''We just did what we're supposed to do at home.''
''We've just got to go back to the drawing board and try to figure it out,'' Maxey said.
''We don't have a big man right now,'' Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers lamented.
''He's got so many steps to go through,'' Rivers said. ''I don't think he's cleared any of them right now.''
''When it comes down to it, you've got to make shots, especially when you're on the road against a really good team,'' Harden said. ''It's pretty simple.''
'It's not easy to get playoff wins.'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''We had some great stretches, particularly defensively. We had some really good stretches offensively. ... Our defense really carried us to the win, but we had some really timely offensive plays.''
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