Disney debuts official trailer for ‘Rise’ movie on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Starring real-life brothers Uche Agada and Ral Agada as Giannis and Thanasis respectively, the Disney film follows the lives of the Antetokounmpos, an immigrant family from Nigeria struggling to make a life for themselves in Greece amid daily threats of deportation.

While Charles (Dayo Okeniyi) and Vera (Yetide Badaki) Antetokounmpo sail their family’s daily storms, Giannis and Thanasis would play basketball with a local team. The boys soon discover their great Basketball talents rising to world champions.

Production for the Akin Omotoso directed film kicked off last year with Disney announcing in October that Giannis would serve as executive producer for the Bernie Goldmann produced title.

I am thrilled and honored that Disney+ is bringing my family’s story to people all over the world,” the Milwaukee star said.

My hope is that it will inspire those in similar circumstances to keep the faith, stay true to their goals and not to give up on striving for a better life.”

The official synopsis for the trailer reads: “After emigrating to Greece from Nigeria, Vera and Charles Antetokounmpo struggled to survive and provide for their five children, while living under the daily threat of deportation.

With their oldest son still in Nigeria with relatives, the couple were desperate to obtain Greek citizenship but found themselves undermined by a system that blocked them at every turn.

When they weren’t selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, encouraged by their father, the brothers would sneak away to play basketball with a local youth team.

Latecomers to the sport, they discovered their great abilities on the basketball court and worked hard to become world class athletes. With the help of an agent, Giannis entered the NBA draft in 2013 in a long-shot prospect that would change not only his life but the life of his entire family.”

A two-time NBA MVP, Giannis is currently one of the most celebrated Basketball stars of the decade. In 2021, he led the Milwaukee to a championship.


Four for De Bruyne as Manchester City roll to Victory

Kevin De Bruyne scored his 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th goals of this Premier League season as Manchester City took its next steps toward another Premier League title with a 5-1 defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux on Wednesday.

Raheem Sterling set up one of De Bruyne’s goals and scored in the 84th minute. Two of De Bruyne’s goals were unassisted and Bernardo Silva set up another as City moved to 89 points, three more than Liverpool. City now has a seven-goal advantage in goal differential with two matches left for each side.

Leander Dendoncker briefly had the score 1-1 with his 11th-minute goal, but De Bruyne had his hat trick by the 23rd minute. His fourth came at the hour mark, and Sterling’s goal was cued up by Joao Cancelo.

Wolves’ hopes of seventh place aren’t very good after the draw. Bruno Lage’s men are five points back of West Ham United with two just two matches remaining for each club.

Wolves vs Man City final score, stats

Wolves 1, Man City 5

Scorers: De Bruyne (7′, 16′, 24, 80′), Dendoncker (11′), Sterling (84′)

Shot attempts: Wolves 6, Man City 11

Shots on goal: Wolves 3, Man City 4

Possession: Wolves 35, Man City 65

Three things we learned from Wolves vs Man City

1. Four points left (at most): Pep Guardiola’s been saying that City needs to win all of its game down the stretch in order to hold off Liverpool, but that’s no longer true. City can lay claim to its fourth title in five seasons if it takes four of six points available to them from Week 37 (West Ham away) and Week 38 at home (Aston Villa).

2. De Bruyne on fire: The 30-year-old Belgian brought his finishing boots and actually smashed the post in the 90th minute in a performance that could’ve given KDB as many goals as Sergio Aguero scored a few years ago. De Bruyne is up to 15 goals and seven assists this Premier League season. De Bruyne entered the …

Milwaukee stuns Boston late to steal Game 5 on road

It took all of 10 minutes for the Celtics’ playoff fortunes to change Wednesday night.

Boston led the Milwaukee Bucks by 14 points with 10 minutes remaining in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at TD Garden and appeared on its way to a 3-2 series lead.

The Bucks came storming back, however, outscoring Boston 33-14 down the stretch en route to a stunning 110-107 victory.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (40 points, 11 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (24 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) played key roles in Milwaukee’s comeback, while Bobby Portis’ put back layup with 11.4 seconds remaining proved to be the difference.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined to score 60 points (34 and 26, respectively) for Boston, while Marcus Smart added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Here are our takeaways from a defeat that puts the Celtics one loss from playoff elimination entering Game 6 in Milwaukee on Friday night.

Defense wins championships

The Celtics played well offensively for most of the night, but the Bucks put the clamps on Boston late to engineer their comeback.

Holiday in particular was a defensive menace, his signature play a block on Smart with 8.7 seconds remaining and his team up by one point.

Holiday then picked Smart’s pocket on Boston’s final possession to seal Milwaukee’s victory.

After committing five turnovers total over the first three quarters, the Celtics had five turnovers in the fourth quarter alone. Their offense looked stagnant, as Tatum settled for midrange jumpers and the team didn’t attempt a single 3-pointer.

Boston still misses Time Lord

If there’s one area where Milwaukee had the clear advantage in Game 5, it was on the offensive glass. The Bucks racked up 17 offensive rebounds to Boston’s five, none more important than the late put back by Portis, who had seven offensive boards.

Milwaukee also won the overall rebounding battle 49-36, taking advantage of Robert Williams’ absence to dominate in the paint.

The Celtics managed to win Game 4 without Williams and should have won without him Wednesday night. But …

Grizzlies rout Warriors to avoid elimination, force Game 6

The Memphis Grizzlies fought off elimination with the highest-scoring performance in their franchise’s postseason history.

And with All-Star guard Ja Morant cheering from the bench. Then Morant upped the ante by chanting “Grizz in seven!”

Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones each scored 21 points and the Grizzlies routed the Golden State Warriors 134-95 on Wednesday night to force a sixth game in their Western Conference semifinal.

“We’ve exceeded expectations ever since I’ve been here,” Bane said. “It almost seems whenever someone thinks we can’t do something, we end up doing it. So I never want to put a limit on this team on what we can do because anything’s possible.”

Dillon Brooks added 12 points for Memphis. Ziaire Williams and Brandon Clarke had 11 apiece and De’Anthony Melton 10. Steven Adams had 13 rebounds, six offensive as Memphis outscored Golden State 24-5 on second-chance points. The Grizzlies never trailed, turning in their best performance of this series to pull within 3-2 even with Morant out a second straight game because of a bone bruise in his right knee. They improved to 4-11 when facing elimination.

“We knew what was at stake,” Jackson said. “We didn’t change anything, though. We just calmed down, looked at the film, understand what we had to take away from the last game and just went out there and executed.”

Memphis scored 77 points in the first half, the most in franchise postseason history. The Grizzlies pushed their lead to 55 in the third quarter, threatening the three biggest postseason blowouts in NBA history. Their 52-point lead after three tied for the largest in a playoff game in the past 70 years.

“Obviously, this was a very impressive win for our group, great bounce-back for sure,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.

When Memphis fans chanted “Whoop That Trick! Whoop That Trick!” early in the fourth, Stephen Curry laughed on the court while Draymond Green swung a towel in unison with the crowd. Green said he doesn’t respect people who only bring energy when …

Heat demolish Sixers to take 3-2 series edge

Jimmy Butler and the Heat move within a win of advancing to the Eastern Conference finals

Seven players scored in double figures for the Heat as Miami blasted the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, 120-85, to grab a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night, May 10 (Wednesday, May 11, Manila time).

Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 23 points for the Heat, but unlike losses in Games 3 and 4 when he was their only consistent source of offense, he had plenty of help.

Miami’s Max Strus produced his first double-double of the postseason with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gabe Vincent added 15 points, while Victor Oladipo came off the bench for 13. Bam Adebayo (12), Tyler Herro (10) and PJ Tucker (10) also hit for double figures.

Butler added 9 rebounds and 6 assists while hitting 9-of-15 field goal attempts. Strus was 7-of-13 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from three-point range.

Joel Embiid scored 17 points to pace Philadelphia, while James Harden added 14 and Tobias Harris netted 12 points. However, the 76ers made just 36.5% of their field goal attempts and were outrebounded 46-36.

The Heat hit 53.6% from the field, including 13-of-33 (39.4%) from beyond the arc. The 76ers wound up 9-of-32 (28.1%) from long distance, with Georges Niang missing all six of his three-point attempts and finishing scoreless in 16 minutes.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Philadelphia, where the 76ers try to stave off elimination. The road team hasn’t won yet in the series.

Miami set an immediate tone, rattling off 12 straight points for a 21-10 lead at the 5:16 mark of the first quarter. Strus drained consecutive three-pointers to cap the run.

The Heat stretched the margin to 18 in the second quarter before settling for a 56-44 halftime lead. Butler had 14 first-half points to lead all scorers.

Miami pushed the advantage to 20 less than four minutes into the third quarter on Vincent’s three-point play.…


The Suns used a huge third quarter to turn a tight game into a comfortable win. Phoenix opened up the second half on an 11-4 run, highlighted by Booker’s two 3-pointers, for a 61-50 lead.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd called for a timeout, but it did little to stop the onslaught. The Suns led 82-60 going into the fourth with Booker pouring in 12 points during the third.

While the Suns were finally finding some offensive continuity, the Mavs completely lost theirs, scoring just four points in the first six minutes of the third. At times, the Dallas offense regressed to mostly watching Luka Dončić try and work magic, but he couldn’t do it all by himself.

The Mavs had 12 turnovers during the third quarter, finishing with 16. They also tallied just nine assists on the night, compared to 28 for Phoenix, which also out-rebounded Dallas 50-38.

The top-seeded Suns bounced back after dropping the previous two games and can win the series in Game 6 on Thursday in Dallas.

Dončić finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Brunson added 21 points. The Mavs shot just 38% from the field.

The Suns took a hard-fought 49-46 lead into halftime. Booker scored 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. Dončić countered with 18 points, though it was a little less efficient after making seven of 16 shots.

The Mavericks led for a majority of the first half before Booker’s baseline jam tied it at 40-all with 3:47 before halftime. Mikal Bridges had a nifty steal and then scored on a fast-break layup for a 44-42 lead.…

Al Horford, Celtics outlast Bucks in exhausting Game 4 to even series

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo lay exhausted in the backcourt, their bodies entangled and their hands clasped together.

The fourth-quarter playoff action Monday night continued without two of the NBA’s hardest-working players, but they just couldn’t seem to summon the energy to help each other get back on their feet. When Boston’s Al Horford scored on the other end, a still-horizontal Antetokounmpo slumped his shoulders and rested his head on the hardwood. The way to beat the two-time MVP, who has taken his game to new heights this postseason, has been to outlast him when his teammates falter.

On a night when both teams struggled to shoot — continuing a series-long trend — the Celtics shook off a slow start and rallied from an 11-point third-quarter deficit to claim a 116-108 victory in Game 4 at Fiserv Forum. Horford helped pull Boston back from the brink with a playoff career-high 30 points, eight rebounds and three assists to even this slugfest of a second-round series at two games apiece.

“We all understood the importance of this game,” Horford said. “At the end of Game 3, we were in a position to win, and we didn’t. I was just locked in. I understood the moment and what we needed to do as a group. I did whatever it took. It was one of those types of nights.”

The 35-year-old Horford has long cultivated a reputation as a heady, steadying presence, but Monday he showed a rare electric streak. Shortly after halftime, Antetokounmpo dunked on Horford and received a technical for taunting. Horford answered early in the fourth quarter, throwing down a poster dunk of his own on Antetokounmpo that helped swing momentum in Boston’s favor.

“The way that [Antetokounmpo] was looking at me and going about it, it didn’t sit well with me,” Horford said. “Something switched with me.”

The veteran center followed up his dunk with a series of clutch jumpers, scoring 16 fourth-quarter points as Milwaukee stalled on the other end. Horford made …

Mavs drill 20 three-pointers in series-tying win over Suns

The Dallas Mavericks rained 20 three-pointers and again neutralized Phoenix point guard Chris Paul to beat the top-seeded Suns 111-101 on Sunday and knot their NBA playoff series at two games each. Star guard Luka Doncic scored 26 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 24 for Dallas, who have won two games at home to level the best-of-seven Western Conference matchup after dropping the first two games in Phoenix. The Suns, who finished the regular season with the best record in the league, will try to regain the advantage when they host game five on Tuesday. It’s guaranteed to shift back to Dallas for game six on Thursday.

Overall, the Mavs were on fire from beyond the arc, their eight three-pointers in the first quarter helping them build a 37-25 lead.

Their 14 three-pointers in the first half tied a franchise playoff record for three-pointers in a half.

They led 68-56 at the break and even more ominously for Phoenix, veteran point guard Paul committed his fourth foul trying to make a tip-in with 1.1 seconds left before half-time.

Paul picked up his fifth foul early in the third quarter and headed to the bench. He returned with 10:28 left in the fourth and promptly fouled out thanks to a hand to the arm of Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson.

A dangerous team

Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points. Jae Crowder added 15 and Deandre Ayton scored 14.

But the Mavericks bench out-scored the Phoenix reserves 36-26.

“This team was amazing,” said Doncic, who was outstanding but received little support in the Mavs’ two series-opening defeats. “Everybody that gets to the court leaves everything out there. If we play hard and we get stops, we’re a dangerous team.”

While Doncic struggled with his shots, he added 11 assists along with four rebounds. He also forced four steals as the Suns turned it over 17 times. While Phoenix managed to cut the deficit to four points with less than two minutes to play in the third quarter, the Mavericks repelled every …

James Harden, Joel Embiid lead Philadelphia to crucial Game 4 win over Miami

The Philadelphia 76ers have new life in their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Miami Heat following their 116-108 victory in Game 4 on Sunday night. After losing the first two games without the services of Joel Embiid, Philadelphia has bounced back in a. major way on their home floor with the team’s MVP candidate on the floor.

In the end, Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 40 points but it was the Sixers’ balanced attack, led by James Harden’s 31 points, nine assists and seven rebounds that ultimately led to the win for Philly to even the series. These two teams will square off in South Beach on Tuesday night in Game 4 with the opening tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Here are the biggest takeaways from Game 4.

1. Will the real James Harden please stand up?

James Harden was Philadelphia’s best player on Sunday. The numbers, in a vacuum, were stellar: 31 points, nine assists and seven rebounds is the sort of production a team should expect out of a player it has invested as much in as Philly has in Harden. He made nearly as many 3-pointers (six) as the Heat did as a team (seven).

And yet, I can’t help but wonder what it says about Harden that this is the sort of performance he’s getting praised for. After all, he averaged just shy of 34 points, eight assists and seven rebounds two seasons ago. This was not peak James Harden. This wasn’t even a throwback to his old self. He only made two two-point shots in the entire game. He was certainly more aggressive as an attacker, and his 10 free throw attempts were the second-most he’s earned this postseason. But it’s not as though he rediscovered his old first step. Harden had shot 28.3 percent on his 3s in Philly’s past eight playoff games. That isn’t who he really is. But neither is 6-of-10 and without that hot shooting, the conversations surrounding his performance probably aren’t changing much.

Scoring isn’t all Harden does. …

Suns erupt in fourth quarter to race by Mavericks for 2-0 lead in Western Conference semifinal

There were 54 fouls called.

Eleven were offensive, with Phoenix picking up the first seven of them.

There were 30 3-pointers made. Dallas hit 17 of them.

Then there was Chris Paul.

With Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and JaVale McGee all in foul trouble, the Suns turned to their floor general and once again, Paul delivered in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s 129-109 win to take a 2-0 series lead in the conference semifinals.

“It impresses us every time you see it, but it doesn’t surprise us,” Booker said. “It’s just the will to win. If he sees a matchup he likes, you can hear their bench yelling, ‘Send him left.’ You can try whatever you want to do, but he has a rebuttal move for you at every turn. Not only can he score, he can make a play for somebody else if you leave your man.

Scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth, Paul, who turns 37 years old Thursday, had the sellout crowd of 17,071 rocking in the fourth to fuel Phoenix’s offensive eruption.

“It’s fun, I love it,” said Paul, who shot 6-of-7 from the field in the fourth.

The Suns outscored the Mavs 40-26 in the fourth as they led by as many as 26. This after finishing Game 1 poorly in winning by just seven after leading by 21.

“You have to not only be impressed, but proud of the way we continue to win games mentally,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.

The series now shifts to Dallas for Friday’s Game 3 and Sunday’s Game 4.

“You’ve got to accept the challenge,” Suns forward Jae Crowder said. “They have a lot of guys who put the ball in the basket and they try to get mismatches and stuff like that. Coming into this series, you have to accept the challenge of guarding these guys and making it as tough as possible.”

Booker finished with 30 points on Wednesday as he hit three 3s in the fourth, with his final one putting Phoenix …

Morant’s 47 points lift Grizzlies over Warriors to even series

The Memphis Grizzlies used Ja Morant’s 47 points to rally past the Golden State Warriors 106-101 and even the second round series on Tuesday night.

Morant single-handedly outscored the Warriors 15-6 in the final 4:16 of the game on his way to a tying his own franchise postseason record with 47 points on 15-for-31 shooting. Morant connected on five 3-pointers to go with eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

Ziaire Williams scored 14 points with five rebounds on 4-for-8 shooting while supplying tight defense in the final minutes. Jaren Jackson Jr. added 12 points with seven rebounds while Brandon Clarke tallied 10 points with three rebounds.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists while Jordan Poole notched 20 points, five assists and three rebounds.

The Grizzlies took the early lead behind Morant’s 14 first quarter points on 4-for-7 shooting. Jackson Jr. notched 10 points and three rebounds as the Grizzlies led 33-25 after 12 minutes of play.

Memphis held off the Warriors in the second quarter, holding on to a 56-51 lead at halftime. Morant led the Grizzlies with 23 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field to go with five assists and four rebounds in the half. Curry scored 15 points with five rebounds to lead the Warriors.

The Warriors finished the third quarter on a 13-3 run to bring the score even at 77-77 with one quarter remaining, but the fourth quarter belonged to Morant as he exploded for 18 points in the final period.

Morant is the third player in NBA history to have multiple 45-point postseason performances before turning 23 years old, joining LeBron James and Kobe Bryant (ESPN).

Next Game

The Grizzlies will look to take the series lead over the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. CT.…

Jaylen Brown takes charge in huge Game 2 win

The Celtics were on the ropes without one of their top fighters Tuesday. But they still threw a mean counterpunch. Despite missing starting point guard Marcus Smart due to a right quad contusion, the Celtics jumped out to an early double-digit lead against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and never looked back, rolling to a 109-86 win at TD Garden to tie the best-of-seven series 1-1. Jaylen Brown delivered the biggest blow with a game-high 30 points, 17 of which came in the first quarter. Jayson Tatum added 29 points while the Celtics hit a franchise-record 20 3-pointers (20 of 43) to bounce back from an ugly 101-89 loss in Game 1. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists but shot just 40.7 percent (11 of 27) with five turnovers. He was the only Milwaukee player to reach 20 points, as the Celtics’ defense limited the Bucks to just three 3-pointers on 18 attempts. The teams will have an extended layoff before Game 3, which is Saturday in Milwaukee. Here are our takeaways from an impressive Boston win at the Garden:

Jaylen Brown came to ball

Brown was the first one in the building Tuesday, arriving about three hours before tip to get some extra shots up after scoring just 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting in Game 1.

That extra work clearly helped: Brown exploded a playoff career-high 17 points in the first quarter, hitting six of his first seven shots and dropping Grayson Allen with a filthy crossover.

Brown had 25 points by halftime and missed just five shots (10 of 15) while committing just two turnovers, looking like a completely different player after his rough Game 1.

The Celtics need Brown to be at least the third-best player on the floor to have success in this series. On Tuesday, he was the best, giving Boston a huge boost in Smart’s absence.

Boston has a three party

After making just 18 of their playoff career-high 50 …

76ers blow out Raptors in Game 6, 132-97

The Philadelphia 76ers bounced back from a pair of losses to the Toronto Raptors to win by 35 on the road in Game 6 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Philadelphia won the first three games of the series, but star center Joel Embiid suffered a thumb injury in Game 3 and the team struggled offensively in Games 4 and 5. That wasn’t the case Thursday night when the 76ers scored 70 in the second half alone of a 132-97 win.

Embiid led the team in scoring with 33 points, making 12 of his 18 field goals on the night. Every starter for the 76ers scored at least 12 points on the night. James Harden finished with 22 points and 15 assists, and the 76ers got 25 points and eight assists out of Tyrese Maxey.

Toronto trailed by only one point at halftime, but managed to score just 36 points in the second half, something the 76ers managed to accomplish before the end of the third quarter. Chris Boucher came off the bench to lead the Raptors in scoring with 25 points.

The 76ers advance to face the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals, which will begin Monday.…

Luka Doncic, Dallas rally past Utah in series clincher, will face Suns next

The Dallas Mavericks advance to the Western Conference semifinals after beating the Utah Jazz 98-96 in Game 6 Thursday night. It was a closely contested battle that came down to the final shot as Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic missed what would’ve been a game-winning 3-pointer to extend this series.

The Mavericks got a combined 48 points out of Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson, while Spencer Dinwiddie tacked on 19 points off the bench. The Jazz carried a 10-point lead heading into halftime, but couldn’t finish it off in the second half as Doncic started to catch fire after the break. Donovan Mitchell had 23 points in the loss, while Jordan Clarkson put up 15 points and six rebounds off the bench. The Jazz will head into the offseason, while the Mavericks will now face the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the second round.

Here are three takeaways from the Dallas’ series-clinching win over Utah.

1. Not about how you start, but how you finish

If you stopped watching this game at halftime you would probably assume that Utah held on to win this game based on how Dallas was playing. The Mavericks shot just 38.6 percent from the field, and an even worse 16.7 percent from deep. Doncic was held to just nine points on 3 of 8 from the field, and the Mavericks couldn’t buy a shot from practically anywhere on the floor.

Meanwhile, after a similarly slow start in the first quarter, the Jazz began to figure things out in the second quarter and took advantage of mismatches on offense and attack the rim. Utah was smart in hunting Doncic on offense, which resulted in several easy buckets around the rim. At the half, the Jazz held a 12-point lead and despite the injury concerns leading up to this game, Mitchell looked like he was unbothered by those quad bruises.

And then the third quarter started. Just for some context, Doncic ranks sixth in the league in points scored in the third quarter this season (8.3), and in the …

Chris Paul makes NBA playoff history in Phoenix Suns’ closeout win over the New Orleans Pelicans

Chris Paul shot a perfect 14-of-14 from the field to help the Phoenix Suns close out their opening round playoff series with a 115-109 Game 6 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Living up to his ‘Point God’ moniker, it marked the first time in playoff history that a player made 13 or more shots without a single miss.
Paul also made all four of his free throws to finish with 33 points, while also racking up eight assists and five rebounds.
However, the 12-time All-Star was lucky not to receive a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter for a brutal elbow to the chin of New Orleans guard Jose Alvarado. The incident was missed by the referees and, despite Alvarado’s protestations, the Pelicans were unable to call for a review after having already used their coach’s challenge.
Paul spent the first six years of his illustrious career in New Orleans after being drafted fourth by the franchise — then the Hornets — in 2005 and played his fifth season with current Pelicans head coach Willie Green.

“I’m emotional every game here [in New Orleans],” he told NBA on TNT. “Willie being my brother, somebody I talk to about everything, us not talking this whole series, seeing his son sitting on the baseline.

“It’s a good win for us, there’s a reason why he’s the coach here. There ain’t been this much energy here in a long time and I’m just glad we got the win. I always say this city raised me, man. It’s tough, this is emotional for me.
“I root for this team when I’m not playing against them, so to beat them was nice to get through the first round.”
On his return from a hamstring injury suffered in Game 2 of the series, Suns shooting guard Devin Booker put up 13 points, five rebounds and three assists, while center Deandre Ayton had a bright night with 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Bucks finish off shorthanded Bulls in Game 5, advance to face Celtics in second round

The Milwaukee Bucks took care of business on Wednesday.

The defending NBA champions made sure not to prolong their first-round series and finished off the short-handed Chicago Bulls with a 116-100 victory in Game 5 at Fiserv Forum.

The best-of-7 matchup began inauspiciously for Milwaukee with a lackluster performance in Game 1 and then a 114-110 defeat in Game 2. Despite a knee injury to star Khris Middleton that will keep him out at least two weeks, the Bucks looked much crisper in winning three straight, including two in Chicago, to eliminate the Bulls.

“We’ve been talking about the depth of the roster, the quality of the roster, a lot this season,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Other guys have gotten opportunities and played well. And our defense has tightened up and we’ve leaned hard on that these three games.

“But we’ve got depth, we’ve got a good group. We miss Khris, I don’t think anyone underestimates how important and how effective he is for us. While we don’t have him, we got to be our best up and down the roster.”

Third-seeded Milwaukee will face the second-seeded Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Celtics, who swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round, have home-court advantage and will host the first two games of the series.

Chicago wasn’t expected to give Milwaukee much of a challenge given the 3-1 series deficit and the absences of key guards Zach LaVine (health and safety protocol) and Alex Caruso (concussion protocol).

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points, with 32 coming in the first three quarters as the Bucks pulled away early and never allowed the Bulls to really threaten.

“Sometimes I got to score the ball,” Antetokounmpo said. “But in my head I don’t think about, ‘Hey, I got to score the ball. Khris is down, I got to score 40.’

It’s kind of the opposite. It’s like, ‘Khris is down now, we got to get 30-40 points from somebody else.’ So you got to move the ball.”

Pat Connaughton was …

Curry, Warriors Hold Off Jokic, Eliminate Nuggets in Game 5

Back in the starting lineup at last, Stephen Curry took over late and brought his team back just as he has so many times during Golden State’s deep postseason runs.

Curry scored 30 points in his return to the starting five and the Warriors beat Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets 102-98 on Wednesday night to win their first-round series in five games.

It has been three years since Curry carried Golden State on a big playoff stage — like those five straight trips to the NBA Finals — but he’s certainly still got it.

“Tonight was just a weird feeling because we hadn’t been there in a while,” said Curry, last season’s NBA scoring champion. “We wanted it so bad, kind of made it a lot more difficult on ourselves. But we still remember how to do it, which is a good feeling.”

Curry scored 11 points during the fourth quarter after the Warriors began the final 12 minutes down by eight. The two-time MVP converted a three-point play with 1:33 left and scored again with 29 seconds remaining to help send the Warriors on to the second round in the Western Conference.

“I was a witness, letting him cook, create plays for him. Try to get him open looks and after that, you know what he does,” Warriors guard Gary Payton II said.

Jokic scored 12 of his 30 points in the final 3:46 and finished with 19 rebounds and eight assists.

The Warriors — thriving with the support from their raucous home crowd in their first close-out playoff game at Chase Center — advanced to play the winner of the Memphis-Minnesota series led 3-2 by the Grizzlies heading into Game 6 on Friday in Minneapolis. The Grizzlies eliminated Golden State in the play-in round last year.

Jokic tied it at 90 on an 18-footer with 2:26 remaining before Payton made a layup moments later. Payton also hit a go-ahead 3-pointer from the corner in front of Denver’s bench with 6:57 left to put Golden State up 86-84. …

Bridges shines, Suns grab 3-2 series lead

With the series tied at 2-2, the Phoenix Suns welcome the New Orleans Pelicans to their homecourt for deciding Game 5. Both teams need this win to assert their will on the series. The Suns are shorthanded with Booker still not available. The Pelicans want to take advantage of that fact and gain the momentum in the Playoffs.

The Phoenix Suns went with their starting lineup of Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and Deandre Ayton. The New Orleans Pelicans started with CJ McCollum, Herbert Jones, Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes and Jonas Valanciunas.

Game Summary

With the opening tip, both teams locked horns to take the lead early on the game. The crowd was enticed with such intense battles between the two teams. Early on in the game, the duo of Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton went to work. Ayton went to the paint and attacked the rim.

The Pelicans offense got a bit cold after a few minutes and they struggled immensely. The Suns defense was tight enough to frazzle the Pelicans and they turned the ball over multiple times.

In the 2nd quarter, a display between the two guards of both teams took place as they went head to head. McCollum and Paul were the ones who went on the offensive this time and distributing the ball to their teammates. Yet the Suns early lead was more than enough to take the 1st half with a score of 59-46.

In the 2nd half, the Pelicans went entirely on the offensive led by Ingram and Valanciunas. They were getting baskets to fall so that they could cut the lead. But the Suns were not as fazed. Mikal Bridges appeared and he went on the offensive. Bridges has shown scoring spurts and this was one of those moments.

The Suns held their 10 point lead entering into the 4th quarter. During a play, Brandon Ingram had possession of the ball and was hit on his elbow by Mikal Bridges which forced him to be on the bench for …

Oladipo helps deliver clincher for Heat, who move to Round 2

It was about a year ago. Victor Oladipo was sitting alone in a dark room. The realization that he needed a second surgery on his right leg was settling in. Frustration, fear, sadness and anger just came pouring out of him.

He broke down.

“I was at the lowest point I could be at,” Oladipo said.

That moment is clearly not forgotten: Oladipo gave his recollections of what went on in that room Tuesday night, to illustrate both where he was and where he is. He scored a team-high 23 points in Miami’s series-clinching 97-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks, a victory that sent the Heat to the second round of the playoffs.

It was only the 10th game this season for Oladipo, including the regular season. But with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry sidelined, the Heat needed someone to step up in Game 5. Many did, including Oladipo, who needed two surgeries to fix a right quadriceps tendon, spent basically a year rehabbing after each of those procedures, and has been limited to 66 games in the last three seasons combined.

“I can’t really explain why I’m going through what I went through,” Oladipo said. “I can’t really explain why I’m here today. But I’m staying in the moment and making every moment mean something. Just going out there and playing hard, man. We had a great win. A great series. But the job isn’t done yet. There is still a lot more basketball left. We’ve just got to keep getting better. That’s what I’m focused on doing.”

It’s the 12th time that the top-seeded Heat have moved into the conference semifinals; Game 1 against either fourth-seeded Philadelphia or fifth-seeded Toronto will be in Miami on Monday.

For Oladipo, it’ll be a first. He’s appeared in 18 playoff games in his career, all of them of the first-round variety.

“I really admire him. I do, for this journey for the last three seasons where he’s been dealing with injuries and frustration, and then really working to make himself available …

Doncic scores 33, Mavs rout Jazz for 3-2 series lead

Luka Doncic delighted the crowd in his first home playoff game coming off a calf injury.

Frustrated the Utah Jazz as well.

The young Dallas superstar had 33 points and 13 rebounds while also being thrown to the court on a hard foul that led to Hassan Whiteside‘s ejection as the Mavericks routed the Jazz 102-77 on Monday night for a 3-2 lead in their first-round series.

Doncic made his series debut in Game 4 at Utah, when the Jazz scored the last five points in the final 31 seconds for a one-point win that evened the series. He never let Game 5 get close.

“For his second game, it looks like he’s been playing this whole series,” coach Jason Kidd said. “His conditioning, his effort on the defensive end. As we talk about rebounding, he’s one of the best for us and he did that tonight.”

After the first four games were decided by eight points or less, Utah never had a chance after a nearly six-minute scoreless drought in the second quarter that fueled a 22-4 Dallas run on the way to a 52-36 halftime lead.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Salt Lake City, with the Jazz regaining their formidable home-court edge, but facing the long odds of just 18% of teams winning a series after dropping the fifth game when the teams split the first four.

The Mavericks haven’t advanced in the postseason since winning the 2011 championship. Utah is in the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year, but has yet to get past the second round in that stretch.

Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points and Rudy Gobert added 17 points and 11 rebounds in the lowest-scoring game for the Jazz since they lost by 50 at Dallas (118-68) on Nov. 14, 2018. They were 3 of 30 from 3-point range (10%) and shot 38% overall.

Donovan Mitchell, who averaged 30 points in the first four games, scored just nine and missed all seven of his 3-pointers before leaving with a left hamstring injury …