The month of June started off with a bang. Three games last night in the NBA Playoffs where everything took place. A close out opportunity game in the East and two pivotal Game 5's in the West. As seen in the title, a close out took place, a blowout happen to end the night, and a thrilling game in between.
Close-Out in Brooklyn
It was Game 5 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Nets returned home after splitting Games 3 and 4 in Boston. The Nets leading the series 3-1 and have the opportunity to close out this series. That's exactly what the Nets did.
Despite the tremendous play of Jayson Tatum for Boston, the Brooklyn Nets just had too much firepower for the Celtics to hang. James Harden posted his first triple-double as a Net in the close-out Game 5. 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists for Harden. Kevin Durant had 20 points and Kyrie Irving had 25 points. The Big 3 combined for 83 of the 123 points for the Nets.
Boston goes down in five games. Jayson Tatum did everything he could to make the Celtics competitive including scoring 50 points in Game 3 in the Celtics lone win of the series. The Celtics underachieved all season, but had just enough awareness to make the Play-In and then the Playoffs as a 7th seed in the East. Jaylen Brown going down before the end of the season hurt Boston then Kemba Walker not the final two games of the series was the final straw to end Boston's season.
Next up for the Brooklyn Nets is the Milwaukee Bucks in the East Semis. Preview of that series will be Thursday as the series starts on Saturday, June 5 at 7:30PM on TNT.
Blowout in the Desert
Not really much can be said about what took place in The Desert last night except the fact that a beat down took place. For one team, this is not what you wanted in a pivotal Game 5 of a 2-2 series. For the another team this exactly what you wanted to get that 3-2 lead.
You don't have to look any further than the 2nd quarter to see where this game was going between the Lakers and Suns. Suns leading by 8 after the opening quarter went on processing to beat the Lakers 32-10 in the 2nd quarter and went into halftime leading 66-36.
That's right, you read that correctly, the Suns were leading by THIRTY (30) at halftime. Sadly enough, the Suns didn't look back in the 2nd half winning Game 5, 115-85.
Devin Booker led all scorers with 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. LeBron James led the Lakers with 24 points, 5 boards, and 7 assists, but it didn't have any impact.
However, injuries continues to play a role in this series. We understood that Anthony Davis wasn't playing with the groin injury suffered in Game 4. As you can see his presence was missed. Now, the concern switches back to Phoenix because during the beat down of the Lakers, Chris Paul went down again with a shoulder injury. No word on the seriousness or lack there of on the right shoulder of Paul, but it is something to look to as the series goes back to LA.
Game 6: Thursday, June 3 at 10:30PM on TNT
Surprising Thriller in Colorado
The game of the night. The game of the Playoffs thus much. Denver, Colorado was the sight. One team did everything they could and the another is breathing a sigh of relief. A game that looked like it was going to be a Lakers-Suns game turned into the best in these Playoffs so much.
Another pivotal Game 5 in the Western Conference while the series is tied 2-2. The Denver Nuggets came out on fire. So on fire that the Nuggets had a 22-point in the 2nd quarter, 54-32 at the 7:52 mark. But so how the Nuggets only led by 3 at halftime at 65-62.
That was the beginning of the craziness in Denver.
The end of the 3rd quarter, after being down 22, the Trail Blazers found themselves leading by 2. In 4th quarter Denver took a 3-point lead with mere seconds left. Then Damian Lillard happened. Hitting a 3-pointer to send the Game 5 into Overtime.
In OT, the Nuggets built a 9-point lead which usually means game over, but not in this one. Monty Morris missed the second of his two free-throws and once again...….DAME DOLLA HAPPENED
Hitting another 3-pointer to send Game 5 into Double Overtime.
In Double OT, the Nuggets led most of the way. Michael Porter Jr. hit a 3-pointer with over a minute and half remaining to give the Nuggets the 3-point lead that eventually turned into a 7-point victory for Denver.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists. Porter Jr. had 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Damian Lillard had the performance of a lifetime. 55 points, a franchise playoff record, connecting on 12 3-pointers, a new NBA Playoff record, but it all for not. He expressed that after the game. "At this point, all that matters is we can't lose another game in this series." Everything Lillard did was impressive and mind-blowing, but it's the Nuggets that have the 3-2 lead not the Trail Blazers and that is what matters most.
Game 6 will Thursday in Portland at 8PM on TNT