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NBA Game Recaps for April 28, 2017
115
Washington Wizards  at  Atlanta Hawks
Final  – April 28, 2017
99

Wizards Deliver Knockout Blow to Hawks, 115-99

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Washington Wizards defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 115-99, at Philips Arena on Friday evening to clinch the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, 4-2. They will now face the Boston Celtics in the semifinal round. The Wizards (4-2) came into Friday knowing they'd need to bring their A-game to score a series-clinching win in Atlanta, where they'd dropped the previous two games played in during the series by double-digit margins. That likely meant that the dynamic guard duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal would have to step up their already impressive efforts even further than usual, a task that the pair of All-Stars had proven capable of before. They came through again in Game 6, with Wall scoring a game-high 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting. He added eight assists, one rebound, four steals and two blocks over 44 minutes to spearhead the Washington offense. His efforts were pivotal in a 15-2 Wizards run over the final 5:31 of the game, giving the visitors some important separation after the Hawks (2-4) had closed to within 100-97. For Atlanta, Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder turned in their typically superlative performances, but they received precious little help. Turnovers were also a major factor, as the Hawks gave the ball away a whopping 22 times. Beal followed Wall with 31 points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. Markieff Morris provided 17 points, eight rebounds, one assist, three blocks and one steal. Bojan Bogdanovic led the bench with 10 points, which he supplemented with two rebounds, one steal and one block. Otto Porter, Jr. delivered a full stat line of eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Millsap paced the Hawks with 31 points, which he complemented with 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block. Schroder followed with a 26-point, 10-assist double-double that also included one rebound and two steals. Tim Hardaway, Jr. supplied 13 points, three rebounds and one assist. Dwight Howard turned in a modest nine points, seven boards, one assist and two steals. Kent Bazemore led the bench with nine points, six rebounds, three assists and one block.

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:28 PM ET      Updated on April 28, 2017 at 10:40 PM ET

By Juan Carlos Blanco

John Wall's game-high 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting over 44 minutes spearheaded Washington. His efforts were pivotal in a 15-2 Wizards run over the final 5:31 of the game, giving the visitors separation after the Hawks had closed to within 100-97. The Hawks also gave the ball away a whopping 22 times, a major factor in the loss. Bradley Beal followed with 31 points. Markieff Morris provided 17 points, while Bojan Bogdanovic led the bench with 10. Otto Porter, Jr. delivered a full stat line of eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Paul Millsap's 31-point, 10-rebound double-double paced the Hawks. Schroder followed with a 26-point, 10-assist double-double, while Tim Hardaway, Jr. supplied 13 points. Dwight Howard registered nine points and seven boards. Kent Bazemore matched his scoring total to lead the bench.

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:40 PM ET

105
Boston Celtics  at  Chicago Bulls
Final  – April 28, 2017
83

Celtics End Bulls In 6

By Dan Bruno  

The Boston Celtics defeated the host Chicago Bulls, 105-83, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference first-round playoffs, at United Center on Friday evening. The Celtics win the series 4-2 and will move on to the next round, while the Bulls are going home. The Celtics were all about business, as they led 30-23 after the first quarter and quickly pulled farther ahead by outscoring the Bulls 58-36 over the second and third quarters. The Celtics led 88-59 at the start of the fourth quarter, where they cruised to the finish line, as Fred Hoiberg opted not to give it a big push, by keeping his star players on the bench for just about the whole quarter. All five Celtics starters scored in double digits, while the bench contributed another 30 points, in a total team effort and confident win. Avery Bradley was the high-point man for Boston, with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from long range, to go along with five rebounds and three assists, in 31 minutes. Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas all chipped in 12 points each, while Gerald Green finished with 16. The Celtics shot 48.8 percent from the field, including 41.0 percent from long range, and dished 28 assists in the contest. Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler started out strong for the Bulls, with 10 points in the first quarter, but finished with only 23 in the game, on 9-of-17 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds and three steals, in 31 minutes. The only other Bulls player to score in double digits was Robin Lopez, who finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Bobby Portis grabbed 11 rebounds, in 30 minutes off the bench, while Jimmy Butler was the only player with more than five rebounds.

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:49 PM ET      Updated on April 28, 2017 at 10:55 PM ET

By Dan Bruno  

All five Celtics starters scored in double digits. Avery Bradley led the way with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 from long range, to go along with five rebounds and three assists, in 31 minutes. Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas all chipped in 12 points each, while Gerald Green finished with 16. The Celtics shot 48.8 percent from the field, including 41.0 percent from long range, and dished 28 assists in the contest. Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 23 points, on 9-of-17 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds and three steals, in 31 minutes. The only other Bulls player to score in double digits was Robin Lopez, who finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Bobby Portis grabbed 11 rebounds, while Joffrey Lauvergne and Michael Carter-Williams chipped in eight points each off the bench.

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 11:20 PM ET

98
Los Angeles Clippers  at  Utah Jazz
Final  – April 28, 2017
93

Clippers Defeat Jazz, 98-93, to Force a Game 7

By Joel Bartilotta

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the host Utah Jazz, 98-93, in Game 6 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Friday. Many people expected the Jazz to take care of business at home and finish this series here, but the Clippers had other ideas. Los Angeles won this game with their defense, as they forced Utah to shoot 41 percent from the field, 28 percent from three-point range and 67 percent from the free-throw line. Los Angeles ended up shooting 49 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range. In addition, the Clippers outrebounded the Jazz, 41-38. A 40-21 run spanning between the third and fourth quarters is what really made the difference for Los Angeles, as it turned a five-point deficit into a 14-point lead with only four minutes left. The Clippers (3-3) looked in serious trouble after a home loss in Game 5, but this huge road win gives them a Game 7 at home to close out this series. Chris Paul was the player of the game, as he collected 29 points, three rebounds, eight assists and two steals. DeAndre Jordan scored 13 points to add to his 18 rebounds en route to a double-double. Austin Rivers started and provided 13 points and four rebounds. Jamal Crawford led the bench with 12 points and three assists. The Jazz (3-3) had a great opportunity here at home to close this series out against a shorthand Clippers team, but they simply didn't do enough offensively to win this game. Gordon Hayward led the way for Utah though, as he tallied 31 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. George Hill totaled 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. Rudy Gobert was the only other starter in double figures, as he amassed 15 points, nine rebounds, two steals and three blocks. Joe Johnson led the bench with nine points, three rebounds and three assists. Gobert did leave early in the fourth quarter due to an ankle roll and it's unclear what his status is for Game 7. Game 7 will be on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Posted on April 29, 2017 at 1:24 AM ET      Updated on April 29, 2017 at 1:26 AM ET

By Joel Bartilotta

The Clippers needed a road win here to force a Game 7 and they did just that in spectacular fashion. It was defense that really carried Los Angeles to this must win, as they forced Utah to shoot 41 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range. The Clippers ended up shooting 49 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range. A 40-21 run was the difference in the game, as that turned a five-point deficit into a 14-point lead for the Clippers with under four minutes remaining. Chris Paul led Los Angeles with 29 points and eight assists. DeAndre Jordan totaled 13 points and 18 rebounds. Gordon Hayward did all he could for Utah, as he collected 31 points, seven rebounds and four assists. George Hill accrued 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. Rudy Gobert amassed 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks before leaving with a rolled ankle in the fourth quarter.

Posted on April 29, 2017 at 1:31 AM ET