Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul move quickly in NBA free agency
Point guards were the immediate focus when the NBA’s free agency window opened Monday night, with Kyle Lowry headed to the Miami Heat, Lonzo Ball on his way to the Chicago Bulls while Chris Paul and Mike Conley landed lucrative deals to remain with their current teams.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
Butler, Dragic carry Heat past NBA-best Jazz, 124-116
Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI – The Miami Heat don't believe in statement wins. “A high-level game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “and we had some big plays down the stretch." Duncan Robinson scored 15 and Kendrick Nunn added 12 for the Heat, who held Utah to 29% shooting in the fourth quarter. It was the sixth game in Heat history in which both teams had at least 94 points through three quarters.
Heat hold off depleted Lakers 96-94 in NBA Finals rematch
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, tries to pass as Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Heat even kept it together to pull out a win over the defending NBA champions despite a fourth quarter that nearly went wrong. Nunn scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds, and Miami held off the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 Saturday night in an NBA Finals rematch. Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points while hitting four 3-pointers, and Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. ... Goran Dragić missed his eighth straight game with a sprained left ankle.
Harden, Durant help Nets break away late, beat Heat 98-85
Harden and Durant each scored 20 points despite three relatively quiet quarters, and the Nets broke away with a big run in the fourth to beat the Miami Heat 98-85 on Monday night. Kyrie Irving added 16 points for the Nets, who completed a sweep of the Heat in two games that couldn't have been more different. “I think our defense held tight the whole game,” Durant said. Miami took a 45-41 edge into halftime, going just 4 for 19 on 3s but doubling the Nets' makes after they went 2 for 17. Nets: Durant missed his first six 3-point attempts before sinking one in the third quarter.
Durant, Irving help Nets hold off Adebayo, Heat 128-124
Miami Heat's Gabe Vincent (2) defends against Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in New York. Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Kyrie Irving took over late and had 28 and the Nets overcame Adebayo's career-high 41 points to beat the Miami Heat 128-124 on Saturday night. Irving helped pull the Nets through with 12 points in the final 5:48 after the Heat had erased nearly all of an 18-point deficit. Adebayo beat the buzzer with a jumper, than Miami opened the fourth with a 13-0 run to get within 96-95. Irving, Harden and Durant quickly combined for eight straight points but Adebayo kept coming, and the Nets needed a couple of clutch baskets from Irving and late free throws to pull it out.
AP sources: USA Basketball eyeing 60 players in Olympic pool
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) shoots as Utah Jazz center Derrick Favors (15) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)MIAMI – USA Basketball is casting a wider-than-usual net in its roster selection for this summer's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, two people with knowledge of the situation said Saturday. The additions mean at least 60 players could be on the player-pool list that will be released by USA Basketball in the coming weeks. ESPN first reported that USA Basketball has sent approximately 60 invitations to be part of the player pool. USA Basketball is planning a training camp and exhibition games.
Wizards see a 5th consecutive game postponed by virus issues
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI – The Washington Wizards are now assured of going at least 11 days between games, after yet another postponement while the team deals with COVID-19 issues. The Wizards' game that was scheduled to be played Wednesday in Charlotte is now off, the NBA said Monday. That is the 14th postponement since Jan. 10 — and no team has had more games called off than the Wizards. Washington has seen five consecutive games pushed back, and the earliest the Wizards will play again is Friday at Milwaukee. Pushing the Wizards' return back appears to make sense for multiple reasons, including the fact that the team has been unable to even practice.
Another 3 NBA games called off amid virus, 16 test positive
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)Contact tracing issues involving the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards forced the NBA to postpone three more games Wednesday, raising the leaguewide total from this week alone to eight. With 497 players tested, that reflects a positivity rate of 3.2%. Phoenix's home game Wednesday against Atlanta was called off, as was the Suns' home game with Golden State on Friday. In the previous five weeks combined, only 15 players tested positive. But even the current week's rate is well below what the league dealt with going into training camps, when 48 players tested positive in the week before practices could formally begin leaguewide.
'Uncharted waters': More NBA games off as virus issues grow
The league's general managers met Monday to discuss the virus situation, with involvement from the National Basketball Players Association. The latest postponements came one day after Miami’s game in Boston was called off because of contact-tracing issues within the Heat. The Celtics would have been without seven players for virus-related issues for that game. Another three Heat players are on the injury list, raising the question if they will have the eight required players to start games. Philadelphia played at home against Denver on Saturday with seven players — eight were available — because of a combination of virus issues and injuries.
Pritchard's putback pushes Celtics past Heat, 107-105
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – Payton Pritchard wasn't there last season when the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Pritchard's putback with two-tenths of a second left capped a wild finish, and the Celtics beat the Heat 107-105 in the first matchup this season of last year's East finalists. Jimmy Butler had 26 points for Miami, which got 16 points from Duncan Robinson, 15 points from Bam Adebayo and 14 from Goran Dragic. The Heat cut the lead to eight by halftime, part of what became a 39-17 run that saw Miami lead by five in the third quarter.
Spoelstra stays perfect on Christmas, Heat beat Pels 111-98
New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe (5) dribbles against Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)MIAMI – Erik Spoelstra remained perfect on Christmas, and a record-tying show from Duncan Robinson helped him stay that way. Robinson made seven 3-pointers — tying the most on Christmas ever — and scored 23 points, and the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 111-98 to start the NBA’s holiday quintupleheader Friday. Spoelstra moved to 8-0 on Christmas as coach of the Heat. COMING HOMEVeteran ref John Goble was crew chief and got to be home for Christmas; he’s a Miami native.
Bubble Kings: Lakers run past Heat for 17th NBA championship
For the first time since Kobe Bryant's fifth and final title a decade ago, the Lakers are NBA champions. James had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 on Sunday night to win the NBA Finals in six games. Rajon Rondo scored 19 points for the Lakers, who put together the elite talents of James and Davis with this moment in mind. James (Miami, Cleveland) and Danny Green (San Antonio, Toronto) added their names to that list with this title. HEAT SEASONMiami led the NBA with 94 games played this season — 30 more than Minnesota, which played the fewest in the NBA.
NBA Finals get intense, and Game 6 of Lakers-Heat looms
The Heat have talked since the NBA Finals started about a need to play almost perfect basketball against the Lakers. “One thing about this team that we are playing, they make you pay for every mistake,” James said after Game 5. So, we have to understand that.”James is about to set the record for NBA playoff game appearances. Nobody has had more 40-point NBA Finals games in a loss than he has — the record-setting fifth entry on that list coming Friday in Miami’s 111-108 win. “We’re motivated to win Game 6 and they are motivated to win Game 6,” Davis said.
Heat force Game 6, top Lakers to stave off elimination
“That’s Jimmy Butler," Heat center Bam Adebayo said. Butler got fouled with 46.7 seconds left, then slumped over the baseline video boards, clearly exhausted. He made both foul shots for a one-point lead; Davis’ putback with 21.8 seconds left got the Lakers back on top. Butler drove the lane, drew contact and made both with 16.8 seconds left for a 109-108 lead. Lakers: James and Davis were a combined 24 for 36.
Lakers top Heat 102-96, take 3-1 lead in NBA Finals
James and the Lakers are back in control of these NBA Finals, one win away from the franchise's 17th championship. James finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Anthony Davis' 3-pointer with 39.5 seconds left finally settled matters and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 102-96 in Game 4. The Lakers lead 3-1 and can win the title when the series resumes Friday. 3-1 LEADSThis is the 36th time that a team has held a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. It was just the third time in the last 26 NBA Finals games that neither team reached 50 points in the first 24 minutes.
Butler’s big night helps Heat cut Lakers' Finals lead to 2-1
With a triple-double, he joined NBA Finals lore — and the short-handed Miami Heat might have made this title matchup a series after all. Miami's starters outscored the Lakers' starting five 89-51, and the Heat held the Lakers to a 14-for-42 night from 3-point land. It’s going to be a tough game, Game 4," Herro said. ... Nick Aquilino, the son of Heat neuromuscular therapist Vinny Aquilino, performed the anthem -- a recording from a Heat game with fans in Miami. BUTLER’S TRIPLE-DOUBLEButler became the 21st player to have a triple-double in the NBA Finals — and four of the 21 were part of Sunday’s game.
Back to the Finals: Heat oust Celtics, move to title series
Bam Adebayo scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Butler scored 22 points and the Heat won the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth time by topping the Boston Celtics 125-113 on Sunday night. The Heat won the series 4-2 — and now, they’ll see LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the title. Boston took the lead twice more, with Adebayo answering both times, first with a dunk, then a go-ahead three-point play with 6:16 left. Heat: The Heat are now guaranteed no less than $4,399,686 for their playoff share, and that number would rise to $5,791,041 if they win the title. CROSS-SPORT SUPPORTThe Celtics and Heat were getting some support from afar before Game 6.
Celtics’ singular goal: Stop Heat 3’s to force Game 7
Boston Celtics' Kemba Walker (8) reacts to a play against the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There have been two undeniable truths about the Miami Heat this season. The Boston Celtics have scouting and analytics teams that undoubtedly know these trends. HEAT ON 3’SFor whatever reason, 31.1% is the magic number for Heat 3-pointers this season. BIG FINISHThe Celtics scored 103 points in the final three quarters of Game 5.
Celtics control second half, top Heat to win Game 5 in East
Tatum had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Jaylen Brown added 28 points and the Celtics shook off a slow first half to top the Miami Heat 121-108 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals and stave off elimination. “Our deal was to come out and play, come out and compete, give it our best shot and I thought we played pretty well in the second half," Stevens said. Kemba Walker scored 15 points, Marcus Smart had a 12-point, eight-rebound, eight-assist night and Gordon Hayward scored 10 for the Celtics. “Boston played great in that second half," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. The Heat scored the first basket of the third quarter.
Celtics top Heat 117-106, cut East finals deficit to 2-1
Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum added 25 and the Celtics got right back into the East finals with a 117-106 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 3 on Saturday night. Kemba Walker added 21 to help Boston pull to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Marcus Smart scored 20 points for Boston, going 9 for 9 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. “This is the conference finals, playing against a really good team," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. RARE BREAKPartly to allow the Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets to catch up, the Heat and Celtics won’t play Game 4 until Wednesday.
Comeback Heat do it again, rally past Celtics for 2-0 lead
And after making the Boston Celtics lose another big lead on the court — as well as their cool in the postgame locker room — the unheralded Heat are two wins away from the NBA Finals. Goran Dragic scored 25 points, Bam Adebayo led a big third-quarter rally to finish with 21, and the Heat pulled off another comeback to beat the Celtics 106-101 and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics went on a 15-2 run, silencing the Heat for nearly seven minutes and going up 94-89 on a 3-pointer by Walker with 4:25 left. ... Miami’s 20-point differential in the third quarter was a Heat record for that quarter in the playoffs, and the sixth time in Heat playoff history they outscored an opponent by at least 20 in any quarter. 3’S ARE WILDCrowder’s 3-pointer with 5:43 left in the third quarter was — fittingly — the 33,333rd in NBA playoff history.
No Giannis, no problem: Bucks top Heat in OT, force Game 5
Even with Giannis Antetokounmpo missing most of the game with a sprained right ankle, the Bucks extended their season to a Game 5 on Tuesday. The Heat gave up 12 straight points in the final period Sunday, wasting what was an eight-point lead in a closeout game. Antetokounmpo scored 19 points for the Bucks in only 11 minutes, while Brook Lopez and George Hill each had 14 for Milwaukee. TIP-INSBucks: Milwaukee missed 19 consecutive 3-pointers its last 12 of Game 3 and first seven of Game 4 before Antetokounmpo connected late in the first quarter. Heat: Miami was looking to become the first No.
Butler makes FTs with no time left, lifts Heat past Bucks
This was just a free throw, no time on the clock, nobody else from the Miami Heat or Milwaukee Bucks standing along the lane. That got Milwaukee within two, and Butler made one free throw with 7.7 seconds left to get the lead back to three. Bam Adebayo scored 15 points, Butler and Duncan Robinson each had 13 and Kelly Olynyk added 11 for Miami which is 6-0 in this postseason. Middleton scored 23 points for Milwaukee, which got 16 apiece from Lopez and Eric Bledsoe and 14 from George Hill. FOULING ON 3SThe Heat fouled the Bucks five times on 3-point tries in the game, including twice against Lopez in a 26-second span of the first quarter.
Butler scores 40, Heat top Bucks 115-104 for 1-0 series lead
I felt like I took it up a level in the fourth quarter," Butler said. Bam Adebayo had 12 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for the fifth-seeded Heat, who are 3-1 overall against the top-seeded Bucks this season. Khris Middleton scored 28 points for Milwaukee, which also dropped Game 1 of its first-round series against Orlando. Kyle Korver added 11 for the Bucks, who scored 40 points on the way to an 11-point lead after the first quarter then managed 64 the rest of the way. Bucks: Milwaukee is now 20-32 in Game 1s.
It's Game 7 for Thunder-Rockets, Game 2 on tap in Heat-Bucks
The winner moves on to Game 1 of a West semifinal series against the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. The Rockets had a six-point lead with the ball with 4:01 left in Game 6, a perfect chance to close out the game and the series. Thats it.Jimmy Butler had a playoff career-high 40 points for the Heat in their 115-104 win in Game 1. It was the second time since March 2 that Antetokounmpo played more than 30 minutes and scored less than 20 points. The Bucks have won two consecutive series after dropping Game 1s, rallying to beat Orlando this season and Boston last season.
Booker's 35 points lead surprising Suns past Heat 119-112
Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro each had 25 points to lead the Heat. Three free throws by Robinson cut the Suns' lead to 115-112 before Miami's Bam Adebayo was called for goaltending on a shot by Booker. The review with 11.2 seconds remaining confirmed the call and extended the lead to five points. Led by its backcourt scoring from Herro and Robinson, Miami quickly led by double figures at 19-8. The Suns led 88-86 entering the final period.
Bucks clinch top see in East with 130-116 win over Heat
Miami cooled off after the break and the Bucks took the lead in the third quarter but were down by 6 to start the fourth. Antetokounmpo sat out about five minutes of the fourth quarter after collecting his fifth foul with 11 minutes to go. Duncan Robinson had 21 points for the Heat, who lost to Milwaukee for the first time this season after winning the first two meetings. But the Heat wrapped up the quarter with a 5-2 spurt to take a 98-92 lead into the fourth. Bucks: Bledsoe had nine points and five assists in his second game back after missing the first two games in the bubble after testing positive for the coronavirus.
VanVleet scores career-best 36, Raptors top Heat 107-103
Miami Heat's Goran Dragic (7) greets Toronto Raptors' Fred VanVleet (23) after an NBA basketball game Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 36 points and made seven 3-pointers, and the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors added to their strong restart with a 107-103 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday. Jae Crowder hit a 3 and Dragic drew a charge on VanVleet to give the Heat a chance. Heat: The Heat made just 5 of 23 3-pointers in the first half, but trailed only by four. Heat: Play Celtics on Tuesday.