The first-round action of the NBA playoffs continued on Saturday with a thriller between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. A third-quarter scuffle saw Jared Dudley and Jimmy Butler both get ejected, and the two teams traded big shot after big shot down the stretch. Eventually, the Sixers held on for the victory, thanks to a late 3-pointer by Mike Scott, and took a 3-1 lead in the series.
One of the bigger surprises of the opening round has been the success of the seventh-seeded San Antonio Spurs. They held a 2-1 series lead heading into Saturday night's Game 4, and took a double-digit lead early in this game. But Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets came storming back and pulled away in the second half for a vital victory to tie the series 2-2. It was the Nuggets' first win in San Antonio since 2012.
Later on, the No. 1 overall seed Milwaukee Bucks continued their dominance over the Detroit Pistons. After winning Game 1 by 35 points and Game 2 by 21 points, the Bucks took Game 3 by 16 points to take a 3-0 series lead. Even the return of Blake Griffin couldn't help the Pistons, who are completely overmatched.
Finally, the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets withstood a 3-of-20 shooting performance from James Harden to sneak past the Utah Jazz, 104-101. Despite his brutal start, though, Harden finished with 22 points, four rebounds, 10 assists and six steals. Now up 3-0, the Rockets have a chance to sweep.
NBA playoffs schedule for Saturday, April 20
Philadelphia 76ers 112, Brooklyn Nets 108
Denver Nuggets 117, San Antonio Spurs 103
Milwaukee Bucks 119, Detroit Pistons 103
Houston Rockets 104, Utah Jazz 101