NBA playoffs 2018: Reliving the best moments and performances from the first weekend of postseason games


The first weekend of the 2018 NBA Playoffs is in the books. And you’re not going to believe this, but there was plenty of big moments and performances over the two days. Let’s relive the best of the best right here. 

Celtics and Bucks trade 3-pointers in the final seconds of regulation

The first 45 minutes of Celtics-Bucks was ugly. Thankfully, the final few minutes, especially the final 10 seconds of regulation, made up for it. First, Malcolm Brogdon drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game up, then Terry Rozier came down the other end, nearly crossed Eric Bledsoe to the floor, and cashed a 3-ball of his own to give the Celtics the lead back. With 0.5 seconds left, it seemed Rozier had just the first playoff game-winner of his career, but Khris Middleton shocked the TD Garden with a deep triple that he just barely got off in time. Unfortunately for the Bucks, Middleton’s heroics were for naught, as the Celtics escaped with an OT win. 

James Harden goes supernova

James Harden was an absolute machine on the offensive end in Game 1 against the Timberwolves. He drained seven 3-pointers, dished out eight assists and poured in 44 points in a stunning performance. There was simply nothing the Wolves could do to slow him down, as he hit 15 of 26 attempts. Surprisingly, the Rockets needed every single one of those points, as they escaped with just a three-point win. There might be nothing more special in the league than Harden catching fire like he did on Sunday night. 

Raptors finally win a Game 1

After 10 straight losses in Game 1s, including six at home, the Raptors finally started off a series with a win. Things were shaky for a while, as DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry didn’t play great in the first half, and the Wizards hung around. But eventually the Raptors pulled away for an eight-point win. Drake was in the building, and so were nearly 20,000 Raptors fans despite some nasty weather in Toronto. 

Victor Oladipo silences the doubters

Just like no one expected the Paul George-for-Victor Oladipo-and-Domantas Sabonis trade to work out for the Pacers, no one expected them to give much of a challenge to LeBron James and the Cavs in the first round. But as he’s been doing all season long, Oladipo quieted his doubters. The All-Star guard was fantastic in Game 1, finishing with 32 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Pacers walloped the Cavs by 18 points to take control of the series. 

Simmons nearly posts triple-double in playoff debut

After closing the regular season on a 16-game winning streak, the young Sixers played their first playoff game on Saturday. And they didn’t disappoint. Still without Joel Embiid, the Sixers pulled away in the second half to win by 27. Of course, it was likely Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons leading the way. Nearly submitting a triple-double, Simmons finished with 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds.

Anthony Davis secures first playoff win

The Brow has been phenomenal this season, especially since DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn Achilles tendon. And he kept it going into the postseason, leading the Pelicans to an impressive victory over the Trail Blazers in Game 1 on the road. Davis had 35 points on 14 of 26 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked four shots. It’s always cool to see guys step up and lead their team under pressure, but it was especially neat to see Davis do it considering all the Pelicans have gone through this season, on top of the fact that Davis had never won a playoff game in his career. 

Paul George catches fire from downtown

Everyone knew Russell Westbrook was going to show up in Game 1 against the Jazz, but he would need help if the Thunder wanted to get the win. Not only did he get plenty of help, but Paul George was arguably the best player on the floor on Sunday afternoon, pouring in 36 points thanks to impressive eight 3-pointers. With PG-13 playing like that, the Thunder will be hard to beat.

Jrue Holiday stuffs Pat Connaughton 

Anthony Davis was awesome in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, but so too was Jrue Holiday. He finished with 21 points and seven rebounds, and most importantly, the game-clinching block. With just nine seconds remaining, and the Pelicans clinging to a three-point lead, Pat Connaughton snuck to the basket off the inbounds play. He looked to have an easy bucket, but Holiday arrived at the last second to swat the shot off the backboard. What a play. 

Nick Young sneaks into free-throw lane

This went mostly unnoticed, but was quietly the funniest moment of the first weekend. After getting confused about how many free throws Davis Bertans had left, Nick Young came sprinting into the lane in search of a rebound, only to find it wasn’t quite time for rebounding. So, he did what anyone who has ever almost been embarrassed does — he tried to play it off. Young’s attempt was pretty smooth, to be honest, as he just assumed a spot on the lane line, as if that’s what he was going to do all along. 

The fashion choices 

Woo lord were there some interesting fashion choices this weekend. Nick Young — who else — kicked things off by showing up to Warriors-Spurs in boxers and a silk robe. Then there was Terry Rozier’s two-toned coat, and finally Russell Westbrook’s shirtless suit. Incredible. 



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