Milwaukee Bucks 127, Detroit Pistons 104
The Detroit Pistons needed to fight for their playoff lives last night, and they came out hot, looking to extend their series by outscoring the Bucks 62-56 in the first half, but they could not sustain that effort all four quarters. The Bucks had a blistering 39-point third quarter and finished with 32 in the fourth for 71 second-half points to the Pistons’ 42.
Giannis Antetokounmpo bounced back from a low-scoring Game 3 to score 41 points along with nine rebounds in the win for the Bucks. Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Nikola Mirotic all also scored in double figures for the Bucks to close out the Pistons. Brook Lopez may not have broken the double-digit scoring mark, but he and Giannis were big on defense, combining for 9 swats in the game.
Reggie Jackson led the Pistons with 26 points and seven assists. Blake Griffin added 22 points. While the Pistons were never really close in this series, the choice to go away from Luke Kennard seemed to hurt as evidenced in Games 3 and 4.
The Bucks will now move on to the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics, who swept their series with the Indiana Pacers.
Utah Jazz 107, Houston Rockets 91
While most expected this to be yet another first-round sweep to open the NBA Playoffs, the Utah Jazz had other plans. They already felt jilted after Game 3, so they were ready to take care of business in their house once again on Monday night.
Utah utilized first and fourth-quarter scoring runs to secure the win, and the defense holding Houston to just 12 fourth-quarter points was key.
Donovan Mitchell has really put this Utah Jazz team on his back, and the second-year player has drawn praise from his veteran teammate Kyle Korver among others for doing so. Mitchell finished with 31 points, seven rebounds, and four assists last night, but he certainly didn’t act alone. Jae Crowder seemed to be at an entirely different level knowing it was win or stay home in this case. Crowder took on the unenviable task of guarding James Harden as he has done all series and performed well. Crowder also got it going on offense, scoring 23 points in the win.
Harden had 30 points for the Rockets, but those were all hard-earned shot and he was sent to the line half as often as he was in Game 3. The rest of Houston’s starters, outside of Clint Capela, also reached double digits in scoring, but they got just five points off their bench from Austin Rivers as the rest of the second unit put up goose eggs,
Game 5 is in Houston tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT.
Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors – Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON – 7:00 p.m. ET – NBA TV
Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers – Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA – 8:00 p.m. ET – TNT
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets – Pepsi Center, Denver, CO – 9:30 p.m. ET – NBA TV
Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers – Moda Center, Portland, OR – 10:30 p.m. ET – TNT
All Game Fives