Philadelphia 76ers 112, Brooklyn Nets 108
This has been a chippy series all along and it all got to a boiling point on Saturday night, centered around the Jared Dudley and Ben Simmons rivalry. It has definitely made this series interesting, but Brooklyn needed to secure a win on their home court to really make this interesting and they were not able to get that done in Game 4 as Philadelphia took a 3-1 lead.
Dudley may have been demonstrative after knocking down a three, but the 76ers got the last laugh in a game that had 14 lead changes and was tied eight times. Brooklyn came out in the first half on fire and entered the locker room at halftime up 63-57. But in the fourth quarter, the 76ers went on a run that the Nets could not match as they scored 27 points in the quarter and limited Brooklyn to just 17.
Joel Embiid had 21 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in the game, but perhaps the unsung hero for Philadelphia, who has been consistent every game, is Tobias Harris. Harris finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Brooklyn was led by Caris LeVert’s 25 points, but the decision to start him has left the Nets second unit a little light on scoring, as they mostly rely just on Spencer Dinwiddie, who had 18 points in the loss.
Game 5 is on Tuesday in Philadelphia with a tip time of 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT.
Denver Nuggets 117, San Antonio Spurs 103
The San Antonio Spurs looked like they were in position to take a commanding series lead as they lead by 12 points and were shooting the lights out. Then Denver proceeded to dominate and outscore the Spurs in every quarter after.
Denver’s defense was sharper, and coach Michael Malone’s decision to start Torrey Craig and use him to defend DeMar DeRozan while choosing to defend Derrick White with Gary Harris was huge. Craig put up 18 points and frustrated DeRozan. White, who had been a Nuggets killer so far this series, just had eight points.
Aside from that, the Nuggets started knocking down their three-point shots, which became a difference maker in their fourth-quarter swing where they took control of the game and went up big.
It’ll be Gregg Popovich’s turn to make his adjustments as the series now becomes a best-of-three. Game 5 is in Denver on Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV.
Milwaukee Bucks 119, Detroit Pistons 103
The series may have shifted to Detroit’s home court and Blake Griffin may have made his return, but not much changed in the series between the Bucks and Pistons. The Bucks still look as dominant as ever as they strolled to a 119-103 Game 3 win and now have a 3-0 advantage with a sweep in their sights.
Milwaukee outscored Detroit in every quarter, except the fourth when the game was already long over. Even with Giannis Antetokounmpo not putting up his normal scoring numbers, he had tons of help, including three players who scored in double figures off the bench. Ersan Ilyasova had 15 points, Nikola Mirotic added 12 and George Hill finished with 11. The Bucks were led in scoring by Khris Middleton with 20 points.
Griffin led Detroit with 27 points, Reggie Jackson had 15 and Andre Drummond had 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Perhaps the forgotten man on Detroit’s offense was Luke Kennard, who has been having a great season. He had just nine shot attempts for nine points.
Milwaukee will be looking to complete the sweep tomorrow night in Detroit at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT.
Houston Rockets 104, Utah Jazz 101
James Harden had his roughest game of the series, sinking just three of his 20 field goal attempts and shooting 15 percent from three, but he got to the free throw line 16 times and the rest of the Rockets were able to rally around him to go up 3-0 in the closest game of the series.
Donovan Mitchell had 34 points in a huge performance, but it just wasn’t enough, especially with Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder struggling.
The Jazz owned the first half, but the Rockets bounced back in the second half and any momentum the Jazz could ever build up was halted when Harden went to the line.
The Jazz will be fighting for their playoff lives on Monday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game tips at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.