NBA Playoffs Update: Grizzlies Fumble a Golden Opportunity, Celtics Stymied by Giannis

The conference semifinals are underway, and the road teams in action on Sunday came away with a pair of huge victories.

Warriors 117, Grizzlies 116

Series: GSW leads 1-0

If Sunday’s Game 1 was a preview of what’s to come in this second-round series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors, sign me up for six more. Draymond Green was ejected in the second quarter, and the Memphis Grizzlies actually out-shot the Warriors from three-point range, but the Warriors still proved to be too much for Memphis.

Klay Thompson drilled a three-pointer with 36 seconds to go to put the Warriors up by one, and despite Ja Morant having a look at a game-winning layup in the closing seconds, the Warriors held on.

The Warriors played just good enough to knock off Memphis in Game 1, and Steve Kerr’s bench was almost non-existent outside of Jordan Poole, who scored 31 points in 38 minutes of action. No one else on the Golden State bench cracked double-digits.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points on a down shooting afternoon (8-20, 5-12), and Klay Thompson added 15 points while struggling most of the game (6-19, 3-10). With Steph and Klay having off-shooting games (by their standards), the bench being almost non-existent, and Green watching the second half in the locker room, the Grizzlies let a golden opportunity to take an early lead in the series slip away from them.

Dropping a very winnable game on their home floor on Sunday might come back to haunt the Grizzlies in this series. It seriously shouldn’t be underscored how big of a momentum builder that victory could prove to be for the Warriors.

Ja Morant led all scorers with 34 points while adding 10 assists and nine rebounds for Memphis. Jaren Jackson poured in 33 points and snagged 10 rebounds, but the Grizzlies received untimely down performances by Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks. Bane scored nine points on 3-10 shooting (1-5 from 3PT), while Brooks scored eight points on 3-13 shooting (2-8 from 3PT).

Bucks 101, Celtics 89

Series: MIL leads 1-0

The Boston Celtics steam-rolled the Brooklyn Nets in an opening-round sweep in the first round, but the Milwaukee Bucks and their defense were going to present a whole new challenge for the Celtics, and they found that out on Sunday afternoon. Milwaukee held the Celtics to just 89 points on 34 percent shooting after Boston averaged 113.5 points and shot 49 percent in four games with Brooklyn.

Jayson Tatum averaged nearly 30 points per contest in the Brooklyn series on a sizzling 42 percent from range, but the Bucks held him to just 21 points in Game 1. Tatum’s 21 led all Boston scorers in the loss to the defending champs.

Giannis Antetokounmpo operated easily on Sunday as he logged a triple-double (24 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists) in the winning effort. Jrue Holiday led all scorers with 25 points and added nine rebounds and five assists as the Bucks rolled to an easy Game 1 victory in Boston.

To be sure, the Celtics’ sweep of the Nets wasn’t an aberration. Boston was one of the best teams in the NBA during the second half of the season on both sides of the ball, but they simply weren’t ready for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks this weekend. They’ll have to recalibrate things and hope to split the first two games in Boston because heading to Milwaukee in an 0-2 hole might be a death sentence.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

more bulls news

Enhanced Box Score: Bulls 129, Wizards 127 – April 12, 2024

For as meaningless as that game was in terms of standings, that game was actually a lot of fun after a sleepwalking effort in the first few minutes of the game. The Bulls and Wizards were both without several contributors...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

The Bulls, or at least whichever of them is actually playing tonight, take on the Wizards in a game that means quite literally nothing. Let's have some fun! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778845326654185912 Game Info Chicago Bulls (38-42) at Washington Wizards (15-65) – 6:00...

Bulls Injury Report: Ready for Restpalooza Against the Wizards?

If you've been anxiously awaiting more Henri Drell minutes, I've got good news for you! The Chicago Bulls' latest injury report suggests that the team will proceed with extra caution over the final two games of the regular season. And...

Bulls Earn Top Spot on “Shaqtin’ A Fool” this Week (And Rightfully So)

As expected, the Inside the NBA crew laid into the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Torrey Craig and Andre Drummond were part of arguably the dumbest play of the season. After poking the ball away from the Knicks, the two...

NBA Playoff Update: Races, Tiebreakers, Scenarios For Final Regular Season Games

We have just two games left in the NBA's regular season, and there are still some seeding questions left to be answered. The two, three, four, and five seeds are still in the air in the Eastern Conference. We know...

Javonte Green Stats, Alex Caruso’s Now Eligible, Billy Donovan Stays, and Other Bulls Bullets

I guess I should just try to enjoy it, right? The Chicago Bulls clinched the honor of hosting the Atlanta Hawks in the Play-In Tournament next week. A win would then send them to either Philly or Miami, where they...

REPORT: Kentucky Looking to Hire BYU’s Mark Pope (So No Billy Donovan)

Kentucky basketball has honed in on a new head coaching candidate. According to both Jon Rothstein and ESPN's Pete Thamel, the Wildcats are expected to strike a deal with BYU head coach Mark Pope. The news comes after Baylor's Scott...

Enhanced Box Score: Bulls 127, Pistons 105 – April 11, 2024

DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic weren't messing around. The Chicago Bulls' veteran came out and played like two motivated veterans in the first half. DeRozan scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, while Vucevic added his own 17...

Bulls Secure Home-Court Advantage in Play-In Matchup with Hawks

The Chicago Bulls have accomplished the bare minimum. Despite the Atlanta Hawks right on their tails, the Bulls have managed to avoid one last final catastrophe. A victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night officially locked the team into...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

If the Chicago Bulls lose three times to the league-worst Pistons, they are automatically demoted to the G-League. Sorry, I don't make the rules! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778407503300084070 Game Info Chicago Bulls (37-40) at Detroit Pistons (13-66) – 6:00 p.m. CT on NBC...

Latest News

Stephen Curry Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Pelicans – Friday, April 12, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, Stephen Curry needs to make five from beyond the arc on Friday, when his Golden State Warriors play the New Orleans Pelicans, tipping off at 10:00 PM ET.Stephen Curry's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the PelicansStephen...

Dillon Brooks Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Trail Blazers – Friday, April 12, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, Dillon Brooks needs to make two from beyond the arc on Friday, when his Houston Rockets face the Portland Trail Blazers, starting at 10:00 PM ET.Dillon Brooks' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the Trail BlazersDillon Brooks'...

Klay Thompson Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Pelicans – Friday, April 12, 2024

Will Klay Thompson drain four 3-pointers when the Golden State Warriors play the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday at 10:00 PM ET? If so, he'll beat his over/under for the game.Klay Thompson's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the PelicansKlay Thompson's over/under...

Jalen Green Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Trail Blazers – Friday, April 12, 2024

On Friday at 10:00 PM ET, the Houston Rockets play the Portland Trail Blazers, and Jalen Green's 3-pointer over/under for this matchup requires three triples.Jalen Green's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the Trail BlazersJalen Green's over/under for three-pointers in this game:...

CJ McCollum Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Warriors – Friday, April 12, 2024

The New Orleans Pelicans face the Golden State Warriors at 10:00 PM ET on Friday, and one of the 3-pointer over/unders available for this matchup requires five treys from CJ McCollum.CJ McCollum's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the WarriorsCJ McCollum's over/under...

Jonas Valančiūnas Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Warriors – Friday, April 12, 2024

At 10:00 PM ET on Friday, it'll be the New Orleans Pelicans against the Golden State Warriors -- with Jonas Valančiūnas needing to score only once from beyond the arc to beat his 3-pointer prop.Jonas Valančiūnas' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs....

Domantas Sabonis Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Suns – Friday, April 12, 2024

Will Domantas Sabonis make just a single 3-pointer when the Sacramento Kings play the Phoenix Suns on Friday at 10:30 PM ET? If so, he'll beat his prop for the game.Domantas Sabonis' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the SunsDomantas Sabonis' over/under...

De’Aaron Fox Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Suns – Friday, April 12, 2024

The Sacramento Kings play the Phoenix Suns on Friday at 10:30 PM ET, and if the Kings' De'Aaron Fox connects on four 3-pointers, he'll beat his prop.De'Aaron Fox's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the SunsDe'Aaron Fox's over/under for three-pointers in this...

Kevin Durant Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Kings – Friday, April 12, 2024

On Friday at 10:30 PM ET, the Phoenix Suns meet the Sacramento Kings, and Kevin Durant's 3-pointer over/under for this clash requires three trifectas.Kevin Durant's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the KingsKevin Durant's over/under for three-pointers in this game: 2.5 at...

Devin Booker Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Kings – Friday, April 12, 2024

Will Devin Booker connect on three 3-pointers when the Phoenix Suns play the Sacramento Kings on Friday at 10:30 PM ET? If so, he'll beat his over/under for the game.Devin Booker's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the KingsDevin Booker's over/under for...

more bulls news