NBA Conference Finals Begin Tuesday

Sunday was a day of firsts in the NBA. There were a pair of Game 7s, and never before had both road teams won those games to advance to the next round. But early in the afternoon, facing a hostile Madison Square Garden crowd, the Indiana Pacers ran away with the win, beating the New York Knicks on their home floor for the first time in the series.

The final score was 130-109, with the Pacers shooting an NBA playoff record 67.1% from the floor.

In the nightcap, it looked like the Denver Nuggets were going to be the equivalent to the Pacers. Early in the third quarter, they pushed their halftime lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves from 15 to 20 points. The Wolves had no answer for Jamal Murray, who scored 27 first half points, or Nikola Jokić, who had 15 rebounds by halftime.

But then something clicked defensively for Minnesota, and something inexplicable happened to Denver. Over the last 22 minutes of basketball, Denver would score only 32 more points, and Minnesota would score 62. From down 20 to a 10-point win, everything that could go right for the Timberwolves did.

It was the largest Game 7 comeback in the league in 25 years, and for the first time in 20 years, the Timberwolves are in the Western Conference Finals.

Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics

The Eastern Conference Finals tip off on Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston. After extended rest waiting for their opponent to be decided, the Boston Celtics come into this series as the heavy favorite to win.

Boston is paying -1000 to win the series, with five games being the most likely number of games that it will take.

In Game 1, the Celtics are 9.5 point favorites at home, with the big two expected to have high-scoring games. The over/under on Jayson Tatum is 29.5 points scored, and Jaylen Brown’s over/under is 24.5.

A Celtics sweep is paying +210.

Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves

Oddsmakers are expecting a much better series in the Western Conference Finals, with the Timberwolves at -170 to beat the Dallas Mavericks. In Game 1, to be held on Wednesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis, the home team is favored by four points.

In the regular season, the Timberwolves won three of the four games they played against Dallas, including both of the games that were played in Minnesota.

Anthony Edwards struggled in Sunday’s Game 7 against the Nuggets, scoring just 16 points on a terrible 6-for-24 from the floor. In his most recent game against Dallas back in January, he scored just nine points. But in the two games against the Mavs prior to that, he went for 36 points and 44 points.

Luka Dončić and the Mavs closed out the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 on Saturday, with the Slovenian star finishing that game with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was his third consecutive triple-double. He only played in two of the games against the Timberwolves this season, scoring 39 points in December, and 34 points in a game in January.

The shortest odds are a Timberwolves win in seven games. The longest odds are a Mavericks sweep.

The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin on June 6.

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