NBA playoffs wrap 2019: 76ers win thriller in Brooklyn; Rockets overcome Harden struggles

Philadelphia is just one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs, and it had to overcome some serious adversity.

The 76ers topped the Nets 112-108 in Brooklyn on Saturday, securing a 3-1 lead in the series. They got the victory without Jimmy Butler, who was ejected for a scuffle with Jared Dudley in the third quarter.

In the end, it was Mike Scott who hit the big shot to seal the deal for Philadelphia down the stretch.

Joel Embiid was listed as doubtful for the game, but suited up and put on a monstrous performance. “The Process” posted 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks on the night.

Brooklyn was led by Caris LeVert, who scored 25 points as a starter. 

The Nets will face an uphill battle to prevent elimination in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Nuggets had lost 14 straight games in San Antonio, but snapped the streak with a 117-103 victory on Saturday.

Denver has tied its first-round series with the Spurs at 2-2 after a scary start and appears to be gaining confidence.

Nikola Jokic was a jack of all trades as usual, recording 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 24 points for the Spurs.

San Antonio was clearly frustrated, as DeMar DeRozan was ejected from the contest for throwing a ball at an official after an unfavorable call.

Now the Spurs will have to take the fight back to Denver for Game 5.

The Bucks have continued to dominate the Pistons.

Milwaukee claimed a 119-103 victory over Detroit to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Not even the return of Blake Griffin was enough to make things interesting for the Pistons. Griffin did post a game-high 27 points though.

Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t post his usual numbers. The 2019 MVP candidate had 14 points and 10 rebounds on 5-of-13 shooting. But he didn’t need to do much more, as six of his teammates were double-digit scorers.

The top seed in the Eastern Conference is looking like just that so far and can end the Pistons’ season in Detroit on Monday.

James Harden has been the most dynamic offensive player in the NBA this season, but he had a historically bad night on Saturday.

The reigning MVP missed his first 15 field-goal attempts against the Jazz in his team’s 104-101 victory.

Harden finally took the lid off the basket with a fourth quarter dunk, which he followed up with a 3-pointer. He proceeded to knock down multiple clutch shots and free throws down the stretch in Houston’s win.

Harden found other ways to contribute and finished with 22 points, 10 assists and six steals in the contest. He made 14 of his 16 free throw attempts.

Donovan Mitchell had a game-high 34 points for Utah but went cold in the fourth and missed a wide open 3-pointer that would have tied the score in the closing seconds.

The Jazz have their backs against the wall and will have to find a way to stay alive on Sunday. 

Studs of the Night

Tobias Harris totaled 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Philadelphia’s win.

Jamal Murray scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting for the Nuggets.

Khris Middleton posted a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds for Milwaukee.

Duds of the Night

DeMarre Carroll was held scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in Brooklyn’s loss.

Gary Harris scored eight points on 2-of-9 shooting in Denver’s win.

Royce O’Neale scored five points on 2-of-8 shootng for the Jazz.


DeMar DeRozan dropped the hammer on Denver in the fourth quarter.

Ben Simmons soared over the Nets’ best rim protector for an emphatic slam.

Donovan Mitchell went up high to finish an alley-oop on the break against Houston.

What’s Next?

Celtics at Pacers — Boston could be the first team to punch a ticket to the second round by sweeping Indiana on Sunday. The Celtics seem to be putting things together. The Pacers simply lack the star power to win at the moment.