Day four of the NBA Playoffs had everything. 45-point game in South Beach. A hometown statement in Memphis. A Booker hammy hit in Phoenix for an Ingram takeover.
Jimmy Buckets Takes Over in South Beach
It was Game Two between the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat. How would Hawks superstar Trae Young will response after a horrible Game One? He responded pretty good in Game Two last night. 25 points on 50% shooting with six rebounds and seven assists. Bogdan Bogdanovic showed up last night as well. Coming off the bench and dropping 29 points on 66% shooting and 50% from three. Despite all of this, the Hawks still lost by ten points. The reason is why would be Jimmy Butler.
Jimmy Butler put on a show that only Dwayne Wade and LeBron James have done in franchise history. Going off for whopping 45 points on 60% shooting. Jimmy Buckets was on full display last night. 15-25 from the field and 4-7 from three, Butler was a man possessed and the Hawks had no answer for it. Butler's 45-5-5 performance is third time in Heat postseason history that a player put such statistics. Dwayne Wade (2010) and LeBron James (2012) being the other two, but Butler is the only one player to have such performance with zero turnovers.
Miami Heat leads series 2-0 as the series shift to Atlanta for Games Three and Four.
The Grizzlies Answered the Call
The team with the most pressure on them for a Game Two was the Memphis Grizzlies. Drooping Game One in the surprised upset of the weekend to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Grizzlies needed to response in Game Two. Respond they did at home with a major statement.
After a competitive opening quarter, where the Grizzlies led by one point, the Grizzlies would end the first half leading by 11 after taking the second quarter by ten. The second half was more of the same as the Grizzlies outscored the Timberwolves 64-37 in route to a 124-96 victory. Ja Morant flirted with a triple-double just coming a rebound short of it. 23 points, ten assist, and nine rebounds for Morant led the charge for Memphis with help. Nine Grizzlies players including Morant scored in double-figures. Jared Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bame both going for 16 points each. Brandon Clarke, Xaiver Tillman, and Ziaire Williams each dropping 13 points off the bench.
Memphis answered the call with an emphatic statement, but the T-wolves did get the split as they head home for Games Three and Four.
Booker's Injury Leads to Ingram's Takeover
There are a lot of things that turn a series around in an instance especially an injury. That would be the case in the Pelicans-Suns series. After Game One, the Phoenix Suns was poses to run the New Orleans Pelicans out the playoffs swiftly. Unfortunately, that did not have happen last night. An injury to Suns guard Devin Booker has turn this series around.
Devin Booker went off for 31 points in first half and the Suns led by five at the half. Booker was 12-18 shooting from the field, 7-10 from three-point all in the first half and the Pelicans had answer to stop Booker stellar performance. However, his body had the answer unfortunately. Early in the third quarter, Booker suffered a hamstring injury that most viewers including the commentors on TNT did not notice. The injury left the door open for the fighting Pelicans in which they took full advantage of in particular, Brandon Ingram.
Brandon Ingram became the story of Game Two as he went for 37 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. Ingram shot 62% from the field including being perfect on all three of his three-point attempts. Ingram was not the only Pelican flirting around with triple-double, CJ McCollum was too. 23 points, eight assists, nine assists night for McCollum allowed Ingram to have his best performance in just his second playoff game of his career.
The Pelicans have taken home court from the Suns as the series shift to the Big Easy in New Orleans, but the Suns has more concerns in regard to the Devin Booker injury.