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NBA Playoffs 2024 Today: Pacers vs. Bucks, Mavericks vs. Clippers

The remaining first-round series of the NBA Playoffs kicks off on Sunday, with two of the league’s top teams beginning their postseason journey.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE

(8) Miami Heat vs. (1) Boston Celtics (game 1)

  • When: Sunday April 21
  • Time: 1:00 PM ET
  • Where: TD Garden (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Channel: ABC
  • Current: FuboTV (free trial), Sling, DirecTV stream

The Celtics looked untouchable for most of the season. The team reached 60 wins for the first time in 15 years, capturing the Atlantic Division title for the third straight season. This is the first time since 2017 that Boston enters the playoffs as the best player in the conference.

The Heat had to fight their way into the playoffs. After losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening round of the Play-In Tournament, they responded with a big win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday. This is the second year in a row that Miami has had to leave the Play-In to make the playoffs. Last year they went on the road and defeated the Boston Celtics in the conference finals before losing to the Denver Nuggets in the finals.

(6) Indiana Pacers vs. (3) Milwaukee Bucks (Game 1)

  • When: Sunday April 21
  • Time: 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee, Wis.)
  • Channel: TNT
  • Current: Sling, DirecTV stream

Even though the Bucks went through a slump during the regular season, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his team still have what it takes to make a run in the playoffs. However, since winning it all in 2021, the Central Division champions have not advanced past the second round as they were stunned by the eighth-seeded Miami Heat last year.

Like the Orlando Magic, the Pacers are happy to be back in the playoffs. After falling in the Play-In round three years ago, Indiana languished at the bottom of the conference. However, after acquiring Pascal Siakam, the Pacers have found new life and are in the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

The Pacers had the Bucks’ number during the regular season, winning three of four matchups.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

(5) Dallas Mavericks vs. (4) Los Angeles Clippers (match 1)

  • When: Sunday April 21
  • Time: 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: crypto.com Arena (Los Angeles, California)
  • Channel: ABC
  • Current: FuboTV (free trial), Sling, DirecTV stream

With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George back at full strength, the Clippers are hoping they can create something special this season. The team won the Pacific Division title for the first time in a decade, but they will need to appear in the playoffs if they want to reach the first round for the first time in three years.

Led by the NBA’s leading scorer, Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are hoping their superstar guard can drag them into a deep playoff run again, just like they did two years ago when they fell in the conference finals. The Southwest Division champions might have had home field advantage when the Clippers slumped late in the season, but the Mavs dropped their final two games of the regular season.

The Clippers defeated the Mavericks in two of the three regular season meetings.

(8) New Orleans Pelicans vs. (1) Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 1)

  • When: Sunday April 21
  • Time: 9:30 PM ET
  • Where: Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
  • Channel: TNT
  • Current: Sling, DirecTV stream

What about the rise of the Thunder? After being a mediocre organization in recent seasons and bowing out of the Play-In Tournament last year, OKC has returned to the top of the Western Conference. With the help of a five-game win streak, the Thunder took first place from the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder are looking to win their first playoff series since 2016.

Even without Zion Williamson, the Pelicans managed to bounce back in the Play-In Tournament, defeating the Sacramento Kings to advance to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. However, with Williamson still dealing with a hamstring injury, New Orleans is a huge underdog when it comes to winning just the franchise’s third playoff series.

Follow the NBA Playoffs here