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Sport NBA Heat Check: Morant dazzles, Kawhi comes up big but Harrell stuck on the bench

03:10  01 june  2021
03:10  01 june  2021 Source:   goal.com

Morant stars as Grizzlies deny Curry's Warriors playoffs spot

  Morant stars as Grizzlies deny Curry's Warriors playoffs spot Ja Morant finished with 35 points for the Memphis Grizzlies including two key floaters in their over-time win.The Grizzlies win through to play the Western Conference top seed Utah Jazz, although they blew a 10-point lead with three minutes to go before triumphing in over-time.

Kawhi Leonard put up 29 PTS, 10 REB, 2 STL & 2 BLK to help the LA Clippers blow out the Dallas Mavericks and tie the series 2-2. LeBron James reacts to Anthony Davis’ Game 4 injury and Lakers’ loss to the Suns | 2021 NBA Playoffs. LeBron James speaks to reporters in a postgame press conference following the Los Angeles LakersR

Kawhi Leonard 's numbers, on the other hand, tell a different story. And it's a strange one to follow. The Spurs' bench players can feast on bench lineups but Leonard is always getting the toughest lineups to The biggest question is about when Leonard's off the court: The defense is The Spurs will have to come up with an answer to that question. You'd think taking away one of the opponent's

One down, plenty more to go. While the opening round of the NBA playoffs has already produced plenty of drama, the Miami Heat's hopes of a repeat run have been extinguished.

a group of basketball players: Kawhi Leonard has come up big for the Clippers in back-to-back road wins. © National Basketball Association Kawhi Leonard has come up big for the Clippers in back-to-back road wins.

The 2020 finalists fell at the first hurdle this time around, swept aside by a Milwaukee Bucks team now waiting to find out who they will face next. As for the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers are finding the going tough against the Phoenix Suns, that series one of three in the Western Conference delicately balanced at 2-2 through four games.

Basketball - NBA - Play-in: Memphis imposes itself at Golden State after Extension and Framera Utah

 Basketball - NBA - Play-in: Memphis imposes itself at Golden State after Extension and Framera Utah © Panoramic Memphis Mourrant Golden State 220521 Worn by a JA Mourrant at 35 points, Memphis went to win 117-112 After extension at Golden State and will play the play-offs against Utah. The Warriors of Stephen Curry (39pts) are eliminated. Memphis is back in PLAY-OFFS! For the first time since 2017 (defeat in the first round against San Antonio), the grizzlies will be at the rendezvous of the final phases, thanks to their two victories in PLAY-IN.

Kawhi Leonard was able to do whatever he wanted on the offensive end as he finished the game with 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. While he wasn't as efficient as Leonard, Paul George put up 20 points and nine rebounds of his own to help Los Angeles get off to an early lead that they never surrendered. Luka Doncic delivered a solid, right-handed forearm shiver to a chair on the bench during the timeout. Chair went down.

Kawhi Leonard followed up his 41-point explosion with 36 points and 8 rebounds while shooting 13-of-17. Perhaps LA Clippers coach Tyronn Lue knew what to do all along. Luka Doncic reflects on the Mavericks Game 3 loss. Whether the Clippers changed the trajectory of this best-of-seven series remains to be seen. But we’ll soon know Sunday when the teams meet again for Game 4 in Dallas. After falling behind 0-2 to the Mavericks on Tuesday, George said the team convened, talked things out and came away from those conversations with a renewed level of trust in one another.

In the East, the picture looks somewhat clearer. Still, as the Denver Nuggets demonstrated last year in the NBA's Florida bubble, no 3-1 series lead is safe in the playoffs.

As the contests keep coming thick and fast, Stats Perform takes a brief pause to review those stepping up in the the playoffs, as well as the players who could do with finding some form again.

RUNNING HOT

Ja Morant

Having helped the Memphis Grizzlies come through the play-in tournament, Morant has continued to dazzle in the series against the Utah Jazz. After 26 points in the opener, the second-year point guard has dropped 47 and 28 in the next two meetings, albeit on neither occasion were his efforts enough to secure his team a victory.

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- Post Up : Randle Gets “Overrated" Chants, Lakers Lose Davis, Nets are Hot, Clippers Win – NBA News. - LA Clippers: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard have not backed down this postseason – NBA News. - Duke Brotherhood Playoff Watch: Nets, Clippers Win, Knicks On The Brink – NBA News. - Column: Clippers flip the script on Mavericks, and it might be a done deal – NBA News. - Kawhi , Clippers back in control with Mavs drubbing – NBA News. - Kawhi 's Resurgence Has Clippers Looking Like Finals Contender – NBA News.

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Still, he is averaging 33.7 points per game against Utah, a huge upturn from 19.1 in the regular season. So, just how good has he been? Well, in reaching a century of points through his first three playoff games in the NBA, Morant matched a feat previously only achieved by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and George Mikan.

Derrick Rose

Rose has claimed the starting point guard spot from Elfrid Payton for the New York Knicks as they go up against the Atlanta Hawks, a series the latter now leads 3-1 after a 113-96 triumph on Saturday.

Elevated off the bench, Rose has managed a combined total of 48 points in back-to-back losses on the road, during which he landed five of his nine attempts from deep. Payton, meanwhile, has scored one point in just 13 minutes of court time during the playoffs and did not get off the bench at all the past two games after averaging 10.1 points per game in the regular season.

NBA playoffs 2021: 76ers seize control, Jazz bounce back despite Morant's historic display

  NBA playoffs 2021: 76ers seize control, Jazz bounce back despite Morant's historic display The Philadelphia 76ers moved clear of the Washington Wizards as the Utah Jazz and New York Knicks responded.Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid combined to guide the 76ers – eyeing a first championship since 1983 – to a 120-95 rout of the Wizards in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

GAME THREAD: Milwaukee Bucks (46-26) @ Miami Heat (40-32) - (May 27, 2021)Game Thread (self. nba ). submitted 2 hours ago * by [ NBA ] Scott FosterNBA_MOD - announcement. 2789 comments. A fan in Utah relates their experience of sitting next to Ja Morant 's father during Game 2. (self. nba ).

The incident mirrored bad behavior at other NBA games in the past week as arenas began lifting capacity limits set during the pandemic. In Philadelphia, a fan threw popcorn at Wizards star Russell Westbrook; in New York, one spat at Atlanta’s Trae Young as he prepared to inbound the ball. And have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players, or spitting on players or tossing popcorn. So grow the fuck up and enjoy the game,” Durant said.

Kawhi Leonard

"This is playoff basketball, we've just got to figure it out." Those were Leonard's words as the Los Angeles Clippers faced a 2-0 deficit as they headed to Dallas to continue their battle with the Mavericks.

It is safe to say the two-time NBA Finals MVP has done just that on his travels, helping his team fight back to level the series between the fourth and fifth seeds in the West. Across the past week, Leonard has averaged 35.7 points, aided by sinking 21 of his 23 attempts from the free-throw line, as well as contributing 24 rebounds. Playoff Kawhi means business this year.

GOING COLD

Shake Milton

Having averaged 13.0 points per outing in the regular season, Milton has endured a playoff slump for the Philadelphia 76ers as his minutes have been reduced. So far, the 24-year-old has managed nine points in a series that has seen his team hold control throughout.

NBA playoffs 2021: Morant not interested in records despite history-making 47-point haul

  NBA playoffs 2021: Morant not interested in records despite history-making 47-point haul Ja Morant's 47 points put him behind only LeBron James as the second youngest player in playoffs history to score 45 or more points.The Jazz levelled their NBA first round playoffs series at 1-1 despite Morant's remarkable haul, with the 21-year-old having led the Grizzlies to victory in Game 1 with 26 points.

Milton has managed to land only two of his 12 shot attempts, including missing all six in Game 2. In the following outing, head coach Doc Rivers opted to use Tyrese Maxey ahead of his team-mate off the bench, a move that may become a regular feature as the 76ers look set to move on to round two.

Enes Kanter

For the Portland Trail Blazers in the regular season, Kanter averaged 11.2 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. In the playoffs, however, it has been a different story for the veteran center.

After playing over 32 minutes across the first two games against the Denver Nuggets, Kanter has now figured in a little over nine in the following two. During his limited opportunities, there have been no points, two rebounds and a solitary blocked shot. Up against Nikola Jokic, the Blazers have opted to go with alternative options when starting center Jusuf Nurkic is taking a seat on the bench.

Montrezl Harrell

Make no mistake, the Lakers are locked in a battle with the Suns. Phoenix were impressive in taking Game 4 on the road on Saturday to draw level, during which the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year was finally called into action again by head coach Frank Vogel.

However, Harrell's appearance was fleeting. Having averaged 13.5 points during the regular season when playing just under 23 minutes per outing, he has been a non-factor in the playoffs. After not even making it onto the court in the previous two games, his brief cameo at the weekend saw him fail to muster a shot as LA lost at home. Across the past week, he has not scored a single point.

NBA playoffs 2021: Clippers have a lot of fight left, says Kawhi Leonard .
The Clippers trail the top-seeded Jazz 2-0 after back-to-back defeats in Utah, but Kawhi Leonard is confident they can turn things around.The top-seeded Jazz took a two-game lead on Thursday with a 117-111 victory, Donovan Mitchell racking up 37 points to inspire Utah to triumph.

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