the 2022 NBA playoffs are offering up another appetizing slate of games Saturday.
The Philadelphia 76ers have the opportunity to wrap up their first-round series against the Toronto Raptors, but not without adversity. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that star center Joel Embiid is experiencing significant pain in his right thumb and may undergo an MRI to determine if he suffered any ligament damage.
But Embiid said there’s “not a chance” he’ll miss Game 4 in Toronto. Philadelphia leads the series 3-0. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series.
“I’m coming for the sweep,” Embiid said.
The Nets host the Celtics for Game 3 in Brooklyn and may have Ben Simmons in the lineup soon. Boston leads the series 2-0. The Timberwolves are looking to bounce back in Game 4 in Minnesota from a total collapse against the Grizzles. Memphis leads 2-1.
Saturday’s action is rounded out by Game 4 in Utah between the Jazz and Mavericks, who are likely to be without Luka Doncic. Dallas leads the series 2-1.
NETS ON THE ROPES: Could Ben Simmons return for Nets in Game 4?
Check out USA TODAY Sports’ analysis from all of Saturday’s action:
ESPN reported Saturday that there is optimism that Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic will suit up for a crucial game 4 against the Utah Jazz.
If Doncic is able to play, he will be on a minute restriction so he can’t further aggravate the calf injury that has sidelined him for the past two weeks.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse knows his squad has a tall mountain to climb. No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 hole in the playoffs, but Nurse said there’s a first time for everything.
“It’s a heck of a challenge, but somebody’s got to do it,” Nurse said. “That’s the way I look at it, somebody’s got to do it. And if it gets to 3-1, then it’s not 3-0 anymore. And 3-1 has been done.”
The Raptors may be without Scottie Barnes, who exited Game 1 with an ankle injury and missed Games 2 and 3. He’s listed as doubtful for Game 4.
Luka Doncic is listed as questionable for Game 4 in Utah. Coach Jason Kidd said Doncic is “going in the right direction,” but will be a game time decision.
Doncic has been sidelined the entire first-round series so far after he suffered a left calf strain during the regular-season finale against the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month. After dropping the series opener, the Mavericks have won the last two games, thanks to Jalen Brunson with 41 points in Game 2 and 31 more in Game 3.
Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid is dealing with a right thumb injury. Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton likely will miss the rest of their first-round series and perhaps some second-round games.
And now, Miami’s Kyle Lowry is bothered by a left hamstring injury sustained in the third quarter of Atlanta’s Game 3 victory against the Heat. Lowry left the game with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter and did not return.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism