Utah Jazz 125 – 135 Denver Nuggets (OT)
The Jazz and the Nuggets couldn’t have delivered a better start to the 2019-20 NBA Playoffs, as these two franchises went back in forth all game long and, as a result, an overtime period was needed to find a winner. Jamal Murray was the undisputed star down the stretch, notching a couple of key threes in the fourth and getting directly involved in 16 of Denver’s 20 overtime points to carry Denver to a big Game 1 victory. Donovan Mitchell was the best player for the Jazz and he made history, as he scored a career-best 57 points. Nikola Jokic also delivered a strong effort for Denver, as he ended with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
Brooklyn Nets 110 – 134 Toronto Raptors
The Raptors were big favorites ahead of the series opener against the Nets, and the reigning NBA champions made sure to back that up — they dominated the game from start to finish and led by as much as 33 points in a dominating one-sided victory. The Nets fought as hard as they could, but they never stood a chance against a Toronto squad that has the looks of a title contender once again. The Raptors shot 47.1 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point range as a team, while limiting the Nets to a meager 31 percent from deep. Fred VanVleet paced the Raptors with 30 points and 11 assists, while Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (26 points) and Caris LeVert (15 points, 15 assists) stood out for Brooklyn despite the loss.
Philadelphia 76ers 101 – 109 Boston Celtics
The Celtics came away with a 1-0 win over the 76ers in the opening game of their first-round series Monday, but that victory came at a high price — Gordon Hayward suffered a sprained right ankle and left the arena in crutches, which does not bode well for his availability for the upcoming contests. The game was tight and both teams traded spells of dominance, but the Celtics executed better down the stretch and pulled away with the win after outplaying Philadelphia in the final quarter. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 32 points and 13 boards, while Joel Embiid stood out for the 76ers with a 26-point, 16-rebound performance.
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Dallas Mavericks 110 – 118 Los Angeles Clippers
The first game between the Mavericks and the Clippers was a tight affair, as both teams went back and forth during the first three quarters, but Los Angeles tightened things up defensively to steal the win. Dallas played without Kristaps Porzingis during the second half and wasted away a lead that was as high as 14 points in the second half, but they showed encouraging signs to believe they can compete on a game-to-game basis against the Clippers. Los Angeles looked impressive in the second half and that was the main difference in this game. Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Luka Doncic had 42 points, nine assists, and seven boards — that’s the most points in a playoff debut in NBA history.
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