There are four games of action on the second Sunday of the NBA playoffs, and so far we’ve seen two higher seeds win and one team get eliminated.
To start the day off, the Boston Celtics became the first team to advance into the second round when they took care of the Indiana Pacers in Game 4 to complete their sweep. Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier stepped up off the bench, combining for 49 points to offset the struggles of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.
In the second game of the day, the defending champion Golden State Warriors held off another feisty effort from the Los Angeles Clippers for their second straight win in the series. Led by 33 points from Kevin Durant and 32 points from Klay Thompson, the Warriors are now up 3-1, and will have a chance to close things out at home in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Later on, the Toronto Raptors also claimed a 3-1 series lead when they crushed the Orlando Magic by 22 points. Kawhi Leonard led the way with a dominant performance, finishing with 34 points and six assists, as the Raptors won their third straight game after dropping Game 1.
Finally, the Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers will meet in Oklahoma City for the fourth game of the series between the two teams. The home team won each of the first three games in the series, and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues in Game 4.
NBA playoffs schedule for Sunday, April 21
*All times Eastern
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Leonard dominates for Toronto
Up 2-1 in the road, and facing a feisty Magic team with real hopes of evening the series at 2-2, Kawhi Leonard showed exactly why the Raptors traded for him in Game 4. Leonard dropped 34 points and grabbed six rebounds to go along with his strong defense in a completely dominant performance.
Ross nails buzzer-beater at end of third quarter
The Magic have struggled against the Raptors during Game 4, but Terrence Ross may have just kept them in this game with this buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter.
Kawhi leads Raptors to major lead at halftime
You can thank Kawhi Leonard for the Raptors’ major lead at halftime. The former Finals MVP posted 18 points and five boards to lead Toronto to a 16-point lead at the half as the Toronto looked to gain a 3-to-1 advantage in their first-round series.
Ibaka stuffs Gordon at rim on dunk attempt
Aaron Gordon may be a slam dunk artist, but Serge Ibaka wasn’t having any of it here. As the Magic forward attempted a posterizing slam dunk, the Toronto Raptors forward made sure to deny him his highlight.
Kawhi pulls off dunk after nifty spin move
Who says Kawhi Leonard is a boring player? As the Raptors looked to move to a 3-1 series lead over the Magic, Leonard just pulled off one nifty highlight — a spin move leading directly to a dunk on the fastbreak.
Iguodala cuts inside for the jam
Robinson gets the steal, and slam for the Clippers
Rookie Jerome Robinson gave the Clippers some solid two-way play in the first half against the Warriors, as he came up with the steal on one end of the floor and finished with a dunk on the other end early in the second quarter of action. It also came capped off an 11-0 run for Los Angeles in the second quarter.
Klay owns hot hand early for Golden State
The Golden State Warriors are looking to put the Los Angeles Clippers in a deep 3-1 hole in their best-of-seven first-round series with a win Sunday afternoon. They got a big boost from All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson early on. Thompson came out on fire in Game 4 against the Clippers and started the game a scoring 7-for-7 from the floor for 17 points.
Hayward steps up for the Celtics
The Celtics’ stars struggled in Game 4, but they still got the victory thanks to some strong play off the bench. That included Gordon Hayward, who looked a lot like his old self in putting up 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He also hit a number of big shots in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics pull away.
Kyrie crosses and scores
Turner rises for the rejection, then the slam
Myles Turner was the league’s leading shot blocker this season, and he showed off that ability in the first quarter with a huge block on Jaylen Brown. Later on, he threw down a ridiculous poster dunk over Gordon Hayward.