Life must feel great for the Wizards right now
The Miami Heat held a 75-71 lead going into the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards. Prior to this game, Miami were 11-1 this season with a lead heading into the fourth quarter, which boded well for their chances. The Heat even padded their lead to 10 points with 4:42 left in the game, and it looked dire for the Wizards, who were playing at home.
However, these Wizards again proved that they’re a little different this year, and have a lot more resilience. They closed the game with a 19-6 run that flipped that 10 point deficit into a 103-100 win, pushing their record to 11-5 overall and 7-1 at home.
It was also the latest example of a game where Bradley Beal was able to trust in his teammates. Beal didn’t score a bucket in that last 4:42 of the game, but he played defense and assisted on back-to-back three-pointers for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie. The former tied the game, and the latter gave them a 99-96 lead that they never relinquished.
To add icing to the cake, Kyle Kuzma, who has been shooting a little over 50% from the free throw line this season, made four-straight free throws in the last 34 seconds of the game to preserve Washington’s hard-fought lead. He then of course added some drama by missing a pair with 0.6 seconds that let Bam Adebayo throw a hail Mary heave that hit the rim.
Beal was the Wizards’ top scorer with 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 9 assists. Dinwiddie finished with 16 points and 4 assists, while Caldwell-Pope finished with 16 points. Kuzma had 6 points and 11 rebounds, and Montrezl Harrell had 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Jimmy Butler’s going to be pissed at losing this game, especially since he had a good game with 29 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Tyler Herro was effective upon returning to a bench role, finishing with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals on 8 of 16 shooting (3 of 6 from deep).
The Detroit Pistons have the unenviable position of having to face Miami next, and I’m pretty sure the Heat are going to take out their frustrations on the East’s second-worst team.
The loss pushed the Heat down to fourth place in the East, while the Wizards leapfrogged them to second.
Giannis is playing like a man possessed
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are now back to a winning record of 9-8 after beating the Orlando Magic 117-108. Antetokounmpo was unstoppable again as he finished with 32 points, 20 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks with 5 turnovers. He shot 8 of 16 from the field and foiled the Magic’s hack-a-freak plan as he sank 15 of 23 free throws.
The Greek Freak is averaging 33.3 PPG, 16 RPG and 5 APG in his last three games. He’s also made 32 of 45 free throws, or 71.1% of them. This run followed a loss to the Hawks that he seems to have taken personally.
Here’s a visual re-enactment of Giannis’ last three games:
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Bobby Portis continues to thrive in a starting role, and he had 24 points, 15 rebounds and a block. All five Bucks starters scored in double figures. He made his first six three-pointers of the game and only missed one.
Other notes of interest:
The Atlanta Hawks have put together a four-game win streak after defeating the Charlotte Hornets 115-105. They’re now at 8-9, and are going to be happy considering this streak is coming after losing six-straight. Clint Capela was their star today with 20 points and 15 rebounds, which helped them survive a Miles Bridges explosion. Bridges finished with 35 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets.
The Celtics are now also back on a winning record of 9-8 after taking down the thunder 111-105. They were led by Jayson Tatum and Dennis Schroder, who combined for 62 points in the victory.
The Timberwolves manhandled the Memphis Grizzlies in a 138-95 drubbing. The trio of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell all played less than 30 minutes each, but still combined for 72 points anyway.