By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
ANKARA (AA) – The NBA playoffs started on Saturday as the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Golden State Warriors defeated their opponents to take the Game 1 lead.
The first match of the day saw the Nets — 6th seed — dismantle the Philadelphia 76ers — 3rd seed — at the Wells Fargo Center with a 111-102 win to steal Game 1 in the Eastern Conference matchup.
Nets star D'Angelo Russell scored a team-high 26 points, followed close behind by Caris LeVert with 23 points.
Six Nets players scored in the double digits in the important win, and they never gave up the lead they built in the late first quarter.
For the 76ers, Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 36 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Joel Embiid chipped in with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
A tough crowd as always, 76ers fans booed their star player Ben Simmons in the game, who scored only nine points in 32 minutes of action.
– Magic steal Game 1 against Raptors
In another Eastern Conference matchup, the Orlando Magic — 7th seed — managed to beat the Toronto Raptors — 2nd seed — on Saturday at Scotiabank Arena, thanks a game-winner by DJ Augustin.
Augustin scored a go-ahead three-pointer with 3.4 seconds to go, scoring a game-high 25 points for his team.
Seven players scored in the double digits for the Magic, as they took back the home court advantage from the Raptors.
For the Raptors, superstar Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points, Pascal Siakam scored 24, while starting point-guard and All-Star Kyle Lowry racked up nil in 34 minutes of action.
He produced 7 rebounds and 8 assists, but went 0/7 from the field.
– Spurs take Game 1 against Nuggets
The San Antonio Spurs — 7th seed in the Western Conference — defeated 2nd-seeded Denver Nuggets 101-96 to get the home court advantage.
Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray missed a wide open shot with 6.9 seconds to go, unable to take the lead when the score was 97-96, the Spurs leading.
LaMarcus Aldridge converted two free throws to increase the lead to 99-96, and Derrick White stole the ball from the Nuggets to secure the lead with two more free throws.
Five players scored in double digits for the Spurs, as DeMar DeRozan was his team's high scorer with 18 points.
For the Nuggets, Jamal Murray's 20 points were not enough, while Nikola Jokic produced a triple-double with 10 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists.
Saturday’s game made Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich the winningest coach in NBA history, as he saw his 1,413th victory, both regular season and playoffs combined.
Popovich passed Lenny Wilkens (1,412 wins) and Don Nelson (1,410).
– Warriors cruise past Clippers in Game 1
Stephen Curry scored 38 points, including 8 three-pointers for the Golden State Warriors to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 121-104 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Round 1 series.
Warriors (top seed) took on the Clippers (8th seed) in their three-peat quest in the Oracle Arena, now in its final season as Warriors' home court.
Moving from their beloved home court for the past 47 years, the team decided to move to San Francisco.
Curry shot 8/12 from three-point range to pass Ray Allen (385) for career postseason 3s with 386, and had a postseason career-high 15 rebounds and seven assists.