NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Recap: Winners, Losers, Best Moments

May 30, 2023, 10:30 AM

NBA Conference Finals...

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 17: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat is defended by Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics during the third quarter of game one of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 17, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The electrifying first and second rounds of the NBA Playoffs left fans in anticipation for the Conference Finals.

Even with high expectations, the two series didn’t disappoint.

Nuggets Dominance Shows In Sweep Of Lakers

The Nuggets defeated the Lakers quickly in four games. But, that doesn’t tell the full story.

The average margin of victory for Denver was just six points. LeBron James and Anthony Davis played well also, averaging 27.8 and 26.8 points respectively.

Although the series was highlighted by the best talent, a total of ten players scored in double digits for Denver and LA.

Los Angeles couldn’t find an answer for the star duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. The Joker was dominant everywhere on the floor. He posted a triple-double average with 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists.

Murray had one of the best playoff series in his young career. He put up 32.5 points on 52.7% from the field and 40.5% from three.

Overall, both teams played well throughout the series. Denver was just able to control the game in the fourth quarter to walk away with the sweep and the first finals appearance in franchise history.

Celtics Nearly Pull Off Reverse Sweep, Heat Prevail

NBA fans were one game away from witnessing history but Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat weren’t about to let that happen.

Miami dominated in the first three games. They took both of Boston’s home games as well as the first in South Beach.

Everyone began writing off the Celtics, and rightfully so. Of the 150 NBA teams to go down 0-3, zero have come all the way back to win. Only three forced a game seven.

When Boston was able to convincingly win games four and five, murmurs of a comeback grew louder. In game six, Butler got fouled on a three and went to the line with the Heat down by two. He hit all three free throws to give the Heat a one-point lead. With less than a second on the clock, Derrick White corralled a miss from Marcus Smart and finished the layup to force a game-seven.

In the final game, the Celtics struggled. Tatum and Brown couldn’t find any momentum while Caleb Martin and Butler combined for 54.

Tatum played well in the series, recording 25.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. For Miami, Butler performed too with 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists.

Heat culture, known for stifling defense and some of the best coaching in the association, came out on top. With Denver up next in the NBA Finals, the Heat may find themselves wishing they finished Boston off sooner.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

Want more analysis like NBA Conference Finals Recap? Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.


Damian Lillard Bucks...

Chandler Holt

Reports: Former Weber State Guard Damian Lillard Traded To Milwaukee Bucks

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Portland Trailblazer's All-Star guard Damian Lillard has been traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

1 day ago

Utah Jazz Notes...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Previewing Utah’s Upcoming 50th-Anniversary Season

The Jazz Notes podcast previews the Utah Jazz's 50th-anniversary season with conversations on the new jerseys, stat predictions, and more!

2 days ago

utah jazz 'classic' court...

Brian Preece

Utah Jazz Unveil ‘Classic Edition’ Jerseys & Court With Nod To New Orleans Roots

Fear not Jazz fans, purple will remain a staple in the Utah Jazz color scheme as training camp for the 2023-24 season fast approaches.

3 days ago

Adrien Brody, Quincy Isaiah and John C. Reilly attend the premiere of HBO's "Winning Time: The Rise...

Madisan Hinkhouse

Utah Jazz, Salt Lake City Connections In HBO’s Winning Time: Rise Of Lakers Dynasty

HBO's stab at documenting the tumultuous rise of the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty with the show Winning Time became popular with NBA fans across the country, but did you know there are a few references/connections to the Utah Jazz in the show?

9 days ago


Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Which Jazzmen Are Ranked As Top 100 Players In NBA?

The NBA is as talented as it has ever been. Considering this, which Jazz players are ranked as top 100 in the league?

16 days ago

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) battles to get off a shot between Cleveland Cavaliers player...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: What Is Best, Worst, Most Likely Scenario For Utah Jazz In 2023-24?

For some teams, its championship or bust. Others have embraced the rebuild. What are the Utah Jazz expecting for the upcoming season?

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Recap: Winners, Losers, Best Moments