Here are the winners who kicked off the NBA Playoffs on the right foot
Last night featured the Hawks and Pelicans defeating their opponents in the newly play-ins to advance to the NBA Playoffs. Today was the start of the NBA Playoffs and boy was it a treat. Let's break down who got their first victory in Game 1 to kick things off.
Prior to the Utah Jazz and Mavericks game, it was announced that Luka Doncic was not going to play, due to a calf strain in Game 1 of the series.As stated by Dallas, Doncic would be monitored day by day.. Dallas struggled from the field early on, shooting around 40%,but behind the arc they were money. They were 50% from three point land and held a 23-20 lead to finish the first quarter. Baskets were coming easier for the Mavs in the second.They were pushing the pace of the game and scoring off of hard basket and baseline cuts. However, their nine point lead was cut to two, as the Jazz went on a 7-0 run at the eight minute mark of the quarter. Dallas' feel asleep on the defensive end in the last two minutes of the half. Utah went on a 13-2 speed burst to take a 45-43 lead at the half.
Jalen Brunson kept Dallas within striking distance in the second half. Each time the Mavericks needed a bucket to stop Utah's run, Brunson would hit some crucial shots to stop the bleeding. Heading into the stretch in the fourth, the Mavericks could not stop Donovan Mitchell and that cost them the game. Utah takes Game 1 99-93.
Ant Man digs up holes on Memphis in Game 1, 130-117
The TWolves and Grizzles game was what fans expected. It was a fast pace high energy first half in which Minnesota jumped out to 10 point lead early on. Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards were effective and put their stamp on both quarters. They combined for 34 points. Despite their key players hitting the shots that they wanted, they turned the ball over 13 times, which kept Ja Morant and the Grizzles in the game. The TWolves were holding onto a 65-62 lead at half.
In the second half, both teams were trading baskets back and forth and scored 90 points heading into the fourth. The TWolves tightened their defense up and forced the young Grizzles to turn the ball over three times, early in the quarter. Bad decisions by Minnesota late in the fourth, tuned into six fastbreak points for Memphis, cutting the lead to two. The Wolves hit some big shots in the last two minutes of regulation to take Game 1
Edwards finished with 36 points, 6 assists, and 2 rebounds
K. Towns finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds
Tyrese Maxey makes 76ers history in win over Raptors 131-111
Everyone had their eyes on James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers team as they hosted the Raptors for Game 1. The 76ers jumped out to double digit lead at the start of the first quarter Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey were the engine that got the train going. They combined for 17 points to end the first quarter and on the defensive side they did a good job with keeping the Raptors from getting into sync. Collectively they forced the Raptors into fast pace shots selections and got Fred VanVleet into foul trouble with three quick fouls. They went into the locker room with a commanding 69-51.
In the second half, Maxey called his own name and took over. From hitting three point shots, to getting to the rim, Maxey was just calling out jackpot with every shot. His 20 point burst in the third, help the 76ers cruise to a big time win, 131-111
Maxey finished with 38 points, 4 assists, and 2 rebounds and became the youngest 76er to score 30+ in a playoff game.
Jordan Poole explodes in his playoff debut against the Nuggets
In the night cap game between the Warriors and the Nuggets, it was must see TV.. Stephen Curry made his return after coming back from an injury he suffered a couple weeks ago. The pace of the game was extremely fast paced. Jordan Poole brought his a game to the arena. Poole was very aggressive with attacking the Nuggets and forcing them to foul him. With Poole driving to the rim, it gave other players like Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins wide open shots from behind the arc, in which they nailed. Golden State got a little breathing room towards the end of the half, as they went `on a 18-4 run to go into the locker room with a 58-47 lead. Poole finished the half with 17.
The second half, Golden State exploded offensively. Poole, Draymond Green, Curry, and Thompson seemed like they were playing around the world from behind the arc against Denver. They extended their lead to 20 at the end of the third. The Warriors went on to smooth cruise to a dominating victory over the Nuggets 123-107
Poole finished with 30 points and broke NBA history with being the fourth person in NBA history to score 30 or more points in their playoff debut.