Sports | NBA: Brooklyn takes on Boston, Minnesota challenges Memphis in the playoffs

Los Angeles – The Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves winners of the Cleveland Cavaliers (115-108) and LA Clippers (109-104), respectively, in the playoffs on Tuesday, qualified for the NBA playoffs, where they will compete on the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.

Favourite, Brooklyn could count on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, 59 cumulative points. But the encounter that we thought had failed at the end of the first quarter (40-20) was ultimately rendered indecisive by the Cavs.

“We had ups and downs, but we stayed together, we were resilient. We feel good, even though we know the work is not done yet,” said Kyrie Irving (34 points, 12 assists).

The captain, deprived of basketball this season due to his refusal to be vaccinated against the Covid, flew over the debates in the first period so much that he was still 100% successful in shooting (9/9, 12/15 in the end) after his basket at the buzzer, just before halftime (57-43).

Then Cleveland gradually returned to the game, six points behind the Nets, twice in the 4th quarter, thanks to Darius Garland (32 points) and Evan Mobley (17 points).

Kevin Durant (25 points, 11 assists, 3 blocks, 2 interceptions) then conditioned this enthusiasm and planted the banderillas that matter. Behind the arc after the first close, then twice in the midrange after the second.

– Moment of silence –

But in the last minute, the Cavaliers came back to minus five. And this time, “KD” and Kyrie found teammates to score, before holding the lead on free throws themselves.

“Our group remained confident all the time. We have a lot of room to improve, individually and collectively,” said coach Steve Nash positively.

Relieved to see his team in the playoffs, the crowd at Barclays Center showed glee as the emotion was still palpable after the morning attack on the subway not far from Brooklyn, where a man opened fire. and injured 23, including ten by bullets. A minute of silence was observed before the game.

The Nets will struggle against the Celtics of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, authors of a resounding second half of the regular season, as they have moved from 9th to 2nd place in four months.

For Cleveland, a lot remains to suspend the playoffs. For that, the winner of the play-off between Atlanta and Charlotte must be won at home on Friday. With a first round in sight against Miami.

– Sticky parquet –

In the West there was electricity in the air between Wolves and Clippers, with occasional border contact, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris excel in their infamous problem-solving ability. And there was even glue on the floor, where a spectator with obscure motives tried to put her hands together before security forces locked her out.

And it was Minnesota that had the final say, at the cost of some fiery money time, where, trailing ten points, he turned 16-2 to take the lead, thanks to Anthony Edwards (30 points) and D’Angelo Russell (29 points, 6 assists). All without Karl-Anthony Towns, out for six fouls, after continuing (11 points, 3/11 on shots).

On the LA side, which will play its joker at home on Friday against the winner of the New Orleans-San Antonio dam, Paul George floated (34 points, 7 rebounds), Nicolas Batum remained discreet (7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 against) .

Quite the opposite of his former teammate Beverley, who after the win at Target Center was running around screaming and running like he’d just won a championship ring. However, he is far from there yet: Ja Morant and his Grizzlies are waiting for him on the road to Memphis.