The Bulls won a game over Toronto 102-101 that they probably should have lost by all accounts, not only for the fact that the Raptors outplayed them for most of the game and had about 700 things go against them down the stretch, but mostly because the Bulls were without two of their best players in Derrick Rose (understatement) and Joakim Noah (ejected early on for being Noah).
And despite getting killed on the glass all night, the Bulls pulled it out thanks to Luol Deng, who had an off shooting night, with an offensive rebound, the Bulls’ bread and butter. Observe.
If the Bulls are going to win a title, it’s going to be off of plays like this. Their ability to crash the boards and finish off hustle plays is their biggest advantage. It means that when they aren’t winning with talent they can win with the scrap plays. The Raptors were on the second game of a back to back in overtime, and just didn’t have the legs. But Chicago had its own disadvantages, and got the win. That’s what great teams do.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.