Philadelphia and Butler return to Toronto

Jimmy Butler des Philadelphia 76ers face aux Brooklyn Nets en play-offs NBA, le 23 avril 2019 à Philadelphie I Getty/AFP/Archives / Mitchell Leff

Beaten 108-95 by the Raptors, the Sixers muzzled their opponents to prevent them this time to return in the second period earning a first success in since November 2012.

Aside from his 30 points, took 11 rebounds and made five assists for Philadelphia, well ahead at halftime 51-38.

Philadelphia led a decisive Jimmy Butler, scorer of 30 points, returned Monday to Toronto in the semifinals of the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference thanks to a win over the floor of the Canadian franchise 94-89 erasing the same blow his initial setback.

Toronto, led by up to 19 points in the first period, was able to return to 1 point at the end of the 3rd quarter 61-60. But in the last quarter, the Raptors missed 6 of their first 7 free throws.

And the performance of his trio of shock proved insufficient with a bench less powerful: Kawhi Leonard (35 pts), Pascal Siakam (21) and Kyle Lowry (20 pts).

Butler scored 12 of his 30 points in the final quarter, including a 3-point on an inside service Joel Embiid to put his team at 88-81 at 2:14 of the end.

“My team really trusted me tonight,” said Butler, who had just 10 points in Game 1. “I told them I had to show myself and redeem myself.”

“We have been vigilant and when we let our defense dictate our attack, we are a great team,” added the man of the match.

Sixers coach Brett Brown recognized his player to whom he paid homage with a simple “it was James Butler” and “it was the adult in the room”.

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Denver and Jokic Matent Portland

In the other match of the day, just forty eight hours after his heroic qualification against San Antonio in the first round (4-3), Denver made his debut in the semifinal against Portland by winning at home (121-113) .

Denver’s STOCKMANNikola Jokic tries a basket against Meyers Leonard of Portland in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals of the Playoffs on April 29, 2019 in Denver I Getty / AFP / MATTHEW


The Serbian Nuggets’ interior, Nikola Jokic, came out with 37 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

Both teams remained neck-to-elbow until half-time (58-55 for Denver). The Trail Blazers have been able to stay in touch for a long time thanks to their 39-point star, Damian Lillard, who has been trying to get back from a deficit of 12 to 5 points 8 minutes from time.

But Denver has controlled the last minutes to contain Portland.

“We got into the game a bit slowly, we did not defend a lot,” said Jokic.

For Denver coach Karl Malone, “we won and when you know you did not play your best basketball it’s a good feeling”.



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