The 2019 NBA Playoffs began on Saturday, and the drama has already began to playout. Three lower seeds started their playoffs with an upset, with the Nets beating the 76ers coming in as one of the biggest surprises of the weekend.
Brooklyn Nets stun Philadelphia 76ers 111-102
Jimmy Butler’s 36 points was not enough to defeat the Brooklyn Nets in game one of this Eastern Conference matchup. D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 26 points on the night as the Nets shot a deadly 42% from three-point land.
Joel Embiid shot 5-15 from the field, and was seen glancing at the cell phone of a teammate in the latter stages of the game. This kind of story is not what the 76ers need after getting off to such a rough start in this series. The 76ers will look to even up the series on Monday when the two teams play again in Philly.
Orlando Magic knock off Toronto Raptors 104-101
D.J. Augustin hit the game winning three with just seconds left on the clock in the Magic’s huge win on Saturday. Augustin had a joint-game high total of 25 points on an efficient 9-13 shooting.
Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry was a non-factor in the home loss for the Raptors. Lowry shot 0-7 on the night, and was completely outplayed by Orlando point guard D.J. Augustin. Lowry and the Raptors will be out for redemption on Monday night when the two teams play game two in Toronto.
Warriors take care of Game 1 over Clippers 121-104
The Warriors beat the Clippers by 17 in a fiery game one. Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverly were both ejected from the contest after multiple mini scuffles between the two. Steph Curry led all scorers, shooting 8-12 from three, scoring 38 points. The win was straightforward for the Warriors, who left little doubt on Saturday night. Game two is on Monday in Golden State.
San Antonio Spurs surprise Denver Nuggets 101-96
The young Denver Nuggets drop game one at home in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. DeMar DeRozan was the Spurs top scorer, dropping 18 points on 6-17 shooting. LaMarcus Aldridge was unable to get his game going, scoring 15 points on just 6-19 shooting. The Spurs were able to pull out the win on the road, even though their two star players had inefficient performances, a fact that will alarm the Nuggets.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and his team looked to take big man Nikola Jokic out of the game. Jokic was limited to 10 points on the night, but contributed with 14 rebounds and 14 assists. It was the Nuggets three point shooting that was their downfall. Denver shot the three-ball at a poor 21.4% at home. These two teams go again on Monday for game two, as the Nuggets look to tie things up in the first round series.