Portland cruised to a dominant Game 4 win on Saturday, which tied up their series with Denver 2-2. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Welcome to the Yahoo Sports NBA playoff tracker, your daily one-stop shop for all the latest game results from each NBA playoff series. Here’s a look at Saturday’s games.
Thanks to a massive third quarter performance, the Portland Trail Blazers have tied up their series with the Denver Nuggets.
The Blazers cruised to a 115-95 win over the Nuggets on Saturday night at the Moda Center, evening their opening-round playoff series 2-2 after dropping two straight.
The two teams were right with each other for the first two quarters in Portland, though the Blazers separated slightly in the final seconds of the first half to claim a 10-point lead at the break.
That’s when they took off.
Portland opened the third quarter on a huge 16-4 run, blowing the game wide open. It held Denver to just 19 points in the period, too — 10 of which came in the final 3:45 of the quarter — to snag a massive 27-point lead headed into the fourth.
From there, they simply cruised to the 20-point win.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 16 points and nine rebounds in the loss, and Facundo Campazzo added 12 points. They were the only two starters for Denver to score in double figures. As a team, they shot just 34% from the field.
Norman Powell led Portland with 29 points while shooting 11-of-15 from the field. CJ McCollum finished with 21 points, and Jusuf Nurkic added 17 points. Damian Lillard was just two rebounds shy of a triple-double, too, as he added 10 points and 10 assists.
Game 5 of the series is set for Tuesday in Denver.
Khris Middleton scored 20 points against the Heat in Game 4. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Bucks sweep Heat, become first team to advance
The Milwaukee Bucks had no interest in their first-round series against the Miami Heat going any longer than necessary. The Bucks pulled off a sweep Saturday, taking down the Heat 120-103 in Game 4.
Things didn’t look promising for Milwaukee early. The Heat showed signs of life early, leading the contest by 7 points at halftime. But once the third quarter began, the Bucks looked like a completely different team. They outscored the Heat 63-39 in the second half to take the win and advance to the second round.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a threat everywhere on the court. He finished the contest with a triple-double, adding 20 points, 12 rebounds and a whopping 15 assists. Khris Middleton, who set the tone for the series by hitting a buzzer beater in Game 1, added 20 points and 11 rebounds. The team also received an excellent performance from Bryn Forbes, who hit 7 of 14 shots from behind the arc to give the Bucks 22 points. Brook Lopez, however, led the team, finishing the game with 25 points.
Bam Adebayo led the way for the Heat, scoring 20 points and adding 14 rebounds. Jimmy Butler once again struggled to find his rhythm offensively, shooting just 4 of 15 from the floor and finishing the contest with 12 points.
Butler has expressed frustration with the Heat throughout the season, but he wasn’t responsible for the team’s biggest outburst Saturday. During a timeout, Udonis Haslem threw a chair while trying to pump up the team.
With the win, the Bucks got revenge on the Heat, who knocked Milwaukee out of the playoffs last season.
The Bucks will face the winner of the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics in the second round. Brooklyn currently leads the series 2-1.
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