Forward Jimmy Butler masterfully guided the Miami Heat in the NBA this Monday in a 119-115 victory over the Utah Jazz, while the Boston Celtics, despite 43 points from Jaylen Brown, fell to the Houston Rockets 111-109.
With a lot of energy and accurate aim in the final stretch, Butler gave the Heat the important victory. "Jimmy’s energy and aggressiveness in these" matches "They are unique"said his coach, Erik Spoelstra.
Butler finished with 24 points as seven Miami players finished in double figures.
Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent each finished with 18 points, while center Bam Adebayo added 16 points and veteran Kevin Love 11 points. Veteran Vícto Oladipo and Caleb Martin combined for 21 points off the bench.
Finn Lauri Markkanen led Utah in scoring with 38 points, but Miami showed more composure at key points in a game in which the lead changed hands 17 times.
Miami, which improved to 37-33, is seventh in the Eastern Conference, one spot outside of automatic playoff berths, with 12 games remaining.
"We just have to keep trying and figure out how to win…"said Spoelstra. "At this point, with 12 games remaining, it’s however we have to do it, we just have to do it.".
In Houston, star Jaylen Brown broke out with 43 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Boston Celtics from falling 111-109 against the humble local Rockets.
The second-place Celtics in the East were looking to close the gap on the conference-top Milwaukee Bucks against a Houston team with the league’s worst record.
But the Celtics were surprised by a fiery team that shared the score in a close contest that saw 15 lead changes.
Jalen Green led the Rockets with 28 points, while Jabari Smith Jr. had 24 points with 12 rebounds and Kenyon Martin added 20 points. Kevin Porter Jr. finished with 14 cards, six rebounds and 13 assists.
Boston could have forced overtime, but Jayson Tatum missed a layup in the final seconds as Houston held on for victory.
"You gotta make the shots you got when you’re open"Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said. "Offensive rebounds, second chance points, turnovers, that’s the game. I don’t care if you throw half court, if you don’t win those three margins, you’re not going to win many games."he added.
The loss leaves Boston two games behind Milwaukee in the race for first place in the East with 13 games remaining in the regular season.
The Rockets, on the other hand, are already eliminated from the postseason and remain at the bottom of the Western Conference with a negative record of 16-52.
In West games, Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo poured in with 46 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 133-124 win over the Sacramento Kings.
On the other hand, sharpshooter Klay Thompson pushed his Warriors up and with 38 points, including eight three-pointers, helped his team in a 123-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
– Results of Monday in the NBA:
Detroit to Indiana 117-97
Memphis to Dallas 104-88
Houston to Boston 111-109
Minnesota at Atlanta 136-115
Miami to Utah 119-115
Golden State to Phoenix 123-112
Milwaukee to Sacramento 133-124