Thursday, July 25, 2024

NBA Playoffs 2023: Denver Nuggets become 1st team to reach this year’s NBA final four

It’s Denver’s first time in the conference finals since 2020, the bubble season. The Nuggets will meet either the Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors for the West title.

Philadelphia could have gotten to the conference finals as well on Thursday, but dropped a Game 6 at home to Boston 95-86. Game 7 of that series is Sunday, in Boston.

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Friday’s schedule has two Game 6 contests — New York at Miami (Heat lead 3-2) and Golden State at the Lakers (L.A. leads 3-2).

There are no games Saturday. Game 7 of 76ers-Celtics is Sunday, and if a Game 7 is necessary for Warriors-Lakers, it’ll be Sunday as well. A Game 7 of Heat-Knicks would be Monday.

HOW TO WATCH

— Friday’s games are on ESPN.

— The television schedule for Sunday remains undecided. If there is a Lakers-Warriors Game 7, it’ll be at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC, and Philadelphia-Boston would be at 8 p.m. on TNT. If there is no Game 7 of Lakers-Warriors, then the Philly-Boston game is at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

— If New York and Miami have a Game 7 on Monday, it’ll be on TNT.

— Team broadcasters will no longer air games. Everything after the first round is exclusive to national windows and not available for local telecasts.

— The NBA Finals on ABC begin June 1.

CONFERENCE FINALS SCHEDULE

The conference finals will begin Tuesday with the Warriors-Lakers winner at Denver — that game coming just after the NBA draft lottery in Chicago, where one team will win the right to choose Victor Wembanyama in next month’s draft.

The rest of the conference finals schedule:

West — May 18 at Denver, May 20 and 22 at Warriors-Lakers winner, May 24 at Denver, May 26 at Warriors-Lakers winner, May 28 at Denver.

East — May 17 and 19 at Boston or Philadelphia, May 21 and 23 at New York or Miami, May 25 at Boston or Philadelphia, May 27 at New York or Miami, May 29 at Boston or Philadelphia.

All games will start at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

IT HAPPENED AGAIN

For the second consecutive year, Phoenix was down by 30 points, at halftime, at home in an elimination game.

It was only the fourth time in the shot-clock era dating back to 1955 that a team trailed by at least 30 at halftime when facing playoff elimination. The list:

— 34, San Francisco Warriors vs. Milwaukee, 1971

— 32, Milwaukee vs. Chicago, 2015

— 30, Phoenix vs. Denver, 2023

— 30, Phoenix vs. Dallas, 2022

AWARD WINNERS

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo was the lone unanimous first-team All-NBA selection this season. Those teams — with LeBron James making it for the 19th time, four more times than anyone else in league history — were unveiled Wednesday.

The All-Rookie Team — led by unanimous pick Paolo Banchero — was announced Monday. The All-Defensive Team was revealed Tuesday.

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was announced as this season’s MVP, and here’s a list of the other major award-winners this season:

— Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. won Defensive Player of the Year.

— De’Aaron Fox of Sacramento won the inaugural Clutch Player award.

— Sacramento’s Mike Brown became the first unanimous Coach of the Year.

— Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon won Sixth Man of the Year.

— Utah’s Lauri Markkanen was the easy winner of Most Improved Player.

— Orlando’s Paolo Banchero was a near-unanimous Rookie of the Year.

QUOTABLE

“I’ve gotten to know so many sightless people that depend on our radio broadcasts. And I’ve known people that are in hospitals, and in veterans’ hospitals, and shut-ins. And I just want to thank all of those folks that depend on radio for letting me be a part of their lives.” — Al McCoy, signing off for the final time after 51 years as the radio voice of the Phoenix Suns.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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#NBA #Playoffs #Denver #Nuggets #1st #team #reach #years #NBA #final

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