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Friday’s NBA playoffs: Back from quarantine, Mike Conley leads Jazz over Nuggets

Associated Press

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — For four long days, Mike Conley was confined to his hotel in quarantine.

He wasn’t about to be contained on the court.

Conley made a career playoff-high seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points in his return from quarantine, helping the Utah Jazz rout the Denver Nuggets 124-87 on Friday for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Utah Jazz's Mike Conley (10) drives as Denver Nuggets' Monte Morris (11), Nikola Jokic (15), Michael Porter Jr. (1) and Jamal Murray, right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s a terrific player,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “I know how glad our guys were to see him back.”

Conley left the NBA bubble for the birth of his son and returned Monday night. He went through a four-day separation that ended Friday.

While in isolation, Conley said he got about 30 minutes of outside activity a day to work on his game.

There wasn’t a hint of rust as he made his series debut. He was 7 of 8 from 3-point range and had four assists.

“Being on that court was all I was thinking about other than my family,” Conley said. “Thankful to be back and looking forward to the rest of the series.”

The 37-point loss tied the third-worst in Denver’s playoff history. The record is 44 against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22, 1985.

The Nuggets had 17 turnovers and shot 37.5% from the floor. They were also 12 of 38 from 3-point range.

“They’re playing at a different level than us right now and we have to somehow find a way to not only match that but exceed that going into game No. 4,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Rudy Gobert had a career playoff-high 24 points for the sixth-seeded Jazz courtesy of numerous easy dunks and layups. He also had 14 rebounds.

“The good thing about tonight is we played our game,” Gobert said. “There’s nothing we did tonight that I haven’t seen this team doing before.”

Donovan Mitchell was held “in check” — as much as anyone can these days — with 20 points. He had a Jazz playoff-record 57 in Game 1 and 30 in Game 2.

Utah led by 25 in the second quarter and extended it to 39 in the fourth with all of the starters on the bench.

It’s the second straight lopsided win for the Jazz in the series after dropping Game 1 in overtime.

No time for complacency, though.

“I know the series can shift in so many ways,” Conley said. “We have to continue to keep fighting, continue to be consistent, play together and have fun while we do it.”

Nikola Jokic led third-seeded Denver with 15 points, while Jamal Murray had 12 points on 5 of 16 shooting.

“I just think we have a target on our back,” Murray said. “Teams are prepared for us, and they’ve been giving us all they got. They did that tonight, and sometimes we think we’re good and we’re down 12 at the end of the first. I just think we’ve got to hold ourselves to a higher standard individually, as a squad, as a third seed.”

L.A. Clippers 130, Dallas 122: Kawhi Leonard had 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, leading the Clippers over the Mavericks for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.

Luka Doncic had a triple-double but also limped off the court after spraining his left ankle in the third quarter. He returned to play a little of the fourth before checking out for good and going back to the locker room area.

The Clippers had been in control for a while by then, using a team-record, 45-point second quarter to build a big lead. And when Dallas cut it to eight midway through the fourth quarter, Leonard responded with a 3-pointer and left-handed dunk on consecutive Clippers' possessions to restore a comfortable lead.

Landry Shamet had 18 points for the Clippers, who bounced back from their loss in Game 2 even though Paul George shot poorly again. Ivica Zubac added 15.

Kristaps Porzingis had 34 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks. Seth Curry and Tim Hardaway Jr. each added 22 points.

Doncic finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists but had a rough night, shooting just 4 for 14 from the field and 4 for 10 from the foul line.

George shot 3 for 16. He was just 4 for 17 in Game 2.

Toronto 117, Brooklyn 92: Pascal Siakam scored 26 points and Toronto beat Brooklyn to take the first 3-0 lead in franchise history. The defending champs can eliminate the patchwork Nets on Sunday.

Fred VanVleet scored 22 points, shooting 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Serge Ibaka added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Tyler Johnson led the Nets with 23 points.

Boston 102, Philadelphia 94: Kemba Walker scored 24 points and the Boston Celtics closed with a 10-0 run to beat Philadelphia for a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

Jaylen Brown had 21 points and Jason Tatum added 15 for the Celtics.

Joel Embiid had 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead the 76ers. They shot 29.5% from the field.

Eastern Conference

Orlando 1, Milwaukee 1

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Orlando, 122, Milwaukee 110

Thursday, Aug. 20: Milwaukee 111, Orlando 96

Saturday, Aug. 22: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, 1 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 24: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 28: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Milwaukee vs. Orlando, TBD

Toronto 3, Brooklyn 0

Monday, Aug. 17: Toronto 134, Brooklyn 110

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Toronto 104, Brooklyn 99

Friday, Aug. 21: Toronto 117, Brooklyn 92

Sunday, Aug. 23: Toronto vs. Brooklyn, 6:30 p.m.

x-Tuesday, Aug. 25: Toronto vs. Brooklyn, TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 27: Toronto vs. Brooklyn, TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 29: Toronto vs. Brooklyn, TBD

Boston 3, Philadelphia 0

Monday, Aug. 17: Boston 109, Philadelphia 101

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Boston 128, Philadelphia 101

Friday, Aug. 21: Boston 102, Philadelphia 94

Sunday, Aug. 23: Boston vs. Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

x-Tuesday, Aug. 25: Boston vs. Philadelphia, TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 27: Boston vs. Philadelphia, TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 29: Boston vs. Philadelphia, TBD

Miami 2, Indiana 0

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Miami 113 Indiana 101

Thursday, Aug. 20: Miami 109, Indiana 100

Saturday, Aug. 22: Miami vs. Indiana, 3:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 24: Miami vs. Indiana, 6:30 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 26: Miami vs. Indiana, TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 28: Miami vs. Indiana, TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Miami vs. Indiana, TBD

Western Conference

Portland 1, L.A. Lakers 1

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Portland 100, L.A. Lakers 93

Thursday, Aug. 20: L.A. Lakers 111, Portland 88

Saturday, Aug. 22: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 24: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 26: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 28: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 30: L.A. Lakers vs. Portland, TBD

L.A. Clippers 2, Dallas 1

Monday, Aug. 17: L.A. Clippers 118, Dallas 110

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Dallas 127, L.A. Clippers 114

Friday, Aug. 21: L.A. Clippers 130, Dallas 122

Sunday, Aug. 23: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 25: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 27: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 29: L.A. Clippers vs. Dallas, TBD

Utah 2, Denver 1

Monday, Aug. 17: Denver 135, Utah 125, OT

Wednesday, Aug. 19: Utah 124, Denver 105

Friday, Aug. 21: Utah 124, Denver 87

Sunday, Aug. 23: Denver vs Utah, 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 25: Denver vs Utah, TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 27: Denver vs Utah, TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 29: Denver vs Utah, TBD

Houston 2, Oklahoma City 0

Tuesday, Aug. 18: Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108

Thursday, Aug. 20: Houston 112, Oklahoma City 98

Saturday, Aug. 22: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, 6 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 24: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, 4 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 26: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 28: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 30: Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD

x-If necessary