Conley now former crew’s villain, 76ers on verge of sweep

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Grizzlies followers cheered Mike Conley earlier this yr when he lastly earned All-Star recognition in his 14th season.

Now they’re attempting laborious to not boo the guard they beloved for therefore lengthy.

“Typically you reside lengthy sufficient to turn into the villain, and I’ve turn into that for I suppose the Memphis Grizzlies now,” Conley stated.

Conley is attempting to steer the top-seeded Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals, which eluded him throughout a seven-year playoff run in Memphis. Conley is taking over his alternative in Memphis in Ja Morant, who has the Grizzlies again within the playoffs for the primary time in 4 years.

Morant is main the youngest roster on this postseason with 33.7 factors per recreation, trailing solely Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard. Conley, who scored 27 in a 121-111 win that gave the Jazz a 2-1 lead, says it feels he is come full circle in a means he by no means anticipated.

“It’s superb to be taking part in in opposition to a man like Ja first off, simply seeing a man that’s so proficient, a younger celebrity within the league carrying the jersey that I’m so used to carrying, getting the cheers and the crowds that I’m so used to listening to is surreal,” Conley stated.

All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell says Conley was locked in through the bubble final summer season.

“And I’ve seen it at a fair larger degree now,” Mitchell stated.

Utah can take a 3-1 lead Monday night time in Sport 4 on a light-weight night time within the NBA, with Philadelphia attempting to complete off a sweep in Washington the one different recreation. The Jazz wish to put the hungry Grizzlies away as shortly as potential.

“This crew isn’t a crew you wish to mess around with in any respect,” Conley stated. “We’ve tried a bunch of various issues, and so they simply preserve attacking and preserve preserve discovering methods to provide themselves a possibilities to win.”

The 76ers are on the verge of their first sweep in 36 years. Their 132-103 rout in Sport 3 marked the primary time they’ve gained the primary three video games in a collection since sweeping Milwaukee within the 1985 Japanese Convention semifinals.

Coach Scott Brooks stated the Wizards’ objective is getting this collection again to Philly.

“We fought via loads. We overcame loads,” Brooks stated Sunday. “That is one other alternative for us to do this.”

76ERS AT WIZARDS

Philadelphia leads 3-0. Sport 4, 7 p.m. EDT, TNT.

— NEED TO KNOW: Joel Embiid is placing on a present, reminding anybody who did not know why he’s a finalist for NBA MVP. He’s coming off his finest playoff recreation but with 36 factors, making 14 of 18 photographs regardless of sitting out the complete fourth quarter.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris. Embiid attracts a lot consideration that Simmons was an help away from a double-double whereas Harris had one with 20 factors and 13 rebounds.

— INJURY WATCH: Russell Westbrook. A game-time resolution for Sport 3 after hurting his proper ankle in Sport 2, he turned in his eleventh profession postseason triple-double to tie Jason Kidd for third in NBA historical past. Brooks talked with Westbrook on Sunday.

“He is as powerful as they arrive,” Brooks stated. “He is aware of what’s at stake. He desires to maintain taking part in and competing and combating for his teammates. However he says he feels not unhealthy.”

— PRESSURE IS ON: The Wizards. They completed the season on a 17-6 run to get into the play-in spherical however are 1-4 since then. The 76ers are exposing each their lack of playoff expertise and top-level expertise past Westbrook and Bradley Beal, who completed this season and final because the No. 2 scorer within the NBA.

JAZZ AT GRIZZLIES

Utah leads 2-1. Sport 4, 9:30 p.m. EDT, TNT.

— NEED TO KNOW: The crew that led the NBA making 16.7 3s per recreation is again to type after an unsightly capturing efficiency in Sport 1. The Jazz are again on that common this postseason after making 19 3-pointers in Sport 3, capturing with such ease it felt like they hit a 3 for each bucket Memphis bought within the paint.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: Morant has scored 101 factors via his first three playoff video games. He is now the fourth participant in NBA historical past and the primary since 1970 to attain 100 or extra factors in his first three video games, becoming a member of Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

— INJURY WATCH: Mitchell appears to be like wholesome and is taking part in higher with every recreation again from the sprained proper ankle that saved him out of 17 video games, together with Sport 1 of this collection. He performed almost half-hour Saturday night time after being restricted to 26 in Sport 2.

— PRESSURE IS ON: The Grizzlies should win Monday night time to keep away from heading again to Utah getting ready to elimination.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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