76ers 131, Nets 115 (76ers lead 2-1)
Despite Joel Embiid being a late scratch due to a nagging knee injury, the 76ers regained home court advantage with a dominant outing against the Nets, making them the first team since the 2003 Mavericks to score back-to-back 130 point games in the playoffs. Paced by playoff career highs from Ben Simmons (31 points) and Tobias Harris (29 points), as well as 26 points from sharpshooter J.J. Redick, the 76ers were too much for the Nets to handle. Also, Simmons shot 9-11 in the half court. Thought we should mention that.
Brooklyn, a team that prizes themselves on their 3 point marksmanship, only converted a meager 20.5% percent of their attempts from beyond the arc, compared to the 76ers’ 40.7%. On the bright side for the Nets, D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert each dropped 26 points in the loss, and LeVert looked like his old self.
Game 4 is on Saturday.
Nuggets 108, Spurs 118 (Spurs lead 2-1)
World, meet Derrick White.
The second-year Spurs guard had a dominant performance against the hapless Nuggets, scoring a career-high 36 points, grabbing 5 boards, dishing 5 assists and swiping 3 steals on a ridiculously efficient 15-21 from the field. “DeMarvelous” DeRozan (I’ll show myself out) also chipped in 25 points.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic had another respectable outing (22 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds), with Malik Beasley adding 20 from the bench, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough to withstand the Spurs and their excellent home crowd.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go day-dream about a Derrick White-DeJounte Murray backcourt next season.
Warriors 132, Clippers 105 (Warriors lead 2-1)
After blowing a humiliating 31 point lead in Game 2, the Warriors made quick work of the Clippers this time. Kevin Durant, who was held to only 21 points and nine turnovers last game, was all business at Staples Center, scoring a game-high 38 points. Stephen Curry also contributed 21 points on 7-11 from the field in only 20 minutes.
It was always going to be a difficult task to beat an angry Warriors squad, but the Clippers did not do themselves any favors by shooting a lackluster 36.6% from the field and 21.9% from beyond the arc as a team. To make matters worse, Ivica Zubac was the only Clippers starter that reached double-digits in scoring, and most of his points came in garbage time.