Tagged in: Miami Heat

Bucks avoid sweep despite losing Giannis to sprained ankle

The Milwaukee Bucks staved off elimination on Sunday, defeating the Miami Heat 118-115 in overtime despite losing superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to a right ankle sprain in the second quarter.

After being fouled by Heat forward Andre Iguodala on a drive into the paint at the 10:18 mark of the second quarter of Game 4 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series, Antetokounmpo went down in a heap, yelling out in pain and clutching at his right ankle. He had to be helped off the court but later walked back on to split a pair of free throws.

Antetokounmpo then instantly checked out of the game and walked under his own power to Milwaukee’s locker room. He wouldn’t be seen again, as the Bucks ruled out their superstar forward at halftime, when they were clinging to a 50-48 lead.

“He’ll get treatment through the night, and we’ll just see how he does in the next 24 (to) 48 hours,” stated Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer after the game.

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In an inspired effort led by Khris Middleton, the Bucks managed to hold on after losing the reigning MVP to avoid a 4-0 sweep.

Middleton’s 21 points in the third quarter were the most by a Bucks player in any quarter of a playoff game since Tim Thomas’ 19 in 1996-97.

He ended with 36 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds in 48 minutes — including a clutch 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left in overtime against a Miami double-team.

As Bucks players entered the locker room, Antetokounmpo was there to congratulate them on the latest triumph, but it’s still uncertain if he’ll be able to return for Game 5 on Tuesday.

The Bucks are the first team to win in overtime when facing elimination since the Heat in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals versus the San Antonio Spurs.

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Pacers fire Nate McMillan after being swept in first round of playoffs

The Indiana Pacers have fired coach Nate McMillan after his team was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.

The move comes after the Pacers had reworked the final year of McMillan’s contract for 2020-21 and added a team option for 2021-22 in the form of a soft extension earlier this month.

Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who is in the final year of his contract, will be an Indiana target should he become available, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Indiana also plans to search from a pool of candidates they would consider “program builders” over the long term, sources tell Wojnarowski. In four seasons as the Pacers’ coach, McMillan had a 183-136 record, including 3-16 in the postseason. Indiana was swept in the first round in each of the past two seasons.

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The Pacers haven’t reached the second round since appearing in the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and 2014, and after Monday’s loss to Miami, Indiana has lost a franchise-record nine consecutive playoff games.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called McMillan’s firing “ridiculous” on Wednesday.

“It seems totally ridiculous. It seems like you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. Just two weeks ago at the beginning of our series you’re giving him an extension, but really it’s just a media fake extension to appease whatever they felt like they needed to appease. And then after this series to make that quick of an emotional decision is really disappointing,” he said.

Injuries have played a key role in the team’s failures. The Pacers played last season without two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo, who suffered a knee injury, and without All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis against the Heat because of a foot injury.

“On behalf of the Simon family and the Pacers organization, I’d like to thank Nate for his years with the team,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement.

“This was a very hard decision for us to make; but we feel it’s in the best interest of the organization to move in a different direction. Nate and I have been through the good times and the bad times; and it was an honor to work with him for those 11 years (in Indiana and Portland).”

McMillan has a 661-588 career record in 16 seasons as a head coach for Seattle, Portland and Indiana.

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Grizzlies agree to trade Andre Iguodala to Heat

The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to a deal to send Andre Iguodala to the Miami Heat, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Iguodala also has agreed to a two-year, $30 million extension with Miami, sources said. The extension includes a team option.

Justise Winslow is part of the package headed to Memphis, sources told Wojnarowski. The forward has played in only 11 games for the Heat this season because of injuries. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4 assists.

In addition, Miami, Memphis and the Oklahoma City Thunder are working on an elaborate three-team trade that would land the Heat both Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, league sources told Wojnarowski.

The Heat and Gallinari’s representatives were working on a contract extension overnight to help finalize the three-team trade, league sources told Wojnarowski.

Gallinari can become a free agent this summer.

Part of the challenge in a new deal is the Heat’s wish to preserve cap space for 2021.

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Iguodala said he’s “really excited” to be joining the Heat and playing with Jimmy Butler, who had similar feelings.

“[He brings] winning. He knows how to do that on both sides of the ball. He’s super smart. There’s nothing he cannot do,” Butler said after a 128-111 loss to the LA Clippers on Wednesday. “We got a lot of pieces, man. He’s definitely going to add to that.”

Iguodala, 36, hasn’t played for the Grizzlies this season. Last summer, the Golden State Warriors sent the veteran swingman — who is making $17.2 million in the final year of his contract — and a lightly protected 2024 first-round pick to the rebuilding Grizzlies because Golden State needed to shed his salary to execute a three-team, sign-and-trade deal for All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell.

Iguodala was a fundamental piece of the Warriors’ three championships and five straight Finals appearances; he is considered one of the league’s elite wing defenders and is an excellent passer and threat off the dribble.

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Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat

Toronto Raptors vs Miami Heat

The Raptors are back in Toronto after dropping a disappointing 94-87 overtime loss in Miami, allowing the Heat to tie up the series at two games apiece. With the best of seven series essentially a best of three now, Toronto hopes to take advantage of home court in Game 5 at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.

The Heat and Raptors are one extra session away from tying the record for the most overtime games in a series.

The Miami Heat were able to level the series at 2-2 with a hard-fought 94-87 overtime win over the Raptors on Monday. Dwyane Wade led the charge with a game-high 30 points on 13 of 24 shooting while Joe Johnson and Goran Dragic added 15 points each as the Heat battled hard to come back from a late nine-point deficit to force overtime where they would dominate by 11-4. Hassan Whiteside was absent for the game so coach Spoelstra inserted Amar’e Stoudemire into the starting lineup but he played just 12 minutes as the Heat relied heavily on smaller lineups to spread the floor for Wade to attack the basket.

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The Toronto Raptors were playing without their leading big man in Jonas Valanciunas who has been key to their success in this series. Bismack Biyombo stepped into the starting role and had a double-double of 13 points with 13 rebounds, DeMarre Carroll also added 13 points while Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph chipped in with 14 points each, but the Raptors once again needed so much more from their All-Star backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan who disappointed mightily with combined figures of just 19 points on six of 28 shooting.

Key matchup:

DeMarre Carroll vs. Dwyane Wade.

It will fall to Carroll to try and slow Wade, who had 30 points in Miami’s Game 4 win and is averaging 27 points per game in the series. Of Miami’s 94 points in Game 4, Wade, Joe Johnson and Goran Dragic (15 each) accounted for 60 of them. Keeping Wade in check — a historically challenging task — will be crucial to the Raptors taking Game 5.

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Miami Heat At Toronto Raptors

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Miami Heat (52-37) at Toronto Raptors (60-29)

NBA Basketball: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm (Air Canada Centre)

The Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat collide in Game 1 at the Air Canada Center on Tuesday.

The Heat looked down and out after falling behind by 3-2 in the first series against the Hornets, but they regrouped in time and got the job done in a dominant 106-73 Game 7 win to book them a ticket into the second round. Dwyane Wade led from the front with averages of 19.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for the series, Hassan Whiteside averaged 13.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game, while Goran Dragic averaged 14.1 points and 4.3 assists per game and had himself a game-high 25 points in Game 7 on Sunday. As a team, the Heat averaged 99.1 points per game while allowing just 90.3 points per game in the first round.

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The Raptors will also be entering this series fresh off a Game 7 victory, beating the Pacers by 89-84 in a thriller on Sunday. DeMar DeRozan shot just 31.9 percent from the field for the seriers, but he came good when it really mattered as he led the team with 30 points on Sunday, but the same can’t be said for Kyle Lowry who averaged 13.9 points and 7.6 assists per game but shot just 31.6 percent for the series. Jonas Valanciunas found himself in foul trouble in almost every game of the series, but he still managed to put up solid averages of 13.6 points and 11.9 rebounds per game and he’ll be required to do the same when he’s matched up with the Heat’s Whiteside.

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: sportschatplace.com

Washington Wizards at Miami Heat

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The Miami Heat play host to the Washington Wizards tonight at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat have won three of their last four and will be going for a third straight win after blowing past the Cavaliers in a 99-84 blowout on Saturday. Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson led the team in scoring with 19 points each, Goran Dragic added 17 points while Chris Bosh added 14 as the Heat shot a healthy 54.4 percent from the field. Defensively, the Heat held the Cavaliers to just 36.5 percent shooting but to be fair, the Cavs were always likely to struggle with LeBron James rested for the game. With the win, Miami improves to 12-6 on the season and 10-3 at home.

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The Wizards have lost six of their last eight overall and were beaten by the Mavericks by 116-104 last night. John Wall led the team with 28 points, 10 assists and five steals, Bradley Beal added 21 points while Gary Neal had 18 but the Wizards faded in the second half where they were outscored by 61-46. Defensively, the Wizards allowed the Mavs to shoot 50 percent from the field and 16 of 31 from the 3-point line and they’re actually allowing an average of 110 points in their last three games. To make matters worse, Wall banged knees during the game and had to be carried off the court, leaving his status for tonight’s game up in the air

In ATS trends, the Wizards are 1-4 ATS in their last five games playing on zero days rest and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against a team above .600, while the Heat are 13-36-2 ATS in their last 51 games following a win and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games following a win of more than 10 points.

Head to head, the Wizards are 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in Miami and the over is 5-0 in the last five meetings.

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Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat

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The Los Angeles Lakers’ tough start to the season continues as they are still seeking for their second win when they travel to the AmericanAirlines Arena to face the resurgent Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association.

The Heat have swept the two-game series in each of the past three seasons, having won the past seven meetings at AmericanAirlines Arena, with the Lakers winning just once in Miami since 2004

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The Los Angeles Lakers need a road win to climb out of a tough 1-5 hole. The Los Angeles Lakers are averaging 104.3 points on 40.3 percent shooting and allowing 110.7 points on 46.2 percent shooting. Kobe Bryant is averaging 16.5 points and 2.7 assists while Jordan Clarkson is averaging 16.5 points and two assists. Louis Williams is dishing 2.8 assists and Julius Randle is grabbing 8.5 rebounds. The Los Angeles Lakers are shooting just 29.1 percent from downtown but are getting 40.7 points from their bench. Still, the Lakers lack of defense is their ultimate downfall, as they’ve given up 100-plus points in 14 of their last 17 games. Four of the Lakers last eight wins have come on the road.

The Miami Heat need a win after splitting their last six games. The Miami Heat are averaging 96.6 points on 45.7 percent shooting and allowing 90.4 points on 40.9 percent shooting. Dwyane Wade is averaging 18.9 points and 4.1 assists while Chris Bosh is averaging 16.6 points and 9.7 rebounds. Hassan Whiteside is grabbing 10.9 rebounds and Goran Dragic is dishing 4.1 assists. The Miami Heat are allowing just 27 percent shooting from deep and are holding opponents starting units to 59.3 points. However, the Heat are getting just 26 points from their bench, which is seven points less than league average. The Heat have won 10 of their last 14 home games

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