The NBA playoffs returned on Wednesday with three very intriguing matchups on the schedule.
The action began with the fourth-seeded Boston Celtics rallying past the No. 5 Indiana Pacers in Game 2. The Celtics came back from a 12-point deficit after stifling the Pacers with their defense for the second straight game to beat Indiana, 99-91. They outscored the Pacers 31-12 in the fourth quarter in a performance eerily reminiscent of their Game 1 showing when they held Indiana to just eight points in the third quarter.
Also in the East, the top-ranked Milwaukee Bucks continued their dominance against the eighth-seeded Detroit Pistons with a 120-99 thumping. Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 26 points and 12 rebounds — his second straight double-double. The Bucks now have a 2-0 lead in the series.
Finally, the No. 4 Houston Rockets capped the night off with a blowout 118-98 victory over the No. 5 seeded Utah Jazz behind James Harden’s triple-double performance. The Rockets also now have a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Jazz.
NBA playoffs scores for Wednesday, April 17
NBA playoffs schedule for Thursday, April 18
*All times Eastern
- Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets, 8 p.m. (GameTracker) — TV: TNT | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free)
- Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs, 9 p.m. (GameTracker) — TV: NBA TV | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free)
- Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (GameTracker) — TV: TNT | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free)
Rockets take 2-0 lead behind Harden’s triple-double
The Jazz just can’t find an answer to slow down James Harden. After a double-double performance in Game 1, Harden managed to outdo himself by posting a triple-double stat line of 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the Rockets’ 118-98 Game 2 victory over the Jazz.
Harden completely owns Thabo on 3-pointer
If you take for granted just how good James Harden is, this highlight will change your outlook. Not only did Harden convert this 3-pointer while falling down, he did so while being fouled after bodying up Thabo Sefolosha.
Bucks take 2-0 series lead behind Giannis’ double-double
The Bucks may have trailed by one at halftime, but they let the Pistons know the better team is with a dominant second half. Milwaukee took a 2-0 series lead after outscoring Detroit 62-40 in the latter half behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 26 points, 12-rebound performance.
Harden scores 17 points in first quarter versus Jazz
The Rockets piled it on the Jazz early on, with James Harden scoring 17 points in the first quarter to give Houston a 20-point advantage heading into the second quarter.
Giannis nails 3-pointer vs. Pistons
Yes, Giannis Antetokounmpo can hit 3-pointers. After the top-ranked Bucks trailed at halftime against the Pistons — yes, you read that right — the “Greek Freak” made sure to show off his range with this 3-pointer that put the Bucks up early in the second half.
Irving scores 37 points to fuel Celtics’ comeback win
Celtics fans can thank Kyrie Irving and a huge defensive effort for their 2-0 series lead. It took a 12-point comeback and a 10-0 run to end the game, but Irving’s 37 points lifted the Celtics to a victory in Game 2.
Stevens gets technical for using expletive during Game 2
It’s rare that you see Brad Stevens get this emotional, but the Celtics coach finally snapped. As Boston was whistled for a foul during the second half of Game 2 against the Pacers, Stevens used an unfriendly expletive that resulted in a quick technical.
Kyrie stops and pops
Kyrie Irving’s two best skills are his dribbling and shot-making, and showed them both off on the fastbreak against the Pacers. Putting on the brakes, Irving went behind his back, then drained the jumper.
Evans beats the shot clock from deep
Tyreke Evans isn’t known as a sharpshooter, but he knocked down a big triple with the shot clock winding down late in the first quarter.