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NBA Playoffs first round, game six top performers: Malik Monk forces Golden State Warriors to the wire

The first round of the NBA Playoffs have delivered some fantastic series with plenty of brilliant games, but it’s not over yet.

We had three series hit Game 6 over the last couple of days, with the Sacramento Kings coming up clutch to stave off elimination and take the Golden State Warriors to a Game 7 in the Golden 1 Center.

Here’s a look back at the best performers from the last couple of nights, as the two most decorated franchises in the league stepped into the second round.

WhatNBA Playoffs
WhereAcross the United States
WhenSaturday April 15th - Sunday June 18th
How to watchbet365's Sports Live Streaming, Sky Sports, BBC & NBA League Pass
OddsBOS Celtics 17/10, PHX Suns 4/1, PHI 76ers 7/1, LA Lakers 15/2, DEN Nuggets 8/1

Bench leads the way for the Kings

De’Aaron Fox hasn’t relented for the Kings despite suffering a broken finger in Game 4, as he posted 26 points and 11 assists to inspire Sacramento to a 118-99 win away to the defending champions.

However, Fox needed some help from the Kings’ bench in this victory, as coach Mike Brown delivered a victory against his former employers. In a game of matchups, Brown was able to use his bench stars to down the Warriors.

Malik Monk – Sacramento’s big summer free agent signing – posted 28 points in 32 minutes off the bench, ending the game with his team +21 during his minutes on the court in a 19-point victory.

Brown was forced to change up his rotation with Domantas Sabonis in foul trouble, but Trey Lyles proved an able backup, getting 12 points for the Kings and shooting 50% from the field, including landing a couple of key threes. In the end, the Kings’ bench outscored their counterparts 52-21.

The Kings couldn’t produce this kind of win without strong performances across the board, with their young team triumphing against the experience of the champions. Now they need to do it again in a win-or-go-home clash in Game 7 on Sunday.

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Russell’s career-high sends Grizzlies home

With the Arena packed with some of Hollywood’s biggest names, the Los Angeles Lakers embraced the showtime spirit in their 125-85 demolition of the Memphis Grizzlies. However, it wasn’t LeBron James or Anthony Davis taking the spotlight, but D’Angelo Russell.

The point guard – a trade deadline signing who returned to LA from the Minnesota Timberwolves – posted a career-high 31 points. The guard made 12 of his 17 shots, racking up five threes as Ja Morant’s ‘Good in the West’ Grizzlies exited in the first round.

On the defensive end, Davis was able to come up with a game-high 14 rebounds, while he made five blocks to shut down an exciting Grizzlies attack. No doubt AD was helped by the fact that Memphis were missing their two first-choice options at centre, but he was still exceptional at shutting down the Grizzlies and isn’t likely to be too worried about what the Warriors or Kings can throw at him.

With AD and D-Lo dominating at either end, it was a scaled-back night for LeBron, who led what he labelled, “a Game 7 mentality”. The 38-year-old was efficient as his teammates stepped up, making 9 of his 13 field goals in a 22-point night.

Tatum stars on Janet Jackson’s night

After posting 30 points to end the Atlanta Hawks’ season, Jayson Tatum finished the game with an apology to Janet Jackson, who would have performed at the State Farm Arena that night had the Boston Celtics not dropped Game 5 at home. Between him and Jaylen Brown, the pair ensured they wouldn’t slip up again.

Brown finished the contest as the Celtics’ top scorer, posting 32 points on a night where he made six of his eight three-point attempts. The Celtics’ star pairing combined for 62 in their 128-120 win, with the two scoring either side of an AL Horford three late on in an 11-0 run which sealed the win for Boston.

While he didn’t come up big on the box score, Grant Williams played a big role in Boston’s victory. The forward featured in only two of the first five games in the series despite his role in helping the Celtics to the NBA Finals a year ago. He returned for Game 6 and his defensive hustle off the bench was key to the Celtics’ improved display from Game 5.

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