The Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets evened up in NBA second round playoff games Saturday in Orlando.
The Raptors clamped down on defense to win Game 4 100-93 of their second round Eastern Conference playoff series with the Celtics.
Pascal Siakam scored 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors who evened the series at two games apiece.
Kyle Lowry chipped in 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Boston’s perimeter shooters were rendered ineffective by the Toronto defense, with Jaylen Brown going 2-for-11 and Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart all 1-for-6 on three pointers.
Serge Ibaka had 18 points and Fred VanVleet added 17 points for the Raptors.
Tatum had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Walker added 15 and Brown finished with 14.
Toronto was down 2-0 and would have lost Game 3 of the series if not for a buzzer-beating trey by OG Anunoby.
No NBA team has ever recovered from 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game playoff series.
The Denver Nuggets evened their Western Conference semifinals series 1-1 with the Los Angeles Clippers with a 110-101 victory.
Denver had a blistering first half, leading by as much as 23.
The Nuggets were up 12 at the end of third 89-77 but the Clippers managed to reduce the lead by seven 101-94 with 2:37 left in the game.
A Jamal Murray three hiked the lead to 10 and Denver hung on to victory.
Murray scored 27 points and Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 18 rebounds for Denver.
Paul Millsap and Gary Harris added 13 points each while Michael Porter Jr. chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds.
George had 22 points and eight rebounds and Ivica Zubac had 15 points and nine boards for Los Angeles.
Kawhi Leonard wasn’t much of a factor with 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting, his lowest output of the playoffs.
”Game One, we were tired. I hate to admit it, but we were tired,” said Murray.
”We came out sloppy, came out exhausted, fatigued. We didn’t make any shots, we didn’t get back on defense,” he added. ”Tonight we just upped the energy and that’s all it took to win.”
No Giannis in Game 4?
Giannis Antetokounmpo was listed as questionable for Game 4 against the Miami Heat Sunday.
Giannis injured his ankle in the first quarter of Game 3 which the Heat won, putting the Bucks in a deep 3-0 hole.
No team has recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff series.
He was seen walking with a noticeable limp as he left the arena.
The Bucks definitely needs Giannis’ services in Game 4 to even have a chance of extending the series or win the game.
Davis at center in Game 2?
Outmuscled by the Houston Rockets in Game 1, Anthony Davis has reportedly said he is willing to play center in Game 2 and the rest of the series to better clean up the glass for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although both teams had 41 boards each in Game 1, the Rockets were better at rebounding as they had a non-traditional big man P.J. Tucker who stands 6’5’’ as their center, compared to the Lakers who have three seven footers – JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard, and Davis, a power forward.
The Rockets had been playing Tucker at center as part of their small-ball lineup. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)