Two more teams booked their spot in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs
The GIST: After last night’s triple-header of crucial Game 5s, two teams have booked their spot in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. And they may soon be joined by three underdogs who could punch their tickets tonight. Someone call the Baha Men.
Who clinched: Reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokić led the Western Conference (WC) No. 1 Denver Nuggets to a tense 112–109 victory over the No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves. Rudy Gobert? More like Rudy Go-bye.
- Then, the WC No. 4 Phoenix Suns rose past the No. 5 LA Clippers 136–130 as Kevin Durant and Devin Booker combined for 78 points. Caliente.
Who couldn’t finish the job: The Eastern Conference (EC) No. 2 Boston Celtics lost their second consecutive game to Trae Young and the No. 7 Atlanta Hawks, falling 119–117 in Game 5 after a stunning last second game-winner by Ice Trae. Boston still leads the series 3-2, but they’ll have to win on the road tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. ET to close it out.
Who’s on the brink: It’s all about the longshots, baby. The EC No. 5 Knicks and No. 7 LA Lakers (both leading 3-1) will try to defy the odds against the No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers and No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies tonight at 7 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
- As for other upset potential, the EC No. 8 Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler scored a celestial 56 points in his squad’s massive Game 4 Monday comeback, meaning they can knock out injured Giannis Antetokounmpo and the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks (down 3-1) tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET.
- And saving the spiciest series for last, the WC No. 6 Golden State Warriors and No. 3 Sacramento Kings are tied at two games apiece, with both squads trying to find an edge during tonight’s 10 p.m. ET tip-off. Game on.