The Rundown: Raptors avoid sweep; Jazz even series

Published April 24, 2022, 3:00 PMMiguel Flores

The Raptors beat the Sixers in Game 4, while the Jazz escaped the Mavericks to tie their series at 2-2.


Raptors 110, 76ers 102 (PHI leads series, 3-1)

Jazz 100, Mavericks 99 (Series tied, 2-2)

Celtics 109, Nets 103 (BOS leads series, 3-0)

Timberwolves 119, Grizzlies 118 (Series tied, 2-2)

What went down

While you were asleep, the Toronto Raptors woke up.

Following a late collapse in Game 3, the Raptors refused to get swept and took Game 4 to extend the series. The Raptors made plenty of adjustments like getting more offensive boards and scoring more points off turnovers (22-3). Perhaps the biggest break they got was Joel Embiid finally not dominating the game.

After scoring a combined 64 points in the two games prior, Embiid was restrained to just 21 points in Game 4 on 7-for-16 shooting. Toronto, on the other hand, got a postseason career-high from Pascal Siakam, who dropped 34 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in the win.

It’s important to note that teams down 0-3 have never come back to win a series in the NBA. It’s happened in other North American sports leagues, but it’s very rare. It’s also important to note that Doc Rivers has had a penchant for coaching away big series leads. How spicy would it be if the Raptors somehow dragged it to a Game 7?

Out West, the Utah Jazz rescued their season with a late rally in Game 4 that tied their series against the Dallas Mavericks at 2-2.

The Jazz were down by four, 99-95, with around 40 seconds left in the game following a stepback triple from Luka Doncic, who made his series debut today. Donovan Mitchell converted an and-1 opportunity the next possession back then immediately found his frenemy Rudy Gobert for a Kobe-Shaq-esque lob.

The Jazz looked dead in the water after going down 2-1 to a Dallas team without its superstar. Now, they turned the series into a virtual best-of-three with some solid all-around performances.

Big-time baller

The Boston Celtics are one win away from sweeping the dysfunctional Brooklyn Nets, and Jayson Tatum has his hands all over this development.

Tatum hung 39 points and six steals on the Nets in Game 3, making clutch play after clutch play and holding Kevin Durant to just one field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.

There’s been plenty of chaotic energy in this series, and most of it has emanated from the Brooklyn side of things. Tatum taking another leap into superstardom has put Boston in a Zen-like state.

What he said

Rudy Gobert really said, “f*** the talk” on live national television after their win. Of course, it’s not going to be posted on any official NBA account, but it’s out there for you if you want to see a giant French dude getting things off his chest.

Did you see that?

Scottie Barnes was named Rookie of the Year in the closest ballot for the award ever. Barnes got 48 first-place votes for 378 points from the media while runner-up Evan Mobley got 43 first-place votes for 63 points.

This award was one of the hardest to deliberate because both Barnes and Mobley had terrific seasons and were a big reason why their teams improved from last season. Really, no one was the clear better choice over the other.