kurthelin

Heat stay alive, rally to top Cavaliers 124-121 in OT

Leave a comment

MIAMI (AP) — For the Miami Heat, the season is going down to the final night.

They need a win.

They need some help.

But they still have a chance.

Tyler Johnson scored 24 points, including the game’s final four from the foul line in overtime, and the Heat kept their postseason hopes alive by rallying past the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-121 on Monday night. The Heat (40-41) remained No. 9 in the Eastern Conference, a game behind No. 7 Indiana (41-40) and a tiebreaker behind No. 8 Chicago (40-41).

“We think it’s meant to be,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But we have to take care of business.”

That, and get some assistance. For Miami to reach the postseason – a near-impossibility after its 11-30 start – either Indiana or Chicago must lose.

Here’s Wednesday’s slate: Miami hosts Washington (which is locked into the No. 4 spot), Chicago hosts NBA-worst Brooklyn, and Indiana hosts Atlanta.

“It’s win or go home,” Heat guard Josh Richardson said. “Win, and we still might go home.”

Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Miami. Richardson scored 19 points, James Johnson had 16 and Goran Dragic added 15.

Deron Williams had a season-high 35 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, who fell to 0-7 this season when LeBron James doesn’t play. The Cavs were also without Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, and fell a game behind Boston for No. 1 in the East.

James sat with a right calf strain. Irving has a sore left knee.

“I thought the effort was great,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “It was unbelievable.”

Kevin Love scored 25 points, Channing Frye had 21 and Kyle Korver had 18 for Cleveland, which wasted a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead and lost in OT for the second straight day.

On Sunday, Cleveland was up 26 going into the fourth in Atlanta. This time, the lead going into the fourth was 11.

“I don’t think you take too much out of it,” Korver said.

Miami survived despite two Cleveland four-point plays in overtime, including one by Williams with 34 seconds left that put the Heat down one. But Miami rallied for its 29th win in the last 40 games.

“Even if we wouldn’t have started 11-30, to go to the last game and have an opportunity to be in the playoffs, you would take that,” Tyler Johnson said. “But I think it makes it that much more special knowing everybody was kicking dirt on us two months ago.”

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: If history holds, James won’t play Wednesday. He hasn’t appeared in a regular-season finale since 2007. … Thompson sat again with a sprained right thumb. … G Kay Felder (left lower leg) left the game in the third quarter. … Williams had a career-worst 10 turnovers.

Heat: Dion Waiters (ankle) missed his 12th consecutive game. … James Johnson had nine assists. … Miami had a 20-6 edge in second chance points and an 8-0 edge in fast break points.

BIRDMAN VISITS

Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who played for both Cleveland and Miami, was in a baseline seat opposite the Heat bench. Andersen won a title in Miami in 2013. He appeared in 12 games with the Cavs this season before being sidelined by a knee injury.

L2M FALLOUT

The league’s Last Two Minute Report of Sunday’s Cleveland-Atlanta game showed three calls late in regulation and overtime that negatively impacted the Cavs’ chances in what became a 126-125 loss. “It’s too late now. It’s over,” Lue said.

 

Paul George on officials after ejection: “I really don’t have no respect… S— officiating job”

8 Comments

Paul George can just get out his checkbook now, he’ll be writing a $25,000 one to the league after these comments.

Indiana’s George and Philadelphia’s Gerald Henderson were both ejected from the Pacers eventual win over the Sixers. It started with this play, which earned a double technical.

Then this play got them ejected, Henderson got a flagrant 2 on the play but George got a technical for his reaction, and that was two.

After the game, George went off on the officials. You can see the video above via CSNPhilly.com, but here are the highlights.

“I mean, y’all know how I feel about the officials, and tonight I really have no faith in them. I’ve been warning them all night what he’s going to do, stuff he’s doing, and they allowed this s— to go on. He was throwing jabs, throwing punches at my stomach all night, and I didn’t retaliate until late in the game when they weren’t doing s— about it. So he pulled me down, I get a double tech for doing nothing. And then throw an elbow at my neck, I get another tech for nothing. So I really don’t have no respect, nothing is there for the officiating. S—– officiating job…

“It was physical all night. And again, they didn’t do nothing after I warned them a couple of times of what’s going on. They did nothing about it, nothing about it. It’s crazy.”

If you’re going to rant and get fined, you might as well get your money’s worth. George did that.

George and the Pacers need to win on Wednesday night against Atlanta to secure their spot in the playoffs (lose and they will need help).

Despite Paul George ejection, Pacers beat 76ers 120-111 to close in on playoff spot

Associated Press
1 Comment

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Paul George scored 17 of his 27 points in the opening quarter and the Indiana Pacers inched closer to clinching a berth in the NBA playoffs with a 120-111 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Thaddeus Young added 20 points, Myles Turner scored 18 and Kevin Seraphin had 17 to give the Pacers (41-40) their fourth straight victory and push them one win away from guaranteeing a playoff spot for the sixth time in the past seven years.

The 76ers (28-53) lost for the seventh straight time and finished with a home record of 17-24. They conclude their fifth straight season out of the playoffs Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot paced the Sixers with 24 points and Richaun Holmes had 17 points.

The Pacers ran out to a 16-4 lead and built a 21-point lead with 1:55 to play in the first quarter. George had nearly half Indiana’s 35 points.

The Sixers used a 14-2 run late in the second quarter, including an alley-oop dunk by Holmes and a 3-pointer from Luwawu-Cabarrot, to draw within seven points.

That was as close as Philadelphia would get until 3:36 remained in the fourth quarter, when a 3-pointer by Alex Poythress cut it to 111-104. The Pacers then ran off five of the next six points to regain control.

The Pacers shot 61.4 percent to the Sixers’ 45.2 percent to carry a 64-54 lead into the half. Overall, the Pacers shot 56.7 percent to the Sixers’ 46.7 percent.

George finished the first half with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Guard Aaron Brooks left the game in the first half with a sore right knee and did not return. He played 7 minutes, making a 3-pointer. … Guard/forward Glenn Robinson III (left calf strain) sat out his ninth straight game. Veteran center Al Jefferson (sprained left ankle) missed his seventh in a row. Jefferson was in uniform and on the bench and is expected to be back in the rotation for the playoffs.

76ers: The Sixers will end the season with six players on the injured list: Joel Embiid (left knee surgery), Jahlil Okafor (right knee soreness), Ben Simmons (acute fracture, right foot), Sergio Rodriguez (left hamstring strain), Robert Covington (right knee injury) and Jerryd Bayless (left wrist surgery).

DRAWING A CROWD

The Sixers saw a sizeable bump in attendance this season. Heading into their home finale they were averaging 17,398 fans at the Wells Fargo Center, about 2,500 more than last season. “They’ve cheered for us throughout some of the toughest circumstances, just kept us going, kept us fighting,” Holmes said.

WHERE HE STARTED

Young was selected by Philadelphia with the 12th overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft and played seven seasons with the Sixers, appearing in 516 games and averaging 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game.

 

Celtics lock up division title with 114-105 win over Nets

Associated Press
Leave a comment

BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points to help the Boston Celtics beat back a fourth-quarter charge and defeat the Brooklyn Nets 114-105 on Monday night to keep alive their hopes of securing the Eastern Conference’s top seed.

The Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title and can finish with no worse than the No. 2 seed.

With Cleveland’s overtime loss at Miami on Monday night, a Boston win in its regular-season finale against Milwaukee on Wednesday would give the Celtics the No. 1 seed. But if Boston loses to the Bucks and Cleveland wins its finale against Toronto, the Cavs would own the tiebreaker by virtue of their 3-1 head-to-head record with Boston.

Al Horford added 19 points and eight rebounds.

Brooklyn trailed by 27 in the third quarter before an 18-5 run got it back into the game.

The Nets got as close as six in the fourth, but Thomas and Horford combined for 15 points in the period to help secure the victory.

Jeremy Lin led the Nets with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Brook Lopez finished with 25 points, and passed Buck Williams to become the franchise’s career leading scorer with a jumper late in the fourth quarter.

Playing on a day’s rest following its win at Charlotte on Saturday, Boston led by as many as 21 in the first half.

Brooklyn also had a day off coming off Saturday’s one-point victory over Chicago, but couldn’t find the basket early on. The Nets missed 17 of their first 20 shots and shot just 27 percent in the opening 24 minutes.

TIP-INS

Nets: Sean Kilpatrick (left hamstring) and Quincy Acy (sore left ankle) both sat out and each will also miss Wednesday’s regular-season finale. … Shot just 14 percent (3 for 21) from the field and 12 percent (1 for 8) from the 3-point line in the first quarter.

Celtics: Thomas extended his franchise record to 56 straight games with a 3-pointer. … Improved to 21-5 at home since Jan. 1.

 

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Giannis Antetokounmpo with fierce chasedown block on Hornets’ Roberts (VIDEO)

4 Comments

This as forceful a chasedown block as you are ever going to see.

Charlotte’s Brian Roberts made the steal and thought he would have the breakaway layup, but when you have strides like Giannis Antetokounmpo you can make up ground like nobody else. He did and swatted Roberts’ shot into the second row.

Antetokounmpo is going to lead the Bucks in blocks this season. And points. And assists. And rebounds. And steals. He’s had that good a year.