NBA Playoffs Update: Giannis' Monster Performance Goes to Waste, Grizzlies Squander Another Golden Opportunity, More

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NBA Playoffs Update: Giannis’ Monster Performance Goes to Waste, Grizzlies Squander Another Golden Opportunity, More

Chicago Bulls

Al Horford was on another level last night as the Celtics erased a 20-point deficit and weathered a monster performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo to even things up in their series with the Bucks.

Celtics 116, Bucks 108

Series: TIED 2-2

It wasn’t long ago that Al Horford was dubbed “washed up” by NBA pundits. But Horford says that he knew that wasn’t true. Horford said on Monday night after the Celtics’ come-from-behind victory that he was just waiting for an opportunity to show everyone such. He got it last night with Jayson Tatum struggling, Jaylen Brown in foul trouble, and the Celtics down by 20 points and on the verge of falling into a 3-1 hole to the defending champs. Horford didn’t miss.

Horford scored 30 points on Monday night and pulled the Celtics out of that 20-point hole as they went on to top the Bucks 116-108. After the game, Horford said, “I know what I am and what I can bring to a team. I was just thinking to myself: ‘When I get an opportunity, I’ll show that I can still play. That I’m fine. That I’ll be good.’”

Horford shot 11-14 from the floor and 5-7 from deep while pulling down 8 rebounds and hitting 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in a dominant performance that might have saved the Boston Celtics’ season on Monday night.

“Obviously, Al carried us for a great part of that second half,” Tatum said. “And he just kind of ignited everybody else to get it going.”

Jayson Tatum would eventually find his shot and finish tied with Horford for a team-high 30 points while adding 13 rebounds and 5 assists in the road victory for Boston. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart each added 18 points for the Celtics.

Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered another monster performance last night, finishing with 34 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 assists in the losing effort. The series now heads back to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesday, with both teams looking to assume control.

Warriors 101, Grizzlies 98

Series: GSW leads 3-1

The Memphis Grizzlies squandered a golden opportunity last night. With Ja Morant sidelined with a knee injury suffered in Game 3, the Grizzlies still found themselves able to even things up with the Warriors, mainly due to the Warriors becoming the first team in over a decade to miss their first 16 three-point attempts to open a playoff game. The Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2011 Western Conference Finals was the last team to do so.

Golden State started 0-16 from range and ended up 9-37 (24.3 percent) on the night, yet they still pulled this one out thanks to a beautiful defensive and rebounding showing down the stretch that featured Stephen Curry hitting 8-of-9 from the charity stripe in the final 45 seconds. Memphis led the Warriors 93-90 with just over two minutes to play, but they couldn’t hold onto this one. Memphis also had a chance to tie the game up, trailing 98-95 with under 20 seconds to play, but Draymond Green came up with a game-saving stop on the defensive end, much like the one we saw in Game 3 of the Denver series when Green stripped Nikola Jokić.

Tonight Green blocked a three-point attempt by Jaren Jackson with the Warriors ending up with possession, and Curry sent back to the free-throw line to put this one on ice for Golden State. This is now two very winnable games that the Grizzlies have dropped in this series, and now they’re facing elimination with Ja Morant’s status up in the air.

Stephen Curry finished with 32 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds despite shooting 4-14 from three-point land. Draymond Green only scored two points and was in foul trouble, but his defense and rebounding down the stretch played a massive role in the Golden State victory. Andrew Wiggins logged a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double while Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole both scored 14 points in the win.

Jaren Jackson led the Grizzlies in scoring, finishing with 21 points. Steven Adams added 10 points and 15 rebounds, while Dillon Brooks scored 12 points on 5-19 shooting in his return from a one-game suspension for his hit on Gary Payton II in Game 2. Tyus Jones scored 19 points for Memphis, and Kyle Anderson added 17 points in the losing effort.

The series will head back to Memphis for Game 5 on Wednesday night with the Grizzlies fighting for their playoff lives, now down 3-1 to Golden State. On Monday night, Golden State was without head coach Steve Kerr after he tested positive for COVID-19. Warriors’ assistant Mike Brown, hired as the Sacramento Kings head coach on Monday stepped in for Kerr and will do so again on Wednesday in Game 5.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.