NBA roundup: Timberwolves sweep Suns out of play-offs as Knicks win


NBA roundup: Timberwolves sweep Suns out of play-offs as Knicks win

The Timberwolves in action against the Suns
The Timberwolves in action against the SunsAFP
The Minnesota Timberwolves, powered by 40 points from Anthony Edwards (22), swept Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns out of the NBA play-offs on Sunday, reaching the second round for the first time in 20 years with a 122-116 game-four victory.

The Timberwolves withstood a combined 72 points from Devin Booker and Durant to become the first team to reach the second round.

They will face either the Denver Nuggets or Los Angeles Lakers, with the reigning champion Nuggets leading that series 3-1.

With a chance to reach the second round for just the second time in franchise history, Edwards shook off a slow start that saw him score nine points in the first half.

"I knew what was at stake," Edwards told broadcaster TNT.

"I came out, like, man, I got nine points, there's no way we can win this game if I don't get myself going and put my team on my back. And we came out with the win."

Booker scored 49 points and two-time NBA champion Durant added 33 in a game that featured 23 lead changes - with neither team leading by more than six points.

It was a bitter end to the season for Phoenix, who had high hopes of a deep play-off run after bringing in Bradley Beal to join Durant and Booker in a "Big Three" in Arizona.

Clippers avert catastrophe

In Dallas, the Los Angeles Clippers survived an epic Mavericks comeback bid, squandering a 31-point lead but holding on for a 116-111 victory that knotted their Western Conference series at 2-2.

Paul George scored 26 of his 33 points in the first half to help the Clippers build their big advantage despite the injury absence of Kawhi Leonard.

James Harden scored 15 of his 33 in the fourth quarter, when Dallas - led by the star duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic - threatened to match the biggest comeback win in NBA play-off history.

Irving scored 40 points for Dallas, including a driving layup through traffic with 2:14 to play that gave the Mavs their first lead since the first quarter at 104-103.

Doncic delivered a triple-double of 29 points plus 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but in the waning minutes it was George, Harden and the Clippers who came through.

George made his first basket of the second half, a three-pointer, to put the Clippers back to 107-105 ahead with 1:55 to play.

Harden converted a three-point play and the Clippers held on.

"We can't go home down 3-1," Harden said of the Clippers' resolve.

Knicks find a way

In Philadelphia, Jalen Brunson's 47 points broke the New York franchise record for a play-off game as the Knicks took a 3-1 lead over the Sixers.

Brunson added 10 assists in a 97-92 win as reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid and the Sixers were pushed to the brink of elimination.

OG Anunoby had 16 points and 14 rebounds while putting in an impressive defensive effort against Embiid, who led the Sixers with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

With a chance to clinch the series at home on Tuesday, Brunson wasn't interested in reflecting on his record.

"I'll look back when I retire," he said. "Seriously, it's great right now, helped us get a win. But it's not going to do anything for us going forward."

Pacers barrage

In Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers drilled 22 three-pointers in a 126-113 victory over the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks to take a 3-1 series lead.

Myles Turner hit a playoff career high of seven three-pointers on the way to 29 points and Tyrese Haliburton added 24 points for the Pacers, who had six players in double figures.

The Bucks, with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo still sidelined by a calf injury, were also without injured Damian Lillard and saw Bobby Portis ejected in the first quarter after a scuffle with Andrew Nembhard.

Brook Lopez scored 27 points and Khris Middleton, who tweaked an ankle in the third quarter but stayed in the game, had 25 for the Bucks, who will try to stay alive when they host game five on Tuesday.


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