Nets’ Big 3 tow Brooklyn past Celtics; Blazers draw first blood vs Nuggets

Nets' Big 3 tow Brooklyn past Celtics; Blazers draw first blood vs Nuggets

MANILA, Philippines — The Brooklyn Nets and the Portland Trail Blazers both took 1-0 leads over their respective opponents at the start of the NBA playoffs on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

The Nets had to buck a slow start against the Boston Celtics to come out with a 104-93 win at the Barclays Center.

After trailing by as much as 12 points in the first half, the Nets leaned on a third quarter effort where they outscored the Celtics, 31-20, to turn the tides in their favor.

Brooklyn's Big Three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden combined for 82 points in a well-balanced affair to turn back the upset-seeking Celtics.

Jayson Tatum paced Boston in the losing effort with 22 points.

Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers pulled off an upset over the third-seed Denver Nuggets at the Ball Arena, 123-109.

Buoyed by a 34-point performance from Damian Lillard, the Blazers staved off the Nikola Jokic-led Nuggets on the road.

Carmelo Anthony was a spark off of the bench for Portland with 18 points.

Jokic top-scored for Denver with 34 points.

In the other games of the day, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks also took 1-0 leads over their respective match-ups earlier Saturday (Sunday, Manila).

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