After getting shellacked in Game 3, the Miami Heat came out more focused and energetic in Game 4.
For about three minutes.
Chris Bosh scored first, making a layup. And the Heat defense forced the Spurs to miss their first three shots. As a reminder, Miami didn’t force San Antonio’s third miss until midway through the second quarter in Game 3.
Everything was looking good – or at least good enough. But soon, it all unraveled.
That 2-0 lead would be the Heat’s last in their 107-86 Game 4 loss to the Spurs on Thursday.
That defeat ends Miami’s bid to break the NBA record for consecutive playoff games without back-to-back losses. The Heat, who had won their last 13 games following a loss, finish with the third-longest streak of postseason games without back-to-back losses:
- 54, Boston Celtics (1962-66)
- 52, Chicago Bulls (1990-93)
- 48, Miami Heat (2012-14)
Ever since losing three straight to the Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, Miami had always summoned the necessary energy to win the next game. Now, the Heat look just old and beaten down.
Maybe it’s because they are.
When DeMarcus Cousins builds up a head of steam like this… poor John Henson (and kind of Khris Middleton).
This helped the Pelicans pull away for a 115-108 win over the Bucks last night.
During the Wizards’ win over the Grizzlies last night, Mario Chalmers tried to stop Jason Smith from shooting after Smith had been called for travelling. It’s a fairly common tactic, one pioneered by Kevin Garnett. Players don’t want their opponents to gain confidence by seeing the ball go through the net, even after play stops.
But Chalmers held onto Smith’s arm, and Smith took umbrage.
NBC Sports Washington:
I think it’s more likely, after halting Smith’s shot, Chalmers was trying to hold up Smith rather than yank him down. But I can’t know Chalmers’ intentions, and holding up a falling person by his arm isn’t very effective.
The double technical foul called seems about fair.
The NBA trade deadline got moved up this season to Feb. 8 so the league can avoid the spectacle of DeMarcus Cousins being traded during the All-Star Game and then doing an uncomfortable press interview afterward where he had to be told of the situation.
That means we are less than two months away from the trade deadline, and in this PBT Extra I look at the big names that could be on the market.
The Clippers seem likely to move DeAndre Jordan, the only questions are where and what will they get back? But three other teams have big decisions to make about their stars: Oklahoma City with Paul George, New Orleans with DeMarcus Cousins, and Memphis with Marc Gasol. Right now none of those guys are on the market, but that could change.
Trey Lyles made a nice play in the Nuggets’ loss to the Celtics last night, driving by Jayson Tatum then dunking on him.
On the other hand, that swirl around Tatum’s head was not very nice at all.