Jeff Zillgitt USA TODAY Published 11:14 PM EDT Apr 29, 2019 Center Greg Monroe and forward James Ennis III — with some fourth-quarter help from forward Jimmy Butler — saving the day for Philadelphia is not what anyone expected in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But with 76ers center Joel Embiid slowed by gastroenteritis and Philadelphia in a need of scoring lift from the bench, the Sixers needed Monroe’s 12 minutes, 10 points and five rebounds and Ennis’ 24 minutes, 13 points and six rebounds in their 94-89 victory over Toronto into Game 2 of their series, which is tied at 1-1. Game 3 is Thursday in Philadelphia (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Embiid scored just 12 points (more on him in a bit), but the Sixers had just enough to hold off the Raptors, who trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half yet clawed back and cut the score to 90-89 late in the fourth quarter. Butler scored 12 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth, and … [Read more...] about NBA playoffs: Sixers bounce back for impressive Game 2 win vs. Raptors
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Jeff Zillgitt and Martin Rogers and AJ Neuharth-Keusch and Matt Eppers USA TODAY Published 4:27 PM EDT Apr 27, 2019 The second round of the 2019 NBA playoffs is set to begin Saturday, and the matchups couldn't be juicier. In the East, the four best teams remain: the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. They went a combined 16-2 in the first round, and all four of them are capable of representing the East in the NBA Finals. In the West, the rematch of last year's conference finals between Golden State and Houston will steal all the headlines, but Denver or San Antonio (Game 7 of that first-round series is Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET) vs. Portland could be just as entertaining (we're looking at you, Damian Lillard). Below are predictions from USA TODAY Sports' Jeff Zillgitt, Martin Rogers, AJ Neuharth-Keusch and Matt Eppers. (1) Milwaukee vs. (4) Boston Zillgitt: Bucks in 6. Giannis Antetokounmpo, plus a potent … [Read more...] about NBA playoff predictions: Is this the end of the road for the Warriors?
It's the best time of the year for pro-hoops fans as the 2019 NBA Playoffs kick off this weekend. There's no shortage of storylines as LeBron James misses his first postseason since 2005. His move to the West means a new king will be crowned in the Eastern Conference, and MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo is hoping to lead his No. 1 seeded Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA Finals. His road won't be easy with Kawhi Leonard's No. 2 Toronto Raptors, and Joel Embiid's star-studded, No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers squad looking to make a splash in the postseason.In the West, all eyes will be on the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who are looking to win their third consecutive championship, and their fourth NBA title in five years. Check below for the full schedule of first-round matchups. All times are Eastern.Eastern Conference 1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 8. Detroit PistonsWhat to look for: For the first time since the early 1970s, the Bucks earned the best record in the NBA and won 60 games. … [Read more...] about NBA Playoffs 2019: How to watch Nets vs. Sixers