Hawks 115, Nets 120 (Series tied 2-2)
Only one playoff team has been able to draw its series even after falling back 2-0: the No. 8 Nets.
This looked like a 4-5 matchup during Games 1-3, and Brooklyn played its best game yet in Game 4. It was decided in overtime, where the Nets delivered with bucket after bucket, the biggest among them a go-ahead triple by Bojan Bodganovic with 1:24 to play. Atlanta never regained momentum.
Bogdanovic finished with 15, but the star of the night was Deron Williams. He was hot from the tip and stayed sharp into the fourth quarter, where he drilled a wild clutch three in the closing two minutes. In all, he finished with 35 points (13/25) and 7 assists. He nearly blew the game late with awful clock management, but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize. Three years ago, Williams dropped 57 against Charlotte, but make no mistake: this was his greatest game as a Net.
Brook Lopez was tremendous as well, hitting 11/19 shots for 26 points to go with 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Hawks have been largely unable to contain him in the post, and he’s done a nice job passing out of heavy defensive pressure. He’s averaging 21 and 11 this series while shooting 54 percent from the floor.
Joe Johnson added 17 and iced the game at the line.
The Hawks looked pretty good offensively. DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague (11 assists) each scored a team-high 20, Al Horford scored 17 and Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap 16 apiece. It seemed like they might win a wild one after Williams’ mental error, but they botched the final play of regulation, failing to even attempt a shot at the buzzer.
Still, Atlanta lost this game on the defensive end. Brooklyn hit 14/31 threes (48 percent overall) and got every look they wanted in overtime.
Obviously the Hawks don’t need to win any road games to advance, but this thing is looking pretty dicey. All series, the Hawks have looked good-not-great, and Brooklyn has had no problem matching that level of play. The East’s best series continues on Wednesday night.
— Leo Sepkowitz
Bucks 94, Bulls 88 (Bulls lead 3-2)
The Bulls couldn’t close out the series…again. After taking a 3-0 series lead, the Bulls have dropped the last two games to the Bucks. The Bucks wanted to hang around. And that’s exactly what they are doing.
Michael Carter-Williams had 22 points and 9 assists, Khris Middleton scored 21 points as the Bucks avoided elimination in Chicago.
Grizzlies 92, Blazers 99 (Grizzlies lead 3-1)
Put those brooms away, the Blazers aren’t getting swept in this series.
After losing the first three games against the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round of the Playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers finally turned things on in Game 4 to keep their season alive. Damian Lillard led the charge with 32 points and 7 assists, and LaMarcus Aldridge and CJ McCollum added 18 points each in their team’s first win against Memphis this year.
The visiting Grizzlies began the game with two quick 3-pointers courtesy of Nick Calathes (12 points). Calathes stepped into the starting lineup for Mike Conley, who is currently recovering from facial surgery after suffering an elbow to the face in Game 3. Despite Memphis’s early lead, the Blazers managed to end the first quarter with a 27-22 advantage—their best opening quarter in the series thus far.
In the second quarter, Meyers Leonard (13 points, 13 boards) provided a spark off the bench for the Blazers, scoring 8 straight points. His performance even earned him a new nickname from Shaq. According to The Diesel, the nickname “Baby Sabonis” will stick like all the rest he’s conjured up…but only time will tell.
At the start of the third, Memphis quickly erased Portland’s 7-point halftime lead. They outscored the home team 27-13 in the quarter, powered by a 16-2 run by Courtney Lee (19 points), Marc Gasol (21 points, 7 boards, 6 assists), and Zach Randolph (12 points, 9 boards). With 5:18 left in the third and his team down 7, McCollum scored Portland’s first field goal of the second half. In the final period, Portland kept up the momentum, outscoring their opponents 31-17. Dame dropped 12 points, including this fiery 4-point play:
Although the Blazers forced the Grizz to stick their brooms back in their closets, Portland is still at a disadvantage. Game 5 will be at the Grindhouse Wednesday with the Grizz fighting to advance and the Blazers fighting to survive.
— Habeeba Husain