2021 NBA Playoffs
Tune-In Tidbits: TNT/NBA TV Thursday, May 27, 2021
Get ready for Thursday's trio of Game 3s with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
• After needing a Khris Middleton game-winning jumper with a second left in overtime to win Game 1, the Bucks blitzed the Heat early in Game 2 – won the first quarter 46-20 – and never trailed in a 132-98 win to take a 2-0 series lead. Milwaukee made a playoff franchise record 22 3-pointers in 53 attempts; of the 10 Bucks that played at least eight minutes in Game 2, only Brook Lopez did not make at least one 3-point shot.
• Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to be the primary defender on Jimmy Butler in Game 2 and held Butler scoreless and with only one shot attempt in 4:01 of matchup time. Through two games, Giannis has held Butler to five points on 2-7 shooting, four assists, three turnovers and blocked one of Butler’s shots in 12:10 of matchup time.
• Dewayne Dedmon (19) and Goran Dragic (18) were Miami’s top two scorers in Game 2, both coming off the bench. Through the first two games of the series, the Bucks starters have outscored the Heat starters 82.5 to 56.5. Miami holds a slight edge in bench scoring, 46.0 to 38.0, but has not be enough to make up the difference.
• The Bucks have dominated the glass through the first two games of this series. Milwaukee leads all playoff teams in total rebounds (62.5 per game), offensive (18.0) and defensive (44.5) rebounds. The Bucks are averaging a playoff-high 21.0 second-chance points.
• The Bucks have allowed a playoff-low 54.1% shooting at the rim through the first two games of this series, while the Heat have allowed 70.6% – the seventh-highest percentage allowed among the 16 playoff teams.
• After finishing with just 13 points and seven rebounds in the Lakers’ Game 1 loss, Anthony Davis bounced back with a 34-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist performance to lead the Lakers to a Game 2 win. Dating back to last year’s playoff run, the Lakers’ success goes hand-in-hand with Davis’ performances.
• The Lakers will host their first playoff game since 2013 as last year’s championship run came in the Orlando bubble, and the Lakers had missed the playoffs for a team-record six seasons prior to 2020. The Lakers were swept in the 2013 playoffs, meaning their last home playoff win at Staples Center came on May 18, 2012 against Oklahoma City in a Western Conference semifinal series that the Thunder would win in five games.
• The team that has scored the most points off turnovers has won the first two games of this series – the Lakers were plus-16 in Game 2 (21-5) and the Suns were plus-6 (18-12) in Game 1. During the regular season, the Suns allowed only 14.8 points off turnovers per game (4th in NBA) and just 12.0 in three games against the Lakers.
• LeBron James had 23 points in 38:54 (second in time played for the Lakers to Davis), including a team-high four 3-pointers; however, he was held scoreless by primary defender Mikal Bridges in 5:23 of matchup time. Bridges has defended LeBron for 12:49 over the first two games of the series, allowing just five points on 2-5 shooting, four assists and two turnovers. LeBron’s most favorable matchup has been with Cameron Johnson as LeBron has 11 points on 4-6 shooting in 3:58 of matchup time.
• Deandre Ayton followed up his 10-11 shooting performance in Game 1 by going 11-13 in Game 2. Through two games, Ayton is averaging 21.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and shooting 85.7% (21-24) from the field – the second-highest field goal percentage of any player with at least 10 shot attempts.
• Nikola Jokic led six Nuggets in double figures with 38 points on 15-20 shooting from the field to lead the Nuggets to a 128-109 win to even the series at 1-1. Through two games, Jokic is averaging 36 points on 61.7% shooting, but has only six total assists after averaging 8.3 per game during the regular season.
• Damian Lillard finished with 42 points and 10 assists in the loss. It was Lillard’s second career 40-10 playoff game; since 1984, only three other players have multiple 40-10 playoff games – LeBron James (5), Michael Jordan (3) and Russell Westbrook (2).
• Turnovers doomed the Blazers in Game 2 as they committed a season-high 21 turnovers, after leading the league in fewest turnovers per game during the regular season at 11.1 per game – the lowest mark since turnovers became an official statistic in 1977.
• While both teams grabbed 10 offensive rebounds during Game 2, Denver converted their extra opportunities into 19 second-chance points, while Portland had just four. Those putbacks also helped the Nuggets dominate the points in the paint battle 54-32. The Nuggets ranked in the top 10 in both second-chance points (13.8, 6th) and points in the paint (49.7, 8th) during the regular season.
• The Blazers shot 16-33 (48.5%) from 3-point range in their Game 2 loss. Since 1984, there have been 44 instances when a team has made at least 16 3-pointers and shot 48% or better. The Blazers are one of only four teams that have lost such a game.