Round 1: Playoffs Wrap-Up
Warriors vs. Clippers
The Warriors beat the Clippers 4-2, notably dropping Game 2 at home, when the Clippers came back from a 31-point deficit (the largest NBA-Playoffs comeback). Kevin Durant was the player of the series, averaging 35 points per game, including a 50-point game in the series-winning Game 6. Steph Curry scored 38 points in Game 1. Lou Williams scored 36 points to go with 11 assists in Game 2. Kevin Durant lead both teams in the last 4 games of the series, with 38, 33, 45, and 50 points in Games 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively.
Nuggets vs. Spurs
In a rough-and-tumble 7-game series, the Nuggets squeezed out a 4-3 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ star big man, was the player of the series, averaging 23.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 9.1 assists—leading both teams in all three categories. He also dropped 43 points in a Game 6 loss.
Trail Blazers vs. Thunder
The Trail Blazers beat the Thunder in a gentleman’s sweep, 4-1. Damian Lillard scored 50 points in series-ending Game 5. In that game, he scored a 37-foot buzzer beating game-winner, only the 6th time in NBA-Playoffs history the feat has been accomplished. Damian Lillard has scored 2 of those 6. This series highlighted the differences in the two teams’ points guards—Lillard shot very well from three-point range for the Blazers, while Westbrook struggled to make his shots fall.
Rockets vs. Jazz
The Rockets defeated the Jazz in 5 games. James Harden, reigning-MVP, averaged 27.8 points for the Houston Rockets. He also recorded 8.0 assists per game for the Rockets. The Rockets became the first team in NBA History to attempt more three-pointers than two-pointers through an entire NBA-Playoffs series.
Bucks vs. Pistons
The Bucks swept the Pistons 4-0, thanks to some huge performances from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 17 rebounds in Game 1, 26 point and 12 rebounds in Game 2, and 41 points in Game 4. Pistons star Blake Griffin was not able play for much of the series due to a leg injury, but he played Games 3 and 4 despite his the injury, to the cheers of the fans.
Raptors vs. Magic
Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors to 4 straight wins to rally back from a 0-1 series deficit to win the series 4-1. Leonard averaged 27.8 points per game for the Raptors, and Pascal Siakam scored 22.6 games per contest. The Raptors lost Game 1, but convincingly defeated the Magic in the next four games.
76ers vs. Nets
The 76ers won the series 4-1. Joel Embiid missed Game 3 due to a leg injury, but Ben Simmons stepped up big in his place, recording a 31-point 9-assist game. Embiid scored 99 points in 97 minutes in the first round, a fantastical achievement. He also averaged 13.5 rebounds per game, and had more than 5 blocks on two separate occasions (with 5 in Game 1 and 6 in Game 4).