The first-round action of the NBA playoffs continued on Saturday with a thriller between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. A third-quarter scuffle saw Jared Dudley and Jimmy Butler both get ejected, and the two teams traded big shot after big shot down the stretch. Eventually, the Sixers held on for the victory, thanks to a late 3-pointer by Mike Scott, and took a 3-1 lead in the series.

One of the bigger surprises of the opening round has been the success of the seventh-seeded San Antonio Spurs. They held a 2-1 series lead heading into Saturday night’s Game 4, and took a double-digit lead early in this game. But Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets came storming back and pulled away in the second half for a vital victory to tie the series 2-2. It was the Nuggets’ first win in San Antonio since 2012. 

Later on, the No. 1 overall seed Milwaukee Bucks continued their dominance over the Detroit Pistons. After winning Game 1 by 35 points and Game 2 by 21 points, the Bucks took Game 3 by 16 points to take a 3-0 series lead. Even the return of Blake Griffin couldn’t help the Pistons, who are completely overmatched. 

Finally, the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets withstood a 3-of-20 shooting performance from James Harden to sneak past the Utah Jazz, 104-101. Despite his brutal start, though, Harden finished with 22 points, four rebounds, 10 assists and six steals. Now up 3-0, the Rockets have a chance to sweep. 

NBA playoffs schedule for Saturday, April 20

  • Philadelphia 76ers 112, Brooklyn Nets 108 (Box Score
  • Denver Nuggets 117, San Antonio Spurs 103 (Box Score
  • Milwaukee Bucks 119, Detroit Pistons 103 (Box Score)
  • Houston Rockets 104, Utah Jazz 101 (Box Score)

NBA playoffs schedule for Sunday, April 21

*All times Eastern 

CP3 fakes and scores

Chris Paul showed off his craftiness late in the fourth quarter against the Jazz, using a nifty ball fake to freeze the defense and hit the floater in the lane. 

O’Neale gets fancy in transition

Royce O’Neale got it done on both ends against the Rockets in the second quarter. First, he picked off a pass from James Harden, then used a fancy behind-the-back dribble to elude Harden and get an easy bucket. 

Mitchell throws it down

Donovan Mitchell got things started in style on Saturday night, throwing down a big alley-oop in the opening minutes against the Rockets in Game 3. 

Bledsoe gets inside for two slams

Eric Bledsoe took advantage of some poor defense to get two easy slams against the Pistons. Twice in the second half he found himself all alone, and threw it down with authority.

Lopez and Ilyasova on target from downtown early

The Bucks got a big boost from some of their role players in the first half of Game 3. Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova combined for six 3-pointers to help the Bucks get off to a great start against the Pistons.

Jokic steps up when Nuggets need him

Nikola Jokic took some heat for being a bit too passive early on in this series, but that certainly wasn’t the case in Game 4. The Nuggets big man was doing it all on Saturday night, finishing with 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. It was exactly the performance the Nuggets needed from their star, as they tied up the series 2-2. 

Murray, DeRozan trade huge slams

Jamal Murray and DeMar DeRozan each took a turn throwing down a huge slam in the second half. First, Murray took the pass from Nikola Jokic and hammered home a slam over the defense. Later on, DeRozan saw an open lane to the rim and took advantage.

Aldridge rocks the rim on the putback

Late in the first quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge took a break from his mid-range game to throw down a powerful putback slam after the miss by Marco Belinelli

Embiid puts together incredible game

Joel Embiid was a game-time decision for Game 4 on Saturday, but he didn’t appear to be feeling too many ill effects from his sore knee. The big man was everywhere for the Sixers, putting up 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks to help his squad get a crucial win.

Scott wins it for the Sixers

The Sixers secured a thrilling victory on Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn to take a 3-1 series lead over the Nets, and did so thanks to a huge shot from Mike Scott. The role player drained a 3-pointer in the corner to give the Sixers the lead for good in the closing seconds. 

Simmons slams over Allen

Ben Simmons has been one of the focal points of the series thus far and continues to show why. In the third quarter, Simmons was able to blow by Jarrett Allen and throw down an easy slam dunk.

Butler, Dudley ejected after scuffle

In the third quarter, Joel Embiid dished out a hard foul on Jarrett Allen. Jared Dudley ended up shoving Embiid, which led to Jimmy Butler shoving Dudley into the stands. Both Butler and Dudley received double technical fouls and were ejected.

LeVert dunks on Embiid

Caris LeVert was inserted into the Brooklyn starting lineup after averaging 20.7 points off the bench in the first three games of the series. LeVert got involved in the offense early on as he threw down this huge two-handed slam dunk on Joel Embiid in the opening quarter.





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