Monday’s Memorial Day NBA schedule featured two games on the docket, including a must-win Game 4 for the Washington Wizards who were at home against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Down 0-3 in the series, the Wizards benefited from the play of Daniel Gafford and Robin Lopez after 76ers big man Joel Embiid suffered a right knee injury after a hard fall seven minutes into the game. Embiid didn’t return and Lopez and Gafford exploited the gaping hole in the paint and combined for 28 points. The Wizards won the game, 122-114.
Stat of the game: Without Embid in the game for the Sixers, the Wizards won the rebounding battle, 57-48, led by Russell Westbrook’s 21 rebounds.
Quote of the game: Daniel Gafford shares how Westbrook told him to play in Game 4: "Russ told me tonight, ‘Just stop f-ing fouling.'"
Jazz hold off Grizzlies to take 3-1 lead
Five Utah players scored in double figures Monday night as the top-seeded Jazz defeated Memphis, 120-113, to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. Donovan Mitchell led all Jazz scorers with 30 points and 8 rebounds and the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson, chipped in with 24 points of his own.
Despite Ja Morant’s 23 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds and Jaren Jackson, Jr.’s 21 points in the contest for Memphis, the Jazz outscored the Grizzlies in every quarter except the fourth quarter.
The Jazz could close out the series tomorrow in Utah.
Stat of the game: The Jazz shot 50% from behind the arc (17-for-34).
Quote of the game: Donovan Mitchell on closing the series: "We've seen this before. We've been here before. And we're here again, and we're going to go out there and just do what we do and not really relish in the past. Although, it definitely is fuel."
What to watch for tonight:
Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
Fresh off a Game 4 win on Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets have the opportunity to close out their series with the Boston Celtics at home this evening. Sunday, the Nets’ Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden scored 104 of Brooklyn’s 141 points while shooting 59% from the floor.
Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets (9 p.m. ET, NBATV)
The momentum in the Nuggets-Blazers series feels more like a championship fight between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed and less like a basketball game. In Game 4 on Saturday, the normally stellar Damian Lillard was 1-for-10 from the floor, but the Blazers won the game behind Norman Powell’s 29 points.
In Game 3, Austin Rivers was the hero for Denver with 21 points.
Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns, 10 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Arizona)
Anthony Davis is likely out for Game 5 and LeBron James will be charged up to play hero in tonight’s game.
Do Remember: He still does have a supporting cast in Andre Drummond, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell.
On the Suns side of the basketball, Phoenix has a healthy Chris Paul who is seemingly coming into his own after a right shoulder injury in Game 1. Phoenix has the added luxury of rising stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton in conjunction with trusted role players in Jae Crowder and Cameron Payne.