The Los Angeles Clippers have booked their spot in the second round of the NBA playoffs after eliminating the Dallas Mavericks.
Leonard Seals the Deal
Kawhi Leonard, who was named Finals MVP in 2018-19, starred in Orlando, Florida on Sunday as he scored 33 points to steer the Clippers to a 111-97 victory over the Mavericks.
Pre-game talk surrounded the availability of Patrick Beverley, however, the point guard failed to overcome a calf injury.
It’s understood Beverley will be back to boost the Clippers when they play Game 1 of the semi-finals against either the Denver Nuggets or Utah Jazz.
13/10 to win the finals, look like they will be tough to stop during the playoff campaign due to their impressive offensive record.
Indeed, they entered Sunday’s clash with the second best offensive rating in the playoffs, scoring 122.9 points per 100 possessions.
As well as scoring 30+ points for the fifth successive game, Leonard also chipped in with 14 rebounds seven assists and five steals.
Nuggets Tie Series With Jazz
Jamal Murray has enjoyed some fine form during the postseason for the Nuggets and that trend continued on Sunday.
The 23-year-old scored 50 points against the Jazz, adding a further five rebounds and six assists to help the Nuggets tie the series at 3-3 courtesy of a 119-107 win.
Game 7 looks set to be a tense affair when the two Western Conference sides square off on Wednesday.
Celtics Land Early Blow
Boston Celtics eased to a 4-0 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the First Round of the playoffs, and they could be the side to keep a close eye on over the coming weeks.
— NBA (@NBA) August 31, 2020
Brad Stevens’ men made the perfect start to their Conference semi-final playoff campaign on Sunday, beating 2018-19 champions Toronto Raptors 112-94.
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart put on 21 points each to land a damaging mental blow against their Eastern Divisional rivals.
Bucks Looking to Turn up the Heat
Milwaukee Bucks, who topped the Eastern Conference during the regular season, kick off their semi-final series against Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Heat face a battle to reach the Conference finals after finishing fifth during the regular campaign, although they can’t be overlooked after completing a 4-0 victory over the Indiana Pacers in the first round.
Bucks ran out 130-116 winners when they met Heat in August as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton both scored a game-high 33 points.
*All odds correct at time of writing