Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) Dwyane Wade hits H-O-R-S-E game-winner to beat Warriors. In his 16-year career, Dwyane Wade has hit more important shots. And tougher ones.
But it was fun to watch the future Hall of Famer dust off the magic one more time.
Golden State had taken the game in Miami just seriously enough to stay fairly close, then come back in the fourth quarter to take a two-point lead heading into the final possession. With 10 seconds remaining Wade started a drive but Andre Iguodala stayed in front of him and cut him off, so Wade passed back to Dion Waiters. However, Waiters was doubled. Wade sprinted back to the arc to give Waiters an outlet, and when Wade caught the ball he looked open at the top of the arc as he lined up a three…
Then Jordan Bell blocked the shot. Wade twisted, grabbed the block and…
Wade has not had his old magic this season, but for a night he found it.
The win also moved the Heat within half a game of Charlotte (and tied in the loss column with them) for the final playoff spot in the East.
2) Celtics play better, but too much Damian Lillard gets Portland win in Boston. That’s four in a row. The Boston Celtics have come out of the All-Star break and dropped four in a row. It’s the kind of streak that could well lock them into the fifth seed when all is said and done, which means starting the playoffs on the road somewhere.
If you’re looking for a silver lining, the Celtics looked better in this loss than they did the night before in losing to the Raptors — back home, Boston showed some fight. Kyrie Irving had 31 points on 24 shots, Marcus Smart was energy and defense personified, and Jaylen Brown had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
But at this point, a loss is a loss for Boston. Blowout or close. The team just needs some wins.
Jusuf Nurkic played some bully ball for Portland and got 16 points, while Moe Harkless played good defense and outworked everyone to 17 points and 10 rebounds.
And then there was Damian Lillard, just making plays all game long on his way to 33 points.
Portland has started 4-0 on a seven-game road swing, they are the current four seed in the West just half-a-game back of three seed Oklahoma City (and the Thunder have a much tougher schedule the rest of the way). Maybe Portland finishing as the three seed last season wasn’t such a fluke.
3) We hope Marvin Bagley’s injury isn’t as bad as it looked like it could be. Sacramento’s star rookie (and No. 2 pick) Marvin Bagley has steadily improved all season and really found his groove of late. In the three games leading into Wednesday night — against the Warriors, Thunder, and Timberwolves — Bagley had a combined for 72 points and 35 rebounds (24 points and 11.7 rebounds a game).
But against the Bucks Wednesday night he banged knees on a screen and went down hard.
Here’s what’s concerning: Bagley banged his right knee on the screen, but grabbed his left knee when he went down. Watch the replay closely and you can see his left foot kind of stick and his knee twist awkwardly.
Officially, it’s a sprain with an MRI coming on Thursday.
Bagley has been a big part of the Kings push to make the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years. Sacramento fell to Milwaukee 141-140 in overtime, putting the Kings a full two games behind the Clippers and Spurs (but one back in the loss column), the teams tied for the 7/8 seeds in the West with 21 games to play. The Kings need wins, and if Bagley is out for any stretch of time those will be harder to come by.