Another one bites the dust in the 2017 NBA playoffs.
The Warriors cruised to a first-round sweep of the Trail Blazers with a blowout win Monday night. They join the Cavs as the only teams to advance to the second round so far. The Raptors are now within one victory of moving forward to face Cleveland after defeating the Bucks at home. On the upper half of the East bracket, the Hawks are locked in a 2-2 tie with the Wizards following a hard-fought Game 4 win.
Let's take a look at what happened in each playoff game, along with the turning points and X-factors that helped shape the final scores.
NBA playoffs: Scores, highlights
What happened: Toronto treated this one with the appropriate amount of urgency from the beginning and looked like the team that won 51 games during the regular season. The Raptors hit the Bucks with a 17-0 run in the first quarter to set the tone and didn't drop their intensity from there. Despite dealing with stiffness in his back, Kyle Lowry had his strongest performance of the series, posting a double-double (16 points, 10 assists) and finishing a team-high plus-29 for the game. He struck a nice balance between scorer and facilitator and looked more comfortable operating with the ball against the Milwaukee's exceptional length. Each player in the Raptors' starting five scored at least 12 points, while the Bucks struggled to find much offensive firepower outside of Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 points) and rookie Malcolm Brogdon (19 points).
Turning point: When Lowry went to the bench with 2:46 left in the third quarter, the Raptors led 80-69. Milwaukee wasn't going to take the lead in that time, but it needed to close the gap with Lowry out. Instead, Toronto entered the final frame ahead 90-73. In that span, the Bucks shot 2 of 5 with three turnovers. They hurt themselves by not valuing possessions, and they failed to create any extra opportunities, grabbing only two offensive rebounds for the entire game.
X-factor: Welcome to the spotlight, Norman Powell. The second-year shooting guard, who was inserted into the starting lineup by Dwane Casey in Game 4, had quite possibly the best game of his young career, scoring 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Powell was a perfect 4 of 4 from beyond the arc and 5 of 5 at the free-throw line. He came into Game 5 averaging 9.7 points per game for the series, but he blew away any previous expectations and provided plenty of evidence for why he should continue to start.
Highlight you need to see: Serge Ibaka had no time for Antetokounmpo's block attempt at the rim.
Didn't Antetokounmpo learn his lesson the first time?
Next game: Thursday (time has yet to be determined)
What happened: In a Game 4 full of runs and big plays, the Hawks required a complete team effort to get past the Wizards and tie the series at two games apiece. Atlanta had seven players score in double-digits, a mark no other team has reached in this year's playoffs, per ESPN Stats and Info. Paul Millsap approached triple-double territory (19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) while Dennis Schroder scored all 18 of his points in the second half after he was stuck languishing on the bench with foul trouble for most of the first half. The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 54 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to top the Hawks or silence an exuberant Philips Arena crowd.
Turning point: The fourth-quarter eruptions by Millsap and Schroder stand out, especially the big 3-pointers Schroder drilled when his primary defender dared him to shoot by going under ball screens. But it was what the Hawks did when Schroder was out that allowed him to play the part of the hero later in the game.
Schroder picked up his third foul with 2:29 left in the first quarter, at which point the Wizards were up 27-18. Sparked by a 21-5 run midway through the second quarter, the Hawks surged to a 59-50 lead before heading into the locker rooms at halftime. Atlanta didn't just maintain its level of play with Schroder out. It exceeded it. And a certain backup point guard had a lot to do with that...
X-factor: Jose Calderon, the 35-year-old journeyman from Spain, logged 20 huge playoff minutes Monday night. Calderon scored 10 points, dropped five dimes and finished a game-high plus-29. Jose Calderon! Plus-29! 2017 NBA playoffs! Calderon replaced Schroder and gave the Hawks a solid option on offense without sacrificing too much defensively. Sure, the Wizards attacked him in a few mismatches, but it wasn't enough to offset what he brought to the table.
It wouldn't be right not to mention Dwight Howard here as well. With all of the criticism that has been thrown Howard's way this series (much of it reasonable), he deserves credit for his 16 points and 15 rebounds in the win. He was active and engaged throughout the game, checking all of the boxes that once made him one of the most dominant interior forces in league history. The Hawks need that kind of consistent effort if they want to advance.
Highlight you need to see: Schroder tried to hack Wall's arm off, but it didn't matter.
How did Millsap even get the ball in the air before he fell down?
Next game: Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET (TNT)
What happened: The Warriors decided before the game their new strategy was going to be this: "Hey, what if we just make all the shots?" Golden State jumped out to a 14-0 lead to start the game. The Warriors held a 45-22 advantage at the end of the first quarter — yes, those numbers are correct. The Trail Blazers never had a chance to catch up. Clearly Golden State was motivated to end its first-round series as quickly as possible.
Turning point: When the game broadcast started. In the first quarter, the Warriors shot 15 of 24 from the field (8 of 11 on 3-pointers) while the Trail Blazers shot 8 of 27 (3 of 11 from 3-point range). Stephen Curry, who finished with a game-high 37 points, summed it up in his postgame interview on TNT: "We came out on a mission."
X-factor: He only played 20 minutes in the blowout, but seeing Kevin Durant back on the floor had to make Warriors fans smile. Durant looked fantastic in his return after missing Games 2 and 3 with a calf injury. He was flying down the floor to block shots and gliding toward the basket to finish with power above the rim.
While we're here, let's give a quick shoutout to Damian Lillard. Portland's star point guard netted 34 points on 12-of-24 shooting in the loss, and he refused to quit against insurmountable odds. He even scored the Trail Blazers' first 12 points of the second quarter after watching his team get pulverized. He remained a true competitor until the very end.
Highlight you need to see: These back-to-back possessions are pretty much tell the entire story.
JaVale McGee definitely won't be on "Shaqtin' A Fool" for this one-handed slam.
Next game: Warriors advance to play winner of Clippers-Jazz series