NBA playoffs enter semi final stage

Joel Embiid had a play-off career-high 40 points as the Philadelphia 76ers levelled their Eastern Conference semi-final series with the Atlanta Hawks.

The 76ers won 118-102 at home to make it 1-1 in the best-of-seven series. Earlier on Tuesday, Embiid came second to Nikola Jokic in voting for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2020-21.

The Denver Nuggets player  became the lowest-drafted MVP in NBA history and the first player in franchise history to win the award.

Elsewhere the Utah Jazz, the number one seed for the play-offs, opened their Western Conference semi-final by edging a 112-109 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

On Tuesday Kevin Durant scored 32 points in three quarters to help the Brooklyn Nets cruise to an empathic 125-86 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks . The win means they take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series.

The Nets, without James Harden who had a tight hamstring, led by 49 points in the fourth quarter.

The victory is their fifth double-digit win of the post-season. Game three is in Milwaukee on Thursday night, with the series winners to face the Atlanta Hawks or the Philadelphia 76ers for a place in next month’s NBA Finals.

Atlanta lead that series 1-0. Elsewhere, the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets 122-105 in game one of the Western Conference semi-finals.

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