Ja Morant scores 47, but Donovan Mitchell and Jazz win
Welcome to Yahoo Sports NBA playoff tracker, your daily one-stop-shop for all the latest results from each NBA playoff series. Here’s a look at Wednesday’s games.
Ja Morant made history in his second game in the playoffs alone, scoring a record 47 points for the Memphis Grizzlies, also a career-high.
But that wasn’t enough as the Utah Jazz hosted Donovan Mitchell and claimed the 141-129 victory in Game 2 of their Western Conference First Round playoff series Wednesday in Salt Lake City. The series is tied at 1-1.
Morant scored 73 points in his first two playoff games, the most of any player since George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers had 75 in the 1949 season in the Basketball Association of America.
Mitchell made his presence known early in his first game since injuring his ankle on April 16. The two-time All-Star Jazz dropped 12 points in the first quarter to reach 25 points.
The Jazz built a 20-point halftime lead, but the Grizzlies eroded in the third quarter and reduced the lead to two points. But Utah was not going away and pulled off a 10-0 run underlined by two monster dunks from Rudy Gobert.
Gobert had his second straight double-double in the playoffs, 21 points and 13 boards, and a block worthy of the best moments on Morant.
Utah broke a playoff franchise record of 19 at 3 points, led by Mitchell’s five.
Mike Conley also had a double-double for Utah with 20 points and 15 assists. The 15 assists correspond to his career high.
The Grizzlies have faced fouling issues throughout with Dillion Brooks, Jonas Valanciunas, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Morant having to sit down multiple times.
Brooks scored 23 points, while Valanciunas had 18 and Jackson added 16.
Game 3 is at 9:30 p.m. ET on Saturday in Memphis.
Knicks mount furious 2nd-half rally to tie series with Hawks
New York Knicks fans were ready for Trae Young.
For a half, the New York Knicks weren’t.
The Atlanta Hawks goalie / newly crowned Madison Square Garden villain exploded for 20 points in the first half on Wednesday as Atlanta took a 57-44 halftime lead, threatening to run away with a lead of 2-0 on the New York ground.
But the Knicks weren’t down for the count. New York responded after halftime with a 32-18 run in the third quarter to extend a 76-75 lead in the fourth. With the MSG rocking, the Knicks finished the job in fourth to claim a 101-92 win and tie the series at 1-1.
Derrick Rose leads the way and takes the start of the second half
Derrick Rose led the charge. After scoring 14 points off the bench in the first half, he started in the crucial third quarter. By the time he was done, he had scored 26 points, a high for the team, with four assists and four rebounds.
Julius Randle had another miserable start, scoring two points in the first half on the heels of Game 1’s 6-of-23 effort on the field. But he accelerated after halftime and finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. His 5-of-16 effort from the field is an ongoing, but secondary concern for the Knicks following Wednesday’s victory.
Rookie Obi Toppin made the most of his limited run, totaling eight points and three rebounds in just 12 minutes of play while adding a rocking alley-oop in the second half that brought MSG to his collective feet.
The Knicks needed a big effort from everyone involved as the Hawks refused to fade, tying the game 91-91 with just over five minutes to go. Young continued to suffer antagonism from Knicks fans who added a chant on his hairline to the most vulgar taunts that made the headlines of Game One.
He finished with 30 points and seven assists on 11 of 20 shots, including a 4 of 7 effort from a distance of 3 points. But his teammates’ cold shot down the home stretch ultimately doomed the Hawks, who shot 36.9 percent from the field and allowed the Knicks to end the game in a 10-1 run.
The series changes locations to State Farm Arena in Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday, where the participation cap was increased to 7,625, or just under half the arena’s capacity. These fans will surely do their best to give the Knicks a taste of the welcome their Hawks have received at MSG.
76ers dominate Wizards to lead 2-0
Ben Simmons set the tone early on for the Philadelphia 76ers, and they clinched a 120-95 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. The victory gives the Sixers a 2-0 lead in the series in the first round.
Simmons had 22 points on 11 of 15 shots, nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals in just 29 minutes. The 6-foot-10 point guard posted smaller vault defenders, dominating the post.
Joel Embiid added 22 points and seven rebounds, and Tobias Harris contributed 19 points and nine rebounds for the Sixers. Philadelphia’s top three players totaled 28 for 40 on the field.
No Sixers starters took the field in the fourth quarter. A bench formation of George Hill, Tyrese Maxey, Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle and Dwight Howard extended a 14-point three-quarter advantage to take a 27-point lead halfway through the fourth. The Sixers shot 56% from the field as a team and made nine of their 21 3-point attempts (43%). They have never been led by less than 12 points in the second half.
Bradley Beal scored a high 33 points for the Wizards on 14 of 28 shots. His Washington teammates combined to shoot 36 percent from the field. The Wizards were just 2 for 22 on a 3-point range. Washington star Russell Westbrook suffered an ankle injury 92 seconds after the fourth quarter and did not return. He had 10 points on 2 of 10 shots, 11 assists and six rebounds at the time of his injury.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night in Washington at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
More from Yahoo Sports: