Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks
Coming into this series the Knicks looked to be the favorite, but the Heat is never a team to underestimate. A Knicks-Heat series always give thrills and this series was no different.
In Game 1 the Heat rolled into the Garden and stole this game. Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat with 25 points but rolled his ankle leading him to be out for Game 2. Also, Julius Randle was out for the Knicks’ Game 1 with a sprained ankle, but he came back in Game 2.
With no Butler, the Knicks squeezed past the Heat in Game 2 111-105. Jalen Brunson scored 30, Randle had 25 and RJ Barrett had 24. Heading back to Miami for Games 3 and 4 with the series tied the Heat knew they had to protect homecourt.
Butler came back for Game 3, and it was a rout. Butler led all scorers with 28 points as the Heat blowout the Knicks 105-86. Game 4 was a little closer, but the Heat had five players score in double digits. They held off the Knicks to take a 3-1 lead. The hardest games are the closeout games.
In game 5 the Knicks played with urgency and key stops and buckets at the end helped the Knicks survive. Brunson had 38 points to lead the Knicks. With Immanuel Quickley out Brunson and Quentin Grimes played all 48 minutes.
Game 6 was down in Miami and the only person to show up for the Knicks was Brunson he had 41 points no one else scored over 15 points. The Heat reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. They will play the Celtics next.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers
The Celtics and Sixers meet once again in the second round of the playoffs. Joel Embiid has not been able to get past the Celtics and this year was the best chance to do so. In Game 1 Embiid was out with a knee injury but Harden took over. Turning back the clock and scoring 45 points to steal Game 1 in Boston.
In Game 2 with Embiid back the Celtics made a statement. No one on the Sixers scored over 15 points. Jaylen Brown led the way for the Celtics with 25 points to tie the series at one heading back to Philly.
Before Game 3 started Embiid was handed the MVP trophy in front of his home crowd. He scored 30 points, but it wasn’t enough. Philly lost 114-102, Tatum hit a big step-back three to put the Celtics up by nine with less than a minute in the game.
Game 4 was one of those playoff classics. The Celtics were down by as much as 15 but come back with timely buckets and stops. They led by as much as five, but the Sixers never gave up. Harden hit a floater to tie the game, then Smart missed the game-winning three.
A back-and-forth overtime but Harden hit a three in the corner to win the game and tie the series at two. In an important Game 5 the Sixers go to Boston and come out with a huge win. Led by Embiid’s 33 points and Maxey’s 30 points. Game 6 is the perfect scene for the Sixers to advance past the Celtics.
That did not happen even with Tatum playing bad for 3 ½ quarters he came alive in the middle of the fourth to put the Sixers away. He hit three 3-pointers as the Celtics won 95-86 after the Sixers failed to score a field goal in the last 6:13 of the game.
In game 7 Tatum made sure everyone knew who he was scoring 51 points the Sixers had nothing left to give. The MVP only had 15 and Harden only nine. Now the Celtics will play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in a row.
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