NBA: Celtics move on after sweep of Pacers; Warriors, Raptors and Blazers one win from conference semis

(REUTERS) – The Boston Celtics completed a four-game sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the NBA’s Eastern Conference play-offs on Sunday (April 21) afternoon, using key baskets from Marcus Morris and Gordon Hayward to hold on for a 110-106 victory in Indianapolis.

The fourth-seeded Celtics advance to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, where they will face the winner of the Milwaukee-Detroit series.

Meanwhile, the loss ended Indiana’s season in the first round of the play-offs for the third consecutive year. The Pacers, who also were swept by Cleveland in 2017, took the Cavaliers to a Game 7 in the opening round last year.

The fourth quarter featured four ties, the last of which occurred at 82-all when Jayson Tatum made the first of two free throws with 6:45 remaining after a flagrant foul on Cory Joseph.

Three other teams are one win away from moving into the conference semi-finals.

Kevin Durant scored 33 points and visiting Golden State held on to beat Los Angeles in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series. After winning both games in Los Angeles, the Warriors own a 3-1 series lead heading to Game 5 on Wednesday night in Oakland, California.

Klay Thompson scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half for the Warriors.

Stephen Curry went 3-for-14, including 1-for-9 from three-point range, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a season-high 25 points for the Clippers.

In another game, Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points – 12 in the third quarter – as visiting Toronto defeated Orlando to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

The Raptors can clinch the best-of-seven series on Tuesday by winning Game 5 in Toronto.

Pascal Siakam added 16 points for Toronto, while Norman Powell had 16 points and Serge Ibaka had 13 points and gathered eight rebounds. Kyle Lowry contributed nine points and nine assists.

Aaron Gordon scored 25 points and had seven rebounds for the Magic. Evan Fournier added 19 points, while Nikola Vucevic scored 11 points.

Elsewhere, C.J. McCollum scored 27 points and Damian Lillard added 24 as visiting Portland beat Oklahoma City.

The win gave the Blazers a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference play-off series. Portland has a chance to finish off the series at home on Tuesday.

The win snapped an eight-game road play-off losing streak for the Blazers and gave the road teams an 8-0 record over the weekend in the NBA play-offs.

Source: Read Full Article