Recapping the Eastern conference playoff games that took place on Sunday April 15th, 2018.
Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Game 1: Celtics 113 – Bucks 107
Game one of the best of seven series proved that the Celtics have the ability to win even without their biggest stars. Al Horford stepped up to the occasion and dropped 24 points and pulled down 12 rebound in the 113-107 overtime victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. Things looked good for the Celtics as they were up 99-96 with 0.5 seconds remaining in regulation when Khris Middleton of the Bucks took the inbound pass on the right wing and hit the contested three. However, Boston went on to outscore Milwaukee 14-8 in overtime. Terry Rozier played under the shadow of Kyrie Irving this season but got his chance to be under the spotlight when Irving was ruled out for the season following his knee surgery. During Rozier’s first career playoff game, he added 23 points, four rebounds, and three assists for the Celtics. Along with Jaylen Brown who added 20 points and rookie Jayson Tatum who added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
As for the Milwaukee Bucks, they were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo who dropped 35 points, 13 rebounds, and 7 assists before he fouled out in overtime. Malcolm Brogdan scored all 16 of his points after halftime and Middleton had 31 points. The Bucks need to fix the turnover issue moving forward since they committed 20 tonight against the Celtics which led to the Celtics scoring 27 points. Antetokounmpo also needs to figure things out defensively against Al Horford who is a skilled veteran.
Game 2 will be played Tuesday night in Boston.
Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Game 1: Pacers 98 – Cavaliers 80
Victor Oladipo scored 32 points and helped the Pacers outplay the Cavaliers from the opening tip-off. Oladipo and company created a stunning victory over the Cavaliers as they won 98-80. The opening game loss is the first time Lebron James lost an opener in eight years. James was 12-0 in Game one situations prior to the loss against the Pacers. With the win today, the Pacers have currently beaten the Cavaliers for a fourth time this season. Indiana looked really good today after they were up by 21 after the first quarter and then got it up to a 23 point lead during the third quarter. As the Cavaliers came within seven points in the fourth quarter both Oladipo and Bogdanovic hit three pointers late to regain the lead and put the Cavaliers away. You would think a team that beat the Cavaliers by 18 in the opening game would rush the court and celebrate, but not the Pacers. They were mature and walked off the court as casual as possible.
Lebron James recorded his 20th triple double of his career with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. However, James was really the only Cavalier to make an impact as the four other starters combined for a total 25 points. A big issue for the Cavaliers was free throws and three pointers. The Cavaliers went 8 of 34 from deep and missed eight of 20 free throws. Though the Pacers were swept by the Cavaliers last season, this season’s team is completely different and while being led by Victory Oladipo the team still lacks postseason experience. The Pacers are looking to stop Lebron James from reaching his eight straight finals appearance and the journey already looks to be tough even for the King.
Game 2 will be played Wednesday night in Cleveland