The Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics dispatched their rivals to advance while Luka Doncic bailed out the Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz is only a win away from the second round.
Doncic had nerves of steel as he nailed the game winning three-pointer as time expired in overtime to lead the Mavericks past the Los Angeles Clippers 135-133 Sunday in Orlando and tie their first round Western Conference playoff series at two games each.
The Clippers had a 21-point lead in the first half but the Mavericks rallied to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Dallas led by more than a dozen in the fourth before the Clippers rallied to force overtime at 121-all.
Marcus Morris Sr. nailed a triple with nine seconds in left in OT to put Los Angeles up by one, 133-132.
Micheal Finney-Smith inbounded the ball to Doncic who dribbled a few times and launched a 28-foot triple from the left wing over the outstretched arms of a defender with no time left on the clock that hit nothing but net.
Doncic did not show any effects of a sprained left ankle he sustained in their last game and recorded his second consecutive triple-double with 43 points, 17 rebounds, and 13 assists.
Trey Burke added 25 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21, and Seth Curry chipped in 15 points for the Mavericks who played without an injured Kristaps Porzingis.
Lou Williams scores 36 points, Kawhi Leonard added 32, and Ivica Zubac contributed 15. Paul George had another horrible shooting night, scoring just nine points on 3-of-14 shooting.
The Boston Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers 4-0 to move on to a second round matchup with the Toronto Raptors.
Kemba Walker scored 32 points to lead the Celtics to a 110-106 victory. Jayson Tatum backed Walker with 28 points and a playoff career-high 15 rebounds.
This is Walker’s first trip to the semifinals. He had two trips to the playoffs with the Charlotte Hornets but failed to move past the first round.
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds while Tobias Harris added 20 and five rebounds for the Sixers,
Philadephia has failed to advance to the second round in the past three seasons. The 76ers played without the injured Ben Simmons.
The 76ers exit has made coach Brett Brown’s future with the team unclear.
The Toronto Raptors punched a ticket to second round via a 4-0 sweep of the Brooklyn Nets.
Bench players Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka led the charge in the Raptors’ 150-122 victory.
Powell scored 29 points and Ibaka had 27 points and 15 rebounds. Pascal Siakam added 20 points and 10 assists for the Raptors.
The Raptors seized control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back.
Caris LeVert scored 35 points for Brooklyn who were without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and DeAndre Jordan.
The Utah Jazz edged the Denver Nuggets, 129-127, to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.
Donovan Mitchell scored 51 points for Utah who could advance with a win Tuesday. This was his second 50-point effort following a 57-point explosion in Game 1.
Mitchell joined Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and Wilt Chamberlain as the only NBA players to notch two 50 or more point games in a single postseason.
Jamal Murray scored 51 points while Nikola Jokic added 29 for Denver.
Vanessa Bryant honored her late husband Kobe Bryant during his 42nd birth anniversary last Sunday.
“To my baby. Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU!” Vanessa said in a social media post.
New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu, recently retired Vince Carter, legendary tennis star Billie Jean King, the NBA, WNBA, and the Los Angeles Lakers who Bryant played for in his entire career also honored Kobe.
Kobe was killed last January 26 in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
Bucks’ Williams, Magic’s Ennis fined $15K each
Marvin Williams of the Milwaukee Bucks and James Ennis of the Orlando Magic have been fined $15,000 each by the NBA for their scuffle in Game 3.
They were jockeying for rebounding position in the second quarter when the scuffle ensued. Referees, players, and assistant coaches separated them and were ejected thereafter.
The two players will meet again in Game 4 Monday. The Bucks are up 2-1 in the series. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)