Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) passes the ball while pressured by Boston Celtics guard Derrick White during the second half of Game 2 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

NBA Playoff Update: Decisive Wins Around the Association

Six teams around the NBA played Game 2 of their first round matchups Tuesday night. While there were lead changes and dynamic plays, all of the games ended somewhat anticlimactically — with 13 points being the smallest margin of victory.

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Hawks on Sweep-Watch

The first game of the evening proved to be the most tightly contested, but it didn’t seem like it. The Celtics took an early lead over the Hawks and rode it out for the rest of the game, strengthening their hold on the series to 2-0.

Tatum Masterclass

Not surprisingly, the leading scorer for Boston was Jayson Tatum.

Tatum dropped 29 points, hitting over 50% of his shots from downtown.

The versatile forward has been one of the main reasons Boston fans are high on the team’s championship hopes this year.

He leads the Celtics’ young core, and he has proven his resolve in the playoffs.

Who Saw That Coming?

Tatum has been a consistent producer for the Celtics, but he had some unexpected assistance on Tuesday.

Boston guard Derrick White has been essential to the team’s success in both of the first two games of the series. White dropped 26 points in Game 2 on 69% shooting. He also notched seven boards in the team’s winning effort.

Cavs Tie it Up

Cleveland’s defense was suffocating in the second game of the evening, holding the Knicks to 90 points in their 17-point win.

The Cavs’ offensive formula was unfamiliar in their win. Donovan Mitchell has been the team’s leading scorer over the course of the season, but he only posted 17 points last night.

However, he did have a 13-assist double-double, feeding dimes to Darius Garland, Caris LeVert and Evan Mobley.

Better Find an Answer for Booker

The Phoenix Suns rode an explosive second half to a 123-109 victory over the Clippers. It was a well-rounded performance; all of the Suns’ starters scored in double digits.

Devin Booker dropped 38 for Phoenix, leading the team.


About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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