Day Four of the 2019 NBA Playoffs: Kawhi Gets Buckets, the Nuggets Regain Hope, and Blazers Win (4/16/19)

The Toronto Raptors vs. The Orlando Magic Game 2:

111-82 Raptors Win(Series tied 1-1)

In contrast to their first game of the series, the Toronto Raptors finally brought their game to the Orlando Magic tonight and won by a nice 29 point margin. Each quarter the Raptors outscored the Magic, which means that Toronto was up almost the whole game. Not only was that very influential to the game’s outcome but I also believe that one of the main factors in this win was Kawhi Leonard.

Kawhi scored a whopping 37 points, making 68% of his shots. This included: Multiple Long-distance threes, fade aways, and two awesome dunks!

Now that the series is tied 1-1, I think that it will force the players to grind and make clutch shots, so this one will continue to become a more fun series to watch.

The San Antonio Spurs vs. The Denver Nuggets Game 2:

105-114 Nuggets Win(Series tied 1-1)

Now this was a game! Up until there was 3:09 left in the third quarter, the Nuggets had little hope. They were down by 16 to a team that just recently beat them in their own house. For those of you who may not know this, losing games at home in the playoffs is bad, REALLY BAD! There is something to be said about home-court advantage, if you lose in your own house something is certainly wrong.

Coach Malone called a timeout. In a press conference afterwards, he told the press that he explained to his team how there was plenty of basketball left to play in the game by reminding them of what the Clippers did to the Warriors last night. This truly ignited the Nuggets mentality to leave it all on the court.

Nikola Jokic turned Denver around right after this. He brought them on a 11-0 run in the late third quarter, which ended in a score of 82-75 with the Spurs in the lead.

Now the next part is what’s crazy to me.

A team that comes into the fourth quarter down by seven and then winning the game by nine could leave many fans wondering: how did this happen? I have one answer for them. Jamal Murray. After not hitting that very important jump shot at the end of the last game, the young guard decided to go off for 21 points tonight in the fourth quarter. The whole team scored 39 points in that quarter, so he contributed to more than half the points at the end, including a very clutch three point jumper.

Not only was Murray successful in scoring, but so was Nikola Jokic (21), Paul Milsap (20), and Gary Harris (23). The Nuggets are beginning to play unselfish basketball, and if they can fully master the concept, they could become the next team to beat in the West.

But, we cannot count out all of the Spurs. Despite their loss, DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points with 11/19 of his shots taken made. This alone is impressive, but sadly it takes more than one person to have a good team functioning.

The series is now tied, like many others, at 1-1. The question is who will remain the most mentally tough? Whoever does will make it through this series.

The Portland Trailblazers vs the OKC Thunder Game 2:

114-94, Blazers win ( Series is 2-0 with Portland having the lead)

This game consisted of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum constantly attacking the Oklahoma City Defense. Between the awesome threes and some of the great drives they had, they lead the team. Dame had 29 points and McCollum had 33. Both of them only played about 36-37 minutes as well!

This series now gives the Blazers the advantage because they are up 2-0 on the OKC Thunder. Granted, both games were in Portland, but regardless this Oklahoma City team is going to have to step up their act if they want to have a chance of winning this one.

All of these series have been full of surprises and fun to watch, will there be more? We’ll just have to wait and see.