Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart reacts after scoring against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs with Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago taking Ws

The first round of the NBA Playoffs is heating up and the Eastern Conference had three games Wednesday night. The Celtics take a 2-0 lead over the Nets, the 76ers, move to 3-0 against the Raptors, and the Bulls tied up the series at 1-1 against the Bucks.

Celtics vs. Nets

The Celtics entered the game, coming off fresh from an exciting victory. In the previous game, the Nets were leading by one point, 114 -113; however, with four seconds left in the game, the Celtics were back on offense. Marcus Smart was heavily guarded by two Nets players, did a pump fake and dribbled towards the paint, where he passed to Jayson Tatum, who spun into a game-winning layup. 

This game was different as the Nets obtained the lead throughout the first, second, and third quarters. The Celtics were down 17 at one point. Everything shifted in the fourth quarter as the Celtics’ defense affected the Nets’ shooting as they were obligated to make forced shots. Kevin Durant was defensible in this game as he had two Celtics players playing defense on him. The Celtics’ offensive proved to be electric in the fourth quarter. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Payton Pritchard put up points that contributed to Boston’s second victory. The final score was 114-107. Boston leads the series 2-0. Game three will happen this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

76ers vs. Raptors

The 76ers continue to dominate this round of the playoffs as they are now 3-0 against the Raptors. Toronto started strong as they were in the lead until the third quarter. Philadelphia’s offensive began putting up shots that allowed them to catch up to Toronto. The fourth quarter resulted in the teams going into overtime as the fourth quarter score was 95-95. The intensity of both the offensive and defense of the teams heightened in overtime. With less than two seconds remaining, the 76ers’ Joel Embiid inbounded the ball and made his first career game-winner shot. He made a tough three-pointer that sent the 76ers into victory. The final score was 104-101.

The 76ers are now one game away from winning round one of the playoffs to enter the eastern conference semifinals. They will be traveling to Toronto this Saturday in hopes of winning the series. The game will start at 2 p.m.

Bucks vs. Bulls

The Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bull series is now tied 1-1.

The Bulls’ offense played a significant factor in obtaining this victory as star player DeMar DeRozan, who was the leading scorer, scored 41 points. The Bucks’ defense could not disrupt the Bulls’ offense and DeRozan’s run. They also had careless turnovers that resulted in the Bulls taking advantage of them. The Bucks faced many issues with their players as Bobby Portis left the game late in the first quarter due to Tristan Thompson elbowing Portis in his right eye while fighting to obtain the rebound.

Milwaukee lost another player, Khris Middleton, in the fourth quarter due to a sprained MCL in his left knee. It is unclear if Middleton will be missing any games as he will undergo an MRI today. The loss of the Bucks’ key players was a contributing factor to the Bucks’ loss. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo had a great game as he scored 33 points and passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise’s career playoff points. The game ended 114-110. Game three of the series will happen tomorrow at 8:30 at the Bull’s home court.

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