Four more games dot the NBA’s postseasons schedule on Sunday with plenty of close matchups to keep an eye on. Three of the four matchups are at 2-1 after three games while the Golden State Warriors could complete a sweep of the Denver Nuggets.
Whether the favorites can take a grip on their respective series remain to be seen, but we have our picks for you as tip-off draws ever closer.
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NBA Odds and Schedule, April 24
#3 Milwaukee Bucks (51-31) @ #6 Chicago Bulls (46-36), 1:00 p.m. ET
- Bucks lead 2-1
- Watch on ABC
The Bucks avenged their Game 2 loss in dominating fashion, blowing out Chicago by 30, 111-81 in Game 3 to take a 3-1 series lead.
Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to play at his superstar level, leading all players in this series in points per game (26), rebounds per game (13.7), assists per game (7), and blocks per game (1.7). Even better, Milwaukee was able to conserve him in the blowout win as he played just 29 minutes, dropping 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting with seven boards and nine assists.
The Bucks are not only outscoring Chicago this series, but they’re outrebounding (52.3 rebounds per game to 46.3) the Bulls while posting better shooting percentages from the field and from deep.
After being held to just 11 points, Bulls star DeMar DeRozan will lead the charge of Chicagoans ready to prove that they can keep up with the Bucks. After all, DeRozan dropped 41 in Game 2 to pace Chicago’s triumph.
#3 Golden State Warriors (53-29) @ #6 Denver Nuggets (48-34), 3:30 p.m.
- Warriors lead 3-0
- Watch on ABC
After double-digit losses in Games 1 and 2, the Nuggets hung around with the Warriors in a five-point loss, but that’s a mere consolation prize considering Denver’s backs are against the wall on Sunday afternoon.
This has been the coming-out party of Jordan Poole as the third-year guard has paced Golden State’s offense by averaging a series-high 28.7 points per game. He’s been plenty consistent throughout, scoring no more than 30 points and no less than 27 while shooting 66.7% from the field and a staggering 59.1% from three-point range.
It’s taken tons of pressure off Stephen Curry — returning from injury and averaging just 25.1 minutes per game this series — and Klay Thompson, though the two are averaging 25.7 and 22.0 points per game respectively.
The well-rounded attack has neutralized Denver’s MVP in Nikola Jokic, who is putting together a strong series with 29.3 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.
Could we be seeing the Warriors return to prominence atop the NBA?
#1 Miami Heat (53-29) @ #8 Atlanta Hawks (48-34), 7 p.m.
- Heat leads 2-1
- Watch on TNT
The Hawks aren’t just rolling over against the best team in the East — further solidifying their status as a pesky team that will be side to watch for years to come.
Miami guard Kyle Lowry is questionable with a hamstring injury, meaning more of an offensive load will likely be placed at the feet of Jimmy Butler, who is leading the Heat this series with 28.7 points and 5.7 assists per game.
He’s the only Miami man averaging over 20 points per game this series as more will be asked of Tyler Herro, who is averaging just 15 points per game while shooting 26.3% from three-point range.
It’s been their defense that’s paced their success this series, keeping the mercurial Trae Young to just 19 points per game on just 17.4% shooting from three-point range.
#1 Phoenix Suns (64-18) @ #8 New Orleans Pelicans (36-46), 9:30 p.m.
- Suns lead 2-1
- Watch on TNT
If you were expecting a cakewalk in this series for Phoenix, it hasn’t come yet as the Pelicans remain the pesky side that’s showing plenty of promise despite the uncertain future and inavailability of Zion Williamson.
It’s a testament to Brandon Ingram, who leads all scorers this series with 29.7 points per game, including 37 in Game 2 and 34 in Game 3. He’s created a solid partnership with CJ McCollum, who have given the Suns fits as they continue dealing with the absence of star guard Devin Booker.
A hamstring injury has sidelined the Suns’ scoring machine as he’s expected to miss at least Sunday with a hamstring issue — though Phoenix did well to hold of New Orleans in Game 3 to take a narrow series lead.
Chris Paul and De’Andre Ayton have picked up the slack for the NBA’s best regular-season team, averaging a combined 53 points per game this series.