NBA playoff matchups and schedule

NBA playoff matchups and schedule
By Reuters

12/04/2018 at 09:47Updated 12/04/2018 at 09:50

Not often is a No.

4 seed one of the teams to beat in the postseason, but the
Cleveland Cavaliers are no ordinary No. 4 seed.

And that's all thanks to No. 23, LeBron James.

The Cavaliers superstar is looking to guide his team to an eighth consecutive
NBA Finals, a total no player has approached aside from the mainstays of the
Boston Celtics' 1950s and '60s dynasty.

Cleveland stumbled into fourth place in the East with a 110-98 loss to the
visiting New York Knicks on Wednesday in the regular-season finale. As a
result, the Cavaliers will open the postseason against the fifth-seeded
Indiana Pacers.

A look at the NBA first-round playoff matchups (all times ET; TBD-to be
determined; *-if necessary):

EASTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 8 Washington Wizards

The Raptors tied the Houston Rockets for the best home record in the league,
34-7. The Wizards struggled down the stretch, losing nine of the last 12, even
though guard John Wall was only back from injury to appear in four of those
games (while sitting out three others for rest). The teams split four
regular-season meetings.

Game 1 -- Saturday, April 14, 5:30 p.m., Washington at Toronto, ESPN

Game 2 -- Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m., Washington at Toronto, NBA TV

Game 3 -- Friday, April 20, 8 p.m., Toronto at Washington, ESPN2

Game 4 -- Sunday, April 22, 6 p.m., Toronto at Washington, TNT

Game 5* -- Wednesday, April 25, TBD, Washington at Toronto, TBD

Game 6* -- Friday, April 27, TBD, Toronto at Washington, TBD

Game 7* -- Sunday, April 29, TBD, Washington at Toronto, TBD

No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 7 Milwaukee Bucks

The Celtics spent the whole season without forward Gordon Hayward, who got
hurt in the opener, and they recently lost guard Kyrie Irving for the entire
postseason. Milwaukee's star forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was slowed by an
ankle injury the past week. Each team won twice in the season series.

Game 1 -- Sunday, April 15, 1 p.m., Milwaukee at Boston, TNT

Game 2 -- Tuesday, April 17, 8 p.m., Milwaukee at Boston, TNT

Game 3 -- Friday, April 20, 9:30 p.m., Boston at Milwaukee, ESPN

Game 4 -- Sunday, April 22, 1 p.m., Boston at Milwaukee, ABC

Game 5* -- Tuesday, April 24, TBD, Milwaukee at Boston, TBD

Game 6* -- Thursday, April 26, TBD, Boston at Milwaukee, TBD

Game 7* -- Saturday, April 28, TBD, Milwaukee at Boston, TNT

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Miami Heat

The 76ers are in the postseason for the first time since 2012 after their
notorious "Process" finally paid dividends. They are riding a 16-game winning
streak, the longest ever for an NBA team heading into the postseason. The
inconsistent Heat managed to win the last two of their four regular-season
meetings with Philadelphia.

Game 1 -- Saturday, April 14, 8 p.m., Miami at Philadelphia, ESPN

Game 2 -- Monday, April 16, 8 p.m., Miami at Philadelphia, TNT

Game 3 -- Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m., Philadelphia at Miami, TNT

Game 4 -- Saturday, April 21, 2:30 p.m., Philadelphia at Miami, TNT

Game 5* -- Tuesday, April 24, TBD, Miami at Philadelphia, TBD

Game 6* -- Thursday, April 26, TBD, Philadelphia at Miami, TBD

Game 7* -- Saturday, April 28, TBD, Miami at Philadelphia, TNT

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

The Cavaliers remade their roster at midseason, bringing in Rodney Hood, Larry
Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and George Hill. The results were lukewarm. The
fact that the Pacers won three of their four meetings with the Cavs this
season still isn't likely to sway most pundits from penciling LeBron and Co.
into the second round.

Game 1 -- Sunday, April 15, 3:30 p.m., Indiana at Cleveland, ABC

Game 2 -- Wednesday, April 18, 7 p.m., Indiana at Cleveland, TNT

Game 3 -- Friday, April 20, 7 p.m., Cleveland at Indiana, ESPN

Game 4 -- Sunday, April 22, 8:30 p.m., Cleveland at Indiana, TNT

Game 5* -- Wednesday, April 25, TBD, Indiana at Cleveland, TND

Game 6* -- Friday, April 27, TBD, Cleveland at Indiana, TBD

Game 7* -- Sunday, April 29, TBD, Indiana at Cleveland, TBD

WESTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Houston Rockets vs. No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves

The Rockets went just 3-3 in April, but considering they were 28-1 from Jan.
29-March 30, there is no doubting their abilities. The Timberwolves had to win
their final three games, including a play-in showdown with the Denver Nuggets
on Wednesday, just to get into the playoff field. Houston swept all four
meetings with Minnesota this season.

Game 1 -- Sunday, April 15, 9 p.m., Minnesota at Houston, TNT

Game 2 -- Wednesday, April 18, 9:30 p.m., Minnesota at Houston, TNT

Game 3 -- Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Houston at Minnesota, ESPN

Game 4 -- Monday, April 23, 8 p.m., Houston at Minnesota, TNT

Game 5* -- Wednesday, April 25, TBD, Minnesota at Houston, TBD

Game 6* -- Friday, April 27, TBD, Houston at Minnesota, TBD

Game 7* -- Sunday, April 29, TBD, Minnesota at Houston, TBD

No. 2 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 7 San Antonio Spurs

The defending champion Warriors figure to be without star guard Stephen Curry
(knee) for the entire first-round series, but considering the Spurs are still
without Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), Golden State will remain a heavy favorite.
The Warriors won three of the clubs' four meetings this season.

Game 1 -- Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m., San Antonio at Golden State, ABC

Game 2 -- Monday, April 16, 10:30 p.m., San Antonio at Golden State, TNT

Game 3 -- Thursday, April 19, 9:30 p.m., Golden State at San Antonio, TNT

Game 4 -- Sunday, April 22, 3:30 p.m., Golden State at San Antonio, ABC

Game 5* -- Tuesday, April 24, TBD, San Antonio at Golden State, TBD

Game 6* -- Thursday, April 26, TBD, Golden State at San Antonio, TBD

Game 7* -- Saturday, April 29, TBD, San Antonio at Golden State, TNT

No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans

The series might have a different feel if Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins
hadn't undergone season-ending foot surgery in January. Still, New Orleans'
Nikola Mirotic averaged 25.8 points and 12 rebounds over the past five games,
so he could team with Anthony Davis to provide a formidable big-man duo
against a Blazers team led by guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The teams
split their four-game regular-season series.

Game 1 -- Saturday, April 14, 10:30 p.m., New Orleans at Portland, ESPN

Game 2 -- Tuesday, April 17, 10:30 p.m., New Orleans at Portland, TNT

Game 3 -- Thursday, April 19, 9 p.m., Portland at New Orleans, NBA TV

Game 4 -- Saturday, April 21, 5 p.m., Portland at New Orleans, TNT

Game 5* -- Tuesday, April 24, TBD, New Orleans at Portland, TBD

Game 6* -- Thursday, April 26, TBD, Portland at New Orleans, TBD

Game 7* -- Saturday, April 28, TBD, New Orleans at Portland, TNT

No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

After a season of chatter about how the merger of newly arrived stars Paul
George and Carmelo Anthony with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook wasn't working,
the Thunder still wound up with home-court advantage for the first round of
the postseason. However, they must face a Jazz team that is on a 29-6 roll
since late January. Oklahoma City won three of four against Utah in the
regular season.

Game 1 -- Sunday, April 15, 6:30 p.m., Utah at Oklahoma City, TNT

Game 2 -- Wednesday, April 18, 8 p.m., Utah at Oklahoma City, NBA TV

Game 3 -- Saturday, April 21, 10 p.m., Oklahoma City at Utah, ESPN

Game 4 -- Monday, April 23, 10:30 p.m., Oklahoma City at Utah, TNT

Game 5* -- Wednesday, April 25, TBD, Utah at Oklahoma City, TBD

Game 6* -- Friday, April 27, TBD, Oklahoma City at Utah, TBD

Game 7* -- Sunday, April 29, TBD, Utah at Oklahoma City, TBD

--Field Level Media

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