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NBA playoffs wrap 2019: Celtics start strong; Trail Blazers hold off Thunder

Sunday's first NBA game certainly wasn't a barn burner.

The Celtics topped the Pacers 84-74 in Boston and kicked off their first-round playoff series strong.

A surprising 20-point performance from Markieff Morris assisted Kyrie Irving's 20-point effort in the Celtics' win. The pair tied for a game high in scoring.

Cory Joseph, who averaged 6.5 points per game during the regular season, led a cold Indiana squad with 14 points.

Neither side shot better than 37 percent from the field in the contest.

In Portland, the Thunder were widely seen as a scary matchup for any team entering the postseason, but they're down 0-1 to the Trail Blazers.

Damian Lillard led all scorers with 30 points, but C. J. McCollum (24 points) and Enes Kanter (20) also had big games in the 104-99 win.

Russell Westbrook posted 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but Oklahoma City couldn't overcome terrible 3-point shooting, as it made just five of 33 attempts.

Milwaukee handily topped Detroit 121-86 in its first playoff game of 2018-19.

The Bucks got ahead early and stayed there behind a well-rounded scoring attack.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's 24 points and 17 rebounds paved the way to an easy Milwaukee win.

Blake Griffin (knee) missed Game 1 and will likely have to a huge impact to turn the series around when he makes his debut.

Meanwhile, James Harden's 29 points and 10 assists led Houston to a convincing 122-90 victory against Utah.

Rudy Gobert contributed 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz, but constantly found himself overwhelmed in the paint by a swarm of Rocket slashers. Not to mention Harden driving to the basket.

The final game of the night was Sunday's second blowout, and Utah has a lot to work on.

Studs of the Night

CJ McCollum scored 24 points for Portland, only trailing Lillard on his team.

Luke Kennard scored a team-high 21 points in Detroit's loss.

Duds of the Night

Myles Turner scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting for the Pacers.

Paul George scored 26 points, but was 4-of-15 from deep and had a horrendous first half.

Joe Ingles scored three points on 1-of-4 shooting for the Jazz.


Lillard showcased why he's one of the NBA's best clutch scorers with a deep three down the stretch.

DAMIAN LILLARD… BANG! ⌚️?#NBAPlayoffs #RipCity 98#ThunderUp 92
1:50 to play on #NBAonABC

— NBA (@NBA) April 14, 2019

Terry Rozier edged the third quarter horn with a buzzer beater pull up jumper in TD Garden.

Terry Rozier to beat the Q3 horn… YES! ?@celtics take the 3rd quarter 26-8.#Celtics 64#GoldDontQuit 53#NBAPlayoffs on @NBAonTNT

— NBA (@NBA) April 14, 2019

Antetokounmpo nearly took off from the free throw line on the break on this slam.

Taking off from just inside the foul line ?#FearTheDeer #NBAPlayoffs
?: @NBAonTNT

— NBA (@NBA) April 15, 2019

Danuel House got this acrobatic dump pass off to Kenneth Faried for a dunk.


— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 15, 2019

What's Next?

Nets at 76ers, Monday, 8 p.m. ET — Everyone will be watching to see if Philadelphia can bounce back from a Game 1 upset. Brooklyn's team has little playoff experience, but put on an inspiring performance to take down the third-seeded 76ers on Saturday. This game will be critical for Philadelphia, as it could have to head to the Nets' house down two games if it can't respond.

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