The Associated Press
Golden State has life. Phoenix got a win over a short-handed Los Angeles Clippers team to grab a 2-1 lead in that series. Philadelphia put Brooklyn on the brink.
The Warriors cut Sacramento’s series lead to 2-1 with a win Thursday night without the suspended Draymond Green. Phoenix got 45 from Devin Booker to beat a Clippers team that didn’t have Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. And the 76ers got a testy win over the Nets for a 3-0 series lead.
Game 3’s continue on Friday. Boston takes a 2-0 lead to Atlanta, Denver takes a 2-0 lead to Minnesota, and Cleveland goes into Madison Square Garden to take on New York after those teams split their first two meetings of the series.
On Saturday, it’s the first elimination game of the playoffs (not counting the play-in games) — Philadelphia will try to finish off a sweep of Brooklyn. That’s followed by Game 4 of the Suns-Clippers series, then a pair of Game 3’s: Milwaukee-Miami and Memphis-Los Angeles Lakers.
There are four more Game 4’s on Sunday: Cavaliers-Knicks, Kings-Warriors, Celtics-Hawks and Nuggets-Timberwolves.
HOW TO WATCH
— On Friday, Boston-Atlanta and Denver-Minnesota is the ESPN doubleheader. Cleveland-New York is on ABC.
— Saturday’s first two games, Philadelphia-Brooklyn and Phoenix-Clippers, are a TNT doubleheader. The last two games, Milwaukee-Miami and Memphis-Lakers, are an ESPN doubleheader.
— Sunday’s first two games, Cleveland-New York and Sacramento-Golden State, are exclusive ABC telecasts. The Boston-Atlanta and Denver-Minnesota games are on TNT.
— With the exception of Sunday’s ABC doubleheader, all other games this weekend will also be available through a team’s usual local broadcaster.
— The NBA Finals will be broadcast on ABC beginning June 1.
WHO WINS THE AWARDS?
We started finding out those answers on Monday, the first of four days of award-handing-out from the league office this week. More awards are coming, with no schedule for those announcements yet known.
— Monday: Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. won defensive player of the year, with Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez finishing second and Cleveland’s Evan Mobley placing third.
— Tuesday: De’Aaron Fox of Sacramento was revealed as the inaugural winner of the new Clutch Player award. Miami’s Jimmy Butler was second and Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan was third.
— Wednesday: Sacramento’s Mike Brown got all the first-place votes, making him the first unanimous Coach of the Year. Oklahoma City’s Mark Daigneault was second and Boston’s Joe Mazzulla was third.
— Thursday: Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon won Sixth Man of the Year, a race where Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis Jr. and New York’s Immanuel Quickley were the other finalists.
INSIDE THE VOTE
Brogdon appeared on 98 of the 100 ballots. Quickley appeared on 92.
And while it might have looked a bit odd that two Los Angeles Clippers — Norman Powell and Russell Westbrook — got votes as the best reserve, that still doesn’t compare to last year when three Memphis players got votes in the same category.
Grizzlies teammates De’Anthony Melton, Tyus Jones and Brandon Clarke all got votes last year for Sixth Man. And in 2021, Utah players went 1-2 in the voting — Jordan Clarkson won, Joe Ingles was second.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Get ready for a long Saturday of basketball in Los Angeles.
For the first time since May 19, 2012, the Lakers and Clippers will play host to playoff games on the same day — and that, of course, means in the same building. It happened five times during the 2022-23 regular season, all on Sundays, where one team got an early afternoon game and the other played in the evening after the arena was reset.
The Clippers will play host to Phoenix in Game 4 of that series at 12:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. Eastern), and the Lakers will play host to Memphis at 7:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. Eastern).
“I like the momentum that we created tonight. We’ve just got to take advantage of it.” — Golden State’s Stephen Curry, after the Warriors beat Sacramento to cut their deficit to 2-1 in that series.
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