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NBA Playoffs 2020: Celtics to face the Heat in Eastern Conference Finals, Jamal Murray keeps Denver’s slim hopes alive

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The Eastern Conference finals are set as the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are set to renew their rivalry to win a ticket to the NBA finals while Jamal Murray helped overcome a huge deficit to trail 2-3 and keep the series alive ahead of Game 6.

Boston Celtics 92 – 87 Toronto Raptors

Celtics beat the Raptors in Game 7 to face Miami Heat in the ECF.

The Boston Celtics advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to take on the Miami Heat after closing out the Toronto Raptors, 97-82 in a back-and-forth Game 7 with a monster performance from Jayson Tatum and some great team defense to force their opponent into 18 turnovers.

Jayson Tatum was impressive going for 29 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block to lead the Celtics. Jaylen Brown helped his counterpart, going for 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Collectively, the Celtics came away with 12 steals to play a part in forcing 18 turnovers.

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For the Raptors, Fred VanVleet had a strong performance of 20 points and six assists while Serge Ibaka‘s 14 points and eight rebounds gave the team some energy from the bench. Kyle Lowry fouled out late in the fourth quarter, closing the game with just 16 points shooting 5-for-15 from the field and 1-for-6 from 3.

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Marcus Smart scored 16 points and Kemba Walker added 14 for third-seeded Boston. The Celtics will face the fifth-seeded Miami Heat in the East finals.

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The Celtics won in a 2010 NBA playoff meeting. The Heat won in 2011. In 2012, the Heat won a seven-game classic in the conference finals.

The Celtics and Heat are set to resume their fierce rivalry in the Eastern Conference final.

Denver Nuggets 105 – 111 Los Angeles Clippers

The Denver Nuggets have survived to live another day after overcoming a 16-point first-half deficit and defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105 in Game 5 of their NBA Western Conference Semifinal on Friday.

Jamal Murray, who had a rather low-scoring series, scored 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and was ably supported by Nikola Jokic.

Murray led Denver with 26 points, while Kawhi Leonard paced L.A. with 36.

Denver, which now trails the Clips 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, had lost two straight to L.A. prior to Friday’s victory. Nikola Jokic finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in another stellar performance, while veteran forward, Paul Millsap stepped up in a major way in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his 17 points in the frame.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George dominated for the first three quarters and combined for 62 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Nuggets and Clippers will play Game 6 on Sunday and if the Nuggets manage to win,  the series-deciding Game 7 will go down on Tuesday, while the Clippers will look to move to their first final in their franchise history with a win on Sunday.

The series winner will face the winner of the NBA Western Conference Semifinal between the L.A. Lakers and Houston Rockets.

The Lakers lead 3-1 with Game 5 on Saturday. A Clippers-Lakers series would mark the first time the league’s two Los Angeles teams faced each other in the NBA playoffs.


NBA Playoffs 2020: Los Angeles Lakers go within one game of reaching Western Conference Final

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