Down go the Nets …
Celtics 116, Nets 112
Series: BOS WINS 4-1
On Monday night, Boston broke out the brooms at the Barclays Center as they completed an opening-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets. Jayson Tatum led the way for Boston with 29 points, and Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart added 22 and 20 points, respectively, in a 116-112 victory over the Nets.
Kevin Durant did everything he could to help the Nets avoid the sweep scoring 39 points and racking up seven rebounds and nine assists in 47 minutes of action. This tweet by former Bulls beat writer Vinnie Goodwill says it all:
Looks like one tired man. With 12 minutes left. 90-78, Celtics pic.twitter.com/eBxlT2wwGe
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) April 26, 2022
Seth Curry scored 23 points, and Kyrie Irving added 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the losing effort. Ben Simmons never played a game with the Nets, the Nets never won a game in the opening series, and it’s back to the drawing board for Brooklyn after an embarrassing first-round out against the Celtics.
it’s been 1029 days since KD & Kyrie signed with the Brooklyn Nets and they have won 1 playoff series total.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 26, 2022
Raptors 103, 76ers 88
Series: PHI leads 3-2
After Toronto topped the Sixers in Philadelphia last night, things are getting pretty interesting in the Raptors-76ers series. No team has ever lost an NBA Playoff series after leading 3-0, but the Raptors have a chance to even things up on their home court on Thursday and force a Game 7 in Philadelphia this weekend.
Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. Precious Achiuwa added 17 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action and had a message for Toronto fans after the game:
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 26, 2022
Momentum is a dangerous opponent, and the 76ers are letting Toronto build up plenty of it after back-to-back losses when they had the Raps’ backs against the wall up 3-0 in the series. Toronto was lights out shooting the ball on Monday night, finishing 51 percent from the floor as a unit.
Joel Embiid scored 20 points and added 11 rebounds in the losing effort for the 76ers, who will get a few nights off to regroup and attempt to sew this one up on the road on Thursday in Toronto.
Mavericks 102, Jazz 77
Series: DAL leads 3-2
Do you think Dallas missed having Luka Dončić in the lineup? After Luka dropped 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a one-point loss to Utah on Saturday night, the All-Star guard came through with a 33-point, 13-rebound performance in a Monday night blowout of the Utah Jazz.
In the fourth quarter, Donovan Mitchell limped off the court to make matters worse for the Utah Jazz, with the Jazz down by 28 points.
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) April 26, 2022
Mitchell had an awful night before leaving the game with an apparent left leg injury. He was also held to just nine points, two rebounds, and an assist on 4-15 shooting (0-7 from three-point range). Only Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points for Utah in a putrid offensive showing in a crucial Game 5. Early reports indicate that Mitchell is dealing with a left hamstring injury which is a concern for the Jazz heading into a win-or-go-home Game 6 on Thursday night.
Jalen Brunson added 24 points, five rebounds, and four assists for the Mavericks as he continues to build his stock with a top-notch performance in this opening-round series with Utah. The series shifts to Utah on Thursday night, with the teams getting two nights off before Dallas has the chance to lock this one up with a win in Game 6. If Donovan Mitchell isn’t available for that game, there’s a good chance that Dallas punches their ticket to the next round.