Skip to main content


Thunder, Nuggets aim to advance in NBA playoff tripleheader on TSN

Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets LeBron James, Nikola Jokic - The Canadian Press

The NBA playoffs continue on TSN Monday night as two teams look to close out their respective series, while one team looks to take a stranglehold on theirs. 

The Boston Celtics aim to win their second-straight game in Miami and take a 3-1 lead over the Heat in tonight’s Game 4. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder can complete the sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans and move on to the second round for the first time since 2015-16, while the defending champion Denver Nuggets have another opportunity to eliminate LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers after dropping Game 4 on Saturday.

Watch the Celtics and Heat Game 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT on TSN1, the TSN App, and, immediately followed by Game 5 of the Nuggets and Lakers at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with the same programming details. Watch the Thunder and Pelicans at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on TSN3, the TSN App, and

After a wire-to-wire win over the Heat in Game 3, the Celtics aim to take control and head back to Boston with a chance to close out the series in Game 5. The Celtics are 6-1 in their past seven playoff games in Miami and have won nine of their past 11, including the regular season.

Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla says his team’s ability to execute under pressure helped them rebound from a disappointing Game 2 loss at home.

“We didn't make too many adjustments,” Mazzulla said after Game 3. “We played a little bit harder, we played harder, and we dictated the physicality and the tempo of the game. It's the simple things that you have to do under a high level of stress, high level of adversity. I thought our guys did a great job of dictating that tonight.”

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 22 for the Celtics in the Game 3 victory. Boston is now 15-4 this season in games immediately following a loss. 

The Heat will once again be without Jimmy Butler (knee) and Terry Rozier (neck) as both continue to deal with injuries. Despite Miami missing their star player, Tatum says it will not be easy closing out last year's Eastern Conference champions.

“They're a great team, great organization, very well-coached,” Tatum said. “They play hard and they're going to compete every single night.”

In New Orleans, the Thunder are looking to roll into the second round after a 106-85 win over the Pelicans in Game 3. After a close two-point win in Game 1, Oklahoma City has answered questions about their youth and lack of playoff experience, blowing out the Pelicans in the next two games.

“We were ready to play,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said after Game 3. “Our physicality again, our defence and focus on that end of the floor was really, really good, made them earn everything. And I thought that set the tone.”

The Thunder defence has been suffocating, holding the Pelicans to 92 points or fewer in the first three games of the series. 

The Pelicans, who have been without star forward Zion Williamson due to a hamstring injury, will try to send the series back to Oklahoma City.

“It’s not over,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said of his message to the team. "Look, we’ve got another game here at home and we’re not going to fix all of our issues tonight. Go home, have a good meal and we’ll come back (Sunday) and practice and go over what we need to do and get ready for the next game.”

No team in NBA history has back from a 3-0 series deficit. 

“If we don’t win this one we’re out, so we don’t have anything to lose," Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram said. "We got to go out here and just give it our all and continue to push from there. Maybe we find a rhythm in this next game, and we can build off that.”

“You can’t take your foot off the gas no matter what the lead is in a series,” Thunder guard Josh Giddey said. “Neither team looks at this series as over.”

After avoiding a sweep at home in Game 4 on Saturday, the Lakers will once again try to extend the series on Monday night in Denver.

James has now faced elimination 27 times in his career and has gone 15-12 in those games. He scored 30 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in the 118-109 win.

“We’ve given ourselves another life," James said. "We’ve given ourselves another lifeline. It’s a one-game series for us. Monday’s game is the most important game of the season for us, and we understand that.”

“It’s tough to get swept,” Lakers forward/centre Anthony Davis said. “Nobody wants that feeling, especially going to the summer. You’ve got to live with that feeling for the rest of the summer. So, we didn’t really talk about it. We know what’s at stake. Nobody wants that feeling in your mouth for the rest of the summer. The way we played tonight is the way we have to play the rest of the series.”

Denver has started slowly in each game of the series, allowing the Lakers to jump out to double-digit leads in all four games. Nikola Jokic says the team would like to come out of the gates faster but is more concerned with how the team is able to respond and finish games in the second half.

“Of course we want to (start faster), but I learned in horse racing, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said the two-time MVP. “We didn’t finish today really well, so hopefully we can do a better job. But yes, we want to be up and control the game, but it seems like that didn’t happen to us.”

The Nuggets could be without point guard Jamal Murray, who is listed as questionable due to a calf strain. Murray appeared to be nursing the strain in the fourth quarter of Game 4 but didn't exit due to the injury. Murray missed 23 games this season due to various knee, ankle, and hamstring injuries and is shooting just 38 per cent from the field in the series.

With or without Murray, the Nuggets will now play at home with a chance to eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

“We have a chance to go home in front of the best fans in the world and try to close the series out,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.