Three elimination games on the slate and three tickets punched to the next round. Here’s what happened and what’s next.
76ers 132, Raptors 97
Series: PHI WINS 4-2
Welp, that’s the end of that. The Toronto Raptors made a series of it after going down 3-0 out of the gates, but the Philadelphia 76ers mopped the floor with Toronto on their home floor tonight to leave no doubt who the better team was in this opening-round series.
it's a bird, it's a plane, it's JOEL EMBIID. ✈️😏 pic.twitter.com/QwnDLTtVAY
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 29, 2022
Thumb injury be darned; Joel Embiid had enough of the drama in this series. The MVP front-runner went off for 33 points and 10 rebounds in the clinching victory for the 76ers last night. Tyrese Maxey and James Harden contributed 25 and 22 points each, and Harden recorded 15 assists.
Philly will head to Miami for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series.
Suns 115, Pelicans 109
Series: PHX WINS 4-2
I said earlier today that if Mikal Bridges had a repeat of his Game 5 performance, this one was over. Bridges scored 18 points and had a solid game, but the savvy veteran Chris Paul made the difference for the Phoenix Suns tonight.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) April 29, 2022
Paul turned in an all-time performance. He didn’t miss. Literally, he didn’t miss a single shot. The veteran point guard poured in 33 points for the Suns on a perfect 14-14 shooting from the floor, including 4-4 from deep and 1-1 from the charity stripe while adding eight assists and five rebounds as the Suns punched their ticket to the next round on the road in New Orleans.
Deandre Ayton scored 22 points and logged seven rebounds and four assists, while Mikal Bridges scored 18.
Brandon Ingram had a heck of a series. Ingram scored 21 points, recorded 11 assists, and pulled down five rebounds in the losing effort, but what a dang series for Ingram. What a series for the Pelicans in general. They had no business making this one as close as it was, but they fought a good fight against the defending Western Conference Champs.
Phoenix will host Dallas next week.
Mavericks 98, Jazz 96
Series: DAL WINS 4-2
You can’t help but feel bad for Bojan Bogdanovic. Bogdanovic has a WIDE OPEN look at a game-winning three-pointer that would have sent this series the distance, but he couldn’t sink it. That’s tough, but that’s life. Bogdanovic’s miss gave the Dallas Mavericks a 98-96 victory and a series victory.
Mavs win the series. pic.twitter.com/HApzcDUCQv
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 29, 2022
Luka Dončić and Jalen Brunson came into last night’s game as the No. 1 and No. 5 scorers in the NBA postseason, and they continued to do their thing, with Dončić scoring 24 points and Brunson scoring 24 points. Dončić added nine rebounds and eight assists while shooting 40 percent from three and logging a pair of blocks and steals. Dorian Finney-Smith had an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 points for the Mavs in the win.
Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points and logged eight rebounds and nine assists for the Jazz in the losing effort. Mitchell will now be the topic of conversation in Salt Lake City and Utah for the immediate future as the Jazz debate whether or not they’re going to sell off or run it back after an opening-round exit from the playoffs.
Dallas will now take on the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals starting next Monday in Phoenix.