Skip to content
en-us GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. NBA
  2. NBA Playoffs

NBA Playoffs Game 3 top performers: Maxey, Barrett rise to occasion

Some unexpected names took charge in Thursday and Friday's slate of Game 3s.

As the Philadelphia 76ers closed in on a series sweep, the tide turned in the blockbuster series in the Western Conference. 

There have been some big displays across the last couple of nights and we’ve picked out the Game 3 top performers below.

Jokic shines as Nuggets show depth

When the Denver Nuggets made a limp exit to the Golden State Warriors a year ago, Nikola Jokic was doing everything on his own. 

While the reigning MVP posted another triple-double in their 120-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, this time the healthy Nuggets had their other stars making big contributions. 

Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray both missed last season’s Playoffs through injury and the pair posted a combined 43 points on Friday, with Murray also supplying another nine assists. 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon also supplied 14 points each, with six players hitting double-figures for the Nuggets. 

That support allowed Jokic to star in an efficient role, posting a 20-12-11 stat line while shooting 9-13 from the field. 

Bench keeps Hawks in contention

Having suffered two tough defeats at TD Garden, Trae Young shouldered the burden for the Atlanta Hawks in their 130-122 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night. 

The guard posted a game-high 32 points in the victory, along with nine assists. However, the Hawks also needed plenty of help off the bench to combat the Celtics and they had big contributions from Saddiq Bey and Bogdan Bogdanovic. 

The pair scored 15 points each, a huge chunk of the Hawks’ 44 bench points. Between them the pair made six of their seven attempts from three and missed just four shots overall. 

The Hawks' supporting cast were duelling with the newly-crowned Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, but Bogdanovic and Bey thrived against a limited Celtics rotation to pull a game back in the series.

Barrett steps up in low-scoring clash

The Knicks’ 99-79 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers saw the headline stars struggle to convert, but the Knicks still managed to take a 2-1 series lead on a night which saw Julius Randle score just three of his 15 shot attempts. 

The Knicks were able to make the most of good displays elsewhere, with Jalen Brunson helping them to victory despite being outscored by Donovan Mitchell. 

New York’s marquee free-agent signing posted 21 points and six assists, while his team were +20 during his 38 minutes in a 20-point victory. 

Brunson didn’t do it all on his own, as efficient shooting for both RJ Barrett and Josh Hart were crucial on a night were shots largely weren’t falling. 

As a team the Knicks missed over half of their field goal attempts, but Barrett made eight of 12 shots, including three of six from distance. He chipped in with 19, while the energetic Hart made four of five attempts as he posted 13 points off the bench, just one shy of the Cavs’ combined bench scoring.

Booker stars to restore Suns’ edge

After letting Game 1 slip, the Phoenix Suns raced into a series lead over the LA Clippers thanks to their 129-124 win on Thursday night. 

Devin Booker inspired the Suns to a win in California with a 45-point night, building on his 38 points from Game 1. 

The Clippers made a fight of this despite being shorthanded, with both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George out. Without their stars, the Clippers turned to Norm Powell, who posted an impressive 43 points, shooting 15-23 from the field.

Maxey continues his rise

Embiid being locked down by the opposition is becoming a familiar sight in the Playoffs, but Tyrese Maxey is giving opponents a decision to make. 

The young guard is the man who tends to benefit from the double-team defences send to Embiid. 

While the Brooklyn Nets limited Embiid to 14 points in 38 minutes, Maxey more than made up for it. 

He scored 25 points in the 102-97 win, including some important late baskets as the Sixers rallied to take a 3-0 series lead.

Looney steps up in Draymond’s absence

With Draymond Green missing for Game 3, things looked bleak for a Golden State Warriors side who were down 2-0 to the Sacramento Kings. 

However, the champions’ experience showed, with Steph Curry posting an impressive 36 points, making six threes. 

A lot of the praise has to go to Kevon Looney, who took on a lot of Green’s responsibilities in this one. 

He finished with only four points, but he posted 20 rebounds and nine assists, including 11 defensive rebounds on a night where Domantas Sabonis was kept quiet.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet $1 & Get $365 in Bonus Bets

Join Now

Deposit required. Bonus Bet winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply.