NBA playoffs daily results: Celtics, Grizzlies even their series at home with Game 2 victories - bdsthanhhoavn.com

NBA playoffs daily results: Celtics, Grizzlies even their series at home with Game 2 victories

Game 2: Celtics 109, Bucks 86 | Series tied 1-1

Who was the guy? Jaylen Brown. In Game 1, Brown had his first off night in the postseason after four games of 22 or 23 points against the Brooklyn Nets. The Milwaukee Bucks held Brown to 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting in Game 1, but Brown eclipsed that Tuesday in a 17-point first quarter. The Celtics didn’t make a single shot in the midrange in Game 1, but Brown provided multiple taboo shot highlights early, first by sitting down Grayson Allen on a stepback and then catching Giannis Antetokounmpo lunging the very next time down.

Brown wouldn’t be as loud with it for the rest of the game, but he did finish with a full line of 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field, five rebounds, six assists, two steals, a block and 6-of-10 3s. Those 3s were twice as many as the Bucks made as a team, but more on that later.

What was the key here? Boston did a great job of lessening the impact of Antetokounmpo as a passer, even with NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart inactive due to a right thigh contusion. In Game 1, Antetokounmpo had a game-high 12 assists; of the 12 3s the Bucks made in Game 1, Antetokounmpo assisted on seven of them. In Game 2, Antetokounmpo had seven assists, but none of them led to 3s. In fact, the Bucks were held to 3-of-18 shooting on 3s for the game, and the only time Antetokounmpo passes led to 3-point attempts were in the third quarter. The Bucks went 0-for-3 from 3 off Antetokounmpo passes. In the first half, Antetokounmpo was held to five points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field. And while Antetokounmpo matched Boston with 18 third-quarter points on 8-of-11 shooting, he made only 1-of-4 fourth-quarter field goals for five points, finishing the game with 28 points on 11-of-27 shooting. It helped to play with a lead, but Boston’s trust in making Antetokounmpo work through the single coverage of Al Horford or Grant Williams and staying home on 3-point targets was worth a 21-point swing.

Key stat: 20-3. That’s how many 3s the Celtics made compared to how many 3s the Bucks made. Boston had three players make more 3s by themselves than the Bucks made as a team: Brown, Grant Williams (6-of-9 off the bench) and Jayson Tatum (5-of-10). This was the first time in franchise history that Boston made 20 3s in a postseason game, and the only other time in NBA postseason history when a team made 17 more 3s than their opponent was Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference finals, when the Golden State Warriors made 21 3s (11 by Klay Thompson) and the Oklahoma City Thunder made 3 at home. The weakest part of Milwaukee’s defense is how much it allows 3s. Game 2 was the first time the Bucks allowed 20 made 3s in this postseason, but the Bucks allowed a league-high eight games of at least 20 3s in the regular season.

The moment it was over: Boston led by double digits for all of the last three quarters, and the largest lead of the game was 72-46 after Bobby Portis flagrantly fouled Horford with 9:31 left in the third quarter. The Bucks cut the lead to 96-82 with 4:30 left to play and the Celtics showed a complete inability to score offensively without shooting a wayward 3. But Boston scored on five straight possessions during a 13-4 run to get the lead back to 107-86 and commence garbage time with 1:52 left to play.

The moment of the game: It had to be Brown making Allen touch earth early in the game.

Despite this game being a blowout almost immediately, Game 2 in Boston took nearly as long as Game 2 in Memphis did later in the night. The two teams combined for 42 personal fouls, both coaches used their challenges, Portis had the flagrant 1 and there were three other extended reviews. Good thing Brown gave the people something to see early, because outside of Antetokounmpo’s third-quarter push, this game was brutal to watch after halftime.

What can the Celtics do to win Game 3: There were only three games all season, regular or postseason, when a team attempted fewer 3s than the 18 the Bucks managed in Game 2. Mike Budenholzer became the head coach of the Bucks in 2018, and they had attempted at least 22 3s in every game Budenholzer coached until Tuesday night at Boston. That was a masterful defensive performance by the Celtics, and that will have to travel. Offensively, the Celtics are going to get good looks from 3 because they’re facing the Bucks. But the Celtics still need to keep the Bucks honest by taking the midrange shots when they are open and not abandoning the paint for extended stretches.

What can the Bucks do to win Game 3: The Bucks have made more overall field goals, more free throws, have more rebounds and have forced more turnovers than Boston through two games. This is with Antetokounmpo missing double-digit shots in the paint in back-to-back games. But going back to Game 1, the Bucks have now missed 27 of 32 3s over the last six quarters. Finding a way to get Brook Lopez and Portis involved offensively would be easier if either were adept passers. But Lopez did not attempt a shot in the first half of Game 2, while Portis attempted only three shots before halftime. Boston is loading up to take away Antetokounmpo, but not in a way that will unlock 3-point shooters. Perhaps getting two other players who could have size mismatches in Lopez and Portis involved will loosen Boston’s defense on Antetokounmpo some.

Celtics Worry Meter: ☘️☘️

Bucks Worry Meter: 🧱🧱🧱


Game 2: Grizzlies 106, Warriors 101 | Series tied 1-1

Who was the guy? Ja Morant. 47 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals. The only players to get at least 45/8/8/3 in a playoff game before Morant were four MVPs: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Michael Jordan. Morant created 66 of Memphis’ 106 points on the night, and he scored the final 15 points for Memphis by himself. Morant got going early, scoring 14 points with five assists in the first quarter. Everything Morant did was right in the middle of the floor, and that included making 5 of 12 3s, with all of his attempts coming above the break. The league leader in points in the paint per game, Morant made 9 of 16 in the paint in Game 2. And he made 12 of 13 free throws. It was the most important performance of Morant’s career, and it ensured the city of Memphis will host the Warriors at least one more game.

What was the key here? Simply put, Morant just kept coming, and the biggest difference is that he drew the fouls. Morant scored 34 points on 14 of 31 shots in Game 1, but he was regrettably stopped twice in the last 20 seconds on go-ahead field goal attempts in the paint while getting to the line for only three attempts. Morant made 10 more free throws in Game 2, and he made back-to-back go-ahead field goals in the last three minutes of the game. The third quarter was rough for the Grizzlies, with Morant missing all four of his paint attempts and taking a shot to the face that affected his vision. But Morant got going after a game-tying and-1 while scoring through Draymond Green.

 

Key stat: 7-of-38. That was the 3-point shooting of the Warriors in Game 2. The Warriors have attempted at least 20 3s in 137 postseason games now, and the 18.4 percent that the team shot Tuesday night was the least accurate of them all. None of their shooters had it: Stephen Curry missed 8 of 11 3s, Klay Thompson missed 10 of 12 3s, Jordan Poole missed 5 of 6 3s and Andrew Wiggins missed 6 of 7 3s. For good measure, Green and Otto Porter Jr. missed one 3 each. Memphis got more 3s just from the combination of Morant and rookie Ziaire Williams (4-of-8 3s after making only 3 of 12 3s in the previous 55 postseason minutes).

The moment it was over: Memphis needed an answer after Green scored from Curry with 40.2 seconds left and cut Memphis’ lead to 102-101. Morant attacked Wiggins and got a floater to fall to put Memphis up 104-101, and Thompson traveled on the ensuing Warriors possession. Morant closed it out with free throws, and the Warriors didn’t score again.

The moment of the game: With 9:08 left in the opening quarter, Memphis small forward Dillon Brooks was ejected after a flagrant foul 2 on an airborne Gary Payton II. Tensions were already high after Green’s controversial flagrant foul 2 on Brandon Clarke from Game 1, and the fact that Payton suffered a fractured elbow on his left (shooting) arm in an attempt to brace his fall leaves Brooks as a marked man.

It’s an unfortunate injury for Payton, who played more this season than in his previous five seasons combined and was starting for the Warriors in the semifinals with Morant the top priority defensively.

What can the Grizzlies do to win Game 3: It’s all about relieving Morant. Memphis was able to escape Game 2 despite Brooks’ ejection, shooting guard Desmond Bane’s back issues playing a role in his scoreless first half and power forward Jaren Jackson Jr.’s frequent foul troubles playing a role in his scoreless second half. Memphis will hope the three days of rest can get Bane ready to play. Jackson was excellent in Game 1 and had 10 first-quarter points in Game 2, but he failed to make a basket in the game’s final three quarters while racking up all six of his fouls. The Warriors have hit Clarke and kept him from making an impact. Morant needs his teammates to help get him to the fourth quarter so that he can be at his best late, especially on the road.

What can the Warriors do to win Game 3: It was fitting Game 2 basically ended with Thompson’s travel, which was the 18th turnover of the game for Golden State. The Warriors aren’t playing the Denver Nuggets anymore, a team that struggled all season to force turnovers. Memphis relies heavily on winning the possession battle, and Golden State is actually doing a great job on the glass in this series. But the Warriors are canceling out their work, especially the offensive glass, by turning the ball over and allowing a subpar Memphis offense to get free money on the break. The Warriors have played their best ball in this series when Poole has started the second halves and put his head down against a relatively languid Memphis team coming out of halftime. Payton’s injury may open that door for Poole to start first halves that way.

Grizzlies Worry Meter: 🐻🐻

Warriors Worry Meter: 🤬🤬


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(Photo: Petre Thomas / USA Today)

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