NBA Playoffs: Nuggets avoid sweep, Pelicans keep the Suns tied up
Denver, Colorado - The Denver Nuggets narrowly avoided a series sweep in the NBA Playoffs on Sunday, coming up big on both ends in the final seconds to beat the Golden State Warriors 126-121.
Down 17 points at one stage and nine to start the fourth quarter, the Warriors were able to claw their way level through Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who combined for 55 points for the game and on 22-of-43 shooting from the floor.
The Warriors could not seize the opportunity to lead with scores tied at 121 however, when Andrew Wiggins missed a tip-dunk off a Thompson miss, an open catch-and-shoot three in the corner.
A Monte Morris floater gave the Nuggets the lead with 33.5 seconds remaining, and Austin Rivers' steal from the consequent Otto Porter Jr inbound effectively settled the result. Will Barton's corner three from a Nikola Jokić feed was punctuation mark.
Jokić was exceptional with Denver's season on the line, coming up with 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Warriors can still clinch the series on Wednesday at home.
Pels level series against Suns
The New Orleans Pelicans managed to level the series with the first-seeded Phoenix Suns, comfortably winning Game 4 118-103.
The combination of the Pels' defensive flexibility and length combined with the Suns' continued struggles in injured star Devin Booker's absence has made this a series.
While Deandre Ayton was able to provide a presence under the basket with 23 points and eight rebounds, Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges shot a combined six-of-19 from the floor.
Jonas Valanciunas came up with important buckets down the stretch on his way to 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Heat and Bucks take commanding leads in East
The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks now have the chance to advance in the playoffs on their home floors, defeating the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, respectively.
The Heat defeated the Hawks 110-86 to take a 3-1 series lead, with the latter held to just 15 points in the second quarter.
It was a particularly tough night for Trae Young, after his game-winner last Friday. He took only four shots in the second half and committed as many turnovers.
The Bucks also took a 3-1 series lead on Sunday, claiming a big 119-95 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Grayson Allen provided crucial minutes off the bench with 27 points off 10-of-12 shooting, including six-of-seven from beyond the arc, as well as three steals.
Cover photo: USA TODAY Sports