Game 3s are wild in NBA Playoffs Friday night

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NBA Playoffs

On Friday, the first round of the NBA Playoffs serves up a trio of Game 3s, always a pivotal matchup in any best-of-seven playoff series.

The first tilt has the Boston Celtics aiming to take a 3-0 stranglehold in their Eastern Conference series against the New York Knicks as the action shifts to Madison Square Garden (7 pm ET, ESPN).

NBA Odds at have New York as 2-point, -140 moneyline favorites, while the over/under total is at 191.

New York has kept it close, losing the first two by a combined five points, but Boston prevailed in Games 1 and 2 at home to take a 2-0 lead in the series. On Tuesday, the Celtics won 96-93 but could not cash as a 6.5-point home favorite.

The Knicks have lost six straight against the Celtics going back to the regular-season opener between the teams.

The second game has the Orlando Magic and the Atlanta Hawks battling at Philips Arena (8 pm ET, ESPN2).

NBA Betting at has the Magic as a 1.5-point, -125 moneyline favorite. The total’s at 181.

Orlando evened the series at a game apiece with an 88-82 win in Game on Tuesday. The Magic failed to cover as 9-point home favorites.

The nightcap Friday features another knotted series, with the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets trying to break the deadlock when they meet at New Orleans Arena (9:35 pm ET, ESPN).

The Lakers are a 5-point, -220 moneyline favorite and the over/under is at 184 in NBA Playoffs Odds.

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