Bucks and Warriors Clinch Spots in the Second Round of 2022 NBA Playoffs

Warriors' guard Stephen Curry in 2018
Warriors' guard Stephen Curry in 2018. Photo by Stephen Lew/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The reigning NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks have punched their ticket for the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs after beating the Chicago Bulls 116-100 on Wednesday night and closing out their series in five games. The Golden State Warriors also took care of the business on the same night, handing a gentlemen’s sweep to Denver Nuggets with a 102-98 win.

The Bucks never looked in danger against the Bulls despite playing without their All-Star Khris Middleton for the third-straight game. Carried by superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee raced to a 34-18 lead in the first quarter, and it was smooth sailing from then on.

Antetokounmpo finished the contest with 33 points and nine boards while spending only 30 minutes on the floor. Backup guard Pat Connaughton added 20 points from the bench while Bobby Portis owned the glass with 17 rebounds.

Milwaukee will now face the second-seeded Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semis. The first game is scheduled for May 1.

The Warriors’ win over the Nuggets and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic came down to the wire. Denver took ownership of the game in the third quarter, securing an eight-point lead and hinting at a possible twist in the series. However, Golden State embarked on a 16-6 run early in the fourth to get back in the driver’s seat.

Jokic tried to will the Nuggets back into the game at that point with a series of baskets, but the Warriors always found a way to respond. Superstar guard Stephen Curry was especially clutch for Golden State, scoring nine points in the final two minutes to ice the game and send his team to the second round.

Curry, who was on a minute restriction to start the series due to a foot injury, scored 30 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. Golden State had four other players in double digits, but neither scored more than 15.

The Warriors now wait for the winner of the series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves to learn their second-round opponent.

Ben loves sports so much but prefers watching other people do it. He prefers not to share what teams he's supporting but he is willing to admit that Lebron James is, in fact, the king.