Los Angeles Lakers topscorer Anthony Davis racks 37 points in the Western Conference Finals match with Denver Nuggets

NBA: Heat Fire Past the Celtics, Lakers Cook the Nuggets

There are four teams left in the NBA playoffs as the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, and Nuggets are the remaining contenders vying for the Larry O’Brien trophy.

The Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Heat and Celtics was unexpected to say the least, especially since the Bucks were heavily backed by the NBA 2020 odds to go to as far as the Finals.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets produced one of the biggest upsets in recent memory by mounting a huge comeback against the Clippers. Just like against the Jazz, the Nuggets advanced after being down 3-1 when the Clippers failed to send them packing after three tries.

Over these past few days, these four remaining clubs already got their feet wet in their respective matchups.

And today, SBOTOP gives you the latest NBA 2020 results to recap both of these series.

 

In-form Heat take 2-0 lead against the Celtics

The fifth-seeded Heat continue to be a surprise package in the Orlando bubble. Other than being the lowest seeded team to make it to the Conference Finals since 1999, they have proven that they are no fluke whatsoever by taking a 2-0 lead against the Celtics.

Miami did it through a sound gameplan and tenacious play on both ends, and it also helps that their players are stepping up big at the right time.

Goran Dragic is looking like the Dragic of old with his scoring exploits, while Jae Crowder and Tyler Herro continue to be on target from three-point range.

Miami, by no means, had it easy. In fact, during Game 1, it looked like Boston had firm control when they led in double digits and they faced the same scenario in Game 2.

However, they turned to their defence led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Butler came up big with crucial steals in Game 2 while Adebayo prevented the Celtics to force overtime in Game 1 when he blocked Jayson Tatum’s right-handed dunk late.

This left Boston in shambles as they got into an emotional crossroads after Game 2. Reports indicate that there were a lot of screaming and venting out inside the locker room.

However, the Celtics could receive a major boost in Game 3 as swingman Gordon Hayward’s injury status was upgraded to questionable.

Hayward has been sidelined for quite some time due to an ankle injury, and if he can get it going along with Kemba Walker, the Celtics are in a good spot to try and mount a comeback.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is hailed as NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in action during first half of the match against Miami Heat at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

 

Well-rested Lakers draw first blood against the weary Nuggets

To buck the trend of losing Game 1’s, the Lakers came out firing and they defeated the Nuggets in a blowout.

Anthony Davis topscored for the Purple and Gold with 37 points on 12-for-21 shooting, while he added 10 rebounds and four assists. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 markers while LeBron James scored 15 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds.

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray scored 21 each while Michael Porter Jr. added 14 points off the bench in the losing effort.

The game went back and forth in the first quarter. While Anthony Davis scored 14 of his 37 there, Denver shot nearly 64-per cent from the field to give themselves a 38-36 lead as time expired.

The Nuggets are no longer strangers to deficits as they became the first-ever team to come back from 3-1 deficits in the same postseason. But in this game, Denver fell into a hole too deep that they couldn’t get out of.

Los Angeles built a sizeable edge through a 17-1 run sparked by a three-point play from Alex Caruso. It didn’t help the Nuggets either when their star duo in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray got into foul trouble.

And then in the third period, the Lakers blitzed the Nuggets with a 11-2 run to essentially break the game wide open.

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo makes milestone

In other news, Giannis Antetokounmpo has won his 2nd Most Valuable Player trophy in a landslide.

The Greek Freak joins the company of Steph Curry, LeBron James, TIm Duncan, Steve Nash, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell as back-to-back MVPs.

He also became the third player ever to win the said award along with the Defensive Player of the Year trophy in the same season, which puts him in elite company alongside Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Antetokounmpo received 85 out of 101 first-place votes from accredited sportswriters and reporters. In games played through March 11, he averaged gaudy numbers of 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in 57 matches.

 

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