Starting 5 Daily Newsletter

Starting 5, April 23: One night. Two amazing moments.

New York stuns Philadelphia, while Jamal Murray's fadeaway buzzer-beater caps a 4th quarter rally in Denver.

Starting 5

How special was Monday night?

Not one, but two game-winners in the final 13 seconds.

Over the past 25 postseasons, that’s only happened twice before.


What’s inside today’s edition?

Murray for the win: Jamal Murray shook off a slow start to cap Denver’s rally with a game-winner

Knicks stun Sixers: New York scored eight points in the final 27 seconds to take Game 2

Cavs lock down Magic: Cleveland held Orlando under 90 points for the second straight game

Student, master, moment: The connection between Anthony Edwards and Kevin Durant

First-round Dame Time: Lillard’s Bucks Playoff debut delivered another classic moment


Yesterday’s scores & what to watch today.

More Game 2s: Tuesday’s three games tip off in Minnesota with Wolves-Suns (7:30 ET, TNT), followed by Bucks-Pacers (8:30 ET, NBA TV) and Mavs-Clippers (10 ET, TNT). Home teams are 11-0 through the first three days of the Playoffs. Will that trend continue?


Jamal Murray, who has delivered time & again in the postseason, creates a lasting memory for Nuggets fans at the Lakers' expense.

Every time Jamal Murray missed a shot, the message from his teammates stayed the same:

Keep shooting.

After shooting 3-of-16 (18.8%) for just six points through the first three quarters – the message never changed.

Keep shooting.

He repaid his teammates’ faith in him in the game’s final frame.

Murray erupted for 14 points in the final 9:19 of the game, including the most important point of the night – a 15-foot fadeaway jumper over the outstretched arm of Anthony Davis for the Tissot Buzzer Beater.

Murray wins Game 2 at the buzzer

Jamal Murray caps off Denver's comeback with a game-winning buzzer beater to help the Nuggets take a 2-0 series lead vs. L.A.

  • Murray: “You miss 10, 11 in a row, 12 in a row and it’s like ‘Man, should I change something, should I do something else?’ But my teammates told me to ‘keep shooting, keep being aggressive.’ … If it wasn’t for my teammates, I might not even get to that shot.”
  • Nuggets Coach Michael Malone: “That’s Jamal Murray right there. He can struggle, he can struggle, he can struggle. He sees one go in and he’s never shying away from the moment, the spotlight.”

Been there, done that: This isn’t Murray’s first clutch moment – he has a collection. We’ve seen his journey to overcome adversity and emerge as a champion. We’ve seen him drop 50 in the Playoffs twice – only MJ (8), Wilt (4) and Iverson (3) have more such games

  • Murray finished with 20 points, while Nikola Jokic posted a monster triple-double (27 pts, 20 reb, 10 ast) and Michael Porter Jr. added 22 points and nine boards to lead the Nuggets
  • Jokic tied Wilt for the most games with 20+ pts, 20+ reb and 10+ ast in Playoff history with his fourth in 70 career Playoff games

Lakers’ trio: Anthony Davis (32 pts, 11 reb) posted his second straight 30/10 game, while LeBron James (26 pts, 12 ast, 8 reb) fell two boards shy of a triple-double and D’Angelo Russell bounced back from a tough Game 1 with 23 points and seven 3s


The Knicks overcome Tyrese Maxey's strong 4th quarter with some late-game heroics to take a 2-0 lead on the 76ers.

8-0 game-ending run: The Sixers were less than a minute away from a tied series before the Knicks pulled off an incredible rally, scoring eight straight points over the game’s final 27 seconds to win Game 2 104-101 and hold home court with a game that left The Garden shaking. | Recap

  • Brunson’s 3: Jalen Brunson got the friendly roll to cut the lead to two with his only 3-point make in six tries
  • Hart’s steal: The Knicks trapped Tyrese Maxey on the inbounds pass, with Maxey losing the ball as he went to the floor in the corner. Hart recovered the ball
  • DiVincenzo’s miss: Hart found Donte DiVincenzo on the left wing for an open 3 that missed off the back of the rim
  • Hartenstein’s noard: Isaiah Hartenstein crashed the glass for his fourth offensive rebound of the game
  • DiVincenzo’s 3: Hartenstein got the ball to OG Anunoby, who found DiVincenzo at the top of the key for the straight on 3 that found the bottom of the net put NY up for good
  • Watch The Entire Sequence
  • Hart: “It was crazy, it was hectic, but at that point we had nothing to lose. Got to get as physical as we can and it panned out.”

With Jalen Brunson leading the way, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo and 'others' are forming a well-oiled machine for the Knicks.

Villanova Trio: Brunson (24 pts, 8 reb), Hart (21 pts, Playoff career-high 15 reb) and DiVincenzo (19 pts, 4 3s) combined for 64 points.

Embiid makes history in loss: Joel Embiid (34 pts, 10 reb) posted his 15th Playoff game with 30+ pts and 10+ reb, passing Wilt Chamberlain for the most in Sixers history.

  • Embiid still confident: “We’re going to win this series. We know what we’ve got to fix and we did a better job today, so we’re going to fix it. But we’re the better team and we’re going to keep fighting.”

Maxey does it all: Tyrese Maxey (Playoff career-high 35 pts, 10 ast, 9 reb) joined Wilt and AI as the only Sixers to post a 35/10/5 Playoff game.


Cavs hold home court: In a matchup of two defensive heavyweights, the early advantage has gone to the Cavs, who held the Magic below 90 points for the second straight game to take a 2-0 series lead after Monday’s 96-86 win. | Recap

  • Mitchell’s fast start: Donovan Mitchell set the tone early, scoring 14 of his 23 points in the 1st quarter as Cleveland built a double-digit lead and never trailed
  • Chairman of the Boards: Jarrett Allen (16 pts, 20 reb, 3 blk) became the first Cavalier to post 15+ pts and 15+ reb in back-to-back Playoff games. He’s the third Cav to tally 20 boards in a Playoff game (joining Kevin Love and Brad Daugherty)
  • Allen on Cleveland’s improvement from last year’s playoffs: “It’s very satisfying. It shows that we’ve grown not only as a team, but as individuals. We’re not folding under pressure. We do have our moments, but as a whole I feel like we’ve taken a huge step.”


Wolves-Suns Game 2, 7:30 ET on TNT (MIN Leads, 1-0)

Just a month into his second NBA season, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft leaned over and made a prediction to Steph Curry.

“I’m about to go for 50,” said Anthony Edwards.

He came up 2 shy.

“I don’t care who I’m going against,” Edwards said after that November 2021 game. “I’m not worried about them. But I would say the one I was looking forward to going against was Kevin Durant. He was my favorite player.”

  • Edwards had called KD his GOAT in an interview on Taylor Rooks’ Take It There going into Draft, “Because he’s 7 feet and can do everything a point guard can do.”
  • Though going into Draft night, he told Rooks “When I enter the league it’s not gonna be a favorite no more. I’m gonna be my favorite.

Two and a half years later, Ant and Durant produced one of the signature moments of the Playoffs’ first weekend – not to mention Edwards’ young career.

  • When Ant capped an 18-point heat check in the 3rd with a shifty 3 over KD, he let Durant know about it on the way back, as both players smiled.
  • Said Edwards: “That’s my favorite player of all time, so that was probably one of the best feelings ever in my whole life, for sure.”

The moment fused together two of the game’s biggest stars, separated by a basketball generation: Edwards’ 6th Playoff 30-point game made him 2nd on the Wolves’ all-time list (Kevin Garnett has 7), while KD’s 76th moved him to 4th in NBA history.

It marked a new leap in the superstar rise of Anthony Edwards. And it showed just how similar Edwards and his idol’s roads have become.

  • Year three: Both reached their first NBA All-Star Games in their third seasons, with Durant becoming the youngest scoring champ in history, and Edwards becoming the youngest player to hit 10 treys. Both shined as their teams lost in the first round to eventual champs
  • The year after: Both players lifted their teams to the West elite, with the Thunder taking the No. 4 seed, and the Wolves at or near No. 1 for most of the year
  • Youngest to 6K: This January, Edwards became the 3rd youngest player to score 6K points. Ahead of him? LeBron and KD
  • Two of five, ever: The pair join Trae Young, Devin Booker and Luka Doncic as the only five players in NBA history to tally 300 points and 25 3PM in their first 12 Playoff games

The similarities go beyond the stats. Look at the way they both move.


Bucks-Pacers Game 2, 8:30 ET on NBA TV (MIL Leads, 1-0)

In his Bucks Playoff debut, Damian Lillard closed the 1st quarter with a side-step 3 from 29 feet that splashed at the buzzer.

  • The crowd erupted inside Fiserv Forum
  • Dame had 19 points … and 8 words:
  • “This is what y’all brought me here for”

Lillard scored 16 more in the 2nd quarter to give him a franchise-record 35 at the half.

  • He didn’t score again. He didn’t have to. The Bucks cruised to a 109-94 win
  • With two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo out with a calf injury, having a player with Dame’s pedigree for Playoff heroics takes on greater importance

In case you need a reminder of how Dame Time came to be, tap here for some of his greatest all-time clutch Playoff buckets … and keep going for two of the biggest shots in First Round history.

May 2, 2014: Blazers vs. Rockets, Game 6

We rewind a decade to Dame’s Playoff debut in his sophomore season.

  • Leading 3-2, the Blazers could clinch at home
  • Portland trailed by 2 with 0.9 seconds left
  • Dame sprinted toward the sideline where Nic Batum was inbounding the ball, leaving his defender in the dust, capitalizing on Houston’s defensive confusion
  • Catch. Shoot. Splash. Game over. Series over
  • Watch The Shot

April 23, 2019: Blazers vs. Thunder, Game 5

The first step toward the West Finals began with Dame Time vs. OKC.

  • Leading 3-1, the Blazers could clinch at home
  • A Dame layup tied the game with 33 seconds left
  • An OKC miss gave Dame the final shot
  • Dribbling the clock down near logo range, Dame side-stepped and pulled up from 37 feet over Paul George
  • The 3 dropped at the buzzer. Game over. Series over. Again.
  • Watch The Shot
  • Said Dame: “That was a tie game, we’re going to overtime if I miss, so I really wasn’t worried that time.”

The only question now is what will he have in store for tonight’s Game 2 in Milwaukee?