Houston (USA), May 22 (EFE) .- The role of the “Big Three” with the Brooklyn Nets against the Boston Celtics was immediate and together with the suspense of the duel between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat, and the surprises that Slovenian point guard Luka Doncic gave the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets was what left the opening day of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
It is true that the class of the “Big Three” together was made to wait, but then it was the key that allowed the Nets to beat the Celtics 104-93 in the opening game of the Eastern Conference first-round series that they play at best of seven.
Although they did not have the brightest start, on the contrary they gave a poor image, little by little they found the rhythm of the game and forward Kevin Durant finished with a double-double of 32 points and 12 rebounds that left him in front of the winning attack of the Nets.
Point guard Kyrie Irving was tasked with scoring another 29 points and guard James Harden flirted with a triple-double after scoring 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, in what was just the ninth of three appearances with the Nets.
All three combined to go 0-11 on shooting from outside the perimeter in the first half, but returned to the Barclays Center court to start the third period on an 18-4 streak that gave the Nets the lead in the scoreboard and they never lost it again.
Durant, Irving and Harden scored 28 of the Nets’ 31 points in the third period, and forward Joe Harris, who made Brooklyn’s only 3-pointer in the first half, scored another for the other points scored by the Brooklyn team. which finished the league with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets’ star forward surpassed former San Antonio Spurs baseman Tony Parker (4,045) points for ninth on the list of best scorers in the playoffs by reaching 4,075 points.
Power forward Jayson Tatum scored 22 points, but added just 6 of 20 shots from the field and failed to reach his 50-point effort in the entry tournament as Boston beat the Washington Wizards to win seventh place in the playoff box.
Greek power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo once again became the leader of the Bucks by contributing a double-double of 26 points with 18 rebounds and led them to a 109-107 victory in overtime against the Heat in the first game of the Eastern Conference first-round tie.
But Antetokunmpo and the Bucks had to need the decisive plays starring forward Khris Middleton and point guard Jrue Holiday in the final seconds of overtime when they scored the winning basket and put the plug that prevented the Heat’s forward Jimmy Butler, make the last try of triple.
Butler, who finished as the Heat’s third-leading scorer, scored the tying basket at 99 when the horn sounded at the end of regulation time and forced overtime.
Middleton with 27 points, including the winning basket, six rebounds and six assists, was the leading scorer, along with Holiday, who also contributed a double-double of 20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals that made the difference. in favor of the Bucks, who will remain at home on Monday for the second game of the best-of-seven tie.
The veteran Slovenian point guard Goran Dragic, who came out of reserve, finished as the Heat leader by contributing 25 points, including five triples, the last one he achieved with 20.6 seconds left of overtime that put 107 on the scoreboard.
Guard-forward Duncan Robinson with another 24 points, including seven 3-pointers from 10 attempts, was the Heat’s second leading scorer and Butler finished with a double-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, two ball recoveries and another six. losses.
Doncic arrived at Staples Center and with a triple-double of 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds and guided the Dallas Mavericks to a 102-113 victory on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers, who lost the field advantage, and returned to be negative surprise in the playoffs.
Forward Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points, while power forward Dorian Finney-Smith had another 18 points for the Mavericks who held the lead for much of the game.
Doncic and Hardaway Jr. each had five triples while Finney-Smith had four steals and the Mavericks finished with 47 percent on shots from outside the perimeter (17-36).
Forward Kawhi Leonard posted a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Clippers leader, while Paul George had another 23 points, but missed 12 of 18 shots from the field, including 6 of 8 3-point attempts.
Point guard Damian Lillard added a double-double of 34 points, including five triples, with 13 assists and led the Trail Blazers to a 109-123 surprise victory over the road against the Nuggets.
Along with Lillard, six other players had double-digit numbers, including veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, who as a backup had 18 points.
While Serbian center Nikola Jokic, with a double-double of 34 points and 15 rebounds, was the best of the Nuggets, but could not avoid the defeat of his team and the loss of the field advantage.
(c) EFE Agency