NBA Playoffs Update: Butler Explodes for 45, Morant's Near-Triple-Double, Grizzlies and Pelicans Tie It Up, More

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NBA Playoffs Update: Butler Explodes for 45, Morant’s Near-Triple-Double, Grizzlies and Pelicans Tie It Up, More

Chicago Bulls

Let’s rundown the action from Tuesday night’s slate of NBA Playoffs acti0n.

Heat 115, Hawks 105

Series: MIA leads 2-0

I said yesterday that there was no way that Trae Young could be as bad as he was in Game 1, and the Hawks point guard delivered a much better performance on Tuesday night. Young scored 25 points and tallied seven assists and six rebounds (however, he still shot 2-for-10 from three-point range), but it wasn’t enough for the Hawks, as Jimmy Butler was too much down the stretch.

Butler scored 45 points with five rebounds and five assists as the Heat downed Atlanta 115, 105 to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Despite Atlanta being close down the stretch, Jimmy Butler found another gear last night. Butler – who shot just 23 percent from range this season and hasn’t shot better than 30 percent from three-point land since 2018 – was 4-for-7 from that area last night and 15-for-25 from the floor. Butler’s 45 points mark a new playoff career-high for the veteran and his third 40-point playoff effort with the Miami Heat.

Tyler Herro (15), Max Strus (14), and Gabe Vincent (11) joined Butler in double figures on Tuesday night. Yes, Max Strus, who GarPax let walk for nothing (*screams internally*). Bogdan Bogdanovic added 29 points for the Hawks and hit five triples in the losing effort.

The series now shifts to Atlanta with the Heat in the driver’s seat, up two games to nil. Game 3 in Atlanta is set for Friday at 6:00 pm (ct).

Grizzlies 124, Timberwolves 96

Series: Tied 1-1

You had to know there was no way Minnesota was taking two from the Grizzlies in Memphis. Minnesota hung with the Grizz early on Tuesday night, with the Timberwolves trailing by just one heading into the second quarter. That’s when Memphis turned it on for real, outscoring Minnesota by 10 in the second quarter and by 27 total after the first quarter.

On Tuesday night, Ja Morant just missed a triple-double with 23 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds. However, Morant got plenty of support, with six other Grizzlies scoring in double figures as Memphis coasted to a Game 2 victory. Jaren Jackson and Desmond Bane scored 16, and Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman, and Ziare Williams added 13 points. Former Timberwolves first-rounder Tyus Jones scored 10 points off the bench for Memphis.

Anthony Edwards led the way for Minnesota with 20 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort. The series now heads north to Minnesota, even at one-a-piece.

Pelicans 125, Suns 124

Series: Tied 1-1

Devin Booker was ON FIRE in the first half last night, and things looked grim for New Orleans. Booker ended the first half with 31 points after he drilled seven three-pointers in the first half, including a deep three to close the half with Phoenix on top 61-56.

Unfortunately for the Suns, Booker missed nearly the entire second half with a hamstring injury:

While the Suns have weathered the absences of Booker and Chris Paul this season, thanks in large part to a solid bench, Phoenix wasn’t able to slow down the Pelicans’ furious pace behind the three-point line on Tuesday night, and they couldn’t match it on the offensive end with Booker missing from the game.

Brandon Ingram scored 37 points and logged 11 rebounds and nine assists while shooting 13-of-21 from the floor and 3-of-3 from rang, while New Orleans’ trade deadline acquisition C.J. McCollum added 23 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds.

The series is heading to NOLA even at a game-a-piece, and Devin Booker’s hamstring injury will be something to monitor in the next couple of days.

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.