April 26, 2023 -Denver and Phoenix are headed to a second-round matchup, and Atlanta extended its season.
The Nuggets eliminated Minnesota in five games, the Suns eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers in five games — but Boston couldn’t get it done, falling to the Hawks in Game 5 of their matchup. The Celtics are still up 3-2 in the series.
Denver-Phoenix is the first conference semifinal matchup to be locked in. Philadelphia is in the second round but is awaiting an opponent, and the other five spots in the NBA’s Elite Eight remain unclaimed.
Three teams can clinch series Wednesday, all bringing 3-1 leads into road games.
In the East, fifth-seeded New York is at fourth-seeded Cleveland and eighth-seeded Miami is at top-seeded Milwaukee. In the West, the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers visit second-seeded Memphis.
There is also a Game 5 on Wednesday in the Golden State-Sacramento series, tied 2-2.
There is one game Thursday, with Boston taking a 3-2 lead into Atlanta. If all goes right, the Atlanta Falcons might make their NFL draft first-round pick around the end of the first quarter and the New England Patriots should pick around halftime.
HOW TO WATCH
— Wednesday’s Lakers-Memphis and Golden State-Sacramento games are on TNT. The New York-Cleveland and Miami-Milwaukee games are on NBA TV.
— Thursday’s Boston-Atlanta game is on TNT.
— All those games will be available through local broadcasters.
— The NBA Finals on ABC begin June 1.
I’M SORRY, MS. JACKSON
Game 6 of Boston-Atlanta will put Janet Jackson on the bench.
The pop icon was scheduled to have concerts in Atlanta on Wednesday and Thursday. But, in a bit of nasty scheduling, Atlanta stretching its series to Thursday forced State Farm Arena to move Jackson’s second show to Friday.