Game 1s: Playoff Dame Time

04/22/2024 Game 1s: Playoff Dame Time

By: Matthew Cahill

NBA Playoff Game 1s: Lillard (35 pts) Cooks Pacers, Edwards (33 pts) Shreds Suns & More

It’s officially here — Playoff season! If you’re not a fan of the NBA or NHL postseasons, don’t fret. We’ll bounce in and out of nightly coverage over the next two months. On Sunday night, the NBA announced the awards finalists (3 each) for MVP, Rookie of the Year, and more. The MVP finalists are Nikola Jokic (Nuggets), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder), and Luka Doncic (Mavericks). Two of the three were winners in Game 1 of their respective series, and all eight first-round playoff matchups have one game in the books. Let’s recap the Game 1s before the action continues tonight.


Eastern Conference Playoffs


Gm 1: Cavaliers def. Magic (97-83)

The lowest-scoring Game 1 happened in Cleveland where Donovan Mitchell (30 pts) and the Cavs did it with defense. The young Magic may be coming soon, but they’re overmatched right now. CLE Leads Series (1-0)


Gm 1: Knicks def. 76ers (111-104)

One of the most exciting Game 1s went down in the Garden where Josh Hart (22 pts, 13 rebs) helped the Knicks rally from down double digits (twice) to take down the Sixers. NYK Leads Series (1-0)


Gm 1: Celtics def. Heat (114-94)

Jayson Tatum (23-10-10) had a triple-double to help Boston master Miami and go up by 30-plus before calling off the dogs in the 4th quarter. BOS Leads Series (1-0)


Gm 1: Bucks def. Pacers (109-94)

The Pacers had the Bucks’ number during the regular season, but Damian Lillard hit six 3s and had 35 points — all in the first half — to change the narrative. Even without Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf strain), Milwaukee led by as many as 30 before cruising. MIL Leads Series (1-0)


Western Conference Playoffs


Gm 1: Timberwolves def. Suns (120-95)

Welcome to the playoffs, Anthony Edwards! Ant-man (33-9-6) out-played the Suns stars in a Game 1 blowout, and he had fun doing it. MIN Leads Series (1-0)


Gm 1: Nuggets def. Lakers (114-103)

The Lakers threw the defending champs a bunch of jabs in Game 1, but the Nuggets overcame 59 points from Anthony Davis (33 pts) and LeBron James (27 pts) to pull away in the 3rd. Nikola Jokic (32-12-7) led the way, but all five Nuggets starters scored in double figures. DEN Leads Series (1-0)


Gm 1: Clippers def. Mavericks (109-97)

Luka Doncic (33 pts) and Kyrie Irving (31 pts) combined for 64 points, but a lackluster 2nd quarter (eight points) hurt the Mavs as James Harden (28 pts) and the Clips took Game 1. LAC Leads Series (1-0)


Gm 1: Thunder def. Pelicans (94-92)

The most exciting Game 1 finish belonged to the Thunder-Pelicans in a nail-biter that featured 40 ties and lead changes throughout. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (28-6-4) completed an and-one in the final minute to give the Thunder the lead before C.J. McCollum got a look at a game-winning 3 that rimmed out. OKC Leads Series (1-0)


Tonight’s Schedule

(Today’s Must-Watch List)


Read More

NBA: Finalists Announced for All 2023-24 NBA Awards

ESPN: Damian Lillard Cooks Pacers With 35-Point First Half

NBC Sports: Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves Make Statement With 25-Point Game 1 Win


Photo: Stacy Revere / Getty Images