In the NBA playoff games on Monday, it was a mixed day of results as the Boston Celtics regained the series lead with a 111-89 win against the Raptors to move closer to the Eastern Conference finals. In the other game, Los Angeles Clippers dominated in Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets.
Toronto Raptors 89 – 111 Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics regained a 3-2 series lead in the second-round playoff series with the Toronto Raptors. After losing Games 3 and 4, the Celtics bounced back in a major way on Monday night, dominating Game 5 to take a 111-89 win.
Boston has the chance to eliminate defending NBA champions Toronto – and advance to its third Eastern Conference finals in four years — with a win in Game 6 on Wednesday. Like in Game 1, another easy Boston victory, the Celtics were all over the Raptors from the opening tip, moving all around the court and restricting the Raptors with a strong defence throughout the game that gave them the win.
The Celtics were one of the best defensive teams in the league in the regular season, finishing fourth with a defensive rating of 104.6 and proved it in Game 5. The Raptors shot 38.8 percent from the field, 30 percent from the 3-point line and turned the ball over 13 times.
Jaylen Brown drained a 3-pointer on the first possession, and was off and running, turning in a game-high 27 points on 10 of 18 from the field, to go along with six rebounds and three steals.
“It’s not about winning a game, it’s not about winning three in a series now, it’s about the process of growth when you see that resilience,” Brad Stevens says of our bounce-back effort.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 8, 2020
Toronto Raptors will have to win two straight games to keep their season going, and aim to become just the eighth team this decade to recover from a 2-0 series deficit.
Los Angeles Clippers 113-107 Denver Nuggets
The Clippers lead the Nuggets 2-1 following a 113-107 victory on Monday. Paul George carried the offensive load with 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting, but it was Kawhi Leonard that excelled defensively with a critical block of Jamal Murray with his middle finger.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, had an in-form Nikola Jokic, as their All-Star center finished the game with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.
— NBA (@NBA) September 8, 2020
Jamal Murray jumped to the top of the charts for the most playoff 3-pointers made in franchise history.
Prior to Game 3, he was tied with J.R. Smith for the top spot with 65. Murray passed that total in his 24th NBA postseason game while Smith had reached that mark in 35 playoff games.
Los Angeles Clippers will be looking to extend their lead in Game 5 after their win on Monday. Coach Doc Rivers did not divert all attention to slowing Jokic; doing so in Game 2 allowed Murray to find some room late. Tonight, Jokic was forced to score through multiple defenders as the Clippers kept focusing on Murray. The Clippers will be aiming to win their first ever NBA championship this season.
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