Good morning, folks. Build the Devin Booker statue TODAY. Let’s talk NBA Bubble.
Booker’s game-winner lifts Suns over Clippers
Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns didn’t come to all the way to Orlando just to ride Splash Mountain; they came to play spoiler (and maybe ride Splash Mountain along the way). Three games into the NBA’s restart, they’re gunning for a playoff spot.
On Tuesday night, the Suns moved to 3-0 in the Bubble following an epic game-winner by Booker. With time running low against the Los Angeles Clippers and the game tied at 115, Book calmly drove to his left and delivered a magnificent turnaround jumper over the outstretched arms of the world’s best perimeter defenders.
DEVIN BOOKER GAME-WINNER ? pic.twitter.com/4QAeIRNiA6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 4, 2020
Instantly, Booker became a meme.
You've heard of elf on a shelf, but have you ever seen pic.twitter.com/KujnRZNkeu
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 5, 2020
How we’re feeling rn
On top of the ? pic.twitter.com/EG7aqtBwi2
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 5, 2020
Booker closed the day with 35 points, four rebounds, and eight assists while shooting 13-25 from the floor and an efficient 6-9 from downtown.
”This is a fun team to be a part of and we’re having fun with it,” Booker said after the game. ”This whole experience … we just wanted to come down here and make some noise and that’s what we’re doing.”
Patrick Patterson appeared in 11 minutes for Los Angeles, contributing three points and two rebounds but on a 1-5 shooting clip.
Phoenix is now three games back of the 8-seed and just 1.5 games back of the 9-seed. Here’s a look at the current standings near the bottom of the Western Conference. As a reminder, the team in ninth place must finish within four games of the eighth-place team in order to force a play-in round. If the seeding games were to end today, the play-in round would feature the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers, however, there are still five games to go.
Adebayo leads Butler-less Heat to win over Celtics, 112-106
In the absence of its star player, the Miami Heat came out with a point to prove against the Boston Celtics. Jimmy Butler was sidelined with a minor ankle injury, leaving the bulk of the scoring opportunities to Bam Adebayo, who did not disappoint. The former Kentucky big man posted 21 points on 5-12 shooting (and an uncharacteristic 11-18 from the charity stripe) to go along with 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.
The Celtics had beaten Miami twice during the regular season, something Adebayo didn’t take lightly heading into the third matchup.
”Instead of being beat 3-0, we were like, `We got to make a stand. We got to prove a point,”’ Adebayo said. ”And like I said before, I feel like this team can battle with anybody … Who knows how the game could’ve been if had we had Jimmy?”
Miami led the entire game, bumping its lead to double-digits any time the Celtics got too close. Tyler Herro added 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists for the Heat in 21 minutes. On the Celtics end, Enes Kanter had himself another solid outing, going for 10 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.
Fox’s 28 not enough to down Mavs in overtime
The Dallas Mavericks have been giving away late leads all season long and that hasn’t stopped once the season restarted. However, they were able to sneak out a 114-110 overtime victory against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. And all it took was a historic triple-double (34 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 assists) from Luka Doncic to make it happen.
In fact, the tables turned in this one. Instead of Dallas fumbling the game down the stretch, it was Sacramento who couldn’t hang on. Despite leading throughout the majority of the first half, the Kings did not score a point in the final five minutes of regulation, allowing the Mavs to fight back and force an extra period that they would control. Sacramento came out firing early, connecting on 9 of 16 first-quarter triples, but they proceeded to miss all eight attempts in the second quarter and finished the night 16-43 from deep.
De’Aaron Fox finished with 28 points and nine assists for the Kings, who fall to 0-3 in the Bubble and all the way to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
Other notes from the Bubble
- Eric Bledsoe played in his first game back since testing positive for coronavirus. In 18 limited minutes, the point guard went for eight points, two rebounds, and four assists for the Milwaukee Bucks. In a 119-116 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee rested the majority of its starters (Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton both played 15 minutes each while Brook Lopez did not play). Brooklyn actually did the same thing as Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Joe Harris sat on the bench.
- Lakers guard Rajon Rondo is expected to arrive in the Bubble sometime on Wednesday.
- Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. will miss the remainder of the season with a torn meniscus.
|Devin Booker (PHX)||117-115 W @ LAC||35||13-25 (6-9)||4||8||0||0||2||0||37|
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||110-114 (OT) L vs. DAL||28||12-27 (2-7)||3||9||2||0||2||+2||38|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||112-106 W vs. BOS||21||5-12 (0-0)||12||2||1||1||1||+11||31|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||112-106 W vs. BOS||11||4-10 (3-7)||3||3||1||0||1||-8||21|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||106-112 L @ MIA||10||5-6 (0-0)||5||1||0||0||0||+4||15|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||116-119 L vs. BKN||8||1-5 (1-3)||2||4||0||0||2||+1||18|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||115-117 L vs. PHX||3||1-5 (1-5)||2||0||0||0||0||-4||11|
|Wenyen Gabriel (POR)||110-102 W vs. HOU||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)||114-110 (OT) W @ SAC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TODAY IN THE BUBBLE
2:30: Grizzlies @ Jazz
4:00 (NBA TV): 76ers @ Wizards
4:00: Nuggets (Murray: questionable) @ Spurs (Johnson)
6:30 (ESPN): Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel) @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo-out)
8:00: Raptors @ Magic
9:00 (ESPN): Nets @ Celtics (Kanter)