The first of two Game 7s in the Eastern Conference took place on Saturday night, and the Boston Celtics were able to keep their season alive, even without Kyrie Irving. Terry Rozier and Al Horford had 26 points apiece to lead the Celtics in a 112-96 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Rozier was a part of the biggest headline in the series, and that was the back-and-forth trash talking with Eric Bledsoe after he accidentally called him Drew Bledsoe. The Celtics had fun with that in the decisive game, as they showed a video of Drew Bledsoe hyping up the crowd on the big screen in the TD Garden. Rozier got the last laugh on Saturday, adding nine assists, while Horford grabbed eight rebounds, as those two led the production for the Celtics. The win comes despite the Celtics being even more shorthanded than usual, as Jaylen Brown exited with a hamstring injury. Boston has been playing the entire season without Gordon Hayward, and without Kyrie Irving since the All-Star break. The Bucks could not take advantage of their shorthanded opponent, despite Khris Middleton's 32 points, Eric Bledsoe's 23 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo's 22 points and nine rebounds. The Celtics move on to take on the team that has trusted the process, the Philadelphia 76ers, in the second round, after they took care of the Miami Heat in five games. That series will begin on Monday night.
Warriors Kick Off Second Round With Big Win
The Golden State Warriors are very close to having Steph Curry back on the floor, but they still took care of business without their hot shooter in Game 1 of their second round series Saturday night. Kevin Durant had 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Klay Thompson led the way with 27 points in the Warriors' 123-101 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena. The second quarter was the main difference in this contest, as the Warriors pulled away after leading by just one point after one quarter by outscoring the Pelicans, 41-21, in the 12 minutes leading in to halftime. That gave them a remarkable 76 points at the break, a number that the Pelicans could not overcome in the second half. Draymond Green added a productive night with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and two blocks. The Pelicans were coming off a first-round sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers and suffered their first loss this postseason despite Anthony Davis's double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. Davis scored 10 of those points in the first quarter alone, but finished at just 9-for-20 shooting on the night. Jrue Holiday was held to just 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting after a red hot first round. Before the game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called it "very likely" that they will have Curry back for Game 2 of the series, which will take place at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night.
Sharks Hand Knights First Playoff Loss
One thing that the Las Vegas Golden Knights have not gone up against in their first year of existence is a playoff loss, that was until Saturday night. It may have taken two overtimes, but the San Jose Sharks pulled off a win at T-Mobile Arena, as Logan Couture's second goal of the game gave them a 4-3 victory, evening the series at one-apiece. The Knights swept the Los Angeles Kings with ease in the first round, and then blew out the Sharks, 7-0, in the first game of this series to begin their postseason. Couture scored 5:13 into the second overtime on the power play following a hooking call on Jon Merril, putting the Knights in unfamiliar territory as they hit the road for Game 3 of the series. Vegas thought they had won in the first overtime period, but Jonathan Marchessault's goal was taken away following a review due to goaltender interference. That left the opportunity there for the Sharks to take, which they did, behind Couture, as well as Brent Burns, who had two goals of his own. Martin Jones made 26 saves on the night in a back and forth affair, which saw the Sharks come back from two separate deficits in regulation. William Karlsson scored twice in the loss for the Knights, while Nate Schmidt scored his first of the playoffs in the first period. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 43 shots for Vegas, who had outscored their opponents, 14-3, in the first five games of the playoffs. They will now look to move past their first loss, as Game 3 of the series will be at the SAP Center on Monday night.