The Boston Celtics continue to be successful against the Toronto Raptors and the Denver Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference semifinals in NBA playoff games Tuesday.
Nuggets advance, make history
Jamal Murray Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz hugs Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets after the game ends and the Denver Nuggets win Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 01, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images / AFP)

Nikola Jokic scored 30 points, including the tiebreaking basket, to lead the Nuggets past the Utah Jazz 80-78 in Game 7 of their first round Western Conference playoff series.

Jokic made the winning hook shot with 27 seconds left. Utah called timeout and Donovan Mitchell got the ball but Denver swiped it off him.

The Nuggets missed a fastbreak and Utah rebounded the ball to Mike Conley who failed to convert a jumper.

Jamal Murray added 17 points for third seed Denver who advanced to the Western Conference semifinals against the No. 2 seed Los Angeles Clippers.

The Nuggets became the 12th team in league history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the series, following the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Denver won Game 1 but the Jazz took the next three games until the Nuggets triumphed in the next three games to win the series 4-3.

Cetlics claw Raptors

The Celtics  made a furious fourth quarter comeback led by Marcus Smart to overcome the Raptors 102-99 in Game 2 of their best of seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Boston trailed the Raptors 78-70 entering the fourth but Smart drilled three triples to put the Celtics within one 80-79 and tied the game 82-all with another triple later.

The Celtics grabbed the lead 86-85 with 7:55 left in the game and parried repeated Raptors comeback to hang on for the win.

Jayson Tatum scored a playoff career high 34 points while Smart added 19. Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown had 17 and 16 points for the Celtics.

OG Anunoby scored 20 and Fred VenVleet 19 for the Raptors who are winless in three games against the Celtics in the season restart.

Thunder force do-or-die vs. Rockets

The Oklahoma City Thunder forced a do-or-die Game 7 in their first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Rockets by winning Game 6 104-100 Tuesday.

Chris Paul scored 28 points for the Thunder, who can make it to the second round Wednesday and face the Los Angeles Lakers. Danilo Gallinari added 25 points for Oklahoma.

James Harden scored 32 points and had eight rebounds and seven assists for Houston. Robert Covington chipped in 18 and Russell Westbrook added 17.

The game was close from the start with neither team
leading by double-digits and wasn’t decided until the last 10 seconds, when, after the score was tied 100-100, Paul made two free throws and Gallinari converted two more after a Westbrook turnover to ice  the game.

Former PBA import eyed by Bulls as coach

A former PBA import is one of the candidates for the Chicago Bulls head coaching post vacated by Jim Boylen who was fired.

The team is now talking to Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham, who played for the Talk N’ Text Phone Pals in 2006.

Ham though has plenty of competition, among them fellow assistant coaches in the league and a former Brooklyn Nets taskmaster, for the Bulls top coaching position which was successfully held by Phil Jackson.

Brandon Ingram named Most Improved Player

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram had a consolation this season when he was named the NBA Most Improved Player Monday.

Ingram, who was traded to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis, beat Adebayo,  Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, and Devonte Graham of the Charlotte Hornets for the award.

The soon-to-be 23-year-old Ingram averaged 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds,  and 4.3 assists, and made 137 triples in 56 games before the season was stopped after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.

Ingram is an All-Star and is the first Pelican to win the award.

The Pelicans were eliminated from the playoffs. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)

Source: Manila Bulletin (