Celtics moving on following rare four-game sweep
The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS — Gordon Hayward and Marcus Morris took care of some housecleaning Sunday.
They dusted off their 3-point shooting touch in time to help the Boston Celtics complete a clean sweep.
Hayward scored 20 points, Morris added 18 and the duo combined for five 3s over the final 5¢ minutes to give Boston a 110-106 victory and its first 4-0 series victory in eight years.
“I knew there was going to be a spark off the bench. (On Sunday) and that person was Gordon Hayward,” All-Star guard Kyrie Irving said. “This is his city. I’m glad he had a chance to put on a performance like that in a closeout game.”
Just how rare is a sweep for a franchise with a league-record 17 titles?
Since 1986-87, the Celtics had done it just once — in the first round against the New York Knicks. And between the Celtics’ title-clinching sweep over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1958-59 and their perfect run through the 1985-86 Eastern Conference finals against Milwaukee, the Celtics achieved it just twice — in 1979 against Houston and in 1980 against Chicago.
So when coach Brad Stevens was asked Saturday about how he’d react if his players earned some time off, Stevens said he wasn’t sure.
Now, last year’s Eastern Conference runner-ups can start a new to-do list with a potential matchup looming against the top-seeded Bucks.
“It’s going to take everything we have,” Hayward said. “That’s why it’s good we finished this series. We can rest up, prepare, and have some extra time.”
Warriors up 3-1
LOS ANGELES — A little scoreboard watching inspired Klay Thompson and Golden State. Seeing Houston up 3-0 on Utah combined with having dropped a game at home, the Warriors got back to business.
Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Thompson added 32 in a 113-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday that gave the Warriors a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
“We came in with that mindset to put our foot on the throttle and not let go,” Thompson said. “We let go in Game 2 and we won’t do that the rest of the playoffs. I really believe that.”
After a quiet 12 points in Game 3, Thompson broke out for 27 points by halftime, when Durant had 19.
“In the first quarter, we really didn’t need to do anything special. Klay was just amazing. K.D. was consistent the whole game,” Stephen Curry said. “For us, obviously with the threats we have out there, it is just a matter of trying to be as patient as possible.”
Curry’s patience was tried as he missed his first six shots and was in foul trouble for the second straight game before finishing with 12 points. Andrew Bogut fouled out with 5:50 remaining in the game with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Game 5 is Wednesday in Oakland.
Raptors in control
ORLANDO, Fla. — Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 107-85 on Sunday night to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Pascal Siakam and Norman Powell each scored 16 for the Raptors, who can advance with a home win in Game 5 on Tuesday. Toronto has now won three consecutive postseason games, only the third time that’s happened in franchise history.
Aaron Gordon scored 25 for the Magic.
Nets GM suspended
NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks was suspended one game without pay and fined $25,000 by the NBA on Sunday for entering the referees’ locker room after Brooklyn’s loss to Philadelphia in Game 4 of their playoff series.
The Nets lost 112-108 on Saturday in a game in which Brooklyn’s Jared Dudley and Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler were ejected after a scuffle broke out following Joel Embiid’s flagrant foul against Jarrett Allen in the third quarter.
The Nets were already angry about a flagrant foul Embiid committed against Allen in Game 2, believing it should have warranted an ejection, and coach Kenny Atkinson complained that the 76ers held Allen before he turned the ball over on the Nets’ last chance to tie Saturday’s game. Atkinson said coaches were told that wrapping players as they tried to roll to the basket would be a point of emphasis this season.
The NBA agreed with Atkinson on Sunday in its Last 2 Minutes report, determining that Tobias Harris should have been called for a foul.