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The Heat bother the Celtics

The Heat bother the Celtics

With Jimmy Butler, the Heat are a much better team. A toast to the obviousbut a fact that serves as a headline to make it clear that Spoelstra’s are a more fearsome team than they have seemed so far (11-12). With the Spartan Butler, who was returning after seven games out with a knee problem, converting every important action in the final minutes and overtime, the Heat won in the Garden (116-120), where the Celtics had not lost since October 28. It is the second defeat in 16 games for the greens (18-5), extraordinary but human.

Butler was the substantial difference so that the repetition two days after the rematch of the last Eastern final ended with the opposite sign: from the lightest and most offensive match on Wednesday to a battle more similar to what was that tremendous series that the representative decided. of the East in the last Finals. In his sauce, Butler finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds and was the best of the hot moments. Bam Adebayo added 28 points and 7 rebounds in what ended up being a tremendous duel of stars, To dog face: Jaylen Brown gave all the replicas (27 + 14 + 5) on a lazy day for Jayson Tatum (14+12, 5/18 shooting), who had just strengthened his MVP candidacy with 49 points just 48 hours earlier and against a less warlike Heat.

Who would think that these Cetlics already they were never going to losesurely they were reaffirmed when a basket from Butler over Horford (107-110) followed, with 1.6 seconds remaining, a triple from Brown’s board almost from the logo. But more than a resurrection, it was the squawk of the last life of the locals, who are 0-3 in overtime this season and who they shot worse than usual (around 33% in triples) and piled up 20 losses that facilitated 21 points from some Heat that they gave themselves a necessary bath of self-esteem. In addition to Butler and Adebayo, Lowry (20 points, 4 assists) and Tyler Herro (26 and 3) played at a high level.

Sixers can’t keep up with Grizzlies

After losing resoundingly in Cleveland, the Sixers tried more in Memphis, they could not add either (117-109) and they are around 50% again (12-11), about to at least recover James Harden (Tyrese Maxey will take longer to return). This time, and unlike the Ohio game, they fought back and turned a -18 in the fourth quarter into a 111-106 scoreline with three minutes to go. His attempt ended up falling short. but he washed his face a team driven by Joel Embiid (35 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists) and a good start by Tobias Harris (21+11).

But, from the second quarter, the Grizzlies took control, in the sensations and in the score. Ja Morant played a great first half and finished with 28 points (10/28 shooting, mind you). Jaren Jackson Jr had 22 with 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. Y the activity of front court (57-42 rebounding, 11 blocks for Tennessees) was decisive: 9 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks by Steven Adams, 10+4 by Brandon Clarke and 13+5+3 assists with a couple of triples scored for Santi Aldama, who played a very good game. The Grizzlies are 13-9, fourth in the West and only two games off the lead despite some ups and downs and the long-term absence of Desmond Bane.

The Cavaliers move up in the East

On a day in which the Celtics and Bucks lost, which is very rare, the Cavs gave a little stride (15-8 now, one game away from Wisconsin) with his victory, without allowing surprises (107-96) against Orlando Magic, who has seven straight losses and already has the worst record in the entire NBA (5-18). Those from Florida continue to be weighed down by losses: this time Wendell Carter Jr, Jalen Suggs, Chuma Okeke, Gary Harris, Mo Bamba, of course Jonathan Isaac were missing… The number 1 in the draft, Paolo Banchero, continues at a high level: 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, but the season will once again be about rebuilding and eyes on the draft in Orlando. A tough process. The much happier Cavs are 10-1 at home and won well even though they played without Jarrett Allen. Donovan Mitchell scored 16 points in 9 minutes and 34 total. Darius Garland directed (18 and 6 assists) and Evan Mobley did all the work (19+13+4) against a timid rival. Kevin Love returned after his injury (11 + 11) and the Cavs remain one of the best teams in the East. Already a reality.

A great night without Trae for the Hawks

The Hawks (13-10) are fourth in the East after a fantastic night in which they won (117-109) convincingly one of the roosters West, Denver Nuggets, despite the fact that they played without Trae Young, John Collins and De’Andre Hunter. And despite the fact that the Nuggets woke up in the third quarter and turned a 64-49 into a 75-75. Nikola Jokic only scored 4 points in the first half but finished with 24, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Jamal Murray added 20 and 7 assists but the Nuggets definitely fell off the hook in the last minutes, subjected to the pressure of Dejounte Murray (34 points and 8 assists) and the points of rookie AJ ​​Griffin (24 with 11/16 shooting). Seven players in double scoring figures for a tough, collective Hawks that remain among the best in their Conference. The Nuggets are second in the West (14-8) but they wasted a very propitious opportunity to add another victory.

The Pacers find the West hard

Revelation duel in Salt Lake City. Two of the teams in deep reconstruction, two that were expected in the race for Victor Wembanyama but that are positive: after the 139-119 of this duel, 14-11 for Utah Jazz and 12-10 for Indiana Pacers, who have lost three of their four games in the West and who avoided what would have been a full blown skid with their miraculous fourth-quarter comeback against the Lakers. In a game with many losses (24-18), the Jazz were more effective on both sides of the court. They escaped with a lot of offensive success and some good stretches of defense in the first half in which they hit twice: the Pacers tied after 35-21 but a 17-0 opened an already beastly gap (71-54).

Lauri Markkanen was the best of the game with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Between Jordan Clarkson (19 points and 3 assists) and Collin Sexton (18+5) they managed a direction that suffers a lot without Mike Conley. And from the bench they added Beasley (16+5) and the rookie center Kessler, a find: 20 points with a 7/7 shooting from the field, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. At the Pacers it was not the day for Haliburton (14 points, 4 assists, 3 losses) or Mathurin (12 with a 3/10).

The Wizards lose a thousand chances to win

Five losses in six games for some Wizards (11-12) that are negative again and that they will have few such good occasions to break a losing streak: 117-116 in Charlotte against some Hornets who added their seventh victory (7-15) with a touch of poltergeist: They had a 22-point advantage in the third quarter and reached the last one with a 107-88 that was almost useless. 10-28 in that final set in which the locals did not score in the last 3:45 (117-112). The score was 117-116 with two and a half minutes to go and no longer moved. The Wizards dropped as many as four attacks to take command, and Bradley Beal piled up two turnovers in the last minute and a missed shot that could have been the winning basket. The Hornets, who had flown in the first half (74-59 with 53% shooting) were barely saved. Rozier added 25 points, Oubre 22 and PJ Washington 21 with 5 assists. In the Wizards, 33 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists from Beal, 21+11 from Porzingis and 14 points from Kuzma. Those from the capital played very badly until they got hooked on the game with very large quintets and control of the rebound. But they fell short.

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