National Basketball Association playoffs wrap 2019: Trail Blazers, Raptors advance to conference finals

Florence Fletcher
May 15, 2019

He has had an incredible series against Denver. Toronto arguably had the best bench in the National Basketball Association in 2017-18, but this season Siakam's move into the starting lineup, assorted injuries and some altered rotations worked against the Raptors' depth. They will need to score and keep scoring -and I like Leonard to take on the bulk of the responsibility in that department.

The Toronto Raptors will be full of confidence coming into this round after taking down the 76ers in a thrilling seven-game series. Regardless of whether Leonard and the Raptors or Giannis and the Bucks emerge, both teams are well-rounded enough and feature the firepower to get the job done. Pascal Siakam has played well, for the most part.

Enes Kanter ranks second on the Trail Blazers with 8.6 rebounds and averages 13.1 points. The building will be buzzing and the Raptors will be desperate for a win.

The series now shifts to Denver, where the Nuggets will have a chance to make it to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2009. After Houston slipped to a four seed, its destiny with Golden State was inevitable.

BIG MAN CLUB Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers' big man who broke his leg late in the season, watched from Portland's bench in the second half. A layoff served them well after the first round and every team in the league would opt for rest. McCollum is averaging 30 points over the last three games, including a playoff career high of 41 in Game 3. When those are falling, James Harden and his crew are juggernauts. But that doesn't mean they'll be locked into an individual matchup all night. They can not afford that to happen when Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are on the other end of the court.

"You think about how young we are and what we are doing, going on the road and winning a tough game in a hostile environment, and for Jamal to be the centerpiece of that has been phenomenal", Nuggets coach Michael Malone said Sunday. Give me the reigning champs in six.

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Still, while the Sixers made just two of their first 14 attempts, the Raptors only made three of their first 13. Philadelphia 76ers (51-31, third in the Eastern Conference during the regular season) vs.

The Nuggets inched by their first round opponent and were a minute away from being sent home. The teams split four games during the 2018-19 regular season, but the Warriors have dominated in the playoffs.

Nikola Jokic led Denver with 29 points, but missed 15 shots.

With Portland star Damian Lillard struggling to get shots to fall, Denver exploded out of the gates, seizing a 29-17 first-quarter lead that they stretched to as much as 17 in the second period.

Despite that, the 2019 NBA Playoffs have been one of the best in recent season.

Nuggets: Averaging 110.2 points, 47.5 rebounds, 24.7 assists, 6.1 steals and 4.3 blocks per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field. His game six total was more than his combined points total of games five and four. When the Denver Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the only Game 7 of the first round, home teams improved their overall record in such contests to 105-28.

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