NBA Playoffs: Celtics close in on sweep, Wolves and Jazz tie it up
Boston, Massachusetts - The Boston Celtics inched closer to sweeping the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, claiming a 3-0 series lead in the NBA Playoffs with a 109-103 victory at the Barclays Center.
Jayson Tatum notched up 39 points on 13-of-29 shooting, six assists, five rebounds, and six steals in the win for the Celtics, who continued to lock down Kevin Durant.
Though Durant shot 54.5% from the floor, moving him to 17-of-52 for the series, he did it on 11 shots on Saturday as the flexible and intense Celtics defensive scheme continued to force the ball out of his hands. Kyrie Irving also went six-of-17 from the floor.
Bruce Brown was the highest scorer for the Nets, with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting. But he and Durant contributed to 10 of the team's 20 turnovers, from which Boston scored 25 points.
The Celtics led for the whole of the second half and, whenever the Nets would threaten with a scoring run, managed to make timely buckets and secure a big road win.
Gobert gets up for Jazz win
Luka Dončić's return from injury was not enough for the Dallas Mavericks, as the Utah Jazz evened up their series at 2-2, earning a dramatic 100-99 win.
Rudy Gobert gave Utah the lead with an alley-oop dunk with 11 seconds remaining in Game 4, before Spencer Dinwiddie missed a three-ball at the buzzer for the Mavs.
While Doncic had 30 points in his first game back from a strained calf, Dallas were kept to just 18 points in the fourth quarter, shooting six-of-18 from the floor.
The series heads back to Texas on Monday as the Mavs try to bounce back from a worrying collapse.
Siakam sizzles as Raptors avoid sweep
Pascal Siakam scored 15 of his of 34 points in the fourth quarter as the Toronto Raptors avoided a series sweep, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 110-102.
Despite a 19-point deficit in points off turnovers, Toronto continually managed to penetrate and get on the break, holding a combined 25-point advantage for points in the paint and fast-break points.
Nursing an injured thumb, Joel Embiid shot seven-of-16 from the floor for his 21 points to go with eight rebounds, but also coughed up five turnovers.
The Sixers are still in relatively comfortable control of this series and could seal it at home on Monday.
Timberwolves level series with Grizzlies
Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns bounced back from a disappointing Game 3 to help the Minnesota Timberwolves even their playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies with a hugely important 119-118 victory.
After going missing in the previous matchup, when he only took four shots as the Grizzlies overcame a 26-point deficit, Towns was much more assertive from the outset on Saturday, adding 13 rebounds to 33 points.
Anthony Edwards' fingerprints were all over the game, too. The rising star came up with 24 points on seven-of-14 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three blocks.
Despite spraying the assists – 15 in total – Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant had a disappointing time as his shooting let him down, only managing to get 11 points on the night.
Game 5 is in Memphis on Tuesday.
Cover photo: Collage: USA TODAY Sports