NBA Playoffs: Klay Thompson evens Californian clash, Heat suffer without Jimmy Butler

The Nuggets dominated against the Suns with an unstoppable performance from Nikola Jokić. The Celtics thrashed the 76ers to even their series.

The Golden State Warriors managed to even the series against Los Angeles Lakers after losing the first game in the Western Conference semifinals after winning 127-100. Despite a good start to the game, the purple and gold succumbed to the offensive power of the Warriors. The Warriors came from behind in the second quarter, scoring 41 points, and they added an additional 43 points in the third quarter. In the final twelve minutes, Steve Kerr's team played conservatively, but well enough to secure a victory.

Klay Thompson's three-pointers were key to the Warriors' victory. His sublime performance from the perimeter gave Golden State the edge, making 8 of the 11 three-pointers he shot. The Lakers focused their efforts on defending Stephen Curry and forgot about Thompson. Speaking of the Warriors point guard, he had a humble game compared to his typical statistics. He scored 20 points and dished out 12 assists. Draymond Green was outstanding. The Warriors forward had the difficult task of stopping Anthony Davis, who was the best player in the first game of the series, and he did not fail. Davis scored only 11 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Green fell one assist shy of recording a triple-double.

On the Los Angeles Lakers' side, only two players prevented the Warriors' victory from being any bigger. LeBron James led the way with 23 points and 7 rebounds. The second was Rui Hachimura, who scored 21 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Anthony Davis did not perform as expected after his great performance in the first game.

First loss for the 76ers in the playoffs

The Boston Celtics' earned a dominant victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (121-87) in the second game of their series, now tied 1-1. It was a complete game from Boston. Jaylen Brown served as the Celtics' main weapon, scoring a fifth of his team's points (25). Malcom Brogdon's performance was outstanding with 23 points, 18 of them from three-point range. Both Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum were a bit quieter, scoring 15 and 7 points respectively. The third quarter was decisive.

This was the 76ers' first loss of the playoffs. They were blown out, without giving an ounce of resistance against their opponent. The recently named MVP of the regular season, Joel Embiid, reappeared after his injury, but he was a shell of his normal self (15 points and 3 rebounds). He needs to get back in form. James Harden was the best the 76ers had to offer, registering a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds).

Without Butler, Heat suffer

It was a near perfect game from the New York Knicks' starting five, resulting in a 111-105 victory against the Miami Heat in the second game of their series. Julius Randle (25 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists) and Josh Hart (14 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists) both came close to a triple-double. Jalen Brunson was the top scorer (30 points, 18 from three-point range). R.J. Barrett scored 24 points of his own. Between the four of them, they scored 93 of the Knicks' 111 points.

The Miami Heat missed Jimmy Butler, perhaps the best player of the playoffs to date. Without their star, they suffered, losing a fantastic opportunity to earn a decisive 2-0 lead. Caleb Martin was the team's best player, finishing the game with 22 points and 8 rebounds. On the other hand, Bam Adebayo contributed 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. It was a poor performance by Kevin Love, who recorded 8 points and 6 rebounds.

Nuggets on track for Western Conference Finals berth with stellar Jokić performace

The Denver Nuggets played the first two games at home and did not disappoint. It was their second victory in the series against Phoenix Suns (97-87), which will give them some room for error in the third and fourth game to be played in Arizona.

Nikola Jokić was named player of the game and rightfully so. The Nuggets' Serbian center finished the game with an impressive double-double, scoring 39 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, a colossal performance. He was supported by Aaron Gordon, Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored 40 points between them. Michael Porter Jr was less of a force, only contributing 5 points and 4 rebounds.

More is expected from Phoenix Suns given the powerful roster they have. Devin Booker was the only player who stood out for Phoenix: 35 points and 6 assists. Despite scoring 24 points, Kevin Durant missed a lot of shots from the field, and DeAndre Ayton struggled against Jokić. Chris Paul was practically absent.