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While Sunday’s NBA schedule will be empty, there will be two decisive Game 7s played on Sunday. With the Mavericks and Suns already going the distance, the Celtics and Bucks joined in the fun, thanks in large part to the mastery of Jayson Tatum. And in Friday’s other game, Golden State closed out Memphis as “Game 6 Klay” made its triumphant return.
Celtics 108, Bucks 95 (series tied, 3-3)
For the second game in a row, Boston held a 14-point lead in the second half. This time, however, they didn’t lose that advantage, with Jayson Tatum being the main reason. Shooting 17 of 32 from the field and 5 of 7 from the foul line, he tallied a playoff career-high 46 points to go along with nine rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and seven 3-pointers in 43 minutes. . As a result, this series returns to Boston for a deciding Game 7, which will be played on Sunday afternoon.
Boston was once again without starting center Robert Williams, who is still struggling with left knee pain from a bone bruise. Before the game, Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Williams wouldn’t be back in the lineup until he was 100%, so there’s no guarantee he will be. available for Game 7. Grant Williams (2/5/1/2 in 28 mins) remains Williams’ favorite substitute, but Derrick White (9/5/2/2 with a 3-pointer in 30 mins) has been the best alternative for DFS players (he and Grant W. obviously don’t have the same eligibility for the position).
Al Horford (2/10/3/1/4) was silent offensively, shooting 1 of 6 from the field, but made up for that (to some extent) with the five “stocks”. DFS players should feel safe bringing the veteran center into their lineups, especially with the Time Lord sidelined. Jaylen Brown (22/5/4/0/1 with four 3-pointers) and Marcus Smart (21/5/7 with five 3-pointers) completed Tatum’s offensive masterclass, offering more value than Milwaukee’s secondary options.
Milwaukee stayed with Grayson Allen (3/3/1) in its starting lineup, but it continues to offer little production. Playing 22 minutes, he shot 1 of 7 from the field and didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter. Pat Connaughton (14/4/2 with two 3-pointers in 33 minutes) was Mike Budenholzer’s preferred option in critical time and for good reason, as he’s been productive offensively and the Celtics can’t “hunt” him defensively like they have done it. Allen. The starting roster may remain the same for Game 7, but DFS players would be better served rolling with Connaughton when looking for low-cost options.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (44/20/6/1/2 with two 3-pointers in 41 minutes) did what he could to put the Bucks on their backs and end the series, but he wasn’t enough helped offensively. In FanDuel, the reigning NBA Finals MVP racked up an impressive 80 points, and that’s with six turnovers on his stat line. Antetokounmpo shot 14 of 30 from the field and 14 of 15 from the foul line on Friday, and he will again be the centerpiece of many formations in Game 7. Jrue Holiday (17/2/4/3/2 with three 3 points) shot 7 of 17 from the field, and he is now shooting 35.5% from the field in this series.
The quality of looks Holiday has been able to achieve in this series is one of many examples of why injured Khris Middleton is so important to the Bucks. Maybe he can return for the Conference Finals, which begin Tuesday night in Miami, but Milwaukee has to get there, and it won’t be easy. Apart from Holiday and Antetokounmpo, no other Bucks starter has scored in double figures. They’re going to need more Brook Lopez (6/3/0/1), who played just 19 minutes, and backup Bobby Portis (four points, 10 rebounds in 29 minutes).
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Warriors 110, Grizzlies 96 (Warriors win, 4-2)
Both teams lost rotational players to injury on Friday, with Ja Morant (knee) staying out for the Grizzlies and Golden State’s Otto Porter (foot) also sitting out. The Warriors would close out the series, pulling away in the fourth quarter as Klay Thompson had his best game of the series. Shooting 11 of 22 from the field, “Game 6 Klay” scored 30 points to go along with eight assists, two steals, three blocks and eight 3-pointers in 41 minutes. Thompson’s big night helped the Warriors win despite 17 turnovers, and Stephen Curry (29/7/5/1/2 with six 3-pointers) and Jordan Poole (12/3/2/0/1 with two 3-pointers ) combined to shoot 14 of 42 from the field.
After scoring 21 or more points in three of Golden State’s five first-round games, Thompson only managed one of those efforts heading into Friday’s second-round series finale. And the impact the Warriors roster change had on the outcome can’t be ignored. Kevon Looney was back in the starting lineup, giving the Warriors a better game for Steven Adams (4/10/3/0/1), and he was unquestionably a star in his role. Looney may have only scored four points, but he grabbed 22 rebounds while tallying five assists and one blocked shot in 35 minutes.
His DFS potential in the conference finals will likely depend on the opponent. If it’s Phoenix, Looney’s rotation minutes should be secure. Dallas, on the other hand, can be trickier because they really don’t have a “real” center in their rotation.
Andrew Wiggins (18/10/0/1/3 with three 3-pointers) was particularly impactful defensively, as he helped limit Tyus Jones (7/9/8/2 with a 3-pointer) to 2 of 12 shots from the ground. Draymond Green (14/16/8/1) was also a beast on the glass, hitting double numbers in the rebounds category for the third time in this series. Porter’s absence meant the Warriors had a shorter rotation, as Jonathan Kuminga was a DNP-CD. Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals won’t take place until Tuesday, giving Porter a little more time to regain (or at least get closer to) his full power.
Again playing without Morant, Memphis didn’t have much room for error on the attacking side of the pitch. Jones’ struggles put the Grizzlies in a tough spot, as did the inefficiency of Dillon Brooks (30/4/1/3/1 with seven 3-pointers) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (12 points, four rebounds , four blocks and a 3 point). These two combined to shoot 16 of 47 from the field, and Brandon Clarke (8/4/4/1) also struggled, going 2 of 10. The problem for Brooks and JJJ of a point of Fantastic view is the field goal percentage category, as they shot 43.2 and 41.5 percent from the field, respectively, during the regular season. Becoming more effective scorers would make these two players much more dangerous, whether it comes to fantasy basketball or their importance in the Grizzlies’ rotation.
Desmond Bane (25/7/2/0/1 with four 3-pointers) has looked as good as he has anytime this series as he’s been hampered by a back injury. A top 50 player in Cats 8 and Cats 9 formats, who looks like Bane’s floor in 2022-23, rather than his ceiling. There are some factors to consider, including whether or not Jones (who will be an unrestricted free agent) return to Memphis. His exit could mean more time on the ball for Bane, especially if De’Anthony Melton doesn’t see an increase in opportunities to run the show.