Tuesday’s NBA playoff games were insane, and now the Los Angeles Lakers are in trouble!
Lakers face elimination
Without Anthony Davis in Game 5, the Lakers fell into a 3-2 series deficit to the Phoenix Suns, who won 115-85 behind Devin Booker’s 30 points. LeBron James had 24 points for a Lakers team that struggled to score without Davis, who was sidelined with a groin injury.
Davis’ status remains a mystery for Thursday’s crucial Game 6 at Staples Center.
Stat of the game: Phoenix held the Lakers to only 10 points in the second quarter in building a 66-36 halftime lead. James was scoreless in the period, as L.A. endured its first 10-point quarter in the playoffs since 2007 against the Suns in Phoenix.
Quote of the game: Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on being down 3-2 — “It's our turn to go back to L.A., take care of our home court and make this a seven-game series."
Denver survives Dame Time
Nikola Jokic came an assist away from a triple-double with 38 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in the Denver Nuggets’ 147-140 double-overtime win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Denver carries a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in Portland on Thursday.
But Game 5 was all about Damian Lillard.
Lillard was a magician for the Trail Blazers. The All-Star point guard set a playoff career high with 55 points and made an NBA postseason record 12 3-pointers, including last-second game-tying 3s at the end of regulation and the first OT to save Portland. He also had 10 assists, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Stat of the game: Lillard became the first player in NBA history to record at least 50 points, 10 assists and 10 3-pointers in a game — in the regular season or playoffs.
Quote of the game: Lillard on his 55-point game — “It don't matter. We lost the game. At this point, all that matters is we can't lose another game in the series. We go out there and we play to win the game, and we came up short."
Nets eliminate Celtics
The Brooklyn Nets advanced to the second round with a 123-109 Game 5 rout of the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. James Harden totaled 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to record the Nets’ first playoff triple-double since Jason Kidd in 2007.
Brooklyn will play the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The series will begin Saturday in Brooklyn.
Stat of the game: The Nets’ Big Three of Harden (34), Kyrie Irving (25) and Kevin Durant (24) combined for 83 of the team’s 123 points on 27-of-47 shooting (57.4 percent).
Quote of the Game: Harden on Kidd — “J-Kidd is one of them ones. He’s one of the elite point guards that this league has ever seen obviously with his playmaking ability. He’s a big guard. He just did so many things at the time in New Jersey that us young guys looked at. So shout out to J-Kidd. I just came here to make an impact on the game, whether it’s scoring, whether it’s rebounding, whether it’s my ability to pass the basketball, whatever the case may be. Every game is a little bit different, but I just take what the defense gives me, and I play basketball. I try to play basketball the right way each possession.”
What to watch for Wednesday
Four first-round games are on the schedule.
Wizards at 76ers: The Sixers hold a 3-1 series lead, but they will be without Joel Embiid for Game 5 (7 p.m., NBA TV). The All-Star center is out with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. Philly will likely depend heavily on Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Dwight Howard to close out Washington.
Hawks at Knicks: Trae Young (27.5 points, and 10 assists per game) has been on fire all series, and that’s why Atlanta holds a 3-1 lead over New York going into Game 5 (7:30 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Southeast). In order for the Knicks to have a chance to extend the series, they’ll need strong games from R.J. Barrett and Julius Randle, who’s been relatively quiet despite averaging 16.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
Grizzlies at Jazz: Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley have made an impact on the series. Mitchell’s presence has been felt since his series debut in Game 2, and he led the Jazz with 30 points and eight rebounds in Monday’s 120-113 Game 4 victory. Conley has been on a revenge tour against his former team, averaging 20.0 points, 10.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds for Utah, which can close out the Grizzlies in Game 5 (9:30 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Southeast).
Mavericks at Clippers: Dallas has gone quiet since winning Games 1 and 2 in L.A. Behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers evened the series with back-to-back road victories over the Mavericks, who have been hampered by Luka Doncic’s neck injury. The team that controls the rebounding battle will have the upper hand in Game 5 (10 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Southwest and Bally Sports SoCal).