NBA Roundup: Thunder narrowly defeat Pelicans 94-92; Bucks dominate Pacers

In an intense NBA Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series, the Oklahoma City Thunder secured a thrilling 94-92 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Oklahoma City went more than five minutes in the fourth quarter without making a field goal as the Pelicans led 90-88.

NBA Roundup: Thunder narrowly defeat Pelicans 94-92; Bucks dominate Pacers

Oklahoma City went more than five minutes in the fourth quarter without making a field goal as the Pelicans led 90-88. However, Gilgeous-Alexander changed the course of events.

With 1:36 remaining in the game, he first made a pull-up jumper to equalize the score. Then, with 32.5 seconds left, he battled through traffic and a foul to make a floater and sink the subsequent free throw to give the Thunder a 93-90 lead.

The Pelicans, behind 94-92, had an opportunity to tie or take the lead with 14 seconds remaining on the clock, but CJ McCollum was unable to get a clear look from Wallace, who locked in defensively. With 1.3 seconds remaining, McCollum’s possible game-winning shot went wide.

With twenty more points from McCollum, Trey Murphy III led New Orleans, while Jonas Valanciunas finished with thirteen points and twenty rebounds. For Oklahoma City, Jalen Williams added 19 points.

Bucks 109, Pacers 94

In the first game of their Eastern Conference playoff series, host Milwaukee defeated Indiana thanks to 35 points from Damian Lillard.

Lillard made 6 of 11 3-pointers and 11 of 24 attempts from the field. The Bucks, who will host Game 2 on Tuesday night, are led by Khris Middleton, who scored 23 points, 15 of which came in the second half.

The Pacers, who missed their first 14 3-point attempts, finished 8-for-38 from beyond the arc, with 36 points and 13 rebounds from Pascal Siakam. Myles Turner chipped in with eight rebounds and 17 points.

Celtics 114, Heat 94

In the first game of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Boston overcame visiting Miami thanks to a strong start led by Jayson Tatum, who finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The eighth-seeded Miami Heat made 12 of 37 (32.4 percent) 3-pointers, compared to the 22 of 49 tries (44.9 percent) made by the top-seeded Celtics, who scored the opening 14 points of the game. Boston will host Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Wednesday.

For the Celtics, Derrick White scored 20 more points. Bam Adebayo of Miami led all scorers with 24 points, followed by Jaime Jaquez Jr. with 16 and Delon Wright, who came off the bench, with 17.

Clippers 109, Mavericks 97

In Game 1 of a first-round Western Conference series, Los Angeles made a statement by defeating visiting Dallas. James Harden scored 28 points, and Ivica Zubac set a career best with 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Despite playing without top player Kawhi Leonard due to knee inflammation, the Clippers had enough to defeat the Mavericks, led by Paul George’s 22 points and the combined 13 of Terance Mann and Russell Westbrook.

For Dallas, Kyrie Irving added 31 points, while Luka Doncic added 33 points and 13 rebounds. From the outset, Los Angeles demonstrated their elite defense, limiting the Mavericks to just eight points in the second quarter and thirty in the first half.

Also Read: Exploring Top 10 Richest NBA Players Of All Time

NBA 2024 Draft Order Breakdown: Lottery Odds and Tiebreaker Results

In the lead-up to the highly anticipated NBA draft, recent developments have clarified the order of selection for several teams. While the lottery scheduled for May 12 will finalize the top 14 picks, the allocation for picks 15 through 30 has been determined following six random drawings conducted on Monday.

One notable tiebreaker saw the Charlotte Hornets prevailing over the Portland Trail Blazers for the third-worst record tie, granting the Hornets a 13.3 percent chance at securing the coveted No. 1 overall pick. The Blazers, not far behind, hold a 13.2 percent chance. (It’s worth noting that the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards boast the highest lottery odds at 14 percent.)

NBA Roundup: Thunder narrowly defeat Pelicans 94-92; Bucks dominate Pacers

Additionally, the Sacramento Kings, emerging victorious over the Golden State Warriors in a Play-In game, secured a tiebreaker advantage in the draft selection process. Despite both teams finishing with identical regular-season records of 46-36, the Kings now possess marginally better odds in the lottery (0.8 percent compared to Golden State’s 0.7 percent).

While the lottery will dictate the top 14 picks, the order for picks 15-30 was solidified on Monday. Notably, the Philadelphia 76ers broke a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, and Indiana Pacers to claim the No. 16 pick, followed by the respective order of the remaining teams.

The Milwaukee Bucks emerged triumphant in a three-team tiebreaker with the Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans, although their 21st overall pick will convey to the Pelicans, and the Pelicans’ 23rd pick will go to the Bucks due to a prior trade agreement.

Another intriguing tiebreaker scenario involved the Dallas Mavericks securing the 24th pick over the New York Knicks, despite both teams finishing with identical records. However, the Knicks will acquire both picks as part of a previous trade involving the Mavericks’ 2024 first-rounder.

Lastly, the Denver Nuggets claimed the No. 28 pick over the Oklahoma City Thunder, with the Utah Jazz holding the Thunder’s No. 29 pick as a result of various trade deals.

These developments underscore the intricate tiebreaker procedures and lottery odds that shape the NBA draft landscape, adding to the anticipation and excitement leading up to draft day.

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