Mike Conley, Andrew Harrison
AP

Conley’s late flurry lifts Grizzlies over Heat, 110-107

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MIAMI (AP) Memphis coach David Fizdale offered a one-word assessment about being on the visitors’ bench in Miami.

“Weird,” Fizdale said.

Suffice to say, Fizdale and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra are both thrilled their matchups for the season are over.

Marc Gasol scored a season-high 28 points, Mike Conley had 11 of his 21 in the final 3:06 and the Grizzlies beat the Heat 110-107 on Saturday night.

Troy Williams added 18 for the Grizzlies, who earned a split of the home-and-home with the Heat and gave Fizdale a win in the building where he served as a Miami assistant for the past eight seasons.

“It’s just hard to compete against your brothers like that and fight like that,” Fizdale said. “I can only imagine if we both ever make it to the finals, how tough that would be. But I’m glad it’s over. It worked out how it’s supposed to – he won on my spot, I won on his spot, we break even and now we root for each other again.”

Dion Waiters scored a season-high 28 for Miami, which got 15 points and 12 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside, and 15 points from Josh Richardson. But after winning in Memphis on Friday, the Heat fell short against a Grizzlies team that’s now 5-0 this season in games decided by five points or less.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to that team,” Spoelstra said. “Every time they’ve been in a close game this year, they’ve found a way to gut it out and get a win.”

Conley was under no minutes restriction on Saturday, and that was big for Memphis.

The Grizzlies led 99-98 when he checked in with 4:01 left, and he scored their last 11 points – the first salvos in that flurry being a 3-pointer, then a three-point play, and then a deep 3 to put his team up 108-101 with 1:25 left.

“Conley made every … big … play down the stretch,” Spoelstra said. “It’s early right now, but if he’s not an All-Star it’ll be a crime.”

Waiters’ 3-pointer in the final minute got the Heat within three, and his layup on the next Miami possession cut Memphis’ lead down to 108-107. But Conley made a pair from the line with 11.4 seconds left, and the Grizzlies escaped when Richardson’s 3-point try hit the rim and bounced off as time expired.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Gasol’s previous season high was 27, set Wednesday in Philadelphia. He was held to nine points by the Heat on Friday, and hasn’t posted consecutive single-digit scoring games yet this season. … Memphis G Vince Carter is now nine games shy of making his 1,300th regular-season appearance.

Heat: Spotted on the concourse was former NBA referee Joe Crawford, who’s now working for the league (and was seeking a hot dog for halftime). … Floyd Mayweather’s not-very-subtly designed van bearing his The Money Team logos was parked near the Heat player lot. … This was Miami’s first time playing the same opponent on consecutive nights since games with Orlando, Feb. 14 and 15, 2006.

MISSING PLAYERS

Memphis’ Zach Randolph missed his second straight game as he continues to grieve his late mother, and the Grizzlies are also still without former Heat player James Ennis (right calf). Miami was again without point guard Goran Dragic (left elbow), forward Justise Winslow (left wrist) and forward Willie Reed (right knee).

5 FOR 5

Both teams had all five starters reach double figures. Miami also had two reserves get there.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: Host Charlotte on Monday, as a 10-game, 16-day stretch continues.

Heat: Host Boston on Monday, in the first Celtics-Heat meeting of the season.

Watch Jamal Murray hit insane hand-switching layup around LeBron

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Are. You. Kidding. Me.

You are not going to see a better layup these playoffs than this one by Denver’s Jamal Murray, going around LeBron James near the end of the first half of Game 4.

Murray went up thinking dunk, had to change his mind because of LeBron, brought it down, went around him, and spun it in off the glass. Insane. It had some people on Twitter referencing the legendary Michael Jordan hand-switching shot. Not sure I’m willing to compare this Murray shot to a layup that helped launch a dynasty, but it’s close.

Murray had 16 in the first half but the Nuggets trailed at the break 60-55 in a high scoring first half. Anthony Davis had 19 to lead the Lakers.

Former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell “sad, angry, disgusted” with Breonna Taylor decision

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NBA players — like large swaths of the United States — are shaking their heads at the decision not to prosecute the police sho shot Breonna Taylor in her home. That includes LeBron James, who said the walls of Taylor’s neighbors got more justice than she did.

Now former Louisville star Donovan Mitchell has spoken out on the issue.

The hate and racism in too many of the responses to that Instagram post highlight the injustice and additional hurdles Black people in America have to clear every day.

Louisville has faced a night of protests and backlash to the decision by the grand jury, which included the two police officers getting shot (they both survived).

 

Report: Bulls paying Billy Donovan $6 million-plus annual salary

New Bulls coach and former Thunder coach Billy Donovan
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf just spent the NBA hiatus – at least if you looked beyond “The Last Dance” itself – getting dragged for not spending enough to give Michael Jordan another year of title contention in Chicago.

Paying to hire Billy Donovan is a way for Reinsdorf and the Bulls to repair their reputations.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

I’d be surprised if all four years are fully guaranteed. Coaching contracts of this length usually contain a team option or two.

But that’s still a hefty salary. Especially in these times. Especially considering it was believed the Bulls would keep Jim Boylen for financial reasons.

Donovan left the Thunder despite them offering him a new contract. He likely knew he could get more elsewhere.

Credit Chicago for being the team to spend. The Bulls needed a solid coach after Boylen and Fred Hoiberg.

Donovan won’t solve all Chicago’s problems, but he should help on multiple fronts. This upgrade costs nothing but Reinsdorf’s money, which every Chicago fan is perfectly willing to spend.

NBA playoff schedule 2020: Date, time, matchup for every game

NBA playoff schedule 2020
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And there were four.

The NBA is down to the conference finals — and the bubble has provided us with upsets galore. There are some unexpected teams in the NBA’s Final Four, but of course LeBron James is still there. The Lakers are the heavy favorites at this point.

Here are a few notes on the NBA playoffs schedule 2020:

• The NBA is continuing to push the pace with games every other day — except in the East, when ESPN wants a break not to clash with the NFL, and to let the West catch up. The fast pace of games will return with the NBA Finals.
• Families for the players, and with the final four now the coaches, are in the bubble.
• The NBA has released an NBA Finals schedule to teams and their target is still a Sept. 30 Game 1. If either conference finals goes seven games that date will need to be pushed back.

Here is the NBA playoffs schedule 2020 (all times are Eastern):

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Miami Heat

Game 1: Heat 117, Celtics 114, OT
Game 2: Heat 106, Celtics 101
Game 3: Celtics 117, Heat 106
Game 4: Heat 112, Celtics 109 (Miami leads series 3-1)
Game 5: Sept. 25, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 6: Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)*
Game 7: TBD (ESPN)*
*If necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 3 Denver Nuggets

Game 1: Lakers 126, Nuggets 114
Game 2: Lakers 105, Nuggets 103
Game 3: Nuggets 114, Lakers 106 (Lakers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: Sept. 24, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 5: Sept. 26, 9 p.m. (TNT)
Game 6: Sept. 28, TBD (TNT)*
Game 7: Sept. 30, TBD (TNT)*
*If necessary

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: Second Round results

Eastern Conference

No. 3 Boston beat No. 2 Toronto 4-3

No. 5 Miami beat No. 1 Milwaukee 4-1

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat Houston 4-1

No. 3 Denver beat No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers 4-3

NBA playoffs schedule 2020: First Round results

Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers beat No. 8 Portland 4-1

No. 2 L.A. Clippers beat No. 7 Dallas 4-2

No. 3 Denver beat No. 6 Utah 4-3

No. 4 Houston beat No. 5 Oklahoma City 4-3

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee beat No. 8 Orlando 4-1

No. 2 Toronto beat No. 7 Brooklyn 4-0

No. 3 Boston beat No. 6 Philadelphia 4-0

No. 5 Miami beat No. 4 Indiana 4-0