NBA Playoffs: Boston Strike Back Against Miami, 104-84

The Boston Celtics struck back against the Miami Heat on Saturday, taking back home-court advantage with a 104-84 blowout. The win comes two days after the No 1 seed Celtics were beaten on their home floor by the Heat to level out the series heading back to Miami. 

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 22 points, while Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White added 18 and 16 respectively in a balanced scoring attack. The big difference from Game 2 however was on the defensive end as the Celtics held the Heat to just 41.6% from the field and 32.1% from three point land.

Bam Adebayo led the Heat in scoring with 20 points but there wasn’t much help from the rest of the starters. Tyler Herro and Nikola Jovic had 15 points each but went a combined 10-27 from the floor.

The Celtics led the games from beginning to end, leading by as much as 29 points in the first half. After holding the Heat to just 12 points in the first quarter, they outscored them 42 to 27 in the second to open up the game. From there they never really looked back, as Maimi never cut the gap to closer than 18 points for the rest of the game.

Boston has had the knack of not losing consecutive games very often. They are 15-4 in the game immediately following a loss this season, with an average victory margin in those games of 12.2 points.

Game 4 will be on Monday in Miami, where the Heat will look to rebound and even out the series heading back to Boston. With Jimmy Butler unlikely to play in the series, it will likely take a big team effort to beat the top team in the league.

Thunder Rout Pelicans, 106-85

The Oklahoma City Thunder took a commanding 3-0 lead in their series against the New Orleans Pelicans last night with a 106-85 win on the road. 

MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points to go with 8 assists and 5 rebounds and Jalen Williams added 21. Josh Giddey had one of his better nights of the season with 21 points, going 4-7 from beyond the arc.

The Pelicans seemed to be deflated and couldn’t get much done on the offensive end throughout the game. Brandon Ingram had 19 points and CJ McCollum had 16 in 22 shots. New Orleans shot 38.1% from the floor compared to the 48.2% from the Thunder. They also had a whopping 20 turnovers in the game.

The Thunder entered the playoffs as the top-seed from the West but questions had been circling about the team’s inexperience in the postseason. With three wins in a row, they seem to have found their groove on the offensive end and will look to close out the Pelicans on Monday.

The Pelican unfortunately are missing their star player in Zion Williamson who was injured in the last week of the regular season. History is not on their side as they try to fight back from down three games, as no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Lakers Avoid Elimination Against Nuggets With Game 4 Victory

The Los Angeles Lakers finally cracked the Denver Nuggets’ 11 game winning streak against them with a 119-108 victory at home. It was the Lakers first win over the defending NBA champions since December 2022.

Unsurprisingly, Lebron James led the way for his team, scoring 30 points on 14-23 shooting from the floor. Anthony Davis also had big night with 25 points and 23 rebounds, while

D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves scored 21 points apiece. 

Despite the loss, Jokic had another terrific game with 33 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for his 18th career triple-double. Michael Porter Jr. continued to score well, adding 27 points for Denver and Jamal Murray scored 22 points but went 0 for 4 on 3-point attempts. 

The Nuggets are still in control of the series as it heads back to Denver for Game 5. The Lakers however will have a glimmer of hope that they can at the very least steal a game and bring the series back to LA to make things interesting.