After a long, 82-game season, NBA playoffs have finally begun! On the opening day, we had a chance to see the clash of eight teams, including Cleveland Cavaliers, who are on a mission to defend championship title. It was a very exciting opening day, as we watched four amazing games, and two of them were upsets.
In the first game of the playoffs, the Cavaliers faced the Indiana Pacers, and right after it, the Milwaukee Bucks squared off against the Raptors in Toronto. After these two games, the series shifted to Texas, where the #San Antonio Spurs hosted the Memphis Grizzlies.
The final game of the night was played between the #Los Angeles Clippers and the Utah Jazz.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers
Indiana entered the playoffs as a seventh-seeded team in the East, and they were matched up against the defending NBA champions. However, the Pacers put up a great fight and they refused to give up, which nearly resulted in a victory. Even though the Cavaliers led nearly the entire game, Indiana managed to take the lead with three minutes left in the game. At the end, they had a chance to make a game-winning shot, but C.J.
Miles missed it, as the Cavaliers escaped with a 109 to 108 win.
LeBron James had an impressive game with 32 points, 6 rebounds and 13 assists, while Paul George scored 29 points for the Pacers. Next game of the series will be played on April 17.
Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks
It seems that the Raptors will be having another bad start of the postseason, as they lost their first game and home-court advantage to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks led for the majority of the game and their biggest lead was 19 points. On the other side, Toronto managed to tie the game at the half and take a lead in the third quarter, but they collapsed in the fourth, allowing Milwaukee to blow them out.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 28 points and 8 rebound for the Bucks, while Greg Monroe had 14 and 15 off the bench. DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka combined for 46 points and 22 rebounds for the Raptors, but Kyle Lowry was a no-show, as he ended the game with only 4 points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Next game will be played on April 18.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies started the game out strong, getting to a 13-point lead midway the opening quarter. It seemed that they will be able to pull an upset against the Spurs, but San Antonio responded in a big way, as they turned a 13-point deficit into a 36-point lead. At the end, they had 111 points while the Grizzlies had 82. Also, this was the first time that the brothers Gasol played in a playoff series against each other.
Marc Gasol and Kawhi Leonard both led their respective teams with 32 points each. Both of them were also efficient, with Gasol missing only seven shots and Leonard going 11-of-14 from the field. Furthermore, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker combined for 38 points for the Spurs, who will host the Grizzlies again in two days.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz
The Clippers and the Jazz finished the regular season with the same record, but the Clippers gained home-court advantage due to tiebreaker rules. However, Utah regained the advantage by beating them in the first game of the series, as Joe Johnson hit a game-winning shot in the last second of the game. The Jazz earned a big victory, but they also suffered a big loss, as Rudy Gobert injured his knee on the very first possession of the game. Gobert, who is one of the best defensive players in the league, will most likely have to miss a few games until his knee recovers.
Joe Johnson led the Jazz in scoring with 21 points off the bench and a game winner. Gordon Hayward got a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Derrick Favors and George Hill combined for 31 points. For the Clippers, Chris Paul nearly ended the game with a triple-double as he scored 25 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. Blake Griffin added 26 points, while DeAndre Jordan had another great rebounding game with 15 boards. Next game of the series will be played on April 18. #Nba Playoffs