What’s next in four exciting series of NBA semifinal conferences?
After the Boston Celtics Center Robert Williams III it was a late scratch Monday night, Al Horford picked up the gap with a record 30 points in his career in the playoffs in a win in the 4th game tied in a row Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Despite shooting 9-for-37 from a 3-point range, the Golden State Warriors came together late and took a 3-1 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies, who are hoping And Morant can come back after missing the 4th game due to a knee injury.
Behind 31 points from James Harden and the second part of the triumphant return of Joel Embiid, who missed the first two games in a row due to a concussion and an orbital bone fracture, the Philadelphia 76ers equaled their clash with the Miami Heat. For Miami’s best holder, health guard Kyle Lowry it is still a questionnaire hovering over this series.
In Dallas, the Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul had the second consecutive bizarre performance in defeat, fouled early in the fourth quarter of the 4th game after making seven lost balls in the first half of the 3rd game. Meanwhile, Dallas role players stepped up on Sunday; Mavs has not been named Luka Dončić hit 19 of his 20 threes, led by eight from Dorian Finney-Smith and four from Davis Bertans.
With three tied series and a fourth with the Grizzlies with no. 2 holders on the edge, where will each of them head as the semifinals of the conference shift to critical game 5?
Lowry returned to the East semifinals knowing his left hamstring was less than 100 percent. But the veteran Spitz knows Miami needs him – even after taking a 2-0 lead – as the series returns to his hometown.
The 36-year-old tried, but through Games 3 and 4 it was clear that Lowry would not even be close to himself until the end of the road – if he returned at all; Lowry will miss Game 5 on Monday and is considered daily.
Lowry’s outstanding basketball IQ was the only thing that pushed him through the injury he suffered in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks that cost him the next four games.
The fact that Lowry played 55 minutes in Game 3 and 4 together, all the way to adjusting the knee tendon early in the fourth quarter of Game 4 and sat for the last 9 minutes and 42 seconds, was a reminder of why Miami was so excited the last time brought to South Florida summer and believed it would fit perfectly into the acclaimed “Heat Culture”.
But Lowry rarely, if ever, showed any kind of burst on the field. His shot – 3-for-14 from the field and 0-for-8 from the 3-point range for the series – was affected by his injury.
Tim Legler can’t explain Chris Paul’s suffering in Game 4, but he expects Paul to return in Game 5.
Lowry’s counterpart, James Harden, was in the same situation a year ago. Harden, then with the Brooklyn Nets, returned from his a tendon injury to play against the Milwaukee Bucks in the East 2021 semifinals, averaging 46.3 minutes over the last three games of the series as he struggled with movement.
Like Harden last season, Lowry still managed to provide a few recognizable moments. He set fire to one of Miami’s best stocks in the fourth game of the second quarter. And somehow he forced it Joel Embiidwhich is a rate higher than him, in missed the post-up opportunity.
But for the team that procured Lowry to generate a better midfield attack in later playoff rounds, it’s a devastating injury.
Even in Heat’s home wins, Miami’s attack didn’t look convincing and both mitigated it Bam Adebayo getting whatever he wants against DeAndre Jordan and Paul Reed inside with Embiid on the side, and Philadelphia goes a combined 14-for-64 from 3.
No one knew that more than Lowry, which is why he came back and played the last two games on the hamstring which is not right. And that’s why Heat could easily face elimination when this series kicks off in Philadelphia for Game 6 on Thursday (19:00 ET, ESPN).
– Tim Bontemps
Suns 2, Mavericks 2: How much of a coincidence have the last two CP3 games been?
Paul has not been the same player since he turned 37 – four days ago.
He was in his old “Point God” form while the Suns jumped to a 2-0 lead at home, especially during his 14-point run at the start of the fourth quarter and rejected the second game.
But Paul had a bizarrely bad birthday weekend, when he had more turnovers (nine) and fouls (10) than a ball in a couple of defeats on the road as the Mavs tied the series.
Some of Paul’s struggles can simply be attributed to unusual sloppiness. He will probably never have seven turnovers in the first half again, as he did in the first game. And it was a shocking mental mistake to pick up his fourth mistake just before halftime as he chased an attacking jump that had minimal chances of catching him.
But let’s pay tribute to Dallas, with the assistance of Father Time.
“I’m just making it harder for him, lifting him all over the field,” Mavs attacks Dorian Finney-Smith he said after the game. “Just make him tired. He’s old, so we’re just trying to use that against him.”
Marcus Smart tries to pick up Giannis Antetokounmpa for more than 10 seconds before giving up and leaving him on the floor.
Reggie Bullock Maverick is primarily responsible for Paul doing 94 feet. Bullock, 31, is certainly not a spring hen by NBA standards, but he is young enough to consider Paula a mentor after playing for his AAU program as a teenager.
“I hope I have a little more energy in my tank than him,” Bullock said between the 3rd and 4th games.
Dallas is also determined to prevent Paul from operating in his midfield comfort zones. He is an exception in the modern NBA, a player the Mavs want to force in color instead of watching him launch midrange jumpers, where the elite is. Paul had a 10-of-15 from mid-range in the first two games; he was only 3-of-6 from those places in Dallas.
The Mavs also took a few pages from the CP3 playbook and used them against him. After chasing Doncic in Game 2, exhausting the Mavs superstar by targeting him in defense, Dallas took a similar look at Paul. He was an elite defender throughout his career, but the 6-foot Paul is not equipped to cope with the 6-foot 7-foot Dončić who supports him.
And Paul had to reluctantly obey the Mavs by pulling out a few tricks after he got into trouble with fouls.
Did Doncic fail after Paul’s fourth foul in the 4th game? Paul then asked Doncic if he was really pushing him so hard. “No, it’s not that hard,” Doncic replied slyly, “but it was a smart game.” “Yes, I know,” Paul grumbled.
“He taught us one of the best spikes ever on the other side of how to do things,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “It’s pretty cool at this time of year.”
– Tim MacMahon
Another late scratch, another Celtics win. Maybe Boston should try this more often.
Before match 2, Marcus Smart excluded 90 minutes before the report due to contusion of the right four; The Celtics won 109-86. Before the match 4, Robert Williams III was ruled out 90 minutes before the report due to left knee pain: the Celtics won 116-108.
While coach Name Udoka would certainly like to have his full set of players available at all times, shortening his rotations has benefited Boston.
In Game 2, Udoka essentially played seven players in the win. On Monday, Udoka briefly left with Daniel Theis as the eighth player, but played with him just 91 seconds in the second half while remaining in the group of seven players most of the last two quarters.
Apparently the physical team was winning every game, but that style was starting to take its toll.
“The whole team was exhausted,” Smart said after the game. “But we wanted to make sure we weren’t a tired team and move on no matter how tired we are.”
Steph Curry and the Warriors come together late to win a 101-98 win over the Grizzlies in Game 4.
Giannis Antetokounmpo in the fourth quarter was visibly seized. After one tough finish down the stock, he lay on his back for a long time staring at the ceiling of the Fiserv Forum trying to catch his breath – the Bucks even pulled Antetokounmpo by 49 seconds in the fourth quarter when they fell behind.
Antetokounmpo played at least 38 minutes in every game of this series, and on Monday he had just over 41. After winning Game 4, Udoka said that while he realizes Milwaukee are chasing Brown and Tatum in matches to get them to work defensively , The Celtics are trying to do the same with Antetokounmp.
The winner of this series could come down to who has more gas in the tank.
– Andrew Lopez
Despite a brave effort to play their fourth game on Monday without an injured star And MorantThe Grizzlies will return home in need of a win to extend the magical season.
The formula that helped Memphis score 20-5 without Moranta during the regular season gave them the lead throughout the game. As expected, the Grizzlies struggled to score without their leading scorer, but they made up for it with a solid defense – taking advantage of the Warriors’ sluggish start, a tough start: half time.
In 25 games without Moranta, Memphis kept opponents at 8.6 points per 100 possessions below their usual average, a result that would lead the NBA by a wide margin.
Poor shooting by opponents is also a hallmark of the Grizzlies ’success without Morant. The teams scored just 31.5% from a 3-point range against Memphis in those 25 games. Golden State didn’t even reach that standard, finishing at 24% (9-of-37) despite key late 3s for Stephen Curry and Otto Porter Jr.. – yet the Warriors found enough attacks to complete the return.
All eyes will remain on Morant’s knee, injured in the late stages of Warriors ’Game 3 win. If Morant can’t play, Memphis will have to continue to rely on defense and a timely goal.
Grizzlies can feel good about the decision to start Steven Adamswho played less than seven minutes from the first game of his first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The small Golden State lineup could actually be a better game for Adams, who later spent time in NBA health and safety protocols before being cleared and not coming off the bench in Game 3. His size created problems on the offensive glass for the Warriors , and the Grizzlies had a plus-13 in Adams ’27 minutes. He finished with 10 points and 15 boards.
Memphis will also want to reconsider the choice of a guard shot Dillon Brooks before a match that must be won. Despite making his last two strokes, including a three-pointer with the aforementioned 38 feet on the buzzer, Brooks finished 5-of-19 in a tough attempt.
Although Morant’s absence put more pressure on Brooks to create an attack, this is not a new problem. Not counting the second game, when he played three minutes before being sent off for a flagrant foul Gary Payton II, Monday was Brooks’ fifth game of the postseason, shooting worse than 30% off the field. To extend the season, the Grizzlies will need better than Brooks.
– Kevin Pelton