Good afternoon, folks. Someone get James Harden out of Houston, please. Let’s talk BBNBA.
Herro and Maxey’s overtime duel in Philly
The Miami Heat were without several key players on Tuesday night due to health and safety protocols related to COVID-19, just one day after their matchup against the Boston Celtics was postponed for a lack of available players.
One of those players lost on Tuesday night was Heat star Bam Adebayo, who previously tested positive for the coronavirus over the summer. It’s not known if the former ‘Cat has contracted the disease again, but he was at least in close enough contact with someone who did test positive that he met the criteria to be held out.
Miami wasn’t down just Adebayo against the Philadelphia 76ers, though. Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley, Goran Dragic, and Meyers Leonard were also absent, although Leonard was out due to injury and not NBA protocols. With their top-three players missing in action, Tyler Herro gladly picked up the slack for the second game in a row for the Heat.
After popping off for a career-high 31 points against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, the one-time ‘Cat took it to another level against Tyrese Maxey and the 76ers. Herro exploded for a new career-high of 34 points on 12-26 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and four assists in a season-high 39 minutes. However, without Adebayo roaming the paint, Joel Embiid had his way against the Miami frontcourt, pouring in 45 points and some tough scores down the stretch as the 76ers won in overtime, 137-134. 20 of Embiid’s points came in the third quarter and another 11 in the extra period.
Herro nearly saved the day for Miami, canning an and-one triple with 1:05 left in overtime that tied the game up at 129 apiece. It was one of multiple clutch shots he hit for his squad. Herro tacked on the free-throw to give the Heat a one-point lead, but a Danny Green layup for Philly followed by a dagger 3-pointer from Dakota Mathias the next time down allowed the 76ers to pull ahead in the closing seconds. It was Mathias’ only made shot of the evening.
Across the court from Herro, his Kentucky counterpart, Maxey, had another solid outing filling in for injured/missing Sixer players. The rookie was in the Philly starting lineup for the third game in a row, scoring in double-figures once again with 16 points in addition to his three rebounds and eight assists. Maxey played alongside All-Star point guard Ben Simmons and the pair made for a smooth backcourt throughout the contest, although both of them would eventually foul out.
Over his last four outings–three of them as a starter–Maxey has averaged 21.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field. He’s just 6-19 from distance over that span (31.6 percent) but isn’t turning the ball over (just 1.3 per game) while playing high minutes (33.0 per game). Add in the fact that’s been finishing possessions at a higher rate than most of his teammates (his 25.4 usage rate over the last four games is third on his team behind only Simmons and Tobias Harris) and you better believe that head coach Doc Rivers is a big fan of what he sees in Maxey.
Keldon’s Spurs too much for SGA and OKC
After arguably his worst performance of the young season against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, Keldon Johnson returned to his usual self against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
The former Wildcat recorded just three points a few days ago, shooting a season-wrost 1-6 from the floor, but responded with 18 points on 6-11 shooting against the Thunder. Johnson also added seven rebounds and two steals to his stat line as his San Antonio Spurs took down OKC by a final score of 112-102. Lonnie Walker IV added 24 points for the Spurs, who came out of a five-game road tour with a 4-1 record.
”I feel like we fought the whole road trip,” Johnson said. ”We gave one away in Minnesota … but we knew we just had to bounce back and continue to keep fighting and trusting each other and we came out a winner. A road trip like this, we just kept fighting and staying together.”
Trey Lyles was in the starting lineup alongside Johnson, filling in for the absent DeMar DeRozan, finishing with six points and four rebounds on two made triples. As a whole, the Spurs committed just four turnovers all game long, easily a season-low.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was excellent once again for the Thunder, posting 20 points and nine rebounds on a 7-10 shooting clip in 33 minutes. OKC got as close as 104-100 in the last few minutes, but San Antonio hit its free-throws down the stretch to earn the win. Hamidou Diallo registered his third consecutive outing with double-figures, scoring 16 points on 5-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds and two assists. The third-year pro is averaging 21.3 points over his last three games.
AD and Lakers win back-to-back against struggling Rockets
James Harden said everything but the words “trade me” following Houston’s 117-100 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
“I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”
Harden scored just 16 points against the Lakers, the third time in four games he’s failed to hit the 20-point mark. After exploding for 44, 34, and 33 points through his first three games, respectively, those figures have slid all the way down to 21, 15, 15, 20, and 16. The Rockets were down by 20-plus in the first quarter against L.A. and never made the game close. Led by Anthony Davis’ 19 points and 10 rebounds along with 26 points, eight rebounds, and five assists from LeBron James, the Lakers didn’t even need to play its starters during the fourth quarter.
John Wall registered 10 points and five assists in 30 minutes for Houston while DeMarcus Cousins went for a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double in his 18 minutes. It was Boogie’s first double-double of the year and the first time he’s hit double-digits in scoring.
After the game, Wall spoke about the situation he’s in with Harden and the Rockets. Here’s what the former ‘Cat said, according to MacMahon:
“He’s talking to his own opinion. I can’t know what he thinks about the team or what he feels like we are,” Wall said. “I know how much hard work these guys put in … to try to get better every day. I know how much work I put into it to get back and compete at a high level.
“There’s a lot of guys here that want to compete at a high level. Like I told everybody tonight and told the guys before, when one through 15 guys are all on the same page and they commit and they know their role and they know what they want to get out of this and that’s to win, it’ll all be fine. But when you have certain guys in the mix that don’t want to buy in all as one, it’s going to be hard to do anything special or anything good as a basketball team.”
Other notes from across the BBNBA
Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets were up by 15 on the Brooklyn Nets in the third quarter, but then they allowed a 29-4 run. Murray contributed 20 points and four assists on 9-20 shooting from the field, but his Nuggets lost to the Nets, 122-116 behind 34 points from Kevin Durant.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||134-137 (OT) L @ PHI||34||12-26 (3-9)||7||4||0||1||6||-17||39|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||116-122 L @ BKN||20||9-20 (2-5)||0||4||1||0||3||-12||34|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||102-112 L vs. SAS||20||7-10 (0-0)||9||2||0||0||2||0||33|
|Anthony Davis (LAL)||117-100 W @ HOU||19||7-8 (1-1)||10||2||0||5||0||+21||29|
|Keldon Johnson (SAS)||112-102 W @ OKC||18||6-11 (0-2)||7||1||2||0||0||+1||38|
|Tyrese Maxey (PHI)||137-134 (OT) W vs. MIA||16||7-18 (1-6)||3||8||1||0||1||-14||36|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||102-112 L vs. SAS||16||5-9 (0-0)||4||2||0||0||0||-14||21|
|DeMarcus Cousins (HOU)||100-117 L vs. LAL||13||5-9 (2-4)||10||3||1||0||1||+3||18|
|John Wall (HOU)||100-117 L vs. LAL||10||4-11 (0-1)||0||5||2||1||3||-18||30|
|Trey Lyles (SAS)||112-102 W @ OKC||6||2-6 (1-3)||4||0||0||0||0||-12||18|
|Mychal Mulder (GSW)||95-104 L vs. IND||3||1-3 (1-3)||0||0||0||0||0||+1||8|
|Darius Miller (OKC)||102-112 L vs. SAS||0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||>1|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||134-137 (OT) L @ PHI||DNP-Safety Protocols||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Mavericks (Cauley-Stein) @ Hornets (Monk, Richards, Washington)
7:00: Bucks @ Pistons
7:30 (ESPN): Nets @ Knicks (Knox, Noel, Quickley, Randle)
8:00: Grizzlies @ Timberwolves (Towns-questionable, Vanderbilt)
8:00: Lakers (Davis) @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Miller)
9:00: Hawks (Rondo-questionable) @ Suns (Booker)
10:00 (ESPN): Pelicans (Bledsoe-questionable, Gabriel) @ Clippers (Patterson)
10:00: Trail Blazers (Kanter) @ Kings (Fox)
Magic @ Celtics: POSTPONED
Jazz @ Wizards: POSTPONED