The NBA postseason got underway on Monday from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. It’s a full day of first-round action that will be updated here throughout the day.
Mavericks-Clippers Game 1: Clippers survive wild opening game
The final matchup of the night was a rollercoaster.
But by the end of it — after a pair of wild runs, an ejection that left many NBA fans baffled and yet another NBA record from Luka Doncic — the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 118-110 in Game 1.
The Clippers kicked things off insanely fast, and looked as if they were going to put Dallas away in the first few minutes. They got out to an 18-2 run and forced Doncic to commit five turnovers not even four minutes into the game.
That, though, is when Dallas finally woke up.
The Mavericks went on a wild 48-18 run, grabbing a 14-point lead at the peak in the second quarter before heading into halftime up by three.
Dallas only put up 13 points in the third quarter, and fell back down slightly after Kristaps Porzingis was ejected when he picked up his second technical foul of the night in a minor scuffle with Marcus Morris. Some of the biggest names in sports, including LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes, had plenty to say about the ejection, too.
Though Dallas hung in it up until the final few minutes, the Clippers surged ahead at the end behind a pair of key 3-point buckets from Morris and Paul George to grab the eight-point win.
Doncic led Dallas with 42 points, the most scored by any player in his playoff debut in league history, though had 11 turnovers to go with it. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18 points, and Porzingis finished the night with 14.
Kawhi Leonard finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Clippers, and George dropped 27 points in the win. Morris added 19 points, too, while shooting 8-of-13 from the field.
76ers-Celtics Game 1: Celtics hold on to win 109-101
The 76ers didn’t make it easy on Boston, but the Celtics hung on Monday night in Game 1 to win 109-101.
Philadelphia, after falling behind late in the first quarter, finally retook the lead at the end of the third following an impressive 15-0 run that carried over into the fourth.
That lead, however, was short-lived.
The Celtics held Philadelphia to just eight points over the first half of the fourth to surge back ahead, and tied the game after Jaylen Brown hit a 3-pointer from the wing. From there, they quickly pushed up to a double-digit lead once again.
While Philadelphia cut it back to just four points with less than a minute left in the game, it was too late. Boston held on and drained six straight free throws to secure the eight-point win and an early lead in the series.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 32 points and 13 rebounds, both career highs for him in the postseason, and Brown was right behind him with 29 points — 15 of which came from behind the arc. Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 26 points and 16 rebounds.
Raptors-Nets Game 1: Toronto takes it 134-110
Toronto jumped out to a huge lead over Brooklyn in the first half in an easy 134-110 win.
The Raptors led 73-51 at halftime and the Nets gave the game a modicum of interest in the second half. Brooklyn got Toronto’s lead down to nine at the end of the third quarter but a three from VanVleet with 10:41 remaining gave Toronto a 102-90 lead and Brooklyn was never within 10 again.
Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot continued his bubble excellence for the Nets with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field. Luwawu-Caborrot made six of his nine three-point attempts and was the only Nets player with more than 20 points.
Jazz-Nuggets Game 1: Murray lifts Nuggets in OT
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell scored 57 points, but it was the Denver Nuggets who took game 1, 133-125, in overtime to begin the NBA playoffs.
Jamal Murray scored 20 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Nuggets. He was 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and added nine assists and three rebounds. They won overtime, 20-10.
Murray and Mitchell traded baskets in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. A Rudy Gobert block forced overtime on the final play at 115-115.
Mitchell nearly willed the Jazz to a win and scored the third-most points in NBA playoff history. He is the youngest person to score at least 50 points in a playoff game since Michael Jordan dropped 63 against the Boston Celtics. The third-year guard was 19 of 33, including 6 of 15 from 3-point range, and added nine rebounds and seven assists
“He was killing us and we couldn’t get a stop,” Murray said on the broadcast interview. “We had to find some offense.”
The Jazz were without Mike Conley, who left the bubble on Sunday to be at home for the birth of his son. Conley announced the arrival of Elijah Michael Conley later in the day. He’ll be required to quarantine for four days upon his return to the bubble. He will definitely miss the second game and will likely miss a third.
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