What NBA Playoff games are on today, Sunday 8 May 2022?
The NBA playoff action continues on Sunday afternoon with games in Dallas and the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Crunch games in Dallas and Philadelphia tonight as the NBA semi-final playoff series reaches Game 4. For the Phoenix Suns, it will be a chance to extend their advantage ahead of Wednesday’s potentially decisive clashes. The Suns go into their matchup at the American Airlines Center 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after the Mavs clawed their way back into the tie led by the talismanic Luka Doncic. The Mavs won 103-94 last time out with Doncic just one assist away from completing a triple double (26 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, two steals). They also managed to keep Chris Paul subdued and put the dampeners on his 37th birthday. As head coach Jason Kidd explained afterwards, “Happy Birthday CP… We were active, our hands were active, we got deflections that led to steals. We came out aggressive”.
Suns coach Monty Williams is hoping for better from his team - he said after the Game 3 defeat, “We missed, by our calculations, around 20 shots around the basket that we normally make. When you see us at 94 points and 23 assists, that’s not a typical game for us. We couldn’t come out and run with the ball, we kept giving them extra possessions. We had a few mishaps on [Maxi] Kleber with the switches, a lack of communication or just execution. We’ll be better in all of those categories on Sunday”.
Dallas will be without Tim Hardaway Jr. who is out with a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot. The Suns meanwhile have two players on their casualty list - forward Torrey Craig is nursing an elbow injury and is listed as doubtful. Dario Saric underwent surgery to trim the meniscus in his right knee on Thursday and is out indefinitely.
Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of round 2 takes place on Sunday 8 May at the American Airlines Center, Dallas. Tip-off is at 3:30 p.m. EST / 12:30 p.m. PST. The best-of-seven series is currently tied at 2-1.
Sixers banking on Embiid presence
Later on Sunday, the Sixers welcome the Heat to the Wells Fargo Center hoping that a home crowd will inspire them to level their tie with Miami leading 1-2. Philadelphia have been slapped with a $50,000 fine for violating injury reporting rules ahead of Game 3. The NBA said the 76ers “failed to disclose center-forward Joel Embiid’s participation status in an accurate and timely manner.”
The Sixers remain alive after winning 99-79 on Friday, energised by Joel Embiid’s return. Embiid finished with a double-double - 18 points (five-of-12 shooting, eight-of-10 free throws) with 11 rebounds.
76ers coach Doc Rivers explained what Embiid brings to the team, telling the media, “It’s what he does, it’s his presence. He got some tough rebounds, all through the game. Every time they made a run and we needed a big rebound, Joel was the one that got it. And there’s stuff we can run, even though it’s not for Joel. But he’s involved. Just his presence allows us to run a lot of other things that we couldn’t run without him”.
Embiid and Isaiah Joe are both listed as questionable for the Sixers. Embiid, who has a fractured orbital, returned for Game 3 wearing a protective face mask. Shooting guard Isaiah Joe has a sprained ankle - both players will be assessed before the game.
The Heat go into Game 4 with seven players on the casualty list - all day-to-day status. Gaby Vincent (knee), Max Strus (hamstring) and Kyle Lowry (hamstring) are questionable. P.J. Tucker, Caleb Martin, Tyler Herro and Dewayne Dedmon will undergo late fitness tests.
Heat chief Erik Spoelstra knows that the 76ers are a different force with Embiid, “He’s a big impact, this is what you have to expect. He’s an MVP-calibre player and also usually in the running for defensive player of the year. We’re not expecting it to be easy. They were a very good team all year, so we’ll just have to figure it out”.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat in Game 4 of round 2 takes place on Sunday 8 May at the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. EST / 5 p.m. PST. The best-of-seven series is currently tied at 1-2.