NBA Playoff results: April 23, 2019
1. Milwaukee Bucks (127) – 8. Detroit Pistons (104)
4. Houston Rockets (91) – 5. Utah Jazz (107)
What happened in the Playoffs today:
1. Bucks sweep the Pistons
The last time Milwaukee advanced in the Playoffs, Ray Allen was still leading their version of the Big Three with Sam Cassell and and Glenn Robinson. That was way back in 2001. Since then the Bucks have been eliminated in the first round eight times, twice by the Pistons in 2004 and 2006.
It took them 18 years but the Bucks have finally gotten out of the first round. Allen is focused more on fast food than on fast breaks, Cassell is coaching the Clippers and ironically, Robinson’s son, Glenn III, was part of the Pistons team that was eliminated by the Bucks this year.
In the first three games, Giannis Antetokounmpo barely broke a sweat. His team was racking up easy Ws with him averaging only 21.3 points in barely 28 minutes of playing time. But in Game 4, Antetokounmpo had to work. He had his first MVP-like performance putting up 41 points, with nine rebounds, three assists and four blocks in 32 minutes of play.
The Bucks needed everything Antetokounmpo could give them. The Pistons came out strong in Game 4, determined not to be swept by the best team in the league. Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson came out firing, powering Detroit to an early 12-point lead. The Pistons led for most of the game, holding off the Bucks’ rallies on their home floor.
But in the end, Giannis was just too much for Detroit. I mean, just watch this:
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) April 23, 2019
That was the game in a nutshell. When the Greek Freak decided it was time to take over, no one could stop him. He carried the Bucks offense early in the game, allowing his teammates to take over late and pull away for the win.
The Bucks have a tough match-up ahead of them. They’re going up against the peaking Celtics who completed their four-game sweep of a tougher Pacers team yesterday. Milwaukee will now quickly learn how different Round 2 of the Playoffs is.
2. Spida makes up for Game 3 with a Game 4 explosion
Donovan Mitchell was nearly the hero of Game 3.
He may have had a rough shooting night but he still managed to put up 34 points and lead his team to within one bucket of tying the game. With a chance to tie the game, the Jazz went to him and he missed a wide-open three-point attempt. The Rockets escaped with a win and a 3-0 lead.
He shook off that miss in time for Game 4 where his team avoided a sweep in the first round. The Jazz staved off elimination largely because of Mitchell’s fourth quarter explosion.
The Jazz held a slim three-point lead when Mitchell started his run. He sank two freebies to extend Utah’s lead and then after a stop, drilled a three-pointer on the secondary break to put the Jazz up by eight. Mitchell added a pull-up three after another stop, capping a 15-1 run by the Jazz to start the fourth period. That put them up 91-80 with nine minutes left on the clock. The rest of Mitchell’s fourth quarter blast kept the Rockets at bay in the final minutes of the game.
After Game 3, Kyle Korver took the time to say this about his Mitchell after the missed three.
After his media session, Kyle Korver called everyone back to say this about Donovan Mitchell. Wow.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 21, 2019
Mitchell definitely learned from Game 3 and because of that, the Jazz are still alive in the Playoffs.
Photo from Getty Images