The NBA postseason rolled on with a four-game slate on Tuesday evening, but unfortunately the first three games were rather anticlimactic. The last one, though, was absolutely not.
The Toronto Raptors began the night by making a statement to the rest of the Eastern Conference by jumping out to a 16-point lead after one quarter of play and then never looking back as Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam combined for 51 points in Toronto's series-clinching 115-96 victory in Game 5.
Later, the 76ers started their matchup against the Nets on a 20-2 run and that proved to be all the cushion that they would need as Philadelphia never felt a threat from Brooklyn over the course of the night as every Sixers player who saw action on the night recorded at least two points with six players reaching double figures, led by Joel Embiid's game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds.
In the third game of the night, the Denver Nuggets continued the blowout trend by crushing the San Antonio Spurs, 108-90. Nikola Jokic led the way, putting up a near triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. After dropping Game 1, the Nuggets have now battled back to take a 3-2 series lead, and have a chance to close things out in San Antonio on Thursday night.
The night's finale between the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder delivered an instant classic. Damian Lillard put up 34 points in the first half, then finished with 50 on the night, including a series-winning buzzer-beater from 37 feet out.
NBA playoffs schedule for Tuesday, April 23
- Toronto Raptors 115, Orlando Magic 96 (Box Score)
- Philadelphia 76ers 122, Brooklyn Nets 100 (Box Score)
- Denver Nuggets 108, San Antonio Spurs 90 (Box Score)
- Portland Trail Blazers 118, Oklahoma City Thunder 115 (Box Score)
NBA playoffs schedule for Tuesday, April 24
*All times Eastern
- Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. (GameTracker) -- TV: TNT | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free)
- Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (GameTracker) -- TV: TNT | Streaming: fuboTV (try it free)
Lillard goes off, hits series-winning shot
Damian Lillard was stuck on automatic in the first half of Game 5 against the Thunder. The Trail Blazers' point guard went for a whopping 34 points in 24 minutes, shooting 12-of-18 from the field. In the process, he set a new franchise record for points in a half in a playoff game.
But that wasn't enough for the point guard, who also hit a series-winning shot from 37 feet to send the Thunder home.
Murray comes up clutch for Nuggets in Game 5
The Denver Nuggets are now one win away from advancing to the Western Conference semifinals thanks largely in part to another impressive showing from Jamal Murray as the guard stuffed the stat sheet for his team to help lead them to a comfortable victory.
White spins his way to the rim
Derrick White has had a spectacular series against the Nuggets, and kept it up early on in Game 5 with a tremendous spin move into a reverse layup.
Embiid dominates with double-double in just 20 minutes
Joel Embiid, once again, showed why he is one of the most dangerous players in the NBA on Tuesday night as he poured in a game-high 23 points to go along with 13 rebounds in just 20 minutes of action.
Leonard, Siakam lead the way for Raptors
Like they have throughout the series, Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam led the charge on both ends of the floor for the Raptors as the two combined for 51 points to go along with 13 rebounds, six assists, one steal and one blocked shot in Toronto's 115-96 victory.
Embiid throws down baseline slam
Ben Simmons showed off his tremendous court vision early on against the Nets. Early in the opening quarter, Simmons spotted Joel Embiid wide open and Embiid threw down an easy one-handed slam dunk.