NBA 2020 Playoffs update: Playoff LeBron helps Lakers to victory; Other game 3 results

Lakers 116-108 Trail Blazers – Lakers lead 2-1

Warriors SHUT DOWN Luka Doncic in G...
Warriors SHUT DOWN Luka Doncic in Game 1 of the WCF

The Lakers escaped Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 116-108 win and take a 2-1 series lead despite early scares from the Portland Trail Blazers.

LeBron James took charge of Game 3 after a stellar Anthony Davis outing in Game 2. He led the way in this game with 38 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists giving the Lakers firm control of this series now.

The Blazers, meanwhile, got 80 points from Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony, and C.J. McCollum but the bench generated only eight and the decision to start Hassan Whiteside didn’t work too well, as the Blazers were outscored by nine points in his minutes.

Portland, however, put up a great fight but simply weren’t well equipped to keep up with the Lakers right now.

Are we finally getting the infamous ‘Playoff LeBron’?

LeBron James posted 38 points as well as providing 12 rebounds and eight assists in Game 3, but that’s not the scariest thing. The big deal though is that he did it on cruise control.

LeBron played only 34 minutes, jogging through portions of the game, particularly when Davis got hot, and maybe the best single-game any player has had in the playoffs so far.

There was real concern about what LeBron’s peak might look like this postseason after he only managed 33 total points in his first two playoff games.

Those fears have been quashed, and when the moment of truth comes, LeBron is going to be even better than he was on Saturday.

Related: NBA 2020 Playoff Update: LA Clippers back on top after Game 3 win; Other playoff results

Giannis fires Milwaukee Bucks to take the series lead after convincing Game 3 win

The Bucks came from behind after a shocking loss in Game 1 to take a 2-1 series lead after a dominant 121-107 win over the Magic in Game 3 on Saturday.

The East’s top-seeded team came out in Game 3 to prove why it is the superior team compared to the Magic.

Khris Middleton finally got it going for the Bucks as the All-Star guard finished the afternoon with 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists while connecting on over 40 per cent of his 3s.

 

The Greek freak Giannis Antetokounmpo again turned in an MVP performance, totalling 35 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.

The Bucks did pretty well in defence too and swarmed all over Orlando, never letting them get too comfortable to get shots up.

Orlando cut what was a 34-point lead at one point down to 15 in a bid to salvage something in the fourth quarter, but the intensity from Giannis, in addition to the focused defence from the Bucks, quenched any real pressure on Milwaukee.

Nikola Vucevic led the way again for the Magic, turning in a 20-point performance that was less efficient than his previous two games but the Bucks look like the dominant force they’ve been throughout the regular season, and are now just two games away from advancing to the next round.

Game 4 of this series will take place on Monday.

Chris Paul leads the way for OKC in win against Houston, series now 2-1

The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled a lifeline in their series with the Houston Rockets after their win in Game 3 of the series. They bounced back after double-digit losses in Games 1 and 2 of their first-round series against the Houston Rockets with a wild 119-107 win in overtime to make the series 2-1.

Thunder struggled to score in the first two games of the series, and also struggled defensively too. However, they stepped up on both ends of the floor in Game 3, getting to the free-throw line to give their sputtering offence a boost, and holding the Rockets to 30 per cent from 3-point land.

https://youtu.be/xqbeF1dwuQ0

Dennis Schroder went for 29 points off the bench, while Chris Paul finished with 26 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

Houston were without Russell Westbrook due to a quad injury still, but still had a great chance to go up 3-0. They couldn’t hold on down the stretch, however, and once James Harden fouled out early in overtime, they fell apart.

Harden finished with 38 in a strong performance, but Jeff Green was the only other Rocket to have a solid offensive day. Those two were 20 of 40 from the field, while the rest of the team went 18 of 52.

Related: NBA Playoffs update: Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee level series PLUS other game 2 results

Miami survives Indiana’s second-half comeback to take commanding 3-0 series lead

Indiana Pacers yet again went close but couldn’t do what was required in Game 3. They fell by as many as 20 points in Game 3 early on against the Miami Heat and could only try to cut the deficit down to two on multiple occasions before ultimately losing, 124-115 on Saturday.

https://youtu.be/_THe_JFVf3k

The Pacers best players were on point on the night with T.J. Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, and Myles Turner combining for 82 points, with none finishing with fewer than 15.

But beyond those four and the Holiday brothers, the Pacers got only four more total points. Miami’s superior depth won the day.

Jimmy Butler led with 27 points for Miami, but Tyler Herro’s 20 off the bench also helped sustain Miami as Indiana pushed for the comeback.

Now the Heat needs just one more win to close out the series. Meanwhile, the Pacers will almost certainly fall in the first round for the fourth season in a row.

Saturday night’s playoff scores

  • Lakers 116-108 Trail Blazers – Lakers lead 2-1
  • Rockets 107-119 City Thunder (OT) – Rockets lead 2-1
  • Pacers 115-124 Heat – Heat lead 3-0
  • Bucks 121-107 Magic – Bucks lead 2-1
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