Trade deadline passes, and Kyle Lowry remains with Raptors
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Kyle Lowry wound up staying with Toronto after all. The trade deadline has come and gone. “Anytime you trade a player like Nikola, it is a tough decision to make," Magic President Jeff Weltman said. But Lowry — a free-agent-to-be and considered perhaps the biggest prize on this year's trade market — did not get traded, the Raptors apparently unable to find enough assets to their liking. Questions swirled around Lowry all the way to the 3 p.m. EST deadline, and there were signs that the Raptors were positioning themselves to make the move.
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.
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.
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.
Heat avenge embarrassment, rally to top Bucks 119-108
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, bottom, and Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa go for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI – The Miami Heat engineered a 58-point turnaround against the Milwaukee Bucks in 24 hours. “Started to feel like Miami Heat basketball again,” Herro said. Milwaukee is 2-3 this season; the Bucks started 24-3 last season. “You want to constantly develop some grit and some toughness during the course of a long season," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
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.
Short-handed Heat fight hard, but not good enough in Game 2
Their defense just wasn't good enough and their veteran forward let them know it during a timeout in the third quarter. He wanted to play, but the Heat decided he needed to rest injuries to his left shoulder and neck. Butler insisted the Heat needed to find a way to win anyway, and he took his best shot. Tyler Herro, a 20-year-old rookie, became the youngest player to start an NBA Finals game and scored 17 points. Guard Kendrick Nunn, at 6-foot-2, blocked a shot by Davis, who stands 8 inches taller, in the fourth quarter.
Halfway home: Lakers top Heat 124-114 for 2-0 Finals lead
The NBA Finals are halfway to a coronation. And the last time the Lakers’ franchise has wasted a 2-0 lead was in the 1969 finals against Boston. The Heat have rallied from a 2-0 series hole only once in eight previous tries, that one being the 2006 NBA Finals. ... James, in his 10th NBA Finals, has a 2-0 lead in the title series for the first time. YOUNGEST STARTERHerro, at 20 years, 256 days, became the youngest player to start an NBA Finals game.
Heat are ailing, but insist NBA Finals vs Lakers aren't over
His team’s starting point guard and center are both doubtful to play in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. And his Miami Heat are coming off a one-sided loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. That, combined with Miami’s injury problems, sure seems to indicate that the Lakers have full control of this matchup. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he’ll plan for Dragic and Adebayo to play. All three of Miami’s NBA titles came after Game 1 losses in the finals.
Heat reach the East finals, top Bucks to win series 4-1
Butler and Goran Dragic each scored 17 points for the Heat, who won the series 4-1 and will face either Boston or Toronto when the NBAs final four gets underway next week. It's Miami's first time in the East finals since 2014, and the first time Butler has gotten to the NBA's final four. Jae Crowder scored 16, Tyler Herro scored 14, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Kelly Olynyk had 12 apiece for the Heat. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17, Wesley Matthews and Marvin Williams each had 11 and Eric Bledsoe had nine assists for the Bucks. UP NEXTHeat: Game 1 of the East finals vs. Toronto or Boston, TBD.
Heat use big 4th quarter to take 3-0 series lead over Bucks
The Heat outscored Milwaukee 40-13 in the fourth quarter the biggest such final-quarter margin in NBA playoff history to take a 3-0 series lead. Adebayo had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Jae Crowder had 17 points to help the Heat improve to 7-0 in this postseason. Butler had 17 of his points in the fourth, and the Heat pulled off their biggest fourth-quarter playoff comeback ever. Butler had the next nine Miami points as the Heat went back on top, and he set Adebayo up for a short basket with 4:20 remaining to restore a 100-99 lead. ...GIANNIS 1KA dunk in the fourth quarter gave Antetokounmpo 19 points on the night and 1,000 in his 42-game playoff career.
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.
Heat have Bucks in serious trouble going into Game 3
Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton (22) goes down during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Having the NBA's best record during the regular season shows the obvious potential of the Milwaukee Bucks. They are now, facing a pivotal Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the rolling Miami Heat on Friday night. We're not focused on anything after Game 3," Bucks center Brook Lopez said. We're not looking back on anything from Game 2 or Game 1.
The NBA MVP finalists: Antetokounmpo, James and Harden
A trio of past winners of the award reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, four-time MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and 2017-18 winner James Harden of the Houston Rockets were announced Saturday as the finalists for this seasons top NBA individual honor. Antetokounmpo is bidding to become the 12th back-to-back winner of the award, and Harden is vying for his second MVP in three seasons. The other finalists for NBA honors:Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, Memphis; Kendrick Nunn, Miami; Zion Williamson, New Orleans. Sixth Man Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers; Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City; Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers. Defensive Player of the Year Antetokounmpo; Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers; Rudy Gobert, Utah.
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.
Butler, Adebayo score 22 each as Heat top Nuggets 125-105
Kelly Olynyk scored all of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Heat, who shot 56% from the field. But we started playing a lot harder in the second.Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant each scored 19 points for Denver. ... F Jae Crowder made his second start of the season. Nuggets: The 1 p.m. Eastern start time -- 11 a.m. in Denver -- was the Nuggets second earliest of the season. Nuggets: Play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
The NBA is coming back, and here's 10 things to know
8 seed in the Western Conference Memphis, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix. The other games: Sacramento vs. San Antonio, Memphis vs. San Antonio and Portland vs. Memphis. The Grizzlies start with a 3 1/2-game lead over Portland, New Orleans and Sacramento, along with a four-game edge on San Antonio. The Bucks were 22-0 against those eight teams one of three NBA teams to go unbeaten against that group. NBA teams have combined for 23,560 3-pointers made so far this season, which is already the fourth-most of any season in league history.