NBA playoff tracker: Dame Time pushes Blazers over Nuggets in Game 1

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DENVER, COLORADO - MAY 22: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers brings the ball down the court against Monte Morris #11 of the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter during Game One of their Western Conference first-round playoff series at Ball Arena on May 22, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard looked like Damian Lillard in Game 1. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Welcome to the Yahoo Sports NBA playoff tracker, your daily one-stop shop for all the latest game results from each NBA playoff series. Here's a look at Saturday's games.

Dame Time gives Blazers win over Nuggets in Game 1

The first night of the NBA playoffs closed with a dominant performance from Damian Lillard.

Behind Lillard's 34 points (10-of-25 shooting, 5-of-12 from deep) and playoff career-high 13 assists, the Portland Trail Blazers topped the Denver Nuggets 123-109 to take a 1-0 series lead.

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The Blazers pulled away at the end of the third quarter after a back-and-forth game, closing the period on an 8-0 run to build up a 10-point lead. The Nuggets twice fought back to within four points in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers responded both times for the win.

On the Nuggets' side, Nikola Jokic posted 34 points on 14-of-27 shooting and 16 rebounds, but the Blazers' decision to not double team him in the post paid off. The presumptive MVP finished with only one assist, the lowest mark of his career in the playoffs.

The absences of Jamal Murray (torn ACL) and Will Barton (hamstring) were also tough obstacles for the Nuggets to overcome. Barton may return at some point in the series, but the Nuggets are going to have to figure out how to make do without Murray if they want to survive.

Kevin Durant's game-high 32 points help Nets hold off Celtics

The inevitability of the Brooklyn Nets hit in the third quarter.

The Boston Celtics took a six-point lead into halftime, but consecutive 3-pointers from James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the opening minutes of the third quarter gave the Nets a lead they never relinquished. The result was a 104-93 Brooklyn victory that was predictable only by the final score.

Durant logged game highs of 32 points and 12 rebounds. Irving added 29 points. Harden finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Game 1 of their first-round series marked only the ninth time all season Brooklyn's three superstars played together, and it was anything but smooth through two quarters.

Still, the Nets nabbed a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

The Celtics got off to a blistering shooting start, converting nine of their 17 first-half 3-pointers. Jayson Tatum scored 15 of his 22 points before the half, and Marcus Smart (17 points) served as Boston's second option with Kemba Walker struggling to find his stroke and the injured Jaylen Brown on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, the Nets made just one of their 13 first-half 3-point attempts. Durant, Irving and Harden were a combined 11 for 32 from the field at the break. But a run from arguably the greatest collection of offensive players in NBA history always seemed right around the corner, and it came in the third quarter. Durant, Irving and Harden alone outscored the Celtics in the frame, 28-20, on nine fewer shots. It's almost unfair.

Inspired play from Celtics reserve center Robert Williams (11 points, nine rebounds, nine blocks) helped the Celtics stay within a possession early in the fourth quarter, but the Nets ripped off another run. Durant and Irving combined for 14 points in a 17-2 run that put the game out of reach at 99-82 with 2:21 remaining. 

Mavericks hold off Clippers behind Luka Doncic's triple-double

Luka Doncic picked up right where he left off last time he faced the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs.

The Dallas Mavericks pulled out a 113-103 win over the Clippers in Game 1 of their first-round rematch on Saturday, behind a triple-double from Doncic. The Slovenian star finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, not far off from his average of 31.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists in last season's playoffs.

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The Mavericks led for most of the first three quarters, but the game saw several lead changes over the course of the fourth. The score eventually hit 100-100 with about three minutes left, at which point the Mavs pulled out a 9-2 run to take the lead for good.

Similar to their series last year, which the Clippers eventually won 4-2, the Mavericks benefited from strong shooting from their supporting cast. Dorian Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined to shoot 9-of-16 from 3-point range, while Jalen Brunson had 15 points off the bench on 4-of-7 shooting.

Contrast that to the Clippers, who led the NBA in 3-point percentage (41.4 percent) during the regular season. Despite some strong shot creation, the team went 11-for-40 (27.5 percent) from deep and missed their final seven shots.

They at least got to watch Kawhi Leonard do this, though:

The win continues the Mavericks' curious record of 27-0 leading after the first quarter. Game 2 is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

Khris Middleton's game-winner give Bucks OT win

If the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat play every game of the series like Game 1, NBA fans are in for a treat. The Bucks and Heat traded blows all contest, but the Bucks landed the knockout punch in overtime, winning 109-107 and taking a series lead.

The Bucks needed overtime to pull ahead. Prior to that, the game was close all the way through. At the end of the first quarter, the Heat led by 2 points. At halftime, the Bucks had a 3-point lead. And heading into the fourth, the Bucks led by just 2 points.

Things remained tight down the stretch, as the Bucks and Heat continued to keep things close in the waning seconds of regulation. The Heat were helped out by a 10-second violation and some crucial free-throw misses by Giannis Antetokounmpo at the end of the fourth quarter. 

With the Heat down 2 and just 8 seconds left on the clock, Jimmy Butler hit a game-tying shot to tie things up at the end of the fourth quarter. 

The teams continued going back and forth in overtime. With the game tied and just seconds left on the clock, Khris Middleton put the Heat away for good.

Antetokounmpo and Middleton paved the way for the Bucks, which had four players finish the contest with double digits in points. Middleton led with 27 points. Antetokounmpo wasn't far behind, finishing with 26 points.

The Heat also spread the wealth, finishing with five players who scored in the double digits. While Heat star Butler was among that group, he struggled from the field, going just 4-22. He finished the contest with 17 points. 

Butler was picked up by Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic. Robinson went 7-13 from the field with 24 points. Every one of Robinson's 13 shots came from 3-point range. Dragic went 10-17 from the floor and finished with 25 points. 

With the victory, the Bucks took a one-game lead in the best-of-seven series. The Heat will look to even things up in Game 2, which will take place Monday.

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