The 2021 NBA Playoffs are in full swing and the games have brought drama, intensity, and a few surprises. Friday night sees a trio of Game 3s as two teams have the chance to take a stranglehold in their respective series and another looks to grab the edge in theirs.
If you missed any of the action from Thursday night’s NBA playoff games, we’ve got you covered with our recap.
Here is a preview of Friday’s matchups:
(4) New York Knicks at (5) Atlanta Hawks – Series tied 1-1
Without a doubt, the first two games of this matchup have been worth the hype. So why should Game 3 be any different?
Trae Young caused drama after his Game 1 performance that even caught the attention of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In Game 2, fans at Madison Square Garden booed Young every time he touched the ball and sent raucous verbal abuse his way. A Knicks fan was banned for life after spitting on the Hawks’ star player.
Now the series shifts to Atlanta for the next two games. Young had 30 points in Game 2 but that was not enough for the Hawks to steal both games in New York. The Knicks took care of the inside, allowing Atlanta to score just 28 points in the paint.
New York’s Derrick Rose posted 26 points as he helped rally the Knicks to come back from a 13-point second-half deficit. Julius Randle, voted the NBA’s Most Improved Player, scored 15 points and 12 rebounds.
However, it will be a different scene in the ATL. The Hawks are 19-2 in their last 21 home games and this will be a big test for both teams in a game that could come down to the last shot.
Where to watch
Time: 7:00 PM ET
(2) Brooklyn Nets at (7) Boston Celtics – BKN leads 2-0
Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving have been a handle for the Boston Celtics to get a handle on through the first two games. If they can’t figure out how to contain them in Game 3, their season will be all but over.
Brooklyn has seen success in guarding Boston’s Jayson Tatum, who scored nine points in 21 minutes on Tuesday in the Game 2 defeat. In two games, Tatum has posted 31 total points on 9-of-32 shooting from the floor.
Meanwhile, the Nets are looking to take a commanding 3-0 series lead and finish off the Celtics. Brooklyn had a 14-point lead after the first quarter in Game 2 and a 24-point lead by halftime and never looked back.
Joe Harris scored 25 points, hitting seven three-pointers. The Nets dished out 31 assists and shot 52.3 percent from the field in the win.
Where to watch:
Time: 8:30 PM ET
(4) LA Clippers at (5) Dallas Mavericks – DAL leads 2-0
Teams with a 2-0 series lead have won the series 93.7 percent of the time in league history and the Dallas Mavericks are hoping that trend continues as their series shifts to Texas.
The Mavericks are in a prime position in Game 3 on Friday night against the LA Clippers after winning the first two games of the series in Los Angeles. The Clippers have had no answer for Luka Doncic, who scored 39 points in Game 2 on 16-of-29 shooting from the field.
If the Clippers couldn’t win in their own building, they will have a hard time stopping Doncic in front of 15,000 fans at the AAC on Friday night.
Where to watch:
Time: 9:30 PM ET
For more on the 2021 NBA playoffs, visit our first round series guide for previews, schedule, TV information and more.