Damian Lillard capped a 50-point game by sinking a long 3-pointer as time expired to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 118-115 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night and a five-game series win.
Lillard set a franchise single-game playoff scoring record as the third-seeded Trail Blazers clinched the first-round Western Conference playoff series despite trailing by 15 points with 7:45 to play. They will next play the winner of the Denver-San Antonio series.
Paul George scored 36 points for the Thunder, and Russell Westbrook collected 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.
An 8-0 Blazers run tied the game at 113-113 with 57.1 seconds to play, and the two teams traded baskets after that. Then, after a Westbrook miss with less than 20 seconds to play, the Blazers rebounded and got it to Lillard, who hit the series-clinching bomb at the buzzer.
76ers 122, Nets 100
Joel Embiid collected 23 points and 13 rebounds as Philadelphia cruised to a wire-to-wire victory over visiting Brooklyn to win their first-round series in five games.
The 76ers advanced to the conference semifinals for the second straight season. They next will face the second-seeded Toronto Raptors in the first postseason meeting between the teams since the 2001 East semifinals, a series the 76ers won in seven en route to their most recent NBA Finals appearance.
Philadelphia posted its third double-digit win of the series, but unlike the wins in Games 2 and 3, when the 76ers pulled away after halftime, the dominating tone was established early. Embiid scored 10 points as the 76ers scored the game’s first 14 points. The Nets went 0-for-8 on the first 14 possessions before scoring, and the 76ers held a 25-3 lead late in the first and a 32-15 edge after the opening quarter.
Raptors 115, Magic 96
Kyle Lowry scored Toronto’s first nine points as part of a game-opening, 12-1 flurry to propel the Raptors to a blowout win over visiting Orlando and a 4-1 win in an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
With a chance to wrap up the best-of-seven set at home, the Raptors wasted no time taking charge. Lowry hit four field goals — including a 3-pointer — in his early burst, and Kawhi Leonard added a three-point play as Toronto went up by 11 before the game was three minutes old.
Leonard finished with 27 points and Pascal Siakam scored 24 for the Raptors, who had never previously won four straight games in the same playoff series. D.J. Augustin scored a team-high 15 points for the Magic.
Nuggets 108, Spurs 90
Jamal Murray had 23 points and seven assists, and host Denver beat San Antonio in Game 5 of a Western Conference playoff series — the only series of the four played Tuesday night not to end.
The Nuggets lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 at San Antonio on Thursday night. Game 7, if necessary, would be played Saturday in Denver.
Nikola Jokic amassed 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, Will Barton scored 17 points off the bench, and Gary Harris had 15 points for Denver. LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan also scored 17 for the Spurs, who lost a second game in a row.
—Field Level Media