2022 NBA Playoffs: Looking at top highlights from first round originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The highlights have been nonstop in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Less than a week into the postseason, there have already been a handful of iconic plays. Between game-winners, poster dunks and sideline celebrations, every night of the first round has provided a highlight that will be played back for years to come.
Lucky for basketball fans, the action is just getting started. Here’s a running list of the best highlights from each night of the 2022 NBA Playoffs so far:
April 20: Joel Embiid gets some revenge on the Raptors
Aiming at the same rim where Kawhi Leonard’s unforgettable Game 7 shot bounced and dropped in to send the Raptors past the Sixers in the 2019 playoffs, Joel Embid needed nothing but net to deliver a game-winner of his own on Wednesday.
With the Sixers and Raptors tied at 101 with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime and 0.9 seconds on the shot clock, the MVP finalist hit a 3-pointer turnaround to silence the Scotiabank Arena crowd. The play came after a disjointed end to regulation and an even more confounding possession in OT, one that head coach Doc Rivers was able to salvage with a timeout.
Embiid’s dagger gave him 33 points for the Game 3 victory and put Philadelphia on the brink of a first-round sweep.
April 19: Devin Booker fist bumps a baby
Some playoff moments are ones that we’ll never forget. In Game 2 between the Suns and Pelicans, a baby had one that they will probably never remember.
Devin Booker torched the Pelicans for 16 points in the first quarter and capped it off with a fadeaway, baseline jumper in the final second. From the sideline floor, Booker turned to his left and fist bumped a baby to celebrate the insane shot.
April 18: Maxi Kleber lights up the Jazz
Brunson scored a career-high 41 points to carry the scoring load, while Kleber was on fire from outside the arc. The German forward hit 8 3-pointers off the bench, including back-to-back triples that gave the Mavs a late lead that they would not relinquish.
April 17: Celtics win thanks to Jayson Tatum’s spin
Down one point in the final minute, Boston got its biggest stop of the game by stymying Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Instead of calling a timeout, the Celtics moved the ball up the floor. Jaylen Brown passed to Marcus Smart, who up-faked and found a cutting Tatum dashing towards the basket. The 24-year-old forward corralled the pass, spun around Irving and hit a layout at the buzzer to give the Celtics a 1-0 series advantage.
April 16: Karl-Anthony Towns dunks all over Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. will likely end up on a 2021-22 NBA All-Defensive Team, but he may also end up on some posters in the Twin Cities.
Karl-Anthony Towns detonated on Jackson in the third quarter of Game 1 between the Timberwolves and Grizzlies. As an added bonus for Towns and Minnesota, Jackson picked up a technical foul for shoving Jaden McDaniels after the play.
Minnesota pulled away in the fourth quarter, winning 130-117 and earning a 1-0 lead in the series.