The Boston Celtics have clinched a spot in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, becoming the first team to do so after a 4-0 rout in the series. Sunday made it official as they held on to win 110-106 in Indy to finish off the Pacers. Gordon Hayward had a big day on his return home, scoring 20 points and missing just twice from the floor. Quite a response given he didn’t even feature in last season’s playoffs.
Elsewhere, three teams put themselves in commanding 3-1 series leads, meaning they have three shots to get just one win now and move on to join Boston. One of them was defending champions Golden State. The Warriors won 113-105 over the Los Angeles Clippers, getting another monster 33-point showing from Kevin Durant to lead them toward a berth in the second round. Klay Thompson had 32 of his own, and now they can seal it up in Oakland in Game 5.
Toronto got a dominant 107-85 win over the Magic in Orlando, which will set up the Raptors for a chance to seal a playoff series victory in Canada. The second and fourth quarters couldn’t have been much worse for the hosts, and that’s where it all went wrong, with the ball suddenly just not being scored. Kawhi Leonard led the visitors with 34 points, making a number of defenders look terrible in the process.
And finally, the Portland Trail Blazers also took a big advantage over the OKC Thunder by grabbing a 111-98 win despite relentless trash talk from Russell Westbrook and co. Damian Lillard, who scored 24 points, had 15 drop in a decisive third quarter that fueled the victory. Westbrook didn’t make a single basket from the floor in the second half, illustrating the tremendous defensive acumen on hand from their visitors. They now have a chance to progress back in Portland.